The Seventh Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas…..

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seven loads of laundry…..

or at least that many.  I kind of stopped counting in the midst of the Great New Year’s Eve Lego Challenge and Kids’ Only Dance Party and the Minions Movie and the Keeping Calm of the Dog During the Everlasting Fireworks.  A busy day, but the laundry HAD to be done.

Today.

Because I don’t do laundry on New Year’s Day.

It’s not so much about superstition as it is about tradition.

My Mama honored this tradition in memory of her Grandmother.  Her sweet red-headed Grandmama Eulalia, who let my Mama help her cook and made her feel so loved, never washed clothes on New Year’s Day because of the old saying, “When you wash somebody’s clothes on New Year’s Day, you wash ’em out of your life.”

I don’t have any desire to wash anyone out of my life.

And because I won’t do laundry on New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve becomes a busy day of getting all of the things that we might possibly need the next two days washed, dried, folded, and put away.  It sounds a lot less involved than it really is.

Seven loads, y’all.

At least.

Present Me is really asking Me from the Past Couple of Days why on earth I didn’t do any laundry before now.  It piles up fast with all these folks around here.

So tonight I am celebrating the number 7 and the people behind it.  They bring me much joy, and so, by extension, does their laundry.  Their clothes in the laundry mean that they are here and doing well and that they have clothes to wear and to stay warm and dry and clean and comfortable.

And for that I am very, very thankful.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and in the words of my Mama, “Happy Everyday!”

Love to all.

 

 

The Sixth Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas…..

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six pairs of little bare feet.

Running through the yard, romping through the house.  Getting them where they wanted to be, catching skinks and lizards and frogs and lovingly creating them wonderful habitats.  Running after each other and riding bikes and scooters.  Wandering all over Blackberry Flats.  Or little bare feet, kicked back, relaxing, just being together.

The cousins are in town, and we are very, very happy.

Love and laughter fills my house and the one at Blackberry Flats, full to bustin’.

Merry memory making has commenced.

And yes, in the photo above, you have counted correctly.  There are only five pairs of feet and fifty toes instead of sixty.  That’s because when you play all day after a long trip from home and you are a little fella of a certain age, you just might not want your feet in a picture.  Even though they are the cutest little feet you ever did see.

You’ll have to take my word for it, because Baby Monkey wasn’t having it.  He had better things to do.

And I’m okay with that.

Thankful for all the sounds of little feet and big, for laughter and stories and make-believe and all the imaginations.  This is the most beautiful sound of the season, and this is what brings Christmas to my heart.

Love to all.

 

 

The Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas…..

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…..fi-ive things that sing.

For the second year, we have the droids you may or may not be looking for along with Merry Darth and Yoda Claus, singing joyfully in the front yard.  On the front porch our little snow friend is singing a familiar tune.

Better than gold rings.  Every single day.

When the sun goes down and they come back to life with the flip of a switch, they bring me joy, and that makes one more thing sing–

my heart.

But we won’t count that tonight.

Five is a good number for Christmas.  It’s a number that brings me joy.

Love to all.

The Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas…..

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“Happy new year 06463” by © Nevit Dilmen. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

four haikus for the season.

 

To Hallmark Channel and all your movies–

Hallmark, what you’ve done
is fill my heart with joy and
keep me up all night

I love getting all of the pretty Christmas cards from friends and family near and far every year.  But the unusual “card” from my sisterfriend stood out and warmed my heart.  Giving thanks for the gift of time.

The best Christmas card
Never came through the mailbox
A call from my friend

Just in case we tossed something not wrapping paper out after unwrapping our presents, I always wait to toss the bag.  At least 24 hours.  I know–Anxiety Girl and Justin Case work overtime on the “what ifs” as to what exactly we threw away.  

The wrapping paper
in a ball in the trash bag
Wait! Don’t toss it yet!

And this happened.  It was a fun and funny Christmas.  

Someone’s fav’rite gift
was in “Squatty Potty” box
I’ll leave it at that

Merry Merriment and Love to all!

 

The Third Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas…..

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Sweet ornaments made by my sweet friend that remind of the way the sounds of the season resonate with my soul and what a treasure friendships are.

Tonight I sat listening to the carols being played and sung by people who have come to be a part of my family.  As they sang and played the guitar and the flute and the drum box, I was, once again, moved to tears in the midst of “Silent Night.”  As I wondered why, the image of women singing this to themselves in the midst of waiting for news from the war came to my mind and heart.  I wondered what it was like for my Granny singing this back then.  Or my great-grandmother before her.

And then it hit me what a precious thing it is that they did.  They sang these same carols that I sang as a child and sang tonight.  The same ones, I’d venture a guess, that my grandchildren will sing along to one day.

Then I thought about three different Christmases and how dear they all are and how they connect me to my story–

Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future.

And for all of the new ways of doing things like tracking Santa with an app on our phones or sending Christmas cards through email or social media or going to the movies on Christmas day–all of which are wonderful in their own way–the old traditions that connect us to those who have gone before us are truly beautiful.  Decorating the Christmas tree, making homemade Christmas ornaments, baking cookies and other treats, singing Christmas carols, caroling, making time to visit with family and friends, reading the Christmas story together, sitting out milk and cookies for Santa…..

priceless.

Tonight I’m thankful for the traditions that have and will last through all three Christmases.  It is a good feeling to be a part of something that has come before and will last long after I leave this world.

Silent night, Holy Night…..

Love to all.

Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas…..

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two Mock Pecan pies.

Christmas Eve was my baking day.  I love baking as a general rule.  Our family has decided you either have the baking gene or the cooking gene.  Sister claims I got the baking one, while she got the cooking one.  “But your children are luckier than mine,” she said.  “It’s not like you won’t cook just because you like to bake–you’re going to feed them.  But me, it’s rare that I bake treats for mine.  Yours get the food and the treats.”

What I don’t tell her is sometimes, just ever so occasionally, the treats are the food.

The Fella asked for a Buttermilk Custard pie, and Aub wanted the Mock Pecan Pie.  I wanted to do some baking for other folks as well, and I wanted to get in one more batch of Mama’s Lucia Pepparkakor cookies (Swedish Ginger Cookies), so I knew I’d be in the kitchen for a while.

I have my Great Aunt Maye’s Buttermilk Custard recipe.  It makes two pies, so I started to work mixing and pouring and blending.  I preheated the oven, poured the mixture into the crusts, and placed them in the oven.  Then I was off on the next round of baking.  As I watched the pies, I noticed they weren’t behaving as per usual, but I shrugged.  I could taste test one and send the other as a gift IF the first tasted okay.

About the time I was pulling the pies out of the oven, I noticed the message on the microwave, alerting me to the fact that something was ready inside, and would I please remove it.

Huh.  I wondered who had prepared something and left it sitting there.  Seriously, people?  I went over and popped the door open and uh-oh.

I looked back at my pies.  And then at the butter sitting in the bowl all nice and melted. Sigh.

Okay.  So I had butterless buttermilk custard pies now.  Two of them.

Double sigh.

After Aub did a taste test and reassured me that the pies still tasted good–(yes, they had enough sugar, but they were missing the required butter portion of my Daddy’s test of something being good)–I went ahead and made a second batch of Aunt Maye’s Buttermilk Custard pies to have for gifts.  The first two would not be leaving this house.

As I poured the mixture into the pie crusts for the second time that day, Aub said, “Ummm, Mama?”

“Yes?!” I was more than a tad short with her.

“Ummm, shouldn’t the buttermilk be in those as well?”

I looked over and sure enough, there sat my buttermilk.  In the measuring cup on the counter, just as pretty as you please.

Y’all, I’m not sure I was meant to make those pies that day.

Still, I poured the mixture BACK into the bowl and stirred in the buttermilk and tried again.  They came out looking beautiful and just as they should.

It was after that fiasco that I made the two beautiful Mock Pecan Pies for Aub.  She says they taste really good, and I may or may not *ahem* be able to confirm that statement.

I also made two small pound cakes that day, but that hardly bears mentioning.  After years and years of making those, I can just about make them in my sleep.  Well, at least, let’s just say I have yet to leave anything more serious than the vanilla out of that recipe.

Two is a good number for Christmas.  Two batches of two Buttermilk Custard Pies.  Two Mock Pecan Pies.  Two times forgetting an ingredient and twice the fun and laughter over my mishaps now that it’s all behind me and I’ve gotten some good sleep.

There’s nothing like the good sleep of the night after all  the Christmas fun, is there?

Wishing you all at least two chances to get things right and twice the fun during this beautiful season.

Love to all.

 

 

First Day of Christmas

The first day of Christmas…..

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one cast iron pot of butterbeans!  (You sang that in your head, didn’t you? No?  Just me?  Okay, moving on…..)

On this beautiful day, I’m loving the amalgam of things old and new.  This old style pot was new to me today, and I washed it up and put one of our favorites in it.  I rejoice over the memories of Christmases past–with my cousins at my Granny’s, the suitcase I was given one year, the waking up time bargaining with my parents each year, the excitement, all the things I made over the years for gifts, the first one on my own, my first one as a Mama, the first one overseas, the first one without my Daddy, then the first one without my Mama, all the ones when the Fella was working and couldn’t be home with us, and all of the people we have celebrated with over the years.  While reflecting and rejoicing throughout our day, we also made many happy new memories today–especially the laughs over very clever gifts and jokes that we shared.  Our most often used line seemed to be, “Yay!  It’s a box!”

One is a good number for Christmas.  One special baby who changed the world.  One beautiful story that ties into all of our stories.  One world.  One minute at a time, one item on the list of to do’s at the time.  One step at a time, no more.  One brings peace.

And one cast iron pot that I love.  Full of one of my favorite foods.

On the first day of Christmas…..

love to all.