clean sweep.

Well. That was exhausting. The holidays, I mean. Lovely. But exhausting. You know how it goes~ Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's...non stop, whirl wind, roller coaster ride. A catch all of baking, eating, shopping, decorating, wrapping, activities, and random acts of craziness. Guess that pretty much sums up the past few months. plus, it just flew by! all I know is, one minute I'm in full Christmas mode, and the next minute, I'm sitting here in my pajamas wondering what le heck happened. So now that the fa-la-la-la season is behind us, I am prepared to buckle down and get on with it. get back to normal, pfffff! whatever that may be. As far as January goes, it pretty much evens things out. It's not that I'm not thoroughly and madly in love with all things festive, it's just that too much fancy pants nearly causes me to lose the small amount of sanity I cling to. The holidays may be all about merry-making, but they are also about changes, huge, wild, rocky ones, especially hard for a perfectionist or a girl who embraces her comfort zone. so I shouldn't be surprised by this, but that's my nature. I try to anticipate these changes every year, and every year, without fail, I fail to anticipate them.

 Somewhere between scraping up the last of the cookie crumbs from my kitchen flour and sweeping up the glitter that has blanketed my entire house, it occurs to me to wonder...what would normal most people be doing now? Me, I clean. A cupboard, dust the furniture that up until two days ago I could write my name on, the pantry that hasn't once, in three months, closed properly.  There are the just-right assortment of storage bins and Christmas boxes which fit haphazardly into the basement. The once shiny brite trees are now as out of place as a teenager at a Barry Manilow concert. So compromises are made on both sides.  The decor is edited, heavily. Ornaments are asked to contain themselves a bit. wrapping paper, ribbons and bows are ordered to tuck themselves away. new ornaments blend with old and are packed up. Vintage Santas are respected and wrapped in tissue paper.  By week's end, everything is back in order, including a double batch of breathing space. There is even a soft click as the pantry door is closed. respectable order made from cabin fever chaos. a place for everything. everything in it's place...

Save one bright, shiny exception. Snowmen. They alone have been granted clemency. Though a single reason for keeping them eludes me, since a clean sweep is what I was after.  So, it became another one of those soul searching decisions that nearly threw me under the bus. ice cream...strawberry or vanilla? vacation...beach or beach? or lease? Snowmen...keep out or put into storage?

Maybe I'm too lazy decor sensitive. Maybe it is too drastic of a change going from glitter baby heaven to stark and empty...overnight! Maybe I'm just a sucker for a cute face. Either way, the snowmen stay. So I prepare for a final compromise, Christmas out~winter in. Until I remember the snowflakes. Are they beautiful on their own or snowman-wannabe? but magnificent, magical, whimsical, just the same.  If you don't have snow, you should probably make some just to justify winter. stick them in the windows. string some over the porch. hang a few on the kitchen ceiling. or over your bed. why not? snowflakes, completely change your outlook on life. they define everything I know about magic. they also makes me say "it's snowing! it's snowing! it's snowing!" Which, admittedly, may not be much to you, but, they also make me say, in hushed tones, "oh! snowflakes, you must be MAGIC!", which actually is quite a lot, considering my grouchy state of late. so,  glittery snowflakes and snowmen, stay.

This past week I have been reacquainting myself with routine, schedules and my vacuum cleaner. Getting back into that old familiar grind rhythm sure feels good, even though it took a bit of getting used to. The head count at dinner has returned to everyday, and the family room no longer doubles as a staging area for hoarders. No more Christmas cookie breakfasts, and afternoon tea is once again on the menu. as are afternoon naps. on the week-end. with the puppies. And come the first day of January, the calendar was  wiped clean. of Christmas parties, concerts and past-bed-time-visits. Welcome back p.j. Saturday mornings, pizza and movie night and lazy Sunday breakfasts. Can I tell you how magnificent it is to make steaming vegetable soup for dinner. instead of a ham the size of a small child. how remarkable it is, to eat fresh fruits and veggies and call it a meal. which isn't to say I did not enjoy all the holiday feasting, I did, I am just ready for a change. To much of a good thing and all that. I'm not giving a thumbs down to celebration food, I just can't eat it year round..

I'm still remembering though, just a few short weeks back, spending time with family, in the house that grew me up. It still gets to me. It's was all so cozy, so very homey. The air smelled of firewood and rang with the sound of laughter... and the food was the kind I was raised on. cabbage rolls, salty ham, creamed peas, pretzel salad, crusty bread slathered with real butter, and Vernor's Ginger Ale.

 The weather got under my skin as well. Seriously, all I wanted was a little snow for Christmas. Was that asking too much? There's something monumentally important about celebrating the holidays in the folds of my childhood home, with the snow softly falling outside. I won't say that it's a necessity exactly, but I will say that it seems to have nosed itself into a regular tradition, and I grew rather fond of it. Snow always works for me, but on Christmas Eve, it casts a special magic.

So, I really have no solid resolutions yet this year. no list to speak of, but I am thinking about finishing some from last year's list.  I never did learn to play the violin, but I did practice my piano more. I did not walk on the treadmill everyday, but I did do yoga (almost) everyday. and there was lots of dancing barefoot in the kitchen. I almost never make resolutions on the first day of the year. I know that will change as the days go on. I know I'll stretch and strain and pull on my heart, and still that won't be nearly enough. It's still kinda soon to say, but my hope is that, among other thing, I will read more books, because I love them. I will stop eating candy for lunch like it is a normal thing to do in the middle of the day. I will get more sleep. I hope that my love will be as big as the world. as bright as the sun and not a single shade lighter. this new year looks wide open, and I am so ready to jump right in and roll with it.

Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it is seriously not my forte. Which might be why I love this space so dearly, a sentence and an image, awesome! But usually it takes more than that to convey the mayhem and joy running around inside of my head. Except on those days when a particularly excellent winter storm ignites a certain person's imagination. leaving me swooning over and plodding through piles of driven snow. It started last Tuesday, a while it only lasted for a few days, it was enough. It made me happy, watching the flakes fall. It also makes me happy to have you all as part of my life, thank you for coming. I am
forever indebted to your kindness. I hope you all have the best year ever. Peace and love.

(click here for recipe)



  1. Anonymous1/15/2012

    Peace and love back at ya, bestie. xo


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