Running to the finish line....

Isn't this just the B.E.S.T. time of year? Christmas was wonderful (hopefully yours too), but it's behind us, and I know that for a fact because I was at Target yesterday and the only gift wrap left was Pepto Bismal pink or just plain ugly. So ugly that Cub Sweetheart said to me, when I considered buying it anyway, "Bev, that's really not very nice." Which may have meant he didn't want any of his packages wrapped in Pepto Bismal pink next year. Understandable. The shelves, full only days before, had all apparently been attacked by a hoard of locusts, til they were picked completely to the bone.

So I bought a few garlands of white things and brown things, to decorate for winter. Which will stay up in Idaho until May, and in Texas til March 1, which explains why we spend most of winter in Texas instead of Idaho..... March decor in Texas involves beach towels and flip flops and such.

Both of my daughters have earned reputations for stripping the house of anything Christmas at the earliest possible moment, and sometimes that's in the waning hours of December 25. I'm more of a 'leave it til mid-January' unless life is packed too full, and the stuff around me begins to get under my skin and the need for cleared out spaces takes over. Which likely explains why my daughters, with six  kids between them may undecorate so quickly. When I was at their stage of life, and it all started getting to me, I generally gave away pets and toys. They undecorate.

As of today I've got five days to finish up anything 2014, and one of them doesn't really count since it's New Year's Eve and that day will be spent baking and cooking for a get-together still to be planned I suspect.

Here's what's left:

Finish reading the Bible, and the books left would normally take three months, but I'm determined to finish. It's much like, in a very sacrilegious way, accomplishing the first few of the eating challenges on Survivor, only to quit when they get to live bugs or cow blood. If you can't make it through the whole challenge, then why did you eat the first few bugs and such? So I'll be reading the Bible every chance I get for the next five days, trying to finish. I'm thinking that I've already read Leviticus and Revelation (my two least-favorite books) will help ensure success.

Knit the rest of this stocking cap, which was coming along swimmingly until I left the pattern in the back of the seat in front of me on the plane, because someone was trying to escape her on-board crate. After a mere two hours of searching online, which could have been spent reading books of the Bible or knitting said hat, I finally, finally found it, and have learned to save patterns to my Ravelry library. I'm thinking this hat will stay on my head, but not smash my hair so that when I remove it I appear to have been on the deck of a boat, blasted by lake mist for hours on end. For any knitters out there it's called Sarah's Highlander Beret Knit Hat, knitted and designed by Catherine Basten - free on Ravelry and easy peasy to knit up. If you don't lose the pattern.

Spend several hours fretting over the fact that one of our Christmas boxes has yet to arrive, in spite of spending $45 to ship it through the post office, with tracking and insurance, which so far has not helped a whit to ensure its delivery. I sent the post office an email this morning, and they assure me they will respond in three days, and I have complete faith in that, based on their great service so far.....

Spend a few more hours trying to remember what was in the lost package, so if and when it doesn't arrive I will be able to file a claim and figure out how to show the value of my 20 year old snow pants, or all the hand-made gifts I spent hours making. Not bitter. Not crying. Not cursing.

Read Shepherd's Abiding again. When I'm not reading books of the Bible, because it is the perfect read between Christmas and New Year's. After meeting Jan Karon earlier this year it's an even more special read, so I'm copying my cyber-friend, Becky who rereads it every Christmas.

Make a starting list for books to read in 2015, half fiction and half not. Santa gave me Wild, and a book I think is called Me Before You, plus I've got a Shauna Niequist, two of Sophie Hudson's and Sally Clarkson's new book is coming out any day too. So many books, so not enough time.

Figure out my new phone, while being thankful for my new phone, rather than make noises under my breath while my face is scrunched up in an unattractive fashion.

Bake. Bake peanut butter blossom cookies because they're basically the easiest holiday cookie out there - especially when you start with a bag of peanut butter cookie mix. That and a bag of hershey kisses makes the house smell good, husbands and other various relatives happy, and I can at least say I baked something this holiday season.

Go to Goodwill and buy a hot air popcorn popper, and pop buckets and buckets of popcorn, then turn them into popcorn balls using my mother-in-law's recipe. Because my dear, sweet Cub Sweetheart firmly believes his mother's recipe is unique and makes the best popcorn balls and holidays are not complete without them. So I will make him a tin full, and when he tries to not share them with anyone I will not judge him, but rather love him all the more for his loyalty to her memory.

Hopefully there will be some time spent playing in the snow with our grandchildren, building snowmen and pummeling each other with snowballs, and making snow ice cream in spite of any harmful particles that might be in the air, because really how can that be worse for us than breathing in second-hand smoke outside the stores? And everyone needs to eat snow ice cream now and then.

Take a gift to our Idaho neighbors, our newly made friends, to thank them for running after our lawn chairs as they flew across the grassy area between us, watching over our place, and being the kind of neighbors people used to have, and used to get to know, and because we do and we did, we feel very blessed by them.

Fill in my new calendar, (and there it is in all its beauty), and thanks go to my daughter-in-law who told me about Whitney English . I love all things involving New Year's and planning and writing lists and making 50 resolutions or maybe 12, of which only 2 or so will stand a chance, but those two are better than none, so her planner was a treat to find, and I'm excited to sit down and fill it in. Riveting stuff for me, not so much for others? 

Call my Dad. 

Call my Mom. 

Because I am blessed to still have both of them, and need to hear their voices during the holidays. 

That's it for me - how about for you? What's left on your to do list for 2014? 


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