May I Have Fun Too?

Clump #278: Power through bunch of online orders; day six of seven-day holiday kick-in-the-pants challenge.


Here’s a secret: I really don’t like spending a bunch of money all at once, which is part of what most of us have to do at this time of year. Thank goodness for this blog and challenge.  I forced myself to sit down and order some gifts I had been putting off.  In two cases the items were on back-order. Drat!  I have known I wanted them for quite a while.  Why did I wait until peak shopping time?

Don’t be like me!

And speaking of that, I’m still simmering about this advice from Martina McBride in last week’s People magazine.  You’ll notice at the bottom of the page: “Tip No. 1: Plan ahead so you can have fun too!”


So many obnoxious comments flooded my head: “Really?”… “Thank you Captain Obvious”… “Ya Think?” … Sorry to sound snarky, and I’m sure Ms. McBride is a wonderful person and country singer and holiday hostess, but … she might as well have written: “Rewire your brain!”  It’s not so easy for some of us.  And the idea that everyone else is having fun while you are stressing and slaving away sounds sad, but often so true. Thanks for listening.


P.S.  An astute reader of this blog correctly identified the elegant white flower in the previous post as a gardenia (not jasmine). Thank you!  I’m still thinking of (and posting photos from) Longwood, and won’t even guess at the name of the pretty puff flower pictured above.

How to Avoid Winter Depression and Exhaustion

Clump #256:  Wash and iron winter duvet and put away ironing board; day fourteen of National Blog Posting Month.


Look what happened overnight … I watched the movie White Christmas yesterday, and the Snow, SNow, SNOw, SNOW came down! No, this is not Pine Tree, Vermont, and no, my spirits did not lift at the sight.  In fact, I could have written: “lift mood” as today’s clump.  Bah.

Maybe I’m hitting a wall with the daily posting.  But one thing I did figure out was that connections between ironing and gift wrapping are many. Both are fairly mindless, thus the mindless-type movies I watch while doing them; both take up a lot of space in the house; and both seem endless … there’s always another and another item needing either pressing or wrapping coming up.  Because of this, I tend to keep the ironing board out way too long, and now the wrapping paper containers are becoming squatters in our family room.


Okay, I know a case can very well be made for weeding out these containers.  A clump for another day.  Today I just had to admit that, though getting a head start on Christmas wrapping seems like a good plan, the idea of these containers hanging around me for six weeks (what?–six weeks??) is kind of depressing.  Yes, Christmas wrap is depressing me.


Here’s why.  I read the article below in this week’s People magazine.  I’m a big reader of  tips, so, of course, “Amazing Holiday Tips” are right up my alley.  Molly Sims’s rule number 23 is: “Do all your shopping in one day.  Afterward you’re exhausted, but you’ve done it.”


The enormity of that one tip blew me away.  Granted, Molly must have personal assistants and, so far, one small son (she’s pregnant … I know everything about people with People).  But I began to think that maybe I operate under the assumption that holiday preparations have to be a long, drawn-out, exhausting ordeal.  I’m having a The Grinch Who Stole Christmas moment.  One day?? Onnne Daaay???  I’ve really got to recalibrate my expectations for the holiday and myself.  Wait, I think I’m ready for tip number 8, “Have a signature cocktail.” Yes, please.

True confession: the wrapping paper is still out.  The ironing board is put away.  I washed and pressed our winter duvet cover, and I’m sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat to hear about that!


The dark winter berries (?) are replacing the light seashore motif.  (Sighhhh.)


I think I need to get out into the sunlight a little bit more.


And, if I have such powers, find a movie called “World Peace,” and wake up to a world truly transformed.

Starting Is Seventy Percent

Clump #142: Begin Flippin February Paper Pile Purge.  (As in, I just want to flip the calendar page over and make it March.)

A friend described a conversation he once had with a brilliant guy who worked for NASA.  One concept the guy talked about stayed with him:  to launch a space ship, you are essentially lifting a sky scraper off the ground and into the air.  Who would ever think such a thing possible?!  It takes a tremendous amount of fuel, most of the ship’s weight, to accomplish the flight … and seventy percent of it is required for just the first three inches.   Good thing to remember whenever I am starting something, especially something I’m pulling against like gravity on a sky scraper.

An example would be getting back to blogging yesterday.  When I am not blogging daily, I really get to a place where I forget what it’s like; I have no confidence in my ability to put thoughts together and I realize how audacious it is to think that people might care.

Here’s the fuel I used to get moving yesterday: a timer set for fifteen minutes and People Magazine as a reward for sticking out the fifteen minutes (my version of three inches).  I know I have a problem with magazines and should be in a 12-step program, but there are worse vices.


Now, an aside here: Give. Me. A. Break. Christie. Brinkley.  A mom of three?  Sixty?  What unrealistic expectations you are inflicting upon woman-kind … this is not progress!


The article surrounding the unbelievable photos ends with Ms. Brinkley saying, “Even when I’ll be sitting here with gray hair and Georgia O’Keeffe wrinkles, people are going to say, ‘There is just something youthful about her.'”  Youth above all!  Let me just say that we need more pictures of beautiful older women like Georgia O’Keeffe on magazine covers.  As much as it is a feat worthy of NASA to defy gravity and age, the way Christie Brinkley has ( and it’s so totally not a case of sour grapes, of course), I sense a feeling of desperation in a woman who has to forever live up to her 1979 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover.

Artist Georgia O’Keeffe had her share of sexy photos, notably ones, like this one below, taken by photographer Alfred Stieglitz.


I will be very surprised if we ever see a former super model photographed with deep wrinkles like these.


Okay, back to the point of this post.  I made a claim to process, purge, expunge a pile a day of paper in our house every day in February.  I took a count of the piles my younger daughter so generously sorted for me, and … (drum-roll) … there are exactly 28!  I’m not kidding.


Pile number one: vanquished.  I’ll leave you with a much more pleasing sight, a sample of Georgia O’Keeffe’s art:

Georgia O'Keeffe Paintings Art 75

(By the way, if you Google “Georgia O’Keefe Art Images,” be prepared for a riot of color and sexy forms, perfect for a drab Winter’s day.)