Hello, everyone. I have had a really quiet week since I last wrote. I'm in the process of trying to organize a room I have downstairs that holds well, everything under the sun. It's going to be a very, very long project but I'm not trying to set any world records. As I weed through my Christmas stuff, I bring a little bit upstairs to get some holiday decorating going on in rooms we don't use so much. I get sort of anxious to take things down on December 26th because I'm not only bored with it but tired of cleaning around it. I actually keep these rooms very simple, some holiday pillows and throws and some little vignettes and poinsettias here and there. I have white slip covered furniture in my family room so the bright colors really pop this time of year. My daughter Abby spends a lot of time here during the holidays when school is out so the family room is her favorite spot. So, I took some of my holiday throws (and clean tablecloths) out of storage and gave them a little fluff in the dryer and Milo decided there should be no postponement whatsoever in bringing on the holidays!
I start off every Christmas season feeling over confident when I've actually purchased a few gifts. And I give myself a super big pat on the back that I've actually wrapped them. Oh, how we fool ourselves. By Christmas Eve I have shopping bags all over the place and I'm tossing gifts into little bags with a few wads of tissue paper and then slapping bows on them! Overconfidence is not always a good thing.
Monday I got to work on my newspaper column. I really wanted to do something special for the holidays. There is usually some extra space as some of the advertisements go down in the winter months considering they are usually for watercraft dealers, landscaping, dock installments...just a lot of things related to summer lake life. I don't count my words so I'm assuming it's going to be taking up a lot of room. I proofread everything about 5 times because once I email it to the editor, there is no way to correct anything. I think I will do a blog post with the December column so you can see what sort of drivel I write about. :)
I also got to work on some serious exercise. I read an article a few weeks ago that screamed, "9 weeks until Christmas and yes, you have time to get in shape!" Silly but I needed a little push to get moving. I get so sluggish once the weather gets cold. So I've started using my 5 pound weights and also lay on the floor doing crunches and leg lifts, just about 1/2 hour a day. And I had ordered this stair stepper thingy from Amazon. If you've ever heard of step aerobics, this is what I'm doing at home. At this point I don't want to renew my gym membership until after the New Year. If I can be consistent at home, then I know I won't go for a few weeks and then slack of. So I ordered the step thing from Amazon and it came Wednesday. It's so cool. You just step up and down on it and you get a much better workout then you would by walking. I also use my weights in my hands to get more bang for the buck. That gets the old heart pumping. Wow! What a workout, I was so sore yesterday. 5 more weeks til Christmas...
I've actually been a sort of homebody for most of the week. I did run out to get a carwash yesterday in spite of snow in the forecast. We have such cold winters with rainy, snowy, slushy weather that I thought it would be a good time to get everything cleaned and shined up. And I had my oil changed last week so I feel like I'm on top of things.
I love my holiday movies, you all know that, and I think The Husband actually likes to hear the holiday music I have playing non stop, even this early. Last Saturday I forced him to sit down in the den with me (I bribed him by opening up a bottle of Cabernet and making a little tray of cheese and crackers) to watch Love Actually. He was so into it! I've seen it at least 5 times and it was so great to see him laughing and smiling and loving all the different scenarios going on. He actually said he wants to watch it again as he was a little confused by who was who and how they were related. Have you seen it? What's your favorite story line? I think my favorite is the growing attraction and then love between the writer (Colin Firth) and the Portuguese housekeeper. I'm a hopeless romantic. Next---The Holiday.
The lake guest house/patio, January 2015
The weather people here in Chicago have been warning us about a huge snowstorm that was to have started about a hour ago, it's coming down but not really heavy. The Husband is heading up to the lake tomorrow to finalize a few things on the house repair/renovation. Yes, they are starting next week! It's supposed to be a 5-6 month project but I'm praying the dust has settled a little and we at least have a bedroom and bathroom so we can start going up in April. I'm going to have a lot of work in my gardens and with the landscaping work I did in the front of the house during the summer of 2014. It will be fun though, I love to be outdoors. I imagine the wisteria has eaten the front porch and balcony by now. And we have new neighbors. Two homes just to the right of ours sold and I'm really excited to meet everyone. The house right next door is a couple from Illinois, they are both teachers, or so I've heard. I wonder if they have dogs for Milo to romp with? And then the house to the right of them is a couple with 4 young children. I think we are going to have a great summer.
I won a giveaway that Debra from Common Ground hosted recently. These gorgeous velvet pumpkins were handmade by Becky of Timewashed. The packaging was so cute, I left two of them in the pretty bags tied with jute for you to see. And she included the sweetest card. What a great Etsy shop she has, go have a peek. Thank you, Debra and Becky! :)
Next Saturday The Husband and I are off to Cedarburg, Wisconsin to spend a weekend with my longtime blogger friend Cindy (Applestone Cottage) and her husband, Dan. I don't even consider her a blogger friend, she's a true blue friend who I've grown very close to. We've been meeting up since 2009 and this is a picture of us together on the very day we first met six years ago (look at my bangs!). We meet all over the place, this was in Galena, Illinois, a very picturesque little town near the Illinois/Iowa border. We've also met up in places like Lake Geneva, WI., Madison, Door County, WI. (just this past summer), and she and Dan also came to the lakehouse a few years ago and that was a drive of six hours for them. We always have a great time and now we're going to get together twice a year.
Today I went grocery shopping, I wanted to get it done so I didn't have to deal with 7 inches of snow in the parking lot tomorrow. And then I couldn't help but grab my 22 pound turkey and some of the items I needed for side dishes and desserts. I seriously don't know how I fit it all in the cart. Once I got home I cleaned out the fridge to make room for everything and scoured ever shelf and bin. I have so much food shoved in and balanced precariously, if you want something in the back you have to take about 20 things out to get to it! I'm always more content when I know I have that turkey though. Is that weird?
Abby will be on break from work next week and we have plans to go shopping at one of our favorite suburban outdoor malls. It's done up like a little town with cobblestone streets, lampposts and at Christmastime, holiday music comes from speakers hidden somewhere. I really love this place when I start my shopping.
I don't know if I'll have a chance to post before Thursday so I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you are surrounded by all of your loved ones giving thanks for a great abundance of food, family and friends.