Putting up the tree and collage

Putting up the tree — there’s that red silk again, draped at its base — brought home the hollowness of this upcoming holiday. There will be no gifts underneath. No flurry of excitement opening the gifts. No stockings stuffed with chocolates and homemade ornaments.

Before I go on: all I care about this year is that everyone stay healthy. That’s it. That’s all that matters.

Home Depot was packed. Worse, one of the staff bagging the trees wore her mask below her nose. What? I hated her just for putting us in the position of wanting to demand that she pull it up.

Note: Massachusetts case numbers are UP — way worse than they were back in March.

Having recently discovered (through the use of my new oximeter which also measures heart beats per minute) that my heart rate is often elevated, I walked away, turned my back, and breathed.

Fortunately, K didn’t need the sawing or bagging service and told her just to lean the tree on a rack while he paid. Loaded it himself.

I plan to turn my back on grievance more in the New Year.

Another example: my next door neighbor lets her yard fill with weeks’ worth of leaves before having her crew come which means when then arrive, we’re in for a long while of noise. Think: twenty five minutes versus two and a half hours.

I doubled up on ear protection and retreated to the cellar. Breathe! So, so preferable to gnashing my teeth, pacing to the windows to check progress, and feeling grievance.

The basement studio is a mess but nevertheless acts as refuge. Building on yesterday’s collage, I made a quick tracing of the surfer to use as a pattern.

Left side of silhouette needs work. I also found another collage (below) rife with female imagery and also created a simple new one — the lady with archeological find on her head.

Cookies are in the works. At least I can share THEM with the boys — as long as I can find a time when there aren’t seven or ten people waiting in line at the PO.

Thank you for the pecans, Jen!

I might have complained a while back about how I wasn’t about to go to Costco for the all important pecans. They had the best price, three recipes require them, blah, blah.

First, a Georgian friend offered to pick me up some. I declined (but thank you, Ms Deb Lacativa!) Then without telling me Jennifer, who hales from Alabama, went off and bought me a pound.

Tis the season to be grateful.

14 thoughts on “Putting up the tree and collage

  1. snicklefritzin43

    Creating; the time and concentration to just be in that place can gently pull us away from those teeth gritting moments….and more. Your collages today are very good….thanks for always sharing the open, true story of your days.

  2. Marti

    No tree here, I usually created a wonky little tree from the free box of trimmings at Home Depot but not going there this year. New Mexico’s numbers are horrible, just yesterday, 44 deaths, over 102,000 infected, over 900 in our hospitals that now have very limited ICU beds…we are now on a three tier red, green and yellow system. Of 33 counties here in New Mexico, 32 are red, one is yellow…dismal.

    Still that feeling of quiet joys in the season is probably needed more this year than ever and to that end, we celebrate the coming of the light more than anything else so in that spirit, I have decorated: We have a grapevine wreath that I made from our grapevines, several years ago, Hanging in the center is a Winter Solstice card and the wreath is entwined with fairy lights, dried orange slices, bits of green ivy that grows on the side of this casita, a few tiny red round ornaments and as a wonderful surprise for us, our twin grandchildren,, this year, sent us metal photo ornaments that they had made for us. Our granddaughter’s is very arty, black and white with a closeup of her sweet face and a handwritten sentiment. Our grandson’s has his face on the front and back with a a tiny Christmas tree and a Merry Christmas G and G!. Old favorite cards are also on display plus my husband’s dear old teddy bear, wearing his raggedy Christmas ski sweater. Against one wall is a 45 yr old long, wide green velvet ribbon with German Christmas postcards that I gave our girls when they were five years old in their advent calendar. Our nicho contains snow people cards and candles.

    Our little coffee table has a wonderful book that I’ve had since 1989. from the Kitchen Arts and Letters division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux titled, Christmas Memories with Recipes. One of my deepest joys is to make a cup of tea in my snow people mug, sit in my comfy living room chair and read this book. Stories and recipes are from Julia Child, Edna Lewis, Jacques Pepin, Craig Clairborne, Marcella Hazan, Martha Stewart, Felipe Rojas, Carol Flinders and many more. Also on our coffee table is a very old red and green woven basket filled with red chiles, juniper branches and pine cones and a small beeswax candle in an old metal holder.

    In the kitchen, a long pine cone runner and a tall metal candle holder with vanilla scented candle and underneath, long pine cones collected when we lived in Washington and Tennessee.

    Outside by our front door is my very old folk art snow man and an equally old snow man milk pail surrounded by more juniper branches and pine cones and that’s it…simple items brought back year after year; they fill us with gratitude, quiet joys and wrap us in our own traditions.

    Quiet gifts of the season and warmth of the coming light to you and yours Dee.

    1. deemallon Post author

      This was a tour that read almost like a fairy tale. I was right there with you, flipping through the big book, enjoying a hot cup of tea. Thank you for sharing such a vivid description of your holiday surround.

    2. Nancy

      Marti, Such a lovely story. Quiet joys, so important, even if I’m having trouble with that this season. CA is real bad too, as you probably know. Today we found out two confirmed cases in our apartment building. Dang. I may never go outside again!

  3. Tina

    Your Winter Whites are growing beautifully .. think that is what they are called. Such a warm wonderful thing to have around bringing ChristmasJoy! This was all going to be over by Easter! Now it is almost Christmas and the numbers are so totally over the top .. and what is wrong with people that they cannot help our hospital’s and it’s workers by simply wearing a mask? Help all of us get back to family and friends gathering in celebrations. It’ll all be OK I know it will but it’s a crazy sad hard ride! Thanks for sharing your day … always an adventure.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I don’t know what’s wrong with people but I do know that whatever is causing such profound disconnections from reality will continue after the inauguration.

  4. Jen NyBlom

    HO HO HO and Happy Baking! It is a totally weird time and such a SURREAL & sad year (is it OVER YET!??) and I am struggling to feel some Christmas Spirit…I’m glad you are enjoying the pecans (I can smell the cookies baking from here~yum!)
    Your paperwhite narcissus are growing nicely! (mine are coming up in the yard; I hope they bloom this year)
    Love & Light to you and yours, Dee, and a Happy, HEALTHY New Year! 2021! Yay!

  5. Nancy

    I was here first thing this morning, when something you wrote sent me on day long wanderings, where one thing leads to another. Anyway, I think it’s her stance, her hip jutting out…powerful & confident, almost teen like, but I don’t have to argue with her.To be her age again…maybe I’d have that guitar I always wanted to play on my hip, if I had that confidence.
    I’m sorry you’re missing your boys and traditions this year Dee. Missing is hard.
    Enjoy your baking in every sensory way!


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