These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

 

A Few of My Favorite Things - Christmas in Hollywood

 

I have never understood why “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music is considered a holiday song. The mere mention of snowflakes hardly seems reason enough to qualify, but the song is about to be all over the danged place, now that it’s December, so I am obviously wrong in my thinking.

 

Anyhoo – I thought I’d share a few of my own favorite things to kick off the last month of the year. Bear in mind that if you ask me next week, my list will probably change. But this is today. And these are some of the things I’m digging on…

 

A Few of My Favorite Things - Squares

 

Squares. I’ve been crocheting all kinds of 9-inch squares to be made into blankets for women undergoing serious treatments at a local hospital. I don’t know how to knit, so I crochet. I don’t really know how to properly crochet either, so the squares turn out a little janky sometimes. That’s okay. It’s all done with good intentions and love, and I like to think those sentiments outweigh my lack of skill. I will likely never meet any of the recipients of the assembled blankets, and that’s okay, too. Doing something for others without accolades is ridiculously fulfilling. I highly recommend it.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things - Pearls

 

Pearls. I don’t own real pearls, but I do have a few strands of fake beauties. I wear them all the time and someone always comments about how they wish they’d thought to wear their own pearls. The large plastic baubles seen here are especially dear to me. I got them when I was 15 years old. I was at a thrift store in Griffin, GA, and when I spotted these, I knew they were destined to be mine. I can’t remember the price, but they were either fifteen or thirty-five cents. Either way, it was a bargain and I’m still smitten.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things - Sunsets

 

Sunsets. We’ve been having some real doozies lately and I’m loving them. I take as many photos as I can, for painting references. The thing about sunsets is they’re so spectacular, if I were to paint them, no one would believe it. They’re beyond anything I could come up with on a canvas, and yet I desperately wish I could capture some of what I see in the sky. I try, anyway. And I fail. And then I try again.

 

Mister! Mister!

 

Mister. He pretty much makes the list, no matter when. But it’s still nice to actually like the guy. And for some strange reason, he continues to come home every day. To me. I’m no picnic, y’all, and I know that he could change his mind about this whole till-death-do-us-part business and decide to mosey elsewhere in life. (It could happen.) So I appreciate whatever time I get with the fella. It counts. A lot.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things - First Christmas Card of the Season

 

The first Christmas Card of the Year. I always marvel that we continue to receive cards each December! Some of that awe comes from the fact that we occasionally don’t send squat, and reciprocity would dictate not receiving anything in return. But come December, that first card arrives and I start grinning. This year’s first-of-the-season greeting was from our mail carrier. She wanted to let us know that she was retiring.  I’ve liked that gal and she’ll be missed. But life keeps going (if we’re lucky and a cheet-o in a slumpy suit doesn’t get us all killed). So I wish our now former mail carrier the best as she embarks on the next part of her journey.

 

Happy Birthday, Gwendlyn!

 

Friends. The Social Season is in full-swing and I’m already tired. Grateful, but tired. Maybe it’s age, but I am in the throes of deep appreciation for my friends. I, like a lot of folks, know scads of people. But friends, well, that’s another matter. Having friends in one’s life – people we can call on in emergencies or times of need – is a blessing. I don’t get to see these friends nearly enough. But when I do, I catch myself smiling more than usual. I’d say that’s a pretty good sign of how much I care for them there folk. What a gift.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things - Christmas CDs

 

Christmas Music. Even though I don’t get the song referenced in this post’s title being a Christmas song, I still really like when all that great music rolls around. Mister and I have drawers full of Christmas CDs, and will likely add another to the mix this year. It takes a near Herculean effort just to get through them during the month of December. And that is why, Mister, we’ll start listening to them today. I really can’t believe I have to explain my reasons for this year after year, but since you seem to forget from one December to the next, Mister, consider this a written explanation. But I digress… Some songs are loved more than others, naturally, and I’m pretty excited to hear them. Yeah, sure – I may still be wearing flip-flops throughout the month, but a gal can dream. And my dreams are currently taking place in a winter wonderland. Where the soundtrack rules.

 

We’ve got 31 days left in this year, friends. Let’s make it count. I intend to live those days with some of my favorite things keeping me company. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to put on my fake pearls, load the car with a few good Christmas CDs, drop off some crocheting to be donated, visit with friends and pick up a Christmas tree with Mister and get home before sunset to start decorating the tree and stringing up the holiday card display. I may throw some Barb’s Boozy Eggnog into the mix. Why not? I’ve got to shake a tail feather though, as those flip-flops don’t do much in the way of keeping my feet warm after the sun goes down.

 

Goya Joy-a

 

 

The other night at the old painting studio, my mentor kept saying, “Where’s the radio station with the Christmas Songs? I look forward to those songs all year! Where’s the station?”

 

My friend Nicole and I were giggling about that for a few reasons. One – our mentor is Jewish. Two – it was barely December. And three – he was talking terrestrial radio, not satellite. As in old school.

 

After a quick Google search, I reset the dial for him and the holiday tunes rang out. My mentor was super happy about it, and I even found myself doing a little jig while painting. Goya or not, never underestimate the power of a Christmas song.

 

Have you started listening to holiday music yet? The clock is ticking people…

Passengers In Time, Lost In Motion, Locked Together

 

 

Here’s how it happened: I broke my own rule.

 

Every year it’s the same. I tell myself that Christmas Socks and Christmas Music do not exist until December 1st. And every year, I adhere.

 

Until this week. I don’t know what happened. I just couldn’t stop myself. Mister was late, so I dialed up the satellite radio to the Holiday channel and I let her rip. It was great. There was Johnny Mathis and Les Brown. Sinatra and The Crystals. Bing was there, and so was Marvin. I was – as Mister’s grandpa used to say – as happy as a denuded lark in a thistle patch.

 

And then I heard the garage door open, and I rushed to change the music channel. I mean, it’s November! What would Mister think? As quickly as I could – which was way too slowly – I changed the channel to the next option: 80s Hits.

 

Here’s what I can tell you: I was in heaven. First up was A Flock of Seagulls and “Space Age Love Song.” This is my very favorite Flock of Seagulls song and for some reason I decided to tell Mister my take on it. I’ve always “seen” it as a brief moment in time. In my mind – the lyrics are about simply seeing someone and knowing that person could mean capital L-O-V-E. But only in that moment. I’ve always seen the song as being about a solitary moment, and what might have been. Because it’s fleeting, I suppose the song’s moment holds more power for me. And I friggin’ love the chord progression. Of all their hits, it really is my fave.

 

Then came The Kinks and “Come Dancing.” This song has always befuddled me. I mean, how was it ever a hit? It’s a story song, first of all, and it’s incredibly sweet, for cry-eye. And as crazy as it is, I’ve always loved it. Knowing it’s about Ray Davies’ late sister only endears it to me. I will always love it.

 

Next was Van Halen and “And The Cradle Will Rock.” When David Lee Roth hits the lyric “Have you seen Junior’s grades?” – I am a goner. Every time.

 

And it just kept going. There was The J. Geils Band, Billy Joel and Mike and The Mechanics. Kenny friggin’ Rodgers was played, for God’s sake. By the time The Fixx and “Secret Separation” played, I admit – I was drunk. On nostalgia. On wine. On love. On 80s music.

 

I am an 80s lady. I own it and I love it. I think the thing that got me about the other night was this: I’d forgotten just how much I love 80s music. That brief reminder was heartfelt and darling. I’m still reeling. Happily. Yeah.

Christmas Cheer!

 

 

I’ve been on a cookie run the last couple of days. Mister and I are surrounded by homemade toffee, peanut butter blossom cookies & holiday cookies. We’re going with a red and green theme this year, and so far the cookies are gorgeous!

 

But you don’t just blink your eyes, then wait for cookies to magically appear. A gal’s got to make those danged cookies. And for that, I have rules…

 

  1. I must wear Christmas socks. And I do. I have a lovely assortment and I enjoy putting them on, even if no one can see them. I still know they’re there.
  2. The kitchen must be tidy when I begin. I only remove from the cabinets what I need. If I’m making more than one batch in a single day, I clean between batches. I don’t live by this rule all the time, but during cookie time I insist on it.
  3. I must, must, must listen to Christmas music. And I pull out quite the variety: Toots & the Maytals, the gang from South Park, Ray Charles, Vince Guaraldi, The Kings Singers and Louis Jordan, to name a few. I start jonesing for Christmas music around mid-November, but because I have rules, I don’t pull out the tunes until December 1st. And since I waited a week and a half to start my holiday baking, I held off on the Christmas music as well. But now that I’m in the cookie factory, the Christmas music is blasting like trumpets. And I love it!

 

Next step is delivering the baked goods. I think that will be a good time, too. I may even wear my red shoes. I’ll definitely be wearing Christmas socks. Like I said, even if no one can see them, I’ll know they’re there.

Ring, Ting, Tingling, Too

 

 

Yesterday morning found me out and about. Early. I treated myself to coffee and breakfast. And Faulkner, which I’m this close to finishing. I had a great seat in the shop and was able to watch the other morning folks trickle in for their fare. It was lovely.

 

After I’d been there a short while, I realized I was listening to Christmas music, piped through the store’s sound system. It was “smooth jazz” Christmas music, which isn’t my fave. But it was okay. It was more than okay, actually. I enjoyed it.

 

And this surprised me. I overlooked the smooth jazz and just listened. To Christmas music. In November. I was shocked at myself. Really.

 

Maybe I’m ready to feel a little holiday joy. Maybe I’m in need of some winter magic. Maybe, just maybe, I’m longing for a Christmas miracle or two. I don’t know. But it was a morning well-spent, and it set the tone for a grand Sunday.

 

Can’t fight that funk.