December 23, 2017:


It's COLD here and getting colder by the day, brrrrr. By December 26th the high may be only 3 degrees above zero. Yuck! But it's nice and cozy inside, and filled with the scents and sights of Christmas and Yuletide!

Today I made a crock pot full of my easy-peasy Beef Burgundy, made with a soup can full of sweet red wine (to rinse out the soup can, of course), and four other ingredients: beef (this pot I used beef already sliced in the package for beef stroganoff, and then cut the long thin strips into bite sizes), a can of Golden Mushroom soup, an 8 ounce package of whole button mushrooms cut into halves and thirds (depending on cap size), and a packet plus a little extra of a second packet of dried onion soup/dip mix. I also added a generous helping of ground pepper, dried thyme and dried - and aged (a year and three months, yikes!) of whole basil leaves that I ground up in between my fingers. Then the pot cooked on the "low" heat setting for 4 hours, with only one stir half-way through. The scent permeated the house and even managed to waft out to the street - wowsers - guess I need to get some additional insulation in these 1956 walls! My mouth was watering by the time I made up my first dish (over on-purpose a bit dry mashed potatoes) and gobbled it down, then had half a second dish as well! Now I want a nap.

I have my dark chocolate covered Queen Anne brand cherries (a Christmas must!), Beringer White Zinfandel wine, plenty of new fuel for my gel fuel fireplace and a host of Christmas movies to watch. Best of all, Solstice is done and we had a bit of sunlight day, late this afternoon. Every day, although it is not noticeable right now, it will get lighter a few minutes earlier and the Sun will sink below the horizon a few minutes later each day until the Summer Solstice on June 21. The worst is over, except for the bitter cold of January and February. I think I will go visit my friend Isis in Las Vegas in March - that always perks me right up :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all, and may the Season's blessings shower you with good fortune for all of 2018.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Unexpected and Unusual Christmas Trees! Part 1

Hi everyone!

For the many days past, whenever I've had a chance (not often), I did some searches for Christmas trees that were decorated in tawny colors; neutral colors; pearl colors; white; black (just for the heck of it); etc. etc. 

Well, one never knows what one may get in a search result at Google, or any other search engine either (Yahoo is especially wide-ranging!!!)  And one never knows from where one may receive incredible inspiration. I came across a couple of these trees during my searches that were so entirely different than anything I've encountered before, I just had to write about them.

But -- I also got my primary inspiration for doing this post from an entry to a blog party.  So, without further ado, I hope you will enjoy this assembly of unconventional and interesting Christmas trees that may not, exactly, be trees at all!

Not in any order at all, except I'm trying to mix up the more "conventional" and "unconventional":

(1)  From a November, 2011 article from Missouri News Tribune:

O Christmas tree, with so many styles, we adore thee
Sunday, November 27, 2011
It's not an image of a full tree.  But I could SOOOOO see these colors on my tree since I added my Paul Michael Company long, tall "feathers," as represented in the beautiful butterflies, pine cones and other "tawny colored" elements!  The colors would go perfectly!  I'm thinking ahead to my 2013 Christmas tree, with my precious faux feathers (all 6 of them) installed!!!
(2)  This is THE TREE that inspired me to write this post, from Turtles and Tails blog.  I love how it was gathered, and I love how it was done - actually put together, and I love the love that was behind it's creation:

Christmas Tree Off the Wall? No, It's on the Wall!
November 26, 2012

(3)  From
by Marie Look

More tomorrow!  I'm thinking that I need to buy me some mesh "ribbon!"

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