There’s Always January 1

The grocery store was nuts yesterday.

We’re talking lines so long it was difficult to find the end. Most people seemed polite and happy to wait their turn which was good because there were just two cashiers. The self checkout line was also long as people were buying carts full of groceries and most of us civilians aren’t nearly as efficient as the average cashier/bagger combo.

My cashier was a young man, perhaps college aged, who indicated it had been a zoo all afternoon. When I asked why, we talked about the impending holiday and he said something truly profound. “People get all uptight and rude around Christmas but it seems like people try harder around New Years. They are gonna eat better or do things to reinvent themselves. Everyone tries to be a better person around New Years.”

He’s absolutely right.

Personally, I believe every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. Waiting till January to start doing better seems silly to me but I do understand the appeal of that fresh slate provided by a new year.

That said, I have been plotting some improvements in my own life and have a handful of goals to work on in the first quarter of this year.

My only wish is that everyone would always try a little harder to be better people. After all, it was refreshing to see people getting along and to hear the friendly, casual conversations among strangers. The lady in line behind me even offered to watch my cart while I ran for a gift card.

Speaking of nice people, I had superb lunch service at Los Mariachis and encountered a super kind employee at Lowe’s who helped me locate something I would have never found on my own. The picture above represents my favorite purchase of the day – this vintage style light up ceramic snowman. He was 75 percent off and a conversation starter everywhere I went in the store.

By the way, one of my goals for the next few months is to curb spending by doing a No Spend Challenge. Sigh. I guess I’ll be starting January 1!

Happy Place

“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” Anthony Douglas Williams

This particular soul wanted me to sit with him a while longer the other day. So I did. That’s the beautiful thing about vacation. It’s easier to make time for the tiny creatures with the big personalities who simply want a bit of your time.

My chores could wait so I stayed and read a while longer. Scout clung to my leg as he drifted off into a deep sleep, the kind where he snores and makes an occasional cooing sound that tells me he’s in his happy place.

When that happens, I’m in my happy place too.

Just A Glimpse

Here’s a quick glimpse of a Chihuly to brighten your Tuesday. It’s at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Glass art is lovely and ever changing as the light brightens and dulls. Chihuly is one of my favorite artists for public spaces because I typically like his use of colors and shapes.

This one is really nice and well worth a peek if you’re in the neighborhood.

Goodbye Christmas

Some years the Christmas decorations get to stick around until after the new year. Sometimes others are addressing their valentines while I’m just starting to pack up the Santas and trees.

This is not one of those years. Operation Just Put It All Away got started yesterday as I began gathering up all the shelf sitters, pictures and other assorted holiday cheer that adorned most rooms of the house.

All that’s left is the tree and that will probably be today’s project.

There was also a time that I would decorate a tree in every room. There was a gingerbread tree in the kitchen, Victorian ornaments on the bedroom tree and even the bathrooms had small three foot trees on the counters. My favorite was always the tree of vintage ornaments from the forties through the sixties.

This was not the year for any of this either. It was a constant struggle just to have the one tree. This is because my adorable house panther thanked me profusely almost daily for giving him such a magnificent play thing in the middle of the living room.

And no, the sprays and oranges, tin foil and other assorted fear tactics don’t deter him from attacking and eating the tree. He’s his own man and isn’t about to cower to the scent of citrus.


My house badly needs cleaned and to go through the annual decluttering and I was happy beyond words to begin the process yesterday. There was an exception though.

The vintage tree is my favorite. It’s always the first to go up and the last to come down. Since that wasn’t possible again this year, I compromised by filling a couple of snifters and even a domed cake plate with some of my favorite vintage pieces for the kitchen counter.

A small shelf hosted a number of plastic Santas, houses and snowmen.

I was a little sad to say so long to these pieces for another year. A few come from my parents but most were accumulated piece by piece at antique malls and flea markets in my travels near and far. There’s already a small army of Santas but I’ll continue to buy whenever the price is right or I find something I don’t have.

They bring me joy.

Since I believe it’s healthy to always have something to look forward to, I’ll look forward to unpacking them again next year. Maybe by then my cat won’t be such a tree loving heathen.

All Aboard: Holiday Train

If you’re near downtown Columbus, Ohio during the holidays, don’t miss the model train display at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. It’s free to view and absolutely fabulous.

All of the buildings are modeled after actual churches, homes and businesses in two small Bavarian towns. They’re made with natural plant materials including bark, seeds, moss and pine cones. Most took weeks to build but the castle and waterfall took over three months and the cathedral took over ten months.

The castle alone stands eight feet tall while the waterfall pumps 600 gallons of water per hour. Model trains run on about 280 feet of track while there is 600 square feet of “snow” covered land.

There’s even a red covered bridge.

It gets reimagined and reconfigured every year so it’s worth visiting even if you’ve seen it before.

It is magnificent.

Be sure to walk upstairs and view it from above too.

It’s up through January 8. The library has an attached parking garage where one hour parking is free. The Main Library is located at 96 South Grant Ave. If you visit, pop by the nearby Columbus Museum of Art to view the Van Gogh exhibition happening now or swing over to German for lunch and a stroll. If you’re headed to Franklin Park Conservatory, it’s literally just down the street.