Saturday, January 21, 2012

Deconstructing Christmas

Hola!  It's nice and bright here today, and a balmy 13 17 degrees F - much warmer than yesterday!  There's a snow cover now.  In addition to the recent snow yesterday I'd say I got another 3-4 inches.  Good thing I had just got the driveway shoveled out the night before...

My footprints from last evening and critter prints in driveway this morning.
Seriously, this stuff is the fine gritty kind of snow and I'll go out and sweep/shovel it away later on.  Tomorrow we're due for a high of 36 degrees F and it will feel downright tropical!  Unfortunately, freezing rain and fog are promised along with the warm temperatures.  Blechy!  So, I will make the trek to the Pick 'n Save later on, around noonish, and rub elbows with all the other crazed shoppers, and pray I don't get run over in the parking lot, but if I do, mark my words, I will leave a VERY BIG DENT in your machine of death.

Today I am continuing deconstructing Christmas around the place.  The family room and dinette are now stripped bare of holiday decor - except for the flameless pillar candles, I'm keeping them out permanently, not just relegating them to Christmas use.  Today the more traditional look battery-operated candles that have been gracing the front window and the windows above the sink will be put away.  I am tempted to leave them out - I love the look of "candles in the windows." We'll see...

Look, nearly stripped bare of Christmas!  Just a few more tear drop ornaments to remove
from the barberry branches and those boxes on the mantle will be whisked away...
The room with the mostest is the living room.  I've got the mantle cleared of ribbon, candles, stockings hung with care, ornaments, and the Christmas-decorated topiaries that held down either side of the firebox are now wrapped in plastic and stored.  I'm taking the crystal and tear-drop ornaments off the barberry branches I've got inside a tall hurricane glass.  The branches will remain.  They look vaguely oriental, to go with my vaguely oriental accessorized room.  Christmas accessories from around the room are nearly removed.  It looks bare, naked and cold.  Would a 5 foot long t.v. across the mantle make me happier, I sometimes wonder...

The monster project is - THE TREE.  I keep looking at it and sighing.  Where to start, where to start?

I'm just procrastinating, darlings!  Right now I'm taking a break, deciding how I'm going to tackle the tree deconstruction.  I think I will start with the faux presents piled up around the base, and then remove the new tree skirt and give that a good shake-out before carefully tucking it up with tissue paper to avoid accessive wrinkling over the next 11 months.  Sigh.

It's probably more than a little silly to be feeling "blue" about having to do this.  One year I let everything up until the end of February!  But since I have a cleaning lady now, I don't want to seem er, excessively eccentric.  She's coming on Thursday and I want the house looking back to normal by then.  Dirty, but normal.

So, I've got boxes piled up on the coffee table and sofa, tissue paper all over the place, the vacuum is out and has already sucked up a quarter ton of glitter (it breeds in the carpets if you don't get it all, I tell you).  At least I'll be able to play around with the furniture again, shoving it this way and that to see if I can hit upon some combination, some angles, I haven't tried before.  I've lived here for 21 years so that's pretty tough to do.  The room isn't exactly small, but it's not exactly large either, and I must leave space clear for a path from the front door, it's my main path into the house since I don't drive and therefore don't pull into the garage and use the service door into the family room!  Maybe that's why I want new furniture.  Mind you, the "old" furniture is in near-perfect shape.  I (now my cleaning lady) vacuum it regularly, I have it professionally cleaned once a year, and I have faithfully flipped the cushions and fluffed up the Lawson-style attached backs at least once a month.  Stinky feet are allowed, but not dirt-encrusted shoes.

Looking back over the past 3-4 months, I realize just what a FRENZY I was in, geez!  I don't know what got into me, but whatever it was, the house has never looked better.  I realize, too, that all of that frenetic activity got me through a bleak, nasty time of year, despite the above-average temperatures.  This year, for some reason, winter really got to me.  WHAM! 

Unfortunately, I spent Thursday and last night (and okay, time this morning too) looking at those decorating blogs - I should NOT do that!  Damn!  They make me feel all itchy restless.  I think part of the problem is that after Christmas, I just want to get out and start working in the gardens!  LOL!  Hmmmm, guess I answered my own question - it was those decorating blogs that got into me.  Not envious of other people's beautifully large and well-put-together homes (this house is more than large enough for me, and quite comfortable for me, Mr. Don, Georgia and Michelle when they visit).  Maybe envious of having all that fricking TIME to work at making House Beautiful.

House Beautiful is important.  Yeah yeah, not in the greater scheme of things blah blah, but you know what, there's nothing quite like coming home to a well-appointed, beautifully-kept home after a damn long hard stress-filled day at the office.  A glass of wine, the fireplace on (in winter or rainy damp days), or stretched out with my feet up on the deck (weather permitting, any other time of year -- hell, Mr. Don and I were sitting out there enjoying wine coolers on January 11th!) .  All that nasty stress and b.s. that one has to deal with out-in-the-real-world just falls away like dragon's scales and disappears.  It's a form of magic, I think.

And there are still lots of things to do around here to get it looking the way I want it -- pictures to hang, I still have the issue of the towel rod in the bathroom that is now hiding in a closet so I don't have to look at it and feel guilty about not getting it back up on the wall; not after the fisaco of trying to do so and having to deal with the holes I created, eek!  Yeah, I patched them and painted them but they shout out to me every time I visit the loo...  Not to mention I'm sick and tired of the decor in the family room, but the furniture is still perfectly good even though it's not the red leather sectional I really want.  I will settle for wallpaper stripped off, the horrid stencil job I did around the ceiling banished forever, the oh-so-1980's sponged wall treatement and wallpaper border around the middle of the room gone!  I just can't figure out what color(s) I want the walls to be.  Where did all this indecisiveness come from...

Well, I think it's time for a glass of wine, a sandwich and back into the living room to tackle the Christmas tree.

Updated about an hour later:

About 11:45 I stepped outside, bundled up with shovel in hand, and attacked the driveway.  A scant 55 minutes later, and I didn't even have to take cold breaks to come inside and warm up - it's done!  Ta da!  The sun is WARM, people, WARM!  It felt so good.  I ended up working in my sweatshirt near the finish, huffing and puffing away and it felt so good.  Now the drive is already starting to melt, but the sun is now moving around near the back of the house.  The deck will start to melt now.  It's a mess.  I swept some of it off this morning but the rest of it - eh - I'm just going to leave it and take a nap.

Nothing makes me feel more decadent than snuggling down under an afghan on the recliner and taking a nice 2 or 3 hour nap, when I've just got loads of other things I should be doing.  Tee hee hee!

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