Thursday, December 09, 2021

Good Days and Better Days

We are having good days and better days. Last night I was about to lament about how it had been a bad day, but then I had to admit that even with the genuinely bad parts of the day, there was still a lot that was good, worthwhile. So, without denying that some days are the worst, and some moments are wretched, I am here to share some highlights from the week, so far. And if you will indulge me, I might throw myself a brief, but well deserved pity party.

Saturday was kind of brilliant, because it was full of normal stuff... normal, pre-pandemic kind of stuff! We had a project going in the shop, some mentoring-tutoring activity, as Geoff helped Leo figure out laser engraving oak, for part II of Leo's Eagle Scout project. Leo is making signs to identify individual native plants along a park trail. Practice and fine tuning yielded terrific results! Simon was over to work on math with Max. Bex and Leslie hung out and we played with the doll house, art supplies, and tried one of the Adagio Advent calendar teas. Have I mentioned? We have an Advent calendar that holds a new tea, one for each day until the 24th? Then Bex, Maria and Bambi worked on the fairy puzzle, and Simon hung out with Leo, and Geoff in the shop. And I started a big pot of tamale chicken. It may or may not become tamales, but it's already made delicious burritos!

Sunday, Max came with me to pick up our tree. It arrived at the school very late, because the poor driver got a flat. They were so apologetic about the delay, but it all worked out fine, for us. Leo and Michael were back in the shop with Geoff, and they finished a whole stack of signs. Alex, Bambi, and William were busy in the kitchen fixing good eats for our family day and Thanksgiving sequel. Maria finished up physics homework, and some writing. Besides holiday fun, she's trying to keep focused on end of semester work, readying for finals... the school has never ended the semester before winter break. There's a lot going on, and I am feeling good about the navigating and juggling! And cats! I can't not say something about Cats and holidays, cats and ribbons and boxes, and the tree, and lights... the cats add so much fun and mischief, and joy!

Sakamoto in the box, with the Nativity figures, is a favorite moment. He looks like he is auditioning for a part. Were there landseals in Bethlehem? My order from High Hog Farm, arrived, and I couldn't wait to feel the wool, and smell the... nevermind! I must be careful not to let Christmas secrets spill! I have lots more shopping to do, and I am happy to visit artists, small businesses, and local vendors, as well as the second-hand shops, and doing some of our own making! This kind of shopping feels like a three way gift... good for vendors, good for recipients, and I feel good, too. We had a bit of rain, and lots and lots of fog... about as close as can come to a white Christmas! And a neighbor was out walking her 8 week old puppy, and lucky me, I can confirm the puppy feels as soft and darling as he looks! We've had good family dinners, and cozy nights together. I feel thankful and uplifted by each happy moment, by days that begin, or end, on a bright note, that feel productive or inspiring.
My plans for a seamless and shiny holiday season were never going to be exactly flawless, I know. But I hadn't counted on getting an earache. Are those the worst? Don't answer that. I know. They certainly are not the worst. But, sometimes they are really really awful, and this is one of those times. And yesterday, for at least 75% of the day I was kicked in the head with every kind of delay, mix-up, setback, and pain (literal and figurative.) There were, not kidding, a few moments when I thought it would be nice to pass out. If I detailed the phone call to make an appointment, or described going to two pharmacists, or gave some backstory on how my poor ears are a mess, ever since... nevermind, but you would have to agree, I was totally worthy of a tender, sympathetic pity party. 100% But it was not a bad day and I will tell you why.

In spite of a horrible earache, and running around trying to get help, and hours and hours doing nothing but trying to cope, yesterday was good. Alex drove me to the doctor, and picked me up, and brought me to the pharmacist, both of them. Janece was happy to bring Maria home from school (we have the best friends!) and Geoff was able to meet his brother Paul for lunch and a visit to the surplus shop (that was my idea, and it went as planned!) Gina was texting me pictures of my Mom and Dad. She was visiting them. I want to go to there, I miss them, and I am glad she could hug them for me, and I could see how lovely and well they are looking. William made us a comforting, hot, vegan stew, and since the ibuprofen had kicked in, I was able to eat. Our advent tea was another delicious one. One of the most anticipated and appreciated holiday packages arrived from the Northwoods, and everyone was exclaiming over Aunt Laura's and Uncle Gary's beautiful cookies. Even the kitties know it's a special arrival, and they took turns enjoying the new box. Alex told me about the visit at the surplus shop, with Paul and Geoff, and he described his Dad and Uncle as kids in a candy shop! I got the best seat on the couch, a perfect spot for watching the tree get decorated, then we watched A Christmas Story, a movie we know so well we were laughing, even in anticipation of every funny scene! And then I decided I couldn't go to bed without taking a walk in the fresh air. I covered both of my ears under a cozy hat, Geoff and I held hands, and my favorite tree was lit up, which always makes me feel sentimental and thankful. When we moved to the Bird House, their's was the only house on the street with holiday lights. A lot has changed, and some places go all out now, but this tree will always be most dear.

The ear is improving, just enough to make me feel the medicine is working. I am trying not to feel let down about all the ways yesterday was hard, or about the things that fell apart, or backfired (hiding Christmas gifts in the back of the van, the van that went to the surplus store... that was a backfire, and I feel like Failure Elf about that.) I am about to go to bed, to put more drops in that ear. And hopefully, very soon, I will be back on a better course, with more good and better days ahead.


Ruth said...

I'm really sorry about your earache. It is such a painful experience to have one. Glad you're feeling better. Your house looks so cozy and cheery for the holidays. Carry on!

Little Dorrit does... said...

My daughter made me laugh the other day - she was admiring our dear XXS Cat dog and said, "If Lois was in a Nativity Play she would be the Baby Jesus, because she has Main Character Energy!" I think Sakamoto has Main Character Intensity in that photo. What is it about cats and boxes? So funny!
The earache, and the quest to get help to cure the earache don't sound like fun, but as you say, all the other good stuff that's going on helps to counterbalance the pain. The wooden signs look amazing, and I just wish I could get a closer look at the doll's house. I have one just the same, so I'm curious to know what your tenants have done with their place!
Hope you continue to improve and feel better.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Ruth. Cozy and cheery are the ultimate goals!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Amelia, your comment cracked me up, a few times! Your daughter's observation was spot on, I am sure. Cats are the Main Character! And the stuff they get away with! I would be so sad if we didn't have their antics and nonsense to distract, annoy, and amuse us.
Now, about those doll house tenants! Maybe they should be evicted, I don't know. But, to be fair: Lockdown was hard on them, too, and they could use a work party and some redecorating energy. I helped them move in, Christmas 2019, and then they were left to fend for themselves, until I recently moved the whole house across our living room. Is yours the Ikea one, too?

Janece said...

The community you always nurture and support at The Bird House is unique and so wonderful. Thank you to you and Geoff for everything you do and provide a safe space for.

The photos of the cats with the new tree... so good.

I'm so sorry you had to endure that earache. I'm glad it is on the mend (hopefully even more so today!) I'm so glad you reached out so that I could pick up Maria. It's really fun to be able to help!!

That neighborhood tree is really lovely... I can see why it has a dear place in your heart!

Much love and happy holiday season, Natalie!!

Little Dorrit does... said...

Yes, the Ikea one. Not too big, and nice and sturdy! I hankered after it for at least a year before finally letting myself have one. I think I might have even argued that it could potentially be used as a quirky shelf!

Who was I trying to kid - it's now fully furnished, stuffed with all sorts of tiny things and inhabited by a pair of felt mice (spinsters - Miss Lavender and Blanche) and an assortment of other random characters! When my daughter asks, "Who's that little person sitting on the settee/in the bathtub?" I usually reply, "I think it's a neighbour!" Lol.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Oh! You and I, we are kindred spirits! I stalled, too, and even bought one for Maria, before admitting I was the one that was really interested in having a doll house! As it happens, Maria does use hers as a quirky shelf, and it's actually effective and cute. Cheers for Ikea and their sturdy and appealing doll houses!
As for my doll house it is also occupied by mice, who let in boarders, like the Calico Critters, and a pair of mismatched dolls, whose names escape me. And yes, neighbors, pets, are everywhere, and the place is furnished like a charity shop!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Hello Janece, at least 21 times, if I counted correctly! I meant to share with you, at the picnic, how deeply heartened I was when I found this treasure trove of comments from you... thank you thank you thank you! I read them all, like a bedtime story, and it put me in such a loved and appreciative state of mind... lovely for bedtime!