As families grow, change, and blend…some traditions have remained the same. Since the boys were 10 and 12, we’ve claimed Christmas Eve as our Christmas.
Early morning breakfast of sensible and clearly non-sensible foods followed by a lively gift exchange with some jumping up and down and gratitude expressed.
After gifts are given, we dash off to the bowling alley for our “Christmas Bowl.” Yes, you read right. We bowl every Christmas Eve. It is as funny as it is fun. We cheer for each other and there is the tiniest bit of competition. (I mean there are awards – teehee).
Cousins help each other, especially if little ones are just learning the ropes.
After bowling, there’s Christmas spaghetti for lunch. More laughter, good stories, and play.
Families pack up in late afternoon and head out to other homes for other celebrations.
For Robert and me, it was a very good Christmas. We feel lucky to have family and friends near and stay connected (Marco/Polo) with those far away. Merry Christmas.
The other day I entered the dining room to find my dear husband, binoculars in hand, getting a close up of the squirrels and birds feasting a few yards past our deck. Not satisfied with the details a smart phone picture would include. He spent the morning shifting between his glasses and binoculars to practice some wildlife drawings.
Although admittedly biased, I think he did a lovely job!
We celebrated my husband’s birthday with a small circle of family and friends. Cheesecake and laughter….what could be better than that?
Brother Larry is on the left. Yup, the gene pool is strong with those two.
Hubs was out on a walk yesterday and brought home wonderful pictures of the colors around the neighborhood. Folks are out raking, with some muttering under their breath “dang leaves.” But the leaves are so spectacular, it’s hard to be mad at them for dressing up before they fall.
Hubs and I are night owls, so it’s a challenge to get the bird seed out early enough for the birds and squirrels. Some mornings they will be lined up on the edge of the shop as if to say……”Wake up, sleepy heads! We’re hungry here!”
Wish I could take credit for the great picture of a baby squirrel. Alas, I could not find the photographer listed. The reason for such a sweet ball of fluff is that we have a fourth squirrel in our back yard. It’s a wee one and had such a hard time figuring out how to navigate the bird feeder. We were rooting for it, and now it takes from the feeder like a champ.
Two feeders and four squirrels make for fine entertainment. They do not easily take turns. The birds, however, are patient and fly between the feeders and the water fountain with such grace. Backyard beauties, all.
Goodbye Halloween mantel; hello fall! I kept a few of the pumpkins around and added some leaves, flowers, and keepsakes. The ceramic covered corn bowl on the left is something from my youth. It still holds the mini-ear spears inside. The goal was to eat the buttery ear of corn without wasting butter on your fingers. Ha!
To the right is some golden wheat in Lucite, a gift from my sister years ago when I was homesick for Kansas. The centerpiece is a print from the inspiring Kelly Rae Roberts with the following quote:
“Giving opens the way for receiving.” — Florence Scovel Shinn
Enjoy the Season!
Click on link to see the difference seven years can make on Halloween night. We tried to pose in the same way. We took up much more of the sofa and Evy could not cry because she was too happy. So she cleverly put a finger to her eye.
Decking out the front yard for Halloween, my husband enjoys drawing some spooky balloons to hang from trees. He also let’s the grands join in and either take their balloons home or hang them from our trees. To make these, you’ll need:
- large white balloons
- permanent markers
- white large garbage bags
Blow up the balloon and tie a knot in the end . (Kiddos may need some assistance with this.)
Let your creativity lead you, but still keep an eye out for little ones who may not know the meaning of “permanent marker.”
My husband likes to draw a face or design on both sides of the balloon, since the balloons twist in the wind. Once the balloon is done, tie the string on the balloon knot.
Next comes the tricky part. With the scissors carefully slit one side of the large white trash bag. At the opposite end of the slit, cut a small hole for the string. Thread the string through the hole so the bag flows around the balloon. Remove bag’s drawstring.
We are entertained by our squirrel friends who stop by daily to munch birdseed and perform amazing acrobatic feats of bravery and skill. If we are not early enough, they wait patiently on the lip of the shop roof wondering when breakfast will be served.
Since the fires east of Portland, our bird population at the feeder has at least doubled. The squirrels and birds take turns munching as if revolving acts in a play put on for our entertainment.
Early afternoon everyone leaves as our neighbor’s cat does his walk through. Once he leaves, the back yard gets back to a flurry of activity. Squirrels vs birds, birds vs birds, squirrels vs squirrels….the drama is endless.
What do you do when you learn that the people who put up your house division made a critical building mistake on the construction that would cause dry rot and water damage that would not show up until a few years later?
This happened to my son and daughter-in-law. A neighbor found the mistake and passed on the news to the rest of the neighbors. Solving the issues cost a lot of hard work and money.
When you find out your house is in danger…..”Who ya gonna call? Dad!”
Tom tore the siding off until he removed the dry rot. Dad showed up with all the tools and lumber one would need to finish the job. They worked hard together, removing the window, putting it back in the right way, trimming it and putting on new siding. Took them a few days but they did great work.
Once the job was done, it will need sanding and some new paint. It will be as good as new (actually better than new). I sure hope they can find the workers who made the mistake and did the damage to the whole neighborhood.
Father and son…..a good team.