Sunday, January 10, 2021

Mosaic Monday #113: Holding on to the Holidays

Is your Christmas tree still up (if you celebrate Christmas)?  Ours is standing proud, and probably will until the end of the month.  It just went too fast, folks.  Anybody else feel the same?  I have given up listening to Christmas music, but I can't quite put away the tree or all the decorations ...

So can you tolerate a smidge more of December?  Just for me, your blogging buddy?

So where to begin?  Or how to continue?  Let's see, I think I have figured out that food is a crowd-pleaser (this is for you, Debbie).  Team cooking (Head Chef, #1 Son and I) in early December included Nasi Goreng and Jamaican Jerk Chicken with ginger rice and plantains.  #1 Son favors Asian dishes, hence the Nasi Goreng.   Well, he likes jerk seasoning too, so maybe he was driving the menu choices!  My request was for the plantains, a type of banana that has a crispy, caramelized texture when fried.  A ubiquitous Caribbean dish, it was a must-have to accompany the jerk chicken.  

Ok, maybe that's not really about the holidays - would some ornaments be more appropriate?  I couldn't share these before now - they were SECRET gifts!  As I have written in the past (here), creating a personal ornament for family members each year is a relatively new tradition.  I enjoy the whole process - choosing a design, buying the materials and stitching the ornament!

As long as we are focused on presents, below are some photos of my treasured Christmas gifts from the family.

Thanks to Spousal Unit, #1 Daughter, The Boyfriend and #1 Son for their generosity and thoughtfulness!

The holidays can pack on the pounds, so I try to stay active.  Dear Neighbor Friend and I go cross-country skiing around her property - we have been blessed by Nature's finest decoration of hoarfrost and snow.

While these macro shots are jaw-dropping, so are the micro views of feathery frost along the creek and lake.

Right before Christmas, Spousal Unit and I resumed our seasonal positions as Ambassadors at Whitefish Mountain Resort - the exercise, fresh air and opportunity to meet new people is a welcome change.  The Mountain is taking COVID precautions very seriously - the livelihood of many people relies on a successful winter season.  One of the Mountain watering holes, the Bierstube, makes the pitch well.

I walk our back forty regularly, often building in a visit to the trail cam.  I have had quite a few trail cam malfunctions, and don't have much to show you from December.  But sometimes there comes a moment of serendipity.  I was collecting greenery for decorations, a few days before #1 Daughter and The Boyfriend arrived.  Looking closely under a tree for Oregon Grape Holly, I spied a spot of white close up to the trunk of a Douglas Fir.  Strange; the rest of the ground around the trunk was bare.  How did that clump of snow get there?  I moved forward and suddenly realized that white clump was nothing other than a snowshoe hare!  It allowed me to get quite close and take this video.  So adorable!  (I will ignore for the moment that it might enjoy my landscaping next spring ...)

Closer to home, I have a squirrel story.  (I think everyone with birdfeeders has at least one squirrel tale!)  Two Christmases ago, I received a window feeder.  Ever since, it has been attached to the outside of our dining room window, and we are thoroughly entertained by the ongoing traffic of chickadees and nuthatches.  Well, you guessed it, a squirrel has discovered it.  This photo was taken through the window at close range.  Did the fellow bat an eyelash?  Not in the least!

Well, I am reaching the end of my holiday anecdotes.  I have enjoyed re-living these memorable moments, and I hope something in my narrative put a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face.  January is marching on, and now I am ready to fall in step.

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  1. Hi Angie! :) Oh I wish I had a Christmas tree this year!!! We just moved into our home in May and have been organizing, renovating, fixing, bandaid-ing...and living half in boxes since then! No room for a tree,and my usual fixation on all things Christmas kind of dwindled this year! Food and drinks helped though! You received some lovely gifts!!! The winter photos are beautiful, I love frost on trees! That little bunny is adorable, HE thinks you can't see him! :) What a great video! Those squirrels will stop at nothing for a meal lol...btw, I just wrote down the recipe I found for the Tete de Moine (Monk Head)'s a very secret recipe apparently and I only found one variation of it, and I still have to improvise a little...I'll be making it this month, so with all of the washing and aging, it could be ready before April. It's a "washed rind" cheese meaning you wash it with brine and cultures every few days so that it gets nice a stinky (lol) and develops that nice red rind. Here's the thing...I don't know what it tastes like!!! I've never had it, can you compare it to another cheese maybe? I've read maybe Oka or St-Paulin? I thought if it turns out well (i.e. edible), I'll send you a wedge and you can tell me if it's close or not! If it doesn't get eaten by border patrol lol...I have another blog, usually when I try a new cheese, I blog about it then do a video taste test. So I'll let you know when I post about it! I love that you've challenged me Angie...we may both be rewarded from the challenge! The last time I made a washed-rind cheese it turned out amazing. It was Fontina and it didn't last long enough to send a wedge to anyone lol! :)

  2. PS: Just went to your Blogger profile and found your email address, I sent you an email so we can correspond that way regarding the cheesy business. :)

  3. Christmas really went too fast, Angie... I agree with you. But we hasn't a tree, only a decoration on branches in different vases. And removed the decoration in the last days.

    The life after Christmas begins.

    Cheers, Heidrun

  4. I love the personalized gifts! The squirrel on the feeder is precious. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  5. ...I love your white scenes, it's green here at the moment. Take care and have a wonderful week.

  6. The last of our Christmas decorations got put away today. We really miss the festive feel of everything too. Great photos, love the icy ones...from a distance!

  7. Your Christmas sounds so wonderful, Angie. The ornaments you made were very pretty and the gifts you received are all so thoughtful. The video of the snowshoe bunny is so cute--what a big boy he is! The photo of the squirrel made me laugh. I can not have a bird feeder as we have many squirrels and they are very aggressive.
    I always leave my Christmas tree up until after the Epiphany,January 6th, in memory of my Mother. It was a very special day for my mother as in her ethnic tradition that was the date when children received their Christmas treats as a child. Gifts of the Magi

  8. Happy New Year, Angie! Time flies, regardless with family getting together or without. You have so many nice things relating to holiday season and I enjoyed seeing each item. My secular Christmas is fleeting every year. The New Year decoration will remain till 15th of January. Feathery frost is so beautiful. I’m always amazed how you sound positive and enjoy each moment. Yes, your narrative made me smile including “The scarf was a present, not a candle.”


  9. We or rather I haven't taken down the tree although today I did put a few of my treasures I have scatter around the house. Bob says Oh leave the tree up for awhile longer. So there ya go.
    Dang Squirrels. Fun to watch though. I call them rats with fuzzy tails.
    Frost can be beautiful
    Take care

  10. Hello,
    My tree and decorations are put away till next year. The hoarfrost looks so beautiful. I love the cute bunny video. The squirrels always manage to find the food and feeders. The meal and gifts look wonderful. Thanks for hosting MM! Take care, enjoy your day! Have a happy new week!

  11. Took down my Christmas Wreath. ah but my tree is still up. Maybe i will take it down by mid week.
    Happy Monday

    much love...

  12. I hung onto my Christmas decorations a little longer than usual this year, usually I won't take it down till 12 days after Christmas, but finally took them down on the weekend. But today I discovered I still have one string up in the front window. I think I might leave it there awhile. Stay safe and enjoy your week. Those frosty pics are fabulous.

  13. Everything is going too fast, Angie! I can't complain that 2020 went too fast though. I'm making a wish on your Christmas tree star so that 2021 goes slow and that we enjoy each fleeting second of it!

  14. I love seeing the icy and snowy scenes...makes it easy to hang on to the holidays with weather like that. I have some evergreen boughs in baskets I need to dump out today! I've enjoyed seeing more of your holiday fun! Happy MM!

  15. I'm in Costa Rica. It's always funny to see Christmas decorations in such a jungly place. It's forever summertime. And Santa is a monkey. Happy New Year!

  16. I've a twinkle and a smile going on, Angie, after reading about your Christmas gifts (all which I like!), yummy meals, the snow hare, and the squirrel. The Husband outlined a Christmas tree out of lights on one of our walls 2 Christmases ago. It's still up. The tree. We light it whenever we like throughout the year, which isn't often. So far. :-) Good cheer, Angie!

  17. It's always fun to relive memories of good times. Christmas is put away here other than mini lights on the mantels and around the windows. Our outside lights still come on every night, too. Enjoy each moment!

  18. Lots of great stuff here. Tree is down here (with cats you can't leave it up to long) - Decorations are still up inside, need to get those down this week. - That food looks delicious. I'd pass on Plantains though as I don't like bananas. Looks like you got some great gifts. Beautiful frosty photos.

  19. You had a lovely Christmas and I don’t at all blame you for wanting to extend it as long as possible. Yummy plantains... they make me feel as if I’m on vacation in the Caribbean. I’m glad the ski area is open and operating safely. Outdoors as much as possible is the best these days.

  20. How sweet to spot that snowshoe hare! Beautiful creature. Those squirrels are hilarious to watch on a bird feeder! Glad you had such a wonderful Christmas and that gift giving was meaningful. Good for you for getting out and getting that exercise! Hoarfrost is so interesting and dramatic! I've only seen it once in person. Have a good new week!

  21. Your surprise gifts are great! Squirrels pose so well... I have to actually go outside and clap my hands to get them to leave.

  22. That's the nice thing about blogging--reliving the good things in life. And yes my tree is down. Usually it goes down the day January 2. Sharing your gifts is a nice way to say thank you again. Life now swings back to normal.

  23. I am please you are still in December too and yes my tree is still up as well! Gotta love the cheek of your squirrel but cute you got to see him up close. Happy New Year to you and yours and thank you so much for hosting as always it is a pleasure to join in!

  24. Happy birthday to Angie's mum. Lovely pictures.

  25. It seems January is going by so quickly, we are nearly half way through the month!

    I do know many left their decorations up a little longer this year, but ours are now down and neatly packed away until next Christmas.

    Lovely to see the hoarfrost, we have had grey dismal days recently.

    I thought the bunny video was so cute.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

    All the best Jan

  26. Wonderful post, Angie. It always take a while to get used to not having the Christmas tree and decorations up after seeing it for a long time. I love your photos, my favorite is the two trees with frost on them. Have a wonderful weekend!