my weekend

8:20 a.m.: Arrive at church; unload car entirely full of groceries

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon: Work with other volunteers to make 30 loaves of Scandinavian Ginger Cake, 59 jars of Brandied Hard Sauce (to go with Plum Pudding), and 12 jars of Smores Bars mix, all for next Saturday’s Yuletide Fare

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.: Volunteer crews change over; clean up from the morning, set up for the afternoon

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.: Run to Subway to get lunch for volunteers; sit down for about 10 minutes

1:30 – 5:30 p.m.: Work with volunteers to make about 24 dozen Buckeyes (peanut butter candy dipped in chocolate, a lot like a homemade Reese’s Cup), about 48 dozen chocolate-dipped Bourbon Balls, and about 8 dozen Gingersnap Bourbon Balls

5:30 p.m. (and various points earlier in the day): Work with the Guilderoy Byrne sound guy and people doing decorating to help get things set up for our Celtic Christmas concert

6:00 – 7:15 p.m.: Other band members arrive; sound check, final lighting setup, other final details for concert

7:15 – 7:30 p.m.: Finally change out of clothes covered with powdered sugar and chocolate into nifty all-black outfit and put on makeup; seemingly magical transformation from Queen of the Kitchen to A Singer – 8:00 p.m.: Final final concert details; deal with cider and refreshments for intermission, greet arriving friends, eat 1/4 of a sandwich, view with delight the number of people coming in the door

8:00 – 10:30 p.m.: Guilderoy Byrne Celtic Christmas concert! Around 150 people in attendance (about 50 more than we expected); great acoustics; enthusiastic crowd and wonderful music (if I do say so myself!)

10:30 – 11:15 p.m.: Talk to friends after the concert; make sure all the trays of candy are covered in the kitchen; pack up and head home

12:00 midnight: Bedtime


9:30 a.m.: Finally able to get myself out of bed, physically extremely tired but mentally elated

10:30 a.m.: Arrive at church

10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.: With other volunteers, weigh and package all the candy made on Saturday; make 12 jars of Bean Soup Mix; discuss all manner of Yuletide Fare details; enjoy watching the middle school youth group making gingerbread people (also enjoy the fact that I don’t have to oversee this particular effort); sign up additional volunteers; inventory supplies for the upcoming week; somewhere in there, go to Rally’s and get lunch

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Go shopping for our Christmas tree and my mother’s Christmas tree at Christmas Tree Lane on the Louisville waterfront; wish I’d worn long underwear and a warm scarf; wish the 10-foot Frazier fir trees weren’t $120; choose a lovely 9-foot Scotch pine

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.: Curl up gratefully under warm covers and take a very badly needed nap

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Awake to find my husband and son setting up the Christmas tree and beginning to add lights; my son has decided that the tree must be entirely decorated tonight, so he takes it on himself to hang all the garland and most of the ornaments; I help with ornaments toward the end; the result is absolutely beautiful

8:00 – 10:00 p.m.: Go next door to my mother’s to sit by her fireplace and watch the new “The Librarian” movie on TNT; like the first in the series, this movie is a little cheesy, and we were all predicting the plot elements as we went along, but it’s a lot of fun (and features Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin in feature roles)

10:00 – 11:00 p.m.: Come home, sprinkle silver icicles all over the tree (the thin silver metallic strand type); read Eloise at Christmastime with my son from a copy of the book that was given by my mother to my grandmother when it was first published in 1958 and then was passed along from my grandmother to me when I was 3 years old; say goodnight to my daughter and talk about the week ahead; go downstairs to find that my husband has decorated our room with Christmas lights; go to bed tired but very happy

The week ahead

Monday, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.: At church making Pumpkin Bread with other volunteers

Tuesday, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.: At church making Lemon Pound Cake with other volunteers

Wednesday, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.: At church making Lemon Poppyseed Bread with other volunteers

Thursday, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.: At church making Apricot Bread with other volunteers; if possible, run upstairs to the choir room to practice for the Christmas Eve service

Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.: At church making Pumpkin Pies, Chess Pies, and Chocolate Pecan Pies (about 50 of each) with other volunteers; help oversee and organize food packaging and general setup for the Yuletide Fare

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Prepare Yuletide Fare luncheon (I’m planning to cook for 150); oversee serving of the luncheon; help oversee the Fare itself; help with inventory at the end; help oversee cleanup; go home exhausted but (I sincerely hope) delighted at the turnout and the amount of money raised for the church

Thank goodness for online shopping! I’m feeling pretty darn festive, despite all this; but I’ll be glad for a wee bit of downtime next week…

6 responses to “my weekend

  1. Random questions (and I know you’ve likely told me this or written about it before, but I haven’t slept since Friday night and I’m tired): What do you do at your church? Do you believe in God? Do you pray?

  2. Ben, I don’t know how med students make it with so little sleep. I hope you’re getting a chance to catch up on your rest at some point.

    >>Do you believe in God? Do you pray? >>
    No. And no. The only time I ever tried praying was when my dad was dying, but it was really just a covering-all-my-bases move along the lines of “IF you exist, and IF you save my dad
    then I promise you’ll have one more good Christian.”

    >>What do you do at your church? >>
    We celebrate life, humanity, and each person’s person quest for truth and spirituality. The church’s website is,with links to our calendar and our various activities and programs. Descriptions of the Sunday services are here: Personally, I don’t go to many services; they’re just not my thing. You’re most likely to find me in the church kitchen, or helping with the latest fund-raiser or special event. For me, the church is about the accepting, caring people.
    This is from the website, and sums up pretty well who we are as a church:
    “Since 1830, First Unitarian Church has been a strong presence in Louisville, working for justice, peace, and love.
    Rooted in the tradition of the free church, nourished by the gifts each individual brings, and sheltered by our living faith, we are a growing, vibrant community.
    Here, all are welcome.
    Spirituality, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, family, ethnicity, and all the things unique to you are differences we appreciate. Together, we are strengthened.
    Come and join us.”

  3. V. cool. It’s weird…tough for me to dissociate the word “church” from the concept of organized religion, so I’m still grasping what it is that you do there. (That, and I’ve just woken up…I got 6 hours last night!)

  4. Well, we have services; they just aren’t dominated by praising God or espousing one specific dogma. We have committee meeetings, to run the church and its many programs. We have discussion groups, and support groups, and craft groups, and groups that do work in the community; and we raise money to support our programs and to donate to various good causes. We do all the stuff (well, except mission work) that a regular Christian or other church does; it’s just that we all believe different things. We’re brought together by our diversity, our tolerance, our liberal leanings, and our desire to be with others who see the world the same way we do.

    You should take a field trip to one of the UU churches in Chicago some Sunday; there are quite a few, ranging from 10 members to several hundred. They would give you a flavor of what we do at my church.

  5. The the way: UU churches tend to be heavily populated by intellectual types. I read somewhere that we have the highest ratio of PhDs of any organized religion. So, if you go some week, you’ll probably see people you know. 😀

  6. Oh my! What scrumptious looking cookies; may I have some?

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