Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything seemed to go wrong? Well, that's how mine started and ended.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything seemed to go wrong? Well, that's how mine started and ended.
Flat tire. No defrost. Old Fella admitted in to the hospital. Phone/Messenger problems. TV problems. Electricity problems. Car died in Martin's parking lot. Truck needs a starter. The steroid injections in my back only worked for three weeks, and when they stopped working...sciatica in full-blown status.
My goodness - Farewell October, Hello November!
It won't be long until we are all planning for the holidays, so for me, I guess it's time to dust off all my troubles and get busy. I'm trying not to stress about all of the work that needs to be done, so it looks like I'll start making a list of things to do. Somehow, that alleviates a little bit of the stress and keeps my mind busy planning rather than worrying.
How many of you make "to do" lists? I certainly do! I am a list-maker from the "dark ages" - back to when I was a teenager trying to decide between the "pros and cons" of a situation at the time. For example - "what are the pros and cons of buying make-up or the 45-records I want this week?" You know, the important decisions!!
Since I must adult these days, my "to do" lists are ever changing. The lists include bills to pay, what to do on the weekend, household chores, car repairs, pet expenses, which flowers to plant, what we will have for dinner, and so on and so on.
Now, the holidays are coming, whether we are ready or not. Thanksgiving first. What to fix for dinner, or where to eat Thanksgiving dinner? Turkey or ham, or both? Eat at home, visit relatives, or eat out at a restaurant - with no fuss or mess.
Then, there is Black Friday shopping. Decisions, decisions, decisions! Where? How early? All day, or all weekend? Get it all done in one weekend, or just do it all online and wait for the gifts to arrive on the UPS truck? Sure beats fighting the crowds, but then you miss the sales, the beautifully-decorated stores and hopefully a few little snowflakes to set the ambiance.
Next, is wrapping all those gifts. Then, making lists of what goodies you are going to bake this year for Christmas. My baking list this year (subject to change, always, LOL) includes courtin' fudge, peanut butter blossoms, cheesecake cookies, pumpkin bars, sparkling butter toffee cookies, creampuffs, peanut butter cake, macaroons, fruit cake, gumdrop cookies, no-bake cookies and whatever else I might run across in cookbooks or on Facebook. Or, perhaps no baking at all and just call up the local bakeries and help make their holidays brighter. But, my oldest will cry real tears without peanut blossoms HA!
Coming before you know it - decorating - outside and inside. Trees, lights, nativity scenes, train sets and collectibles from years of many, many Christmas seasons. Each year, I try to use a color theme, but that involves a decision. Red and white, all white, green and white, blue and white, all red, all green, multi...help me! Seriously though, I haven't done blue and white for years, so maybe...or maybe not. What to decide???
My list also always includes community dinners, theatre productions, Christmas parties, tree-lighting ceremonies, church programs, musical events, small-town festivities...but it is rare indeed that I get even half of my list accomplished. But, that's okay! I'll just make another list!! Sound familiar anyone??
Something else that needs close attention is what to buy the grandchildren, and when - by arranging all of these blended families together with everyone's hectic lifestyles. T'ain't easy, that's for sure! iPad, iPod, trucks and cars, iPhone, doll babies, all the girlie stuff at Claire's, Christmas outfits and accessories, stockings and candy...and those TV commercials!!! "I want that, Nana!" Oh, I just HAVE to have THAT Nana!" "Can I PLEEEEEESE have that, Nana???!!"
It's a good thing we can call Santa every night and leave voice mails for him. Let SANTA make THOSE decisions!!! Here's the phone number to hear a recording from Santa, and little ones can leave a voice mail for Santa to listen to when he's not quite so busy: (951) 262-3062.
Christmas Eve - my plan is to have all of our grandchildren and both sons attend church service, and then we would come here for a Christmas movie and some cookies and hot cocoa before settling in for the night. Time will tell if this all works out. But, the thought of it makes me smile. Now, my sons have to make decisions...I like that even better!
At our home on Christmas morning, we open presents with any grandchildren who can come, and then we fix a nice country breakfast. Country breakfast, you say? Anything from sausage links, blueberry muffins, eggs, bagels, home fries, sausage gravy, bacon to homemade Amish waffles, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, hot cocoa, fried bread dough. Who makes all those decisions? Guess. LOL.
And, all day Christmas? Baked goods, playing with toys and electronics, perhaps a little nap for the grandparents and a light Christmas dinner.
A week later, there's New Year's, then soon Valentine's Day, St. Paddy's Day, Easter...somebody stop me now!
On a final note - if only I could make the decision to start my "to do" lists...