Around Here

Around here, it has been cold and snowy. I have been enjoying hibernation, trying to balance relaxation with tending to my own health and wellness.

I have been taking the easy way out where dinner is concerned. This bag of stir fry is a step up from the egg sandwich and fistful of chocolate I would rather be eating when I’m cold and tired.

This book has been keeping my mind engaged.

As always, Scout keeps me on my toes.

I joined in a free art history webinar the other day and got a nice overview of the progression of early art through the Impressionists who happen to be my favorite artists.

This is a famous Claude Monet painting that I was lucky to see in Washington DC last year.

The webinar instructor had a down to earth approach to art and a wonderful ability to simplify big topics. If I had hundreds of extra dollars I would sign up for a paying course she offers on the Impressionists. She gave voice to what I have long felt but didn’t understand about these lovely works of art. I’ll talk about that another day.

For now, I’m trying to find a balance between work and home, self care and doing as I please, healthy skepticism and unhealthy mental ruts.

Winter is a time of hibernation. We recede into our homes as animals take to their dens. Even the hardiest of plants conserve their energy and rest in anticipation of brighter days ahead. Aside from a few walks, I have been happily hibernating and wondering what kind of rebirth might accompany the arrival of spring.

Around here, life is pretty good these days

Back To Reality

Vacation is over and I’m headed back to work today. Luckily, I like my job and enjoy earning my own way in the world. All the same, I will miss the leisure time and having the opportunity to get stuff done during the week.

Scout has enjoyed it too. Here he is luxuriating with his favorite blanket and my book. If he looks irked, it’s because I woke him up taking his picture. I hate to tell him that we won’t get to relax with a book and a blanket today!

Happy New Year and Happy Monday. Here’s to new beginnings.

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.

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.

Sigh.

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.

Scout And The Christmas Tree

Like an idiot, I dared to put up a Christmas tree last week. If you’re a cat owner, you will understand my mistake.

Scout doesn’t really try to climb the tree so much as he eats it. Although when he does go for a climb I’m pretty sure it is moments away from landing on the floor. Consequently, there a lot of conversations in my house that start with phrases like “WHAT did I just say” and “you better leave that alone….”

Any attempts to keep him away go ignored in the face of his determination. Everyone has a recommendation – orange peels, whole oranges and tin foil are the most popular. He just thumbs that cute little heart shaped nose in my direction and resumes his activities.

I bought a spray deterrent and doused the tree, skirt and floor around it all. That held him at bay for less than two days.

I can’t wait to take down the tree.

Scout In Costume

I forgot to share Scout’s Halloween picture. He hated the hat but was surprisingly cool with the cape. He knows how to rock a great costume with the confidence of a model on a catwalk.

Here’s his other costume. He liked this one better because it didn’t require a hat that covered up his nice ears. He really does make a nice Batcat!

Happy Saturday, friends. Go forth and enjoy this day.