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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

 

Elsa on the Sidelines

Elsa on the Sidelines – Note: Lovage Herb still growing mid-November!

 

Today is chilly and wet here in rural Virginia.  When we go outside, our new dog, Elsa, confines herself to exploring under the eves of the house where it is still dry.

I too confine myself to the interior to keep warm with wooly socks and comfort foods.

I am contemplating the arrival of Thanksgiving.

However – the stores are already playing Christmas music!

And whole aisles are devoted to holiday trimmings and diabetic inducing holiday sweets.

Time seems evermore meaningless.

Commerce demands earlier and earlier displays.

Maybe it would be a good idea to have Christmas in August for Bill’s birthday.  Why not?

Tree and all.

My friends and I are becoming cynical about the charms of winter.

But then I discovered  a magical snow globe.

Snowglobe

  • It plays holiday music.
  • Turn it upside down and of course there is a gentle snow storm.
  • And flip a switch for barn illumination and little colored lights that twinkle in the trees.
  • I am transported in time to the sweet charms of Winter.

The little globe has done what no store display could do.

It has inspired me to look forward to a joyful winter season with much to be thankful for.

So no matter what holiday you celebrate, my wish for you is joy

and

warm socks.

 

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I do love shiny things and I am

not even embarassed to admit it.

Things that glitter and glow like diamonds, sequins, twinkling lights, cut glass, shiny makeup, gemstones, or anything with a glint will receive my full attention.

But rarely is there a shiny thing that is not only glittery, but elegant and practical too.

And of course today’s story is about a charmingly small Christmas gift from a great friend (Pam).  Pam also loves shiny things.

The little object of this tale is a “crystalline pen” made by Swarovski!  It’s center is filled with tiny little crystals that shine in different lights.  I keep it right where I can see it too.  And occasionally a deep sigh can be heard across the room.  It is a sigh of contentment.

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Because this sparkling object is not only wonderful to look at,

but is also a smooth and silky writing pen.

And it has a thumbs-free rubber stylus at one end

Did you know I used to be able to type 70 words per minute on a manual typewriter?

And 100 words per minute on an electric typewriter (does anyone remember those?).

But I am woefully clumsy when it comes to texting on a cell phone!

Result:  Typos!  Great Big Ugly Typos!

Forefinger-texting doesn’t work for me because the typos are so horrendous nobody can decipher the mesHvs7& (see what I mean?).

Enter:  The Swarovski Magical Pen.

This wonderful little thing is a real problem solver and a Senior’s Answer to keeping up with social media’s high speed demands.

Like who can match the maddening two-thumb expert young-uns who probably exceed 100 words per minute just before they run into a wall or fall down the stairs?

It’s the stylus I now love…. that little eraser-like thing at one end of my wondrous little pen.

The stylus is like a miniature thumb

and is just the right size for error free cell phone typing.

Now if they would only invent a pen that has twin stylus-es styl-eye? at one end to work like the kids using two thumbs.

Maybe I will write a letter to Swaovski!

In the meantime, thank you Pam for this sweet little gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Son and the grandgirls were here over the Christmas holiday.  Here they are studying something important.   Can you imagine what it is?

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Drone

 

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Three Gourmet Chefs

Three Gourmet Chefs Serve Dinner!

Our son and grandgirls arrived January 1st, 2016 to celebrate Christmas and to welcome in the New Year.

Testing a New Back Roll

Testing a New Back Roll

There was one hot political discussion.  Gifts were exchanged with lots of laughter,  there were giggles trying out a new exercise thing, and my Star Wars pet robot is now up and running and making R2D2 sounds while bumping into things. The grandgirls put that together since I am technologically challenged.

They were full of happy surprises too, and as I sat back, pampering the poor old Big Foot, I was amazed to watch “the kids” cook a whole meal for our family.  That was a first!

The Grandgirls Cooking

The Grandgirls Cooking

Mongolian Chicken from an online recipe was the challenge that required dedicated chopping and mixing. I was stunned by the sight of the three working together so harmoniously in the kitchen – no longer babies but grown women.

“But, how good could this meal really be?” I wondered.  An hour went by and there were some delectable aromas drifting around.

Suddenly there we were having the most delicious family dinner!

How could this be?  How could they have grown up so quickly?

What happened to the babies who used to play jacks with me on the kitchen floor?

About the 3rd day we began to run out of “vittles” and planning a visit to the market.  “We’ll go,” the kids all chimed and son and the three first went running for exercise on the Chessie Nature Trail and then to the store to replenish the food stock.

We played Guesswork  for more howling and laughter and  watched four or five old Star Wars films to prepare for going to the newest release in town (Lexington, Virginia).

There was something about this Christmas delayed, combined with welcoming in the New Year, that is “one for the books” or in this case, one for the blog, to be remembered for a long time to come.

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Oh Xmas Tree 2015

Yes, Christmas is over but not necessarily at Dor’s house.

We are having the longest, most extended holiday ever and maybe the nicest.

Judy Here for Xmas Eve n DayChristmas Eve Cheers

On the night before Christmas, my niece arrived from California, joining us for dinner at the sweetest little restaurant (the Bistro on Main) in Lexington, Virginia.

We couldn’t help laughing along with all the other diners in such high spirits.  There were little kids in pajamas with excitement in their faces, and the food was wonderful too.

What else could make for a perfect Christmas Eve?  We watched It’s a Wonderful Life when we got home.

Christmas Day Cheers

I don’t usually scream “Look what I got!” about gifts received but one of my most precious gifts is a robotic thing from Star Wars that is meant to serve as a “pet” since we don’t have a dog anymore.

This crazy gift  doesn’t work yet but it is supposed to follow me around, absorb my personality,  make odd noises, and project things on my walls.  There is a mamoth list of instructions in six different languages!

Thank you so much to our friend, Scott.  You have succeeded in making us laugh.  Maybe our grandgirls can decipher the instructions.  Bill has a blank look.B n Directions for R2D2R2D2

Christmas morning our niece left to join her husband and his family in Richmond, but later friends arrived here to share memories.

B is English and she and her daughter came bearing English chocolate and other home cooked delicacies to add to Christmas dinner.  They stayed with us two nights and what a joy it was to reunite with cherished friends.

Barbie n Suzanne Xmas Day 2015

New Year’s Eve

There is a tradition now.  We meet with  friends and neighbors at our house for laughter and libations and then head out for dinner.  This time it will be at the Sheridan Livery Inn in Lexington, Virginia.  Actually it used to be a livery where you could park your horse and go shopping but there are no longer any lingering horsey smells.

After dinner we head back to my house for dessert and a movie.  Every year our challenge is to find a movie that will keep Pete awake.  We only succeeded once I think, but when the snoring gets too loud we just nudge him.

We rarely get to midnight before disbursing but there is always hope.

Pete n Phebe Spring 2012

 

The Year is Done but Christmas Cheers Linger on New Year’s Day.

Our son and grandgirls are coming on New Year’s Day!

Now Christmas should be over and the tree coming down

but our son and three grandgirls are coming to town.

The tree is still lit and the gifts laid with care

 and there are cookies and candies and turkey to share.

 

Happy New Year my friends.  I’ll be thinking of you too.

And may all your fondest dreams come true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Castle Ruins Castle on a Hill 1

We were on our way to the “old country!”

En route I spotted a ghostly cloud in the shape of a sister-jet following along for good luck.

Ghost Plane on High

This is what I saw through our plane window.

 

Bill and I were on our way to a riverboat cruise featuring the Highlights of Germany.

And there are now 193 photographs awaiting your viewing pleasure!

No, please don’t worry.  This is a Virginia blog after all and the subject is always Virginia Views.

I will only share the best of the best of cathedrals, castles, and narrow streets.   Now they have already  blended into one delightful memory.  The truth is, we can’t remember where we have been!  At least that’s what Bill says.  After awhile one castle looks a lot like the last one.

But I’m baaaaaack!  The called for “Time Out” is over.

And now, tradition has it that I must post a wayward witch’s photo to celebrate the season.

It was not taken in Germany but a few years ago “down the street” right here in the neighborhood.

Many thanks to the neighbor who took the time to put up this funny lady.

They don’t make much of Halloween in the Germany we visited and I am glad to be back among all the U.S. pumpkins, gourds, and all the anticipation in the air about costumes, tricks and treats.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN my friends!

It’s good to be home.

She must have been texting!

She must have been texting!

 

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Moonrise

Long ago, when Bill and I were young dreamers, he said, “One of these days in our lifetimes, we will put a man on the moon.”

I thought he was crazy or maybe a genius, but of course his prediction came true.  Even so, with all our technological advances,  I have never been able to snap a good photograph of the moon.

Last year  all photos were taken with my little cell phone, but moonshots were  immediately deleted because they were tiny unrecognizable  spots of light.

Then Bill gave me a new camera “pal” for my birthday.  It did take impressively clear pictures but still refused to enlarge the moon.

For Christmas he gave me a new lens for the new camera – a zoom lens!

And a blue moon was rising.

This photo is the  first moonshot I have ever revealed.

It may not match the many other professional closeups of our moon, but it reminds me of that dreamy night so long ago.

 

 

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The Daily Post:  Ready, Set, Done!

Set a timer for ten minutes. 

Write without pause (and no edits) until you’re out of time. 

Then publish what you have

(it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over).

Note:  Being a perfectionist, I did give this post a once-over

and made some minor corrections to  

achieve perfection.

I am really NOT supposed to be writing this morning since we have company coming for dinner.  The menu is prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans (pre-cooked and just need to be heated) and Waldorf Salad (already made up in advance).  It’s a sunny day in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  Sunshine is so welcome now because we have had days and days of chilly overcast weather. We even had an ice storm one night that melted the next day.

Almost everything is done except I’m not dressed and the house needs a once over to make it more than perfect.  Perfect is the key word here.

Our tree is up and gleaming.  The tiny-light wreaths are in the windows so everything looks festive as you drive up.   I am ready.  I must admit I am a perfectionist so vacuuming, dusting, setting out candles and hors d’oeuvres, and  preparing a beautiful table is next.

Noche With BabiesTomorrow we are also expecting my niece, Judy and her wonderful German Shepherd, Noche.  I am sooooo excited about this and have already bought squeaky toys for the pup and those special chew bones she loves.  We can’t wait to see sweet Judy of course, but Noche is like a favorite child coming for Christmas and she makes things all the more festive.

I am wondering if I should hide things or remove them all together from tables and corners – the decorations you know.  Will have to ask Judy when she arrives if the dog attacks things.  We will all be here so she should feel secure, but she is known to move things around if left alone.

After Judy leaves Sunday, we will wait for Christmas.  Son and grandgirls will not be here until after the actual “day” as I have just learned they will be coming  in early January instead.  That will be fun!  All the pressure for perfection will be off and we can all just let our hair down.

Barbie & Suzanne on Deck Dec. 27,2013 This Christmas Day we are expecting good friends, Barbie and Suzanne.  They were here last year too and we have such a good time playing scrabble, shopping the day after, and of course giggling and reminiscing Xmas Day with all the goodies we can manage to ingest.

Pete n Phebe Spring 2012

Our Fun Friends for New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve will be fun too as we share it with another favorite set of friends and try to stay awake to midnight.

The sun is shining and I must get dressed and wander through the house and kitchen to make sure everything is perfect for our guests.  I have a feeling we will all be laughing at once and no one will notice all the perfection anyway.  The old adage, “with age comes wisdom” is actually true in some cases.  I know if I were wise-er, I would relax, but I still strive to be beyond perfect in preparing for a holiday party.

I will try to remember to take pictures of the festivities.

In the meantime, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Love,

Dor

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en.wikipedia.org1274 × 910Search by image Santa Claus Sugar Plums. Confection label, showing Santa Claus on sleigh with reindeer., 1868.

en.wikipedia.org Santa Claus Sugar Plums. Confection label, showing Santa Claus on sleigh with reindeer., 1868.

I’m not sure what a sugar plum is exactly, but that’s what my dear old Mom used to call me – “Sugar Plum.”   Isn’t Sugar Plum a lovely endearing name? Better than Dork or Snort I must say.  Did you know I have friends who actually call me Dork?!!!  I am immune after years of this but no wonder there are some odd looks from people out in the public.

Sweet Treats

“Tis really the season” here in the Virginia countryside and ’tis ripe for dreaming.  The weather outside slides from frightful to delightful in the course of hours, but there is a happy tension in the air that makes us ready for a White Christmas.  Bing Crosby used to sing that one.  Does anyone remember Bing and his dreaming of a white Christmas?

VABornandBred Sign

Awaiting Santa in Lexington, Virginia

Awaiting Santa in Lexington, Virginia

Some folks have their decorations up and it’s only the first week in December!   Downtown Lexington is beginning to look all decked out in its best finery.  And we bought the tree(s) today – real ones – with the real scent and the real, sticky hands, real light stringing disasters and of course, real avalanches of needles on Dec. 26th.

Santa's Throne

In an effort to save tree lives, we once or twice tried plastic varieties. The poor things died quicker than the real ones.  Either we could never put them back together or one great segment of the thousand points of light would give out never to be seen flickering again.

Anyway, now we have two trees -one for the inside and one for the outside.  The little one will stand on the deck with some edible ornaments for the birds.  The inside tree will light up a window and when it’s all adorned, Bill and I will sigh and say it is the most beautiful tree we have ever had.  We mean that too, every year.

Tipsy Toy Soldier

Tipsy Toy Soldier

Yesterday we went to Lowe’s for a new high powered battery operated leaf blower.  Lowe’s is in the holiday spirit too because we were greeted by what must have been a tipsy toy soldier who was leaning on a Christmas tree.  Sorry for the trash can in the photo but it was just there.  The giant soldier must have blown over in the wind or the people who put him up had a bit too much to drink too.

I haven’t dreamed of sugar plums yet, but my hopes lean toward laughter, family, friends, playing in the snow, and the magical lights and moments of the best Christmas we have ever had.

What about you?  May all your best dreams come true.

From Wikipedia:  A sugar plum is a piece of candy that is made of dried fruits and shaped in a small round or oval shape.  “Plum”in the name of this confection does not mean plum in the sense of the fruit of the same name.  At one time, “plum” was used to denote any dried fruit.  “Sugar plums: may be made from any combination of dried plums (aka prunes), dried figs, dried apricots, dates, and dried cherries, but traditional sugar plums may contain none of these.  In one recipe, the dried fruit is chopped fine and combined with chopped almonds, honey, and aromatic spices such as anise see, fennel seed, caraway seeds and cardamon.  This mixture would then be rolled into balls, often then coated in sugar or shredded coconut.

 

 

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Xmas, Cows n Lamplight 006Last weekend I stopped by one of my favorite “good-for-you” organic healthy food stuff markets.  It’s called Cool Spring Organics.

Even though I picked up a few food items that are guaranteed to extend my life by at least 15 minutes, I noticed something fun off to the right.  Could it be a Christmas Shop?  Yes!

And who could resist?  Xmas, Cows n Lamplight 013Xmas, Cows n Lamplight 009

I was pleased to wander through a delightful maze of sparkling items contributed by local artists and local shops – all calculated not only to put folks in the “spirit” but designed to entice you to get a head start on holiday gift giving.  Just look at these displays!

Xmas, Cows n Lamplight 011Xmas, Cows n Lamplight 015

If you are in the area there will be two “Gift Shops” such as this (in the former restaurant space of Cool Spring Organics) with lots of new items.  The shops are presented by Cloud Haven Studio, Wendy Christine Duke.

Gift Shop #1  – November 22-30  Monday-Saturday 10AM to 6PM;  Sunday 10AM to 5PM

Gift Shop #2 – December 13-23  Monday-Saturday 10AM to 6PM;  Sunday 10AM to 5 PM

Cool Spring Organic Market is located at 30 Greenhouse Road, Lexington, Virginia 24450

Xmas, Cows n Lamplight 010

 

 

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