There’s nothing like the holiday season to highlight my extreme and utter lack of focus. Ho Ho Ho!

Just this morning I went to the laundry room to get a clean cloth to wipe down a jar of my homemade Shea butter cream so I could put a label on it for a Christmas present. When I got to the laundry room I saw ten napkins that had hung overnight to dry and folded them. I went to the kitchen to make my morning tea and saw a scouter ant – that’s one of the ants the colony sends out to search for a microscopic drop of semi-sugary substance anywhere in your house so he can bring 9,000 of his friends to the feast.  

I got a ladder from the garage/bonus room because when I blew on the ant he started heading toward the ceiling. Back in the kitchen I cleared off two shelves in the panty where I saw the ant and wiped them down with vinegar water. I thought, “You forgot to wipe that jar and get that label on it.” I climbed up the ladder and followed the ant back to his entry hole above the cabinet. I feel sorry for ants and don’t kill them, just follow them home and caulk up their entry. 

I remembered I’d wanted to start this blog today since I always post on Sunday and we’re going out of town and I didn’t want to write it at the resort. I walked back to my office and noticed the jar, so went to the laundry room and got a rag, and went to the kitchen and used it to dry the two shelves where I saw the ant. I noticed a mixing bowl in the sink and hand-washed it, then put the items back on the shelf. I took the ladder back to the garage/bonus room and saw the jar in my office and thought,  “Oh yeah, I’ve got to wipe off that jar. What did I do with that rag?” 

I went back to the laundry room and got another rag and headed for the kitchen. I saw some crumbs on the floor and grabbed the broom – I don’t want the next scouter ant to find those crumbs! While sweeping I noticed the rag, and propped the broom against the counter and returned to my office and wiped the jar down and placed the label on it. The ends of the label stay down best with a little tacky glue, so I squeezed the bottle so hard that the glue would have shot a big white wad on the wall and maybe the ceiling, but nothing happened. Unscrewing the tip, I could see why. Half-solid glue gunk plugged the entire tip. After ten minutes of fishing out goo with a paper clip, I glued the ends of the jar and put it in the gift bag.

There’s more to this that I’ve left out because it’s embarrassing, but let me just say that it involves going into various rooms of my house and looking all around with the thought, “Now what did I come in here for?”

I started thinking about all the very successful people in the world. If you read their biographies, they’re hard workers and smart, but the thing they all have in common is that they are very focused. They have an idea and they work on it for weeks and years until it brings them success. Inventors like Henry Ford, or people with a vision like Space X’s Elon Musk – they aren’t wandering around their houses in a daze trying to get the most mundane chores accomplished. At least their biographies don’t sound like that.

Oh, and I forgot, I picked up my ukulele and played, “You Are My Sunshine” four times just before I put the label on the jar.

Last night we went with a friend on his boat in the annual Christmas Ship parade ( on the Columbia River. Wow, what an adventure! It was colder than a well-digger’s patootie in the Klondike – 43 degrees and windy.  Steve, me, and my husband were on the top deck of his boat for two hours, bundled up in layers of thick sweaters and jackets, me with a Pendleton blanket over my lap and tucked in to keep out drafts. That reminds me, my daughter’s boyfriend wants a Pendleton blanket for his new place but they cost a fortune. We’re driving by the factory outlet store today so I’ll stop in and see if they have any bargains. I should call her right now to see if she’ll be available to Facetime. They’re two hours ahead and they hike a lot in places that don’t have cell service.

Anyway, the Christmas ship parade went around the inside channel of Hayden Island  – twenty-six boats in single file about thirty yards apart, all decorated with lights, I didn’t get good pictures – the night was black as velvet. Airplanes came in for landings right over our heads, we went under a railroad bridge with a train on it. When do you ever get to do that? People gathered on their houseboat decks – I had no idea so many people lived in houseboats – they lined both sides of the channel five or six deep practically the entire way. Steve would go, “One – two – three,” and we called out, “Merry Christmas!” The crowds loved it. They hollered back and waved light sabers and flashlights. To think I almost didn’t go because it was so cold and I thought I might get bored. A lovely way to start the Christmas season.

I gathered a couple of other things to put in the gift bag along with the jar of shea butter and put the bag on the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t forget. We’ll be passing a friend’s house on the way to today’s adventure and we can drop the present off.

It’s looking like I may not be focused enough to be a success in this lifetime, but I bet Henry Ford would have said no to going on the Christmas ships – he’d be too busy with his cars and assembly lines. I doubt that he would have sewn homemade dryer balls made out of Pendleton wool, which is part of the reason we need to stop at the outlet in Washougal – I need more wool. And a pair of socks. They are the best socks – very soft and 70% wool. What kind of wool is that soft? The socks only come in one unattractive pattern. They have other socks but none with that much wool. I worry they might sell out. I’ll get a couple pairs.

Update: We stopped at the Pendleton store. I got four pairs of the socks – they were almost gone – but I forgot the wool fabric I wanted. I didn’t remember to call my daughter so I sent her a text at the store. She was hiking with bad cell service and couldn’t Facetime. She said we’d go together when she comes home for Christmas – even better! Right now, Sunday morning, I’m sitting in bed looking out on the Columbia River Gorge through the picture window at swirly blue/grey fog dotting the hills like nature’s Christmas ornaments. Who needs to be rich and famous and focused anyway? Not me.

Not today.