I caught a cold I can't even remember when and am trying to be quiet and restful. But life keeps marching a long asking me to participate.
We bought our tree at a lovely tree farm on the outskirts of the town where my Grandpa lives. We gravitate toward little trees that can fit in the back of my Pathfinder. The Americana picture of a tree strapped to the roof of a car and driven six hours home makes Cadence anxious. She has visions of it blowing off the roof and onto the road. So little-tree-in-the-back it is.
I have boxes of Girl Scout nuts and chocolates labeled and ready for delivery piled up on my kitchen table and another box waiting to go to school with Cadence today. “Am I being a good Girl Scout?” Cadence asked this morning as she cut yellow and orange peppers for our breakfast casserole we're serving tonight. We're having our college students over for breakfast-for-dinner and they're going to help us decorate the tree for Christmas. I assured her that she WAS a good Girl Scout and that I appreciated her help in the kitchen. It was making it possible to do the other things I needed to get done before we leave for work and school. (Including writing this post.)
I've whipped up this Christmas Decor Extravaganza on two days' notice. We had invited the college kids two months ago and I really wanted to make it happen, but our schedule is pretty booked for the next couple weeks. This Thursday night worked best for them AND it meant that most of December we'd have the décor up. For a moment I thought, “What am I doing??? I don't feel good. How am I going to make this happen?” Then I took a breath and made a plan. Breakfast casserole, toast, and a cranberry side dish I learned to make at last week's Thanksgiving will be tonight's menu.
One of our students has two exams the next day, so we're going to be efficient with our time. I'll put the casserole in the oven. We'll turn on our Pentatonix Christmas album. I've already carried up the four Christmas tubs of decorations. With six of us at work, this place will be looking festive very quickly.
I'll be grateful for the help. Our sweet little tree has a lean that Cadence and I couldn't seem to correct on our own. (We were also putting it in its stand after a long day's drive home. I bet if we hadn't been so eager to get in our jammies and get to bed we might have got it right the first time.)
I have pared down my Christmas decorations in recent years. I have kept only what I love and use. I have passed on other items that didn't have a story and didn't make me gasp with joy. That makes the process less daunting for me.
Cadence wrapped the presents that we're giving our students tonight. I love her willingness to do things on her own, and I love even more her willingness to let me show her how to do it before she gets started.
This morning as I made the casserole, and she chopped the peppers, she discovered a better way to do it than how I'd shown her. This is because I AM NOT AN EXPERT in the kitchen. I am a student too. I'm just older. I was thrilled when she described the way she found it easier to remove the seeds. I implemented her technique and she was right!
I am so grateful that I can help cultivate confidence in the kitchen while she's young. I'm certain she won't feel the same helplessness in the kitchen I felt for all those years before.
The rainy, dreary weather and this dang cold have had me feeling puny lately. But this morning, I feel good. The evening is going to be a success because I planned it out and prepared for it. I chose things that were easy to accomplish and could be done ahead of time.
Now it's time to dry my hair, get dressed, and get to school and work.
Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts. I've missed meeting you here. I've got a list of posts in varying degrees of readiness. Stay tuned. I can't wait to share the last few 40/40 items with you!