If The Fates Allow

I don’t feel like telling any stories today.  Instead, here are a few of the thoughts that are swirling through my head.  Keep in mind that Christmas is not my favorite time of the year, so if I sound cranky here it is because I am.  And quite frankly, why aren’t you cranky too? 

::  I haven’t started to address and sign our Christmas cards yet.  I thought that I’d leave that task until tomorrow when I have the morning to devote to it.  I like to send cards because they are personal– or at least they can be when done right.  The right way according to me?  Hand signed.  Group photos, if included, have the names of the people on the back.  A newsletter, if included, is succinct.  If someone does not abide by the above, then I tend to doubt that he or she is sincere when sending the Christmas card.  And I remember this.

::  I spent the weekend cooking.  On Saturday I tried a new recipe for roasted chicken with root vegetables that was a failure.  The only thing that we could salvage from it was the roasted red beets– the rest of it never cooked right.  On the other hand on Sunday, I jazzed up an old tuna noodle casserole recipe.  I turned a plain dish into a grown-up feast by using WW pasta, adding some white wine, throwing in some smoked paprika, topping with panko bread crumbs spicy chipotle pita chips + gourmet parmesan cheese.  *yum*

::  Anyone else finding the incessant Christmas music in all the stores to be especially annoying this year?  I dislike it to begin with, but in light of the Sandy Hook Massacre I find the jolliness of it to be inappropriate… rude… disrespectful.  Live music has heart, but this stuff is just wrong.  We are a nation in mourning this Christmastime.  And the music, which can easily be changed, needs to reflect this.

::  There is no sign of snow around here;  instead, we have lots of rain and lots of gray skies.  Some years December is like this.  It makes for a less than festive atmosphere during what I am told it the most wonderful time of the year.  While at night I enjoy the contrast of the bright outside lights juxtaposed against the late autumn gloom, during the day the grayness overwhelms me.  Any thoughts that I might have of Christmas merriment dissipate into the bleakness.       

::  We don’t exchange presents with very many people.  When it comes to family, all anyone wants is gift cards/cash so that’s what we get them.  EZPZ, no?  I so enjoy giving the gift of shopping to other people who enjoy going shopping– unlike me.  And as for the rest of our holiday gift giving, I am only beholden to find some small items which I either put into pretty bags with cheery tissue paper or wrap in simple paper with a wisp of ribbon.  For us, gift giving is the easiest holiday thing that we do. *hallelujah*

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

25 thoughts on “If The Fates Allow”

  1. I really like Christmas, even though it is the busiest time of year for me. But I do love all the music that I’ve been a part of and still have to go. I enjoyed shopping for my kids this year instead of just sending them $.
    I went to a choir concert last night that was outstanding. A group of 5th graders sang after the adults and all I could think of were the sweet little children stolen from their families in Connecticut. But it was important for these kids to perform for the community to show all their hard work, and they were amazing!
    I love living in SC because of the weather. There are definitely more sunny days than not, and that makes me have a brighter outlook overall 🙂

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    1. Beth, you’ve always been a Christmas groupie! I like the meaning of it [peace on earth, goodwill toward men] but dislike the insincerity and greed that surround the holiday. For me it’s too much food, drink, people, stuff, noise at a time of year when Mother Nature is saying: “It’s dark outside. Go to bed early & rest.” The cognitive dissonance does me in. 😉

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  2. I agree with most of your crankiness. As you know, I’m making Christmas cookies and such to give to some friends and got a few small gifts for Mom, Dad and myself. Haven’t gotten to cards yet – I’m just sending them to people who sent to us this year and I don’t feel like doing newsletters.

    The weather is pleasant here. It’s supposed to be 63° here today and I don’t mind that at all. I’ve got snowmen on my computer wallpaper and that’s really all the snow I need.

    And yes, all the forced jolliness is a little hard to take. I went to rehab on Friday and while some of us were watching the news, other people were laughing and whooping it up in the background and it just made me nauseous. It just doesn’t feel like we should be merry this year.

    I think, by the way, that most of your roasted root vegetables would take longer to cook than your chicken. You might try par-boiling them first if that was the problem.

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    1. Zazzy, I wish that our weather was like yours [& Beth’s]. It would be a more pleasant holiday if there was some consistency to our weather in December. Unfortunately, we can have anything from 55º to 10º with sunshine, rain &/or snow. Knowing what to wear is as big of a challenge as all the rest of the Christmas traditions combined.

      I can imagine how weird it must have been to have the party jolliness & the horror of the shootings going on simultaneously. I’d be nauseated too.

      Good idea on the root veggies. The flavor on them was delish [tarragon, white wine + olive oil], but they were too hard to eat. I’ve never tried anything like this recipe before, so I’m not too bummed that it didn’t work. Next time I’ll do better.

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  3. I agree with ALL of your crankiness and it’s intensified this year by my loss and the nation’s tragedy. I love Christmas music but hate the canned, cheesy songs I hear in stores. We have snow on the ground today. I’m on bereavement leave so I didn’t have to drive to school in it, although my district is 2 hours late. Hate the fact that my younger daughter has to drive a 100 miles to get home in this iffy weather. Bring back the rain!!

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    1. Margaret, thank you. You’re so right about the music– it’s cheesy. As for the weather, it is getting stranger every season. Here’s hoping that you get the rain that you want for Christmas. And that you & the girls have the best possible holiday, everything considered.

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  4. I love Christmas- but not the blaring “popular singer of the day” versions of the songs, and not the short sleeve/rain on the way and it’s already muddy weather, and all the stuff everyone wants me to do because they don’t have time.
    We are going easy for meals this year. And trying to have cheer without frenzy…but it’s hard.
    Hope you have a merry within reason day

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    1. Philosophermouse, I realize that many ppl really enjoy this time of year & I’m pleased about it. I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade [pun intended] but for some of us all this hoopla wears on the nerves. And reinforces the feeling of being outsiders at the party. Or so it seems to me.

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      1. This year seems especially, hard to find the right word, it’s the hoopla – and some serious drama that is draining, but I am trying to stay in the holiday backwaters myself – I so identified with what you say here – the blaring frenzy is overwhelming the peace and joy that should be here – which is sad since normally I’m the one that drive my family nuts with Christmas. Warm quiet sent your way!

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  5. Holy cow! I thought I didn’t have the spirit but you win hands down! We have to get through it for the children in the family. My granddaughters had one of their classmates killed in the Colorado movie massacre so my step-daughter and her husband are struggling with what to say to two 7 year old girls who have had more tragedy in their lives than they should have. Except for them, it will be a simple holiday. And yes, root veggies take longer. You can put them in earlier than the chicken. That would work too. I love roasted veggies. Easypeasy!

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    1. Kate, I can see why you need to be upbeat this Christmas. Your poor granddaughters. Kids shouldn’t have to deal with such things. Yet they do, don’t they?

      Thanks for the tip on the root veggies. Makes sense. I’ll get those darned things cooked right yet!

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  6. Hey Ally . . . Thanks for stopping by my blog. Since you are a new face, I wanted to stop by yours. You are adorable! Sorry about your toe. Feeling better now?

    Also, I agree. It is hard to be upbeat while in mourning. So sad.

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    1. Hi Robin, my toe is much better. Thanks for asking. I’ve progressed from sneakers to loafers now, so I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before I can walk on pumps. This was definitely one of my dumber moves.

      And you’ve explained it well– upbeat during mourning is difficult for me. So sad, indeed.

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    1. belle, please do send some snow this way. We already did our fall maintenance on our snow thrower, so we’re good to go. Just need a bit of the white stuff to make it really seem like Christmas here.

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        1. I used to call them snow blowers, but I was corrected by some sales guy at Lowe’s. There’s some difference btwn the two machines, but darned if I could tell you what it is. Feel free to use whichever term you like when speaking with me; and I shall do the same with you.

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  7. It is not my favorite time of year either. I keep letting go of more and more of the “have to do” things and that seems to help. That and wearing ear buds while shopping 🙂

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    1. winsomebella, you are a genius. Ear buds! But of course.

      I, too, have let go of most of my have-to-do* Christmas things. Now I stick with the few things that I like to do– and you know what? Christmas turns out just fine.

      * When typing “have-to-do” the autocorrect on this machine turned that phrase into: “hate-to-do.” Apparently this machine is rather Freudian.

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  8. I’ve been missing my blog-hopping time, and I wanted to pop in with a quick hello. I’ve been missing you. I hope you are having a very, very wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas, friend.

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