Merry Christmas!

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Two very lovely things.

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I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to acquire some new things for the camera, and not even at my own expense. It’s like Christmas, only early!

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When the new lens came in, I shot the two prettiest things that were near at hand. Kinsley is always more than happy to ham it up for photos, as long as she can see them when Mama’s done.

Christmas Advice to Housewives circa the 1500s

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Get ivy and hull, woman, deck up thine house,
And take this same brawn for to seethe and to souse;
Provide us with good cheer, for thou knowest the old guise,
Old customs that good be, let no man despise.
At Christmas be merry and thank God of all,
And feast the poor neighbours, the great and the small.
Yea, all the year long have an eye to the poor,
And God shall send luck to keep open thy door.
Good fruit and good plenty do well in thy loft.
Then lay for an orchard and cherish it oft.
The profit is mickle, the pleasure is much;
At pleasure with profit few wise men will grutch.
For plants and for stocks lay aforehand to cast,
But set or remove them, while twelve-tide do last.
~Thomas Tusser (c. 1524-1580)

Christmas Packages

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Dan’s brother Mark sent us a box of some of the loveliest pears we’ve ever seen. The delicate combination of red and green begged to be photographed. The bowl of pecans in the background were one of many gifts bestowed on us recently by my grandparents.

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And his sister, Holly sent us this amazing little nativity set. It was handmade in Spain, and picked up on their travels there.

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I think it may be one of my favorite nativity sets of all time. It’s simple, and yet elegant. And to think of all the tiny details, all added by an attentive someone’s hand, instead of a machine, or factory line!

Christmas at Gentlewood Cottage ’07

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We are finally getting around to decorating. We really wanted to put of getting a tree until the week of Christmas, but we started getting worried when the selection was getting obviously picked over at our local grocery. So, last night we set out to purchase the tree. Kinsley was sooo excited. We had already set up a small table top tree in her room, and decorated it with vintage pink glass Christmas ornaments, so she was beginning to get an idea of what a Christmas tree was. Anyway, when we got to the store, Dan and Kinsley checked out the trees. Kinsley was running up and down the small row of trees, feeling each one and squealing with delight.

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Unfortunately, all the trees available were so dry that they were already browning around the edges. So we decided to drive over to the next small town about ten miles away, and check their Walmart. They had already sold out of trees – before December 13th! So we drove to the grocery store in this town and were able to snag the very last lone tree.

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It’s actually a very nice tree.

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It reminds me of the trees of my childhood.

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This morning, I walked into the living room just in time to see the tree slowly starting to fall. I don’t know if the girls and the dog had anything to do with this, or if it just happened – but right now the tree is being held up by three adorandak chairs. Try as I might, I simply was not able to hold the tree up, fight off the three female vandals and tighten all the screws on the Christmas tree stand. So, Dan will have to tend to that when he gets home. Our Christmas Tree stories are never very ordinary, for some reason.

Oh, and here’s one more random photo of the decor at our house. The “mantle” is one of my most favorite things to decorate!

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Friday’s Feast

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Appetizer
What was the last game you purchased?

Sorry. As a Christmas gift… don’t tell!

Soup
Name something in which you don’t believe.

So many things! I’ve been a skeptic all my life.


Salad

If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?

Strange question. I don’t much care for celebrities. If you could call Ron Paul a celebrity, and the job of president the position of boss, then I’d go with that. Otherwise, I’m not interested!

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?

Be careful how you choose your friends. Especially if you have a handsome brother.

Dessert
Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.

Oh – I love this question!

Once when we were first married, I had a dream which I have remembered ever since. It was of a lovely room – high up in the trees, with lots of open windows and fresh, lilac scented air wafting through the room. It was a light room, with wide plank walls, brightly painted white. The couches were white and cushiony, with a soft white ottoman. There was a sisal grass area rug, and vases of peonies and lilacs. There was soft jazz playing in the background, and we were sitting on the couch, playing a game on the ottoman with a puppy at our feet, a little girl playing with a pile of blocks, and a baby in a basket nearby. I’ll never forget the smell and feel of that room!