Saturday, November 30, 2013

Elvy's Advice for the Holidays

I’m sorry my blog is up late this month, it’s the holidays, what can I say?

No recipes, although I did make a really delicious kale and black-eyed pea soup a couple of weeks ago, with some homemade whole wheat rolls, and it was delicious.

I’ll post the recipe sometime, I promise.

I realized this morning that everything facing me right now is the result of an action my husband took about this time last year.

For no reason whatsoever outside of the fact our grandson left his new pogo stick in front of his house when I sent his grandpa over to pick him up, my sixty-five year old husband decided to jump on it.

After the rotor cuff surgery in December, the incident the day after the surgery when I thought he’d died (I accidentally gave him his generic Ambien, something beginning with a Z, which he insisted was blood pressure medicine), and beginning to recover from all of that, the toilet in the master bath began to ‘ghost flush’ , and our water bill skyrocketed.
As he was still in a sling, I made the executive decision to cut the water off to that toilet, and use the bathroom next door for the time being.

Somewhere in the months that followed (it’s all a blur), I looked up at my bright blue kitchen ceiling, and noticed a line running in two places, one of which extended into the family room.

We’d had a plumber out to fix the upstairs bathroom toilet by then, so called him back, and my second nightmare began.

Very long story short, he finally identified a tiny, infinitesimal, leak, but had turned the downstairs ceilings into giant holes by then.  We wrestled with the insurance crap, paid more money, watched our ceilings get patched, and painted, wrong, twice, and in the process, I noticed a shelf that had been over the large kitchen window, and decorated kind of cool (I thought) with all sorts of old things, like a wooden coffee grinder, mason jars filled with interesting dried beans, an old bread box, were actually covered in years of grime, grease, dust, spider webs, dead bugs, you name it.

I actually said out loud in my empty house, if you can’t take better care of things than this, you don’t deserve them (sounding exactly like my mother). So I pulled all the crap down, gave a lot away (after washing it) and re-purposed a few things.

In the middle of all this, my husband tells me he wants to sell our business, he said he was tired of it. I wasn’t sure if he’d recovered enough to make that decision.

I had mixed feelings. We’d kept it going when everybody else was going under, we had a solid business with a growing customer base, but, we were both getting older, and it was a lot of work.

Selling it turned out to be more complicated than we expected (like everything else), but he finally accomplished it in July.

During the first month of his ‘retirement’ phase, he got to his list of chores (over a year old) which included pulling down the empty kitchen shelf.

That’s when I discovered I’d never actually painted behind it – no big deal, until he did, resulting in white splotch’s on what I realized were greying walls.

So now I’m half through painting the kitchen. The damn pantry took a week, the new blinds required three trips to Lowe’s to find the right size, with hardware, and not damaged.  And the more I look, the more I see of neglected areas requiring sanding, painting, cleaning, scraping.

Oh well, all the brushes, and paint are put away for now. The holidays are upon us, and some heavy cleaning is required before we celebrate Hanukkah on the 15th (I know, that’s not when Hanukkah is celebrated this year, but it is when MY family will celebrate it).

So, no matter what the universe throws at you, and especially during the Holidays, use it to learn to roll with the punches. I’m still pretty flexible for an old lady; I have to be, and it’s good advice!

 And what’s more, you never know what that innocent looking guy sleeping in your bed will pull next.
Love on a Half Shell
A shell is a hard object—tough. It can withstand the ocean’s pounding for long stretches of time.
A shell is also cupped. It can hold tender things, protect them and allow them to grow.

Meet Rae Greene, a thirty-something woman who has made a few mistakes and doesn’t flinch from acknowledging them. She’s a tough cookie with a good heart, and she’s just been handed her sister’s kids.
Three parts love, two parts grit…the perfect recipe to save a family.



  1. Pretty good advice, I'd say! Even outside "the holidays"!

  2. I'm with you Leah, the 'Holidays' only add another layer of challenge, right?

  3. Oh my gracious, Elvy! At least you're still smiling and rolling along. Funny how a tug on that one loose string will slowly unravel things. However, we all do the best we can with the hand we're dealt. Happy Hanukkah!

  4. Thanks for checking in Denise, you put it well, loose string indeed, and the unraveling of my life continues on.