Thursday, December 01, 2005


I'm feeling pretty good about the whole homemaking thing right now. People and house are being taken care of, holiday activities are off to a good start, and I'm even in the mood, after a too-long hiatus, to bake bread and treats and make dinners. Did I mention that the laundry is on a pretty good roll?

Seems a bit vague and everyday, I know. Here's the deal.


After our two feasts on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I thought I wouldn't get the Christmas decorations out until later this week. That worries me because I can end up putting off important Advent and Christmas things and we end up not enjoying the season and our family traditions to the fullest.

On Sunday evening, though, I decided to pull out The Boxes in order to switch the kitchen towels to the holiday/winter ones. While they were open, I got out the snowflake placemats made by Aunt R. and the big snowflake napkins bought on clearance one year. While I was digging around in the boxes, why not get out all sorts of kid-made stuff to put on the mantel?

Next thing I knew, Christmas music was playing, thanks to dear husband and his iTunes Christmas playlist on his laptop! So sweet -- he knows I absolutely love all kinds of Christmas music. Son1 got into the swing of things and eagerly helped move things, put away autumn things, and decorate the mantel. Yay!

First seasonal music played in Advent: whatever dear husband played Sunday evening. On Monday I listened to DirecTV's XM satellite radio's wacky Christmas music channel. Or maybe it was their Nashville Christmas channel? Probably both. On Tuesday Son2 and I finally brought out my box of Advent and Christmas CDs and tapes, and I played some instrumental Celtic Christmas music, followed by Leon Redbone's Christmas Island and two Amy Grant Christmas CDs. I snagged my absolute favorite for-the-car Advent/Christmas music: Kathy Mattea's Good News. Today at home I'll put on my ultimate favorite Advent/Christmas music: medieval! and a little bit of Renaissance; gotta have those celestial choirs.

Most of our Christmas decorating this year will probably be serious decluttering so we can enjoy our living areas. Plus the Advent wreath, electric candles in the windows, the decorated mantel, all of the Advent and Christmas books piled on the hearth, and, later, the Christmas tree. An example of the decluttering I mean: last night we put away everything that was on the card table and got out some jigsaw puzzles. Son1 put together half of dear husband's 3-d British telephone booth before bed, and when he finishes he plans to start dear husband's 500-piece flat puzzle of a violin, yikes. THIS is why I've wanted a card table!


On the house front: the handymen we hired to do outside repairs on our house have finished half the tasks over the last two days, which is a huge relief. The siding on the upper half of the chimney that was water damaged has been replaced and they'll also correct the problem, the problems with the vent openings at the peak of the roof are being corrected, and they'll be back to do the rest. Big relief to get that taken care of, with the money in the bank for it.

It's time to get quotes on replacing the back fence. And attend to some other household maintenance things, indoors and out. It'll be very good to get more things taken care of rather than worry about them.


As the weather turned cool and cold, we realized Son1 had some serious gaps in his cool/cold-weather wardrobe. I'm thankful to be connected to enough friends with boys of varying ages so we receive plenty of hand-me-downs for most of the boys' clothing needs. But this year I've noticed a big need for long-sleeved tops for Son1, and Son2 could use a few more as well.

Yesterday Son1 and I went to a big-box store and got a plain long-sleeved T-shirt, a waffle-weave long-sleeved top, a turtleneck, and a fleece pullover for him; a waffle-weave long-sleeved top and a fleece pullover for Son2 who already has turtlenecks and long-sleeved T-shirts; coordinating nice long-sleeved T-shirts for the two of them for church and other dress-up occasions; and khakis for Son1 for church (he revealed that he prefers them to jeans for church, surprising me!). They're all in great fall colors for my guys (deep red, khaki green, deep olive green, navy blue) at nice low prices. And I've introduced to them the idea of layering, an excellent idea in a high-heating-cost winter, a/k/a The House Will Be Cool.

The things that aren't hidden with hand-me-downs are (a) shrinkage and (b) durability. When something has already been worn a bunch, you already know the size it's going to be AND how it's going to last and look after some wear. I washed all of the new things last night and... Son1's plain long-sleeved T-shirt shrunk some and might be too small, but the rest came through the laundry just fine. Whew!

I would prefer to buy at a second-hand store (Son1's jeans came that way), but this worked for this season. This afternoon we keep looking for cold-weather shoes for Son1 to replace his basically shredded athletic shoes.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed...

Psalm 31
I've heard there's a possibility of snow after this upcoming weekend. Heh.

UPDATE: Son1 now has light-hiking-boot-type winter shoes, and Son2 has LLBean-style slip-on winter shoes. If this winter brings snow, ice, sleet, graupel, or even the lowly cold rain, they now have better footgear for it than this morning, and that makes me happy.

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