You Can't Believe A Word I Say

For as long as I can remember, if I would answer one of Missy M's questions...or respond to a request for information...and she would look doubtfully at me because of my answer or response, I would say "of course, you can't believe a word I say, 'cause I lie all of the time."  Say it with the proper amount of sarcasm dripping from each word, and you get the point across:  BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU...


I have said for weeks now (especially since I discovered at Thanksgiving just how painful memories can be during the Holidays after the loss of a loved one), I'm not putting up a Christmas tree this year. I just didn't think it was a good idea, for a number of reasons, not the least of which I couldn't imagine feeling any joy or happiness about the prospect.  Momma loved the Holidays, loved the shopping, loved the songs, loved the traditions, loved the lights and the ornaments.  Why put us through that pain?

First came the bereavement counseling.  These words from the pamphlet "Coping With The Holidays: the Road to Recovery" said it best:

"Decorating for the Holidays, although it may seem like more work than it is worth, will bring warmth into your home and should not be avoided....Once the decorating is done, you'll be happy to have the seasonal reminder that life is continuing on and so must you."

Quilted Tree Skirt
Made by Missy M - 2011
And, then came the quilted Tree Skirt.  I couldn't ignore this beautiful creation that our beautiful and creative daughter made and gave to us as an early Christmas present (photo, left).

A tree skirt needs a tree, right?  And a tree needs decorations, lights, and ornaments.  And a decorated tree needs wreaths and candles and nutcrackers and...and...well, you get the picture.  I found that I could not NOT decorate for Christmas.

Decorating for Christmas - 2011

So, you see (photo, right) can't believe a word I say.

Ah well.

In other preparations for the Season, Mr. T and I traveled to Durham on Saturday to hear Handel's Messiah at Duke University Chapel.  Inspirational!  I told Miss C (a childhood friend of Momma's and my former piano teacher in Henning) about the concert when I spoke to her this morning on our weekly phone call, and she said "well, you know Handel wrote that when he was at a particularly low point in his life."  Really?  Just goes to show that the passion from low points can lead to great heights, I suppose.  And the Chapel bulletin noted that he wrote possibly the Western World's most magnificent Oratorio in just 24 days.  20+4. Remarkable!

Pipes for the Organ -
Duke Chapel, Duke University
A little review - you might remember that we went to hear the Messiah at Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem a couple of Christmases ago; I posted about it here.  We had also been to Duke Chapel about 15 years ago, during our second time (of three...:) living here in NC.  As remembered, the Chapel is nothing shy of magestic.  It reminds one of the massive cathedrals of Europe, albeit on a smaller scale...although "small" isn't a word that comes to mind when in one of the pews.  The pipe organ's sound (photo, left) is soul-stirring.  And the music of the orchestra was moving.  However...the acoustics in the Chapel are you might expect with the soaring ceilings and all of that stone.  We had difficulty in hearing the soloists, who did not wear mikes.  We did NOT have this same problem at Centenary, which (while large as sanctuaries go) is more intimate than Duke Chapel. Next year?  We'll probably return to Centenary, which is also much warmer and more comfortable... important for a 3-hour performance, with only one intermission...and the standing for the Hallelujah Chorus, of course..., which All We Like Sheep (one of my personal favorite choruses...:) did just like King George II supposedly did...:)  [Hopefully, if you follow that link, you can hear the Project Gutenburg's free download.  I've been listening to it on a loop the entire time I've been writing this post.  Enjoy!]

Back at home, we did a little leaf clean-up on Sunday, bagging up the freebie leaves that our landscaper dumped in our back yard last Thursday.  He has this huge riding lawn mower he trucks into the neighborhood on a trailer, that makes quick work of several yards he has on contract.  It's a mulcher-mower with a massive collection bin on the back...and now, he just drives into our back yard and dumps the bin whenever it's full.  Yippee!  Future gold!!  And all chipped up, too!!!  I bought these Nutscene® jute leaf sacks at a local garden center; thought I'd test them to see how well they compost the leave mold by next Spring.  And, the rest went straight into the raised beds around the blueberry bushes (oak leaves are high-acid...which blueberries love...:) and into the wire bins that Mr. T has created in the garden.  What a wonderful gift!

Then, Monday morning as I was running late for a Master Gardener meeting, Lillie Pearl PTC wouldn't start...again.  This had happened after Thanksgiving, so having to have the battery jumped twice in two weeks was becoming a bad habit.  The AAA guys (both of them) said the battery was fine...that there was something drawing the current down.  So, Lillie is now having inpatient surgery at Ilderton Dodge...and I'm driving a bright, candy-apple red Avenger for the duration.  Good grief...this baby is as far from "me" as I can be!  I'm terrified I'm going to get a speeding ticket...not because I was actually speeding, but because the car is RED.

Honest, officer!  I wasn't speeding.  It's just the car.  Would I lie to you?


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