"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve to Boxing Day

Above is a collage of our ornaments of birds and fowl. Most are travel souvenirs, from Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Paris, London, Bristol, Nottingham, Mexico, and in US the Rocky Mountain West, California, the South, and New England.

The air was frigid when we left the Lodge for the annual Carol Sing and Christmas Eve Eucharist at church.

I've not had a Christmas cactus since the severe ice storm and dangerous freezing weather a few years ago. When we lost power (for 5 days, pre-generator) the Lodge was so cold inside that the water we'd stored in the Jacuzzi tub froze...and quite a few of my houseplants were killed. Including the heirloom Christmas cactus. Some very dear and thoughtful friends recently sent me this vivid pink one, a welcome addition for the holidays.

Christmas morning brought us a beautiful snowfall--flakes drifting down. The Chap called it "Charlie Brown Christmas snow" and I called it "snow globe snow." There was some snow cover on the ground, so in every respect we could call it a White Christmas.

I made Eggnog French toast for our breakfast, and the Chap and I shared a grapefruit and a navel orange from the various boxes sent us from Florida groves.

Then...stockings! One for each human, one for each dog.

They were stuffed with favourite edible treats (for humans and canines) and lots of London-related items and travel accessories. (2012 promises to be a very active travel year!)

When we finished with stockings, Ruth watched Jewel watch the squirrels raiding the bird feeder.

Before opening pressies, we pose in front of the tree for photo op. It can take a few trial shots to get the girls into position.

And then when they're in position, they do funny things. Ruth is half-asleep. Jewel is making a scary face like a dog-goyle. The official photo emailed to family members was similar to this, but this outtake happens to be my favourite of the lot.

The Chap knows how much I like sheep. Soon as I received my new flannels, I put them on. A matching top as well!

There were other items tagged "For Ewe"--matching socks and slippers.

Many other excellent gifts were received. We did the telephone call circuit, ringing far-flung family and friends, or they ringing us. After presents, I make the custard from a treasured family recipe passed down in my family for over 200 years. Or longer.

Our festive feast consisted of roasted Cornish game hens, green bean and mushroom Marsala, wild rice, and a divine vinho verde we'd saved for the occasion. Later, for pudding, we had the boiled custard with freshly baked gingerbread squares and a glass of port.

Our Christmas cactus friends gave me several fun items, including this floating ducky tea infuser. On Boxing Day I've been brewing my favourite Berry Bros. blend.

The girls having "quiet time" in my office this afternoon.

We hope your holiday spirits are bright and your celebrations merry! Cheers!

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