Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve Day


Late yesterday we got rid of an ugly brush pile.
Papa Pea collected much of this debris in the fall and was waiting for the required 3-6" of snow on the ground before burning it.  He's been frustrated looking at this eyesore while waiting for a good snow cover.
Since we have nary a bit of the white stuff on the ground, he checked to see if he needed a burn permit to set fire to the pile.  Most of our recent days have been very damp and foggy with no wind, as was the day yesterday with rain forecast starting last night and going through Christmas Day.
He was told they had not been issuing permits but the weather was certainly appropriate for burning a small pile.  
The question then remained could we get the pile to burn! 

But burn it did, although the flames looked a bit weak at first.

It wasn't long that our voiced encouragement helped the fire to really get going.

We had some impressive flames for a short time.

We were happy to see the pile burned quickly without producing any ugly black smoke, and with Papa Pea using a pitchfork to make the base of the pile smaller and smaller it was well out at last check before we called it a night.
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We got this good shot recently of a brush wolf (coyote) looking as though he was posing in front of the trail cam.  What a healthy, good-looking fella.  (Gal?)
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I'll close this Christmas Eve day post with this quote that is our holiday greeting to all of you.
'Tis the season for kindling
the fire of hospitality in the hall,
the genial fire of friendship in the heart.
                               - Washington Irving

Sunday, December 17, 2023

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . Not

We're doing our best not have bah-humbug attitudes for the fast-approaching holiday season, but Mother Nature is not helping one bit.
Our landscape remains snowless, brown and drab as can be.  I'm reminded that a friend of ours always said, "It doesn't have to be sunny to be a good day."  Well, we can change this around to mean it doesn't have to be snow covered to put us in the spirit of the season.
The temperatures, day after day, remain too warm for any snow to accumulate.  This is if we had any snow.  Okay, yesterday morning I did wake up to an actual inch of the white stuff on the deck railing.  The first we've seen so far.  But the thermometer read 33°, started to rise immediately, and it all melted in a blink.  Back to our mantra of, "It doesn't have to be snow covered . . . "
I finally baked a couple batches of our traditional holiday goodies yesterday and if all goes well, some more may appear today.  'Bout time.
Two Christmas gifts ordered in plenty of time (we thought) have yet to arrive.  At least the companies ordered from have been good in communicating with apologies explaining they're experiencing delays beyond their control.  'Tis not the end of the world.
Early last week I broke out in a nasty red rash covering most of my body including certain areas where one should never (ever) have a stinging, burning, itchy rash.  Never having had personal experience of such, I was at a loss to know what the heck was happening.  Turns out it's hives.
In my ignorance, I had always assumed (never assume, eh?) hives were individual spots much like bad mosquito bites.  Nope.  Picture raised, red bumps covering my skin in areas about the size of Rhode Island.  Miserable?  Yep, it's not been fun and six days later I'm still feeling the effects, though greatly subdued, that are not allowing me to exhibit my normal stellar outlook on life or ramp up much energy or allow me to get a good night's sleep.  Could be a lot worse.
I have butter in a mixing bowl on the counter softening for a double batch of Spritz cookies.   (We add a titch of almond extract flavoring to ours -- yum.)  I think I'll get going on them because I know my current low level of oompf will require some couch time later on.
Hoping all of your holiday plans are coming along smoothly and that you'll have a White Christmas.  Or at least will have the sound of Bing crooning about one floating through the house! 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting . . .

I can't guarantee you won't hear me some day soon bemoaning the fact that I've just had to shovel that pesky two-foot drift of snow that the wind regularly dumps across our door leading out to the front deck, but here it is this first week of December and we're still waiting for our first decent snowfall.  We've not had more than one or two weak flurries thus far.  No, our landscape doesn't look like the scene depicted in my current blog header photo taken a few years ago.  Our daughter did report she saw two rabbits in the woods a day or so ago wearing totally white coats so perhaps they know the snow is coming any day now.
I may have mentioned before that the Old Farmer's Almanac predicts a warmer and dryer winter season for us.  So far, gotta say they've been right on the mark.
Even though I have still been thinking it's autumn because of our continuing mild weather and no snow as mentioned above, in the last couple of days I packed away the Thanksgiving and all fall decorations.  I told Papa Pea it felt strange to be putting up the Christmas decorations but if one takes a good look at the calendar, Christmas Eve will arrive in a mere twenty-two days.  Eeeep.  And we all know how fast time flies.
Dear daughter has been experimenting making homemade egg nog (her dad's favorite holiday drink) and a knock-off Irish Cream (which her mother could live on).  The egg nog has been very good although I think she still wants to tweak it a bit.   We all agree the current batch of Irish Cream ain't gonna put Bailey's out of business.  We're so fortunate she loves fiddling around with recipes like these.  Not only am I in a period where I'd rather eat toast for every meal (with an Irish Cream chaser), but still have no desire to cook.  Period.  (I will confess to having taken a peek at our traditional holiday goodie recipes, however.)
Papa Pea is gone for the day so I'm logging in quilt room time.
Back to it I go.  I'm putting the binding on a baby quilt and then will listen to the audio book I'm in the middle of while doing the final hand sewing.  

Above is the quilt and although I didn't intend to make a wonky version of a Gay Pride Flag, I have heard comments that I did so.
Hope you're having a good day!