Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Eve

Another New Year's Eve. Every year I'm reminded of the ones from my youth. They are still fresh in my mind.

I looked forward to babysitting when I was old enough and I did that every year throughout high school. New Year's Eve was a special gift in terms of babysitting and I always had a job that night. It was a night to make really good money because people stayed out much longer than normal and I had lots of time to myself because the kids were in bed by 8 and I often was there until 1am. At .50 and hour that meant about $3 plus a tip, and usually it was thee best money I made all winter. When fees went to .75 an hour in my later high school years, most people would pay at least $1 an hour for New Year's Eve and that was really good money!

The only problem was it was often a boring night, stuck in someone else's house, watching their television, which in those days meant some channels came in better than others depending on where they were located, and no one to talk to unless a friend was also babysitting an we could chat on the phone to help keep each other awake.

I remember every home I sat in for New Year's Eve and all the kids I watched. I even remember the red lounge chair I fell asleep in once the ball dropped and boredom set in. And I don't miss those days -

Monday, December 30, 2013

Empty house

This morning I woke to an empty house. It's an amazing difference that children make!

Having the family from away was an unexpected gift this Christmas. It wasn't their year to be here, but circumstances changed their plans and at the last minute we were thrilled to have them come. They arrived Christmas Eve and left yesterday morning. And today the house is so quiet.

When my kids were young I enjoyed almost every minute of those years. I loved the energy and the entertainment that they provided. Every age was a wonder and every year more special than the one before. As each of the four entered the family it changed the personality of the home and added to the joy of the whole. Each one brought their own special gifts and each one was valued beyond measure - and they still are.

But now its the grandchildren that bring that special gift to our lives, each contributing something unique that's theirs alone to give. And when they are actually sleeping here in this house, it reminds me of the days their parents were in residence. And it always makes me glad they're here, bringing us that energy and joy that only children can.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday lights

The Christmas tree by the post office here in East Hampton - the one I have always called "my" tree because I've been looking at it since they began lighting it in the 1960s and I could see it from my bedroom window - is starting to look a bit ragged. It's lower branches are dying and I think it may be on its last legs. It's so tall now it will no doubt bite the dust one of these days soon, either coming down in a storm or being taken down because its no longer safe and sturdy. It will be a sad day for me when that happens - the end of an era and one of those things that make one feel old.

The good news is there is another one growing alongside it that will take its place there in the sheep fold. So we won't be without a lighted tree on holidays to come.

I love the mayor in the town in New Jersey who announced this year they would revert to calling the tree on the municipal green a "Christmas" tree instead of the "holiday" tree they had been referring to. He pointed to the menorah next to the tree and said "We don't call this a "candelabra" do we? It made me laugh and also made me shake my head in agreement. Rather than trying to be "inclusive" all the time how about we just be honest and truthful and allow each other our beliefs. If you don't celebrate I don't mind. Hopefully you don't mind if I do!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Disagreements

I hate the fact that Facebook has become a sort of forum for differing viewpoints. I don't mind a good discussion and I don't mind disagreements, but some things are just too complicated to debate in small sound bites. And its difficult to have a discussion with anyone when you're not face-to-face.

It seems as though every issue that come onto the local or national stage becomes fodder for Facebook. Regardless of how informed anyone is, they have opinions about everything. Sometimes they are interesting - sometimes infuriating - but always annoying because its just an impossible place to actually have dialogue. How can logical people have real conversations over their "status updates"? It doesn't work well.

I sometimes try to correct misinformation. Often I ignore it. I just think Facebook is not the answer to the world's issues when it comes to intelligent debate. But then again, what do I know?


Friday, December 27, 2013

Almost

One morning last week I drove to Sag Harbor early in the day - shortly after 7am.  It was barely light out - very gray and all the cars had headlights on. There was a big beautiful moon - it wasn't quite full, missing a sliver on one side. But it was bright and a line from "Twas the Night Before Christmas" came to mind - you know, the one about the "moon on the crest of the new fallen snow gave the luster off midday to objects below". The moon was bright enough that everything glowed from its light and the rising sun was hardly necessary.

It was a beautiful drive to Sag Harbor that morning. every tree, every field glistened with the reflection. It was very special. It was the kind of thing I love about early winter mornings.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Aftermath

So the gifts are opened, the wrappings are tossed, the stockings are empty and there are lots of leftovers in the fridge. Another Christmas is over. For me, it was the 5th Christmas since I was told I had cancer. It was yet another gift that I am so grateful for.

Every special occasion, every beautiful day, every full moon,
every snowfall - every blessed day is a gift for me and I savor each and every one of them.

Dear God may I never forget what a gift life is.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas


Wishing everyone a blessed day today, surrounded by people you love and the joy of the Christmas message. May the infant sent to earth to make us whole be our focus and may we never forget the magic of the gift.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Anticipation


Tonight is all about anticipation. The kids are excited about all the gifts tomorrow. We're excited about watching the kids be exited about all their gifts. And we're very much looking forward to family being together again for a holiday. A holiday that's all about love and family and gifts - when we focus on the great gift of God's son to the world and his little family gathered in a humble stable in Bethlehem -  and celebrate that amazing miracle. A holiday that brightens our dark winters and brings light and joy to a dark cold world.

Yes- tonight is about anticipation. And anticipation is a glorious thing.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Binge tv

There's a new phenomenon out there and apparently it even has a name. Because we always have names for new behaviors, right? This one is called "binge tv". It's what we do now that we are able to stream television shows into our homes through Roku and Amazon prime and I have to admit we are guilty of it.

Last year we gave in to the recommendation of our kids and started watching he show "Parenthood". But before we watched the new episode we went on a binge and, with our Roku and Amazon prime we were able to go back to season one and bring ourselves up to date so we knew the entire storyline from the beginning. We watched hours of it on weekends and within a couple weeks we had seen all the seasons from the past.

This year we're working our way through "The Good
Wife". We started in November and are up to season four now, with only one more to go before we'll be caught up on that one too.

Every year there are shows that receive good reviews that we simply don't have the time to watch. But now, with binge tv watching, we are able to go back in time and watch those great shows. It's a wonderful thing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Countdown

We're down to hours now and mostly I'm thinking about food. Do I have enough? Is there a nice variety? Will everyone have something they like? Oh the dilemmas! LOL

With only a few days left I need to make some food for the fridge. I need salads and desserts and I need to make sure everyone will be overfed, because that's what Christmas is all about, right? Overindulgence?

I still have plenty of lists to keep me busy. I think the kitchen will not get cold in the next few days. The oven will barely cool off and the dishwasher will be running nonstop.

And my bed. Oh how heavenly that bed is going to feel every night when I sink into it. Ahhhh.....perfection! I so love the holidays!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last one

Today is the last Saturday before Christmas and its a busy one. I have a hospital board meeting this morning, and a wedding this afternoon. And that's why I get my shopping done early! Because inevitably if I were to wait until the end I would never have time to get it done.

I used to work for someone who always waited until Christmas Eve to do his Christmas shopping. That would stress me out no end. Of course, only a man could do that because they seem to only do the shopping for their significant other. From what I can tell its the women of the world who do most of the shopping, so having to take are of the children and grandchildren might be more than anyone could do on one night. I know many stores cater to men on Christmas Eve. They offer special services and bargains. Thankfully my husband is more organized than that. Perhaps because we are busy with church and family on Christmas Eve. Who has time for shopping?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bows

All the gifts are wrapped and stored in the attic but now the worst part of the job comes along - sorting, adding bows, and putting tags on them. I don't like to do those things when I wrap because when they are stored they tend to get pulled or ripped off, leaving rips in the paper and no idea who the gift goes to. So instead as each is wrapped I write the name on the back and later we add the bows and tags. And its a pain in the neck job. Not only because its time consuming, but also because then we need to worry about the bows getting pulled off.

I used to love the wrapping part of Christmas.. During the year I enjoy wrapping gifts or birthdays or other special occasions. I enjoy adding silk flowers or little toys in the ribbons and making lots of curls and fancy designs. But when you are looking at over 60 gifts to decorate the bloom is definitely off the rose.

The attic is full of gifts right now. And all of them need tags and ribbon. Yuck!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Most fascinating

I always enjoy watching Barbara Walter's specials about the "Ten Most Fascinating People" of the year. Often I disagree with her but I always enjoy the things I learn about these famous folks. And I was wondering about doing a show of my own for the local television station here in East Hampton. It would be the 10 most fascinating people of the East End. Who would I choose?

The first and easiest is Teresa Quigley, our local town councilwoman who is leaving office this month. She never ceases to fascinate me. Watching her on TV is like watching a train wreck - we know what's going to happen, but we can't turn our eyes away. She always starts out as a reasonable, likable person but eventually morphs into this crazy screaming lady I can hardly believe is real. I've met her in person and she seems to personable and warm. Who is this alter ego I see on the screen? It's a mystery to me.

Second would be the supervisor of Southampton Town, Anna Throne-Holst. I am intrigued by her intelligence and beauty. She is strikingly beautiful and yet smart and accomplished. There is no jealousy here - only admiration - and I would love to know her better.

Then there is the woman who claims part of Georgica Beach as her property because erosion has taken away some of the beach. She erected poles after the last bad storm to claim her property - right to the water line. I want to talk to her.

Of course that's only the first three. They all happen to be women, but there are of course men that would be on my list as well. I wonder of I could find a sponsor for my show?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Children

I've been watching grandchildren on Mondays since September now and I'm amused at how memories come back. I'm reminded often of those years when even the simplest of things had to be strategically done, from trips to the bathroom to getting them upstairs for naps. With 14-month-old twins one cannot be left alone while dealing with the other and they're too big for me to carry both at once (I'm not as young as I used to be!). So everything I do is carefully calculated. I had forgotten how hard it was to take bathroom breaks when I had toddlers and when they leave I enjoy the solitude and freedom. Yet I treasure my time with each of them.

Life is a series of contradictions: we love having kids, we love when they leave; we love our houses, we hate keeping them up; we love having food, we hate gaining weight. I could go on and on. But we all know the truth it.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow

We've already had snow a few times here on the East End but nothing significant. Hopefully it will be well after Christmas before we see any accumulation - I can deal with it then. I don't mind a white Christmas, but I worry about people traveling. I'm always reminded of the movie "White Christmas" (or "Holiday Inn", whichever you prefer!), when they are traveling to New England and there's snow everywhere but the're not driving - they're on a train. If everyone still traveled by train it wouldn't be such an issue, but now that everyone drives to see loved ones, it's not a fun idea to see snow falling. It can ruin the holiday for some people.

They're predicting snow for today but not much. Perhaps like so many things its more a matter of scale than anything else. A little dusting would be nice. Enough to cover the ground but not enough to make the roads treacherous. No drifts, no piles, and no slushy, slippery roads - now that's a white Christmas I can get behind. I'm putting my order in now...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Almost ready

I feel as though I' almost ready for Christmas. Almost.

I've been shopping and wrapping, baking and entertaining, decorating and practicing - and most of the gifts are ready, food is cooked, and choir songs learned. The house is ready and soon enough, so will I be.

Christmas will be here in just over a week, whether we're ready of not. So best be ready I suppose. this year, for the first time in my married life, I actually said "no" to something. I'm not mailing out Christmas cards this year. I kept stressing about getting it done and finally I just decided it wasn't worth the aggravation. I made the decision to let it go. Unheard of in my world. And I can't remember when I've said "no" to any of my obligations before.

ow - I'm dealing with the guilt. Every card that arrives in my mailbox brings a twinge of it. I'm a person who doesn't normally shirk her responsibilities. And mailing out Christmas cards has always been one of mine.

Somehow I doubt too many people will even notice.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cemeteries

One of the great pleasures of my job at the church in Sag Harbor is that my window overlooks the old cemetery. It's no longer an active cemetery, but a very old one where members of the church were buried for a couple hundred years. It is literally steps from my window, with a pretty white fence around it, and I can see the headstones as they rise on the hillside.

I love old cemeteries. I know many people are not crazy about them, but I enjoy walking around and reading the headstones. To me they tell a story - many stories really. Sometimes there are multiple wive beside a man's grave for instance, some very young and probably victims of childbirth as was common in days gone by. Sometimes there are small stones for children, often not even named. Older ones are sad - ten-year-olds, twelve-year-olds - and I wonder what tragedy befell the. Was if sickness or trauma? So many died so young before things like penicillin and inoculations.

Last week when the show was falling I looked out at the cemetery and smiled as the stones turned white and where the wind swept the flakes, leaving the back sides gray and beige. How any snowfalls have those stones seen? Many, for sure. Snow covers them all every winter, rendering their messages unreadable and blanketing the ground in white.

I love cemeteries.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow fence

Driving home from Southampton the other day I noticed a small section of snow fencing along side the road and it really sparked a memory. When we were kids it seemed as though it was one long section of snow fencing from East Hampton to Southampton, lining the sides of the road to catch the blowing snow which was sweeping across the open farm fields and keep it from drifting across the road.

Drifting was a real problem with so many open fields along the way and driving after a storm was treacherous. I remember it taking them weeks to put those fences all up - first we'd see big rolls of it every so many hundred feet, then the posts went in, and then the fencing was hung. It would begin in October and be up by Thanksgiving.

Now, there is so little open space left along Montauk Highway that I saw only one small section of fencing - it was in Water Mill on the large triangle where Scuttlehole Road swings off toward Sag Harbor. It looked lonely. And a little sad.

Friday, December 13, 2013

TV

I haven't seen a lot of children's television in recent years because my own children are grown. But lately I've seen more than I care to since I've been doing some babysitting and need to at times entertain the little darlings so I can visit the ladies room or some such thing. Anyway, the programs on today are certainly different!

For the most part they are animated. They seem to teach good lessons and be mentally stimulating and all that, but somehow I think they are missing the mark in some way. I long for some interaction with Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers. I mean, it was a nice thing to think there were real, live people inside that little box. People who liked us and cared about us! For some children those were the only people they ever got to spend time with.

There was something so endearing about the Capt. and Mr. Green Jeans. I loved their interaction with puppets and the way they easily transitioned from fantasy to reality. And Captain Kangaroo was a whole hour long, can you imagine?

Of course Mr. Rogers will always be my all time favorite children's television character, even though he was more real than character. He pretty much played himself! And my children loved him. He made them feel secure and he entertained and taught them. They learned about disabilities and differences. They learned about patience and love. And they learned that there were adults out there who cared about them.

I enjoy some of today's shows - some are incredibly clever and I appreciate the talent that goes into their making. Of course Sesame Street will always be a classic, but its not new by any means - just still going strong. The new shows are more of the "here today, gone tomorrow" variety. And for good reason too.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Groceries

Every once in awhile I look at the price of something I'm buying at the grocery store and I'm shocked. I shouldn't be, because I know how much I spend every week on groceries, which considering how few bags I'm carrying is a lot. But occasionally I grab something that I haven't gotten in awhile and when I glance at the sticker I'm taken aback.

Last week it was pecans. I only buy them when I need them for certain cookies, and I always make them at Christmas, so I had to buy some last week. The smallest bag I could get was about $8. WHAT? For some nuts? Where in the world are these pecans coming from, Siberia? Is there a pecan shortage I'm not aware of? Are they now endangered or something? I mean, what is going on?

Well it certainly made me think differently about the cookies I made that afternoon. I'll never again eat one of that particular kind without appreciating how much it would be worth should I sell it at a bakery.  In fact, I may have to invest in a small safe to store them in from now on.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Little hands

Having little hands around my house this holiday changes the way I decorate for the holidays. We go in cycles here - some years there are toddlers who make me change my decor, but others all the grands are either too young or too old to be a problem. This year the twins are fifteen-months-old so they are a bit of a challenge in the "little hands" department. They grab on to everything so all Christmas decorations have to be placed out of their reach and the tree is on the sun porch behind closed doors. I have never had breakable ornaments for the tree but its still easier to have things out of reach to keep things simpler. As it is whenever the girls leave I spend a good ten minutes roaming through the house looking for things to be picked up and put away. We have a toy corner and all things that begin there end in other places.

I love having little ones around the house - I always have! That's why I had four children. And more than once I've stopped myself from buying something with the thought that "We do children, not fancy decor". I occasionally miss being able to put a fancy knick knack on my coffee table, but it doesn't last long. Because at the end of the day I'd much rather see those little hands here. And they do cause a bit of chaos. I love that chaos.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grandparents

While enjoying a short visit with my out-of-state grandchildren last weekend a thought occurred to me. I decided that grand parenting has got to me the best job on earth.

Just imagine you have a very important job to do. It's a combination of teaching, administrating, party planning, baking, and a few other minor things all rolled into one. You are always on stand-by duty, 24/7, and you must put it on the top of your priority list. And although its an important position, you get no compensation monetarily - only the satisfaction of doing something important and unmeasurable.

Sounds as though something no one would ever want to do, doesn't it? But then you need to factor in the other things. For instance, although you are a teacher, your teaching ability and success rate are never graded or even tested for that matter. And despite the fact that you are always on duty, technically you never have to do anything when called upon. You do things when you want to, and of course you always want to. And although you have many other things on your list of responsibilities, you're never sent for an evaluation or review. Any reviews will come much later, probably when you're no longer around, so you won't even be aware of your results.

Yes, I'm quite sure that being a grandparent is the best job I've ever had. It means all the satisfaction of parenting with none of the responsibility or worry. Well, not as much anyway. We always worry about the people we love.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Trends

Clothing trends are among the most amusing. Sometimes annoying. But always interesting. This thing with young men wearing their pants down below their boxers - sometimes practically falling off - is among the annoying ones. But there is a trend among women now that is also concerning.

I call it the "yoga pants" thing but its really more than about yoga pants. Because not all yoga pants are offensive. The things that I really hate seeing on women are leggings. They're more like what we used to call "tights" and the idea of wearing them outside uncovered would have been like walking around nude. And in my mind it still is because basically you can see everything on a person's body when they walk outside in anything skin tight.

Now there are some women who look good in these tight pants and leggings. They're the same women that look good nude. And they're certainly in the minority. In fact, they look good enough that one would barely notice them on the street (well, maybe the men notice). Most women really don't look good in skin tight clothing of any kind.

I sympathize with women who are busy and want to wear their work-out clothes at places other than the gym. But how much time does it really take to throw a pair of jeans on? Even pulling sweat pants over leggings would be more flattering. Mostly when I see women walking around in leggings I feel as though it looks like they've given up. And that's rather sad. A trend I hope will turn soon.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Children's clothing

Along with women's clothing stores every town had a children's clothing store back in my youth. In East Hampton we had the Carousel Shop. In Southampton we went to Buttons & Bows. In Sag Harbor there was a shop called The Cracker Barrel. I remember them all well. They had white gloves and dress hats, dresses and underwear, and beautiful dress coats for children. We all dressed for church back then and everyone needed dress clothes.

In fact, I can remember things like specific dresses I bought in each of those places, or the hat and matching mittens at The Cracker Barrel. I loved Buttons & Bows for Easter finery and their white hats were to die for. The Carousel Shop was a bit traumatic for me because that's where I clearly remember the owner suggesting that my mother should probably find a place that carried "Chubbies" for me. Can you believe they actually called clothes "Chubbie sized"? It was one of the first times I realized I was fat and I think I was only in the forth or fifth grade at the time. It was not a good memory. And it makes me sad to think about today.

I suppose that was when I began to hate shopping for clothes. No wonder, right?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Frederick's

Another of the stores I remember enjoying in Southampton as a child was a women's clothing store called "Frederick's".

In those days women shopped in town. There were no malls close enough to drive to (unless you had a day to give up) and no internet for browsing, so every village had a few nice clothing stores. We had to drive to Huntington to find an A&S or Macy's. And that was before Sunrise Highway came all the way to Southampton so it wasn't an easy trip. In East Hampton we had the Trude Shop and 5th Avenue Fashions. In Southampton my mother liked shopping in Frederick's.

As I remember it was a huge store - in fact I think it is now two separate shops in that space. It had at least 6 dressing rooms and racks of lovely dresses, which is what women wore most of the time back in the '50s and  early '60s. This was pre-jeans and pre-dress pants, remember! Anyway, the owner (whose name was probably "Frederick" although I don't know that for a fact) was a tall thin man with dark wavy hair and I remember thinking he was "different" in a sophisticated, interesting way. He had two large dogs that were always lying around in the store-also rather exotic animals like hounds of some type. Whippets?

Anyway, my mother loved the clothes there but hated the fact that this gentleman would come to the dressing room to ask how she was doing and would ever pass things over the top of the door to her. She was uncomfortable. Looking back I don't think she had need to be because I don't think he was particularly interested in women, although no one talked about those things back then!

Shopping with my mother was always an adventure. No one had to fend for themselves as we do now in big department stores. The owner or someone else working in the store was quick to offer help and always knew their stock and sizes. And they were never too busy talking on their cell phones to sell you something. Now those were the days....

Friday, December 6, 2013

Crutchley's

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is stopping at Crutchley Crullers on those rare occasions when we were in Southampton. I can still smell the wonderful scent of those fresh donuts when we walked into the door. There were large wooden shelving units that lined the walls and I'm sure they were full of many wonderful things, but all I ever noticed was the donut holes.

Mom didn't have much spare money and stopping there was a rare treat. And it was ever only for a dozen donut holes. Mr. Crutchley would take the freshly fried little nuggets and dredge them in a big vat of powdered sugar, drop them into a plastic baggie which he tied together and placed into a cardboard box, then wrap that box with twine and hand it over to my mother. My mouth would already be watering. If we were very, very good, Mom might let us each eat one on the ride home.

I've tried the ones at Tate's Bake Shop which are made from the same recipe, but they are never as fresh and crispy as the ones I remember. Some things you just can't recreate....


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nice

The weather has turned mild again and its been so nice to be able to go in and out of the house with a sweater on. I'm not a coat person - I find them bulky and uncomfortable and I hate  getting in and out of the car, clod and then too hot, etc - same thing with shopping in and out of stores. You walk outside and its freezing and then you try to shop and you're working up a sweat. So coats are not my favorite thing.

I like to layer. I like tee shirts, sweaters, jackets - I love to be able to peel off the layers as I go in and out of buildings, and not have too much to carry around in the process. Unlike a heavy coat, a sweater can be tied around my waist and out of my hands. So this weather, I'm really enjoying.

I can only hope this lasts a few more weeks because January is coming.....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Goals

My goals for the week are simple: sewing, wrapping, baking. Of course the tricky part is fitting that all in between my regularly scheduled activities! Wouldn't it be nice if we could all take a week off during December to get everything done that needs doing? What a nice idea that it.

Well the sewing is nearly done. I'm making a couple Raggedy Ann dolls and am down to the worst, most unpleasant part of that task - the hair. It means red yard and tricky sewing and I'm not looking forward to it. But it needs doing.

Wrapping is nearly done, although I haven't wrapped any of my husband's things yet. Haven't finished shopping for him either for that matter.

And baking - well - I'm about half done in that area. My cookies are beginning to fill up the freezer. It's an important part of my month.

We're heading to Pennsylvania this weekend to see the grand kids there and that means losing a few days of work time for these tasks. But this is the grandchildren we're talking about. Nothing takes precedence over that. Nothing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bays

No matter what time of the year it is or how cold the weather is, nothing is prettier than the water on a sunny day.

A few days ago I drove to Hampton Bays - it was the day after Thanksgiving - and it was a beautiful bright and sunny, although very cold, day. As I came around the corner to where my favorite view of the bay is, it was spread out before me in the most glorious way. The sun shimmered off the surface of the water like a Christmas card sprinkled with glitter. It was stunning.

I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it was that the water looked so inviting on this, such a cold day. It sparkled like a box of diamonds and looked like a summer day.

I love living near the water. Bay, ocean, lake, stream - any of them have the same beauty. Even in the winter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mediums

Halve I spoken about my fascination with the Long Island Medium yet? I can't recall whether I've made that a topic of my blogging or not, but I can tell you, now that a new season has started, I am a bit obsessed with this woman.

I never really believed in "mediums" or psychics, fortune tellers, whatever. My mother was of the opinion that they are satanic and my mother had a huge influence on my thinking so that was also my take on the whole gypsy thing. But then, this woman on television fascinated me.

I watch her interact with people she has never met before and I think "How could she possibly know that?" I know that people have "debunked" the people who do readings and speak to spirits. They talk about how these people do research on their subjects, and how they can make guesses about things that make it seems as though they know things they really don't. But this woman, this Long Island Medium - how could she know anything about the woman she bumps into at the local grocery store? Suddenly she's telling these people she doesn't know all about their family members who have died. She knows intimate details and things no one else could possibly know. She's made a believer out of me.

And I wonder if I ran into her, if she would hear my mother telling me something to the effect of "I was WRONG!" LOL

Schedules

Now that I've waxed poetic about the joys of December I need a reality check. There are only a few weeks left to Christmas. Yikes!

I'm not one to panic at times like these but I do get a bit anxious. I still have things to accomplish and since I took on a new job this year my hours are not as free as they had been in my most recent holidays. I need to make the most of every minute and plan my time carefully. And I will.

This month is exceptional in that there are only three Saturdays before Christmas - normally there are four, but for a couple years this will be the case now. It makes things seem to be coming at us with great speed and we need to carefully work out our schedules.

My calendar is my best friend right now.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

December

I have made it to another December. In January it will be five years since my mammogram that began the "horrible year" in my life. And each December since then I've looked forward to with great enthusiasm. Because December is the best month of the year as far as I'm concerned.

It's about Christmas, of course, but its much more than that. It's about the spirit of the holiday that I so look forward to. It's about stores and houses being decorated with beautiful things. It's about the people you meet on the street smiling and exchanging greetings. It's about a general sense of joy and excitement that seems to permeate our lives during this wonderful time of the year. It's as though every one's magical memories from the Christmases of their youths come to mind and they walk around in the warmth of that glow.

Of course, I totally avoid the messiness of the season - I am done shopping, I'm nearly done wrapping, and I don't go near the crowded stores. I make sure I'm organized enough to enjoy the simple pleasures of concerts and craft fairs and I do mostly only things I want to do. Watching news accounts of the "black Friday" craziness out there made me a bit crazy - why do people subject themselves to that?

Well, I'm happy to see December pop up on my calender. I don't find it stressful and I don't dread the work. I welcome the things that make it so special. And I'm always sorry to see it end.