Tuesday, December 27, 2016

After Christmas

Dan went back to work this morning, and I'll go in to the office in a few hours. Yesterday was Boxing Day, one of my favorite days of the year. I straightened up the house, made a pot of pea soup with the ham bone from Christmas dinner, worked on some insurance stuff, and took time in between to work on a jigsaw puzzle. I also did some laundry, which resulted in a backed up sewer drain in the basement. So, Dan is meeting the plumber here this afternoon.

Emily and Marcus and the babies came over for soup and sandwiches for supper. (Brooklynn loved the pea soup) and I got to enjoy playing with B on the floor. I was so busy on Christmas Day that I hardly spent time with  him, or Brooklynn.

Here he is giving my dad a 'high five.'

It was a big day for him, being his First Christmas and all.

We'll have our tree up until the end of the week, at least. I may put away some of the other decorations, but I always have a hard time letting go of the Christmas tree.  The best place for reading a new book is in the glow of the lights. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve favorites

I'm a day late for Friday Fave Five, but I think Christmas Eve is a wonderful time to reflect on the blessings of this past week.

1. Joe and Sam came for supper on Tuesday night.  I got home from work and finished preparing beef stroganoff in the crock pot, while they were watching TV with Dan.  They both looked a bit tired and scruffy, the result of finishing up finals and labs and papers the week before.  I watched them fill their plates, heaping with noodles and hot, fragrant beef, not just once, but twice and then a third time for Sam.  There is something that is so satisfying to this mother's heart, feeding hungry 'boys' who don't always have the time or energy to cook for themselves.

2.  We had an office gathering after work on Monday.  It was nice to relax with the people I work with and get to know them better.  We played a game that I borrowed for another gathering this week.  It's called "2 truths and a lie."  Everyone comes up with two truths and one lie about themselves, shares with the group, and then the group has to decide which facts are truths and which is not true.  Lots of fun!

3.  A surprise package in the mail from my sweet cousin.  I do a lot of mail order shopping, so when this one was on our doorstep it was such a treat!  Something I hadn't ordered and it was for me!

4.  Breakfast with my friend Terry.  So, so many years of friendship and sharing of hearts.

5.  All of my fives this week include people in my life.  So grateful for all of you who take time to stop by my blog to chat over the backyard fence.  Thank you for your comments, whether in person, by email or in the comment section.  Merry Christmas to all!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Books, Christmas, chocolate

Most of us long to experience Paradise on earth. Women who read do. Whoever said that you can't take it with you obviously never read a good book. For everything you've ever read, loved, and remembered is now a part of your consciousness. What is once cherished can never perish. (Sara Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance)

I read an interesting fact on Facebook the other day, that the country of Iceland publishes more books per capital than any other country in the world.  And they have an absolutely lovely tradition called Jolabokaflod, or "Christmas Book Flood," where they give each other books for gifts on Christmas Eve, and then go to bed to read them. And eat chocolate. (I couldn't confirm that last part, but that's what it said on Facebook.)

Upon further Googling, I came across this article that says not only are the Icelandic people prolific writers, but they prefer physical books vs. e-books. I realize that this is a personal preference, but I'm in agreement that there is something really cozy about snuggling up in bed with a brand new book, that paper smell wafting out as your crack it open.

I love the tradition of books at Christmastime.  While it may not have been an established practice, a book was almost always one of my gifts.  I can remember many a Christmas when, after the presents were opened and everyone settled in to drink eggnog to Christmas music playing on the radio, settling in with one of my presents and reading the day away.

One such time was when I was home on college break.  I received a copy of E.B. White's children's novel, The Trumpet of the Swan. It was such a treat to discover something new by one of my favorite authors whom I credit with my earliest love of reading.

My husband knows how much I love opening up a brand new book, and that a new book is the best present ever. He rarely disappoints.

Christmas and books. Two of my favorite things. I think the people in Iceland have it just right.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas favorites

Pausing for a few moments to join with Susanne and Friday Fave Five, and reflect on moments of gratitude for the week.

* Grateful for the self-mail kiosk at the post office! On Monday morning, the line for mailing packages was out the door. I don't know why more people don't use the self-mailing kiosk. There were only a few of us, and in a matter of minutes I had two packages on the way to Wisconsin. And even though I complain about the cost, it really isn't that much to mail a package of Christmas to some of my favorite people.

* Dan and I went to the Boulder Dinner Theatre on Wednesday and saw a wonderful performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie. We both enjoy musical theater and this was a great show with great music and amazing dance numbers.

*  Christmas cards.  We seem to receive fewer cards each year, but I sure love exchanging greetings with friends and family in the old traditional way.

*  The office at work, decorated for the holidays.  I should add that I love my job and the young women that I work with.  I always enjoy this time of year, when we play holiday music and decorate for the season.

*  Anticipating a fun day ahead, baking cookies with Emily and the grandbabies.  This should be fun, if not challenging!

What are your favorite moments from the week?


Tuesday, December 13, 2016


As of today, I am finished decorating -- from top to toe. I also finished the last bit of my Christmas shopping yesterday, and then got a pedicure -- my little treat to myself for getting it all done. Cards are written and ready to mail. On Friday, Emily is coming over to bake cookies.

I put together a playlist of Christmas songs that Dan and I listen to in the evenings, as we go about the house.  Here are some favorites:

Christmas Time is Here (Instrumental)
Neil Diamond You Make It Feel Like Christmas 
Kenny G  Faith album
Elvis Silver Bells
Pentatonix Mary Did You Know?
Ronnie Milsap O Holy Night
Rascal Flatts A Strange Way to Save the World

I've been adding a few songs each day, so it's always different. I have about given up on radio, unless I'm in the car.  If I hear Santa Baby one more time, I think I'll scream and die.

Hope it's feeling like Christmas wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snow, books, Christmas preparations

With Christmas preparations, wedding planning and some big changes at work, life has been busier than usual.  Not that I'm complaining, because it's all good stuff and I love this time of year.

Yesterday evening, we got a few inches of snow, and it's still coming down.  My book club met for our annual Christmas dinner and book exchange.  Our table at the restaurant was right next to the fireplace -- a 'real' wood fire, no less -- and we could see the snow falling outside.  It was such a festive evening! One of my favorite things about the holidays, is gathering with these ladies.  One of the members of our group has a talent for gift wrapping that just puts us all in awe and hoping to be the recipient of her package each year.  This was my lucky year!

The package: (see the Santa and reindeer at the top?)

The book (which I hadn't heard of, but it sounds like a wonderfully fun read).

I have just a few things left to shop for, but most of the presents are wrapped.  It helps me to stay organized and remember what I have, since I start my shopping fairly early.  We sent Luke and Miranda's presents home with them when they were here at Thanksgiving, but I'm making up a Christmas box to mail them, just for fun.  I can't think about not having them here for Christmas this year, however, they'll be here for the wedding two weeks afterwards, so that softens the blow a bit.

I've been slow at decorating this year, and keeping it to a minimum.  I seem to do less each year and am satisfied with less.  That feels like progress to me:)

Stay warm everyone,