gentle beginnings

Oh, Internet. Things continue apace both inside and outside of me. This week found me all up inside myself needing to think, plan, process, and pray. That giant burst of creative energy and gobs of people just sapped this introvert. Have been recharging my batteries and re-centering myself for the next round. (Advent! Christmas!) It is good. The sapping and the recharging. I love both. I love the stimulation of creating and connecting with people. And I love the process of assimilating all that my soul had absorbed in that stimulation. (That's the thing non-introverts don't get about us. We are just delighted to sit with our own selves, like, for HOURS, thinking. We just find our own minds fascinating. Ha!)

Yesterday I burned up all the Storm Watch 2012 Emergency Firewood, so I could have a side of cozy to go with my tea, blanket, and journal. Other than laundry, dishes, and cooking, I pretty much spent the day pondering. And writing. And pondering some more.

Today, I've got to clean and cook and prepare for an event at my house tomorrow, and I need a bit more pondering, so I'll just make this quick and random. Some favorites this week:

Christmas Lights - MM and I love driving around looking at lights. We've had a few evening errands to run this week, and have taken that opportunity to tack on Christmas Light Tours. We have a triple love for lights. 1) The well-executed, stately, elegant, classy jobs. There's usually some kind of color scheme silvery/purpley/blue or red/white or "vintage big bulbs", and things match and have a lovely symmetry and completeness about them. Very nice. 2) The over-the-top, Vegas, all-the-bells-and-whistles, crazy jobs that make Mr. Griswold look like an amateur. These ones are a jazz-hands, light show spectacular, and we admire the audacity, showmanship, and dedication. 3) The people who try to do over-the-top, but don't quite make it. Things are mismatched with some random thrown in. We like them cause... bless their hearts.

It's been fun to make coffee, pop in our Ray Coniff Singer's album, and take in all the sparkle. I love that MM likes to do that kind of stuff, and doesn't think I'm lame because of my fondness for these simple pleasures.

Organized Craft Day - Tomorrow's event. So excited! A decade ago (gulp!) a friend of mine asked if my roommates and I would host a craft day at our house because she liked the idea of crafting, but wasn't particularly crafty herself, and if someone else could organize it, she might be able to execute it. She gave us giftcards to Michaels, and voila! Organized Craft Day was born. Every year in the fall, we'd fill our house with a bunch of women and do some kind of craft. We made candles in little flower pots. (Very messy and lengthy - that turned more into Organized Craft Week. But very cute and fun. Learned a lot.) We made cinnamon "gingerbread" (saltdough) ornaments. (G's gingerbread people came out of the oven all warped with arms and legs in odd positions, so she turned them into Discobread People, painting them in shimmery sateen and glitter colors like they were wearing lame and sequins. Fabulous!) We did those glass ornaments where you dip paint inside and swirl it around. One year, I did it in the spring, and we learned how to crochet while watching the BBCs Pride and Prejudice (Oh, Colin Firth.)

Anyway. Fun, creative, girlie kind of day. This year I'm teaching folks how to make the paper stars I discovered last year. And I might make paper snowflakes to string up around the house. Again, I'm thankful for MM who will spend the day holed up in the office or garage while we women take over the house with our glue guns and glitter. (Oh how he loathes the glitter.) (I love you, Baby.)

The gentle beginning of the Christmas season - Because we don't have a TV (hooray for Hulu and Netflix!) and mostly listen to CDs in the car, we aren't bombarded with Christmas music and commercials starting in September. During all that baking for the Anniversary party and the Whiskey tasting, I did get a bit of a twitch to watch Elf, but I resisted. I held to our rule of no Christmas til after Thanksgiving. And I'm glad. We watched "Christmas" chick flicks on Pajama Day, which were really just romantic comedies set around Christmas time. And MM grabbed a couple Christmas CDs for our Christmas light tours. And the other day I listened to a bit of Pandora's Indie Christmas station. (Love She and Him and Over the Rhine!) But that's about it. We're taking out Henri and putting up our little tree this weekend. We're making our schedule of concerts and gatherings and rest time for the month. We're figuring out what to do for Advent, since we can't eat those Trader Joes chocolates anymore. We're figuring out our Simple Christmas gift strategy. It's been fun to do a bit of quiet thinking and dreaming and sort of ease into the season. I don't feel overwhelmed. I feel peaceful. I have happy anticipation. Which is what Advent is all about: being in the waiting moment, and excitedly looking forward to what is about to come.

And in light of what is to come for me today, I'd better get offa this computer and get to work.

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