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!


  1. Genie is a special person, just as you are! What a lovely story. I like your teddy-bear collection and the Christmasy photos a lot. And I NEVER remember to take people pictures in a party situation.... am always having too much fun talking and laughing.

  2. Goodness you had a busy Christmas! I remember the Teddy bear from tour trip this summer.

  3. My goodness your decorations are out of this world … or rather in this world from places you can now fondly remember each holiday season. Magnificent collections all, especially the 62-year-old teddy bear!

  4. What a lovely surprise Denise, and I love all of your tree ornaments, so sweet.
    Your bear collection is cute, we share a love of collecting bears, and in my case bunnies also.
    Your old bear with one eye made me smile :)
    Today is the last day for our decorations to be displayed in keeping with the Yuletide tradition, they will be all packed up for another year starting tomorrow.
    Wishing you and yours a very Happy New year !

  5. What a nice lady Genie is and what lovely Christmas presents she sent you.

    Our Christmas and New Year holidays were pretty quiet. Bob's daughter, her husband and our granddaughters visited with us on Christmas Eve. I prepared a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. After dinner we exchanged Christmas presents. We had no family plans for Christmas Day. We ended up meeting friends at a Chinese restaurant, where we enjoyed a no traditional Christmas dinner. We didn't even make it to. Midnight Nee Year's Eve.

  6. special ornaments with very special meaning, those are the best!!

    i like the reflection of you guys in the tree ornament!!

  7. Genie was very sweet to send you those treasures to add to your already lovely collection of ornaments.

    I see you are getting an Arctic blast! EW!

  8. Beautiful sequence of shots. I love the ornaments and the teddy bear collection is great.

  9. Oh how sweet of Genie! I collect teddy bears too!

  10. They are great though the first one looks so sad

  11. great ornaments the first one looks like Anne Boleyn?

  12. Gorgeous ornaments - full of love and memories. And a wonderful gift to add to them.
    I have my teddies too. Including 'dirty uncle teddy' who is so battered he makes your first teddy look pristine.

  13. Denise, your ornaments are beautiful. I like keeping ones that have special memories. You bear collection is awesome. Genie is a sweet friend. Have a happy week!

  14. What lovely ornaments and that 62 y/o Teddy Bear is just precious, not to mention all of the bears which came after --awesome Denise.

  15. Happy barky 2014! Now I drooly think you should have cctv to capture everything even when there's no camera!

  16. What lovely ornaments! I am glad you enjoyed your Christmas and New Year. I don't believe I have ever tasted Yorkshire Pudding, not even in London, where I was for 2 weeks in 1969. Lol.

  17. cute teddy bears and ornaments

  18. LOVE your portrait in the silver ornament ball!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

  19. Your post is full of so many things to make everybody smile. I LOVE those teddy bears and beautiful decorations. Genie is definitely gifted and thoughtful.

    I especially love that photo of the Christmas tree looking up and the one of both of you reflected in the ornament. Happy New Year, Denise and Gregg.

  20. Your friend Genie is very talented and so kind. Wishing her a faster recover.I'm delighted by so beautiful Christmas decoration with lovely details and your pictures are wonderful!
    I love the Christmas tree!

  21. You have a wonderful collection of special and unique-like pieces - some of it in Germany not usual and I have not yet seen.
    Genius I know even a little, they often visited my blog.
    I collect bears too, many are active throughout the year, just some Christmas Bears will now go back to sleep in her crate. Sigh! Is the Christmas time passing ... in Germany ends with Epiphany, yesterday.
    Will now also pack some stuff ...
    Have a nice day :-)

  22. Your bear is doing well for 62, Denise, and I loved all your Christmas decorations, the tree especially. I will go across to Genie's blog as you suggested.

    I loved this post, it had such a joyful feel to it.

  23. Denise, beautiful ornaments indeed! I've been crazy busy this season so have not been around much! I'm glad you had such nice Christmas.. Happy New Years. : )

  24. I really like the shot of your reflections in the bauble..clever!
    Jane x

  25. What a treat this post was to see such very wonderful and unique christmas ornaments. Love the shot of you both in that tree ornament .

  26. oh my gosh, i love your first teddy, he's special! and that genie, she is the sweetest...what a great package she sent you!!

  27. OH My Heart---I LOVE LOVE LOVE your collections--especially the Teddy Bears --and the one from Rushmore and Glacier... We have a similar one from Rushmore...

    That was such a nice gift from your friend--and it is GORGEOUS. I'm a HUGE ornament and Christmas lover --so I LOVED this post. Thanks...

    Love seeing snow on the big Poinsettia tree also.


  28. all of it lovely especially outdoors and those European ornament s