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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I wondered if I would regret by now that I did not decorate for Christmas.  No, I am just relieved that I have more reading time instead of a day spent un-decorating.  Putting this card, from 1977, out was my entire extent of decorating this year:

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Two pleasant intervals with friends provided some holiday feeling to the season.

I had indeed gotten sick by Tuesday morning with a bad cold, just as Allan was getting over his.  Even though the evening weather had been dry and not windy, we hadn’t had a solstice campfire on Wednesday the 21st as I had hoped.  The knee brace fitter had showed up unannounced at the door with the brace, and I had sent her away politely because I felt so terrible.  (She should have called first.  I just wasn’t up to it by surprise and didn’t want to pass on the illness.  If she’d called, I could have thought ahead and done the fitting out in the garage where the germs were not thick…but I couldn’t think fast enough when put on the spot. Next week, I hope we will connect.)

Thursday, 22 December 2016

While getting the mail on Thursday, Allan had a look at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Christmas village.

in the museum window

looking in the museum window

frontier Christmas village

frontier Christmas village

the Christmas train goes round and round.

the Christmas train goes round and round.

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Skooter helped Allan wrap some presents.

Skooter helped Allan wrap some presents.

Even though I did not think I should take my contagious self to Dave and Melissa’s holiday dinner party, Melissa was strangely insistent that I should attend.  She, Dave, and Todd all expressed conviction that they would not get sick.

Sea Star holiday dinner

at Sea Star

at Sea Star

entry way

entry way

Unlike me, Melissa did not refrain from decorating this year.  (Dave says, “It’s all Melissa.”)

a table top tree with all fruit and veg ornaments

a table top tree with all fruit and veg ornaments

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I love the indoor window between dining room and great room.

I love the indoor window between dining room and great room.

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the big tree

the big tree

Dave, Melissa, Todd

Dave, Melissa, Todd

As always, a delicious feast by the Sea Star chefs

As always, a delicious feast by the Sea Star chefs

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flowers

flowers

 

North Beach Garden Gang

North Beach Garden Gang

When gift exchange time came, we learned why Melissa had been so determined for us all to come.  She presented the entire gang with matching garden club hoodies.

How about that?

How about that?

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home made cookie assortment including chocolate truffles

home made cookie assortment including chocolate truffles, and Allan brought pumpkin pies.

It was impossible to get a good photo of the ever active Coulee.  Here he is, though, as we were also celebrating his tenth birthday.

Coulee gets a scritching.

Coulee gets a scritching.

And a hug.

And a hug.

When we arrived back home at ten, look who we found in the unfenced part of the front garden:

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and a third one behind our neighbour's house

and a third one behind our neighbour’s house

Friday, 23 December 2016

The glass blocks arrived for the upcoming bathroom beautification project.

all the way from Seattle

all the way from Seattle

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This is all being organized by master builder Bill Clearman.

I kept reading, alternating between Modernity Britain and online discussions of intersectional feminism. By the end of the day, I had finally finished the 758 page tome of Modernity Britain, and I am anxious because I can find nothing online regarding when historian David Kynaston will publish the next volume, Opportunity Britain.  I long for it.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

I spent the afternoon reading more discussions about intersectional feminism and trying to finish a book called Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. I was too distracted to completely finish the rather short book.  My concentration is nil these days.

Allan took a DVD back to the library, a ten block walk.

Allan's photo: library garden

Allan’s photos: library garden

view from library entrance

view from library entrance

A walk back by the marina netted another gift certificate from Salt Pub.

at Salt Hotel

at Salt Hotel

The tide was low.

The tide was low.

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from the docks

from the docks

the steamer at OleBob's Café

at OleBob’s Café

a Christmas eve day walk

a Christmas eve day walk

Crabbing season will finally begin at the New Year.

Crabbing season will finally begin at the New Year.

It is hard on the crabbing families when the lucrative season does not begin till after Christmas.

The Depot Dickens Dinner

At 8 PM, we met J9 and Our Kathleen for the traditional Christmas Eve Dickens dinner at the Depot Restaurant.  I felt ever so much better than earlier in the week.

Depot Restaurant entry way

Depot Restaurant entry way

Depot tree with train and culinary ornaments

Depot tree with train and culinary ornaments

on the tree

on the tree

Dickens dinner: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts

Dickens dinner: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts

Allan had the crab stuffed petrale sole.

Allan had the crab stuffed petrale sole.

eggnog flan

eggnog flan

vanilla bean caramel cheese cake

vanilla bean caramel cheese cake

J9 and Allan tuck in to dessert after we opened our Christmas crackers and donned our crowns.

J9 and Allan tuck in to dessert after we four opened our Christmas crackers and donned our crowns.

in the pass

in the pass

a nice card from the Depot

a nice card from the Depot

Sunday, 25 December 2016

We had a quiet Christmas afternoon, with the opening of presents (not-morning-people don’t open presents in the morning) and the writing of this blog post.

Skooter enjoyed the unwrapping

Skooter enjoyed the unwrapping

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

presents from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, Klipsan Beach Cottages, and to the right a Slow Drag mug by Don Nisbett (from Allan to me)

presents from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, Klipsan Beach Cottages, and to the right a Slow Drag mug by Don Nisbett (from Allan to me)

a beautiful sculpture from Jenna

a beautiful sculpture from Jenna, made by Astoria artist Judith Niland

three from the pile of Christmas cards

three from the pile of Christmas cards

Allan found me a darling house.  It lights up and is not just for Christmas.

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Here, to you, our Christmas greetings; the photo is from a long ago trip.

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Sunday, 27 December 2015

I awoke (at mid morning, of course), with a sudden urge to do a profile photos of sea stars on moss for a new Facebook page that I made for Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Gardening.  I was sure I had some glass stars, but no….just one clear star with blunted corners.  Till I acquire some stars, this is the best I could do.

temporary Sea Star page profile picture

temporary Sea Star page profile picture

Although I have the urge to take the tree down,  I decided not yet, as it makes a triangle of light with three other trees.

A tree in the cream coloured cottage and the blue house and our tree make a triangle of holiday lights.

A tree in the cream coloured cottage and the blue house and our tree make a triangle of holiday lights.

I’m eager now to dismantle Christmas, because I have a plan to put my mother’s desk, instead of the big blue table, where the tree is, for blogging with a garden view.

The afternoon was consumed by incorporating Allan’s photos into the upcoming meander line blog post, and then the beginning of this post.

I got the paperwhites down to where I could smell them.  They had grown to the top of the kitchen window.

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Last night, we watched an episode of the Ciscoe Morris gardening show in which he said that a tablespoon of vodka, added to the water when paperwhites are about five inches tall, will retard their growth so they do not get so leggy.

In the evening, we drove to the north end of the Peninsula, almost as far north as one can go, to have dinner at the home of our dear friends Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Gardening.

at the door (Allan's photo)

at the door (Allan’s photo)

Melissa's new hens had laid their first three eggs.

Melissa’s new hens, Josie and Gina, had laid their first three eggs.

The ornaments on the table tree are all fruits and veg.

The ornaments on the table tree are all fruits and veg. Dave gives Mel all the credit for decorating.

Melissa says most of her ornaments are from a company called Old World Christmas.

Melissa says most of her ornaments are from a company called Old World Christmas.

On Saturday, when she and Dave got home from an overnight Christmas trip to Portland, they found their naughty cats had done this:

Melissa's photo. Fortunately, the cats did not get the little tree and its fragile ornaments pulled off the table.

Melissa’s photo. Fortunately, the cats did not get the little tree and its fragile ornaments pulled off the table.

She's been collecting these ornaments for many years.

Melissa has been collecting Old World ornaments for many years.

I love the window between the dining room and the living room.

I love the window between the dining room and the living room.

We dined at the table next to the tree, on tortellini soup and cornbread and a cranberry cake dessert.

We dined at the table next to the tree, on tortellini soup and cornbread and a cranberry cake dessert.

A scintillating conversation about Star Wars had us too distracted to remember to take photos of the beautiful soup and the cranberry crumble with a butter and sugar sauce (a traditional holiday dessert of Mel’s family).

a tree hung with exquisite ornaments

a tree hung with exquisite ornaments

Speaking of naughty cats, here are two of the three:

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high atop a shelf

another hiding under a bed (Allan's photo)

another hiding under a bed (Allan’s photo)

Santa still loves them, naughty or nice.

Santa still loves them, naughty or nice.

crabby salt shakers (Allan's photo)

crabby salt shakers (Allan’s photo)

After our dinner, we watched the brief film George Lucas in Love (a treasure!), followed by Mel and Dave’s offering (lent to them with high praise by Mel’s  sons), Mad Max: Fury Road.  It was certainly exhilerating.

unusual use for a garden tool??

unusual use for a garden tool??

We went home and calmed down with a midnight viewing of the cooking show, Chopped.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Allan's photo: a beautiful but cold day

Allan’s photo: a beautiful but cold day

It has been raining for days. (Allan's photo)

It has been raining for days. (Allan’s photo)

Last night, we made plans to see The Force Awakens again on Monday night (second time for Melissa and Dave, third time for us) as it may leave our small town theatre after December 31.  (Turns out it will remain till the 7th.) My Star Wars fandom has not figured large in this gardening blog; trust me, it is there.

Todd and his son (visiting from college) have finally seen the film, and since he and Dave and Mel are working together on that Oysterville garden today, they might have time for more discussion while planting plants.

In the afternoon, Mary from Klipsan Beach Cottages came to deliver presents, and brought our good friend Bella.

Mary and Bella

Mary and Bella

Frosty (who grew up with two medium sized dogs) was intrigued.

Frosty (who grew up with two medium sized dogs) was intrigued.

Bella had a good time exploring in the fenced garden.

Bella had a good time exploring in the fenced garden.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I enjoyed the walk around the garden as well.

me and Mary

me and Mary

a hellebore about to pop

a hellebore about to pop

contorted filbert

contorted filbert

Mary is smelling a tiny bouquet of winter blooming honeysuckle—Lonicera fragrantissima.

Mary is smelling a tiny bouquet of winter blooming honeysuckle—Lonicera fragrantissima.

some lichen? for Mr Tootlepedal

some lichen? for Mr Tootlepedal

our sweet Bella

our sweet Bella

Mary's Christmas packaging, beautiful as always

Mary’s Christmas packaging, beautiful as always

from Mary and Denny, some candlesticks and wine

from Mary and Denny, candles and holder and wine

And then…. 

once more, with feelings

Heading to The Pickled Fish at Adrift Hotel, which is open till 10

The Pickled Fish

Talking about Star Wars and sipping tasty strong drinks got in the way of remembering to photograph the delicious pizza. As Melissa and I were planning next week’s viewing of Star Wars, Allan said in a bemused tone, “Haven’t we seen it enough?”   The young server’s response to the ensuing discussion (when asked for his opinion) was that there are never too many times to see it. (He had chosen the number 42 for the back of his “Team Pickled” t shirt and was pleased when I said “the answer to life, the universe and everything”.)  Not long ago, he had told a table of diners, “Let me know if I can answer any questions.”  When one woman asked “What is the meaning of life?” He turned and showed her the back of his t shirt: 42.  And she did not understand.

Perhaps we can count on Allan to take an interesting excursion of some sort before the end of the week, while I (finally!) read books.  If not, the last post of the year will be All About Books.  This blog will rear its head in January if we have good weather gardening days, Allan excursions, or really good books….oh, and I want to take some photos of my grandmother’s old scrapbooks and photo albums.  I also may realize some plans to make posts on our other blog, which I may re-post over here for your reading convenience.

 

 

 

 

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I celebrated four days at home, mostly reading with some puttering thrown in.  Allan made it out to take some photos of the very high tides:

Sunday, 21 December 2014

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9.2 “King tide” has the marinas ramped laid out straight.

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double triangle flag calls for another gale

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We did not have any fierce rain or wind during the three “king tide” days so he did not get to see the water all the way over the Jessie’s dock.

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the bench at the south end of the boat yard

In the boatyard garden, Allan found some narcissi bulbs atop the soil, and planted them.  I hope they were just missed during planting time and not dug up by critters….  If missed, though, one would think I’d have seen them before now while walking by.

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Only a few stray bulbs were evident.

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The garden had been blown and broken by the wind.

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bulb mystery

Monday, 22 December 2014

Allan took another set of 9.2 king tide photos:

the edge of the marina (the lawn where Saturday Market booths are set up in summer)

the edge of the marina (the lawn where Saturday Market booths are set up in summer)

The storm was over for part of the day; then more rain arrived.

The storm was over for part of the day; then more rain arrived.

Allan totally fooled me when he sent me this one upside down.

Allan totally fooled me when he sent me this one upside down.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

I believe that Tuesday was the day when Allan emailed me an article about the top phone apps of the year, inspiring me to acquire Waterlogue.  While I had intended to read for four days straight, I instead spent a whole lot of time altering photos with its one click instant joy.

Painted in Waterlogue

crab boats in fog, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

bringing in the catch

Painted in Waterlogue

Don Nisbett Art Gallery in snow, Dec 2009, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

Waterlogued Jessie’s, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

King tide with blue sky, Allan’s photo

water

Meanwhile, a Christmas package had arrived from Montana Mary.  She advised, via email, that I open the box as some items were perishable.

goodies

delectable little pie cookies from Mary

delectable little pie cookies from Mary

At dusk, Allan noticed an interesting, rain inspired fungus on our gate.  I’ll get a better photo in brighter daylight:

dusk

Many Christmas cards had begun to accrue on our kitchen shelves.  Here are some of our favourites of this year.

A star from Gwyneth in Texas, next to a Christmas horse from Montana Mary.  I love that beautiful horse.

A star from Gwyneth in Texas, next to a Christmas horse from Montana Mary. I love that beautiful horse.

The star card opened up into a burst of beauty:

star2

star3

a fuzzy critter from Minnesota Marilyn, whom I met many years ago at Mediawestcon, a midwest science fiction convention.

a fuzzy critter from Minnesota Marilyn, whom I met many years ago at Mediawestcon, a midwest science fiction convention.

From Maggie and Susan, Seattleites whom I also met via the SF convention rounds.

From Maggie and Susan, Seattleites whom I also met via the SF convention rounds.

from Allan's friend Joyce, a manager from way back when he worked as an assembler of bikes and toys at Fred Meyers all around the NW.

from Allan’s friend Joyce, a manager from way back when he worked as an assembler of bikes and toys at Fred Meyers all around the NW.

and from our local friends Artist Don Nisbett and Queen La De Da

and from our local friends Artist Don Nisbett and Queen La De Da

I’m pleased to have about twenty friends who still send cards the old fashioned way.

this year's card display (with the year round clothes-pinned card display above)

this year’s card display (with the year round clothes-pinned card display above)

During the evenings, we were watching the final and not very holiday-ish season of True Blood.  No Christmas movies were part of our viewing fare this year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Around midday, Garden Tour Nancy’s husband, Phil, appeared with a bag of Christmas gifts.  He knocked so quietly that I did not hear but I caught him at his Santa rounds when I heard the front gate click as he was leaving.

Phil,  playing Santa

Phil, playing Santa

The next day, Nancy informed me that Phil liked our sun porch decorations (which are many).  At this time of year, the best is our wreath, made by Jenna (Queen La De Da).

wreath

Nancy texted me that I should open the perishable part of the present.  I was delighted to find eggs from her flock.

Waterlogue: eggs from the girls

Waterlogue: eggs from the girls

All day, torrential rain fell, which made me happy as it saved me from the urge to weed.

north window view

north window view

We would open presents in the evening.  As soon as staycation begins, our night owl tendencies completely take over so we pretty much do not have mornings at all.

the tree

the tree

prez

The cards and the sight of presents under the tree was a warm reminder of true friends old and new.

Allan and I began the gift extravaganza by opening our Christmas crackers. and putting on our paper crowns.  You can read all about Christmas crackers here, where I learned that the wearing of hats at parties “dates back to the Roman Saturnalia”.

Allan, having already opened his, demonstrates the pulling apart of the Christmas cracker.

Allan, having already opened his, demonstrates the pulling apart of the Christmas cracker.

I had done an ace job of camouflaging Allan’s present’s distinctive flat, hard shape by enclosing it in two pillows.  He was mystified and thought it must be something like a puffy down jacket.

It was large and soft.

It was large and soft.

prez

"The pillows aren't part of the present, are they?" he said.

“The pillows aren’t part of the present, are they?” he said.

I had commissioned a painting by our friend, local painter Don Nisbett, of Allan in his kayak.

I had commissioned a painting by our friend, local painter Don Nisbett, of Allan in his kayak.

I’d sent Don photos of the boat from the boat manufacturer website, and photos that Allan had taken on one of his river boating trips.  Here are the photos he had for reference:

boat

river

and the painting that he came up with:

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 We went on then to the rest of the prezzies.

some of the books that came from Allan to me, and from Garden Tour Nancy and from Kathleen.

some of the books that came from Allan to me, and from Garden Tour Nancy and from Kathleen.

I was happily carried back to childhood memories when the best Christmas presents were the books piled under the tree (usually horse stories back then!)  In the lower right, above, you can see a hint of a bag of comfy white socks, which is something I always ask Allan for.  He also surprised me with a new pair of SAS shoes as a year of constant wear had worn a small hole in mine.

My friend Montana Mary knows me well after almost fifty years of friendship.

My friend Montana Mary knows me well after almost fifty years of friendship.

a beautiful book from Kathleen, along with Robert Pyle's Wintergreen for Allan.

a beautiful book from Kathleen, along with Robert Pyle’s Wintergreen for Allan.

books and preserves from Garden Tour Nancy

books and preserves from Garden Tour Nancy

and you can guess whose card had a chicken theme!

and you can guess whose card had a chicken theme!

garden tool ornaments from Don and Jenna

garden tool ornaments from Don and Jenna

flowered kitchen bottles from Lisa and Buzz

flowered kitchen bottles from Lisa and Buzz

We got warm down vests from KBC Mary and Denny and a wealth of chocolates, cocoa, tea, and other treats mixed in with all the assorted presents.  (We’d already been snacking all week on a crackers and cheese gift from Allan’s Seattle-based brother and a selection of “Joy Cups”, organic peanut butter cup style candies from his aunt and uncle.)

Allan made a Christmas eve dinner with savoury chicken, mashed garden potatoes, salad and veg and jellied cranberry sauce from a can (the best kind, in my opinion!)

dinner

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Before I was even awake, Allan set off on an excursion to satisfy his curiosity about what the big pile of dredge spoils on the south side of marina actually looks like close up.

Here's what the pile looked like from the south end of Elizabeth Avenue in Sept. 2012

Here’s what the pile looked like from the south end of Elizabeth Avenue in Sept. 2012

the dredge working to keep the channel open

the dredge working to keep the channel open, taken in November

from our local paper, showing how the dredge places the mud

from our local paper, showing how the dredge places the mud

looking back toward the marina from atop the dredge pile

looking back toward the marina from atop the dredge pile

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Nothing beautiful can be done with this as dredgings keep getting added to it over the years.

Nothing beautiful can be done with this as dredging spoils keep getting added to it over the years.

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panorama made in camera

He noticed that the house on Yellow Bluff on the east end of town is getting disconcertingly close to the edge; I have heard that it has lost part of its lawn slowly over years of winter storms.  At low tide, you can walk a rocky beach along the base of the bluff.

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This telephoto may show the house looking closer to the edge than it actually is. What a view!

It was a muddy rather than a white Christmas morning for Allan.

When he got home, I was in the middle of my coffee and a light breakfast.  We would be having an early Christmas dinner at the Depot.

I had a look at the windblown and weedy front garden…

garden

and was saved from a couple of hours of gardening by several squalls of drenching rain.

I wanted to get a better photo of the fungus on the front arbour:

There's a reason why I call my Canon camera "Spot".

There’s a reason why I call my Canon camera “Spot”.

mushrooms

Allan's photo, taken with "Spot"

Allan’s photo, taken with “Spot”

and given the Waterlogue treatment

and given the Waterlogue treatment

I was surprised when the photos revealed the fungus to be a trio of upside down mushrooms.  It has been wet around here.

During the day, a local friend took a photo of the beach version of a white Christmas:

photo by Wendy Murry of Avery cavorting in sea foam

guest photo by Wendy Murry of Avery cavorting in sea foam on Christmas day

We met J9 at the Depot for the traditional Christmas Dickens dinner (which is usually held on Christmas eve).  I was glad it had been changed to Christmas day this year, because last night J9 was doing a show on KMUN radio in Astoria.  She is a woman of many hats:  occupational therapy, restaurant service, party helper, and community radio programmer.

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot Restaurant

the Depot culinary-themed tree

the Depot culinary-themed tree

view from our table with Server of the Year Don gliding swiftly

view from our table with Server of the Year Don gliding swiftly

wreath hung on the original door to the train depot

wreath hung on the original door to the train depot

diners at the bar

diners at the bar

We pulled three Christmas crackers and put on our gold paper crowns.

We pulled three Christmas crackers and put on our gold paper crowns.

Each Christmas cracker has a little gift inside along with the crown and a riddle.  Because the crackers were part of J9’s Christmas present, it was particularly cosmic that one gift was a wine stopper with a star on top, as she collects moon and star motifs.  Even more cosmically, another tiny gift was a small heart necklace which fit perfectly with her Christmas gift.

J9 opening her present

J9 opening her present

On a bedside table during last fall’s Cannon Beach Cottage Tour, I’d seen a little picture book called Heart Stones and knew that it would be perfect for J9.  Her daddy collected stones with heart shapes, and when she gardened with me for a few months, she would often find them and say “There’s a daddy rock.”  Now whenever I find a daddy rock, I snag it for her.

the book, and a daddy rock we recently found, and a heart pendant.

We had ordered her the book, and added a daddy rock we recently found; the heart pendant was the perfect addition.

She and I ordered the Dickens dinner: beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts with bacon. J9 asked for an end piece and got enough to make tonight’s dinner, and tomorrow’s and the next day’s.

food

J9’s dinner(s)

Allan chose the filet mignon.

Allan chose the filet mignon.

Allan and I had delicate eggnog flan for dessert.

Allan and I had delicate eggnog flan for dessert.

and J9 had blackberry bread pudding, which cried out to be "painted in Waterlogue"

and J9 had blackberry bread pudding, which cried out to be “painted in Waterlogue”

As we departed, I examined the window box annuals which will not die and which are now joined by emerging bulb foliage.

Depot windowbox from inside

Depot window box from inside

We drove home through light rain past one especially well lit house in mostly dark Seaview.

only one half of the house, the other half being washed out by a bright security light

only one half of the house, the other half being washed out by a bright security light

We’ve bowed out (at least semi-gracefully, we hope) of a big party tomorrow evening in order to recuperate from our holiday extravaganza.

Today on Facebook, I read a Christmas greeting that says it all to me, from Beth in the upriver town of Skamakowa:

Wishing everyone a looong weekend of peace or noise; family, friends, or solitude; religious and/or cultural celebrations, or none at all; abundant, good food and whatever else brings you joy.

Be patient with the Stupid.
Be careful on the roads.
Be gentle with people who have to work while the rest of us relax.

Happy (awkwardMashUpOfHolidayNames) everyone!

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In early December, we went to Home Depot, a store I usually avoid.  I had heard they had a wide selection of artificial trees.  Yes, we were considering buying an artificial tree.  It would be easier, and we could put the tree up earlier without worrying about it drying out.

Home Depot had one by Martha Stewart that was sort of real looking.  All their trees had tasteful white lights.  None seemed to have room for my vast array of ornaments.  We tried Costco, where a tree was available with lights that could be programmed for white or colours (for $379!)

Martha tree and the Costco tree

Martha tree and the Costco tree

Where would I put the ornaments??

If I were to get an artificial tree, I might like a cool metal one:

(found it on Google images, failed to find the source)

(found it on Google images, failed to find the source)

I would want one that is silver and tree like, not ultra modern:

not like this!

not like this!

PlanetChristmasTree.com has a rather amazing purple metal tree that is tempting:

If it had lower branches, I would probably go for it!

If it had lower branches, I would probably go for it!

I love this tree that I saw in the Toepfer garden in Klipsan Beach:

tree

But it does not have enough room for ornaments.

Perhaps I could find a bare twiggy tree growing where it’s not wanted and cut it down, maybe paint it silver…or not.

maybe the top of a small lichened tree that looked sort of like this.

maybe the top of a small lichened tree that looked sort of like this.

But I found no such cute stray twiggy tree.  I could only find ones that were cone shaped with a lack of room for ornaments.   Two weeks of dithering about it and not enough planning ahead…and the inability to find the just right artificial tree….and almost deciding not to have one at all….led to buying a cut one, as usual.  We chose the Ilwaco High School Band tree sale so that the money would go to a good cause.

tree sign

The music director poses, below, with the last trees out of the considerable number that they had sold.

more on this later!

We were too late for the tall, grand trees and settled for the one in the middle.  In Seattle, I used to have ten foot ceilings and an eight foot tree, so these looked too short to me…but were all that remained after the successful fundraiser.  They sold out completely about an hour later!

This may be why I would like an artificial tree.  If I acquire a tree before the 10th, I tire of it before the 31st.  And yet by the middle of the month, the trees left are Charlie Brownish.

So we took the tallish but not ceiling height, rather narrow tree home, put it up and I decorated it.

tree

And yet it was so very cone shaped that the many ornaments could not tuck into the branches, so they ended up sort of laying along the outsides.  The music department trees were Noble Firs.  I researched, looking for the kind of tree with lots of space between its branches.  Perhaps I want a Spruce, even though Spruce needles are mean and pointy sharp.

A few weather proof ornaments ended up on a tree outside.

outdoor tree

outdoor tree

I had the perfect tree in 2010.  Perhaps a tree expert can tell me if it was a spruce:

This tree we had (from The Planter Box) in 2010 was better suited for my vast array of ornaments.

This tree we had (from The Planter Box) in 2010 was better suited for my vast array of ornaments.

Ah, the sentimentality of Christmas tree ornaments.  In my mid 20s, I had a yard sale purge of ornaments because I thought I was done celebrating Christmas.  Then I spent years recollecting the sort that remind me of my grandma’s and parents’ ornaments that I had sold.  Now I cannot tell which are the original and which replacements, but I can tell you the story of some of them.

a metal tree that I bought in a Mexican folk art shop on the hill climb at Seattle's Pike Place Market.

a metal tree that I bought in a Mexican folk art shop on the hill climb at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

a heart given to me by my 80s sweetheart, Bryan

a heart given to me by my 80s sweetheart, Bryan

This battered old peach was an ornament that hung on my Grandma's tree when she was a child.

This battered old peach was an ornament that hung on my Grandma’s tree when she was a child.

My star lights won't fit inside my little cottage ornaments, but with the right kind of light, they glow.

My star lights won’t fit inside my little cottage ornaments, but with the right kind of light, their windows glow.

glass ornaments of unusual shapes are my favourites

glass ornaments of unusual shapes are my favourites

also frosted ones, and ones with patterns

also frosted ones, and ones with patterns

and best of all, ones with words

and best of all, ones with words

When horror writer Wilum Pugmire was my housemate in Seattle, he always hung skeletons on the tree, so this is for him.

When horror writer Wilum Pugmire was my housemate in Seattle, he always hung skeletons on the tree, so this is for him.

I've had this garland with glass bells since I was a child.

I’ve had this garland with glass bells since I was a child.

Back in Seattle, I used to go to the gym a lot...before i worked full time as a gardener, which is about all the physical work I can handle.

Back in Seattle, I used to go to the gym a lot…before i worked full time as a gardener, which is about all the physical work I can handle.

I especially love glass ornaments with insets.

I especially love glass ornaments with insets.

insets

the more is more school of decorating

the more is more school of decorating

netting

"pears" ornament from the Pike Place market

“pears” ornament from the Pike Place market

horse

horse

two

whale

whale

Frosty! Inset! Multi colours!!

Frosty! Inset! Multi colours!!

Am not that big on Santa; I have this style because my grandma did.

Am not that big on Santa; I have this style because my grandma did.

many garlands

many garlands

frosty patterns like the ones my mother had

frosty pattern ornaments used to be my mom’s

Am pretty sure my best friend Mary sent me this postcard...I love it so much I always put it on the tree.

I love this postcard so much I always put it on the tree.

The note says “Dear Santa, the cheese is for you”.  I thought for a long time that my friend Montana Mary sent it to me, until it dawned on me that it is blank so I must have bought it for myself and created a sentimental memory.  She agrees with me it is just the sort of thing she WOULD have sent me because our tastes are similar.

There was lots of room to tuck ornaments inside the 2010 tree, giving it depth.

There was lots of room to tuck ornaments inside the 2010 tree, giving it depth.

I like bird ornaments that can stay out on houseplants year round.

I like bird ornaments that can stay out on houseplants year round.

Remember these ornaments that would twirl over the hot bulb type Christmas tree lights?

Remember these ornaments that would twirl over the hot bulb type Christmas tree lights?

I used to lie on the floor and watch them twirl, because my parents hung unbreakable ornaments at the base of the tree.  (Now I do the same, because of cats.)

silver sleeping kitty

silver sleeping kitty

2010: the perfect height to touch the ceiling

2010: the perfect height to touch the ceiling

2011, also tall and with well spaced branches

2011, also tall and with well spaced branches

2012, tree in the window

2012, tree in the window

The trees of 2010, 11, and 12 were especially treasured because I had never found room for a Christmas tree in my little cottage behind the boatyard.

Other than the lack of space between branches, another difference in our 2013 tree is that it is narrow rather than wide at the base.  This has proved to be rather a blessing because I’ve been reorganizing my garden book collection onto a shelf right next to it.  (That’s another story!)

I feel good about having contributed to the fundraiser for the high school band’s school trip and have grown fond of our funny, too-short, narrow, conical 2013 tree with its a funny bent over top.  I’m glad I didn’t skip having a tree altogether.  I think I would have felt sad not to have it.

pictures of my grandma and her sister gaze upon it...

pictures of my grandma and her sister gaze upon it…

little tree by e.e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see          i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look          the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

The Shortest Day
By Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see          i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look          the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”
the unusually shaped ornaments

the unusually shaped ornaments

the frosted ones....

the frosted ones….some with words and pictures

the ones with insets...

the ones with insets…

and the ones that most strongly evoke times past.

and the ones that most strongly evoke times past.

 

 

 

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