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!