Monday, January 6, 2014


I had a lovely surprise just before Christmas, a very special package arrived from blogging friend  Genie of Climbing the Digital Mountain One Step at a Time.  Genie's blog can be found here.  I enjoy visiting and saw here the super ornaments on her Christmas tree.  If you follow that link you'll see why.  Genie you have the most marvelous and best display of English ornaments that I have ever seen.  I spotted one that I have (the Bobbie) and left a comment telling Genie of it.  Also the telephone bank with the little girl making a call?  I have that too.  However, the one she sent I did not have and it was a lovely surprise.  Isn't she darling?

Genie wrote to me and said she had one she would like to send me.  I was thrilled!  You can see it above.  She also sent me a beautiful quilted Christmas Tree Decoration.....

along with the prettiest hand-made tag I have ever had with the sweetest sentiments on front and back, and do you see the Bobbie pin?  

It had a lovely story behind it which she shared in a letter, and it came all the way from England from when Genie visited with her students.  Thank you Genie!  If I thanked you a thousand times it wouldn't be enough for the joy these gifts brought me this Christmas.

And so another Christmas is past and I will be putting our decorations away soon.  It's always a little sad as I tuck each treasure safely back in its box for next time.  Here are a few of mine for you to see.  My Bobbie ornament that I also saw on Genie's tree. 

Here is a butterfly ornament that I bought while in Germany.  I gave my niece one so that we could think of each other and be connected at Christmastime.  I will be hanging this out all year but I thought it made a nice ornament also.

I think I have shared this one before.  She's actually a sun-catcher I picked up in Hawaii several years ago, but I love to hang her on the tree.  

Santa with an armful of bunnies.

This one came home with us after we visited Mount Rushmore last September.

Now for the larger decorations.  Genie's quilted Christmas Tree was placed on the mantle with Santa. 

And this is how I usually decorate the hearth each year, but I didn't put out nearly as much as I usually do.  There were still lots of teddies that didn't make it down, and also two large unopened boxes of goodies not touched.  They will have to wait until next time.

You may have read before but if you are new to this blog I have been an avid teddy bear collector, and this is the one that started it all.  My parents gave Teddy to me on my first birthday, so it is 62 years old.  As far back as I can remember he has had one eye and hardly any fur, but I love him dearly.  

The standing Santa was a gift from Gregg's sister several years ago.  It's my favorite Santa of all the ones I have.  I love the fact that he is ready for the wilderness with his snow shoes and thick blanket coat and heavy boots.  And there is a little bird nesting in the tree he carries.  

I thought I had stopped buying Teddy Bears until I walked into our hotel room in Medora, North Dakota, and saw Teddy Roosevelt propped up on the pillows on the bed.  Yes I thought I had stopped adding to my collection finally but how could I not bring him home with me?  He is on the right hand side of the photo.And then when we were in Germany at my niece's wedding, I spotted the two little teddies in a shop in Gengenbach.  They are the ones on each side of the white teddy.  They came home with me too.  My sister gave me the one in the red gingham shirt, and also the little white teddy in front of it.  All very special to me.  In fact, most all of the teddies I have are of sentimental value and it would be nigh on impossible for me to part with them.  Many were given to me from family and friends, some who have now passed on, and each one is a connection to them so no, I couldn't ever give them away, not until the time is right and that will be a very long time from now.

This little chap came back with me on a whim, a little bobble head Mountain Sheep when we visited Glacier National Park.  No, I didn't see any of the live sheep but I was happy to bring him back home with me.

And that's it for my collection but I'm still going, so keep the coffee/tea hot, or if you've had enough maybe you can come back later and read the rest.

Our Christmas this year was very quiet but enjoyable.  It was just the two of us and our son and daughter-in-law came over for a few hours where we enjoyed a typical Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding Dinner with all the fixings.  When growing up in England my Mum would always cook turkey but as we have turkey at Thanksgiving over here, and none of us are big on too much turkey so soon after, I asked 'my boys' years ago what they would like me to cook.  Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pud won hands down, so that's been our traditional Christmas Day Dinner ever since.

We had a great time, chatting and laughing, enjoying dinner and opening up gifts afterwards.  We always appreciate when they come over as afterwards they join my daughter-in-law's family and do the same thing all over again.   It all went by far too quickly and about an hour later when Gregg and I are still talking about their visit, we realized that we had taken not one blessed photo the whole time they were here.  To tell you the truth we were shocked.  But there you go.  

The same thing happened when days earlier we had several friends over for a pre-Christmas brunch/get-together and the same thing happened there, no photos!  We all had cameras and we all forgot to use them.   For goodness sake!  I'll need to post a big notice on the fridge door next time, "DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE PHOTOS!"

A great time was had by all and we will just have to remember it fondly in our head.  

We also spent the New Year quietly and managed to stay up until twelve and welcomed 2014.  It was also very quiet in our neighborhood as there was no sound of fireworks anywhere, not even a sparkler to light up the night.  I checked, I looked out the window and listened. but nothing.  Fine by us, and not to sound too fuddy or bah-humbug-ish, we were ready for sleep.

Gregg and I popped over to Middleburg for lunch a few days after, and here are a couple of pictures we took there.

Decorations at The Common Grounds, our favorite sandwich shop.

Last Friday we decided to see the movie "Walter Mitty" with Ben Stiller.  An added twist on the original tale, and the scenery was gorgeous as Walter went traveling.  Not saying anything more in case you intend to see it, but I thought it was a delightful movie and one I highly recommend.  Comical, sweet, uplifting and we came out with a smile.  Also the music was super, I'm going to treat us to the soundtrack and probably the movie when it comes out on a DVD.

They still had the Christmas Tree across the street and so the cameras came out this time!

But first we woke up to snow.  We haven't had nearly the amount that other blogging friends have had and a lot of it has melted now but it looked real pretty when I poked my head out the back.  This is looking towards my neighbor's house.

Our deck a little later.

Back to across the street at the movie theater where we had fun taking photos of the Christmas Tree.  Here's Gregg taking a picture of me taking a picture of him.

Thank goodness for cell phones.

And company's coming so I have to get off here and sort a few things out.  We had one of our nephews staying overnight a few days ago.  Lucky guy was off to the California sunshine for a week to meet up with some old college buddies and watch a football game.  

We are expecting to get it a lot chillier tonight.  Again, not as bad as some parts and I hope those of you who are having to deal with harsher weather stay safe and warm.

This is our forecast for today and for the next few days.

I will finish up as I started, thanking my blogging friend Genie for helping to make it an extra special Christmas this year, and I just read her blog where she said she has had to put up with a nasty stomach virus.  Maybe you can go over there - link here - and wish her well.    Feel better soon Genie!