Friday, December 31, 2010

blessed and lucky

I took chances this Christmas and didn't bake as much as usual. Mr. D brought home cookie plates, fudge and candy from friends--we has as much of a holiday dessert spread as if I'd baked. Better even--in both variety and quality.

We've nary a sniffle or stomach ache in our house. All that's happened is Mr. B chipping his front tooth (a permanent one, of course). I know all kinds of crud is going around, but we're wonderfully healthy.

The weather has snarled up a lot of people's plans. Not ours. I suspect it is to blame for some shipping issues (curse you, Barnes and Noble and your "express 2-day shipping option!), but the inconvenience is minor in the great scheme of things.

In taking stock of my winter "fix it" tasks, I noted how they're of the do-it-myself category. Mending window screens. Installing hooks. Trimming trees. Patching holes. How fortunate that our basement isn't flooded with sewage (see: Thanksgiving 2009) or our furnace isn't busted (see: Christmas 1999). A lot of people are in dire straits, but things are sturdy and sound in our neck of the woods.

And speaking of the woods! It is so beautiful out there with the snow covered trees and frozen creek, hearing the industrious drilling of a woodpecker overhead, noting the tracks of raccoons, rabbits, deer and mice underfoot. The birds keep flocking at our feeders, my snow pants and boots are always damp from my romps. What a miracle to step out my back door, snap on my skis and glide across our property. (Well, it wasn't so much gliding as army crawling through one impassable berm of willows--right next to the road so everyone could see what a dope I am to try making it through with poles and skis attached to my limbs--but other than that it's pretty great.) What a blessing to live in the middle of God's glorious nature! I find it marvelous that in these longest, darkest days of the year, my world is covered in a white coat of snowfall that (once my eyes adjust) provides enough reflected light to see by night. And under a full moon, it's as bright as dusk or dawn out there.

And speaking of skis! Mr. T needed new wrestling shoes so I combed through their gear and collected outgrown soccer cleats, skates and x-c skis. The nice man at Play It Again Sports traded me even up--my lot for the new shoes. I love feeling thrifty.

In a fit of domesticity I broke out the bread machine and schooled myself on the recipes from scratch. To be fair, I am staunchly refusing to buy any groceries this week in order to eat down the contents of fridge and pantry--the food we waste! The shame ! (I'm resolved to reduce our food waste and become a better manager of our resources here.) So for dinner tonight we had fresh-baked bread spread with homemade jam and sliced pears. I fully expected grumbling from Mr. D at the very least because for the love of all things holy where are the meat and potatoes? but all I heard were moans of ecstasy. Bread warm from the oven! Spread with soft butter and homemade strawberry jam! Delicious! I have resolved to master this bread-making business and I'm off to a fantastic start.

In years past I've been fed up to here with Team Testosterone by the end of Christmas break, but this year we're tolerating one another very nicely. There have been moments of duress (a little whine, a little laziness), but they've passed quickly. Not sure if it's their age, the fact that I didn't cram our days off with tons of "keep us busy" activities, or a general mellowing of my character, but I feel like it's been a good week. Overall, I enjoy the company of my children and they seem to enjoy one another and me, too.

Spill it, reader. Are you feeling lucky? How so?

And speaking of lucky, I'm announcing the lucky winner of December's FABULOUS on Monday: a trio of goodies made by ME! Wool hand mitts, raspberry jam (homegrown, to boot!) and good-for-you granola. Each comment in the comment box is an entry to win.

Happy New Year!


23 comments:

  1. What a nice post! I'm glad your holiday was disaster-free.
    We were plagued with illness, which was annoying but everybody is recovering now.

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  2. I'm feeling lucky..even with the beginnings of a cold coming on! Yesterday was our last Christmas and it actually went well! (AND I didn't even predrink a bit before hand ;)).

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  3. What a warm and lovely post. :)

    There is so much to be thankful for. I am so thankful for my family. I really am so lucky. I am thankful for my warm, cozy house. I'm thankful the garbage men came through today and finally got our two weeks worth of garbage. ;)

    Hope you have a WONDERFUL new year! :)

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  4. I'm waiting until he's old enough to "enjoy his company". So far, four isn't it for me. I'm so glad to hear that it does happen. ;)
    Happy new year!

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  5. You know, here we feel very blessed that Mr Sunshine survived his health crisis. It was a turning point in our lives last summer.

    I also feel blessed that I got to know you, Green Girl, a little better this year. Our conversations about our real-life sons and our Sons Of Anarchy convinced me that we are "birds of a feather".

    Health and Happiness to your family in 2011.

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  6. So far, so good. The house is empty once again, with J4 sliding in and out at will. I've decided that I will either start baking Christmas treats earlier in the season or forget about it....I feel ill from all the stuff I've eaten and so much is still left. Ergh.

    Happy New Year!

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  7. You are definately have a good week. And the ease of the vacation does have to do with the age of your team.
    Happy New Year

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  8. Yes, I'm feeling lucky too. My husband's been off a whole week and he hasn't driven me crazy yet. I do long for a tiny bit of privacy, though.

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  9. I'm blessed and lucky for many reasons. One of them is, as you mentioned, a lack of plumbing problems. We had that a couple years ago and it was NO FUN.

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  10. I am so blessed to have found so many great blogging friends from all over the country and the world!

    I am blessed that I have a family who loves me and puts up with my whiney-butt like they do.

    I am blessed that my husband is still on this side of the great divide and looks like he's on the road to recovery.

    God is good.

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  11. Christmas was a little hard on me this year. Details will come out later. I do love the bread machine: the house smells wonderful, and the fresh bread tastes so good. This year (thanks to your able assistance!) I have homemade jam, too!

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  12. I second the warm and lovely post comment.

    When my kids were your kids age I baked bread daily--took a loaf out of the machine when they got home from school.

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  13. My boys have got along quite nicely during the break too. I almost hate to see them go back on Monday.

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  14. Happy New Year to you! I'm thankful for the on-line community of mothers, writers, artists, etc. The virtual support I feel when connecting with others I've never met in person has been uplifting, a source of inspiration and encouragement.

    I set out to document my blessings on a daily basis this past year, with a friend I met on-line--I didn't post daily, but I did reflect on what brings me joy. Thank you for your comments on my journey to understand what "joy" is, to me.

    Wishing you LOTS of JOY in 2011, and lots of homemade bread and jam! : )

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  15. I am very thankful that I can type with my "digit".

    Please don't create a mental picture of that. It is copyrighted and a national security secret (so don't send it to that guy who doesn't use rubbers in Sweden).

    I also am thankful for the $1 menu at fast food restaurants. I've always thought that they should pay ME to eat that, but $1 is pretty close to a fair deal.

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  16. Glad you had a great week. We've had a nice break too. I've done a little clearing out myself. A garbage bag of odd toys, Happy Meal toys or broken/ missing pieces went in the garbage so I'm feeling a bit better about the amount of new toys we added around here.

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  17. We are very blessed also-healthy, warm, employed enough to pay the ills, put food in the icebox, and have a bit of recreation too. Second year in row that I have had a “sleepover at Lyndy’s” for one of my Littles. Last night the two year old joined us and stayed up until 12:30 am. What on earth did she have for supper and is there more?

    Happy 2011; may each step we take lead the way to Peace...

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  18. Happy New Year!! I'm breaking out my bread machine tomorrow. A nice fresh loaf of bread to go with my homemade turkey soup! Yum!

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  19. I didn't bake AT ALL. I felt bad about it at first...but no longer. Hope your year is a good one!

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  20. Happy, healthy, employed and off to a new year! Not bad!

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Spill it, reader.