Friday, December 22, 2017

the day before the day before Christmas Eve...

For years and years, grocery shopping was a source of stress for me. You're saving for your kids' college, the car needs new tires, the furnace is dangerously old and once again the grocery bill comes in higher than you had expected. Fresh and honest food is expensive. For a person like me who loved to cook daily dinners for her family, a good grocery store was a minefield of tempting stuff to prepare. I didn't much care for buying clothes or clutter for the house. But I cared about food. Shopping for it was tough.

These days, it's much more predictable and Ed and I have divided household responsibilities in such a way that I no longer fret about groceries. Our bill is the same each week and includes lots of produce (expensive) and beans (cheap). We've found our groove.

Along comes the shopping trip for the holiday family dinner. There is only one big meal that I'm preparing (as opposed to the three or four I would have done in the past). It, too, is predictable. And there are no college bills, my car's tires are fine, and Ed swears he can fix the furnace should it act up. Pffft! The stress is gone. And so after breakfast...

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...I indulge in the wonderful task of picking out foods at the grocery store for our holiday feast.

It's magnificent to be thinking about preparing something for Ed, and all the kids, and the grandkid.  A holiday meal is special and today I start in on the preparations.

Or at least I set up all the ingredients for it. In the afternoon, I put cooking thoughts aside. Snowdrop comes over to play. (She is on winter break and so her schedule is a little different now.)

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I'm thinking I should shuffle things around for her a little. After her nap (blissful nap!), I suggest we explore her (much neglected, because she always wants to play "school") animal kingdom.

Before long, she has them eating lunch and waiting to be picked up by their mommies, or, should mommies be unavailable due to work, their grandmas....

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Snowdrop always sets her own play agenda.

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Evening. Ed is in the sheep shed, working through some work issues. The little girl wants to go outside.

It's cold -- I tell her.
I will wear my jacket and my beautiful scarf (she is so complimentary) and my pink mittens and my boots!
Well, just for a few minutes.

What was I thinking? It's never few minutes with her. We visit Ed in the sheep shed, then, with the help of a flashlight, head for the barn to close up the coop. Not done yet. She leads wants to climb the chip pile out back.

She is the queen of the mountain!

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Heading back toward the farmhouse, she spies the moon. She never fails to address its splendidness.

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Into the house we go -- not because she has given up on the great outdoors. She wants to bring her babies out. Of course she does! A moonlit walk! Who wouldn't want to share this with the babies?!

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Night time. I finish my Christmas mystery book. I strategize my meal preparation. I put on my Christmas mix as Ed dozes on the (brand new-ish) couch.

We are happy.