Monday, January 2, 2017

Año nuevo












These last few days of the holiday break have been quiet and calm, with lots of time together at home. I don't mind being at home; I can always find things to do. The Bear can too. The small Bears are getting better at it, which I really appreciate. We've finally reached a stage where we can all stay busy doing our own thing for quite a while before reconvening to do something together. They don't need to be entertained as much anymore, which is wonderful and bittersweet at the same time. They put together a gingerbread house (from a kit) with almost no help from us. I think they did a great job with it, probably better than when I help them; I have really bad icing-aim. We stayed home for New Year's Eve, as usual, celebrating with movies and a "party buffet," as I called it. I tried to make it a little fancy - shrimp cocktail, sherbet in ginger ale. We enjoyed sparklers and a few minor fireworks in the backyard. I can barely remember New Year's Eve before children; the Bear and I were in bed by about 10:30 ourselves, as usual. We've been sleeping like logs every night; I think we were really run down before the break.

We took Christmas away yesterday, which has been a big relief. I like the holidays very much but the stuff gets to me after a while, not to mention the food. It's all gone now, eaten up or packed away. I have healthy minestrone soup in the crockpot for tonight's dinner. The house is cleaner than it has been since November and I feel accomplished, settled: another Christmas in the bag. We're at the tail-end now; the Bear will go back to work tomorrow, the small Bears will be back to school on Thursday. I'm looking forward to my own routine.

The break has been a very musical one, which I've really loved. The LB received a new guitar for Christmas, a full-size one that should take him into adulthood. He was playing the Bear's guitar for the past few months and now he has one just like it. I'm working on ways to distinguish them without doing anything drastic. The GB received a book of sheet music for the songs on Taylor Swift's "1989" album, which is pretty much her favorite music ever. She works on her songs every day when she's finished with her regular practice music. I'm impressed, I have to say. Right now, I can recognize at least three songs when she plays them - "Blank Space," "Bad Blood," and "Welcome to New York." The LB plays some of them now and then too. 2016 was the Year of Taylor at our house and 2017 is shaping up for more.

Yesterday, there was a hawk in the backyard. It was probably a Cooper's hawk, as I've written about before. They come and go, but I hadn't seen one in the yard in several weeks. This one flew into the yard like the proverbial bat out of hell, wings flapping like mad. There were at least fifty small birds in the pyracantha hedge along the back wall and they all flew away instantly. Then the hawk sat on top of the swing set surveying the yard. I didn't think to grab my camera until he was poised to fly away, so I got him zipping across the yard. He went away but it was a good half-hour before the little birds came back, and then only one at a time. It's a jungle out there. The mountain looks beautiful right now, with snow almost down to the foothills. We had some sleet and a few flakes over the weekend, but mostly we had rain down here. The snow line has stayed high for the most part so far, around 6500 feet. We're at 5500. There's snow in the forecast for Thursday night and I'm really hoping we get some. The rain has been nice, though. For a La Nina year, we're doing really well in the Southwest, rain-wise.

Thank you for the comments you left on my blog anniversary post. I really appreciate knowing that people enjoy my blog. I love blogging and I plan to continue indefinitely. I hope you're enjoying the start to 2017 and that you had a good holiday season. I'll be back soon to share my crocheted butterfly mobile decoration!

22 comments:

  1. Loved this post Jennifer. I like to pack Christmas away as well. I've held my nerve this year, but tomorrow is the day when it will all be put back in the box, except the tree which will go on its merry way to be recycled. Great that your smaller bears are still loving their guitars. My youngest still plays and likes to find songs that he knows so that he can play and sing along. I'm very impressed with your 5500 feet above sea level. I've just checked and I am 177 feet up here! I imagine it makes quite a difference. Well done on the hawk photo, birds are so tricky to capture. How lovely to see him in your backyard. I hope you have a good week with a little snow to play in. CJ xx

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  2. Christmas is all put away here too, although I didn't do as much as usual since we had no one here besides us. I agree that it's a wonderful feeling to have things back to normal. I was just looking at the picture of the LB's and thinking how much they've grown. Then I read how you felt they did so much on their own this year. They do grow don't they? We're in the process of transferring all of our family videos from VHS to DVD and have been watching them all week. Oh, our kids seemed so small then. I miss those years tremendously. On another note, we have the snow you're wanting! 8 inches just yesterday. I am so ready to have winter over with. Happy New Year Jennifer. I hope it's a wonderful one for you and yours.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  3. Sounds like you and your family have had a lovely, relaxing break. My hubby's been off work the past three days and we've gotten some things accomplished in the house, including putting away all the Christmas stuff, plus a few meals out, and time for relaxing and reading. It's been wonderful.

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  4. Great photo's of your New Year's Eve. It has been a lovely christmas break this end with lots of rest. I am back on the treadmill (work) tomorrow but ready to crack on. Glad to hear you will be carrying on blogging as I enjoy reading your blog too :)

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  5. CHristmas is packed away at my house too, thank goodness by the end of the month it is all full of dust and a mess. I like to start the year with a clean slate. Good luck with returns to school and work. I worked all through the holidays, Little B returns to school tomorrow. HUgs,
    M

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  6. I'm like you - I *love* Christmas but, after it's done, I'm desperate to get the decorations down and put away. I even did a wee bit of dusting when I did it! *gasp* :oD

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful holiday season. We spent most of our days home as well and it was a nice break. Happy New Year!

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  8. What a lovely post Jennifer, I really enjoyed reading about your festive break. Yours is such a lovely family and I love to read about you all. I am glad you are continuing to blog, so many of my favourite bloggers are disappearing. Christmas is packed away here also, I am glad about it! Here's to a fantastic 2017! xx

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  9. Christmas is put away here too. I'm like you - I love it, but after Christmas I want things cleaned up and all that Christmas food gone too. I love your photos today!

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  10. blogs are wonderful! I know the feeling of needing to move on from Christmas, but I have not had mine yet (am on Russian calendar so it's this Saturday) and I am just back from MI where Mr Husband and I had our 'first Christmas' with my family. It was lovely. I love how my Christmas tree has so many memories, from when I was young to now... in the beginning of what I hope are my 'middle years'... hope you have a wonderful week! God bless your new beginnings/year/routine!

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  11. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas/New Year. I am in the process of sorting our Christmas décor out and packing it all up, it takes me such a long time as I ponder each ornament and its humble beginnings. It is a relief to have all the food gone, we need to move to a healthier diet and lose a few pounds. Beautiful photos.

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  12. Gosh, Jennifer, I didn't realise you were so high above sea-level – we're only a few hundred feet here, I'm sure that makes it more likely you'll have snow. Exciting. It's lovely that your children enjoy playing music. Only one of mine plays (guitar) but recently stopped. I'm sad about it but encouraging him to continue has the opposite effect – teenagers! Our Christmas tree is still up but I'm itching to take it down; everyone else wants to hang on to it. The children went back to school this morning so I plan to do it later this morning :-) Happy New Year to you all. Sam x

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  13. Lovely to catch up with you Jennifer it sounds like you have had a lovely time with your family over the holidays. I'm always glad when Christmas is packed away too. :) xx

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  14. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family Jennifer. I love Christmas very much, but when it is over I love to clear it all away and enjoy the freshness of new year. Lovely to see your children growing and thriving....and wonderful that they enjoy music so much. Wishing you many happy times in 2017.
    Helen xox

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  15. Happy new year to you and your loved ones. I've got Christmas all packed away too, I'm glad to see the back of it this year and hope that 2017 is a better year.

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  16. Happy New Year Jennifer! It sounds as though you had a wonderful holiday break. It's funny how we can anticipate and look forward to a break, but then, when it's over, it's such a relief to get back into a routine. And how Christmas decorations, so bright and colourful and cheery when we put them up, seem to be a bit claustrophobic by the time we take them all down again.

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  17. It sounds like you had a great Christmas and New Year's Eve!! I was so tired by the time Christmas was over and so ready for a relaxing, lazy week and that's exactly what we had last week. I love the week between Christmas and the New Year. We spent New Year's Eve at home and that's how we like it, too! My tree is still up. I've loved the lights so much this year and really all three of us voted to keep it up one more week. It's coming down this weekend for sure!

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  18. Happy New Year Jennifer! We too had a lazy New Year's and I think my husband and I both sighed with relief when my daughter and her boyfriend left to go to someone else's house (people their own age and more fun). We then changed into our pj's for a night of movie watching and relaxing. Your whole holiday sounds like it was perfect. I love seeing raptors, and we also have had a Cooper's hawk until this winter. I wonder what happened to him. They're so fast and impressive.
    A steady rain is falling here and washing away all our snow. Dark and dismal. I like getting Christmas packed away on New Year's Day as it starts to irritate me and makes me feel claustrophobic. Enjoy your week as you gentle get back into the swing of things.
    Wendy

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  19. Hey Jennifer,
    I packed Christmas away yesterday, and today has been spent in a frenzy of cleaning. Marc loves Taylor Swift. He constantly plays her music. I think he might have a little crush on her! We had a sharp frost last night, which is most unusual here. My morning run was crunchy underfoot, and I found the air very cold in my lungs. I'm glad you will be blogging forever. I always enjoy visiting you and your family here. Happy New Year to you all.
    Leanne xxx

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  20. You are teasing me with that butterfly photo - I really want to see it! Happy New Year to you all. My children went back to school today and I am trying to have that relationship with time where I just waste the day instead of trying to make every moment count and it is actually really hard but really good all at the same time! Happy New Year! Jo x

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  21. Oh Jennifer, it all sounds so lovely. You had the calm, quiet Christmas that I wanted but didn't get (not that I'm bitter...) I went back to work yesterday and the kids today - it wasn't that bad all in all, the routine is good for us. x

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  22. You all made good use of your time :) It is fun to see some photos as well as your words about your activities. Your hawk definitely caused some excitement! Yesterday while driving on one of the main routes in Portland I had to slam on my brakes when a coyote dashed in front of me! I guess the local news had reported other sightings in the city, but I was startled to see one in such a busy spot. xx

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