Friday, December 31, 2021

Ready For A New Year

For the first time in the past few years, we're being blessed with enough snow to make it feel like a real winter.

Last Monday, during our first heavy snow of the season, we took a walk in our woods and quickly found we should have strapped on our snowshoes for the trek.

Even the many well-defined wildlife trails through our woods were obliterated. 
The storm was labeled a blizzard and it would have been if we had had wind with it, but we experienced just the beautiful snowfall.
Since Monday we've had one more significant period of snow and last night we got about another one and a half inches.  We must have at least two feet on the ground now.
There are snowplow piles all over and our house is completely banked with snow which makes it all seem warmer than if the foundation was bare and exposed to all the cold weather.  According to the forecast, starting tonight we're going into the deep freeze with temps well below zero for about a week.  This calls for digging out the long underwear and heaviest mitts.
Papa Pea and I will celebrate the New Year by staying cozied in by the open fire.  Hope you all can do whatever you please to start off this new year of 2022.  May the months ahead bring peace to all weary souls and heavy hearts.

Monday, December 27, 2021

I'm Still Laughing

On Christmas morning there was a package under the tree with a tag that said it was for both daughter and dad.
Inside were two mugs.

Anyone who knows these two can see the belly-laughing humor that totally cracked me up.
I've often said our daughter should be a personal shopper as she finds just the PER-fect gifts for everyone on her list. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Childhood Christmas Eve

I made the following blog post many years ago when I first started blogging.  I know I have readers who weren't around then, so I thought it might be an appropriate time to repost it.  Happy Holidays! 

* * * * *

I was fortunate to grow up in a very large extended family. My mom was one of seven children and my grandparents and all their married children lived in the same good-sized town. Even though I had only one brother, my childhood was spent surrounded with many, many cousins, aunts and uncles and my grandparents, all of whom I saw weekly if not more often.

One get together that was a tradition for the whole clan for all my growing up years was our Christmas Eve celebration at Uncle Frank and Aunt Helen's house. Uncle Frank had the distinction of being the first born of the seven kids; much to his chagrin, he was the only male child followed by six females.

Uncle Frank and Aunt Helen were the most well-to-do of the family. Not that Uncle Frank didn't work for his prosperity. When he was just thirteen, he started working in a small auto repair shop next door to where Grandma and Grandpa lived. By the time he was forty, he owned the business which by then had become a thriving enterprise.

The basement of my uncle's house was finished off into a very classy "rec room" complete with fireplace, comfortable furniture and a home bar. Not at all like the basement of our house which was . . . well, a basement.

The party on Christmas Eve was pretty much the same every year. We all dressed up (haven't we lost something these days when we all dress so casually no matter the occasion?) in special Christmas outfits, and each family brought a festive dish to pass. Uncle Frank and his family provided the liquid libations for both adults and children.

What a group we made. At first we numbered probably around 28, adults and kids. As the years went by and more little ones were born, our ranks swelled to about 36; sixteen adults and twenty children.

Other than eating a lot of good food, I can't remember anything specific we did on those Christmas Eves. The night was very low key and enjoyable. When we cousins were little we played the usual games, got into the usual squabbles and probably drove the adults crazy. As we grew older, we entered into more discussions, both with each other and our elders. Now that I think back on it, I guess it was pretty amazing that that many family members got along so well and could spend an evening together with no one having too much to drink and/or behaving in an undesirable way. (Well, perhaps there were a couple or three of the men who enjoyed the free spirits more than they would have under other non-holiday circumstances, but everyone was jovial and happy, and a couple of the wives would now and then commandeer the car keys before heading home.)

Heading home. Ah, that was the part of the evening that always caused me much angst. For some reason, I had the idea Santa wouldn't stop at our house if we weren't home and all tucked safely in bed. I was just sure we would fail to get home before Santa got to us on his route. You have no idea how anxious I was as I sat with my face pressed up against the cold car window scanning the heavens as we drove the few miles home. My eyes were peeled searching for a lit up sleigh pulled by reindeer racing across the night sky. I never did spot Santa's entourage (thank goodness as I'm sure I would have burst into hysterical tears if I had) on our way home. My brother and I probably made it out of our festive duds, on with our p.j.s and into bed faster than any other night of the year. Knowing it was okay for Santa to arrive since we were home, we quickly fell asleep thinking of the fun time we'd just had with all of our cousins, Grandma and Grandpa, and aunts and uncles on yet another Christmas Eve.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Yes, Virginia, Holidays Can Be Difficult

I realize the holiday season is a most difficult time for many folks.  I don't mean to imply that's the case for me personally to any great degree.  Well, only to a wee extent in that I can become a smidge bit filled with tension (and stress) if I don't consciously work to overcome letting that old bugaboo feeling creep in and overtake my emotional well-being.
The following are a few sayings I've clipped out over the years and try to keep in mind every day.
~  Stress is like an ice cream cone.  You have to learn to lick it.  (Ho-ho.)
~  A happy home is not one without problems, but one that handles them with understanding and love.
~  If you want to be the picture of health, make sure you have a happy frame of mind.  (Oh my, yes, my emotions can play such a prominent part in my physical health.)
~  A good way to start each day is with your face and your eggs sunny side up.  (Another "ho-ho" moment.)
Even if I'm feeling a bit under the weather or have a pain here or there that keeps making itself known, I've found that if I remember to use my long ago very amateur thespian skills and act cheerful, upbeat and happy, not only does it produce smiles and a better attitude in those I'm around but it also changes my own disposition in the same way.  It really does work.  Kind of like "fake it until you make it."
So if you feel the need, paste a wide grin on your face and, if nothing else, everyone will wonder what you've been putting in your eggnog.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Rudolph, Where Are You?

Last Sunday I was sitting doing some cross-stitching and listening to Christmas music.  One particular song reminded me of a conversation my mom and I had when I was a wee lass.
Mom liked to relate that one day, out of the blue, I asked her where was Historine.  It took us a couple of minutes of back and forth conversation for her to figure out exactly what I was asking.

Growing up during the holiday time of year, the radio in our kitchen frequently played various Christmas songs and one I liked (as I'm sure lots of kids still do . . . and maybe adults also) was "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
In my mind, at that time, I always heard the line " . . . you'll go down in history" as " . . . you'll go down in Historine."  Therefore, my questioning was as to where good old Rudolph ended up.  Where the heck was "Historine?"
What are some of the misunderstandings of sayings or incorrect pronunciations of words you remember having as a child?

Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Simple Wonders of Childhood

One tends to forget how much children love to play in the snow.
We had another substantial snowfall this past Wednesday and Thursday, our daughter, the nanny, brought her little three-year old buddy here for a visit.
I suggested the two of them go out to shovel off our deck and wooden walkway.  With helpers like that around I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity.

We had a small, light-weight camping shovel just the right size for a short person so out they went to do the job.
When daughter noticed her companion continually falling off the deck and walkway, which are both a short distance up from ground level, she asked him if he was doing that on purpose.
To which he replied, "No, I'm doing it for fun!"
Also eating handfuls of snow must have been fun, too, as I'm guessing he consumed something equal to a half gallon of water doing so.  Our daughter said it reminded her of when she was small and I made her "slushies" with maple syrup or home canned juice drizzled over the top of a cupful of new fallen snow.
There's a lesson to be learned.  In the past, I've shoveled off our deck and walkways a gazillion times but have never jumped or "fallen off" into the snow for fun.  And, golly-gosh, I wonder when was the last time I ate a handful of new fallen snow?  

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Snow Arrived, Winter Is Here

From Sunday morning until Monday morning, we had an impressive snowfall.  Winds gusting up to 50 mph (and it certainly felt like that) formed drifts that required lots of shoveling and work with the plow truck.  Our guess is that we got about 9-10" of snow, but there were reports of up to 18" in other parts of the county.
The temperature this morning is -3°, so there's little doubt winter has arrived.

We had a big tree succumb to the power of the winds.  Unfortunately, it landed in a bad spot.

This is (was) a fabric covered shelter that we've used for storage of hay and straw bales, our 4-wheeler and miscellaneous other things.  We intentionally snuggled the storage shelter into the woods to protect it from the wind.  Bad idea.

The power of the wind can wreak havoc and what sometimes seems like a reasonable plan proves otherwise.  Could have been a lot worse. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Recently Seen on a Sweatshirt

Breaking News:
Common sense is now an
endangered species.  
Stupidity has taken over the world
and unfortunately there is
no known cure.
I'm not sure if this was meant to make us laugh, or depress us enough to cry.  I guess it's up to each of us individually to make our own choice.