Tag Archives: decorating

To find holiday joy

Gabe and I are having a really hard time feeling festive this December. Typically, starting in September, I’m all geared up for the last  quarter of the year, jumping from my birthday to Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and then tying it all up with New Year celebrations but this year, I lost steam somewhere along the way and now that December is here, I hardly care.

We’re not a religious family so Christmas is not about baby Jesus for us. Instead, it’s about finishing the year, celebrating the snow and cold and nature’s slumber. It’s about spending time with friends we don’t see often enough and with family whom we see all the time but with the added bonus of watching the kids open presents. It’s about spreading joy throughout a dark month. It’s a wonderful time, one we usually enjoy to the fullest.

But this year, we do not care.

It’s not just us; we’re hearing similar sentiments from all corners, Christian and non-Christian alike. Old and young, families and singletons. It seems there are large pockets of the seasonally disaffected everywhere we look.

Where did our holiday spirit go?

In an effort to bring it back, we’ve been watching our favorite holiday movies. So far, we’ve consumed “Elf“, “A Christmas Story“, Rankin & Bass’ “Jack Frost” (ok, my favorite, not Gabe’s; I love the box of dreams they pass around on Christmas day), and “Christmas Vacation.” And yet…nothing.

There are Christmas carols playing, it’s been snowy and cold, the cider is in its final, carmelized stages, but something is missing.

I made ice lights, lumin-ice-ias, if you will, the other night. They’re lovely, all glowing and twinkerly, casting brightness through slightly- melting ice.


Step One: Fill your desired plastic containers with water. Put water-filled containers in the freezing outdoors. Let sit until frozen.


Step Two: Bring frozen water containers inside. Place in sink. Upend container, run warm water over it, watch ice block fall out. If there’s not a bubble in the ice that you can break through, down where the container bottom was, drill a hole big enough in the bottom of the ice block using hot water from the sink. The bottom of the block is now the top and the former top is now the base.
Insert tea light. If it doesn’t fit like you want it to, do some more drilling with the hot water. If it all goes to hell, just refill the tub and put it back outside and try again tomorrow.


Step Three: After testing all your ice lights, put them outside in the snow. Or on the driveway. Or in trees if you can figure that out. Or on parked cars. Just put them somewhere that is easy to reach so you can light them again after they blow out.


Step Four: Light the candles. It’s best to do this when it is dark, as candlelight is more visible in the night, but really, it’s up to you. Light these puppies whenever you want. I’d imagine the fire danger is fairly low unless you’ve got these sitting precariously near open tanks of gasoline. The candle holder is made of ice which is really frozen water and we all know that water puts out fire. Unless it’s a grease fire in which case water doesn’t help at all.


Step Five: Admire your work and take pictures and then check the candles obsessively throughout the evening because you know the breeze keeps sneaking up and blowing them out. Relight as needed. Also, pay attention when taking pictures and don’t get distracted talking to the neighbor or else you’ll end up with images like this one.

I put lights up on the house the first weekend in December in an attempt to bring magic to the yard but the lights are the LED kind and they’re just so empty-looking, so dark, so uncolorful. Hollow. They make me sad with their lack of brightness and warmth. We put up the tree, too, and it’s got cute lights, but that’s as far as we got until the other night when we threw some ornaments on – only about half of them –  and called it good.

I was grateful, though, for the actual ornaments. I’ve got baubles that have come with me from childhood. Gabe has some from his last life, the one before the two of us. We have trinkets we’ve found together on our adventures – we try to buy an ornament every time we go somewhere. We have one from Thanksgiving in Estes Park in 2008, a happy and sad year. We have one from our Disney Cruise honeymoon in 2009 and one from our trip to the La Brea tar pits last year. There are many more; it’s fun to take them out and remember the places we’ve been and things we’ve done.

I have ornaments that have been given to me as gifts and even though I can’t remember anything else in my life, I remember who gave those little decorations to me. I have ornaments from my BFF’s sister who died; T gave friends and family her sister’s Christmas tree decorations so we could continue share the holidays with her. I have such good memories of Christmas Eves with T and her twin so I cherish those ornaments and look forward to seeing them every year. I inherited the handmade ribbon-and-bead ornaments one of my mom’s friends made for her back before I was born. As the 70’s passed, those gaudy, flashy, homemade things became ugly to everyone but me and my siblings. I still think they’re beautiful though I understand why my mom finds them hideous. It doesn’t help that they’ve lost their tassels and a lot of the pins and beads that held them together.


Ok, so the Snoopy ornament? It’s a Hallmark ornament, called Joe Coolest. I got it in an ornament exchange in 2006, I believe. It’s from Calina. I know all this because I remember it.
The Rolling Hills ornament is from our trip to Kansas to visit Noelle and her family for Thanksgiving in 2010. I know this because I have a whole album full of pictures of our trip there over on Facebook.
The popsicle stick Santa was a Christmas present from the Younger Niece. She made it in 2007. I know this because I wrote it on the back.
See how meaningful these are? They all have stories! It’s so wonderful!

Unpacking and hanging the ornaments was like being able to look into a festive, jolly house. I saw, smelled, remembered holiday joy. But I still don’t feel it. The magic is missing and I dont know why.

I’m going to go find it.

And when I do, I’ll love it more than usual because I have missed it. Off I go, on my quest to find my holiday bliss.


I’ll be back next year, folks, with new stories and crazy tales and, hopefully, we will have found the Spirit of Christmas!

Be well, Happy Holidays, and I wish you all a safe and perfect New Year.


Filed under My Dearly Beloveds

Plastic teepees, they’re all the rage

Tomato cages may be the most useful invention since the wheel. They are so versatile. For instance, I’ve used them for Halloween decorations: Witches and the invisible body that holds the floating skull to name a couple. In May, I used them to make teepees and I’ve also put 2 cages in the garden for the snow peas to climb. See? Versatile.

Let me talk a bit about those teepees. Even though it was too early, I bought some adorable baby tomato plants – one Siberian and one Czechloslavakian…you know, because Colorado is just like Siberia or the Czech Republic – and put them in pots. Then I thought, “Well, while it’s probably not going to frost again for real, it could still get pretty cold at night. Cold nights are bad for tomatoes. And they’ve been living in a greenhouse all this time. I should use the plastic from the hoophouse and cover them somehow. But how? I need to keep the plastic where it is in case of hail but I don’t want to put the tomatoes over by the straw bale garden because they need all sun all day.” These are the types of conversations I have in my head. I thought about it a bit and remembered I’d inherited a few tomato cages last year. Now, a normal person would plant the tomato cage in the pot like it’s supposed to be. But I’m an abnormal person and I upended the cages so the legs were sticking up in the air and the top was circling the tomato plant. Then I retrieved the leftover roll of plastic and cut off two strips which I wound around each cage and pot essentially making teepees. I mean, think about it- an upside down tomato cage is nothing but a teepee frame, right?

Because I’m white trash, I had to do it the white trash way, not the Better Homes and Gardens way. Lest you think less of me, I’d like to remind you that I’m classy white trash. I did NOT use duct tape. No. I used electrical tape to secure the plastic to the frame and also to the rest of the plastic and that will keep it from blowing away and becoming litter. Success! Tiny plastic teepees wrap the tomatoes in warmth and love. But I didn’t stop there. It started getting cold out and as we all know, heat rises. I was worried that the heat that had accumulated in the little teepees would rise and escape out through the open tops. I cut another two pieces of plastic, this time little rectangles, and I jammed them down the legs until they covered the openings and thus a vent was made. I can pull the rectangles all the way down and cover the top hole or I can raise them a bit to let the heat out. I am some sort of redneck genius. The neat thing is while they looked like garbage (literally) before the vents, now they look like little ghost nuns floating around my yard. It’s actually pretty cool. I might have to keep them after harvest season and use them in the yard for Halloween props.

See what you can do with a little plastic and a tomato cage? Instant teepee!

See what you can do with a little plastic and a tomato cage? Instant teepee!

I like electrical tape because it's black and goes with everything.

I like electrical tape because it’s black and goes with everything.

After only 15 minutes, it was already noticably warmer in this teepee. Also, it smelled really good in here, all earthy and tomatoey.

After only 15 minutes, it was already noticably warmer in this teepee. Also, it smelled really good in here, all earthy and tomatoey.

So, here’s what happened next: the teepees blew off in a wind/hailstorm but Gabe got them back on. I secured them and let the babies sit in their new homes for another week, or so, then hardened them off. Now they’re livin’ in the wild, sans protection, but they’re covered in flowers and are already beginning to produce. They’re way ahead of other tomato plants in the hood so I believe that, though they were…ahem…not artistic or beautiful, the plastic teepees worked, thanks be to tomato cages, plastic, and tape.

Our first Czechoslovakian tomato. There are blossoms all over this plant! The teepee worked!

Our first Czechoslovakian tomato. There are blossoms all over this plant! The teepee worked!

Here's the Siberian tomato. It has fewer blossoms but does have a baby tomato growing, too. Hooray!

Here’s the Siberian tomato. It has fewer blossoms but does have a baby tomato growing, too. Hooray!


Filed under Adventures, In my backyard

Patience: Helping me win bets with my husband since…all the time

This post is brought to you by the number 1 and the letters IN YOUR FACE!

You probably know Gabe and I are evil, it’s not like that’s a secret. So once upon a time, we had these wonderful neighbors whom we loved, but bad things happened and they had to move away. We worried about our potential new neighbors because earlier that year, the nice people on the other side of us bought a house and left and these punk kids who make me want to slice their tires moved in. We needed a way to keep that from happening on this side, too.

Our house is a little weird with a north face made of cedar siding and the rest of the house covered in normal siding. We stained the cedar a pleasant barn red. Everyone loved it. Then we painted the rest of the siding alarming yellow, like sunflower petals that have been enhanced instead of toned-down. This isn’t really a strange color scheme…in the Mediterranean or Mexico or other such festive places. We added royal blue trim, as well, and suddenly, we lived in a Crayola meltdown. The plan was that no one would want to live next door to such a color explosion and we would have the time to save our money and buy the damn house ourselves.
Only that didn’t happen and as the years wore on and the housing market continued to languish, we worried that maybe we’d acted a little rashly, that maybe the only kind of neighbors we would get, now that our house looked like something from the circus, would be drug dealers who dropped acid and would then stare at our house for hours. That would be creepy.
We couldn’t afford to repaint the house after we’d just painted it but we didn’t want to, either, because something unexpected had happened: We fell in love with our crazy house colors. It was all ridiculously bright but it matched everything around us – the aspens in the fall, the brilliant summer skies, the rose hips and crabapples, the rocks on the mountain after a rainstorm. Ours was the brightest house on the block, a block that had an abundance of stone-colored or white or olive green houses which is silly because we live in the mountains. We’re supposed to be zany. It’s a law, or something.
We did wind up with good neighbors totally by accident and I’m not sure what we’ll do if they ever move. Probably paint black stripes into the yellow to make it look like a big square bumblebee or something.
But that’s not the end of this story. This story ends in my triumph over Gabe which is one of my most favorite things in the world. Obviously. See, after we’d painted, our house numbers looked stupid on the freshly-colored cedar. They were plain dark metal numbers and it was hard to see them and they just didn’t match so we went looking for replacements. We found some tile numbers we agreed on but by the time we got around to buying them, they were long gone. That’s what started the Great War of House Numbers. Back and forth we went, one of us finding one thing and liking it and the other saying, “OH HELL NO!” It got ridiculous. But you have to have house  numbers so fireman can rescue you. Otherwise, they don’t know where to go. Apparently not even in our tiny town.

At one point, Gabe fought me with paper and tape. We had these leftover Vote NO on Anti-Library Measures yard signs from a past election and Gabe took one of them, turned the plastic sign inside out, and taped a piece of paper with our house numbers over that then put it all back on the metal frame. He stuck that into the ground in the front yard. When I saw it, I said, “What happens when it rains or snows?” He answered my question by taping over the paper with packing tape and then framing all of that with blue duct tape. And that’s how we became the ghettoest house on the block. Well, not really because the blue of the duct tape totally matched the blue of our trim.
Weather was on my side and eventually blew the sign away but I didn’t have a comeback plan. The war was back on, the arguments over numbers picking up until the day I found Carly Quinn Designs on Etsy. It was like angels had invaded my computer and sent me a divine message of perfection because these house numbers were exactly what we needed.
I told Gabe I’d found our numbers and I’d buy them when I could and he’d just have to suck it up. He told me I was mistaken and that he was going to learn the art of making mosaics and he would create a number plate. He checked out a jillion books on how become a mosiacitian, he collected his art supplies, and I had visions of a horrible blob of dripping cement and broken plates hanging on the front of our house like an inbred gargoyle. I started saving my money even faster only that wasn’t happening because there was no money to save. That worked to my benefit as well as my detriment, though, because Gabe realized that if you’re not already set up to make mosaics, it’s got a fairly steep start-up cost (for poor people, at least). So there we were in a battle for the Ultimate Numbers but hindered by impoverishment, each fearing the other would get their creation up first. Finally, I came up with a compromise.  Gabe had six months to create his monstrosity/piece of number art and if he didn’t have it done by the time I turned in the tax stuff in February, 2013, then I got to buy the tiles I wanted with the tax refund. We shook on it and a deal was struck.
One good thing about some bipolar people is that they are easily distracted and they forget what they were saving for and they spend their money on video games, instead. I am not one of those people and I have patience and perseverance and it just so happened that February, 2013, showed up and I turned in the tax stuff and was promised a refund and I had the beautiful opportunity to look at Gabe and yell, “IN YOUR FACE, SUCKA! I GET THE HOUSE TILES! I WIN!”
Unfortunately, he’d forgotten all about our deal and didn’t care anymore. To make matters worse, when I showed him the tiles online he said, “Oh. Those are actually really cool. They’ll look nice on our house.”
So the good news was that I won this war and I got to buy the coveted number tiles. The bad news was that it was sort of a hollow victory because I didn’t know my opponent had left the battlefield and I’d been laying siege to pretty much nothing. The worse news was that the refund was yoinked right out from under my greedy little hands and I had to file a claim to get it all back so I didn’t actually receive the money until sometime in April. When it finally arrived, I deposited the check and the very next day, I ordered the numbers I’d been salivating over for months.
Poor Carly Quinn. She had to deal with me and my enthusiasm. I read the part on her website that said she custom makes everything to order but I figured with house numbers, she’d probably just made a bunch of tiles in advance and had them stacked in little bins in her workshop because, really, who wouldn’t do that? Carly Quinn wouldn’t do that. She sent me a message confirming my order and mentioned that it would take her two weeks to make the tiles. I wrote back and told her I was sure she had some numbers lying around that she could send me because I really really REALLY wanted them now that I finally had the chance to own them. She told me I’m funny and said that she’d see what she could do because she understands the pain of waiting for something you want so badly.
Even knowing that it would take two weeks to fill the order and another week for them to get to me, I started checking the mailbox every single day, hoping that maybe she really did just have some spares she would send and they’d get to me right away.
On the 21st, I got an e-mail from Carly Quinn Designs. It was a shipping confirmation. She made the tiles in a week and they were on their way and I peed my pants in excitement! It was ridiculous.
Then I had to check the mailbox twice a day because I didn’t want to miss anything. Finally, Friday rolled around and I figured they had to be here because it can’t take more than a week for something in Arizona to make it up to me; it’s not like these were coming from Maine or anything! But there was nothing there. I was heartbroken;  I probably wouldn’t get them until the following week and there would be no time to hang them for two weeks because of my crazy schedule. Oh, I was sad. The next morning, I had to go to the post office so I figured I’d check the mailbox one more time and there was a lonely little yellow slip waiting in my mailbox, letting me know that I had a parcel. OMG!
I ran to the front office and there were 10 billion people waiting in line. They were doing passport stuff. Of course they were because Saturday morning when my long-anticipated tiles are in is the perfect time to apply for passports for your entire family, you jackass traveling people. I thought about hopping the counter and just going back there myself, but I don’t really know how things are laid out in the postal nether regions and they’d throw me out before I found what I sought.
After hours and hours and HOURS (or ten minutes) of waiting for the people to finish up, I handed my card across the counter, the post mistress took it and vanished. She returned with a nice-sized box and I danced around and thanked her and told her I’d been waiting for so long and I ran out of there, pushing people aside, knocking down children and kicking dogs in my haste (not really). The box was from Carly Quinn Designs and I could not get it home fast enough. I unpacked it on my back porch.

Ok, so, despite the picture on Etsy, I just assumed I would get 5 loose tiles and a frame. I figured I’d slide the tiles into the frame and then mount it to the wall. I mean, that’s what I’ve seen everywhere else; the tiles we had originally considered were like that.
I was wrong.
Carly Quinn (I like her whole name so she has to be Carly Quinn all the time) makes the tiles and the frame and she grouts the tiles together and puts them in the frame and seals the frame and welds hangy-hole thingies to the back. And look at the hangy-hole thingies on mine – they’re beautiful! They’re not the ones from Etsy, which were just little rings with pointy hats. No. These are lovely. I passed out and died because – wow. It was amazing. It was 100% more awesome than I’d expected and I was already expecting a lot!

But there was one problem. This thing was around 5 pounds and I wasn’t sure how I was going to hang it because I didn’t have any screws big enough. Would I need an anchor? Should I glue it to the wall? And crap, if I used decking screws, cuz they’re tough, I’d  have to use a bunch of washers and I ran the risk of hitting the electrical stuff behind the wall and zapping myself to death. So I did what one does in these situations: I freaked out and called Chris.
He came over, saw the number sign, was super impressed, which is saying a lot because he’s a perfectionist/machinist and most hand-crafted things piss him off because they’re so full of flaws, and he ran off to fetch some lug screws. He had the sign up in a matter of minutes and I could hear the angels in the heavens singing gloriously because these numbers are exactly perfect for our house.
So, to sum up: I win X 100. Yay me! Thank you so much, Carly Quinn. You make magnificent things. I can’t wait to start collecting your Day of the Dead tiles. Also, thank YOU, stupid husband, for being poor and forgetting we had a bet so I could win and buy our gorgeous house numbers!


Filed under Adventures, For my short story collection, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My journey to writerhood

I just realized how difficult retirement will be

I live with the belief that I will retire in the next 20 years; it is a great hope of mine. I’ve heard that a lot of people retire and then just die because they have no purpose left in life. That is not going to happen to me. Gabe and I have a whole list of things we want to do when I no longer have to work. It’s a long list and after the past week, I worry we will never get to it.

I took the first week of the New Year off  (highly recommended, by the way) and had hoped to take down Indoor Christmas on the 1st. Usually, I like to leave it all up for awhile but the house has been non-stop decorated for one holiday after another since October 1st and I was 100% ready to have it all back to normal. After Christmas was packed away, we were going to clean like crazy. I figured that would take me to the 3rd and then I could tackle my list things I wanted to accomplish after the house was clean and put to rights:


It’s not a long list. There are no difficult items. I had a week to do this. Why didn’t I get it all done?

Well, guess what?
The Goodwill stuff only got packed up because I did laundry and had to put it away and needed space. I did manage to finish And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading In the Fast Lane For My Own Dirt Road  by Margaret Roach  and felt good about that, but everything else? Didn’t even touch it. And you know why? Because as we cleaned, all these other things that needed doing kept popping up.

I emptied the china cabinet, dusted and oiled it, cleaned the contents, then put it all back and found that I am missing 3 little garden party cups.


The cups in the foreground? There should be 12. I can only find 9. My heart hurts over this.

I know the set was whole when I moved in, but I don’t know if I put all the pieces in the cabinet, or not. That necessitated a trip to the Underhouse (like an undercroft only different because we don’t live in a medieval dwelling) to see if there was still a box of fancy dishes down there. I didn’t find one. Since the shed is a disaster zone, I couldn’t look out there but I don’t put things like that in the shed. After an hour of searching, I had to give up and just cry. This particular set is important to me and I hate knowing I’ve lost some of it.

Gabe got us a new bird feeder to replace the one that met with a horrible demise in a recent bear attack. It was taking up space on the living room floor so I had to fill and hang it and, in the process, was mugged for my birdseed by the local gang. Little bastards.


That deer that’s looking at the seed on the ground? It just came right up. I marched off to get the dog who then barked these bullies straight out of the yard. Good job, Daisy May!

The amaryllis my mom gave me – it came as a bulb in a box – four years ago finally bloomed for the first time so I had to take a LOT of pictures of it. Every day. And I had to tell it how happy I was that it was finally able to show off and that it was stunning. That sort of cut into my cleaning and sorting time.


It’s so pretty! I want to stare at it for hours like I’m some sort of creep. I don’t think it would mind, though. That’s why I have a lot of plants. They don’t care if I’m creepy. At least, I don’t think they do.

We celebrated Toki&Evie’s 5th birthday on January 3rd. We sang to them and gave them birthday food (Fancy Feast, something they NEVER get any other time of year) and presents (new treats and new stuffed mice) It was a good birthday for them but I can’t believe they’re five. That has nothing to do with cleaning, really, but it deserves mention because Evie told me to put it in here.


Five years old! He’s so big!


Also five…and apparently none too thrilled about it. Well, she sure changed her tune when we popped that Fancy Feast lid.

And once we were finally finished after FOUR DAYS!!! (seriously? how dirty are we?), we sat down and discussed the problems and gaps we’d found and what do to about them. This lead to a discussion of things that need to change. Here are some of the things we’ll be doing differently:
-The little tabletop water fountain I’ve got in the dining area will be used more often; I’ve had it running since I put it back out and it’s been a pleasant background noise. Also, I like to think the water that is surely evaporating from it is good for all the plants nearby. Win/win.
-We will plan meals. We ate well and on-time the entire week despite being horrendously busy getting dust and cobwebs in our nose holes. It wasn’t hard – the eating responsibly thing, not the dust in the nose-holes thing (though that wasn’t hard, either). If we can do it while on a mission to restore tidiness to our home, we can do it in a normal week.
-We are taking back the kitchen table! It’s not a parking lot, it’s a place to eat. No more gnawing food mindlessly on the couch in front of the TV and no more messy table top. We both want to lose weight and I have a feeling this will help (it’s far too easy to sit on the couch and just continue shoving food in our faces while we watch an entire season of some TV show or another on DVD)
-We are going to clean up after ourselves immediately. We’ll just clean as we go, all day every day, and then I won’t have to clean the house on weekends and we can do fun things, instead!

These sound like resolutions, but they’re not. They are the things we need to do because we are grown-ups managing our own household, because we care about our health and well-being and about our marriage. So…we’re just going to do them, new year or not.

Come Saturday, I was exhausted. So was Gabe. We sat around all day and read. It was glorious but I felt a twinge of guilt because I hadn’t done anything else on my list and I knew I wouldn’t because Sunday was devoted to meal planning, grocery shopping, and getting ready for Monday.
That’s when I realized how hard retirement will be and I wondered if we would ever get to our Things To Do When We Retire list. Maybe that’s the real reason people just up and die after retiring; it’s disheartening to know that you thought you were done working only to find you are just beginning. I think I’d rather some eternal rest, too, than a retirement full of finishing unfinished crap.


Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My Phenomenal Fake Life

Christmas cookies

I baked sugar cookies this past weekend, which was a feat because I haven’t made cookies in years. However, I was feeling festive and Christmas cookies have always been my favorite…probably because it’s usually cold out and I’m doing everything I can to put on fat layers in order to stay warm and survive the winter. I drink a lot of egg nog for the same reason.

Back in the day, my mom was kind of brilliant. She’d whip up a batch of cookie dough, roll it out, then hand us the cookie cutters. Then she’d bake them (the cookies, not the cutters). She’d make some frosting and divvied it all into a couple of bowls and added food coloring. Then, she would sit us all down at the paper-covered table and we’d commence decorating. This was a good afternoon activity because it kept us busy but bad because of the sugar buzz we’d be on for hours afterward. I can only assume she was drinking heavily while we were loudly frosting in the kitchen and her memory was always erased after this event, thus the repetition of said event on a regular basis.

Here’s how it broke down: Chris, Noelle, and Bedot would slap one color on a cookie. Then they’d lick the frosting off the butter knife (we used common cutlery as our frosting spreaders) and add another color on top of the first. Soon, their cookies had about 7 inches of colorful crap smeared messily on top and bottom. They’d pop these confections into their mouths and start on another. This continued for about five cookies and then they’d get bored/sick and wander away. I’d be left with stacks of empty cookies, a destroyed table, frosting everywhere, and a bunch of spitty knives.
In the time it took them to slather sugar all over their cookies, I had maybe finished one because here’s what’s wrong with me : I have a rare condition that makes me go all OCD when I’m frosting sugar cookies. I would painstakingly paint scenes on each cookie, garnishing the right parts with the right sprinkles. If I didn’t have a certain color of frosting, I’d mix the frostings until I had the color I needed. It took me HOURS to decorate my cookies and it was ridiculous. I also had to keep the frosting from getting too thick because MY cookies were for grown–ups, not sugar-hungry children, so there was an extra layer of difficulty in my endeavor to create these artistic pieces. Also, butter knives are not exactly precision instruments. Unless you’re spreading butter. Then they’re fine.
The point I’m trying to make is that there’s a reason it took me so long to paint each damn cookie, ok? In fact, there were many days in which I had to pack up the frosting, put my naked cookies aside, and work on them again after school for the next few days. I’m not sure how we managed to eat during that time since all the knives were always dirty.

Now, back to the present. I made cookies this past weekend. I did the molasses ginger cookies first because they’re just roll-into-balls/dip-in-sugar dealies which makes them quick and easy.

These smell so good but they never taste as good as I think they should.

These smell so good but they never taste as good as I think they should.

Then I made the cut-out cookies.

This part is like math in that you have to try to cram as many cookie cutters onto the dough as humanly possible. I used to be pretty good at this. So why wasn't I better at math?

This part is like math in that you have to try to cram as many cookie cutters onto the dough as humanly possible. I used to be pretty good at this. So why wasn’t I better at math?

They cooled and I then I got to frost them. I only had red and green food coloring so was able to have four colors total: red, green, white, and brown. I really missed blue and yellow, but I made do.

White, red, green, and gross brown

Oddly, the kitchen table is no longer the ideal place to frost cookies, so I made myself a frosting station, complete with somewhere to stick my knees.

Mother of invention, and all.

Mother of invention, and all.

Then I spent the next three hours frosting 3 dozen cookies. Seriously. Who takes an hour to frost 12 cookies? I do, apparently.

These ones aren't so bad. Santa may be a bit elaborate, but not overly so.

These ones aren’t so bad. Santa may be a bit elaborate, but not overly so.

Please note – these are all frosted with common knives and garnished with those little, tiny sprinkles. This would be a lot easier if I had bags of frosting with decorating tips. But I don’t. And, really, where’s the challenge in that? Or the insanity?

Ok, now we're getting ridiculous. Holly on the hat? Really? No one is going to see these before Gabe and I eat them (well except you since I just posted a picture here). Yeah. I should probably feel concerned.

Ok, now we’re getting ridiculous. Holly on the hat? Really? No one is going to see these before Gabe and I eat them (well except you since I just posted a picture here). Yeah. I should probably feel concerned.

When I was finished, I felt both ridiculous and accomplished, but I am definitely ready for Christmastime. I hope you are, too. Unless you don’t celebrate Christmas, in which case, I hope you’re ready to do something else not related to Christmas in any way.

And to those of you who thought this was Part 2 of my torrid Christmas affair – nope! That’s tomorrow. This is just me bragging about my madness. Ha ha ha! Whoops, I mean, Ho ho ho!


Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, White trash childhood