Friday, December 29, 2017

Holiday Hodgepodge

Fulfilled.  Peaceful.  Energetic.  Joyful.  Eager.  My holiday hodgepodge of emotions - has it only been a week since I posted last?  So much goodness packed into 7 days!

Fulfilled.  Some people warn you that entering the Christmas season with expectations can only to disappointment.  On the contrary, I find that keeping an expectation generic usually avoids any disillusionment.  For example, I hoped for one-on-one time with #1 Daughter, but that's as far as I let my imagination ramble.  So, our ladies-only shopping trip, including a stop in the local diner, was fabulous.

Mural on the back wall
Norm's News (the diner) resides in John McIntosh's Opera House Square built in 1896.  The upper floor served Flathead Valley residents as an opera house (seating capacity 1,000), lodge meeting hall, ball room, theater, roller skating rink, and high school graduation auditorium.  Today the first floor is home to Western Outdoor, Montana's largest western retailer with more than 1,000 hats and 2,000 pairs of boots.  While the auditorium space upstairs remains empty, the sleeping rooms have been renovated into 5 classic and stylish downtown loft apartments.

Bonus?  I picked up a couple of items for next year's Halloween costume, including this spiffy hat!

Peaceful.  Lately, snow and near-zero temperatures have transformed our neighborhood into a different space.  I cherish these moments of near-silence for my strolls.

The Whitefish River sports frozen edges along the banks and in slow-moving eddies; the ducks don't seem to mind.

Along the path, a scraggly bush draws my attention.  Although it's adorned with plentiful ornaments commemorating lost four-footed friends, it's not quite enough to overcome the waywardness of its branches.  My mind imagines it as a modern-day Charlie Brown Christmas ... bush.  It doesn't take long for my stream of consciousness to transport me to my favorite line from A Charlie Brown Christmas: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace and goodwill towards men.'  That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

#1 Son, Spousal Unit and
#1 Daughter
Energetic.  You have to be if you are going to ski or ride Big Mountain in temperatures below 10 degrees F (as it was on December 24).  You won't stay warm otherwise.  Which reminds me of a joke: What do you get if you cross a snowman and a vampire?  Frostbite!

Cold temps yield rewards!  Cast your peepers on these views!
Moisture in the air is vaporized into fairy dust by the frigid temperatures; mini-glitter is everywhere!
Heading downhill to the Village; Flathead Valley spreads out before you, running up to Swan Mountains on left
Whitefish Lake peeking out - can you see it's frozen on the left side?
Joyful.  When Christmas Day starts with Christmas cake and coffee, you know it's going to be good!

We take our time opening presents, aided by breaks to Skype with family in the UK and Ohio.  And to get more coffee.  And to work on the turkey.  And to have some snacks, 'cause Tom the Turkey won't be ready 'til 5.

Clockwise: tasty morsels for Spousal Unit; LED chopsticks for #1 Son (they look a lot like light
sabers!); Hedgehog journal, bookmark and pictures of Delilah, a hedgie belonging to a
friend of #1 Daughter; "Significant Otter" for #1 Son from his girlfriend; Sperry Chalet
blanket for me (Sperry Chalet burned to the ground during summer fires);
goodies for #1 Daughter
Invariably, we witness some presents that evoke tears (of joy) or outbursts of giggles.  This breed of gift-giving calls for enough knowledge of the person to select a meaningful gift, and a level of creativity that introduces an element of surprise.  What joy it brings to the receiver, and even more so to the giver!
Clockwise:  Moose napkin holder for me; Bruce Springsteen's The River
vinyl for #1 Daughter; Slate coasters for me; Mini Lego for
#1 Son; "Beautiful" Holiday sweater worn by #1 Son

We all have Montana gear now!  Plus hand-knitted headbands
(by #1 Daughter), ski socks and leggings for me 
All the excitement is too much for Josie.  Which reminds me of another joke:  Why did the man sleep under the car?  So he could wake up oily in the morning.

Eager.  I joined the blogging community just 10 months ago, and I quickly discovered some bloggers who publish photos from trail cameras.  Wow!  Impressive!  Bears, bobcats, deer, raccoons, cougars ... I immediately placed 'trail camera' on my Christmas list.  And Spousal Unit came through with a Moultrie A-30i, which features 12 mega-pixel resolution, .7 second trigger speed and a 60-foot flash range for night-time pictures. 

Yesterday we installed the camera within the acreage of our log-home-in-progress, near an obvious animal trail (snow helps!)  I am practically jigging with anticipation - what secrets will the little SD card reveal next week when we retrieve it?  Watch this space and you will be one of the first to know!  It's like Christmas morning all over again!  

Praying for your contentment, peace, energy, joy and anticipation as we enter 2018.  Happy New Year!

I had a request for recipes from my Treasured Traditions post.  Please check out the following links:

Linking to:
All Seasons

Nature Notes

Outdoor Wednesday

Saturday Critters

Skywatch Friday

Willy Nilly Friday


  1. I think that's the same camera we have. I'm anxious to see what you get with yours. Ours doesn't like taking pictures at night, which of course is exactly when we want pictures. lol

  2. ...Angie, what a fabulous post, if you don't live in heaven-you should be able to see it from there! Thanks for the tour of your neck of the woods, can we do it again? Happy New Year.

  3. i want to party at your house, cowgirl! What a fun holiday you describe. The mountain pics are awesome.

  4. Loved the mural at Norm's! How sweet to get that time with your daughter. Your Christmas sounded wonderful. I enjoyed the post so much! Oh, and enjoy that trail camera in the coming have a beautiful wintry landscape, each shot Christmas card perfect.

  5. Cold and very beautiful!! Love the ski slope photos, and I like the looks of Norms. A fun place to eat.

  6. It sounds like you had a marvelous Christmas with your family. Such times together are fantastic aren't they? And look at those views! We got a lot of snow the past few days and we are loving it. Hard to live in Montana if you do not like snow, right? Have a very Happy New Year! :) Kit

  7. A wonderful post of so many good things. Glad your wish list was fulfilled. Those views really are wonderful to feast my eyes on. We bought our son one of those cameras, too, just not as spiffy as yours. We are looking forward to see what creeps around on his property. A very Happy New Year to you and yours!

  8. Hello, I think my hubby would love that diner and the milkshake. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas with the family. The views of the snow and mountains are beautiful. I like your sweet kitty too. Thank you so much for linking up your post. I also appreciate your visits and comments on my blog this past year. I wish you and yours all the best in 2018. Happy New Year!

  9. Votos de Ano Novo Repleto de Felicidade.

  10. I love hearing all about your holiday! Makes me wish I lived close by and could tag along for some of your fun! LOVE seeing the snowy vistas! Happy New year sweet friend. I'm glad you started add SO much to our blog fun! Hugs, Diane

  11. Your winter scenes are stunning! Happy New Year, greetings from the Netherlands.

  12. Beautiful images, and I love Bruce, The River, superb. Have a wonderful new year 2018.

  13. Hello Angie. And welcome to the world of blogging all over the world. Such an interesting post and all that you have been up to lately in exploring your new world. I think I would love to explore Norm's News, and so would my wife with all those hats. Some lovely views of your snow filled landscape there but I just like to look at it rather than as a sun worshipper, join in.

    Happy New Year to uou and your family in US and UK.

  14. Feliz 2018. Toda la suerte para el nuevo año y que todos nuestros deseos se cumplan.

    Un abrazo desde Salamanca.

  15. Thanks for your comments on my blog! Loks like you've created a nice blog yourself. Hope that recent retirement is going well.

  16. Happy New Year! Peace, joy and happiness to you and yours.

  17. What wonderful post and photos of Xmas ~ love 'fairy dust' and the kitty so comfy and glad you got some time with your daughter ~

    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,
    C & Z

  18. You sure have some scenic views there and the snow looks beautiful but man, I hate to be cold. My sons think it's super warm here but I'm very grateful for 70 degree temps during the day. Perfect walking weather. Not too cold, not too hot. I look forward to seeing what you are able to capture with that trail camera. All the best for the new year, Tammy P.S. It's only 9:52 p.m. here, I'm in pajamas, my husband was in bed at his regular time, 8:30 p.m. We are definitely not party animals. :)

  19. The snow covered trees are breathtaking. If I live a million years, I'd still think the same about them.
    Happy New Year!

  20. It´s a lovely and beautiful world you live in. I envy you the snow. We had a little very wet snow. Like walking in thick water :( Thanks for sharing the beauty. :)

  21. What beautiful scenery. I love the mural of Norm's, it is creative and the artist did a great job painting it. I look forward in seeing what critters pass your camera in the woods. That will be interesting. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018.

  22. hahaha, I love your jokes. Also love reading about and seeing your awesome Christmas delightfulness.

  23. My are you busy! Love the snow scenes. I winder if the water is still open for the ducks after this latest cold wave. Happy New Year!

  24. So impressed with your family gift-giving tradition - the unique and meaningful ones -- that kind of giving is a skill we've not developed at all and I admit to being more than a bit envious.

    You have really become a true Montana citizen -- proof being that you can enjoy morning strolls in those temperatures and in that snow. I'm impressed (but of that skill I'm not envious at all . ;>) The hikes and trails are stunning though! Snow really is beautiful.

    I can't wait to see the trail-cam pictures. Happy New Year!!

  25. Welcome to All Seasons - the snowy landscapes are so beautiful! Thank you, and wishing you a very happy New Year!

  26. Hi Angie!
    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

    You are having much more winter weather in Montana than we are in the foothills west of Denver. Almost all our snow is gone and we hit over 50 degrees most days. I'm not complaining, although I love when our hills are covered with snow.

    I can't wait to see your trail cam photos!

  27. Happy New Year. Beautiful winter pictures. Love the trees with snow on the branches and the gorgeous scenery.

  28. I'm looking forward to the results of your trail camera. I've seen the results of such cameras and they can really be interesting.

  29. Hi Angie: You live in a beautiful place! Thanks for visiting my blog. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas and plenty of quality family time. Win-win!

  30. wow those views are amazing and i love the way you tell a story! what a beautiful christmas you had! thank you for linking with willy nilly! :)

  31. Wonderful views, snowy scenes!! So lovely photos and memories from Christmas! Happy New Year to you!

  32. What a wonderful holiday post. I’m glad you had a happy Christmas and I wish you a wonderful 2018... Michelle


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