Tuesday, December 1, 2020

SOMETHING BORROWED...

 









Every October, 
for some unknown reason, 
I automatically start humming and singing Christmas carols. 
 This is a phenomenon 
that has occurred for a number of years
 and is still going strong.
 
 A couple of weeks ago I read Michele's
 lovely post (here)  
about us all needing 
a little Christmas in our lives, 
so you might imagine that 
"We Need A Little Christmas" is
 at the forefront of 
my playlist, in my head, right now
 and I thought it fitting to borrow
 the sentiment for my post today.







Not only is the tune catchy,
  but it is so true...

"Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stockings, 
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
We need a little Christmas now."


 We Need a Little Christmas

Written by Jerry Herman for the Broadway musical Mame in 1966


...truer today than
 maybe ever before.







As I move along 
about the business of decorating,
 borrowing time from fixing the Thanksgiving meal and 
keeping in mind 
that the clock is ticking and soon
 Santa Claus will be coming 
to town...








...I am showing you pieces of Christmas 
that I have accomplished so far. 
 In time, you will be getting the full picture
 of the Olde Homestead Christmas 
but for now 
I am drifting throughout the Cottage, 
adding the magic here and there, 
wherever I think it needs it.







I hope you all had 
a blessed Thanksgiving, 
celebrating it in the best way possible 
that you could this year.

  I made some butternut squash soup...







...but we borrowed 
Raley's expertise 
for the main course...






...and I also made a dessert recipe 
of Cherry Crumble from the wonderful  Kitty's Kozy Kitchen 
that I borrowed from her long ago.
As you can see, 
when I said we would be eating our meal among chaos, 
I wasn't lying.
  
I have never been able to accomplish
 a good photograph of food 
so you will just have to take my word 
that it was very good and
 looked so pretty.







My two angels 
that are on display always, 
donned their little lace choir collars
 in an idea that was borrowed straight from a sign I saw on 
Antique Warehouse which stated simply
 "Hear the Angels Voices".







So many little touches of Christmas,

 borrowed from my memories of childhood,

 especially from my Mom. 

 Three years ago 

 I wrote a piece about her 

and all the Christmases passed 

that she provided for our family.  

Just in case you might have missed it 

the first time around, 

you can find it here.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you went back to read 

this Christmas Past post, 

you might be wondering

 how Bo is doing.  

He is under the care of 

Tami and Tim's vet these last few years

 and with the right meds

 he is remaining seizure free

 and as beautiful

 as ever:




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~






 In other words,

 borrowed from a recent post, 

what better time

 to "play house"

 than at Christmas?





Barely even started 
the decorating
 and already there is 
a present 
under the tree!

(with one tiny ornament already knocked off)
Bless his little heart!






Christmas is returning to the Cottage 
little by little and 
the beautifully applied red stained glass
 is borrowing the exact sentiments
 from the holly berries 
seen through 
the lace curtains.







As I move on to more decorating, 
I'll leave you with a quote
 I borrowed from a very wise and
 most admired lady
 in one of last year's posts: 







Stay Smart
Stay well
and
Wear Your Mask.

Spread the word
not the virus!





Here is a laugh 
that I borrowed from
 my sister:

Calm Down!
Walmart is just asking you
 to wear a mask. 
 You can still wear 
your pajamas and 
leave your bras and teeth 
at home.


Have a great week! 

...Judy...





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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

ONLY ONE YEAR AGO...

 








Thanksgiving is
 just a couple of days away.  
There is no need to say 
that we will be enjoying 
our Thanksgiving dinner
 separated from the ones we love. 
 We are all in this same boat.
 
 We will miss everyone 
but we will still be thankful 
for what we have and 
talk to each other over
 the phone, Skype, Zoom, or whatever 
is our technology 
of choice.





As we sit down at our table, 
we will enjoy our dinner and 
try to ignore the chaos around us.
 
 Is it just me 
or do we all have such a mess 
preparing for Christmas
 until the final box is emptied?
 
 Every year I have the same wish, 
but for some reason,
 it is never granted! 
 I swear 
those boxes, when in storage,
 just keep reproducing! 
 
Just keeping it real.








I am making a pot of
 butternut squash soup, a dessert,
 and the rest of our dinner
 will be courtesy of Raley's.

  We did this last year
 when the kids were here and 
we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
  
Besides, 
with just the Captain and I,
 we will have enough left overs
 to last at least a week or two.

  Can't wait for all 
those turkey sandwiches!







I am starting 
to put up some Christmas decorations.
  Last year, 
Thanksgiving was later than usual 
so we didn't have much time afterwards
 to get Christmas going. 

 I love it so much and 
would like to keep it going
 for as long as I can. 

 Especially this year 
when we all need something
 a little extra.




It is hard not to be thankful 
when I can look out
my kitchen window and 
savor the beauty of a fall day and 
think back to only one year ago
 when I looked out this same window
 and saw this same tree.
None of this has changed 
and yet...

Only one year ago
 things were normal.  
Only one year ago
 life was what you made it. 
 Only one year ago 
we could live happily ever after. 
 One year ago 
seems like a 
lifetime away.





In the short span 
of one year 
so much has changed.  
We don't have the freedoms 
that we had then. 
 Times have changed to the extent
 that what seemed like promised time then
 is now time to be watchful of,
 to keep our eyes open and 
to think before we act
 about so many things 
that have usually been 
taken for granted.





It won't always be this way, 
it almost never is. 

 Things happen in our lives 
that affect us to the very core, 
but we are resilient and 
we can come back
 to a safe space.





Sometimes we learn great lessons
 during times like these and
 sometimes we don't, 
but we must always know 
that we can.
 
 This year, during the holidays,
 it might be harder than usual
 for some of us 
 to keep up
 our spirits.




We all have
 personal pictures 
of the way things ought to be, 
but that can't always
 be the reality. 

 Whatever your personal pictures are 
this holiday season, 
love your families,
 be thankful for all times spent together
 and know that our worlds
 are made to turn
 right side up again and 
so they will.




I would like to wish 
each and every one of 
my family and friends 
a joyful and thankful Thanksgiving. 

 Lots of good food to eat and 
lots of very sweet memories
 of those who can't be 
sitting at 
the table.





 Stay Smart
Stay Well
and
Wear the Mask.

Happy Thanksgiving
 to you all...


...Judy...






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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

PLAYING HOUSE - FOR REAL...

 







When I was a little girl,
 I loved playing house and
 I was good at it! 
 No matter what the situation, 
I was always the mother.  
The one who cooked and cleaned 
and did the shopping. 
 Certain weeds and flowers
 that grew in my mother's garden
 were stand-ins for groceries 
and my bike was the car 
I drove to the market.






My dad had built
 my siblings and me
 a two room play house
 and this was where 
I spent my days.
 
 Long ago memories 
that have settled down 
into places almost forgotten
 but still very much a part
 of who I am today.





Blogging is like 
giving myself a do-over. 
 Playing house was always fun
 and now, 
because of content and sharing,
 I am giving myself a present
 from the past. 
 Now, making house work fun 
 is about the ideas,
 the implementing of those ideas 
and the photography and the story.  
To me,
 seeing the final details
 is as fulfilling as 
I would imagine 
an author feels 
when finishing 
the writing 
of a book.




Because of the pandemic,
 this year
 the holidays will be quite different. 
 Families will not be 
spending time together around 
the Thanksgiving table 
or the Christmas tree. 
 Our hearts will be sad, 
and our hands won't be held,
 but our spirits will be strong still.
 
 We can hope and pray
 beyond reason 
that this will not be so,
 but most likely 
it will be the way it is. 

 There are great hopes 
starting to come forth 
but, unfortunately, 
not in time for
 this year's celebrations.




Just because extended families
 can't be together, 
that doesn't mean that
those who can 
won't have a
 beautiful and memorable time. 
 I feel so fortunate and blessed 
to be with my friend and partner
 of over 60 years
 and to know that my kids 
are all safe and well.

 I have put myself 
in my playing house mode
and set up a pretty table 
that the two of us will sit at.
  It starts with a lantern,
 that was gifted to me
 from our sweet daughter, 
 along with fall gathering 
of autumn colors 
that look perfect 
by candle light...




...and place settings that include
 china and cutlery
 thrifted long ago, 
chargers from The Dollar Tree,
 place mats, napkins and napkin rings 
from Pier One, 
salad plates and stemware
 from Home Goods...





...our after dinner tea 
is courtesy of 
Home Goods.




We will sit down to dinner 
with thoughts of loved ones
 and even though 
it won't be a
 traditional time...




...it will be my version 
of playing house for real 
and even though 
it could be better,
 it still is a time 
that we are 
thankful for.




Stay smart
Stay Well

Folks are dying out there
 and that is the 
very real fact 
of our lives now. 
 There is no hope
 that we will have the help 
we need as a country 
until next year,
 vaccine or otherwise, 
so it is up to us 
to take charge 
and do something
 for all our
 fellow human beings.


 

 As you sit around 
your dining table 
this Thanksgiving, 
 please include, in your prayers, 
the ones
 that aren't so lucky 
this year 
and their families 
who are missing them,  
and remember to  
Please,
Wear your Masks!

We are on the verge 
of another total shut down.
  
Those who won't or don't
 wear the mask and self distance,
  are part of the problem - not the solution!




Here is another 
little sneak peek 
of Christmas.
 No,
 I haven't gotten
 my new knickers in a twist 
and become a minimalist, 
there will be
 more added - you can be sure.



...Judy...






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