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December 08, 2022


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Glad your digits are still attached! Meh to the more snow. It's December 8, and I'm ready for winter to be over already. Not a good sign. Glad you wisely put the snow gear on your car. I added a little thing of kitty litter to my trunk.


We've had a present truce at Christmas for a long time, maybe decades. If anything is given, it is generally preserved food from our pantry. When mom was alive, she would sometimes give me something practical like a gift card at a book store and we would give her Christmas ornaments with our kids' picture in them. This year for the first time, all those ornaments are now on our tree.


I think your idea of Cmas sounds perfect, Margaret! BTW, I always get a kick out of your 'crossed out words', you can't help being the honest person you are. :^)

PS Gorgeous pic of your mountaintop, I'm sure you never tire of seeing that!


I can't imagine how nice to always enjoy that view of the mountain - it's glorious. Those tags are impressive! My family doesn't really do adult gifts unless someone is inspired by something simple. I'm making mapled wlanuts/pecans in mason jars for my 6 siblings. As you say, sharing a meal and playing games is the theme for family Christmas.


The tags are so pretty! I do love a good Christmas craft get-together- unless it's gingerbread houses. For many years Jerry's family always wanted to do adult *draw a name* gift exchanges plus getting some little thing for each kid. Seven adult kids, plus spouses, plus all the growing numbers of small kids...it was ridiculous. No one could afford it and that was in the 80's. I always pushed for changing that routine and we finally did. My group is so eclectic now in their celebrations (or their choices not to celebrate) that I focus on the grands (usually books) and that's all, although sometimes if inspired I'll do a food gift for each of the 3 families. Hard as well since they all have various food issues.
Where are you hearing snow? Mountains yes, but I have not heard lowlands.

DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

Ouch! Ribbon cuts are worse than paper cuts. I feel sorry for the car and driver that took out some trees. Maybe it happened during your bad weather. In the 1950s, we used to draw names for adults and the kids got some little something from everyone. That stopped about 15 years ago as it was getting expensive, especially shipping. One hint: give each kid an empty laundry basket, and as they unwrap their multitude of gifts, they place them in their basket. Prevents a lot of squabbles and confusion, and adults step on fewer toys. Linda in Kansas


Nice work on the tags. Very nicely done.
Hope the finger is feeling better.
And I think your idea of Christmas sounds great.
We are trying to head in that direction because we get a lot of crap that just ends up getting donated.
It was really emphasized when we just cleaned out the garage.
We are supposed to get a bunch of snow this weekend. Unfortunately, it is not going to stay in the mountains.

kayak woman

For years I and another "out-law" fought the xmas gift battle with my husband's fam, one of his sisters anyway. Such a waste of time and money - people who have too much stuff running around buying stuff for other people who have too much stuff. We aren't doing our family party (again) because covid. Family is too big to gather in one place.

Ally Bean

I'm all about activities versus gifts. It's more memorable to look back on the times together than some gift you've probably forgotten about. Unless you're a kid who lives for gifts!

Karen Sullivan

Love the tags and the mountain is just exquisite! I would stare at it endlessly if I lived there.

I cut my ring finger about 2 months ago when I was chopping vegetables...really got myself a good cut that took a long time to stop bleeding then once it stopped, I put a bandaid on. I probably needed stitches but I never figured that out until days later. I just kept cleaning it and keeping it dry and covered and while it took a long time to heal, it did eventually get better. I have some sensitivity issues, but it's gotten better. Hope your finger heals quick!

Arkansas Patti

Totally agree that Christmas gifts are for the littlies. They get caught up in the joy and excitement--just so it isn't underwear and socks:))
Adults usually have what they need or want.
Hope that cut heals nicely.


My close friends and I only trade some food we bake. At our age, we really don't need a lot of things so with my our own kids we take turns giving gifts to just one other person. We do give gifts to the grandkids after their parents tell us what they could use. With the rest of the family, it's gift cards which is kind of funny because we're just exchanging money.


I find, holiday celebrations are generally customized to meet the needs of the individuals. That said, I look forward to the festive family dinner with the Christmas tree cherry and bright, the fireplace ablaze and everybody at the dining table enjoying a holiday meal. I'm happily hosting again as that seems to be my role in the family. Due to popular request, I'll have another prime rib roast. Your gift tags are lovely and will add nicely to any package. Your snow covered mountain views are really spectacular. Here's to getting into the holiday spirit.

Joanne Noragon

We haven't exchanged gifts for years. I've almost forgotten we ever did; it's been so long since I've had a grandchild young enough to get more than money;


Adults here do receive a gift, but our family is very small, so it is nice to receive something. We do stockings too but have a 5 item limit that we more or less stick too. The grands do a little better.


Sorry about your cut finger but you know me - I'm wondering what Mari is looking at so intently. Beautiful mountain shot. I remember once when we were visiting friends in Seattle and our hostess excitedly told me to rush with her to the roof of their apartment building because "the mountain is out!"


I love your idea of Christmas. I like shopping for gifts, but I don’t want there to be too much pressure. Experiences together are the best gifts…or experiences on my own even. I mean, I’m asking for a massage and a facial. What can be better than that?


I love your gift tags! Yikes to your cut finger, I imagine that was no fun. No gifts amongst the adult members of our families either. We all have everything we need by this stage in life. The view on your walk is incredible. Enjoy your weekend.


This year for Christmas I bought my daughter and her fiance tickets to a comedy show in Vancouver. I also send baking to them as well.

I always find present kind of disappointing which sounds so selfish but it does make me wonder how well people know me. We had a secret Santa thing at work one year and my secret Santa bought me liquour and coffee, both of which I don't drink.

The gift tags are lovely and I can't wait to read Lessons in Chemistry.

Did you like The Dictionary Of Lost Words? I really enjoyed that one.

Take care, don't slip or fall and sending hugs to chase away the Christmas blues.


Your tags are very pretty. I too, am very challenged with crafty stuff.
I love the traditions of baking together, playing games, and just hanging out.
My daughter brought a new game for Thanksgiving and it was so much fun. We will
play it again over Christmas.
We are in a winter storm watch starting tonight until Wednesday morning. 2-8 inches
of new snow is forecast for us this time. It's starting to get cold so we really need
the snow cover now for our water and sewer lines.
Your lady is beautiful with the snow on her!

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Book Club Reads

  • Lefteri, Christy: The Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel

    Lefteri, Christy: The Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel

  • Williams, Pip: The Dictionary of Lost Words: A Novel

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  • O'Farrell, Maggie: The Marriage Portrait: A novel

    O'Farrell, Maggie: The Marriage Portrait: A novel

  • Kingsolver, Barbara: Demon Copperhead: A Novel

    Kingsolver, Barbara: Demon Copperhead: A Novel
    Although not always a Kingsolver fan, this engrossing and atmospheric re-telling of David Copperfield drew me into Demon's world, and Appalachia. The beauty and ugliness of the characters, their realness and the flow of the story made me want the book never to end. A masterpiece and a classic. (*****)

  • Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel

    Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel
    4 1/2 stars for this quirky, emotional, sad, joyful, fascinating read about chemistry, relationships and life. I don't know how it will work in a Book Club discussion, but I didn't want it to end. It was cheesy and unrealistic at times yet somehow emotionally fulfilling as well. (****)

  • Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand

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    This beautifully written and intricate book is my first 5 (or 4 1/2) star read for quite a while. It was powerful and filled with fascinating and well-developed characters. I even liked the ending! Jumping between two time periods isn't my favorite style, but the author handled it masterfully. (*****)

  • Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel

    Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel
    4 for the writing which was excellent, and 4 for the characters who were interesting and well-developed. 2 for the non-existent plot. The ending of the book left me extremely dissatisfied. Sadly, there are no discussion questions for it which might force me to reflect on the book's messages. (***)

  • Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy

    Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy
    A solid 3 1/2 stars for me, but a disappointment in general. As a former violinist myself, I was excited about the topic. I love mysteries which was what this novel was billed as. (not much of one and very predictable) I found the writing sophomoric and rather repetitive; the topics of slavery and underrepresentation of POC in classical music were compelling though. As always, I'm hoping for an excellent discussion at BC. (***)

  • Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel

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    I can see why some might not enjoy this book (not much plot), but I liked Tyler's writing, the complexity of the characters and the storytelling. Families are like a French Braid; you can never really be free of them since "the ripples are crimped in forever." I'm hoping our BC discussion will be enlightening and personal. (***)

  • See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

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    Although it wasn't perfect (sometimes hard to follow the timelines), this book was fascinating on a personal, historical and cultural level. I learned so much while suffering through the tragedies and celebrating the joys of the characters. I'm hoping for an insightful discussion at Book Club, as this novel deserves. (*****)