Saturday, December 29, 2012

Waiting for Santa: a fluffy tale!

Twas the night before Christmas and Jeffrey was waiting patiently for Santa to come!

When what to his wondrous ears did he hear....

Could it be...???

Gasp! Do you hear that???

I'm afraid to look.

...the magic of Christmas!!! ;-)



I think I'm a bit punchy/tired! =P

...but happy!!!

Christmas continues on in our home!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

The joy is in the journey!

I don't know.... I think that the build up to Christmas might just be more fun than actually getting to Christmas!

I read in a magazine that someone keeps a sign hung during the holidays to remind them that 'the joy is in the journey' and mentally, I hung the very same words in my heart and have had such a lovely month! It saved me from unneeded stress and ridiculous expectations and very often reminded me to stop and purposefully look - notice - appreciate - all the wonderful things happening around me - things that should not be missed! (For example, my two eldest boys arguing about the very best way to decorate the family tree and, then, peeking in and seeing the captive fir trussed up tight! I mean, I might have missed it if I hadn't stopped and considered! ;-) )

It's a wonderful thing to be alive in the moment!

Anyway, this month....

I've sung in an all acapella Christmas concert with our community choir!

I've decked a few halls!

I've spent some priceless time making memories with my family!!!! (FUN! =D)

We had our annual Christmas open house!

My young friend, Kyrionna, from up the road came and we spent the afternoon making gingerbread houses from scratch - giggled quite a bit and discussed Doris Day! (She didn't know who she was - gasp! We'll save Bing Crosby till next time. ;-) )

We've shopped for trees, shopped for presents, read in our advent book and opened the doors in the calendar, made cookies, falalaaaed, helped out with the live nativity and, tonight, we just had our Christmas Vesper's Service at church and I sang 'Oh, Holy Night!' It was a beautiful time!

...and, I've had a lot of time to pray and to reflect, this month!

Now, the excitement mounts for my boys and the feast approaches!

~ It's all really, really just wonderful, isn't it?! ~

Anyway, I have just a very few scattered pictures....

(Mommy's tree....)

The day of the solstice was beautiful but stormy!

The Open House
(not a good moment for me to attempt photography! =/)

Santa came! ;-)

building a Thomas the Tank Engine track all over the family room!

I'm wishing you, also, the very Christmas that you wish yourself!!!

 Extra hugs and smiles to you and yours at this Christmas-time!



Saturday, December 1, 2012

An unusual house tour

The Flowers

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames-
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

It's December first and, this morning we woke up to snow! Perfect!!! =]

As I say goodbye to autumn and happily step over to the newness of winter - the restart button to the year - I wanted to share one last festive autumnal celebration with you. unusual house tour in the next town over from us - quaintly picturesque Grafton, Vermont.

On the particular day that we visited, though, there were heavy clouds and the rain was barely holding itself back. We wended our way through and past the village proper because this house tour was at the Grafton Ponds nature museum.

Please note barely discernible bubbles flying up over the museum in the upper left corner and, in the lower right, Toby (who graciously said that he would escort my mom and I) with his Nana.

Yes, this tour was of the woodsy homes belonging to the wild cousins of the garden fairies from the poem and as we went through the archway, across the meadow and into the woods, there was folksy hammered dulcimer music floating on the air and bubbles, magically, endlessly flying everywhere.

Once in the woods, we followed the nature path as the rain started to patter on the leaves but we were safe under the canopy...

 ...and this is what we saw...

Alas, we only ever heard the curious whisper of the fairies, felt the brushes of their wings and saw one very golden frog hiding in the roots of a tree. And, so, we emerged from this magic woodland and followed the path back to reality just as it started to rain in earnest - back, just in time, to the warmth of the tavern to sit by the hearth and muse over our adventures over paper mugs of warm apple cider ale as the heavens really let loose and the rain outside poured down!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gathering

It used to be that we would pack ourselves into the truck on Thanksgiving and head off 'over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go' (as the old song goes.) Our river being, the grand Connecticut river and, well, woods are more than plentiful around here... there isn't a route that we could take that wouldn't mostly journey through brown, bare branched and crunchy looking forests, interspersed with stubby, harvested corn fields - sometimes, lightly powdered with snow.

Then, after a grand day and a perfect feast, we would bundle ourselves, sleepy and belly-laden, back into our truck and we would head back home. Christmas would suddenly appear with twinkling lights on homes along the way - including some really spectacular displays!!! We would listen to Beary Christmoose, which, as you could probably guess, is a CD of Christmas classics with a fuzzy twist - geared for children. (Aaaah! Children's music that adults actually like listening to, too! =]) Then, we would listen to Garrison Keillor's Christmas CD - Now it is Christmas again. It's a long drive - almost two hours - and the music fit perfectly. It started out as a way to soothe overexcited and overtired little boys (the first CD has magical properties!) but, before we knew it, it was tradition. I can't hear the opening phrases of these two recitals without welling up with tears. ('tho.... I always try to hide it. ;-))

Well, now what? Grandmother lives next door! (It's been three years, now?) There isn't even a rivulet to hop over and we'd have to go the loooooong way around to go through our woods. =/

.... and, yet.... Thanksgiving at Grandmother's house is still always a warm holiday!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving! The whole New England contingent of the family gathered (with a few extra boyfriends tossed in - it's like they're part of the family, anyway. ;-))

Since mom was cooking, I got to set the table. Happy me! It's one of my favorite things to do. I had just enough time to take a few hurried pictures as the feast was beginning and everyone was coming to the table.



and, what can I say?

We still haven't listened to our traditional CDs; so, Christmas hasn't kicked into any sort of reality for us, yet.

but, still...

the deepest tradition is intact!

It was time at the table, again... spent with family... laughing - comfortable - delicious - warm - oh, so familiar and, yet, oh, so special!

I don't have to even stop to think what I'm grateful for - it was handed to me on a figurative platter!

Warm smiles!!!