Somehow, in the midst of crazy and busy and OMG how did Thanksgiving get here.. I'm quite on top of my game this year. I was thinking of what I need to do between now and 3 weeks from this past Saturday when all my brothers will descend on my house for our annual "Uncle Christmas" celebration, and I'm doing pretty good.
My Christmas cards are made, and all but 3 will be going out in the morning. (I am short one address, and I was short two cards. So much for not actually counting and just making 32 cards). I am tickled with how they came out this year. I used to make my own cards, and then the last two years were crazy and I didn't. I always vow to make them over summer break, and never do. So this year I decided I was doing it, and made the time. I did them in parts so that it wasn't so much work all at once and then got to it.
80% of my house has been fall cleaned, 1/2 of the insulation has been installed, and it's 100% decorated, inside and out. We've made a few changes this year, such as moving the tree in the front room to the 3rd place it's been in the 8 Christmas's we've been here.. and I think I love where it ended up. Photos of all this will grace the blog as soon as I can be home earlier than "OMG It's Dark Out". A few other decorations moved to a different location, and some were passed by all together. It's funny how your tastes/style stay the same and yet change a bit.
Zero baking has been done. I am kind of crabby about this. Our 4 year old stove decided that it wasn't up to the task of my baking, and the heat sensor crapped out right before Halloween. Like the day I was making cookies for our class party. The dude came and fixed it up brand new-like... but it took a good week or more and in the meantime I missed 2 weekends that I wasn't busy and could bake. Then ffwd through crazy/busy.. and I finally had some free time, and I had to bake 2 pumpkin pies and 3 loafs of blueberry bread for a 6th grade raffle to raise money for environmental camp. This is the last year I have to fund-raise for this trip. Thank. You. God. BTW, I've never made pumpkin pie before, and I'm damn impressed with how mine came out. I used a recipe from my favorite local King Arthur Flour and will make it again after Christmas for us.
90% of my shopping is finished, and all of it is now wrapped and stored away. I got up before everyone else on Saturday and wrapped all the gifts I had in my possession. Not too bad. I just have a few things to pick up and The Boy's big gift and I am all set. My long distance gifts have been bought, wrapped and mailed and I didn't have to get up at 4am or stand in any long lines. I did however enjoy my local stores and a lovely afternoon at the local bookstore and yes even a little bit of online shopping. It's all about the balance baby. I like the deals online as much as I like supporting my local shop-owners.
I was out running tonight and noticed that some of the spots where the road hadn't dried from the snow/sleet/rain we got yesterday and last night were slick and slowed down and moved off the road, and realized I may need to rethink my running route for the winter One of those "stays in the shade" spots was on my hill. I think perhaps both of the areas might not have been slick if I was running at a better time than say, oh, 7pm after the sun went down, but you have to do what you can when you can do it. But seriously... it was so worth it. I got to enjoy all the lights in my neighborhood that my neighbors put up this weekend. I got to enjoy the lights on the town common twice, at a slower pace than driving by. I was coming around the next road over behind ours on my 5 minute walk at the end of my run, and stopped and enjoyed a few planets and some gorgeous stars. It was beautiful and you don't get that at 4:00. (well, not yet anyhow.. damn winter). Two of my neighbors down the street have singing/blinking lights, and they have managed to get them in synch with each other.. so that as I went by I could hear the music over the music of my iPod. All we need now is a good snow storm. Or maybe I shouldn't say that too loud.