Friday, December 30, 2011

It's A Girl, It's A Girl, It's A Boy, It's A Girl, It's Almost 2012

As I write this, we have survived the celebration of four birthdays in the last week - my two girls, me, and Jesus. That is a lot of celebrating even when you do it all rather simply.

Our season of celebration began with the arrival of Offspring No. 1 from Chicago. She is home with us for three weeks. For me, this alone is reason to celebrate; she has not been home for an extended stay in a while. This being our first holiday season in “our home”, everything was new - starting with creating a space for Brooke when she got here. She is staying in our craft room, a room that is furnished with the bunk beds (no longer bunked) and book cases that were in her room as a child. The room itself is Weber’s childhood bedroom. So as I put fresh linens on the bed that I first made twenty years ago, he was watching the room that was his first man cave be transformed for a twenty-two year old woman. For different reasons, it was an odd feeling for both of us. We were all further transported back to childhood days when Brooke asked for, and we gave her, a Lite Brite for her birthday. I believe that she got her first Lite Brite for her third Christmas. The 2011 version of this perennial childhood favorite now sits on the desk in Weber’s room . . .no, the craft room . . .or is it Brooke’s room.

Once home, the first order of business for Brooke was a trip to the grocery store. The most pressings items on her list were those necessary to make Offspring No’ 2’s birthday cake, an Arnold Palmer Cake. This was a time consuming endeavor but resulted in a magnificent cake.

The first piece even came out clean and upright!

As an aside I must add here that Brooke and Weber went to Central Market without me. When I inquired to the success of their trip the response I got was, ‘we only spent ten percent of our total grocery bill on beer.” No, the beer had nothing to do with the impending birthday cake and everything to do with a holiday bonding experience for the two of them.

Erin, who was celebrating her nineteenth birthday, is a little more mature than her older sibling; no likes of Lite Brite for her. Also no ice cream for her birthday cake - unless she makes it herself with her new ice cream maker attachment for her Kitchen-Aide mixer.

We also had a nice celebration of Jesus’ birthday. The whole gang was at our house - both girls, one boyfriend, Mike (my ex) and his partner, Jason. (Maybe thats two boyfriends . . ) Anyway, we had all of our family together for food, gifts, games, and fun. It was great watching everyone open their gifts. Now that the girls are old enough to do their own shopping, there are more surprises on Christmas morning. The day was all that I had hoped for and more. And for those of you who are wondering, I was indeed stoned, but not grouted, for Christmas. Paul did get all of the stonework on the fireplace done and even put up a temporary mantel so we could hang our stockings!

Mine was the last of the birthdays. Though it was a “monumental” birthday, I did not want any overdone celebration. Weber, being a smart guy, honored my wishes. We had a nice family lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Cotton Patch, nothing fancy. The feeding frenzy continued that evening with a pancake dinner with a couple of my knitting buddies. Brooke also made me a birthday cake - complete with a marzipan rose atop.

(She had us buy her some Play-doh presumably so that she could practice making the rose. Personally, I think it was all just a ploy to get some Play-doh. Remember, this is the 22 year old kid who wanted a Lite-Brite for her birthday!)

I also received many cards and text messages with birthday wishes from friends far and near. Turning 50 was not so bad. I am grateful for and blessed by all of my family and friends. who helped to make this a special birthday for me.

With all of the birthdays behind us, we are left with one last party - the ushering in of 2012. We will celebrate the dawning of the new year much like we did the beginning of the next year of each of our lives - with family, friends, food and fun. What better way to begin a new year?

May each of you be surrounded by those things that bring you joy in the year to come.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'll Be Stoned For Christmas

Up until this moment, only a very few people know that one of the things on my bucket list is to get stoned. Well really, I just want to smoke pot. I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed by or proud of the fact that to this day, roughly one week shy of my fiftieth birthday, despite having spent nearly a decade on college campuses as a music major, I have never been stoned.

Now that it is about time for Santa Claus to come to town people are asking me what’s on my Christmas list. I am careful not confuse items on my Christmas list with those on my bucket list. I am also reminded of the song lyrics. “He sees you when your sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been good or bad.” And, I have learned that he also knows if you secretly desire to get stoned. It’s kind of creepy, but true. Imagine my surprise when Santa decided to grant my wishes a little before Christmas and left me this!

OK. So Santa was a little confused. Or maybe he knows that I am a nice girl and couldn’t possibly have meant that I wanted to do anything as naughty as to get stoned smoking pot.

So now what do I do with a pile of stones?

The truth is that these stones were on my Christmas wish list. One of the last big things to be done in our seemingly unending home remodeling project is to add stone facing to both the kitchen island and the fireplace. I am happy that this may be done before Christmas. Right now, we have no place to hang our stockings. I’m not worried about the fact that they may not be filled by the scary guy in the red suit but rather I was disappointed because I hand knit all of our stockings, finishing the last two this year, and there may be no place to display them. We have five days to remedy this situation; I have faith that indeed our stockings will be hung by the chimney with care ( not necessarily with any hope of St. Nick soon being there) come Christmas Eve. Paul, one of Santa’s lesser known elves, arrived early this morning to work on getting us stoned.

As always, he was supervised by Frankie, who thought the pan of mortar sort of resembled a large and poorly maintained litter box.

Adidas spent the day wondering why he gets in trouble when he forages in the litter box but Paul spent all day playing in it and nobody yelled at him and said he was gross.

By the end of the day, The entire island was stoned. (I was not not.) Tomorrow it will be grouted and the fireplace will get stoned. ( I will not.)

For now I will cross off nothing from my bucket list. I will be happy with our stoned island and fireplace and will find joy in simply being high on life.