December 25, 2019

Merry Tidings

Just a quick message to share my illuminated but otherwise unadorned Christmas tree that went up on Christmas Eve, and wish all of my readers a merry and joyous Christmas, happy Hanukkah or whatever holiday you might celebrate during these waning days of the year. Enjoy the day!

December 8, 2019

Santa Buoy, Baby!

Because Thanksgiving was so close to December 1, I packed up all of the autumn and Thanksgiving decor literally hours after the holiday ended, put it away in storage for another year, and gradually began to pull out the things I wanted to use to decorate for Christmas this year.

Over the years and several moves, my collection of holiday items has evolved, growing with the items inherited and acquired, eliminating the items I no longer love so much, gifting to friends and family who would appreciate certain pieces, selling some online, and donating the rest to my favorite local organizations. It's more important to me to keep the things that have enduring appeal and special meaning.

Among those I have kept is this charming vintage wooden Santa buoy that I purchased about 25 years ago at a church holiday craft fair in Virginia during a business trip to Washington, D.C. I've never been a boating or water sports person, but boating, in particular, was something in which I was  involved for several years for my job at the time, so I found this particular local artist's booth at that church fair so appealing. The primary color scheme of my interior decor was (and still is) navy blue with deep red accents, and his color combination and rustic feel was just right for my country home. I no longer own that particular country home, but I still have him, so I am pulling him out again this year to reside on his usual perch on my fireplace's raised hearth, next to one of the pair of tall and slender illuminated faux trees that flank the firebox as a cheerful reminder of special times and special holiday memories.

It's a bitterly cold day again - just 1F degrees (!). It's not normal for this region at this time of year (late January maybe, but definitely not early December!), but neither was the nearly two feet of snow that blanketed us just a week ago. I'm spending the day inside and will continue to unearth some of my holiday treasures to decorate the house while I'm waiting for the "heat wave" to arrive tomorrow - we're supposed to hit 50F on Tuesday. It's crazy, but after a week of shifting gears into "instant winter" (even though it, technically, is still autumn until December 21), I'm starting to "sail" into the holiday spirit, regardless.

December 1, 2019

Farewell Thanksgiving, November and Welcome the Snows of December

What a whirlwind November in upstate New York was this year! No sooner had the unusually balmy weather of Halloween passed and we were whipped around and flung into the deep chill of autumn by the strong winds of a powerful November 1 cold front. It was a bit of a shock, but nothing compared to the atypical winter-like weather that followed, light snow included. It literally took most of the month before we had what likely was the last "warmer" day of the fall, just two days before Thanksgiving when the temperature hit nearly 60F!

Thanksgiving itself was a fairly brisk late fall day, falling as it did this year toward the very end of November, with chilly winds and temperatures in the 30s. The winds were so strong that, due to safety concerns for pedestrians and handlers, they threatened to ground the famous high-flying balloons of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the heart of Manhattan! Fortunately, the balloons were allowed to fly but at a lower height than they normally would, to ensure that any strong gusts were not an issue.

I prepared my version of "personal pan poultry", better known as Rock Cornish game hens accompanied by a sausage and mushroom stuffing, roasted red potatoes, my own, home-grown butternut squash, and tasty Brussels sprouts. I often prefer the small hens to a larger turkey - they're easy to prepare and so quick to roast in the oven - no more than an hour-and-a-quarter. Beats a long four-f to five-hour siege of roasting! Dessert was a lovely, locally made apple/caramel/walnut tasty!  

And now we're looking at the accumulation of the first major snow storm of the season. It's somewhat fortuitous as the larder is stuffed to the gills, thanks to the holiday, so I'm staying in, waiting for the storm to pass and then will venture out into the snows in a few days - after the plows have done their job.