Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter Solstice - The countdown to Spring Begins

Winter Solstice is finally here.... the daylight will become longer each day.
 In March my Trailer will come out of storage..... Let the countdown begin!! 

 In March my Trailer will come out of storage..... Let the countdown begin!!
  Be still my heart, camping season is just around the corner.

I have long had a tradition of baking cookies on the longest day of the year.  My all time favorite cookies are Pepparkakor, a traditional  beloved Swedish Christmas tradition.  They are thin and lightly spicy, similar to Gingerbread (only better!!)

They are the best tea - dunking cookie I can imagine.

Since I am not on the road this winter...I can at least enjoy these wonderful treats.

We had a picture taken at Church today in front of the Christmas tree I decorated at Church.  The ornaments were had made by women of the Church who have now passed on.  What a wonderful way to keep their spirits alive within the Church that they loved.

Auntie Margie, Hailey, Karen

 This picture is not the best.... but it is the best we have.

From our Home to Yours ~ Have the Very Merriest of Christmas !

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Traditions - Keep the Old or Built New?

Last year, as Christmas neared, I was preparing for life on the road.  I sold or re-homed 95% of my worldly good in preparation for my new life.  It was a tug-a-war between my sentimental longing to hold on to everything that told my heart a story and my need to shake off the things that accumulated in the bowels of my home and ranch consuming my time and energy.

By the end of February, I had a house ready for sale.

The most difficult things to sort through for me were the family pieces, handed down from generation to generation, and all the holiday decorations and dishes, that occupied a room of their own.  I purged and gave many pieces to my children.  What remained was contained in 2 bins.  I saved one small bin for the trailer and one large bin to remain in storage along with the family pieces at my Aunties.

So times and life directions have since changed, and I am now at my Aunties with my Granddaughter.  My remaining things are here in bins, my trailer is in storage for winter, awaiting new adventures and I'm feeling a bit like a fish out of water.

After Thanksgiving I helped decorate the church for Christmas so it seemed natural to come home and decorate the house for the holidays.

Years ago, I made a tree in a sleigh for my Auntie and Uncle.  We redid the decorations with Teddy Bears for this year....With a Teddy Bear Standing Guard. 
I brought up my Aunties decorations and we decorated the living room.  With Aunties blessing, I decorated the family room with the remaining Christmas decorations I had saved.  

 Oh how, the sentimental feelings flowed. 

 Obviously, reducing the amount of things I possess has not my diminished my ability to form sentimental feelings to things.  Although I have observed that having some of my things around me has helped me approach Christmas not as it was, nor as it was planned, but in a new way.

 It certainly is a mix of old and new.

 While I feel somewhat suspended between the life that was and the life I planned, I am busy embracing life each day.  

 Emmit got his 'collar' off today.... and proceeds to check out the decorations.

There wasn't room for all of the ranch village I had saved but it was good to see this bit of the ole ranch.

     The decorations are in place,

                                       The cooking begun,

                                                          Now it's time to.....

Do you preserve old traditions or have you found new ways to celebrate the holidays?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dammit Emmit

Currently, Travels have been suspended due to frigid weather.  Just when I think that life has become predictable without travels, Emmett surprises us.  I awoke to discover that Emmett was bleeding from a wound under his mouth.  Off to the Vet for Emmit.

Obviously Emmitt has been catting around. 

He comes home later in the day after surgery sporting a new collar.

(Taken a couple of days post surgery when he was feeling a little better)

He had a bite mark that abscessed under his chin probably from a cat fight......
His mane has been shaved and he is certainly feeling punk.  A drain tube will be removed on Monday... Stitches will come out in about 10 days.

 Spook and Socks have you been up to no good? 

Missy doesn't know what to think but certainly is finding his predicament fascinating. 

What's up with you Emmit?
After one night in the kennel I let him out but he is staggering around.  Guess he will have to relearn how to walk and get around furniture.

Thus far his Vet Bill is $300.
Merry Christmas poor little Emmit.

 Hope you are feeling better by then!

Latest update.... Missy has joined Emmit in the land of coneheads.

Life is just a barrel of monkeys at our house!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Thankful Heart....

For me, gratitude needs to be a state of mind and soul... not just a day in November.  As is often the case I wonder how much of holidays celebrations become a routine without much thought or reflection.

Thanksgiving is one such day. 

A quiet moment while dinner cooks

Last Year my leg was in a cast and I was on crutches, so cooking was out of the question for me.  We went to the local diner and had a free dinner that the owners do for the local community as a thank-you to the local community.

So for beginners, I am grateful to be standing on both lgs.

Thanksgiving finds me living a very different life than I had planned.  There are blessings in all kind of circumstances but sometimes it is necessary for us to really LOOK.   

What a challenge it is to cook a Thanksgiving feast for one vegetarian, another who is lactose intolerant and another who follows a low fat and low sugar diet.  I did lots of searching for receipes to accommodate everyone's needs.


 With three people eating turkey, it seemed a little overkill to place the whole turkey on the platter so I put the sliced turkey on the platter and surrounded it with Sauteed Brussel Sprouts.  It certainly turned out colorful.


I had a great time shopping for Thanksgiving dinner at Trader Joe's.  I love that place.  My latest find is multi-colored carrots and they are a rainbow of yellow, orange and red.  I have named them little jewels.  They are very sweet and colorful.  I have already returned and bought 2 more bags.  One of the pleasures and downsides of shopping at Trader Joe's is the constantly changing inventory.  It is fun to try new additions but at TJ's you never know how long it will be available so you buy multiples of things you like.

Time to dish up and dig in!

Oops, no room for fruit salad!

Yep, I ate it all!!

Cherished Family Times.

The next day while suffering from Carb overload I was laying on the couch and watching a circus of squirrels playing in the tree outside of my window.

The sun had  just come up and provided a wonderful glow on the tree.  Without leaves in the tree their nest is fully visable and they were darting in and jumping out, leaping from limb to limb.

I took pictures from inside, and outside...

 and even had company while taking pictures from my perch on the bench beside the garbage can.
Emmit wondering what all the fuss is about!!
Don't bother looking too hard..... Romeo and Juliet were moving like greased lightening.... every picture showed branches but no frisky squirrels...

Watch out squirrels.... I will catch you yet!!

 Late but Thankful Days!