I'm starting to find my new rhythm. The projects around the house are less demanding, the dogs, cat and I are finding a routine that works for us and, even with the holiday, I feel like I can stop and take a deep breath. Which is really nice!
We will see how long I can stand it before I want to change something. I like shaking things up.
I'm really enjoying gearing up for the holidays. I don't enjoy the gift giving part anymore. I don't need anything, no one I love needs anything so it becomes difficult to find that gift that is lovely and useful. But I love the weather and I love making the home beautiful and festive and I love using the holidays as an excuse to catch up with friends and entertain.
Last weekend I started the dining area. It is the first thing you see when you walk in my front door so I have been having fun with it and trying to set it up so it makes a simple statement. I didn't want a traditional Christmas theme. I've been going more for an Asian Winter Solstice simplicity. Hard to see from this picture but a lot of natural elements like stone and wood accented with pottery and woven pieces.
I do need to figure out where I can put the "coffin."
I love this piece because it does a great job storing linens. My grandfather, who was killed in WWII, made it for my grandmother when they were in high school. It has gotten some water damage towards the bottom so I'm careful about where I keep it. But it is big (hence the "coffin" tag).
With room to breath I can pick up some important things like my knitting again. I only have a few pieces to finish before Christmas. Grandma's socks are one that needs to get done. They really were a quick knit, I just kept putting them down for extended lengths of time. It is the Broadripple pattern in Socks that Rock Mustang Sally. The colorway was one of the Sock Club colors so it should be available in 2008. I love how this color made up in the Broadripples. Grandma will be able to wear these a lot. Red never digitizes well because this red is quite dark. The color of cherry juice.
I also need to finish the entralac scarf I started last year. This gets sent to England so I need to wrap it up and get it out if it is going to get there in time. My aunt said she wanted something with color. Something that looked like stained glass. I think this really fits the bill.
This is my first foray into entralac and I'm really enjoying it. I started this quite a while ago and I had to force myself to put it down to finish something under a deadline. I'm knitting it in Nashua in the Jewels colorway. I'll need to finish this in the next few days and send it off.
OK, so one more housy thing. Back in the office, I hung some box shelves I purchased on super-clearance over a year ago. These are actually pretty hard to hang and they stick out so finding the room and function for them has been a challenge. I found a good space in the office and they fulfilled the function I always saw for them:
Feature the sock yarn! And Grandma has already picked out the color she wants for the next pair.
So updates completed, now I get to rant.
Things that annoy me during the holidays:
Commercials with adolescent-looking models. Old Navy, is anyone over 22 allowed to wear your clothing? Is that really the demographic you want to focus on? Because those of us who have the disposable income to spend at your store aren't deluded enough to think we will be "cool" or a size zero by shopping at your establishment. I'm annoyed enough by Old Navy to stop shopping there entirely. Which is too bad because they actually have a nice pair of jeans in the plus sizes.
Commercials that try to sell a new car as a Christmas present. It seems like an entirely unsuitable gift. A big ticket item like that should be a decision made together. I'm surprisingly stuffy about this.
People that are FEVERISH to spend money. On anything. Their goal seems to be to spend a certain dollar amount on people. I watch them in the stores and it is a little disturbing. It looks a lot a drinking binge if you have ever watched someone launch into one of those. This definitely puts me off spending money on gifts.
Commercials that have the supermom running a little ragged and dad picks up (or orders) fast food and it is like he has saved the day. OK, these annoy me all the time. So you ordered a friggin' pizza dude. It is nice that dinner is taken care of but you must be some kind of useless lump most of the time if this makes your family fawn like that. Maybe useless-lump-of-dad could microwave some vegetables for the kind of healthy meal needed during cold, stressful months like the holidays?
Mean people who are only focused on what they need to accomplish and aren't looking out for their fellow man. They are the ones that nearly run you over in the parking lot or leave their shopping cart in the middle of the aisle while they wander off. Is it really so hard to look around you and see that there are others in the world? While people get like this, I find that the only way to counteract this bad mojo and crummy feeling is to act the complete opposite. The more horrible they get in the parking lot, the more polite I get. I swear, it works.
Trader Joe's tourists. They annoy me all the time but they get really bad around the holidays. I do most of my grocery shopping there. I find that the prices for my staples are better there and the food I get tastes better to me so I actually eat it instead of letting it spoil. But there is a class of people who go in there just to look around. They wander aimlessly in the aisles blocking everything, they have no purpose and seem oblivious to everyone else. While I agree, it is a cool place to shop, there are still people with carts trying to get by you. Hellooooo?