|This, my friends, is the ULTIMATE gingerbread cake. Dark and chewy and spicy goodness. Not for the faint of heart. The house smelled amazing while it was baking.|
Yep, it seems my little cherubs have hit the "difficult" stage. Joy and happiness. On Sunday we went to cut down our Christmas tree, like we do every year, only to have both children cry about it at one point or another as they could not agree on a tree. My husband and I finally had to declare that this year my son would choose, as my daughter chose last year, and that we would alternate year to year. This made my son happy, but not my daughter, who cried and cried and cried. It made for a difficult day, and I declared more than once I was just going to go down to the Agway next year and pull one off the lot, instead of having everyone upset.
Yep, I handled THAT masterfully.
Oh well. We brought the tree home, and put it in the stand, and then I proceeded to upset the whole turnip cart, because this year I put on clear lights.
Dum dum daDUM!!
We were a colored lights family, my friends--for years. And I always liked them. But a few years ago, I looked at the tree and thought "I betcha I would really like that tree with clear lights". And then every year thereafter I thought the same thing, but did nothing about it. This year I finally went for it.
And the kids complained like it was going out of style.
I asked them to wait and see. I was thinking if they really hated it, I could just unlight the dang thing and start all over again with the colored lights if necessary. But then the ornaments started to be put on. And all of a sudden, it was "Oh! The tree is glowing!" and "I can see all the ornaments!" and "It's so pretty!" and "I'm glad you changed them, I like the clear lights better". And mommy-o here did an inner smirk and passed out the glass balls.
And it is, indeed, pretty.
The tree was the last piece to be put on. The rest of the decorating was done last week, and I have to say this for a small house: it may be very difficult to find places to put things, but it is much easier to decorate.
In our last house, which was considerably larger, decorating was a three day affair. Here? Ha! One day, if that.
A couple of surfaces....
Put some things in the open bookshelves....
And it looks pretty. The other nice thing about coming from a larger house is that I have SO many decorations, I can pick and choose what I want to use (heh, that rhymed). It can be overwhelming, but it means I don't have to add anything, and it looks full nonetheless. Yeay!!
Other than the decorating and work, things have been pretty slow. The animals are all on "maintenance" right now, as it's too cold or crappy to do much, so it's been the routine of feeding, watering, milking, putting in, taking out, that sort of thing. Most of my time is spent indoors, thinking of what to do. I'll be honest--I'm not good at "slow". Though I can sit with a cuppa and relax to some music (John Denver and the Muppets, anyone? We are HUGE fans here), eventually I just want to do SOMETHING. I'd rather be insanely busy than sitting around, that's the truth of it. But it's the time of the year when we're meant to slow down--look at any cat, and you'll see this is the time of year to just do nothing.
The incidence of cat "deaths" this time of year is particularly high. Very sad. :(
I wish I could take a leaf from a cat's book and just do what they do, as I need to slow down, if only to recuperate for next year. But UGH! I'm not going quietly, that's for dang sure. This year I am having a tough time. I am trying to find things to keep myself busy, even if it's only a little busy, but it's not really working. Last year I got so bored, I painted the kitchen cabinets. This year there are no cabinets to paint. This will not be an easy winter, I think.
But enough complaining. While I've been trying to keep occupied, I have whittled away at my project list. Coming in at number 5, I have that snowman pillow that you saw the beginning of here. I admit, this one was a softball, compared to that cross stitch. I simply sat one day for about an hour and did it. Here he is, sitting with a friend:
This is a pattern from the Better Homes and Gardens magazine that comes out yearly, Holiday Crafts. This one (I think) was from 2010. I had seemingly cut out the snowman's head, nose, earmuffs, and part of the scarf, and then put it away, thinking I'd remember what the pieces were for. Ha! I gave myself too much credit. I found the bits last month and had no idea what they were--that'll show me. Only after digging through the magazines I have did I figure it out. Since I am not leaving any projects hanging around this year, I put him together and here he is! I've done a lot of those pillows from that magazine. They are all designed by Bird Brain Designs, which I really like. This is the first that she's done that's not on a light blue background, and I just love that. It really pops the snowman, I think.
Coming in at project number 6, another cross stitch piece:
And before you think that I'm a really fast cross-stitcher, let me just say that I had half finished this piece before I put it away, which is why it took me so little time to finish it. I had stopped at the blue Santa line, so I had very little left to do. When I found this buried in my closet, I wondered why I did not finish it. But let's just say I remembered very quickly why when I started on it again. What a pain in the rear this project was! Not only is the linen very difficult to work on because of the color changes and thread blending in it, but the pattern itself was full of fiddly little bits of colors that were like putting three squares of color here, three squares of color there, and so on. Super fiddly. I did get through it, but I also cheated because the last line under the wreaths was supposed to be pine cones, and I just wasn't going to do it. I put some stars in there instead and called it good. Enough is enough is enough and I just wasn't enjoying myself.
How old is that project? Well.....I looked at the chart and the date on it is 2002. I don't think that I got it then, I think it was a couple of years later. Either way, this one has been sitting a while. Oh...and if you love fiddly cross stitch and would like the chart to this, you can have it. Just shoot me an email and I'll mail it to you. It's in very good shape and there's no reason to not pass it along.
And last, but not least, project number 7, which was unplanned, but worked out ok anyway.
Onto the next! I hope you are all staying safe and warm and will talk to you all again soon!