Those of us who are doing the HGP received this list of assignments last Sunday:

“Grand Plan Deep Cleaning/Organizing Area:
Master Bedroom and Master Bedroom Closets
Holiday Prep:
  • Make one batch of Holiday Goodies.
  • Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.
  • Buy two canned food items from menus (get 2 of each item, one to use and one to donate to food drive).
  • Buy 1/8th of TO BUY gifts. Save all receipts, note return policy before buying. Ask for gift boxes
  • Wrap and label packages. If needing to ship, get some shipping boxes now and store packages in them.
  • Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts.
  • Make list of any table and bathroom linens that need replacing before the holidays, and pick up a few each week.”

I made a list of linens, attempting to resist the desire to make another table runner or two, which I do not need, rather than a few batches of boring napkins, which I do need.

I have worked an hour a day (9:00 to 9:30, a.m. and p.m.) on my handmade gifts. I bought 1/8 of the store-bought gifts, and will wrap them today. I don’t have any canned goods on my list, so I skipped that one for this week, though it occurs to me that I should have gotten four cans for the food drive box.

I put a nice casserole of ham, vegetables, whole-wheat pasta, and a light sour-cream-and-cheese sauce into the freezer. I also froze a big container of Ginger Star cookies.

But up there at the top of the list? Thoroughly cleaning my bedroom? I didn’t even start that one till Saturday morning.

My excuse is that my bedroom doesn’t need much cleaning. I keep it clean. I really like my bedroom. It is my husband’s bedroom, too, but he is a laissez-faire kind of guy when it comes to decorating, and doesn’tmind what I do. It is cozy and romantic and comfortable, and can really be an oasis when the rest of the house is particularly — um, let’s say particularly lively. So I figured that I could just do it very quickly on Saturday morning. Tra la.

That was true as far as dusting and tidying went. The buildup of books, you know, and things the kids and animals left around (I don’t know why there was a football in my bedroom, and I probably don’t want to know). I did a quick go-round with the dustcloth and returned books to their homes and the room looked fine.

This, however, is how my bedroom looked while I was cleaning out my closet. I pulled everything out and sorted through it with a trash bag and a donations box at hand. I confess that I never get rid of clothes. Even when they are not the right size or have holes in them. What’s worse, I still wear them, too. So I stood there with shirts I had ripped on barbed wire fences a decade ago, thinking, “I could still wear that.” This is probably more than you need to know about me.

It took me a couple of hours. And the photo below is proof that there are few things more boring than a tidy closet.

Sure, it’s tidy. Those are my sweaters up there on the shelf. You can’t fold sweaters too neatly. It makes ’em look funny when you wear them.

Anyway, once I had done that, and talked with my daughters on the phone and sent the boys out with a crowd of other youths, I put a ham and potato gratin into the oven. That is just the thing for a relaxing afternoon, because you can leave it in for a couple of hours, and people can eat when they arrive.

And, since the oven was on, I went ahead and made the “goodies” for the freezer for this week: Bourbon Fruitcake Bars. Two years ago, when #1 daughter got married, she and Son-in-Law left us the bottle of Rebel Yell Straight Bourbon Whiskey they were given as a joke. It has featured in a lot of holiday baking during that time.

I got Brooklyn’s right sleeve well started, and did the set-up rows for the next Bawk. I also thought about making a T-shirt quilt. I have been thinking about that for some time. Among the things in the closet was my collection of the kids’ commemorative T-shirts (in the white plastic carton on the floor to the right and down from the cat — yeah, no one will see anything there, except Sighkey, who has some kind of amazing computer or else really amazing eyesight). You know how the kids always are given T-shirts when they go to camp, or run in a race, or are in a play or something? I even have one of the “On Tour” shirts from when the girls sang with their children’s choir at Carnegie Hall. I think that there are now enough (supposing that I wrest the tattered ones the boys are still wearing away from them) to make such a quilt. Except of course that I have a quilt in the frame at this moment, and five knitting projects on the needles, which is not much for blogland but is way over my limit.

The HGP for this week has us repeating last week’s tasks in the cooking and present departments, cleaning our master baths, and making an inventory of the family clothing to ensure that everyone has something to wear to all holiday events. If you were going to make matching snowflake-and-reindeer sweaters for everyone to wear in the holiday portraits, now is the time to get cracking.

I’ll settle for getting this T-shirt out of my kid’s dresser. Now, really, isn’t it time this one went to the future-quilt box?

And I did not even open my husband’s closet. It might happen that I will clean it out, too. Not that I am making threats, or anything. It just could happen, that’s all.