Weekend Countdown

While I always get an early jump on the holidays, I invariably end up squeezing bunches into the last couple weekends before Christmas.

I don’t mind so much. I have an agenda, and it usually works.

It even works, usually, when life–as is will–tosses out extra stuff. Right now, we’re in the process of redoing the backroom of Vesta, transforming it into more of a loungey, cozy feel with sofas and chairs, board games, new lights. New paint, new art. This means those sofas, chairs, tables, lights, paint colors and so on have to be found, chosen, ordered.

I am a goddess of on-line shopping, and after BW grew frustrated in his search, I took over. About thirty minutes later, in my pjs, I’d outfitted what will be Vesta’s new space. You gotta love when it works. With the furniture ordered, I could get out the paint fan and find the tones and colors to compliment it.

And done.

In addition we found a fun and fabulous surprise when the crew tore off the drywall and plaster so we could expose the old brick. A fireplace! A little dance of joy! We’ll install electric logs–no open flames–scrape and paint one of the old mantels that came out of the building during one of its renovations, and have a terrific focal point.

Under-the-drywall surprise.
Under-the-drywall surprise.

It’s a busy time of year to deal with this, but it’s coming right along. I especially like that my part of it is complete.

Then there are parties and events–a booksigning, a Girls Night Out, a traditional shopping get-away with girl pals, prep and plans to entertain friends and family at home.

Girls shopping trip.
Girls shopping trip — Elaine, Pat, Mary, Nora, Mary Kay and Laura

Decorating. I want the festive around me, and was pleased to be able to schedule this year’s tree trimming when the kids were around.

Then there’s the wrapping. The wrapping. The wrapping. The most excellent Kayla did a big chunk of this for me–and she actually wants to! But I still have what I think of as wrapping marathons on weekends. Today, I hope to have my last of the season. I wrap in The One More Room with schmaltzy Christmas movies on the little TV. I also appreciate the schmaltzy this time of year.

This marathon was on yesterday’s agenda, but one must be flexible. I worked out, baked bread (on the agenda). BW requested pretzel bread, and that takes a bit more time with those extra steps. And he requested tortilla soup, which is fine as it can be put together while the dough rises. BUT, he also found a rack of ribs he’d somehow stuck in TTP’s freezer, and decided they really needed to be cooked. The way I make them requires they marinate overnight in the barbecue sauce I make, so add those to the late afternoon list, and reschedule the wrapping marathon for Sunday.

Pretzel bread.
Pretzel bread — candle and bubbles.

Being flexible means I’ll make herby roasted potatoes to go with the ribs BW will grill tonight–but the upside is between the soup (which was most excellent) and the ribs, I shouldn’t have to cook this week–especially as we have an outside event mid-week that involves pizza.

Maybe I spent six full hours in the kitchen (with schmaltzy Christmas movies on the TV–the pool for them is not shallow)–and I expect to do a schmaltz double feature before the wrapping’s done. But, I see a little window for Absolute Me time today, and I want it.

The work week’s coming right up, and next weekend is cookie baking with the kids–a long, fun, interesting day, and some at-home entertaining.

Then boom, it’s The Solstice, then it’s Christmas, and before you catch your breath, New Year’s.img_1771

So I don’t mind the busy weekends, the long hours in the kitchen or at the wrapping table, writing Christmas cards (done and dusted), the on-line shopping or poking through crowded stores. Because time moves fast, and appreciating, embracing, enjoying the special times–no matter the work–are what make it last, make the memories, bring the joy.img_1770

I hope you find and take those moments with all the rush and work and carve out time to embrace and enjoy the holiday season.

Around here, we got a light dusting of snow overnight–the first of the season. It’s a little icing on the holiday cake.


18 thoughts on “Weekend Countdown”

  1. Oh Wow! I love tearing down walls & finding treasures!
    Vesta will turn out great. What’s the ETA for the opening?

    Merry Christmas ?- Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

  2. It may have come up before, but is there a recipe for this famous pretzel bread? Thanks Nora for taking time from holiday busy-ness and the all important writing time to write these blogs. It is always so great to see that you do the normal and don’t just live in a cloud of awesome-ness! Laura, as always, thanks for running the blog in general!

  3. LOVE the exposed brick and fireplace! I want to win the lottery so I can build a house with exposed brick in the big eat-in country kitchen/den area, and a rustic looking fireplace with a gas insert.

  4. Merry Christmas, Ms. Roberts, to you, BW, and family. Wishing you many blessings in the coming year!

  5. Nora, That bread looked fantabulous!! One day I will try making bread, but as of now, I am making sweets. I found a simple recipe for chocolate pie that is fabulous! ( I just got through eating a piece! Yum!)
    Thank you for entertaining us with your blog. I like getting glimpses of your days.
    I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Echoes In Death. Until then I will do a reread of one or two of your books. Maybe I’ll reread the Born in Trilogy.
    Oh , and I can’t wait to read this new Trilogy you’re working on.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    Merry Christmas Laura!

  6. Really thrilled about the Vesta backroom redo, exciting and with a fireplace too. how very cool.

  7. I’m so impressed that you are a jane of all trades. I’m a great cook, but never learned to bake cookies or bread.
    How do you find the time to do it all, and do it well to boot. Like roarke, is there anything you don’t do well? I’m just a liitle green, & feeling inadequate. My poor kids & grandkids never got to bake cookies with me.

    1. I find I do well thing I enjoy doing. I love writing, really enjoy gardening, baking, and cooking–when I have time. Things I don’t much like I generally suck at. Math, socializing outside my own circle, mechanics, office work. The list is really long.

  8. Merry Christmas!
    I’m reading Island of Glass and I love it! I’ve enjoyed reading this adventure and getting to know “the six”.
    I recently,finally, read the Cousins O’ Dwyer trilogy,which i also loved. Your stories are not only great the first read, but great to re-visit . Hope you & your family have a Happy & Blessed New Year. Looking forward to your new series too !

  9. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Nora and your family! To Laura and her family as well!!

  10. Wonder Woman, you are! Excited about the loungy room at Vesta!

  11. What fun, to find old history in unexpected places! Thanks so much for sharing. Wishing you and yours (Laura too) a most wonderful holiday!

  12. Surprises. Love when that happens. Especially this time of the year. Know you all would make it beautiful.
    Wishing Nora and family as well as you Laura and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Bright and Wondrous New Year.
    From my Trini’ self to you and yours.???

  13. Christmas is really headed our way. I just love the glitz and glamour and the wrapping and I just really love it all.
    It sounds as if your wrapping up your festivities’ all in good order.
    Today was a sleeping day for me. I got up for coffee and some brunch and headed back to bed. It was supposed to be Taco night here but my daughter froze all of the hamburger meat. Great, now I will have to thaw it and break it up. Soup of some kind will be on the menu for tomorrow. Probably chicken and dumplings. Taco night will have to be another night.
    OMGosh I bet that you guys were totally excited to see that fireplace behind the drywall. I would have been doing a dance too. How old is the building? It sounds fantastic.
    Oh and could you please if you have one post an address where Nora receives Fan Mail…. I have a little something that I would like to send. If not then it is understandable. In this digital time and age not everyone receives Fan mail any more.
    Well time for dinner and some catching up in my world. What I would really like to do is just go back to bed but I really don’t see that happening. Still have to figure out dinner… Ahhh that problem has been solved… In and Out Burger… works for me!
    Take care, Beth

  14. It’s really nice to read how someone else is coping busily with their christmas. Their rituals, making their memories for the younger generation to keep. Today is my 2nd of 3 afternoon teas. A new ritual my friends & I have got into ,not just for Christmas, but this time of year makes it extra special. Tomorrow I’m meeting up with a cousin & we are going to pay our respects at the graveside of our Gt Gt grandmother. I’ve visited 3 crematories this Christmas bringing back memories from Christmas past. I’ve also fitted in making chocolate fudge to give with all my presents,making pom-poms to tie round the packaging. Last night I made a fantabulous Baileys chocolate cake & will make more. And finished the last of the Key Trilogy. What now to read? Maybe an In Death.

  15. Look forward to seeing the new backroom at Vesta next time I’m in town. Love the surprise fireplace. I finished wrapping all the gifts this weekend. Next week we do the baking and then I will be done! I hate shopping this time of year, so I try to have everything bought by end of Thanksgiving week. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Laura and families. See you in February!

  16. Finding the fireplace is golden!!! That is going to be so spectacular!!

    And just a note to say Thank You to the amazing people at TTP….and to you…the autographed copy always arrives in perfect condition!!! I am in awe of the patience it must take to sit and do tubs of these books!!

    Helluva read too!!

    Fabulous Yuletide wishes to all of you!!!

  17. Happy Holidays to all in your circle. Thanks for the glimpses into your world. My respect for your breadth of interest and purpose is the highest. And thanks for your work as it helps fill the “no longer baking, wrapping, decorating” at such a high level.

    The fireplace is a great find! Also well done!!

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