It's Double Like That

This morning, I woke up early with a tug of I have to drive there again.  I have to learn how to do one by myself from start to finish.  Christmas break is nearly overThis is it.  And with that, I packed my two thermoses of coffee and my bag of yarn to hit the know by heart road to the farm.
Then I sat there on the chocolaty couch in the living room with my mom and little sister for the third time this week, trying to get a coffee cozy done start to finish all on my own.  Without any intervening help from either of their well versed crochet hands to help with a button hole here or there. 
I was determined as I knew I was short on time and long on novice skills. 
After three attempts at getting it right, I finally came through and a blue coffee sweater with a mustard Grandma Gladys button was completed.  On my own. 
Here's to learning new and knowing when it's time to stand on your own two feet.  Or two crocheting hands. 
A few minutes ago, I sat on my bed with the winter sunset happening at my feet.  A place in my house I've never taken in a sunset from before.  New to me, this view of the winding down light at my feet.  
While weaving in and out this time, I thought about the feeling I had when the new skill was finally tucked under my belt and from seeing the sun on the wall. 
And it's simple really.  Learning new and doing new feel damn good.  They just do.  Whether it's taking in a sunset from a different spot in your house or learning a project or traveling or whatever really, new is fabulous.  Fabulous and fantastic.  It's double like that. 

So I've decided right now, here on this December 30th that my resolution for 2014 will be simple and concise. 
To do new. 
Over and over again. 
Here's to a fabulous and fantastic trip around the sun.    


We are Strong

As I sit here on this Saturday morning of Christmas break, with my 1980s sweatshirt quilt wrapped around me and a space heater humming at my feet, I feel like I want to write.  Probably because I just spent the last two hours reading.  Reading makes you want to write.  Or at least it does that magic for me.  Reading someone else's fantastically woven words inspires me to sit down and peck something out.  All full knowing, it won't be to the caliber of published works. 
But it's writing.  For me. 
And writing is a funny thing.  Sometimes I don't feel like I want to ever do that business again.  To sit here in this blue paisley chair and put any thoughts from my head down to this paper.  And then I go with that feeling and don't do it just for the sake of it.  But then it strikes again, the pull to make sense of an intangible train of thoughts.  And then I go with that feeling too and sit here with my space heater to say something. 
Which in this case is...
I love my book club. 
You want to talk about something that makes me feel inspired to read, write, and to live like I could jump off any risk at any moment?  Let's talk about book club then.

It's a sacred thing.  I don't toss that word around lightly either.  Sacred.  Sitting around a table or in a cluster of chairs or we could even sit on the floor, with that group of ladies...is magic. 
We had our annual Christmas party the Friday before all of the festivities started and this year proved to be as epic as all previous.  Complete with the Bison game on in the background playing to a vinyl records soundtrack of the old country of George Jones mixed in with the shatteringly beautiful Your Song by Elton John. 

This time of year is always bittersweet.  One celebration after another while the ever present nag of this the end of another year pulls at my heartstrings.  This party was the kick start to the nostalgic feeling of wrapping up the past 365 days.  All of us went around the table and reflected upon our favorite moments from 2013.  Our challenges and our triumphs and our misgivings came through, like they always do. 
It's a rare commodity, to be fully accepted and never judged and to put it almost unfairly simple, that is precisely what my book club is for me.  I often say things in book club or think things aloud in book club which I believed in my head would never see the light of day.  For I know those thoughts flying out of my mouth, have a safe spot to land.

It's a sacred thing.  Book Club.  At the end of every meeting, there is usually a mess of wine glasses and empty martinis and leftover bits of food and crumpled napkins but as we all put our coats on and shake our hair out of their collars, we are never a mess.  Quite the opposite, we are aligned and back to our core...ready to tackle the next month.  Because anytime we are given the full acceptance we all crave and so desperately need, everything else - all the little - quite frankly doesn't freaking matter.  
For we have been reminded we are strong.  Strong women who can and will do anything.    


Freaking Cold or Winter in the Desert

It's bone chilling cold today and I just spent about three and a half minutes cleaning out my car backseat quick like with out socks on my feet and a cement garage floor.  It was fun.  Fun and smart. 
Twenty-seven below zero actual temperature is not for the faint of heart and it really makes me question why living here has appeal and then I remember it's my people.  My people is the appeal. 
Because let me tell you this, winter in the desert is much more my swing.  A Thanksgiving week with bare feet making pies and morning runs and bike rides under the sun and tricks in the pool both day and night and being outside under a pink sky and evening wine chats with patio doors open to let the breeze in...is the best ever. 

Winter in the desert will wear you out...fall asleep in the middle of the living room in the midst of chaos kind of wear you out.  Winter in the desert is appealing, more so than this twenty-seven below zero ridiculous that's floating around here currently. 


Gifts and Gifts

At the start of this week, I wore green tights under my jeans in an effort to up my festive a notch more.  Today, I resembled a candy cane.  Once again upping the festive.  After a stop in to The Porch this evening and a long after work Monday shopping and all day Sunday uploading and an all day Saturday crocheting, I can officially say Christmas shopping is complete.  Green tights under jeans and resembling a candy cane makes things more fun.  Try it.     

Here's my nugget of truth for this Christmas season.  I dislike buying presents.  Let me rephrase that...I dislike purchasing presents which are not homemade or a product of some sort.  Yes, I have to buy books and prints of my pictures, but they are a reflection of something I created.  And yes, I have to buy yarn, but I love crocheting in and out to make something with a person in mind.

Buying presents at The Porch (locally owned) also fit my winner bill as everything is homemade or created by the three lovely ladies who opened the genius idea of a place which gardens, cans, sews, and crafts for you.  I hit the jackpot of little stocking stuffers there.  

However, buying presents at the mall or another chain store?  Strongly dislike.  We are such a society of stuff, and I'm just as guilty as the next person, that it makes me a tad disheartened to see more stuff flying off the shelves in order to fill a slot on a gift list.  

I am sure there are times when gift lists contain needs along with the wants but I truly believe it's becoming less and less than previous times in our culture.  Again, just as guilty of the want syndrome myself.  

Eventually, I would love to have an entirely homemade and created Christmas.  I'm not there yet but maybe someday.   

Wrapping presents is my least favorite task of the holiday season and last night as we watched swimming lessons, I almost had my friend Jessie convinced to wrap presents for me in exchange for making sugar cookies for her.  Almost.  I was just about to throw in giving her a pair of holiday leggings...but...I am tackling the job right now. 
Gold tape is helping the situation.  Shiny things always do.   

I hope everyone gets all their tape ready before wrapping.   

It's simply some good solid forward thinking.  And when I used to teach fourth grade chicken wings I always said, "Be a forward thinker...not a little stinker."