Holidaze

Crazy “To Do” List

Lina arrived safely from Chicago for Christmas, meaning it was time to relax and play and enjoy the holiday, right? Only I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, I pretty much put her straight to work. (Tell me I’m not the only one with a crazy “to do” list in her head?!)

Well, we let her refuel first.

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Twice.

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I’ve been wanting to build a snowman for days, but it’s been so cold the precipitation has all been powder. Finally, it warmed up enough the snow could stick and then (of course) it all started to melt. So, first things first, we made 3 tiny snow creatures…

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Quickly.

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Next there were cookies to be baked and decorated at mom’s house with both Lina and Logan…

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And then the real work began. Lina introduced me to the 21st Century. (I don’t always move quickly.) She set me up on Facebook.

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I’m only about 10 years late to the party and I’m really planning to stay only as long as we can talk about art. And I can already hear my more literary friends practically screaming in unison (some with really bad Scottish accents)… “and the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.”

But I’m here now, and Facebook actually let me open a personal page and an artist’s page, and a few of you already like me. You really LIKE me!

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I will try to keep up with the whiplashing pace and volume of information (Hey Deby!!), but I will also be honest and say my hope for Facebook is that I can finally share what I’m doing with my art with a much larger audience. Color me crazy!

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I hope your crazy “to do” list is as short, and sweet, and colorful as our plate of Christmas cookies. And vanishes as quickly!

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Merry Christmas!

Ready? Set! Be Merry!!

Christmas Vacation has officially begun in the Chambers’ household! The only work that will get done around here for the next 4 days will be holiday related. Or it will just have to wait.

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I will not answer my phone unless this face appears under the number:

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or this face:

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I will encourage lazing by the fire:

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and wearing fuzzy slippers all day no matter how much they look like Snug’s disemboweled rat toy:

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I will be charmed by sequined felt:

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and folksy wood block houses:

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I mean really, what’s the point of going to the trouble to do all the decorating and baking and party planning and present selecting and making and wrapping and mailing and opening if we don’t take the time to enjoy it too? Anyone?

So, my plan is to do just that! And that, as they say, about Wraps it Up!

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Somebody quick, bring me an Eggnog Latte!

Jolly Man’s Trusty Krewe

We all know Santa wouldn’t get anywhere without his trusty reindeer and so it goes without saying my Jolly Man has his own Krewe as well….

There’s Orangina:
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and Frida:
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Carl Jung:
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and Brownie:
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King Tut:
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and Camille, who always has a bit of a cough:
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Here’s hoping your Holiday Spirit has as happy a lift off!

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Art you glad it’s December!

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I am a visual learner and I’m an artist. I see things in my mind first and then “create” them in the material world — that’s what we artists do. But I also see things in the world around me which I haven’t created or seen in my mind first and those things bring out emotions or ideas which lead to new “creations.”

All of which is a very convoluted, philosophical way of saying that the absolutely quickest way for me to get into the holiday spirit is to bring on the visuals: trees, ornaments, lights…ACTION!

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Being in the holiday spirit is in itself a convoluted and philosophical topic. One which I will leave to others, and will instead touch on only in regard to making fun stuff to decorate with during the Winter Hoo-rahs.

You know “I Paint Everything!” — so when I find something which is actually supposed to be painted my inclination is to do it differently from the standard expectation. Make it mine.

This papier mache Santa is right at home with all my painted patterns, and he looks quite a bit like a much taller jolly man who lives here year round. I’d say I made him mine.

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Now he’s a regular part of my Winter decorating and every December he helps me get into the holiday spirit so I can make more fun stuff and enjoy the season. More of my “creations” in the days ahead, but for now…HOO-RAH!

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Gobble Gobbled

Logan came home today for Thanksgiving. Of course the thing to do while I cook is watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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And maybe play a little with Snug during the commercials.

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While Logan and Mike watched, I got the turkey in the oven. I still use the instructions mom sent me the first year I ever made a Thanksgiving dinner by myself.

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I also made the potatoes and the green beans and the gravy. And the parade marched on.

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Then it was time to eat. And in ten minutes we were done.
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This was all accomplished by 1:30 when we headed to the movies to see “Catching Fire” the second in the Hunger Games trilogy (no irony in that selection I can assure you!) after which we took Logan and his ample leftovers to his home, made a mad dash back to our house to change clothes and meet my parents at Barbacoa for our nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Because once again, it was time to eat.

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“Blessed” gets tossed around casually all the time. Heck, I get blessed every time I sneeze. But I do truly feel blessed to live such a wonderful life with such a great family, and for all of them, I am thankful.

And now I must go lie down because I think I ate too much. Again.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Gobble, gobble.

El Dia de los Muertos or Dead on my Feet

Dead on my feet…that sounds so weird. Let’s just say my plans to post daily got derailed by our big transitional move weekend which has overnight become an 18 day transition thanks to a graveyard shift SNAFU. I am putting on my game face now…

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We are moving Logan into Supported Living, so yesterday we busted ass signing paperwork, renting a van, buying furniture, moving furniture, taking apart and putting back together furniture, and today we get to do more of the same. His new digs are starting to look great, and in spite of being only a skeleton crew and working our fingers to the bone we are feeling celebratory.

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El Dia de los Muertos always feels like a celebration to me. There is sadness for who and what we have lost but I choose to remember the joy and the happy times and let the bad times go. I never have been one to wallow. I’m all in, and when it’s over, I’m done. Over and out. And when I’m out, I like a good celebration. Win, win.

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Year before last I participated in an exhibition of ofrendas for El Dia de los Muertos and my altar was dedicated to my lost youth.

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Do I really miss my youth? Heck no! I spent my youth wishing and working for everything I’m enjoying now. My family, my home, my art. I do look back fondly on my flat abs, but you can’t have everything. (All at the same time.)

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So, I may be dead on my feet, BUT I’m on my feet. Win.

BOO!

Welcome, all you Trick or Treaters!
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We take Halloween to heart around here.

We have for a long time. Halloween 1988, I was the Monster Bride, Mike the Monster Groom, and Lina made the perfect Monster Wedding Cake!

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Then, she grew into a beautiful Wicked Witch, er Princess…

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with an adorable Little Logan Monster for a brother.

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Perhaps the fact we eat nothing but sugar from sunrise to sunset on October 31st has something to do with why we’re so sweet on this holiday.

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And why my Hallo-weenies are preternaturally perfect:

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On the other hand, our table manners DO seem to suffer as a result.

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Not that I really care. One more peanut butter cup and I’m going to start believing that pile of pumpkins and squash on my front porch might actually turn into a bird and fly away. Silly me!
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Orange you glad it’s Fall!

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The 1st of October I put Danny Elfman’s soundtracks for Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and all the others on my iPod on repeat. I start sneaking Reese’s Cups, crave Pumpkin Spice lattes and watch endless marathons of Vampire Diaries, Lost Girl, and Walking Dead on Netflix. I plan escapist afternoons watching my Van Helsing, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, and Trick or Treat DVDs, to say nothing of all the Tim Burton films Danny Elfman’s soundtracks above accompany. I am a happy girl.

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Of course the house gets a Fall spiffing and for inspiration I needn’t look any further than outside my front window…
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Inside we get cosy. I put away the summer cottons and take down the screens from the windows. I bring out the Indian bedspreads, the faux fur throws, and the spicy potpourri to put around the candle.

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The faux pumpkins join the party too. I’m actually a big fan of faux. When you are on a limited budget there’s nothing like buying a decent fake once and having it for years. We’ve had the same Christmas tree for over 20 years (you’ll meet her in a few weeks).

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I think when you invest material things with meaning, especially if you alter them in some way as I do with second hand stuff, that makes them even better. Even if it’s just a pumpkin you glued some fake flowers on and bring out year after year. That’s a good thing. Not a freaking Martha “Good Thing.” It’s a Better Thing than that. I don’t make this stuff up. You have heard of the Velveteen Rabbit? Something about investing that faux thing with meaning makes it come alive. It’s weird I know, but I actually think those pumpkins can’t wait to join the party every October.

Me either! In the meantime though I think I’ll just take a moment to put my feet up and enjoy the view. Orange you glad it’s Fall!

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