Thursday, December 10, 2015

Festively, for the most part

Last night, I cleared my camera's memory card so that the Bear can use my camera to help a friend photograph his daughter's Christmas pageant tonight, and I realized that I haven't taken very many photos lately, due to our (crazy! Not even kidding!) new holiday-induced lifestyle. Here are a few, in no particular order, along with Thoughts.


This year, I decided to try an amaryllis kit instead of my usual paperwhite narcissus. I've had an amaryllis bulb before (also a kit that included bulb, pot and growing medium), when I was in school. I'm excited about my new amaryllis. The flower is called Minerva and will be red and white. What I remember best about my previous amaryllis is cleaning it up off the floor. My roommate had come home after a fight with her boyfriend and threw something across the room. It knocked my amaryllis off the windowsill. She was sorry, and yes, she helped me clean it up. They broke up soon afterward. And that's my amaryllis story.


My favorite mug - itself a relic from my college years - died spectacularly yesterday. I'd used it since 1997, moving it with me everywhere. It has featured on this blog. It's my main hot-beverage drinking vessel. Or it was until yesterday, when it plummeted to the tile floor in my kitchen and shattered in about a hundred pieces. That will teach me to unload the dishwasher with two hands. I took this picture of my tea on Sunday morning, obviously unaware that there were only a few cups left to drink from this mug. I've been sulking about it since yesterday afternoon. Everyone was worried about me. Even the GB said, "This is very upsetting," as she watched me warily. I'll be fine, but I am kicking myself.


I made split-pea soup in the slowcooker this week. (You can find my recipe if you click on "Recipes" in my sidebar). It has been unusually warm for the past few days (I'm actually really unhappy about it; I was rather enjoying being cold, but they say that's returning after Friday), so we didn't need hot soup, really, but I did need to clear the last of the Easter ham out of the freezer before I bring the Christmas one in. I know what you're thinking, but I don't want ham in the summer. The soup was delicious. There will be more in January, of course.

I thought I was over Christmas music last week, but I'm way over the edge now. Literally, as I write, I'm listening to "The Christmas Shoes" on the radio. Yikes.


There was a particularly beautiful sunset at the beginning of the week. I'd been cooking dinner (possibly the aforementioned pea soup; I don't even know what day I'm on anymore), and suddenly, the backyard was salmon. Like, glowing neon, but only for a moment. You could actually see the color bleed away. It was awesome.

I helped in the GB's class yesterday (absolutely bonkers) and needed a nap when I got home. I actually fell asleep. I didn't even plan it. I left the small Bears doing independent work (reading, I think) and lay on my bed. I had a headache and needed to put my head down for a few minutes. Next thing I knew, I was waking up to (what else?) Christmas music on the radio in the living room, played at full blast. Soon after, I dropped my mug. It was not the best afternoon ever.


Do you remember Daddy's Cafe? Longtime readers will recall our make-believe coffeehouse built of Lincoln Logs and located in a fictional hinterland. We've added a lot of things, mostly handmade, but we also have some reindeer now! We bought them at a hobby store; they're meant for use with dollhouses and dioramas. They're feeding on some bales of hay in the front yard of Daddy's Cafe, which is looking sort of like a shady roadhouse lately, what with the chili-pepper ristra and guitar lying abandoned in the yard. It's the holidays, everyone's letting things slide a little.

I keep meaning to share a link to these beautiful books, the Puffin in Bloom series, which I saw this past summer at Tattered Cover, an amazing bookstore in Denver. It's a reissue of four classic novels with new cover art by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. Have you seen them? They're gorgeous, done in her distinctive floral style. The printings themselves are reissues of old Puffin editions, with the original illustrations. I've just sent a copy of Heidi to one of my nieces for Christmas, with plans to send her the rest for other occasions.


I hope you're having a calm, peaceful pre-holiday season. We're hanging in there. Most of the things we're finding frazzling right now aren't really avoidable, those normal activities and events of the season. We'll be baking and wrapping this weekend, and next week will be our busiest of all, but then we'll have two blessed, blissful weeks off.

32 comments:

  1. I do remember the café! Those deer fit in perfectly! I'm not so sure about the gigantic guitar, though! LOL

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  2. You will love your Amaryllis, we buy Andy's mum one every year. I am sure you won't forget to post a picture once it has bloomed, they are amazing. Jo x

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  3. Hopefully your next amaryllis story will be an improvement ;) I'm sorry about your favourite mug ... at least it was being taken out of the dishwasher, so there was nothing IN it! Still. Favourite mugs are favourite mugs for a reason, and like a dog, you can't just go out and buy a replacement puppy when your dog dies can you (well I could). I think you maybe need some dollhouse cops to have a looksee at the speak-easy cafe. Seriously, what kind of rough housin' is goin' on in there that there's a guitar left out in the snow. I have a female Fisher Price cop that would fit right in. But somehow the blond wavy hair and that perfect 'good cop' smile on her face make me think she's not all there (upstairs, you know?). I think she might end up in a bad place if she is ever faced with reality. I think I saw this same sky, but mine was in the morning this week, and I was letting the dog (which, actually isn't dead yet) out for his morning um pee. It was gorgeous! Sorry, the sky, not the (pee). But I didn't take a photo. BTW if your family is really sorry about your mug, they should do something with that last photo of it with that sweet little bubble floating on the coffee ... I'm thinking enlarged photo in a thick white frame. Thank you for the reminder of the pea soup. I meant to make it last year when you posted the recipe, but it never happened. I'm having my family in next weekend, and I think you may have provided me with one of the hot things I want to put on our buffet table. Thanks for that! Enjoy your weekend Jennifer, and all the Christmas music you're being subjected to ... not long now.
    Wendy

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  4. I am so sorry about your mug, I totally get it too. We planted an amaryllis this week too, can't wait for it to bloom. Soak up the busy of this season, and then really sink into those two weeks off. Enjoy!

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  5. Great photos, sorry about your cup, we do get attached. I'm growing an amaryllis this year too, first time ever.
    What a good aunt you are. The first book I ever owned was Heidi, given to me by my favorite aunt for Christmas!

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  6. I love the sky colors, too! It's that time of year and I want to savor the skies.
    Pea soup! Yummy!
    I am so sorry about your mug. That is a sad story. You should write a little vignette about the times you've cherished with the precious cup.

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  7. Oh no, shame on your mug....I also do love some of the ancient ones around here...chips and all ♥ Mmmm yummy soup and love those little deers ☺

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  8. Hi Jennifer, Somsorry about your mug. I have a favorite too and would be so dupisappoint d if anything happened to it. Maybe Santa can find you an identical one somewhere? The soup looks delicious. Split pea is one of Dennis' favorites. I'll have to make some when we get back home. It was 68 degrees here just outside of DC today. We took a long walk around the Chesapeake Bay and enjoyed the sunshine. The sunset colors looked very similar to yours. Hope your Christmas preparations aren't too stressful and you can enjoy the season.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  9. I just started watering my amaryllis bulb that I had last year. I am hoping it will bloom as it did last year...it was red and white, too. My schedule has not been too crazy, but we have had wet and wild weather with more storms rolling on in. I'm sorry your mug broke :( and you had a headache. Wishing you well and hoping you have healthy cheery times in the days ahead! xx

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  10. You have been busy. Helping out at school is really hard work isn't it. I don't envy the teachers at all! That sunset is gorgeous, I know what you mean about them only lasting a moment, it's a race to grab the camera sometimes when the sky turns pink. I'm wishing you a good (and as relaxing as possible!) weekend. CJ xx

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  11. I like posts like these, full of everyday happenings. Sorry about your mug. :-(
    I too adore those puffin Bloom books - we already had two and I've bought the other two for Bella for her birthday. She'll grow into them and I'll admire the beautiful jacket design while she does. X

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  12. Sorry about your mug :-( The books look beautiful, they would make a very special gift. x

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  13. I'm sorry to hear about your mug, it's funny how we get so attached to everyday things and how upset we are when anything happens to them. I do hope you find a new mug which you'll love drinking tea out of just as much. I love those reindeer outside Daddy's Cafe.

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  14. Oh dear, your life sounds busy! I am sorry your mug broke. I had a mug like that and it broke. Richard glued it back together but it is leaking... I can't throw it out though. I hope you have relaxing weekend. xx

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  15. Deep breaths Jennifer... Sorry about your mug. I have a few things that I've had for eons and would feel bereft if I lost/broke them, so I understand. It's odd how we attach our history to things. Here's to glorious sunsets, log fires, peace, harmony and no Christmas music. Have a good weekend. Sam x

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  16. Oh, my heart just ached reading this. I'm sorry for all the ups and downs. I've never gotten the stress that comes from what should be such a joyful time of year. We put so much pressure on ourselves.

    Sorry about your mug, mine (that my husband bought me right after we got married) broke last summer. Although you try not to care so much, you do...

    I hope it all settles for you soon. Wishing you a wonderful week-end!

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  17. I am so sorry to hear about your mug, I think most people are attached to their mug and will know how it feels. Helping out at school can really be tiring I am so glad I don't have to do that anymore. Enjoy all your Christmas preparations. By the way the soup looks delicious.

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  18. Oh Jennifer, I'm sorry to hear about your mug. I've dropped a favourite mug, with the same result. I'm glad Daddy's Cafe is being populated by some wildlife. And your sky picture is gorgeous! Every once in awhile we have that same sky, but usually by the time I go into cottage, grab my phone, and head back out to take a picture the moment has passed. Well done for capturing it the way you did!

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  19. Hey Jennifer,
    So sorry about your mug. I am notoriously clumsy, and often break favorite things. I love, love, love Daddy's Cafe! I want one of my own.
    LeAnn xx

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  20. Oh no... sorry about your mug. I've been there before myself. Things are always getting broken around here. Just yesterday I bought myself a mug - it has a Scandinavian Christmas pattern on it, and has now become my new favourite mug :) Maybe santa will bring a new one for you?

    Love the wee reindeer, so sweet. Enjoy your weekend xx

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  21. Oh it's so annoying when you break something with so many memories woven into it. I love this post sparked by a random collection of photos but a lovely insight into where you life is right now with all the ups and downs. Hope your super busy week goes ok.......

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  22. My first amaryllis was a gift from the oldest son at Christmas. I had so much fun watching it grow and grow and grow. I got two last year at Home Depot on clearance after Christmas. Gave one to my DIL. Mine did nothing but I sure did give her the right one. It was a giant and she and the kids got a great kick out of it.
    Joyce from What Happens at Grandmas mentioned your blog to me the other day and I am glad that she did. I've looked at some of your older posts and visited some of your blog roll friends. I don't knit though I tried it last year and gave up, lol but I quilt, so I thought I'd do better to stick with the quilting. However it is always enjoyable to come across other crafter / sewing / making blogs :)

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  23. I used to get Puffin paperbacks for birthdays and Christmasses and still have a few very tattered and torn on the landing bookcase. I nearly bought an amaryllis bulb today, it was the size of my palm and cost £5.99 so I put it back. Maybe I'll receive one for Christmas! You make a good soup Jennifer and pea and ham is one of my favourites. My condolences on your mug. I have two ancient mugs: one for my morning tea and one for my afternoon tea and I would be bereft if either broke. Have a lovely weekend. I do like your posts!

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  24. Sorry you broke your favorite cup. But now you get to find a new special one! You could look on Etsy for one like your old one? Can't wait to see your Amaryllis in bloom.. I'm going to get one next time I see one. Your soup looks delish. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  25. Ha - can't say it's a peaceful lead up to Christmas here, but we are hanging in too :) This week less social life, and more getting on with the basics - gifts under the tree, maybe bake a cake or glaze a ham... So sorry about your cup - I hate when that happens! It really can make you sad, when you lose an old treasure. The sky is beautiful, and seems to match my memories of New Mexico, with the beautiful pink colour.
    I loved Heidi when I was a little girl, so happy to know she is still in print!

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  26. So sorry about your special mug breaking Jennifer. I always feel sad when china breaks and have since I was a small child because it feels so irrevocable! Now I have a few favourite mugs that I like to drink out of so I don't just stick to one. I hope that you are enjoying a happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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  27. When it rains it pours, so sorry about the mug and the headache. I am sure the headache had much to do with the mug breaking. It is a crazy time isn't it?
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  28. Rotten news about your mug. I have three favourite ones and when one broke I moved heaven and earth to get a replacement. M looked on with bemused amusement. So I do understand how you feel :o) Not feeling Christmassy here yet...I wondered if it was my age?! x

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  29. Sorry you have a tough afternoon, we really need to get more Christmassy here, no decorations up yet but we'll get there, I hope !!!
    Clare x

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  30. it's funny how something like a mug means so much to us isn't it, I think it's because we associate them with bringing comfort. I hope you find something to replace it with that will bring you the same feelings xxx

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  31. Catching up rather belatedly with some blog reading, andI am sorry to hear about your favourite mug crashing to the floor. I get upset when I smash a favourite mug too, particularly if it has been a gift, that is very upsetting. My boys are the same. Only my husband can't understand this deep connection with favourite mugs and would drink his tea out of anything. We forgive him though. Your soup looks really delicious. I so understand about eating the easter ham to make way for the christmas ham. We had several weeks of 'Arctic Surprise' for dinners, as I emptied the freezers to make way for the christmas foods. X

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