Day 252: Bookshelf Manger

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While decorating the house, Isabella perched and watched with baited breath. She was watching for anything dangling or low enough to attack.

She was very successful in stalking and taking down parts of our Christmas tree. We low a couple of ornaments to Isabella this year.
Thankfully, all the glass and fragile ornaments were put very high on the tree.

The tiny pieces that make up my manger had to be on some surface she couldn’t get to. The top shelf of the bookcase was my only option. Seriously, she perches on everything.

This manger came from my mom so I have a few special pieces included. When my mom was young she traveled with her parents. One piece in this collection is a hand carved model of Barry the rescue Saint Bernard she bought when she was in Switzerland.
I like to think there was a huge slobbering dog at the birth of Jesus.

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Day 251: Stockings Hung with Care

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Alright, so we’re not actually the country folk that have a chimney, but I promise that these socks were hung with care.

My Christmasy homemaker goal includes making stockings for me, Kit, Isabella and Tybalt. Yes, animals need stockings too! I haven’t fully decided if I want to make basic patterns and embroider fancy things on them, make patchwork stockings, or revamp an old sweater or pillow case into something fresh.

Can you tell that I have already been perusing Pinterest for ideas? I told Kit that it will be some years down the road before I feel confident enough to do this. A girl can dream for now though!

Throughout the years we have been together Kit and I have been slowly making our Xmas decorations more and more personal.
Mostly in the sense of buying or making ornaments for our Christmas tree. Short term, we want to up the ante on our lawn decorations.

imageThis Lego guy hiding in the tiny stocking is for our soldier adopted son who couldn’t make it to our house this year. He still gives us credit for helping him find Christmas spirit again.

Day 250: Cat in Lights

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Have you seen those pictures of the easy baby photography on Pinterest? I don’t have kids so most of those pins only offer a short “awwww, babies!” moment before I continue scrolling.

I did remember seeing these photo tips though and that is what inspired my own baby photo. Except my baby is furry and I can’t dress her in a Santa onsie!

What? You haven’t seen those baby pictures?!!? Well allow me to educate you. I  still think my cat is cuter.

Told you so.

Day 248: Fishing Box

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The random gift boxes and toys that come out just around Christmas are always a bit fun and strange to me.

This is something I probably would have never imagined on my own….Just think of the possibilities.

This could be adapted for a small child (more candy) or for a aspiring/serious fisherman (more fishing accessories).

Tackle boxes are relatively inexpensive. They have gummy worms and Sweedish fish in their tackle box. As well as some fish shaped hard candies.

The real fishing tools they have in this set are just two red and white bobbers. ONe could easily go to a specialty candy store and buy a small scoop of all the aquatic creature shaped gummies or candy and fill up the box. How much fun would that be?
From a not fishing person, it would be much more fun putting the gift together.
This would be a sweet as a father’s day gift or that little redneck kid you know that is having a birthday.

Thoughts? Creative or dumb?
I believe this pre-made kit was in the $7-10 range.

Day 247: Deck the Halls!

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This is part two of three of the Christmas Tree decorating blogs. Don’t miss the first Christmas Tree blog which features a sweet Christmas memory.
Once we got the tree indoors we wasted little time covering it in our white and colored twinkly lights. Shortly after we started hanging our ornaments.

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I made Kit pose for this picture a second time—Can you read he irritation? He is very much goal oriented and didn’t want to pose for pictures. The ornament he is holding is a hand painted one we got out West on our way to visit the Grand Canyon.

imageKit is also impatient in taking a million pictures of me looking dumb in front of the tree. I really wanted a picture of me decorating the tree, but none of them them looked quite right.

We were watching Frosty the Snowman while we decorated the tree. By this time both Frosty and Frosty returns had played through so I switched it to spoken Spanish and played it again.

This is part of our December Adventivities project. 

Day 246: Christmas Tree Procurement

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Getting the Christmas tree is a big deal to me.

As a little girl, I remember my father and I suiting up (my mother had me layered in clothing so I looked like Randy). Then heading out to our farm to hunt down the perfect Christmas tree. I would typically lose a layer of the heavy clothing on the long drive to the farm.

Once we arrived at the driveway leading up to the hippie property my parents owned, we would traditionally attempt driving up the snowy or icy, washed out, gravel road. Inevitably, we parked the car and we began our hike. I typically lost a layer in the car, because I knew that hiking up to the top of the highest ridge in the county would be toasty. Even in December.

Once we arrived at the farm property line the verbal tour through my dad’s memories would begin. Even though I have never spent the night on that farm I could tell you how most of my adult siblings spent their summers there.

The pond that was dug out. My siblings swam in this in the summer time and had to watch out for turtles or small fish. Grown over now.

The tiny farmhouse. The home of many games of the survivalist child “North Wind.” Wasps nests decorating the eves now, but all silence in December.

The large piles of rocks; set a good distance from the house where a mangy dog had been put to rest after wandering up and scaring the wits out of my siblings and mother.

The white pine forest on the backside of the property. I don’t know how my sisters and brother saw this part of the property but it may very well be my favorite part. The forest floor is so dense with pine needles that one cannot walk through it without feeling like a proficient Native American stalking his prey.

My father and I would wander around and around until he finally decided he had found a decent tree. It would, of course, be about four times the size of a tree that could fit in our house.
My father would bring hand saws and axes, which meant that this part of the day would take the most time.

Making sure the tree was short enough and then dragging it back down the knob is a haze in my memory. Perhaps by this time I was exhausted. I have a good habit of forgetting things I didn’t enjoy as much.

Chapped lips, cold noses and a mostly empty belly–excepting jerky and some water—We would begin our drive home.

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Today, Kit and I go for the easier route. Perhaps less adventurous but getting a live tree is the house is a marvelous goal.

Our tree comes from a store and is a variety not quite so prickly for decorating. The smell is sweet and is perfect to bury your nose in when you come home.
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This is part one of three of my posts of Christmas tree pictures. The rest will be shorter. 

Day 245: Baked Awesome

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This is the lovely before picture of my taters, onions, corn and maters bake. In the center was a small pork roast that (surprisingly) came with a pop up timer. I was totally prepared with my meat thermometer but instead I put my faith in the little green button.

This bake was pretty difficult to gauge because potatoes suck up any amount of seasoning you throw on them and the tomatoes and corn were canned which means they were pretty darn bland too.

Maybe not my best experiment ever but I was ultimately pleased with the result. It tickled me how very similar my before and after pictures were. Please note the steam.

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