This is always a busy time, but this year more so than usual. Because of rainy weather on days I could work outside in October and November, I got behind in fall yard chores. And because I will be having surgical vein procedures done on both legs the two weeks before Christmas (one leg each week) and have to take it easy for a total of one month afterwards, I need to get all Christmas preparations done early.
So, I got busy this week. Two days after Thanksgiving, I got my tree up and decorated. The only items I collect are Christmas tree ornaments. My tree has ornaments from students I had during 22 years of teaching, trips I took for Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines during my 21 years working there, vacations I’ve taken since with my sister and friend Theresa Baer, and other ornaments that I’ve acquired here and there. Each year when the tree is up, I get to enjoy them for a few weeks.
I try to do my Christmas shopping throughout the year. Then try to remember where I stashed everything. This past Sunday, I poked around and I think I found everything. Because of the surgeries so close to Christmas, I won’t be driving to California like I planned. Which means I have to mail nearly everything. So, Sunday and Monday this past week, I got everything wrapped as a present and then put in boxes for shipping. I went to the Post Office Tuesday and only had to wait behind two people. (That’ll change in the next week or two.)
I also got my Christmas letter written that I will include with the Christmas cards I send. I know, I know. Most people just send their Christmas and New Year greetings online, but I’m old-fashioned that way. I still send out cards. The ones I got for this year, have bison in Yellowstone. After our trip to Yellowstone this summer, I couldn’t resist. I just love them.
Then on Wednesday and Thursday, the weather was unusually nice for this time of year. In the 60s on Wednesday and a little cooler on Thursday with no wind where I live. So, I worked outside. I finally got my car washed and vacuumed since coming back from Montana, Yellowstone, and the Tetons. I had cleaned the inside, but not the outside since the trip. So, it really needed it. I took some time on it, and it looks quite spiffy! Just like new!
And I got some work done outside. All the positively pathetic petunias on my deck and balcony have been replaced by particularly pretty primroses. In the main yard, just before Thanksgiving, I cleaned up the fir needles in the driveway, the drain, and the steps up to the house. I used my broom and dust pan and carried away enough stuff to fill a wheelbarrow twice. Then I raked the front yard area. It looks so much better. I carried away 14 loads of leaves, little branches, cones, and other tree debris, including some good-sized branches.
I planted two rhodies that replaced two that were more dead than alive. And I cleaned out a flowerbed and weeded the gravel area below the back decks. Several, and I mean several, plants need pruning. That will be my next outdoor chore. So, I’m hoping for more good weather days!
Still lots to do on both fronts––Christmas prep and fall cleanup. But, I made a big dent the past two weeks. I still have lots to do in the week and a half to go before my first surgery—besides the outdoor pruning, there are the Christmas cards, baking cookies and making fudge, getting presents for locals and . . .
Yes, a busy time of year. After each surgery, I have to take it easy for three weeks. I do have to walk every day for 30 minutes and put my legs up for a little while a few times a day. But I also will have time to read, do crossword puzzles, and anything else I enjoy doing that is not strenuous––for a whole month. At the moment, that sounds pretty darn good!
You have been incredibly hard working! Good luck with the surgeries and merry Christmas!