Greetings from Seattle

Monday, December 5, 2016

Beginnings and Endings

I last posted on Friday. That evening we kicked off the Christmas activities by joining Jill and the kids at Clam Lights.
This is Seattle and we have water here, the salt waters from the vast inland sea we call Puget Sound. Naturally we have lighted boat parades. 
 I know these are blurry but it is the best my little Canon could do in low light. We were bundled up and hoping the rain would not return while we were out on the dock watching the boats. 

 Then we walked back into the park to enjoy the Clan Lights close up.

 Yep, those are the clams, because this light show is sponsored by Ivar's Acres of Clams Restaurants.
 These are not clams. Kinda' cool how the camera blurred the people not in our group, although Isaac is a bit ghost like.  

Saturday we attended an arts and crafts show called Tide Fest in Gig Harbor, where conveniently, Irene and Isaac were playing their last soccer matches of the season. We shopped, then went to two soccer games, then finished our shopping. 

Fortunately we stayed dry for most of both matches and were well bundled up against the cold. The Mud Dogs ended in a 4-4 tie. 

 We finished up Irene's game and then took her with us to Isaac's game, where it was the second half and Isaac was playing keeper. 

 Jill was on the sideline as an assistant coach. 

The Rockets won 6-4, a great finish for a team that was thrown together several months ago and lost badly at first. They really improved!

Tom and I went back to Tide Fest to make some gift purchases, and then we set off through heavy traffic and gathering darkness to our garden club party. We were planning to go home, change and get the food we were planning to take, but it was such slow going that we just went "come as you are", arriving only an hour and a half late. But they fed us and we had a good time. 

Sunday we got in a walk and then got busy putting up the tree and decorating it. We joked about having 40,000 ornaments, but I can't even guess at the real number. We have stuff on there from when the kids were babies, over 40 years of accumulation. 

Many of you have seen photos of this tree before. Each year we add a few from our travels, but I think we must stop even doing that now.  Or else get another tree. 

 Anybody else have bacon hanging near Krampus? 
 Or a roadrunner and an avocado near a Santa? 
 How about Mozart from Salzburg or a royal crown from Stockholm or an elf from the Black Forest or a Norwegian flag from Oslo or an Alaskan cruise ship or a skyline of Philadelphia? And so much more. 

 Sunday evening we hosted Irene while Jill and Isaac attended the NFL game at the stadium. The Seahawks overwhelmed the Panthers 40-7. We watched at home. 

This morning we cleaned house while it snowed outside. 

It wasn't cold enough to stick around, but now the temperature is dropping again and the forecast is for our first freezing temps tonight, with ice and possibly more snow by morning.

I went through my cookie recipes, wrote my shopping list and went to the store this afternoon. Tomorrow we'll be ready to stay inside and start baking. 

'Tis the busy season. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm pretty sure I can't account for all of my time since my last post, but I know I've been busy.

There were walks every day, and some work in the yard when weather permitted. We made another wreath, for Jill this time.  I got a good start on my Christmas shopping, much of it on line, and some in actual stores!

Tom put out more lights in the front yard. Since we live back off the street, we decorate for our own view out of the family room window. 

And we did some more decorating inside.
Yesterday I did the dining room. 
We both have a lot of Scandinavian ancestry, so that is my theme in this room, with hearts and straw ornaments.
 The Dala horses are from our travels in Sweden and the wooden shoes are from Amsterdam. The compote belonged to Tom's grandmother. 
 The buffet and the wooden mirror frame are also from Tom's grandparents. 
 The sheaf of wheat and the straw pig and goat are Scandinavian traditions. Tom's mother made the fabric trees a long time ago. The old pressed glass pieces are things we collected over the years. 
 Tom helped me get the garland up on the beam in the dining room. It is decorated with hearts and vintage ornaments we got from our former neighbor. We found them when we were helping to clean out her home when she moved into assisted living. Connie, of Far Side of Fifty, you'll be interested to know that many of them are Shiny Brites, and I even have a Shiny Brite box that some of them originally came in. It is marked 99 cents. 

These three Santas stand on the table separating the dining room from the living room. 

Today, after breakfast with friends and shopping at IKEA, we got the kitchen decorated. Tom is much better on the step stool than I am, so I pretty much just direct and hand him things for the garlands. 

Getting started.
 The details.  I made the felt gingerbread boys and the calico ornaments shortly after we moved into this house, 38 years ago. We have used them this way ever since. Only the garlands have been refreshed. I guess you could say we are "traditional" around here. 

There are other decorations scattered here and there around the house, like this cone wreath that Tom made.
 Little elves abound.  (Don't tell anyone but that is a fake poinsettia. Real ones die here)
And Sunday we will tackle the Christmas tree. It is an all day project. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Good Start

I did get Autumn put away and spaces clear off on Saturday like I said I would. We also got out during a gap in the rain to pick greens in our garden. 
All of my pottery collection is stored away to make way for the Santa collection

Sunday morning we made a wreath using greens we picked on Saturday. 

Much of Sunday was taken up watching sports. The Seahawks and the Sounders were both playing a 1:00. The football game was just another in the regular season, so we kept track of it but put our full attention on the soccer game. The Sounders were playing for the Western Conference Championship, and a chance to go to the final, the MLS Cup. 

The Sounders won! They play for the Cup on December 10th, opponent yet to be decided. The Seahawks lost to Tampa Bay. 

In the evening I unpacked the Santa collection and put them in place. 

Today the rain let up and we were able to get our exercise walk in, and then we worked outside. In order to put lights in the  house, Tom needs to clean the roof first. He takes the blower onto the roof to remove the moss and fir needles and cedar droppings. Then I do the clean up on the ground while puts up the lights. 
 It was getting dark by the time I finished the cleaning up at 4:30.  The patio and driveway and front entrance are all cleaned up. the house lights are up. More yard lights are yet to come. 
 I pulled out summer plants from the porch planters and filled them with greens. 
 Now the front entrance is looking ready for the holidays.
It's a good start.