Saturday, December 24, 2011

A peaceful Christmas

It is the day before Christmas Day, which would make it Christmas Eve, I suppose. I have not endured one ounce of stress during this holiday season. So many changes have taken place in our celebrations for Christmas over the past 2 or 3 years. Of course, this year, I have my sister the thank for most of the stress-free Christmas day. She has invited us to her home for a lovely meal, and just good family fellowship, being able to visit with my nieces, whom I don't get to see nearly as much as I would enjoy.

We used to buy, and buy, and buy some more for this eventful day. Until one point my sister and I said to each other... "why are we doing this to ourselves"? Is this what Christmas is all about? Spending all this hard-earned money on gifts that we "hope" someone else will appreciate and enjoy?

A few years ago, back in 2005 on December 19th, I had finished my 37th radiation treatment. I was completely exhausted, and I remember calling my sister and asking her if it would be ok if we just did a "grab-bag" gift pile with each person attending the event bringing a $5 gift, wrapped, and ready to put under the tree. This turned out to be a lot of fun. You didn't know who you were buying for, and it seemed to take some of the pressure off, worrying about "so-and-so" liking what they got. I mean, it was only $5. And you would be surprised as to the creativity of our family in what they could come up with for $5. So, we did this for a few years. Then we decided, really, do we need to do this at all? We're all old now, and don't need the added expense of buying anything at all. If you have ever considered doing something like this, be prepared for the long-reaching effects this will have on your perspective of Christmas.

The very first year, we only exchanged cards among the family members. (Bought gifts for Daddy, cuz, well that's just the way it is. Sorry, can't let the day go by without gifts for the man who played Santa for us all our lives. Anyhow, Daddy always gives us very generous gifts, written on pieces of paper, that go to the bank, and make us all very giddy with excitement as to how we should "enjoy" it. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) My husband and I did not exchange gifts either... and let me just tell you, that first year was "culture shock". But, again, if you attempt this at home, it kind of grows on you. It makes you wonder why on earth we make ourselves completely nutsy-in-the-head shopping until we want to reach out and throttle some little old lady, counting out her change in line in front of us... and about 30 other people in line behind us? Is this what Christmas is really all about? Getting the good deal, the best price, the biggest gift, the better gift than "so-and-so" gave someone? Seriously?

So... here's to another peaceful Christmas! I excitedly look forward to being with my husband, Dad, my sister and my brother-in-law and my two nieces, and their significant others. I know it will be a relaxed, most enjoyable time. A time of remembering those who are no longer with us... a time of missing those who cannot be with us (due to other obligations and can't be there)... and a time of making new memories... and hearing the sweet sounds of everyones laughter. I love to hear everyone in my family laugh. It is the sweetest, most pleasant sound. It makes me wonder what it must have been like for Mary to hear the very first giggle out of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe it is a sound she remembered all her life long.

Merry Christmas... and blessings beyond your comprehension. May the real reason YOU celebrate this day bring you joy and peace.

Penny Sue

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deep sigh of relief!

Well, I'm happy to say it was relatively simple to revert back to my old blogspot design. I have absolutely no idea how it was changed to a different design, don't know, don't care... but I'm just very happy that it's back to how it was a few posts ago.

Life here in PA has been, well, wet. It's December 22nd, and it's pouring outside. And much to my dismay, today is officially the first day of winter. Yipes. I suppose we are fortunate that this rain is not snow, for fear that we would not be able to dig ourselves out from underneath it all.

I've been living a rather withdrawn, quiet and domestic life over the past year or so. Mostly not sharing anything on blogspot, as I figure no one out there really gives a hoot about the boring life of a slightly-over-middle-aged woman's groaning pains. Even in real life, I have become somewhat of a recluse. I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything out-of-the-ordinary, and I don't have much of a life.

All of this saddens me, as I realize every day from the events that go on around me, how very fragile life is. It is one simple breath that hangs us in the balance between the present moment and eternity. So, I'm doing some soul searching, and I'm trying to pull myself up by the bootstraps of life, and find something worth doing.

I've been stuck in "stalled" mode for what seems to be a horribly long time. There are so many things I want to do with my life. I just celebrated my 49th birthday last Saturday, and over this past week, I have found myself realizing that I am well past the half-way point of living. And that is if I'm allowed the luxury of living a long and healthy life. At this point in my life, I actually find that to be a bit doubtful as well. Anyhow, to move from stalled into at least first gear (God help me if I find reverse) and pick something and work at it until it is complete. Difficult to do in my life. Some things I could pick will cost us money that we just cannot afford right now. The husband has been unemployeed since April of this year. We are currently not in a secure financial position, and things are getting worse, not better. And of course, with the holidays, well, it just kind of stinks. OK, I'm done whining. Oh speaking of wine... I meant to get myself a glass to help me get sleepy. I'm wide awake, the husband is upstairs snoring to rattle the rafters, and I'm staring at the shadows on the walls in our bedroom. I shall return in a moment....

OK, I'm sipping a nice, slightly chilled glass of Chardonnay. That's better.

The projects that have been in continual motion, or continual haultedness are too numerious to count. My husband has made it his mission to "finish" the kitchen. Needless to say, after 14 years of not really having much of a kitchen to look at, very soon it will be close to being done. I have photos of before, and need to take after shots. However, as thrilled as I was with his interest in working on finishing up the kitchen, the fact that he chose the week before Thanksgiving and at this present day it is still a project in motion, has been the bone of contention between us for a few, shall I say, conversations. Nothing serious, just frustration. And I swear ever time I make something to eat, it has a bit of extra crunch to it from the sheetrock mud, or even perhaps dried paint. Not sure... and I try not to think about it.

My organizational skills are somewhat challenged since I've been married. I used to be a comfortably organized, normally neat, can-find-it-when-I-need-it kind of person. Not in a Marth Stewart kind of way, when you open drawers and doors, there is absolutely not one inch of space wasted, and everything is so anally organized, it's painful to look at. The day I said "I do", that all went out the window. I think being organized is just a dream that I'm going to have to take to my grave with me. I always say to my husband, "What's taken me literally hours to do to have "something" look this good, takes you a matter of less than 5 minutes to undo." I cannot win. I will never win. Or will I?

Piles of crap sit everywhere. Some of them have been in place for so long, or burried beneath new crap, that I have no idea what the devil is in the pile to begin with. Piles of crap should have places to go. Like the trash, a thrift store, or an attic. But that would be too easy. Maybe that is where I will start. Getting rid of some piles. Of course, if I do this, you do realize that I will inevitably throw away at least one piece of paper that should not have ever seen the light of day to begin with.

While most people are droaning on about all they have to do before Christmas day gets here... I shall go to sleep tonight with visions of paper shreds dancing in me head.

Good night all, Sweet dreams... tomorrow is a new day for me to screw up in some way or another. LOL!

Penny Sue

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

OK... what the heck???

Does anyone know how I get my "old" blogspot format/look/design back? I have no idea what has happened to my blog, but it looks like crap. I have chosen different formats at the top of the page, but it doesn't go back to my original setup. Can anyone out there in blogland help me out? PLEASE! Thanks in advance.