Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Checking In

I was up for hours in the dead of last night.  Insomnia is such an anxiety junkie.  I tried every known tactic of diversion, yet I kept circling around the same worries. Fears are so much scarier alone in the dark.  There is nothing worse than the rest of the house or block sleeping soundly while your own mind races and roams.  I finally fell back to sleep just before it was time to get up.  You know that drill...right?  That makes for the kind of entry into a new day that I find a little abrupt.  It leaves me akimbo.  Nothing a few cups of coffee and a little time here won't remedy. I'm already laughing about the lunch I packed T. Bone: two kinds of crackers, clementines and a candy bar.  Not my best effort, yet still much better than the things many of his friends bring.  Then I went on to pack Miss Bit a lunch even though she wanted hot lunch today.  And packing her a lunch is no small feat.  I've come to realize that she's not so much picky as she is particular. Tell me you know the distinction.

I'm just happy I don't have to leave the house today.  Coach and I shopped yesterday from 9 o'clock in the morning until almost 9 o'clock at night with an hour break for lunch and a wimpy 15 minute nap in the afternoon.  We made a dent, but have a ways to go.  It was exhausting both physically and spiritually.  I love to give gifts, but this year the consumerism of Christmas is weighing heavily upon me.  It's piggish to buy more when we all have so much.  Wolfish too. Christmas shopping has not been an exercise in civility.  Patrons can be cold and greedy. Associates can be aloof and even surly.  It furthers my deep down feeling that this is not what it's all about, but then we know that even as we continue to ignore what is always true: our actions speak much louder than our words.

Today my actions will include baking.  I haven't started a batch yet and I'm not exactly sure how far I'll get, but the kids have started asking after their favorites and that's all it takes.  I usually end up making about 10 different kinds of cookies.  We all have our requests, and then my inner Martha kicks in and I feel the need to round out the choices so as to make a pretty, balanced platter.  Really my cookies are not the most tedious or fancy, but they taste good.  They taste like my childhood and I guess that's why I do it. I'll also whip up some Irish cream. It's so much better homemade than store bought especially if you use good whiskey.  It's all about the Jamesons. I use Paula Deen's recipe, but I should get my mil's.  Her Irish cream is my favorite.  I keep the bottle she gives us.  The bottles I make I like to give as hostess gifts.  Really who needs or wants another set of festive spreaders or coasters or glass charms?

Later today I'll roast a chicken and maybe some potatoes for dinner.  Roasting anything brings me such a sense of immediate earthly calm.   First the sight and then the smell.  Ultimately the taste.  And it's the gift that keeps giving because a pot of stock simmering away on the stove the next day is the most extraordinary of elixirs.  I plan to find time to finally finish The Telling Room too.  How I have struggled with Paterniti's work!  I've got less than 70 pages now, and just now the story is flowing for me...the pages are flying.  I think it was just not what I thought it was going to be. Errant expectations can be the most stalwart of road blocks.  Over the weekend, I finally finished Sense and Sensibility.  I've been involved with Austen's first novel since July.  Life and faulty equipment are to blame, and just maybe the fact that I have the tendency to read five to seven books at a time.  I'm no Janeite, but I rather loved her take on the rules of inheritance and may continue on chronologically through her works. As an English major I'm ashamed to admit I've only read Pride and Predjudice and Emma. The movie is on hold for me at the library.  If I am lucky, I may find time before dinner to watch Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Greg Wise as Elinor, Marianne, Edward and Willoughby.  I think I can entice my movie loving Miss Bit to join me. Who knows...if I get her started at 9, she just may become a Janeite.  There are certainly worse things to be.

Well, after rereading this entry I see that I really must get busy.  Today's list is a long one...a satisfying one.