Wednesday, November 30, 2022

It Snowed and the Santas Came

 It wasn't a lot of snow, just enough to make those who drive on hills or freeways nervous, which is just about all of us. Mostly it has been "slushing", snow mixed with rain, cold and wet and nasty. But we'll take it, because after our summer into fall drought, we need the rain, and the snow in the mountains.

Today the Santa collection came out of the storage tubs and occupied the shelves that had been cleared of the pottery collection. Those got stored away yesterday, along with making turkey soup. The house was filled with yummy fragrance. 

We also emptied a few other Christmas tubs. The garlands are up in the kitchen. I've started in the dining room. Now it's time to rest. I have to give myself a break emotionally because it's easy to be discouraged at how much less I can do now than I used to. I'm falling apart fast. Thank goodness for Tom. 

Yesterday morning we spent the late morning watching the USA play Iran in the World Cup. It was  an intense soccer match, which the our boys managed to win 1-0, and will move on to the round of 16. 

Now it's nearing 4:00, it's snowing/slushing lightly, and we're on the edge of dark. 

There will be turkey soup and salad for dinner, not much work for today, since I did the work yesterday. Easy is good. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Messy, and Moving On

 It's that time of the year when you can clean it up but it doesn't stay that way. A wind and rain storm overnight can undo your leaf blowing and mower mulching.

The mulched leaves will be deposited on this bed.
The next layer is forming. It might have to wait until after some snow we might get this week. 

This morning I made fruitcake.

It was out of the oven and cooling before I moved on to my next task. The fruitcake will be wrapped in brandy soaked cheesecloth, then wrapped in plastic bags to age. 

Then Irene arrived to make her wreath. They got back home from Colorado Saturday afternoon and already have their Christmas tree up and decorated. 

After a few instructions she was off and running. She has never made a wreath before, but she is artistic, knows what she likes, and is quite skilled in designing. 
Selecting materials for size, color, and texture. 
When the garage door got left open, Charlie came bounding in. We hadn't seen him for a long time and I was so happy to have him visit. He loved the attention.
The greens finished, Irene added cones and a bow. 

And there it is, all natural except for a simple bow, and a beautiful job well done. Irene is definitely my star wreath pupil. 

We just watched the Seahawks lose a close one in overtime. Now I'll hit publish, and move on to finish my fruitcake and start some leftovers dinner. 

Tomorrow we clean house and empty shelves. Decorating for Christmas will start soon. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

The Day After


The lights are turned on on the house. I didn't go outside to take a photo because it's raining and I had just come in from getting the mail. Then it got dark. I did find another package on the front porch when I opened it to take this photo. Packages have been arriving regularly since I "went shopping" at Amazon on Wednesday. I had nearly $500 worth of points from my Amazon credit card, so I used most of them up. A total of $0.00 is fun!

I am tired today, but I have also been busy, so I am late at posting. Jan, Tom's sister, stayed over and went to Friday breakfast with us. Then back home Jake arrived from staying at Jill's empty house to eat left overs for lunch, sort of watch the USA play England in the World Cup, and make another wreath, this one for his office in Friday Harbor. I helped with the wreath and then sat to watch the last 20 minutes of the soccer match. 

I had a light lunch of non-left overs - I'll have those for dinner - and then did a bit of work. I took down the dining room, put things away, then sat down to make my grocery shopping list for Christmas baking. I think I'll get the fruitcake done this weekend.

We had a good Thanksgiving Day. I didn't take a lot of photos. Keeping myself going was hard work, but I asked for and got help and everything turned out great.

Turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. 

The table conversation was lively and ranged from Volcanos and plate tectonics to black holes colliding to Grand Prix auto racing and lots of stuff in between. We do science here. 

Then we went to the garage to make wreaths. Last year some of our group weren't to sure about this project, but more really got into it this year.

Cousin Kris and Charlie.
Cousin Dan

Son Jake and Tom giving advice,
Jake and Tom's sister Jan. 


Jake. He likes all natural. "Bows don't grow on trees". 
Dan. Last to finish, but very pleased with his accomplishment. 

Then we had pie. And talked some more. 

It was a very good day. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

 The table is set.

The pies are baked. That's a berry pie for Jake (he'll share) and a gluten free pumpkin pie (crust less) for Dan. Charlie is bringing the real pumpkin pie.
The cranberry sauce is chillin'.

All of the ingredients for the stuffing are ready  to be combined and refrigerated until the turkey is stuffed.

Tom has the garage set up for wreath making. 

I think we are ready for Thanksgiving Day.  

I am thankful that at least for this one more time Tom and I can make this happen. Each year that we are able to give to others is a gift for us too. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends and family. May your day be just what you hope it to be, filled with warmth, kindness, love, and gratefulness, and some fun and laughter too!

Monday, November 21, 2022


 If my last post was titled "Finishing" then this one will have to be called "Beginning".

Over the weekend I turned the car radio station to Christmas music. I hooked up my iPod to the sound system in the house and played my Christmas instrumental play list. Beginnings.

It's Thanksgiving week and preparations are now underway. The turkey is slowly thawing in the refrigerator. House cleaning happened today, interrupted by time out to watch the US Mens National Team begin their quest in the World Cup. 

Yes, we have gear for that too. 

In the last few days I have refreshed all of my winter hydrangea bouquets with fresh blooms rescued from the coming rain and frost. 

So that we could get the ironing board out of the guest room, we set up the dining room table and got the table cloth ironed.
While doing that we enjoyed the views out of the dining room windows, hoping that much of the color will last until Thursday. 

We are planning to do wreath making with our guests on Thanksgiving Day, so Tom has gathered greens from the yard and I have snipped them into smaller bunches.

Then I made my wreath to use as an example, and because I like to work alone. Now I am free to help the others. 

After all of that, I found this guy crawling around out in the garden. He couldn't waste this one more day without rain. There's always work in the garden. 

Holiday time is beginning, and we are getting ready.

Thursday, November 17, 2022


 A couple of projects are finished.

Our 95 year old friend asked me to finish a project she could no longer do because, sadly, she is losing her eyesight. To be honest, back in August, I made the comment at breakfast that I might need some sewing projects once the weather turned cold. But the weather stayed warm and mild well into October. Then I knew I should get started but I was no longer motivated. It seems just living is a big enough project for me these days. 

My friend likes to make things for her great grandchildren. She had these fabric books in her stash of stuff that was not getting done. I finally got them finished this week, in time to concentrate in the Holidays. 

At the same time I was told that Irene would need a laptop and we should probably not wait for her graduation as she could really use it now. I began to do the research. Hours and days later I was able to compose a list of desirable specifications in my price range, but could not find a product that had everything. On Wednesday we went to Best Buy and we found a wonderful "advisor" who, when presented with my list, found just the product that fit the requirements. It was not on display or advertised on line, but it was there in the store. 

Today, after doing a little more thinking and checking, we went back and bought it. When we checked out, we discovered that it was on sale and we saved $220! We bought a few accessories and they were on sale too! Christmas shopping for Irene is done, and I feel quite proud of myself. Technology can be daunting. 

Fall is finishing with a flourish in our garden.  The full moon maple in the front yard is fastly fading and falling.

But in the back yard the Japanese Maples are going out in glorious red!

I can see this from my kitchen window. 

Then this outside.

This one looked like it was just going to dry up, but then this!
The dogwood in the middle is just getting started. 

Now I need to go tend to my beef stew. The house is smelling wonderful as it simmers in the oven.