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Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Away from Home

This lovely poinsettia tree greeted us in the Fort Myers, Florida, airport.
We rented a lovely home in Venice with a pool and an excellent location between the beach and downtown shops and restaurants... all within walking distance.  Here are my son and granddaughter enjoying the pool.

We spent a day visiting a friend who spends winters in Florida.  Here is my husband getting acquainted with the egret who regularly visits my friend's deck overlooking the intercoastal waterway.  Across the water we had lunch in Cortez, an older working fishing village with every kind of luscious sea creature available for purchase in the market. 

The unexpected bonus for me was a free daily yoga class on Venice Beach.   I attended every day.... it was rejuvenating!  We had a lovely holiday week with family and friends in a beautiful, friendly community.  Hope your holiday was special, too.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cookie Baking

I love my granddaughter's intensity in her first serious stint at making rolled and cut cookies at Nonna's house!  Her attention span was greater than I anticipated for a 2 yr. 9 mo. old.   She spent the weekend with me and when her parents came for supper and to take her home, we all enjoyed frosting and decorating!

 Ernie, Bert and Emily loving the snow globe music box....  we played it again and again.... and again!

Hope you are having a joyful and peaceful holiday!   And Happy Solstice, too!  Longer days will be here soon.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Village in the Library

You know how one activity must precede another?  I so badly wanted to set up my Christmas village on this deep window ledge today, but first I had to sort stacks of books first.  I should have taken a "before" picture.   Books were stacked 18" high every-which-way on this ledge, on the floor, two rows deep on the upper shelves.  So I was ruthless and went through the entire wall of books from the ceiling to the floor and have three shelves full in another room now that will go on after New Years.  This felt so good - so right, and now I have the reward of seeing my Christmas village with all it's pretty lights.

The two shelves of books directly beneath the village are the children's lending library.  I have books for toddlers up to older elementary.   Some were my own children's books when they were young.  There are several visiting neighborhood grandkids who come to the lake in the summer and I encourage them to come borrow two or three books at a time for those occasional boring or rainy days.   It is fun to have them here.  And now I have a toddler grandchild of my own to enjoy my library as well.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Irresistible apple tree!  An untamed, untrimmed, unpicked tree along the side of the road just loaded with gorgeous red apples.   It deserved a photo on a chilly December day.  This was last Friday as I took back roads along the shore of Lake Michigan to set up a day early for my final craft show of the season.  The day of the show our roads were covered with black ice, so I am especially glad I did not wait to drive the distance on Saturday.   This scene was within walking distance of a quilt shop which is one of my favorites in the north.  I had the extra time so stopped to purchase supplies for new projects.

Also on this route is this neat old Dodge Power Wagon which is under a lean-to so is well-protected from the weather.  Notice the bit of snow on the fender and running board.  I have been driving past this oldie for a couple of years and longing to inspect it more closely.  Again, time was on my side so I stopped for a photo.  I am tempted to crop this pic for the landscape reflected in the side windows.  What do you think?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's beginning to look festive

The Christmas tree lighting ceremony in our town is this Friday night.  The very large donated evergreen is set up in one of the busiest intersections of our 3-block downtown.  The trunk of the tree is secured in a man-hole and what was a three lane street is now 1/2 lane on either side of the tree, and, yes, traffic carefully gets through.   No one seems to mind this minor inconvenience for a few weeks.  I'll try to get some pictures of the lights.

In the meantime, I found myself with extra pie dough again last night and nothing special to put in it.
I sliced two apples, two pears into the pie shell and topped them with a cup of raw cranberries.  Spices then a crumb topping made this a very tasty and festive pie.

From my postcard collection I selected this beauty from the 1920's and placed it in this wonderful little vintage art deco swing frame.