As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm trying to tie up some loose ends around my place and get things under control. Christmas decorations, lovely as they are, add a lot of visual clutter and chaos to any space, and if my house isn't neat to start with, I'm likely to get overstimulated and cranky by Christmas Day.
Yep. Just like a fussy little toddler. That's me.
So I've been disciplining myself to organize before I ornament, and have managed to accomplish a few more tasks:
Creating and writing out my Christmas cards is a dear tradition and important part of my holiday. But it's also a messy and cluttery process, with wet paint, paper scraps, stacks of address cards, and assorted pens all over the place. So I've been hard at work, trying to finish this project up as quickly as possible so I can clear the debris out of the way.
Another charming but messy fact of December life is the flow of incoming Christmas cards. Yes, some of my holiday correspondents are quite eager, and their well-wishes are already starting to flood into my home, where they are stacked on counter tops, laid across the stove, and generally left where they don't belong. So I decided it was time to rig up a special space for my cards, as I did last year.
Using some mini Command hooks and a length of ordinary twine, I created three straight rows for hanging the cards with small black binder clips. If you look closely, you'll see that the white lights zigzag at an angle, but the twine rows hang parallel to the floor. Last year, I angled the twine, which looked great, but I found that the cards tended to slip and slide a bit more than I liked. We'll see how this design holds up once I get a few more cards loaded on.
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Sadly, that's all I've managed to accomplish in the past few days. Sigh. Not up to par for my usual production volumes. But there are a few extenuating circumstances, and both of them are cute and furry.
First, there's my renegade kitty, Sirius, who spent several of the past few days nursing a wounded paw. I have no idea how the accident happened, but he's been limping and crying and restlessly lying about the house in unusual places with a sad look in his eyes. Clearly, this baby has needed his mommy, and I have cut back my usual work schedule to attend to his delicate feline needs.
And then there's this guy. Not only does Ranger follow me from room to room all day long, begging me to stop and sit so he can nap by my side, but every day by mid-afternoon, he starts looking at me like this.
- Look at those eyes, warm and trusting, pleading with me for mercy, yet watching as sharply as any eagle for signs of what he hopes to come.
- Check out the ears - they are in their 'up' position, alert, eager and listening for any command to show me how willing he is to obey me, as long as he gets what he wants.
- Admire his posture: the straight back in a perfect 'sit', the face upturned, and the eyes gazing up at me.
At this time of day, every molecule of Ranger's being is focused on persuading me to take him on a walk.
Could you say no to this dog?
What about if it was raining and dark and somewhere around 40 degrees F/10 degrees C outside?
Yep, you would go. Just like I do, every darn day.
And once you got out there, and saw Ranger's tail flying in happiness, and his nose-sniffing action in overdrive, and the absolute glow of excitement that surrounds every red hair on his very shaggy body, you would indulge him with every special nook and cranny of your regular route - no shaving off the side trails or taking short cuts to get out of the rain. You would invest a full 30-40 minutes in his happiness.
Yep, you would. Just like I do. Every darn day.
And while I'm walking with my blissfully happy dog, and enjoying the cool, misty gloom much more than expected, I think about those mid-December loose ends that need tying up. And I remind myself that somehow, sometime, they will all work themselves out.
And then I stop thinking about loose ends and just enjoy the walk.