December 18th, 2008

ozarque figure

Personal note; holiday schedule...

We're having a busy-flurry at my place right now. Today is the day I make the fruitcake -- with help from my husband, because I am literally not strong enough to stir the batter when everything has been added to it. That will take a while... and will be worth every single minute it takes, because it's a spectacularly good fruitcake; the recipe is at .

Today is the day I do the centerpiece for the table, which starts out as a big basket with Oasis inside in a glass baking dish and ends as a splendid basket of evergreens that stay fresh because they're in water, plus a few ornaments. I am blessed with a yard full of huge junipers, many of them loaded with berries, and I'll be going out to fill my gathering-basket with juniper cuttings (and a few cuttings from my weeping cedars) to tuck into the Oasis. My sister-in-law gave me the centerpiece -- done then by a professional -- many years ago, and every year since I've tried hard to duplicate the original. I've never succeeded yet, but the result is always beautiful all the same. There's no way a big basket of juniper and weeping-cedar branches can possibly not be beautiful, no matter how amateur the arranger. And of course it perfumes the house.

The fruitcake and the centerpiece will be all I get done for Christmas today, and when those two tasks have worn me out I'll take to my bed and work on the collage book I'm trying to get finished in time for this year's Conestoga Art Show -- which will be in April this year instead of in July as in the past.

I'm a bit uneasy because all sorts of things that were supposed to arrive by snailmail haven't gotten here yet. The makings for our Christmas Eve buffet, for example. Customer Service tells me the box will arrive "on or before December 24th," which is cutting it awfully close; if that turns out not to be true, it will mean emergency grocery shopping on December 24th, and I am going to be very annoyed about that, given the fact that I sent in my order in September. The dog's vitamins are somewhere in transit, and every day she comes running at the time when she ordinarily gets those vitamins and then stands there giving me her Heartbroken-Abandoned-Orphan-Dog look and I have to say "All gone, vitamins!" yet again and feel terrible about it. Another set of galleys from Barnes & Noble is somewhere in transit, despite being sent "Priority Mail." [I know; I already copyedited a full set. But that set came back from the designers in an untrustworthy state and I have to do another set.] A few Christmas presents are somewhere in transit... Maybe all these things will be in today's post; I can hope.

And they're saying we may have a thunderstorm this afternoon, which wouldn't help at all.

Ho, ho, ho?