Thursday, December 19, 2013

Elves and LOL's busy, overwhelmed Christmas mind is thinking of Christmas elves and LOL's.

What are LOL's? Little Old Ladies, of course. Or, as my Spanish speaking friends call them...abuelitas! I love the way the Spanish language makes everything cute with the addition of "ita" or "ito" on the end of a noun. Literally, "abuela" means "grandma", but "abuelitas" can mean "cute little old ladies". And isn't that a sweeter way of referring to ladies of a certain age?!

My mom (center) lives in a large senior living facility here in Wichita. She has a great apartment and fun friends, but truly doesn't need Christmas gifts...not the traditional kind, anyway. So I offered to throw her a little Christmas party for her best LOL pals in her own apartment. Last minute, of course!

After Mom agreed to let me invade her home, I enlisted the help of my talented sister-in-law, Donna. Donna is also a great cook and table decorator, so the perfect companion on my Christmas caper. After Mom had the guest list, we visited her apartment to work on table decor. We used lots of Mom's stuff (including my favorite red glasses), then left with lists of other things we would schlep in from our homes to complete the look. We also divided up the menu and got to work shopping and cooking in our own homes.

What happens when you hand an octogenarian an iPhone to take pictures? Well, last night I got lots of fuzzy photos. But here's the best pic of me, Mom and Donna (right to left). The cool thing was, Mom's pal Chris absolutely loved my iPhone and was thrilled to learn something new! Maybe Santa will bring her an iPhone for Christmas?

After we gathered and chatted a bit, we fixed the dinner plates in the kitchen, seated the ladies, poured water and wine...and left!!! Donna and I went to the mall for some holiday shopping (in search of the classic LOL track suits for Mom) and left the ladies to eat and chat.

Before we left, we also served up this luscious baked hot fudge dessert (I LOVE this stuff!) and left the coffee maker and dessert ready to go in the kitchen. Before we returned the LOLs had finished their dinner and dessert plates and we heard laughter as we came down the hall. 

We completed our elf duties by doing all the dishes, and returning the apartment to it's pre-party look. We may have eaten some leftovers and finished with heavenly hot fudge dessert. 

For our other elfin adventure, Alan and I traveled to KC to visit Ali in her new loft. She just moved to a larger loft a couple weeks ago and was in dire need of a visit from Santa's elves. When we told her we were coming, she got lots of little projects ready for us. Our 24 hour visit also involved lots of trips to/fro the 
nearby Home Depot. We're not exactly known for being "handy", but we managed a bunch of projects with the help of 2 canine companions. 

Ali and I got to work finishing up a project we began over Thanksgiving. We decided to do hand-printed tea towels for both of our Christmas gifts for friends. Instead of handing our friends the usual sweet goodies, this year we're gifting them with sugar-free tea towels. 

Over Thanksgiving, we both designed and cut linoleum blocks for our tea towel designs. I haven't cut a linoleum block since 7th grade art class, but managed to do it without sending myself to the ER. I completed printing my towels and got to work heat-setting them (thanks, Alan), and packaging them for gifting. Below are my finished towels (hanging out on my dryer next to the grand dog's Santa suit) ready for quick gifting. 

Ali's towels seemed to be on "hold" after her recent move, so we resumed the project together in KC. Ali used her logo from her food blog Gimme Some Oven. Check out her beautiful new "free" kitchen in the background, or visit her blog to get all the lovely details Her food-blogging gig really has some perks!

Our biggest accomplishment was Ali's new Instagram photo wall, just as you enter her loft. After much calculation...and more calculation...and lots of tiny nails...and more tiny nails...we got 48 frames filled with photos and mounted. FYI - if you take Instagram pics, it's easy to print them at Walgreen's. 

We straightened all the frames after this pic, then affixed them to the wall with Glu-Dots so they don't get crooked when the door slams, or humans and dogs pass by. Alan is proudly displaying his advanced calculations in the pic above!

I've still got a bit of "traditional" Christmas shopping left, but really treasure the time we spent doing elfin duties this year...creating activities and memories together. Maybe next year we'll find some elf hats?

Merry Christmas to All!


  1. The instagram pic wall looks fabulous! What a great idea!

  2. You guys really are the best elves. I'm sosososo grateful for the help at my place. And what you did for Grandma is SERIOUSLY cool. Love it, and love you!

  3. I would love to know how you did the towels! Linoleum blocks??

  4. I am so touched by the lovely gift you gave your mother.