It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Signs of the Season (SOS)

Several posts back I observed that the holiday season actually begins (for me) just before Halloween with the church's Harvest Celebration. I had planned to do a blog series on the signs of the season, detailing the things that I observed that confirmed my theory.  However, time passed and, although I thought about the series frequently, it just didn't get done.  So now I just have to offer the following list of the things I've observed in the last month (and please note it does not include all the seasonal merchandise seen in the stores since August).
1)  Wednesday night and sometimes Saturday morning choir practices, singing "Christmas, Christmas, it's Christmas time", getting ready for the Pops concert.  Director is frazzled and keeps repeating "people, please mark your music so we don't have to keep going over this".
2)  Cranberry Bread.  This has been a family tradition for at least 35 years.  I always make it for Thanksgiving morning, and time permitting, Christmas morning, too.  When the packages of cranberries appear in the store I know it is a SOS!
3)  Remember those nandina berries I posted about?  They are a delicate pink now.
4)  The Christmas cactus that came from my great-aunt Jessie's in Monte Vista MS put forth the usual buds the week before Thanksgiving and has commenced to bloom.
5)  The Dickens Village has re-appeared in my living room, thanks to Jaydon for the set up.
6)  Stacks of mail order catalogs, enticing the reader to spend, spend, spend (to the recycling bin you go, my dears!)  And those beautiful magazines filling my mail box with all their creative ideas for those who have creative time are now neatly stacked in a basket for a future read, maybe after New Years.
6)  Family gathered together around the Thanksgiving table; a Friday trip to the Country Peddler Show followed by dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant.  This is a long standing family tradition, a SOS for sure.
7)  Wreaths and garlands appearing on light posts and store fronts.  I especially love to drive through a nearby community that retains its '50s charm; their Christmas decorations remind me of those from my childhood.
More to come, the season is moving right along!
(Note that there are no pictures in this post.  Blogger has decided that I've used up all my free photo space.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mixing Seasons

I've been busy. Between a busy-work, non-productive job and school I'm busy.  Then add in preparing for Thanksgiving.  I'm busy.  I've had a lot of thoughts about blogging but haven't been able to sit down and get the thoughts out.  I haven't had to time to read other blogs, either.  But it's ok, life is good anyway!
I've always been a firm believer in not mixing the seasons.  After all, I was raised in the generation that didn't wear white between Labor Day and Easter!  I've always stuck to the tradition that one season's decorations were put away before the next season's were brought out.  Fall decorations stay out until Thanksgiving, then they go away.  The Nativity set is put up on the first Sunday of Advent and stays up until Epiphany.  The tree is put up the first weekend in December and goes down (more or less) on New Years.  The only exception to mixing fall and holiday seasons is the Christmas village. Some years I've put it up early in November (I love its soft glow and peacefulness!) and left it up until way into January.
Last year I broke my rules and got out some of the Christmas decos early.  I knew that Jaydon would be leaving to see his Dad before Christmas and not returning until after New Years so I wanted him to have as much Christmas time as possible.  And, that was okay with me, too, since I love Christmas.
So, last Friday night Jaydon asked me if we could get out the Christmas village.  I had to tell him, no we'll do it next weekend.  I was tired and had too many other things to do.  We discussed the fact that Thanksgiving is early this year so there will be an extra week to get out decorations and move into Christmas.  I'm sticking to my rules here, no mixing of the seasons. Then he asked when would we do the tree and got the answer, the first weekend in December. 
But then on Saturday I went out to run errands and I ended up breaking my resolution to stick to the rules.  Walmart had Norfolk Island Pines in their entry way, by the shopping carts.  No fair, tricked me into buying one!    So for the next week, Fall and a little Christmas will co-exist.  After all, aren't rules made to be bent a little?
Pupmkins and Christmas trees can co-exist!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

All you need is...

Remember the Burt Bacharach song "What The World Needs Now"?

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
Last week I finished one of my religion classes, New Testament History and Reading.  This was the third of the 4 religion classes required for an undergraduate degree.  Each week we had to journal our thoughts as we read for the coming week's class;  I found this to be very enjoyable since I love to write and it helped me to really focus on the reading assignment.  The week we studied Galatians I found this verse in chapter 5:  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
I know that I've read this verse before but this time it really jumped out at me.  Faith, expressing itself through love.  Without love we are nothing; without love there is no meaning to doing good works; without love there would not be God for after all, God is love. We are to show what we believe through showing love to the world.  I had to think of those lyrics to the Bacharach song:

Lord, we don't need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last till the end of time

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Season has started, I think

I've posted before that I love Thanksgiving because, among other things, it is the start of the Holiday Season.  But I now think that tradition wise (and busy wise) that it really starts the Sunday before Halloween with the church's Harvest Celebration. 

Here's my car, ready for Trunk-R-Treat
Sawyer enjoyed the afternoon and all the attention he got

Emma entertained herself by taking Ellie's pacifier out of her mouth and making her scream

On Wendesday I headed to Houston for the Quilt Festival.  This has been a fall tradition for me for the last 10 years. 

Wednesday was also Halloween!  What do quilters do for fun on Halloween?  We wear fun clothes and cat ears that make everyone smile!
This was made through a glass overlook window with a bad reflection but it shows what the vendor portion of the show looks like.  It is amazing and so exciting to be down there!  This view is probably about a tenth of the vendors.  I think there were over 1500 quilts on display in the exhibit section!

This is what I worked on in one of my classes.  I made the picture so I can remember how to put it together when I get ready to finish it.  There are twelve blocks in the quilt, each a different color combination.  And the nice thing is that all the fabrics used came out of my stash so there was no cost involved in the supplies for this class! 
Today the week ended with a visit to CokerFest, the church's annual craft show.  There are vendors all around the church selling everything imaginable.  Baylee went along this year.  She enjoyed the attention but I'm not so sure it was a good idea because it slowed down our shopping because everyone wanted to stop us to pet her!

So the first week of the Holiday Season has passed.  Now the planning and shopping begins for Thanksgiving.  The next few weeks will go by quickly, better get  moving - it's the Holidays!