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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 12, 2011

Christmas is Coming and I'm Ready!

Not too much to report, really but it's been a while since I posted and a good blogger is supposed to post frequently.  At least, that's my understanding...

So, let's see.  I invited some of the friends I worked with before I retired for a little pre-Christmas get together which gave me the push I needed to get my various Christmas goodies out and "deck the halls".  I did deck the hall, actually - have my snowmen there and my chocolate castle with its luminarias.  Didn't take a picture of that but I did take some pictures of some of my Christmas.  Probably have done that in previous years also, but this is this year, so here's what I have.

 This is looking at one of my two living room windows.  I haven't had a Christmas tree since I moved into the apartment and the first year I was here I decided that since I was living in the "big" city now, I'd go for the bling a little more than in the past.  I've done the windows various ways, but found these trees last year and thought they were perfect for the windows.  The dining room windows (two again) are more traditional - I have big silver candlesticks in each of them with red pillar candles and then artificial della robbia type swags around their bases.

But this year, I was really tickled with my latest Christmas find.  All year long I have these pears in their tray on my dining room table and I love them - I found them at a Home Goods store before I even moved in but after my sister had given me the table rug as a housewarming gift.  So I wanted something that reflected the colors but was simple enough not to detract from the gorgeous carpet and these filled the bill.

Then come Christmas, I would take the pears out and put some 3" frosted tea light glasses with little della robbia type candle rings around them in the tray.  So, this year in Marshall's, what to my wondering eyes should appear but these - aren't they just a hoot?!

Okay, so enough of the bling, the next pictures are of my Christmas storefront and my 1/4" scale Christmas tree house, both of which I know I've posted before and are also on my miniatures page, but here they are again. :)  Oh, and the little popsicle nativity is one that my daughter Heather made in grade school.  Little clothespin figures with very flat heads and very big smiles.

And here's a close-up of the window contents and I can't claim to have made any of them.  I did make the shop itself at a Ron and April Gill workshop years ago and for a long time it displayed my collection of miniature pottery.

And, then here's the little quarter scale Christmas tree house.  It started life as a papier mache box.  I added floors and interior walls and furnished it with things I made from scratch or kits and also from swaps I received from members of a 1/4" scale on-line group I used to belong to.  This is the only 1/4" scale project I ever finished (of the many I started...)  And I just noticed yesterday that one row of shingles didn't get it's "snow" applied.  But since I've had this for who knows how long, it mustn't be too noticeable so I won't worry about that.

Another result of the little get together last week - we had cheese fondue and chili, by the way, strange, perhaps, but tasty - was that they embarrassed me with a very nice gift certificate to the wine shop right across the street from me.  And the wine shop was having a wine tasting event on Friday so off I went, gift certificate in hand.  Feeling quite flush, I purchased two bottles with the certificate and threw in one more since after all, I was saving so much money.  I brought them home, and like I always do when I'm emptying bags in the kitchen, I put them up on my pass-through to the dining room with the intention of putting them away next time I was in there.  But for right now, I'm letting them stay there cause I really kind of like how they look.  So, here's a picture of that:
And I cannot tell a lie - I'm in the kitchen a whole lot more than I'm in the dining room, so really I have all the labels turned toward the kitchen side, but the kitchen's so narrow I wouldn't have been able to get a picture of them from that side!

And that's all my pictures.  I have all my Christmas shopping finished but none wrapped and I must admit, I'm having a hard time talking myself into starting on that.  I'm cross stitching a dollhouse Christmas tree skirt right now and think I can finish that this week.  I get to have lunch with three friends this week which will be real nice - that used to be a fairly common occurrence but everyone has been busy, traveling, etc.  Oh, and the "occupy Huntington" people are gone, gone, gone!!!  They were finally told they had to move all the habitation paraphenalia and they did without protest.  They've been back a few times to just stand on the corner with their signs and yell, but not very often, so that is a welcome change.  

And the most welcome change is that the blister on my eyeball had gotten quite large again and I kept thinking "okay, tomorrow it will be smaller".  Well, after more than a week of that, I was about out of my head so I went to the eye doc without an appointment and said I wanted them to at least see it while it was so big so they'd know how it gets sometimes.  And the doctor pricked it and drained it and the relief was very sweet.  So I am religiously using the two kinds of drops I now have.  And if it does get real big again at some point, I won't be waiting - I'll get myself back in and get it drained again.

I'll be spending Christmas with my three kiddies and their families and will probably leave to go over there next Monday or Tuesday.  Then let the good times roll tra-la!  I most likely won't post again before then so I will wish everyone a very, very wonderful holiday filled with the pleasures of family and friends.


Christopher said...

I like the city lights out your window! (And the decor, too, but the lights are a perfect backdrop for the 'bling'!) And if you want, you can wrap your gifts over here (I won't peek at mine!) But I guess that would mean you'd have to bring your paper, ribbons, etc... I may be finally near to cleaning out my vast collection of Container Store papers!
See you soon!

jamie said...

As always - we had a wonderful time at your home. The decorations are always gorgeous, the food delicious and the company a blast! Hope you have a great time with the family!
Love ya,

Chinch said...

Love your bling pears but I'm with Chris -- the city lights as a backdrop for your other blings are terrific. Of course, I think everything about your apartment is terrific. Have a happy.... xoxo

Elga said...

Mary Lynne it all looks wonderful and I love the pears!!!! Your place looks so inviting, now if I could find a flying rug somewhere I would seriously think of popping over for a visit!!!!!

Mary Lynne said...

Aw, gee, she said blushingly, thanks you guys. :)

Elga - I wish Huntington was a little bit more of a "destination" city cause I'd love to offer hospitality to all my "never-met, on-line friends". :)

I've bought all the ingredients for my cuccidatti cookies and am telling myself I need to get busy and make them. Maybe tomorrow and Thursday - they're usually a 2-day project...

Thanks to all of you for visiting and taking a minute to comment.

Christopher said...

mmmmmm..... cuccidattiiiii..... :) Can't wait to taste one!

elly in amsterdam said...

Love your decorations , Mary Lynne ,it looks so nice and inviting.
Have lovely holidays and, Chris, enjoy the cuccidatti !

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks for "dropping in" Elly. Isn't it nice that we can visit one another instantly even though thousands of miles apart? And, Chris, Elly is the petitpointer I'm thinking I might get to meet sometime if I get myself over to Amsterdam for one of their miniature shows.

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