Reluctant Holiday Spirit

I decorated my tree this weekend, which is usually done the weekend after Thanksgiving. Finding the energy to embrace the season has been difficult at best.

I blame the lack of snow.

We’ve had nice weather this year although it’s not really conducive to having Christmas spirit.

This year we have a toddler coming to visit and a crazy kitten who lives here. This means that my normal Christmas tree, covered in fragile glass bulbs will be problematic. So, we decided to do something different this year.

My wonderful hubby built this tree:

I love the natural, rough cut wood of this tree. I even purchased a bunch of metal ornaments that would take being handled. When I went to decorate, that’s when the trouble started.

How do you decorate a tree that doesn’t have “branches” that will hold things at different levels? How to I keep the lights and ribbon in place without that? Whose idea was this anyway?

The answer: staple gun.

This was hubby’s idea and it did work. I managed to get the lights and ornaments to stay. I even pulled out the push pins to help.

It was still more difficult than I thought it would be. I do like the end result even though it looks a bit off. Lighted trees are my favorites.

Here is a final picture, complete with said kitten at the base:


She hasn’t bothered the ornaments or lights yet. Maybe we would have been safe with the other tree.


Friday Five: December Favorites

The other night I was outside my house and snapped this picture:

I am amazed at all the colors in this December sunset.

Now, at the beginning of December, I am thinking about all the things I like about this month. There are so many things to like about December. I also know that this is a busy month and easy to overlook things as life becomes so busy.

The things I want to remember and my favorite things about December are:

1. Christmas Lights – For as long as I can remember looking for Christmas lights has been high on my list of favorite things about this season. The funny thing is we don’t really decorate the outside very much. However, I truly admire those who spend the time to decorate their yards.

2. Cookies – When it comes to cooking, I tend to be a little picky, and my cookies are no different. I like to make cut out cookies using an old family recipe. There are a few other favorites that my family requests and I look forward to making them.

3. Snow – I think December is the only month I like snow. I find it acceptable until the end of February which is my birthday, but my favorite time for snow is this month. It’s really isn’t Christmas without snow.

4. Watching Little Kids Open Gifts – This part doesn’t last long but to see their faces when they get to their presents is priceless. We have worked out a way to make it last a bit longer by making everyone open one gift at a time, but it always goes too fast.

5. Giving – If there were a national month for giving, December would be it. The difficult thing is that the need doesn’t go away once December is over, but it is wonderful to see people reaching out to others during this time of the years.

There are so many more things about December that I love and there are a few things that I don’t like about this month. The busyness, shopping, and expectations are some of those things. Each year I attempt to make my life a little easier during this chaotic time. And, each year I become overwhelmed. I keep wondering if there is a key to a peaceful holiday season. Perhaps just accepting that things are crazy is enough.

With so many good things about this month, what are some of your favorites?

Midweek Distractions

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2Today I wanted to talk about all the distractions in life in honor of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Being the first Wednesday of the month, that is what is supposed to happen.

I wanted to talk about the things that I struggled against during the last month. The things that pull me away from the stuff I want to do and the things I am supposed to do.

Things such as:

Social Media – I feel the draw each time I sit down to write or knit or anything other than that. It is a big time waster for me, and I’m not sure I have enough courage to shut it down. Maybe limiting it will be better.

Friends and Family – This time of year is fraught with events and frolicking; it is distracting when you have goals. I’ve managed to keep up my word count through sheer stubbornness. Some days are harder than others.

Stress – So many things bring stress into my life. I am distracted by the need to neutralize all of that stress. I managed to make it to a yoga class tonight. The fact that it has taken me a couple of months to do this is crazy.

The Endless To-Do List – I’m not even sure I have to go further on this one. This list is just distracting.

These were the things I wanted to discuss.

Instead, what is on my heart is my writing friend, Josh.

I met Josh during my first NaNoWriMo. I don’t know how long he had been writing but was impressed that he chose an ambitious project for November. I don’t know if he ever finished that particular novel. I do know he had some other goals he was working on in his life.

None of that will happen now.

You see, Josh was found dead this week. It doesn’t matter why or how, not to me. I am saddened by a life cut so short that held so much potential.

These are his words:

“Life needs no justification, its not a means to something, every moment of existence is an end in itself. So lop up that bliss, lop up that misery, soak every feeling you have in because its the stuff of life and its mighty tasty. Its all right here for everyone to relish in.” – Josh Wieczorek

Josh had the best smile and that is what I will remember most about him.

This is the most distracting thing of all.

TC WriMo's 2014
TC WriMo’s 2014