The Christmas List


Do you remember being a child and sitting on Santa’s lap or writing him a letter telling him the wonderful things you would love for Christmas?

I still remember the year, when I was about ten years old and I wanted this beautiful doll for Christmas.  It was all I wanted.  It was similar to the American Girl Dolls we have today.  I pined about this doll.  It was one the years we drove from our farm in northern California to West Hollywood, to the home of my father’s sister and her husband.  In my eyes, with a view of the city and a swimming pool, they had everything.  My cousin even had a four poster white bed, something I dreamed about for years.  It was a long drive, and my father put all of our presents on the top of the family car in boxes. I have never forgotten those windblown beat-up gifts being put under the prettiest tree I had ever seen.  I was sad to my toes to see our pathetic gifts under their perfect tree with all their big beautiful gifts beautifully wrapped. Christmas morning came and I knew my main gift was the wrong shape to be that doll I coveted. My parents had given me a big pink fuzzy bathrobe.  I opened the present and just started crying.  No one knew what to do.  To this day, my gifts are perfectly wrapped and NO ONE ever gets a bathrobe for Christmas.

When I was younger, in my twenty and thirties I always just wanted something special for Christmas and I was very lucky that happened for many years. My sons never lacked for gifts and got everything on the list that they gave me.  I never had a list after that Christmas at my aunt’s house.  I never wanted to be disappointed again.  If you don’t have a list, you can’t be sad when don’t get anything from that list.

At my current stage of life, if I want something I buy it.  I don’t need or want more jewelry, as it will just be a question of what happens to it when….  (Granddaughter Claire gets it all) As my sons grew older and didn’t really want much for Christmas, I started giving them memories.  I took them hot-air ballooning over Del Mar, California. We had a very wonderful dinner at the Hotel Del Coronado for New Years Eve. We skied at Whistler, Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, Mission Ridge and hit every ski resort locally.  We ice skated, roller bladed and ate at a lot of wonderful restaurants.  I attempted camping only once and failed miserably, but it was all about making memories. We cooked together and always had a candlelit dinner together on Sunday evenings. I think it was a good thing to do.

As I said now I don’t want “things” as gifts. If you were to ask me today what I really wanted, I might tell you that I would like the screen in the kitchen replaced where the paint drop made a hole when I tried to clean it. I would love the beautiful aqua fountain between my house and my garage to be working again, as I loved coming home to the sound of it. There is a tiny hole in the grout in the living room and I think I will just fill it in today myself, as it bothers me every time I vacuum and with Frostyman the Cat I vacuum each and every day.  I would love to see the beautiful light fixture over my desk fully-functioning again.  Four of the lights just quit working and it has to be taken apart to fix. So maybe I would just like a card that says these things will be done.  That would make me so very happy. I would love to see the garage clean and fireplace on the back deck, so I can use my TRX in the garage and I would love to see the inside of garage painted and clean, but I think that is my summer project. (too cold right now)

If you ask me about things I love, I would share that I love the snow globes I have collected for years and if you could find more from Neiman Marcus, that would make me be very appreciative of you knowing something I care about.  I may just leave them out all year and collect some from places I loved visiting.  I think we need to have things in our homes that we love to look at and that make us smile. When I had a scavenger for my granddaughter’s seventh birthday last week, I realized I have some pretty fun stuff that I have collected and loved over the years.

Mostly I would love to spend the holidays with all my sons and their families and that just does not seem to happen any more. Luckily one son lives fairly close, so I do get to see him more. So maybe I will just go have a facial or massage, take a trip, go to the movies I want to see, read more books and spend more time in my studio sewing or painting. We all just need to take the time to do the things we love.  Oh and of course I always find joy in cooking.  Now I just need to find more people that want to eat what I cook.

What makes you happiest at Christmas?  Is it the decorations, the food, the family or the camaraderie of friends getting together.  When I was younger, Christmas always made me so very happy, but as I grow older and my children have lives of their own I do not look forward to the holidays nearly as much.


The Christmas List

Granddaughters are the BEST!


Having raised three sons on my own and NO girls, it is so much fun to have granddaughters.  They are all here next weekend for four days, so we are baking cookies, each in their apron made by Grandma, going to Peter Pan and then off to the Nutcracker Ballet in Seattle.   Made dresses for that too!


Here are the dresses for Claire (4), Leah (9), and Holly (6).  We should have a great time.  Hope to make lots of fun memories for my girls.  I think adventures are much better than presents!

Granddaughters are the BEST!

Jammies for Granddaughters

IMG_8091 IMG_1138

Finally having granddaughters, it is such a joy to make fun things for them.  Last week I made four nighties in flannel for my three granddaughters.  I remember when I was young and my mother and I would go shopping in San Francisco after the summer.  I would have worked all summer and saved every penny.  Having about $1000 to spend, our first stop would be the Lanz shop on Maiden Lane.  There I would buy my first winter nightie and one year, the year before going to college I bought the most beautiful black dress and coat with gold buttons.  Wish I could find such a nice one now.

Making these for my granddaughters reminded me of that loving experience and of then hoping and praying I would get another one for Christmas.  To this day I love Lanz nightgowns.  They bring back cozy nights of sitting in front of a real fireplace snuggled up and reading a great book.  My dad making popcorn in the fireplace and all of us enjoying the time together.

No more real fireplace, so maybe the nighties, made in the style of Lanz nighties will bring fond memories to my three beautiful granddaughters in the future.  Think I better find some nice Christmas flannel to make three more for a Christmas surprise.

Jammies for Granddaughters

The New Year is coming

The New Year is coming

In the gray of the morning, a little pink came out to surprise us with the joy of nature. It is quiet in our house now, with my grand daughter having gone back to San Francisco on the 22nd. All the toys are stored, and the quiet of the morning is almost overwhelming.

Little children bring such amazing joy to your life, with their exuberance in the questions about everything. Everything is new and wonderful to them. When we are young we see things so very differently than we do as we become adults. It is too bad we can not keep some of the innocence as our lives grow with our age.

The first day Claire left, I enjoyed the quiet, (sort of) but by the second and third I missed the joy of her laughter, the questions about everything and the hugs and kisses.

As my house recovers from our colds, and life gets back to “normal” I pause to wonder, what can we do to bring the joy that children see on daily basis into our lives?



Merry Christmas and I hope to all my followers and friends that yours is a million times better than mine!  My son and grand daughter left on the 22nd, and no word from them today.  My middle son is in California and no word from him today.  My husband, youngest son and I all have miserable colds, so there is a non-harmony of coughs through out the house.  I suppose it is good we did not plan to get together with anyone, as we are not good company.

So maybe my redo of the Twice the Night Before Christmas should be for the day of…..

T’was the morning  of Christmas and all through the house,

Every person was coughing; wife, child and spouse. 

The stockings, once hung by the chimney weren’t there

As we celebrated Christmas early for our dear little Claire.

The adults were all snuggled in front of TV’s

With one for Michael & Maxx, but none left for me.

No celebrating or cooking this year

As mom did not feel really of good cheer.

When out in the yard the only clatter

Was the dog barking at neighbors, so it didn’t really matter.

Chinese takeout is dinner, never done it before

No taste buds with cold buds, no need to eat more.

Would go to a movie, but coughing is loud

So stay home and write the Sad Day of Christmas away from the crowd.

Here is to better Christmases in the future!


John Deere Floor Matts

John Deere Floor Matts

Over 20 years ago one of my best friends in life gave me John Deere car floor matts for a Christmas present. She knew that I grew up on a farm in Northern California and the first “car” I ever drove was a John Deere Tractor, friendly called our “Johnny Popper”. I loved growing up on that farm and riding the tractor with my father, learning good work ethic, laboring hard in the summers and enjoying the fruits of our labor in the winter by the fireplace.

Those matts were in my Porsche 911 that I drove for 19 years till it was totaled some 8 years ago, and they made me smile, even on a gray day with the memories of my father and my childhood. When I replaced the 911 with a Boxter, I went to the wrecking yard and got the matts our the 911, as they were important to me for some strange reason. The Boxter was a challenge, as it always leaked oil and just did not drive the same as the 1986 Red Carrera.

When I sold that car and drove only my Jeep Liberty for several years, they graced the floor of that car. They had become my personal tradition.

Three years ago I finally remarried and for a wedding gift my new husband bought a Red Porsche Cabriolet, so I thought what a great place for my John Deere matts, but they were requested to stay in my Jeep.

A year ago we sold the Jeep and leased a shiny new Red Mercedes for me to drive. Boy, those John Deere matts looked good in that car. But every time my new husband got into the car, he grumbled and repositioned the matts as they really were not made for a Mercedes.

Today, as I put away my Christmas decorations, knowing no one was coming for Christmas, I decided that my John Deere tradition of the floor matts should go away too. Today for me is a day for changing traditions and letting go.

My John Deere floor matts are in the bottom of the recycle bin and will be interesting to see if anyone but me notices the difference.

May your new year be full of new traditions, no sad farewells and the strength to accept changes as they come your way.


Aftermath:  My husband read my blog and did not realize the significance of my John Deere Floor Matts.  He went out to the recycle and reclaimed them, cleaned them and reinstalled them.  That is the best Christmas Present ever!!


Everyone should believe they can be a Princess

Everyone should believe they can be a Princess

My beautiful grand daughter left to go back to SF with her father after spending three weeks with me. The house is quiet, the toys are packed up and put and away and there is a very empty space in my house and in my life. He will have a a small Christmas back in SF with his girlfriend.

I am looking for the faith in Christmas. It is Christmas Eve day, and we already did Christmas while she was here, so no plans for the actual Christmas day. No big dinner, no lots of friends and family.

As you grow older and your children have their own lives, it is your place in life to accept that you need to redesign your Christmas.

I always loved the Holidays, as it meant family and friends, great food and festivities. Growing up, my mother’s family was close by, so all the aunts and uncles would get together with great food and loud conversation. As I grew and married everyone lived further apart and the tradition seemed to dwindle.

Now, I am in my 60’s and celebrated Christmas morning on the 21st, so I could watch my beautiful three year old grand daughter open presents and was thrilled with the joy of watching her excitement. It was so nice to have two of my sons for dinner and conversation. But where is the rest of the connected family.

It is Christmas Eve day and I am grateful to have all my family members healthy, no matter where they live. I didn’t do Christmas cards this year and most likely will only send a few out to my close friends, as last year, I did not mention one wife that was between jobs and one girlfriend and I became the scum of the earth for not saying anything. One of things I have decided as I look to the New Year is that you cannot make everyone happy. Of my immediate family I was the only one to send out cards with photos of all them; but rather than enjoying what I wrote, it was the complaint of what I did not write.

It is a beautiful sunrise this morning once again, and time to think about the sunrises in our lives, enjoy the moment, let the unhappy people in our lives be unhappy without making us feel that way, put on our Princess Crown and remember what Christmas is all about. It is not what is once was with family and friends in my life, but knowing they are independently happy will have to be enough joy for me to share with the world.

May you find “The Princess” in your life and in your heart and accept the beautiful life we are all lucky enough to enjoy.

Not my ordinary blog, but something I have been thinking about for a while.


Its a new look for our Christmas Tree??

IMG_4663Its a new look for our Christmas Tree??

Christmas should be a time of joy, but with so much commercialization it is sometimes hard to remember what it is really all about. Family, love, the birth of Christ and sharing! I feel so lucky to have my beautiful grand daughter for the three weeks before Christmas. This is her first Christmas in the US and she is loving the lights and Christmas Trees and happiness of the season.

Our tree will be righted later today, but it just did not want to stand up straight this year… It looked so great when we picked it out, we knew it would be happy in our home.