Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas weekend

1. Many friends and family crossed our threshold this holiday season. I enjoyed welcoming each and every one into our home.
2. Loved having all the kids here for an entire weekend! Daughter #2 and her husband added a Foosball table to our 'game' basement and there was a lot of loud, happy noise making its way upstairs as everyone took turns playing.
3. This year we had a granddaughter sitting among the wrapping paper as we opened gifts on Christmas morning. She looked lost in all that paper.
4. Is there such a thing as too much food? I think yes.
5. Is there such as thing as too many sweets and chocolates? Again, I think yes.
6. Are there tears when everyone leaves? Most certainly. And I'll treasure the memories. : )

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Joy!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isiah 9:6

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Brought my own bagger, Mirage, "May I?"

1. The Mr. took today off to shop for groceries with me. As we toddled across the parking lot I said to him, "This is how it will be when we're old."
2. Driving down our ridge, the valley lay before us, blanketed in fog with only the hilltops poking up. It appeared that we were looking out over a body of water and the hilltops were the islands.
3. Daughter #1 and her family arrived this evening. The baby has grown so much since Thanksgiving. She's a person! I can't just scoop her up and bury her in kisses. I feel that I should ask her permission first.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The number of occupants just grew, Touchable, Lights on all day

1. Gingerbread people take on whatever personality we give them. We make nerds, Santas and farmers. Some have surprised o's for their mouths, others have looks of mischief while most have demure smiles.
2. The cows' winter coats are a beautiful, thick, black velvet.
3. I notice the winter solstice is upon us. Today's fog and rain smell like spring, but the early darkness that descends upon the house is certainly winter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Take two, A favorite shop, The elves don't have the technology

1. This is the photo I didn't use on our Christmas card thanks to the Mr.
He's pinching me!
2. I can't say where I shopped today because of who might read this, but I enjoyed going there. Ho,ho,ho!
3. Daughter #4 sat on my lap for a Santa talk. I tried to bounce her but she's about my size so she doesn't bounce any more. We had fun making up reasons why Santa can't give her the Mercedes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Busy hands, I like the company, I think I said it aloud

1. I have the entire day free to get down to some serious baking. It's the best therapy for me and my day ends on a much better note than it started.
2. Lingering around the table after dinner with whoever happens to be around, cups and crumpled napkins not bothered to be cleared just yet. No one is in a hurry.
3. The day is done, the kitchen cleaned,  I'm ready to put my feet up and my whole body says, "Ahhh".

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh! Thank you!, Harmonies, We are a funny lot

1. I stepped out the door into the dark morning and a little snowflake surprised me with a kiss to my lip.
2. The Christmas songs were especially nice at church this morning.
3. There was not a dry eye in the room from all the laughter, ladies all fanning themselves with paper after the hysterical heat wave. It was the result of a fun, funny game using only paper and pencil... and a bit of imagination.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jewels in a jar, Excitement is an understatement, A gift

1. "Necessity is the mother of all invention", so the saying goes. Necessity is also what causes one to preserve pears when the they are needed for a recipe and the stores have none. I didn't mind...they look so beautiful in their jars with the light streaming through. They will top this savory Roquefort Cheesecake.
2. The teacher tells all forty five students that there is a gift for each of them under the tree. Can you imagine the scramble?!
3. I think how beautiful she is as she plays the piano.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Love the color, Do you bread these?, Mood-setting precipitation

 1. I finally got around to turning this...

...into this. 

2. The customers in front of me at the butcher counter were picking up some exotic (to me) things. I leaned in to see the frog legs one lady was handed. They were huge! Then the butcher brought out boxes of rabbit. One rabbit per box, cut up. I'm pretty sure the box read, "Pet Free". The next man was inquiring about quail. The clerk said yes, they have quail too. Then it was my turn to order my ordinary, old beef roast- somewhat exotic for us.
3. Freezing rain, now that's a little more seasonal. Although I would prefer snow please, if we could fine tune it just a little?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Just do it", Calm, It makes life a little easier

1. Necessity mandated that I go to the mall for a pair of black pants for daughter #4's piano recital. My heart filled with dread at the prospect of crowds, long lines, and empty racks with her size picked over. My fretting was all for naught! It turned out to be a breeze, the racks were stuffed with choices and they were on sale. There's nothing so satisfying as a successful hunt.
2. My shawl. It has a "Linus' blanket" effect. At the end of the day, I ceremoniously swing the shawl over my shoulders, settle in with a book, or movie or whatever, and all becomes right with the world.
3. The pleasant greeting of balmy weather every time I step out a door.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I don't wanna grow up, One of my favorites!, Christmas Cheer

1. 'The Ladies' came for coffee this morning. When Steve got home from work, he noticed the silverware was out. "Did you have fun playing house?" he asked. (My family all knows that playing house was one of my favorite childhood games.) "Yes I did!" I answer.
2. I'm re-reading The Linnet's Tale  by Dale Willard in preparation for the sequel, Tottensea Landing. I love the playful wit and humor in this story and find myself smiling all the while that I'm reading. Anyone would love the portrayal of human character played out through these endearing little mice.
"Opportune Baggs The Inventor came into the Bookish Mouse wearing more plaids at the same time than he should have. He tended to accumulate plaids through the day...And though his plaids were separately attractive, taken altogether they appeared to be rather in dispute."
3. I'm much happier walking Henri after dark with the Christmas lights on at our house and the neighbor's.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The sun on my face, In a little brown jug, You mean butter isn't a side dish?

1. I didn't realize how beautiful the day was until I poked my head out the door. My plan was to stay holed up and do laundry, ironing, wash floors, etc. But once I felt the warmth of that sun, I abandoned the work pile and went for a walk. Except for my companion, Henri, and the lone blue jay we spotted, it was solitude.
2. Rose hips picked by the roadside look pretty on the windowsill over the kitchen sink.
3. I brought a jug of maple syrup home from NY which meant pancakes for supper! The simple goodness of fluffy pancakes, slathered in butter and dripping in pure maple syrup was very satisfying.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A beacon in a dreary shopping world, That's Me!, Good soup

1. The guy working the cosmetic counter at Macy's was a lot of fun. He was jovial, extremely helpful and had a great sense of humor. I didn't need my purchase wrapped, which I think disappointed him. As a concession, I agreed to take some of his gift wrap home to use. He gave me small roll of it! Macy's needs to keep this guy.
2. Mari gets on the phone and says, "Naw" for Nonni.
3. Reheated beef barley soup from yesterday along with some fresh bread for dinner means I don't have to fuss.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is Coming!, It used to be bigger, Love the blue, Making it straight

1. There is a Christmas tree farm behind our house. It seems silly to use the truck, but after carrying our tree one year, we decided it got heavier with every step. We found one with a lot of character today!

 2. Many Christmas memories are stored in this ragged little piece of felt. Circa 1959.

3. My newest finds! All year I scour vintage shops looking for old ornaments.

4. He helps me. While I...? Pluck something off the tree?
Throughout the decades dads have made this sacrifice.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hunting and Gathering, Prancer, Kicked back

1. I wore my Friday routine like an old, favorite pair of blue jeans.
2. I found one of Daughter #3's favorite Christmas movies at Walmart. Netflix doesn't carry it, so I bought it.

3. Just the man and me for dinner. We ate on the sofa, eating homemade "egg'a muffins" and watching the latest episode of Modern Family.
(Egg'a muffins: toasted English muffin- buttered, topped with one or two slices of fried ham, then a fried egg, and then a slice of American cheese which melts. Yum!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two homes, one me

As the front cleared, upstate New York
1. The Italian bakery, Bella Napoli, was bustling at 10 AM. Good thing because I needed a moment to gather my senses and settle my emotions. I was so overwhelmed by the cases of pastries and breads and the 'home' this represents that I had to blink back tears from my eyes. Doesn't everyone cry in bakeries?
2. The kind of laughs you can only have with a sister. We laughed and giggled over underwear and funny elevator sounds and even got our adorable mother to chuckle, although it hurt her broken ribs.
3. They say she should be home by Christmas. I left on this note, with plenty of hope and faith in my heart.
4. New York bid me farewell in my favorite colors! Heavy, low clouds hung on a slate gray sky behind a landscape of pure white. Snow covered every branch, bough and field in breathtaking beauty as we drove across the state.
5. Virginia home. Oh how I wish I could be in two places at one time! This is my sanctuary where I can recharge and gather strength, surrounded by the love of family and friends for whatever may come...

Time to get these fall decorations put away for Heaven's sake!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another World

1. I'm driving around highly populated areas this week and the Christmas lights displays are fantastic! It's beginning to feel more like Christmas.
2. Hugs are tighter and longer, kisses are sweeter and tears are briefer.
3. Two elderly ladies, neither of whom speaks, sit side by side at the lunch table. They clasp hands and smile huge smiles, showing everyone that they are Best Friends Forever.
4. I attend Catholic Mass with my FIL. Voices echo in the church just like I remember. The scriptures are for advent and proclaim the coming of our Lord; the incense, the music and the darkness outside make everything feel close and somehow mysterious. But what changes it up is Father Koffi. He is from Ghana and his voice with accent and his sense of humor bring a slight touch pf playfulness into the mystery.
5. New York accents!!! I've never noticed them before. Do I sound like this?
6. It gets dark very early up here. By 4:00, it is night. I'm not crazy about it, but it is so familiar that I embrace it like an old favorite blanket.