Friday, December 29, 2023

Snowman Decor and Christmas Highlights

 A Post To Close Out 2023


 Hello friends! It's almost the New Year and this will be my last post for 2023. Hard to believe that Christmas is past and we are ready to begin another year. Time just flies, doesn't it? And before 2023 ends, I want to share some highlights from Christmas with our furry family members as well as my change over of decor. 

I haven't done a snowman tree for several years but, this year, I decided to create one. I'm using a three foot tall tree with white lights. Wouldn't you know that only half of the lights on the tree would light up so I had to use a string of white lights we already had which works fine. I added snowman ornaments and the white wreaths that I found this year at Dollar Tree. My little snowmen figurines complete the look. Creating a snowman tree for the winter months is a nice transition from Christmas decorations to more of a winter look. Plus, there are still pretty lights in the living room. It's always so barren looking after taking down the multi-color Christmas tree. This snowman tree provides a cheerful corner to enjoy while drinking my morning tea and in the evenings when it is dark outside. 

I found this guy at the after Christmas sale at Walgreens of all places. He looks just perfect on top of the foyer table. 

And the silver and white sparkly look continues on the bottom rung of the foyer table with my Let It Snow sign I have had for several years. 

I do believe all of our furry family members enjoyed a good Christmas! Here's Garden and The Mr. and they both look very thoughtful. 

And here is sweet Cassie. She looks a bit stern in this picture. Perhaps because she thinks her dog brother got more for Christmas than she did? Cassie and Garden got new catnip filled cat toys for Christmas and they like them a lot!

And this was River's first Christmas with us. He made out like a bandit. As you can see in the picture, he is quite thrilled with his new Nylabone!

And he loves his new Kong frisbee! Here's an action photo of him running after catching the frisbee. 

And isn't he looking quite spiffy in his new sweater?! He's a happy boy for sure. I'm looking forward to the time when he doesn't want to chew on his sweater, though. He is certainly a chewer!

It was a fun Christmas day watching our pets enjoy their toys and treats! 

This recent sunset view, taken from our backdoor, reminds me that 2023 is about to fade into the sunset. We usually enjoy a pretty low-key New Year's Eve. We plan to visit with the neighbors and then watch the ball drop from the comfort of our living room. I hope that you are looking forward to a good New Year's Eve and that 2024 brings only good things to us all! Have a great weekend and I will see you next week on the blog! Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The In-between Time of The Holidays

 A Few Musings As Christmas Ends and A New Year Approaches

Hello friends!  I'm sitting here on this rainy Tuesday morning, the day after Christmas, just enjoying the tree lights and drinking my tea. And thinking......and doing a little musing...and writing a few thoughts as one year ends and another is about to begin. 

I do hope that your Christmas day was a pleasant one. I won't say joyous or spectacular or magical. Somehow, those words don't work for me at Christmas time anymore. Having a pleasant Christmas day suffices. I feel that Hallmark movies (although I enjoy and watch them) can give the impression that the Christmas season should be just absolutely spectacular with all problems solved by the end of the two hour movie that highlights over the top decorations, the solving of all family and personal problems over a cup of hot cocoa and cookies and love and warmth in plentiful amounts for all. And that's not really real life is it?

But, I'm not trying to write a "downer" type of post at all. It was a lovely day yesterday with The Mr. and our fur family. We enjoyed meaningful Christmas services at our church that I was blessed to be able to assist with this year. The handbells played beautifully on Christmas Eve. It was lovely. 

I will admit to a bit of melancholy remembering family members no longer with us here on Earth. They will always be missed, whether it is Christmas or not. And, I am thankful for their lives and influence in my life. 

And, I am thankful every day....not just at Christmas.....that Jesus came into this world. 

I wrote a few goals and thoughts for 2024 in my journal this morning. Are you already thinking into the new year like me? I'm not writing resolutions. They rarely are kept. But goals, to me, are a bit different. Goals are something to work toward. There are not absolutes in the outcome of goals. One simply works in the direction of the goal. And that feels better to me than making resolutions. What do you think? 

The image I shared at the beginning of this post is of one of the Christmas cards we sent out this year. I felt like the message of this card was especially poignant. Our other card was a Peanuts card with the characters re-enacting the nativity scene and a playful reminder of the meaning for the season. I noticed that this year, even more so than last year, there were fewer Christmas cards received. Folks just aren't sending cards much anymore. It's too bad really. I always enjoyed receiving Christmas cards. Hearing from people how their families are doing. A way to touch base and extend cheer. I think Christmas card giving is going the way of letter writing. Yet another change that the internet and email has brought about. I realize, also, that sending Christmas cards is expensive....postage costs and all. And, yet another thing to do in our ultra-busy world. Somehow, all of our "conveniences" and use of technology, don't seem to have really helped the busyness of life to slow down have they?

Wow, the rain is just pouring down outside! A dreary day after Christmas. But, I hear the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow. And that is a cheerful thought. And we do need the rain. But still....some sunshine sounds good to me. 

There are chores to be done today here at home. Things I have left undone for a few days when I was unexpectedly called into action at church when our pastor came down with Covid last week. So, I guess it's time to stop musing and start moving. 

Maybe I'll just sit for a few minutes more, though, and enjoy listening to the rain. 

May this in-between time of the holidays of Christmas and New Years be a pleasant time for each of you, my dear readers and friends! I leave you with this scripture from Isaiah. 

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. 
Isaiah 55:10

Blessings and Peace Until Next Time,

Monday, December 18, 2023

'Twas The Week Before Christmas And All Through The House

A Little Bit of Christmas This and That

I'm wearing my new Christmas apron for baking this year.

Oh my goodness, friends, how is it the week before Christmas already?! I can't believe I haven't posted since Thanksgiving. Time just seems to go ever faster and faster and life seems to be busier and busier. Am I the only one who feels this way?!

As you can see, I have been busy with baking, shopping for, wrapping and sending presents, writing Christmas Cards and, of course, musical endeavors. Christmas is especially busy for musicians! I have to show off the peanut butter cookies I baked. The recipe comes from Julie Wunder over at It's a super easy recipe that uses whole wheat flour rather than white flour and honey rather than sugar. The cookies are delish but I am really proud of the fact that, for the first time ever, I was able to make the fork tine marks on the cookies! I know...I'm only 65 and finally got this to work (eye roll)! I just feel so accomplished, lol!

I also made some pretty tasty Haystack Cookies. These cookies are typically made using Chinese noodles (to look like haystacks) but I decided to try making them with Cheerios instead and they got rave reviews! It's so easy to make them. You simply melt a bag of butterscotch morsels in a bowl and stir until creamy, then add approximately two cups of Cheerios and about one cup of peanuts. You can add more Cheerios/peanuts as needed. Blend it all together and drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. The cookies harden in a few minutes and can be stored in an airtight container. It really tastes more like candy than a cookie but no matter what you call it, these are delicious! And, it's nice to have a cookie that doesn't need baking. 

I promised to share more of my decorating with you so here are a couple of pics you haven't seen. This is the little three foot tree in "my room." I used the softer ornaments on this tree and I love it so much. It sits on top of the old radio cabinet that belonged to my sister, so it is well out of the reach of our dog, River. He's done really well, though, leaving all decorations alone. 

And this is my gingerbread dish drying mat in the kitchen. It makes me smile each time I look at it. I don't have a drinks station in the kitchen so this is pretty much it for kitchen decorating this year!

And this is the little party table I put together for the handbell players tonight. Just a little celebration to thank them for all of their hard work all year long! We participated in our church's Christmas Concert the first Sunday of December and they rang beautifully! Our concert had organ, choir, handbells and brass all performing. 

And one of my goals for Christmas this year, was to sew some Christmasy pillowcases for our bed and I am happy to report that I accomplished my goal! They are just a fun little "something" that makes me smile when I come to bed at night. The fabric has candy canes and candy cane hearts with holly mixed in against a navy blue background. 

And, finally, can you guess????

River turned one year old on December 15th! And, of course, we had to give him a party! He didn't love the party hat too much.

But, he loves his birthday cupcake with a removable lid for hiding treats inside. All in all, I think he had a very good birthday! It has been five months since we adopted him and he has grown a lot. He is learning every day and we continue to work with his training. 

So, that's a little bit of this and that from my corner of the world. How about you? What are you doing to keep busy this month? And I hope that each of you enjoys a blessed Christmas. I hope to post before Christmas but should life get too busy, let me wish each of a very, very Merry Christmas!

Until Next Time,