December 11, 2010

Sharing Christmas - These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Two

I don't have an exact picture, but we had a slow, Christmassy Saturday morning breakfast (with this tablecloth) that lead away from bowls of cereal to a Bacon and Cheese Frittata.

Over low heat and in a covered skillet, I tossed:
  • six eggs
  • six pieces of bacon coarsely chopped
  • half a cup of half and half
  • and a little more than half a cup of shredded cheese
The kitchen smelled yummy with some Trader Joe's Winter Blend coffee dripping, and the oil of the orange I sliced wafting past our nostrils. We have much to do, but no great hurry today. A morning, gathered around the table is one of my favorite things.

December 10, 2010

Sharing Christmas - These are a Few of My Favorite Things - One

Carols and all kinds of Christmas music are wildly important to me during this wondrous season. And for some reason, this one is snugly wrapped around my ears and heart.

It's an unexpected combination of big orchestra music, Art Garfunkle and Amy Grant. The Frog, approaching the Baby Jesus is a favorite but, really, I can't address Christmas cards without listening.

And, while we're at it, I have to hear the Alfred Burt Carols and I just love sitting around with the candles burning, lights on the tree and, oh yea, the cards, with James Taylor singing his way through my night.

This year my son brought home the dazzling acapella fun of Straight No Chaser. These post college funsters met at the University of Indiana and have been singing fabulous harmony ever since. At our house, we love the 12 days of Christmas and the Christmas Can Can. My Dear bought tickets for the family to see them last weekend. The boy was beaming as Dad told the story was told at the Thanksgiving party table of procurring 3rd row for us all. Unfortunately, darling boy turned out to be darling fluish boy for the weekend, so he and I stayed home. His younger sister accompanied Dad and Uncle Scotty to the event. The next morning she came out to the living room where flu-boy lay, wearing a big T-shirt signed by all 10 members of the group. "Do you like my shirt?" she said. Of course he thought it very cool and responded with a quiet, "yes". At this point she peeled that layer and tossed it to him saying. "I got it for you Big Brother."

Check these boys out on iTunes. The big album is worth every penny - you get videos! You can also find Straight No Chaser on iTunes and YouTube, and their website is pretty fun.

So there it is. A few of my favorite Christmas music albums (and a sweet story of Christmas love).

Fa la la la la la la.

December 09, 2010

The Gift of the Freeze

If you look to the upper left corner of the window, you get just a bit of the beauty of what the frost did to the Birch trees this year. I promise to get out there after the sun comes up today, and share the lemony luster of these luscious yellow leaves.
I love the way the leaves turn here in Southern California. I do understand that I'm not on the east coast.  I've seen the grandeur of that fall, but on my way home each day, I pass a row of about 30 Liquid Amber trees with their varying colors and then I turn onto a street lined, for the most part, with Ginkos.My neighbor Bob has one that's over 50 years old. Some days in fall or winter, it looks to be raining it's particular yellow leaves. So, I anticipate the visual splendor of fall despite the palm trees next door.
This year, with our weird weather (and by weird, I reference a very cool, sweater-wearing summer, a couple of days near 110 in late September, a warm October and a 37 degree low in November) we received the gift of a far more vibrant fall display.
So, beyond the pretty red of the Amaryllis in my window, I'm enjoying the brilliant mix of color this season brings to my world.

December 08, 2010

Ok, it's Christmas.

All I can say it this: the lights bedeck the rain gutters. The tree is up and lights strung. We're eating from the family Spode Christmas plates and we seem to be busier than ever. But me? I'm taking the deep breath and slowing the pace. Yep! There's more to be done, but it just dawned on me, I get to chose a bit of when, where and how.

So, I'm here and wondering: how about you?

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