Just birthdays and Pilates as far as the eye can see

Hey guys, some quick #realtalk: in October I had two living grandmothers and now I have none and I'm feeling a little down. Just wanted to let you know that my Martha-ing for the week has been slightly subdued, but not because this issue is not 100% amazing, seriously, you have GOT to see how many things she wants me to craft out of giant sheets of aluminum.

Let's start with something comforting: Beef Goulash with Potatoes. Especially comforting is the part where she instructs you to serve the leftovers over egg noodles.

And that is exactly why Martha and I got back together, Gwyneth.

Okay, time to drag through the calendar:

December 6th: "Sister-in-law Rita's birthday." Fortunately for me, Martha is too busy in December to bother much with this fake calendar, so a lot of days are just notations of people's birthdays. Happy birthday, Martha's sister-in-law Rita!

December 7th: "Horseback ride; bring flowering amaryllises inside from greenhouse." Hey, I remember when we, uh, planted those amaryllis bulbs! So glad that's paying off now. Anyway, look, I don't want to put a bunch of pressure on you guys or anything, but I've noticed on some blogs that readers occasionally send presents to the blogger in question and all I'm saying is that I still don't own a horse.

December 8th: "Pick Meyer lemons from greenhouse for lemon meringue pie." I guess I could make a pie with these, ORRRRRRR I could just dump a bunch of salt on them and pretend they are legitimate Christmas gifts. Time will tell!

Official Martha Craft #1: Balloon Ornaments.

Items required for Martha's version: 38-inch balloons, air pump, craft paint in bright colors, paintbrushes, foam pouncers, mirrored paper, double-sided tape, AN AWL, sturdy wire, monofilament (optional).

Items required for my version: month-old birthday party balloons, this stuff:

They look exactly the same, give or take some squinting.

Or eggnog.

Unofficial Martha-ish Craft #1: Gingerbread house.

I know putting together a gingerbread house with a kit isn't the Martha-est thing in the world, but I like to think the sense of grim determination we brought to it was.

Tis the session to be stoically productive!