Saturday, December 5, 2015


Where does the time go between posts? I swear, I feel like I'm on top of every last detail, then I step back and the whole mess of life explodes and I find myself swamped again. I guess it's like this, once a month I climb to the top of the heap, find enough time to write a cogent thought or two, disappear again for another month. Now I look up and discover it's the end of the first week of December, the throes of holiday madness.

This weekend I'm down a couple people in my household, Mr. D and Mr. G are in Indianapolis cheering for the Hawkeyes and living the dream in black and gold. Go Hawks! Mr. B's been sick and missed two whole days of school. I actually took him to see a doctor. Turns out his strep and mono tests were negative but whatever ails him is a bugger to kick. Mr. T's having a hard time swallowing, so we've done a scope, another doctor visit and head back to do a swallow study this week, which makes me feel like a bird enthusiast when I say "swallow study." Consequently, my work day has been chunked up with appointments and running home at lunch to check on my baby. Not ideal, but I only live 2 miles from work which helps.

This illness and football excitement got scattered among the usual routine of practices, games, church, grading papers, grocery shopping. It feels a bit like heaven this weekend to have nothing scheduled for the next two days. I can catch up on editing my novel and writing the annual Christmas letter and decorating. Last night the remaining bachelors and I ate popcorn and apple crisp for supper while watching Home Alone and Christmas Vacation and I started this:

WORDS is the theme this year.

Words on all the places.

Happy words.
The biggest news is how Christmas came early this past week when Mr. D bought us a brand-new clothes dryer! Our 20-year old dryer was making a horrible shrieking sound as metal bearings scraped against the drum with every rotation. It was migraine-inducing to dry a load of clothes, and every drying cycle would take at least 3 hours. This issue was largely avoidable until it got too cold to use the clotheslines outside (oh, I tried, but it turns out wet clothes only freeze and then must be taken in to thaw out and then dry. I felt like Ma frickin' Ingalls and it sucked).  I'd taken to hanging our laundry across every wood banister, railing and chair back in the house, and with 5 people this meant we had clothes drying like this at least 5 days a week. Every day this past month I came home and it looked like this inside:

Not exactly what Martha Stewart would call decorative.
But now we have this amazing new appliance that has an actual door handle. No longer do I require a butter knife to pry open the door to load in the clothes. I can run the clothes dryer and talk on the phone at the same time because it's remarkably quiet! A load of laundry gets dry within forty minutes! This means I can FINISH ALL THE HOUSEHOLD LAUNDRY IN A SINGLE DAY! No longer do I have to spend every spare minute checking the drying wash around my house and swap out dry jeans across the chair backs for a fresh wet load of t-shirts. Doing wash has actually become FUN again. The sheer ease of this weekly chore has added a spring to my step and a sparkle to my eye. Plus, the laundry isn't all over my house anymore.

Those who tell you it's the little things in life are wrong. It's the BIG things, my friends. Big things like new appliances. My heart belongs to you, Mr. Maytag.

It's so shiny and unscratched and pretty!

With all this extra time on my hands thanks to a new clothes dryer (which uses more air circulation and less heat as well as a sensor to automatically turn off once the load is dry), I'm going to finish the annual Christmas letter, edit my manuscript for the eleventy-billionth time and shut the toilet lid so Rose quits splashing around in it (weirdo cat). I might even eat healthier, start exercising regularly and floss more. This experience has been life-changing.

Spill it, reader. What's making you feel festive these days?


  1. Congratulations on your new dryer! I understand the excitement, as we replaced ours last month too.

  2. It really is the little things! I was about ready to kick our dryer to the curb when a neighbor mentioned how cleaning out his vent made a huge difference, prompting my husband to not just clean, but replace the vent from the dryer to where it exhausted to the outside. OMIGOD what a difference!

  3. In spite of a broken arm my loom has a new warp and is in business again. Woo hoo.

  4. A NEW DRYER!!! I am so excited for you, like deeply, genuinely excited.

    Plus? The swallow test? OMG. I didn't even know this existed. I still think it's a weird strep, no matter what the test results said.

  5. "feeling like Ma Frickin' Ingalls" - that is my favorite and I am going to quote it frequently from now on, especially while doing laundry.

  6. I am feeling pretty darn festive, despite the awesome unusual mild weather, because of all the fairs and festivals I am involved with, working as Santa's potter :) BTW, my father and mother went to Iowa too, I lived there as a little kid and last night's game result sucks eggs :(

  7. I'm anxious about the swallow study - keep us posted please.
    LOVE your Christmas word garland work - nicely done!
    And I'm laughing a little about the dryer. I can only imagine that you were too busy to buy a new one sooner?

  8. Indoor line drying is the WORST. I'm so glad you got a new dryer. I hope whatever is bugging your son's throat clears up.

  9. I knew you were Packers fans, but didn't know there was an Iowa connection. What a game they got to see! Go green!

  10. Hooray for the dryer! I can't even imagine drying everything indoors.

  11. I can NOT even think about life without a dryer. We spent our UK vacation trying desperately to dry our clothes over chair backs and towel racks. I would cancel classes to go buy a new dryer! It relieves me that you now have one.

    I love your word garlands --that's a great idea. I think the aspect of this holiday season I'm enjoying most is doing more things with Rob. Just general things --decluttering, hanging holiday lights, etc. We've let the teen go hang out with her friends, and get to spend that time together. We have always loved working on stuff together :-)

  12. I waved to Team Testosterone as we drove by Lucas Oil on Saturday night. :) So close to meeting you, and yet, not really close at all. Bryan and I attended an event downtown, and some of the talk was about the traffic the 66,000 people going to the game made.
    YAY for a new dryer!!! I know that life which you led. It was when our washing machine wouldn't spin, so the clothes were sopping wet when they came out. We had to ring them out, and it still took 3 hours to dry them in the dryer. We would hang them outside when we could, but between winter and rain, that wasn't all that often. Now that we have a new one, I actually see the bottom of the laundry basket on a regular basis! I'm so happy for you!
    In case we don't hear from you until January, have a wonderful Christmas! :)

  13. Oh my goodness. I have no idea how you do it all. Busy, busy, busy!!!!
    I hope Mr. T is finally feeling better. There has been a lot of nasty sore throat stuff going around. Yuck.
    I love your word "decorations"! What a great idea! Love it. :)
    Yeah for a new dryer!!! That makes a huge difference, doesn't it? I've done the drying clothes by laying them around my house too. Not fun.
    What makes me merry? Well, just a few days ago I commented that I had not even begun to shop for Christmas gifts yet. Everyone freaked out on me. I tried to remain calm. And you know what? I am done now! HA! I got it all done in a few days. And it is good stuff. I am very happy about it.
    Tonight is my concert that has been occupying a ton of my time with rehearsals. It is VERY difficult music and I will be very glad when it is over with. Does that sound bad? It has been stressful. Then the kids have their school concert on Wednesday night. After that we enter the "sweet spot" of Christmas where most of our running around is done and we get to soak in all of the joy of the season. I love that. :)

  14. Hope all goes well with the swallow study. It doesn't sound very pleasant. Hooray for a new dryer. I have so been there and it is not fun!

  15. How I can relate to your life. However, I do it by memory now. That busyness and being stretched in so many different directions. And somehow getting it all done while going with the flow.

    As to the new dryer. Love the line about Ma Ingalls. Also in regard to a dryer, I'm trapped at home today as delivery people are to deliver my new dryer that will replace the new dryer I got three weeks ago. The one that spewed water all over the floor and screeched worse than my old one. I hated that fight.

    And yes, how time flies on a blogposting. Merry Christmas to you and your crew. Enjoy the break from school.

  16. hope new dryer will help you better then previous one dear,Happy Christmas best wishes

  17. I hear you on the dryer! The gift is the time saved as well as the time Mr. D. spent getting the big hulking appliance.Way back when we didn't own a dryer, I'd hang everything over drying racks in the bedroom and on lines in the basement. But...we were only two of us, and for a short time, two plus a baby. I can only imagine how tough it was with three growing sons!


Spill it, reader.