|Image courtesy |
of [Stuart Miles]/
IntroductionEarly this morning, as I finally get up after a night of sleeping and dozing, I am thankful there are some things in life that can be changed or improved. Like this piece I published yesterday, I am unfinished. I thought I had myself together, but I discovered I am actually a rough draft, a work in progress. Just as I am being changed, I have edited this post.
The title never quite set true with me. It felt awkward and uncomfortable. The original title was Warnings, Celebrations, and Victories. Perhaps, I was warning myself: slow down, be careful, you are overdoing. I knew that I had to rest yesterday. My activities were quiet, things I could do with my hands with my feet up. I think the most I did on my feet was fix two simple meals and clean up the kitchen.
One of the things I want to do this year is spend time in meditation and prayer -- quiet time, which can be refreshing to the body and soul. Spending time with our creator and Lord is important. It makes the celebration dearer.
Here's a quick list of ideas:
- Put up a smaller tree.
- Don't use every decoration you own, just the ones you like the best.
- Use bags for presents, or wrap one or two presents a day.
- Figure out which edible treat you cannot live without and make it. Or, maybe you can buy it ready made.
- If you have a party at your home, it could be "bring your favorite party food or snack." I can practically guarantee everyone will enjoy themselves.
- Maybe you think paper plates are gauche or a waste of perfectly good trees, but they don't have to be washed. Your energy is precious too.
A few days ago, I almost had a crisis about our Christmas tree, which my husband was eager to have up this year. I started melting down, because I felt like I was right back in the middle of clutter again. I didn't want to ask my husband to move the furniture, so I had the tree in possibly the most unbalanced position I have ever seen for one. In fact, it looked plain old ugly where it was placed.
The good news is there is progress at my house. It was not instant, but I am reaping the fruits of my labors. This is how I know baby steps work. I am experiencing it.
From feeling comfortable about short notice someone is coming to my house, to having one mantel decorated, to having the tree up, to having the Manger Scene arranged, and having three wreaths up, all before the second week of December, I am experiencing success. After my husband and I readjusted how the job was going to be done, I could breathe easier. Moreover, it was a boon not having to clean the living room before we decorated the tree.
I know it is going to take perseverance and many more baby steps to continue what I have started. I hope you know that too. May we continue to encourage one another, changing methods when what we are using doesn't work anymore. Thinking out of our normal boxes can revitalize and make our lives better.
Finally, if you haven't joined my Facebook Page, Chronic Fatigue and Creative Decluttering, the exchange of ideas and methods for managing our clutter and cleaning has been helpful. Also, look for the cookie recipe below the picture. I think I have had this "secret" recipe for forty years. It is one of the frills I don't want to give up this year, so I plan to make it. And, I can sit down to decorate the cookies.
|Image courtesy of [africa]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Nana's Sugar Cookies (possibly the best sugar cookie recipe I have ever tasted)
|Image courtesy of [apolonia]/|
Cream together 1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
Blend in 1 large egg
Sift together and add to mixture (I use sifted unbleached flour, so I just mix the following ingredients with a wire whisk.)
2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Divide dough in two parts. Chill 1 to 2 hours so it will be easy to handle. Roll dough, one part at a time on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters that have been dipped in flour first. Keep other part of dough chilled until ready to roll. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven (375 degrees) for 8 to 10 minutes. (Use a spatula to transfer the uncooked dough to your cookie sheet.)
If desired, Frost with Confectioner's Sugar-Water Glaze while the cookies are still warm. I like to make small bowls of different colors, and "paint" the cookies. I use an inexpensive water color brush for each color (wash the brushes first).
Confectioners Sugar-Water Glaze
Blend together 1 cup sifted Confectioners sugar and 5 to 6 tsp. water. Add food coloring, if desired. Brush glaze over cookies while still warm.