Thursday, December 30, 2021

A December Visit to the Ditch

(A quick note -- as you know, unless you are a no-reply blogger and I don't have email contact for you, I usually reply personally to your comments. If you don't hear from me for past comments, I just realize blogger turned off notifications for me! I think it's fixed!)

Until just recently, we've had no snow -- or very little. That makes walking at the ditch a little bit easier! Most of the color is gone, but with the beautiful sunsets and a few spots of bright, it's still lovely in it's own way.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Our Christmas Feasts

In times gone by when the whole of the family was together for Christmas Eve, Rick would prepare a roast and traditional dinner similar to one he enjoyed at his grandparents' as a child. But in recent years, we've been on our own for Christmas Eve so it was time for a new tradition! We would make something new. This could be risky business but also, very fun! Last year it was a Quebecois Tourtierre. This year it was the Feast of Seven Fishes Pie.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Joys of the Season

I have to admit, this has been an odd Christmas season for me. It seemed to creep up and then bam! It was here and I wasn't ready! Cards went out late, I couldn't get my baking mode on, I didn't feel all that satisfied with most of the presents I found (and I still haven't finished shopping for when we celebrate with the kids). It was just odd.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021

From Christmases long past...


... when we went to bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads... 

 To those 24 years ago...


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A Southern Exposure Christmas

Longtime followers of The Marmelade Gypsy know that one of my "happy places" is Southern Exposure, an herb farm not far from Lansing, where I've enjoyed many wonderful craft classes, dinners and garden walks. 


When I had my mortgage paying party, we gathered in a private room here. That was over a year ago. Now it has been converted into a "Santa's Workshop."

Saturday, December 18, 2021

A Festive Forest

It's finally a festive forest in my home! (Say that five times fast!) So, c'mon in! (Cue the music!)


My house is a 1960s ranch, about 1,250 square feet. The living room is long and and the far end serves as the dining room. Between the two spaces, there are four trees. I love trees.


Sunday, December 12, 2021

Holiday Art in the House

Do you rotate art in your home during the holidays? I do. Well, at least some of it! In the case of my hallway, the Paris wall comes down and the holiday wall comes up! Most of this year's wall features the work of Muppet master Caroll Spinney, along with a special piece by a good friend. (Cue the music!)


The centerpiece of the wall this year is a costume design for The Ghost of Christmas Present, done by the late Gretel Geist Rutledge. Gretel was a mainstay of the Michigan State Theatre department during my time there as an undergrad and until her retirement, probably about ten years ago. She went on to pursue her art in a variety of ways. After her death, her family allowed friends to choose from her many costume renderings. This watercolor holds pride of place.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Holiday Decorating -- It's Starting to Come Together

I've started bringing out the fa la la, getting the house decorated for the season. It's a time I always enjoy and yet for some reason, this year I am a little slower, perhaps a bit more deliberate. And maybe that is a good thing. (Cue the music!)

We've had a little snow -- and then it goes. I'm OK with that. I dream of a White Christmas often -- but I'm not that big on the days before and after! 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Cork Poppers Taste International Wines!

I haven't been to a Cork Poppers gathering since Rick and I hosted in July and it was so good to see my fellow vino tipplers! Our theme of the day was "Wines from Anywhere but the U.S." and our food theme was Appetizers and Desserts.


Works for me! Here are our totally non-professional reviews of five wines. What can I say -- we know what we like, and what we don't! And we don't hold back!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Traditions -- When Everything Old Is New Again

 Tradition.

I love that word. It brings to mind memories of times past and occasions and activities that were so special, unique, or fun that they became incorporated into our souls and repeated over and over again. (Cue the music!)


No season seems to echo the thought of tradition more to me than the winter holidays.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

November Reads

November wasn't another banner month for reading but everything I read was worth the time.

The Lantern Men

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