Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Scents, Sights, and Sounds

Boy, I have been busy. Busy writing all week on the rough draft of my historical mystery and this past weekend and Monday--getting ready for the holidays. The Arctic front which had Colorado and the West in its grip during the middle of the week actually helped with my first task by letting me hunker down, stay inside out of the frigid temps with the dogs, and write. As of Friday, that front moved on to create horrible weather for the Midwest and the East. But our temps and weather returned to Colorado Normal for December--sunny, sunny and temps in mid-40's. Yay!!

And that allowed me to put up the outside lights on a warm sunny weekend afternoon. I hauled down all the boxes of decorations and lights from the top shelf in the garage, cleaned off the dust of 3 years, and strung them all along the front of the house and the bushes. Voila. One job done.

Next, I bought the tree. And I chose a bigger, taller, fuller one than usual, maybe because I'll have three girls home. Who knows? When you're a mom, you just do weird stuff like that. Anyway, I chose an 8 1/2 foot thick Douglas or Frazier fir (I get them mixed up) and had the guys tie it atop my 1993 Explorer, Pearl. Pearl's still going strong after 235,000+ miles. She's my 2nd vehicle for snow days and driving the doggies.

Problem: Since the tree was bigger and heavier than usual, I had to roll it off the top of Pearl into my driveway, then roll it over the snow berm along edge of driveway onto the snowy yard (still a foot of snow there). Then, I used my newly-devloped arm and back muscle strength (acquired from working out in the gym with weights, mind you, since January) and dragged the tree across the snow towards my front sidewalk. That's when I noticed the tree was heavier. Oh, yeah. Tree stayed put until Monday morning when a friend came and helped me take it inside and get it into the tree stand, and--this is the tricky part--stand straight. Boy, that's when we both noticed it was a heavy tree. Whew! But, there it is in the living room, right in front of the windows, and oh my, does it smell good. Every time I go upstairs from the family room/office level I smell that wonderful scent of pine.

Other scents: Cinnamon and ginger and chocolate. Saturday night I decided to stay in and make my homemade Gingersnap cookies. I double the recipe so it makes a LOT of cookies. And what a treat to discover our family's all time favorite Christmas movie on TV--"It's a Wonderful Life." What a treat!

Sunday afternoon was for some shopping, then making the first batch of my Chocolate Mint Fudge, which I send and give to family and friends. Same with the Gingersnaps. Later, I attended a wonderful holiday chorale concert, complete with Dickens' Carolers in costume. Beautiful. Plus, the audience got to sing Christmas carols, which is always a treat. That makes two weekends in a row that I've gotten to sing. Which inspired me to put on my Christmas CDs at home.

And tonight---another batch of fudge plus I began wrapping presents. Shipping deadlines are coming up. This week, I will start decorating the house and keep making goodies.

Tell me---how are your holiday preparations going? Are you cooking/baking yet? Wrapping presents? Decorating?