Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winding down

I can't believe that this month...this year, is almost over. It feels like what was left of the year stepped onto the bullet train right after Samhain and hasn't looked back since.

As a family we celebrated Yule along with our traditional X-mas. Yule was more meaningful for me on a spiritual level, just as  X-mas was fun and light hearted. We all took the day to completely relax and just enjoy the day. Watching DVD curled up on the couch with my husband was such a treat. My daughter got the new iPod touch, so she spent most of the day downloading her songs and applications. Now I will finally get my regular iPod back! (Hers quit on her a couple of months again and she has been listening to mine. You KNOW she was desperate if she was listening to my music!!!)
Even the kitties got in on the action.

                                         Lady checking out her new toy.

                                         Alley helping with the unwrapping.

                       Lady deciding that Santa picked out a pretty good toy this year!

                                         Lady after abit to much catnip!!!!

I have read and seen pictures of others who got caught in that terrible blizzard. I am glad to hear that you all stayed safe and warm. Thanks to all of you who shared your pictures. I have lived in that for 17 plus years and I am still amazed at Mother Nature.

Blessings to all of you. If you celebrate this weekend may it be safe and fun one.     

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our 1st Yule

 I wanted to share a few pictures of our very first Yule. Due to our weather we did not get the opportunity to view the lunar eclipse. The clouds and fog persisted through most of the day but by the late afternoon the new sun was able to shine warm and brightly.

I spent most of the day putting together our special meal and making the Yule log cake.

When the new sun broke through the clouds, I went outside to enjoy the warmth. While outside I filled my bird feeders and wrapped the strings of popcorn I had made around the tree trunk.

 I had also made a sting with fresh cranberry's that I put around our oak tree.

The meal was a hugh success!!
And I was able to bid a goodnight to our new sun that evening.  =]

Everyone was so full that even one of our cats had to hit the hay early!!

Hope everyone's Yule was all that they had desired.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookies and Zombie Apocalypse

Yes. You read that right. I can truly say that we are not the "Norman Rockwell" or "Hallmark" picture of the holidays!!!

My daughter and I took all day Sunday to make holiday cookies. By the time we got done, all the counters where full of sprinkles and crushed candy canes. Settling down at the kitchen table we set about putting them into gift bags and labeling tags to go with them.
So here we are, spread out all over the table when the neighbor gal comes over. She promptly sits down with us and starts to help. With holiday music playing in the background the girls start talking about favorite movies and TV shows. Of course the Twilight movies are a major topic (go Team Jacob!!) Then they start onto zombies. Not just movies and shows, but what they would do WHEN the zombie apocalypse happens. They have a mental list of who is in charge of getting food (lots of Twinkies because they last forever I am told), who's in charge of securing transportation.  (Which I was enlisted for that job, with specifications of the largest motor home available at the time. I was also told it may be the apocalypse but there is no need  not to go in style!!) My husband and the neighbors dad where put in charge of fire power and all that it might include.
They sat there the entire time we put together these cookie bags together and planned out in detail what needed to be done. I remember as a kid baking cookies for the holidays with my mom, but never did zombies play a part!

I have to tell ya it was one of the funnest and funniest evening spent!!  Here's to a new holiday tradition!
Cookies and the Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe next year it will be Cookies and ........????

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crunch time!

I think I have lost an entire week this month. I had too!! Next week is Yule and X-mas and I am sooo not ready! Somewhere between making cookies, putting together care packages for family, getting holiday cards out and crafting for Yule, I feel like a week as run past me without looking back.

But for the most part it has been a good month. I have been reading and making notes from all of your wonderful blogs on your Yule traditions. I have a list of recipes and special Yule cheer that I am sure I will not be able to get to this year. (which is a good thing. I would rather have too much info than not enough!)

 My husband took me to my first ballet, The Nutcracker. It was preformed by our local ballet company and was a delight to see so many talented young people. We hope to continue this for years to come now that we are settled in a place we can truly call home.

My daughter and I sat down the other day and made our menu and grocery list for Yule and X-mas. I was surprised at how excited she is to be celebrating Yule. We have talked about the different things that I have learned (from your various blogs and the books that I have read) and my feelings on them. She seems very drawn to my or should I say my renewed spiritual path. I have told her that all my books are open to her anytime she wants to look through or read them. I am still amazed and grateful at how open she is.

So this is crunch time for us in our house. I am still dozens of cookies away from being able to stop. Like many of you, we are giving homemade gifts to friends, family, and co-workers. This weekend will be the big cookie baking push!! Next week will bring our first Yule celebration, complete with giving The Gift of Life. (my daughter and I donate our blood all through the year and I made sure to hold off last month so that I could give on Yule as part of our celebration) Then we will wrap our outdoor tree's with the homemade, wildlife friendly garland, then sit down to a special meal. We are also planning on greeting the winter solstice and the eclipse that night.
Wow...when I see it in writing, I realize just how busy the next handful of days will be!!!

To all of you who are done and ready to celebrate....congrats!! Sit back and relax. For the rest of you who are like me....keep on truck'in!! We will make it Yule/x-mas yet and it will be just fine!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

While surfing for info on the Winter Solstice and Full Moon on Dec.21st I came across an addition to this special evening. A Total Lunar Eclipse. Fascinated I dug some more and came across this web site with tons of facts,

If you are anything like me, I went straight to the part where it shows a) can I see it from where I live, and b) what TIME can I see if??

As it turns out all of North America has a chance to see along with part of Europe and the Pacific too.
For us that live in the Central Standard Time Zone the eclipse will start at 12:33am. Will be at Mid-Eclipse (which means it will be completely eclipsed) at 2:17am and then be back to normal by 4:01am.

Now 2 am in the morning is pretty darn early!! But I am thinking that since this is the Winter Solstice, Full Moon AND a Total Lunar Eclipse.......... I am pretty sure I can drag my weary butt out of bed to get a look at one of nature's marvels!! Who knows..maybe I can even get a picture of it too!

Now lets hope that it is not cloudy that night/morning!!! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yule Tree

Rummaging through the garage my daughter and I managed to pull all our decoration boxes out. It was sunny and very warm that day so it seemed abit odd to us setting up the tree. We brought the box with all he tree ornaments upstairs and into the house. This once a year tradition for us always makes me feel just like a kid again. I put on our favorite holiday tunes and my daughter pours each a glass of egg nog. (This year she got to partake in the addition of an adult beverage mixed up in the egg nog too! )
Going through the box we took out each of the ornaments we where going to use on the tree and set on the table. As the music played and the lights twinkled on the tree my daughter kept saying 'I remember this one when I was a kid". Or "I remember when I made this one for you!" She was just as excited as I was.

My tree over the years has changed many times. From the large 7ft one we use to put up, to the now 4 ft one I have used for many years now. I went from real tress to artificial, mainly due to the house hold pets that kept getting into the water and such. For he last few years I have been using silk poinsettia flowers instead of round glass bulbs. A large lighted bow/ribbon graces the top of my tree now. But the one thing that stays constant is the memories that hang on the yule tree it's self.

The only thing that I have gone out of my way to collect is the flower fairies that Hallmark puts out every year. This year's addition was a flower fairy called Blue Bell. I took that to be a wonderful sign. I live in Texas now (moved here in Jan.) and the state flower is a Blue Bell!!.

I have ornaments that the kids made for me. I have some that friends have given me too. Some that have been passed down to me from my mother and some that my father gave me. Every one of them reminds me of a loved one. When I turn my Yule Tree lights on each night, it makes me feel warm with the memory of those who can not be here to share this season with me but are always close to my heart.

There will be cards added to the tree that family has sent with money in it. Then as the  month goes on other things will get added. Each one of us making it abit more specail for this season.  =]