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Archive for December, 2010

Wishing you all the best for 2011. May all of your Christmas dreams come true.

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A couple of years ago I was helping my mum move all of her decorations from her tattered cardboard boxes to some of the nicer Tupperware kinds. As I’ve hinted, Christmas is a big deal in my home, and the work was exhausting. As we approached the bottom of the second box, and we could see the untouched third box sitting in the corner of the room, I looked down and saw that there were just a few scarps of paper sitting. I sighed and put the box down. Then, and I have no idea why, I picked the box up again, and took a good look at the paper. It was mostly receipts so old and worn that they were illegible, but mixed in with them was a tiny newspaper clipping. It was my first letter to Santa Clause, and at the risk of great embarrassment, I am sharing it with you today.

 

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Dear Santa,

Do you have enough candy canes and gingermans made for all the kids? I would like to have a gingerman, oranges; grapes, starfish and a big, big new dolly. I want the biggest candy cane in the whole world.

How are the reindeer and Mrs. Santa. Can you bring a little Bert and Ernie doll for my little brother Matthew. He’s too little to write a letter. I want everything big. Give him everything little. I can’t wait to see you Santa at our party with all the kids. My Mommy helped me write this letter.

Love and kisses
Circe, age 4.

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This has been the most depressing Christmas week I’ve had in a long time. No one seems to be aware that Christmas is coming on Saturday. But then, maybe that’s the problem; maybe if Christmas was coming on Sunday or Monday it might be a little different. Everywhere I look I see people busily working away on their day-to-day stuff, many people don’t even mention Christmas. My office doesn’t have a single cookie or festive sweet.

Then at lunch time, as I ventured out with my friends and co-workers for a slice of holiday pizza, I heard the theme music (Christmas Time is Here) from the Peanuts Christmas special. I stopped and looked up, smiling because I intend to surprise my mother with a CD/DVD copy of her favourite Christmas special; as I was standing there I saw a group of people skating on an outdoor rink. That’s right, I stepped into the Peanuts Christmas special. I stopped and gave myself a moment to enjoy this one perfect moment where pop culture and Christmas collide in the parking lot of a business park and outdoor shopping centre. The song soon ended and I came back to reality

It was the perfect way to push me out of my funk. It was a brilliantly sunny, (reasonably) warm day. There’s no reason to feel depressed, in fact, I should be elated. I decided that this week could still be magical, and from there I took matters into my own hands, and created my own Christmas magic.

I decided to take the dog for a big walk, so that we could enjoy this glorious weather. When we got home I made a big batch of mincemeat tarts. Yummy, and super festive. The only problem is that I put too much filling in each pastry, so I didn’t enough to make all 24 tarts.

Oh well, I guess that means that I’ll have to make more for New Year’s Eve…I may also need to do some skating to burn them off.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, and to all of you too!

 

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This is the best time of year to try to lose weight. I know, it seems like the worst, but, in reality, there are tons of opportunities out there, and best of all you aren’t on your own, half the world is trying to lose weight following the holidays. So I am starting to lay the ground work for January, when I can take it up like 4 notches, and know that I’m not suffering alone.

I won’t get back to the gym until Thursday this week, and I am starting to feel really blobulous, but I’m also still feeling a little under the weather, so it’s best to stay out of the gym I think.

So, I’ll be amping the workouts back up, and I think I’ll be adding a weekend class to my routine. The biggest hurdle for me will be getting my eating under control. I eat when I’m happy, when I’m sad, and just because (which is the best reason of all). So come January 1 I’m back to the food diary. It’s useful and helpful for denial eaters like me (come on, I don’t eat that much) plus it’s super cute–see you can even colour in each water bottle as you tick them off–plus this means that I still have a little over a week to psych myself up for it.

In other news, Cadie was a nightmare last night; she was jittery, walked like a sled dog, and wouldn’t settle down. I was beside myself. I couldn’t figure out what had gotten into her. Now as I sit at my desk, watching the big, round moon slide behind the horizon, I realize that it was a double whammy: the full moon and the incredibly rare Winter Solstice lunar eclipse. I can’t believe that I missed the first Winter Solstice lunar eclipse in 300 years. And we won’t see another one for 80 years. This is made worse by the fact that I was having trouble sleeping, and chose to watch Conan instead of taking a step outside. Oh well, it happens.

Happy first day of winter (Winter Solstice)–may the knowledge that day will be longer and night will be shorter tomorrow bring you comfort and warmth tonight.

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I don’t know what happened to me this weekend, but I came home from work on Friday night ready to create. I had no idea what I was going to create, but I knew that my hands needed to be busy doing something, so I looked around and found something to create.

I can’t tell you what I was working on; I think I need another week or so to get them ready and distributed (wink, wink). So I don’t want to spoil the surprise, instead I’m going to focus on the drive that drove me to reach for my needle and thread.

I’ve always been a bit crafty, in a good way. When I was in university I found that I needed a change. I wanted something to do with my hands to take my mind off my school work. I needed it to be easy, so that it could also be a bit of a mental break. I tried cross stitch–too complicated. It requires a lot of counting, especially in the beginning, and without someone to show me what I was doing, I quickly became discouraged.

I thought about knitting, but…knitting can be expensive, and without anyone to show me how to do it, I was worried that I wouldn’t understand the instructions, and would waste a lot of money…so I never even tried.

Then, one day, while I was trolling Lewiscraft…yes, I was probably the one frosh in the province who trolled Lewiscraft and Mary Maxim instead of the bars; the only explanation I can offer is that my super geekiness knows no bounds. As I was saying, one day I came across something that seemed to fit the bill perfectly–rug hooking, and I have been hooked ever since (I’m so funny! :D)

This last fall I made myself some napkins and a table-cloth, so, as you can see, I have a number of irons in the fire. I am currently working on a couple of stuffed animals, and some more napkins. I worked on a number of things this weekend, alternating between sewing and writing and singing…I have yet to do any cleaning.

Oh well, I like crafts. I guess in some ways I ‘m hotwired to do crafts, to keep my hands busy, and my mind from wandering. I also like that in keeping my hands busy, my legs are too busy to be walking to the kitchen all evening, and my arms and hands are working toward a goal, so they aren’t interested in anything that might be found in the kitchen. Crafting is a good way to keep me on track, especially when I can’t get to the gym, and it’s kind of fun. Though I may need to sew under my desk and while I’m sleeping if I’m going to have everything ready by the weekend.

How do you avoid temptation and stay on track?

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Yesterday was a bad day. I mean it was a good day, I got a lot done, but it was a bad day in terms of nerves. It seems that I had completely forgotten that it’s Christmas, a time for celebration. Since today is Friday–also a time for celebration–I am going to take it down a notch, focus on festivities and try not to stress.

You may recall that my mother decorates the front of her house with a giant blow-up Homer Simpson. I live in an apartment, which doesn’t have a yard, so my homage to the Simpson’s (probably the most commercial family tradition I’ve ever heard of) is a small decoration on my tree. You might notice that I’m also so lazy that I haven’t even hung this ornament properly. That’s because perching him on the branches, I believe, allows him to stroll through the tree at his leisure.

I was so eager for Christmas this year that I broke all of my rules and started decorating the second last weekend in November. Sadly though my apartment is so warm that I haven’t really had the lights on. Still I’m going to focus on the things that make me happy before I plunge into my work.

 I can’t really tell you what was going through my mind when I decided that I should put up a tree dedicated to gingerbread. Sometimes–most times–I seem to forget that I should be watching what I eat. Funnily enough most of these ornaments have a story. There’s one there from my trip to Quebec City in 2004; that’s a nice memory, Quebec City is beautiful and it was a fun trip. There are also a couple of ornaments given to me by the kids I used to babysit when I was in high school. That’s also a nice memory, they were the best kids, and that was the easiest babysitting gig ever.

If you look hard you can also see gold and silver apples. They’re from the dollar store. It’s not much of a story, but I will tell you I was humming that “Silver and Gold” song from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer while I was buying them–that’s like half a story right? One quarter of a story?

I bought this tree my first year away from home;  it was the perfect size for a residence room, and it was the perfect size for my bachelor, but now I am beginning to feel that I’d like a much bigger tree. I mean I do have 2 trees and 2 boughs already, but it’s not the same as having a nice tall Christmas tree right?

Happy Friday

 

Alright–deep breaths–I think I’m ready. I think I’ve had a good dose of Christmas spirit and I’m ready to take on the day. If I need any other encouragement I can remember Friday’s traditions too.

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This is like half of the work I need to do before next Friday

I spent most of yesterday afternoon thinking it was Tuesday. I told myself over and over again that I had tons of time–3 more days in which to work on work. At 4 as I stood to start packing up my desk and change into my boots I heard someone say something about Wednesday. That’s when the dream died, and came crashing down around  my ears. I have a million things to do at work before I feel like I can leave for a break.

Thank God the Christmas stuff is in hand, because now I’m going to need to marshal all of my energy to tackle those remaining 9 tasks on my to do list at work. Plus, I really need to clean this desk; I mean the dust on the monitor alone is several inches thick. This is the time of year when I start slashing my to do list, when I start asking myself “what absolutely has to get done?” Then I focus on that and let the rest wait.

This is also the time of year that I really have a hard time sticking to my exercise plans. Tonight is BodyPump, but I won’t be going. In addition to feeling a little overwhelmed at work I’m also starting to feel a little run down, which is manifesting itself as a little lump building at the bottom on my throat. Since I have so many personal and professional chores to get done in the next week or so I’m not going to push myself, instead I’m going to focus on feeling better and wrapping up all my loose ends.

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