Dasher, Dancer, Discipline

I was all set to start my annual December whine about being too busy to enjoy the holidays. Then my friend Maya Madhavan asked if I would bring her projects to the Progressive Party. Yes, that’s projects, as in plural. She won’t be able to attend for three months and she got them all done ahead of time. While she’s working. And taking care of her young family. And fitting in the holidays. I have no excuse.

Maya’s projects – done ahead of time!

Instead of whining I remembered “The Night Before Christmas” – especially the line about dash away, dash away, dash away all. Dashing about without a plan is as useful as those nutrition panels on the back of candy bar wrappers (you can only read them after you’ve opened the wrapper, and once the wrapper is open you know you’re going to eat the candy, so why bother reading how bad it is for you?), but I have lots of to-do lists, which can fill in for a plan until something more reasonable comes along. Similarly, dancing is best when done with joy, even if your feet are hurting. Joy comes from within, which leads me to discipline. That also comes from within.

So, I found myself a new mascot:

My new mascot

Crows are clever and observant – and I just happened to have this one left from the Halloween decorations. My little crow will remind me to plan.

Next, I found something that represents holiday cheer:

This is the one time of year I can indulge in my love of all things shiny. If that isn’t enough joy, I’ve got a recipe for killer gingerbread cookies.

Finally, I will remember that creativity requires a certain level of discipline:

I bought these badges with small gift ideas in mind. I didn’t make any notes, so those ideas are gone. I can whine and moan, or I can pull out my graph paper and come up with a new idea. For now, I’m going to pull out the graph paper (the whining will come later when I design something I can’t sew).

Before I forget once again, Julie Royce wrote about her crime novel in progress – PILZ – last week. You can read it here. Julie’s blog alternates between her novel and her travels. Check out her stories about her recent trip to Europe with her husband.

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6 Responses to “Dasher, Dancer, Discipline”

  1. quiltfever Says:

    Wow, the nerve of that Maya, giving you such a nudge during the holidays! You better attach that cute crow to your shoulder so he can be your constant helper.

  2. julie royce Says:

    Any chance you’ll share the killer Gingerbread Cookie recipe?. Now I’m off to make lists while I’m whining.

    • Lani Longshore Says:

      Of course. It’s from Better Homes and Gardens, I think. My mom’s been using it since the ’60s. The recipe is below. I usually increase the spices – my preference is in parentheses.
      Jolly Gingerbread Men
      1/2 cup butter
      1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco
      1/4 cup dark molasses
      1 cup granulated sugar
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1 egg

      3 1/2 cups flour
      2 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp ginger (1 1/2)
      1/2 tsp cloves (1)
      2 tsp cinnamon (3)
      (allspice)
      (nutmeg)
      (mace)

      Cream first set of ingredients. Sift second set and gradually add to creamed mixture. Chill well. Roll dough 1/2″ thick on floured surface. Cut pattern.* Place cookies 1″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes (should be very soft).

      *The camel cookie cutter was always a favorite.

  3. jgp60 Says:

    Hi Lani, I like your point about creativity needing discipline. I have a deadline coming up in about 2months – a show and tell from quilt classes this year. It would be great to have a quilt top finished to show & tell!
    All the best with brainstorming those new ideas, and enjoy December. A reminder to myself not to stress out and complain but look for the joy too. 🙂

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