Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hodgepodging Christmas Decorations

View from the front porch yesterday.
The sun peeked out for a minute or two and then hid again.

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1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?

Probably a 3. The older I get, the less I decorate because the kids aren't here to help and aren't here to enjoy it. Still, my favorite space to decorate is the living room. Am I done? Not quite.  I'll wait until the night before the kids are coming to visit before I put up the remaining lights, candles, and cranberries.

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!

Oh yes, we have a Nativity. Many of the pieces came from my cousin Bobby, and I bought the stable at the Humane Society of Barron County auction one year. The Nativity spends all of Advent, the 12 days of Christmas, and the remainder of January on the piano. I had once thought of getting rid of that piano because its sound board, pin block, etc. are beyond repair and we have a good piano, but my daughter said, 'Mom, where would you put the Nativity??!!' Yeah, good point. So we have two pianos in our living room. The little grandkids get to bang on play the Nativity piano. The older grandkids, who can respect a piano, are allowed to play the other one.

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?

We live in a very unsocial neighborhood. Although it's beautiful out here in the middle of nowhere, and I've loved it for 27+ years, I'm ready to move to a smallish town, and live right smack in the middle of it so I can walk my new, yet-to-be acquired German Shepherd puppy by the light of the street lamps, walk a block to the grocer, to church, to the pharmacy, and to the river or lake. And a hill. And an old English pub (not a sports bar or tavern). Or maybe 3 blocks would be acceptable. Oh, and a big city with lots of cultural events needs to be within a 20 minute drive. :-)  I really need to be able to teleport. Is this asking too much??

Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

4.  As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?

For me, that's certainly true. If not now, when? I hear the clock ticking faster and faster. 

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?

I have no dread of Mondays because I don't work outside our home, which means that I don't have to go outdoors in the dead of winter and scrape the ice from the windshield and slide off the icy roads into the ditch on the way to work.

 December 6, 2016
View SE from porch

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?

I LOVE all of the above, but the one I own is a Christmas cactus. I've started many Christmas cactus plants from this one mama plant and it's still going strong. It's ancient.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.

I love this entire segment from A Muppet's Christmas Carol with Michael Caine. It's SO CUTE!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We had cookie baking and decorating here last Saturday, while the guys put the Christmas tree up on the front porch. Then they came in, drank coffee by the fire and snitched Christmas cookies.

 Oliver's mommy helping him decorate Christmas cookies.
He had just awakened from a nap and I think was rather dazzled by it all.

 From left: Christmas cut-outs, later frosted

After the cookies were done, we divided them up and everyone took a pail of cookies home. My pail is out on the freezing cold front porch. It would be way too tempting for me if they were sitting on the kitchen counter. I LOVE Christmas cookies!

I need to collect more pine boughs to put across the rest of the railing 
AND move the Christmas tree back a bit, but you get the idea.
I think it tipped since they put it up.

Christmas 2013


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 December 4

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Surviving Winter

This is a post I meant to put up last week during gun deer hunting season in Wisconsin. It's definitely not my thing to kill a deer. I don't presume to tell people who need meat for their families not to shoot a deer, but for me personally, I'd rather have peanut butter on toast and let the deer run free in our woods. Yes, I do know that the herd needs to be thinned, as they say, but I'd let someone else do the thinning. And I definitely can't think of hunting as sport.


The above photos were taken November 23, 2013, but it's that time of year again when the hunters, including our son, are out trying to get that elusive venison. Fortunately, this year the temps aren't quite so cruel as they were that day. We're in the thirties, so that makes everyone a little happier. Still, we're sliding into that cold, dark time of year. Mr. C. always reminds me that in another month the days will be getting longer and that the coldest day is usually mid January. I'm not sure why he always tells me that. It's not like I don't know, and it's not like I'm suddenly going to become fond of winter.

Instead, it's the time of year that I have beautiful music playing on Pandora or Spotify, and start thinking about travel.

I realize that England isn't exactly a tropical paradise, but these photos of the ephemera I gathered and later used in journals take me out of the snow and cold, at least for a while.

I talked with a friend today and we agreed that the worst of winter in Wisconsin is from mid January through the end of March. At least in April we can hope that spring weather is just around the corner. So we wait, read, sit by the fire, and check airfare. Or maybe just stay in Wisconsin and watch kittens.

Do you have winter travel plans?

 Tom Kitten & Smokey
No, Tom's not supposed to be on the table.
He managed to throw aside the table runner 
and is playing hide'n'seek with Smokey.
Did you find Smokey?


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