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Sunday, December 17, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Winter has hit Michigan, and just in time for Christmas! We are seeing it all! (Cue the music!)


Beautiful blue skies with sparkling white snow covering the pathways.


The big pond at the Ditch has frozen (although I wouldn't venture out on it if I weighed more than a duck.) But it's quite lovely!


The capitol tree (sorry -- this was a drive-by shooting) is looking good. I wish the colors were a bit better but the lights on this are just beautiful!


My new neighbors from California are enjoying the snow too, apparently! Love the snow angel. Ah, to be young again!


And Rachel, the bell ringer for Salvation Army gets my best spirit award. It was a grim, messy day, about as sloppy as they come. Rachel was singing her heart out, belting out the best "Frosty the Snowman" I've heard.


And what was even better is she knew the "accompaniment" part (you know -- when the chorus sings "Thumpety thump thump,. thumpety thump thump, look at Frosty go!")  (Please be generous when you see the bell ringers -- it can be cold out there, and the work the Salvation Army does is good work.)


The sunsets this time of year are dazzling. This was another drive by shooting. Believe me, it was hard to concentrate with that glorious sky staring back at you!


The birds are chowing down at Lizzie Coco's Birdbath Bar and Grill (and so is the squirrel when he gets the chance). They all have names: Bobby Cardinal and Mrs. Bobby C.; Louie Bluie, the Jay; Chickadee-dee-dee, Goldie the Finch and Freddie Finch; Woody Woodpecker and Sammy Sparrow. I think the only word Lizzie knows is "Birds!" She'll come running from a dead sleep.

 

This isn't a great photo (bad lighting and shooting from inside) but does anyone know what this gray bird with a white belly is (and a vertical strip on the tail feathers)? I can't seem to find it in my Michigan bird book.


My totally wonderful vet came by for Lizzie's annual physical. She's a visiting vet and worth every penny! Lizzie was being very good. Until pedicure time came!


Then out came the muzzle mask. It disorients her enough that she stays put. Not happily, but all toenails clipped (and some could have vied with Captain Hook's appendage!)


Pretty much everything is decorated here and now I'm in baking mode. These are my cousin Bonnie's Jingle Balls. You probably have other names for them. (So does she!)


Quiet dinners for two in the glow of Christmas lights and with an accompaniment of carols. Time to be together with no rush.


Of course, all that winter can come with a cost. This was the scene on my street the other day. People have forgotten how to drive in snow. There were even more police cars but when I walked down to take the photo, one tow truck and two police had left. Be careful out there.


Which reminds me, my upcoming article in Modern Creative Life will post on Dec. 19. It is a holiday survival kit for those who are grieving a loss over the holidays. I offer a few strategies that may help during a challenging time when all should be merry and bright -- and nothing feels that way. There are also ideas on how you can help a friend who is on their grief or loss journey.


And speaking of Modern Creative Life, I want to share this one -- What Do You Do with a Baby? -- about the thoughts going through a first-time gran's head! Well, this weekend we did one very important thing -- it was his christening!


The coloring books will have to wait a few more months! Meanwhile there are more halls to deck, but I think it's time to watch some birds and look at the snow!


Enjoy!

Linking this post with Share Your Cup 

36 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh definitely Christmassy! And a lot going on too. I specially liked your bird photos. I always love to see pictures of red cardinals and I know they are quite common in your part of the world but I would love to see them in real life. We have no really brightly coloured birds here although I noticed some green parakeets who I can't believe really enjoyed the winter snow much. Their ancestors escaped from an aviary apparently in the last 20 years or so and they have naturalised in some parts of Britain. I also saw them in Amsterdam. What a lovely family group that is!

I need orange said...

Your house is beautiful. Your spirit shines everywhere. :-)

I think your dark-grey bird is a junco.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing, you certainly have the right weather for Christmas - enjoy! Hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I was totally impressed with this post. I loved the idea of giving. I put a bit of change in every Salvation Army bucket I see. And I see lots in my town each year.

Wow. I clip both my cats claws, and I may have to make one of those muzzles. It's a great idea.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos of what's going on in your world right now.

Stacey said...

Jeanie, your posts always make me smile. :)

My name is Erika. said...

I heard you/Michigan got a lot of snow on the news. It does look festive and a good time to stay inside and enjoy all those decorations, and treats once you get your baking done. :) Hugs-Erika

Pam Jackson said...

A visiting vet...wow, that is great. I clip Lily's nail still with regular nail clippers but I have noticed that her nails are getting too thick to get into the clippers. Might have to step up to the dog clippers next. She is pretty good at just laying there and letting me do it. I talk sweet to her....I think that helps. I would love for us to get that kind of snow so I could try to lay down (haha) and make snow angels! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Your cardinal is beautiful. We do not have them here in So CA. All your decorations are so pretty.

WOW the baby is growing so fast - great picture.

Have a wonderful Christmas.
Hugs,
Mary

bj said...

What a warm and colorful home you have....and that baby is sooo adorable. xoxo

Lynne said...

I think it is a Junco . . .
A winter bird indeed . . . at least I know they are a charcoal grey, white tummy
and they have been constant feeders here at the Kennedy complex the past few weeks!

Loved your post . . .
Love the babe . . .
Love your writing, adjectives, helpfulness, wisdom, jingle . . .

Wish I had planned for you to bake for me . . .
Family arrives on Saturday . . .
I better get something sweet squeaked out soon . . .

Merry Christmas Jeanie . . . and Rick . . .

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Wonderful images, Jeanie - except perhaps the one of the accident. All very festive. We are way behind here - haven't even done our cards yet. But we did make the village carol service last night, which was nice, and some of us took guitars to the pub later and had a Christmas sing song; so it is beginning to look a bit like Christmas...

Julia - Vintage with Laces said...

I wish we had such a colorful bird like the cardinal over here. We predominantly get to see sparrows and others with rather unimpressive feathering. How much fun for Lizzie to watch the birds and the squirrel. It's wonderful that you have a vet that makes house calls, Jeanie. That's a lot of less stress for a cat and the owner. Your home looks very festive and the snow covered landscape is so pretty. Enjoy!
xo Julia

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Jeanie! Looks like a snowy wonderland there. I assume you will have a white Christmas? Love your sweet birds, the Cardinals, finches and Junco. Lizzie can relax for awhile, she is done with her vet visit. I love the big Christmas tree and the Snow Angel. Beautiful family photo. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Tracy said...

Wooo...it's WINTER there--and it's beautiful, Jeanie!! It's always an adjustment getting used to walking in snow again, let alone driving in it... Bless Rachel and all who serve the Salvation Army--they are sooo GOOD! Lizzie Coco's Birdbath Bar and Grill--hahaha... ;) Glad all well with Miss Lizzie. What JOY to see a pic from Caron's christening--BIG day!! NICE family portrait! Happy Days to you all there, and keep warm, be safe! ((HUGS))

Tracy said...

Me, again, Jeanie! Was just reading your article at ModernCreativeLife... I tried to leave a comment, but was having trouble doing that, so I'll paste it in here...

Wow... misty-eyded here! What a BEAUTIFUL, insightful and heartfelt post, Jeanie... Given your situation and experience, I'd say you were doing VERY, very OK! More than OK. You are such a FUN person, Jeanie. Your Baby Grand is probably already understanding that. You two are going to have sooo much FUN for many, many years. I think you are brave. Leading from the heart is always the best start on the path. And sometimes just holding--close to the heart--is so very, very good... for you both. :)

shoreacres said...

Oh, I wish I had a vet who made house calls. That's really wonderful, and certainly could reduce the trauma level a bit. I think your gray bird is a junco. I'm not sure we have them here, although the cardinals are here all year, and the goldfinch show up in winter. I may see more of them this year, since the yard crews haven't yet cut the crepe myrtles, and they do love those seeds.

I may actually do some baking tonight -- depends on how the day goes. One thing suddenly on the to-do list is repotting plants and figuring out where they're going to live next week. We have forecast lows of 19-20 degrees!

Joanne Huffman said...

I have been baking for over a week and have one more batch to go. I have delivered goodies to friends and last batch is for family. Love your holiday photos.

Rita C. said...

What a very Christmas-inducing post! Snow, birds, Salvation Army, lights, babies (congrats on the Christening and news you clued me in on!), comfort [food] and joy!
Merry, Merry, Jeanie!

Bonnie said...

Yes, I remember the challenges of harsh weather. We lived in Alaska for five years. We take so much for granted where we live now in Alabama. I can go anywhere in our town in 15 minutes. Most of my trips are 7-8 minutes! I am blessed!

I adore your bird photos especially the beautiful cardinal! Gorgeous.
Didn't know about visiting vets! I remember doctors making house calls when I was small!
Have a wonderful Christmas, Jeanie! I love all your decorations.

La Table De Nana said...

I wish Drs still made house calls..I think one does here still..for the aging..sweet I find..
Looks very festive:) Lovely..
And a wonderful christening pic..Rick is in love and vice versa:)
Happiest of Holidays to you and yours Jeanie:)

Victoria Zigler said...

I love snow, but it's sad when people forget about being extra careful in it and it causes accidents.

Glad Lizzie's vet check-up is done and she's all set again.

I'm sure you're enjoying every moment of the baby grand, regardless of what you do with him.

Decor To Adore said...

Love the cardinal shots! I also must say that your home is so festive and cozy at Christmastime!

Silver Willow said...

so cold, so cold! And those Mexican Wedding Cakes are my favorite Xmas cookie!

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Jeanie congratulations on the christening of your grandson. It is truly a blessed event. And make sure you stay nice and toasty. I had forgotten just how cold it can get in the wintertime here in the NE. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and am glad I have made a friend in you this year.

Sandra Cox said...

Oh my. What wonderful, festive pictures. Wondrous.
Is the bird a junco?
Happy holidays, my friend.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful photos as always... The jingle balls look good, are you allowed to share the recipe??? I would love to have it if you are!
big hugs,
Cheryl

Marilyn Miller said...

I love your Christmas scenes, but I must say my favorite are the cardinal sightings. How I love them and miss seeing them so much. The christening sounds like a wonderful family event. Oh California neighbors bus indeed be loving the snow. Hope they know how to drive on it. Cheerful, singing volunteers are the best.

BeachGypsy said...

Mercy!---did you all EVER get the snow!! It's very pretty, love the pictures! And the christning pictures are so sweet. He is growing so fast isn't he? You look great in that green sweater, you should wear green often!! I don't know about the little bird, I have just started learning about birds and don't know much at all yet. Love your supper table all ready to eat, love the glimpse into your home and into your life. Making friends via blogging is fun!

Barbara Fisher said...

Dear Jeanie, I love this post, there are so many good things I can’t comment on them all, but everything is beautiful. The Christening photo is very special, and it won’t be long before you can get busy with those colouring books. Your home looks so warm and inviting, and you have a beautiful family. Something else struck me as I looked at your photos;

Many, many years ago when my son was a baby I decided to take up embroidery. I bought a kit with the canvas and all the embroidery silks and spent many months making it. It turned out really well (rabbits and birds in the snow) so I had it framed and hung it on the wall. It was admired by my nearest and dearest, but they all had a chuckle over a bright-red bird sitting near the centre of the picture. It was red all over with a black face and a feather sticking up at an angle on the top of its head. Everyone agreed I must have made a mistake because no bird ever looked like that – it just shows how much they didn’t know because that bird is in your photographs! I’m going to get the picture down out of the loft (where I hid it) and hang it back on the wall, and this time I will be able to tell them it is a real bird, and if they don’t believe me, I will show them your blog! xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Isn't this just SO FUN!!!! We got snow over the weekend and we're getting more on Thursday. With Christmas just around the corner, this is perfect timing and I'm just waiting for two weeks of relaxation!!!!

Looking great out there in Michigan, Jeanie!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

We have a covering of snow, but less than you guys have! But we are getting 'plowable snow' tomorrow! I'm glad that it's going to be a white Christmas here because I think that is prettier than seeing all the brown! But I don't have to lift a finger for snow removal so it's easy for me to say that! I don't enjoy driving in winter conditions, though, so am thankful that we take the bus to and from work!

It will be an extra fun holiday season with baby Grand around! And it will only get better as he gets older!!

Red Rose Alley said...

You got so much snow, how wonderful! Jeanie, it is a dream of mine to one day see the red cardinal. I don't see them where I live in California. They are such beautiful birds. Those jingle balls look very much like the Russian tea cookies we make every Christmas. aahh, the baby's Baptism...what a very special day, indeed.

Merry Christmas, Jeanie. I love that little rabbit fellow in the snow.

~Sheri

Jeanne Washburn said...

Simply enchanting...the warmth and love you share on your blog with each post is most evident in your beautiful Christmas home. Merry Christmas, Jeanie!

Polly said...

Your home is so warm and inviting Jeanie.
I always support the Salvation Army. They have a band playing carols in the shopping centre here every year.
Dear Lizzie, all spruced up for Christmas, she is very good.
I have a friend who will be spending her first Christmas without her husband. We are going to a carol concert tomorrow and she will be with her daughter and grandson for the Christmas period.

Katie Mansfield said...

Ahhh. I love snow. I grew up in New York and I still miss it here in Texas. We've had only 3 white Christmas' since I've adopted Texas as my home. I was convinced it was going to snow last night but hubby said their was too much cloud cover. He was right of course. Merry White Christmas. I love Pecan balls. I need to make some today.

Jann Olson said...

I do love snow for Christmas! We have had next to nothing this year and our ski slopes are suffering. We did get a beautiful snow fall Christmas Eve, but it's almost all melted. Love that beautiful red cardinal! Your grandbaby is precious. Congrats on the christening! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

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