after the storm

after the storm
After the storm, this little one started to drink the rain gathered in the ribs of the fallen saguaro.

Friday, December 31, 2010

a few images from December...







and a toast to the new year:


Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

weighing in on 2010...


Despite the struggles of 2010, all the important things are still good and true. I have a roof over my head. I have enough to eat. I love my husband and he loves me back. My mother is close. I have children who delight me and friends with whom I can laugh and cry.

Does anything else really matter?

Here's to 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

he gave me autumn...

I love autumn. I feel like I come alive again when that first cool day comes. We take a day trip or three every fall to spend some time among the changing leaves. It is never enough for me. I love living in the desert but the one thing I always wish for is changing leaves right here. I have some deciduous plants but I want color. I want red and gold.

WB is a magical gift giver. He never fails to delight me. There are oak trees that are happy in the desert and he found them. Never, EVER did I think he could give me autumn for Christmas but he did.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

she's home...




and we're settling in. A fire, soup, White Christmas and later, some cocoa. WB is carving. K & I are knitting.

Life is good...




indeed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

holiday sweets...

The mortal muses are musing on sweets today.



I thought that if I photographed the sweets in a Williams Sonoma window, I would not need to bring any home.

I tried to follow that rule. Really, I did.

It worked ...

for a little while.

A very little while...

she's coming home...

TONIGHT!

Make me so happy to be wrapping presents for her!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

a special visitor...


He didn't pose for me.

He didn't move into the good light.

He barely looked my way.

He terrorized the bunnies and birds

He just paused for a moment or two.

We are hoping he will be back soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

ring Christmas bells, merrily ring . . .





















Beautiful, cold, wet, foggy morning today. I had to photograph my bell in the wonderful weather.




















I am so happy that it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

The Mortal Muses are musing on bells today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

holiday reflections

Oh, dear camera, you had me at "holiday".


Check out some wonderful light photos at Mortal Muses.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a Christmas soup party...

This is going to be a picture heavy rather than word heavy post. Things are crazy around here and about to get crazier. That's okay though because it means that all the people I love are coming home.

This was inspired by my parents’ wool blanket. They got it the first Christmas after they were married. It was part of my childhood and I have always loved it. I borrowed it for this because I just wanted to get my hands on it again. It still makes me happy to see all that lovely red and green plaid.

Full disclaimer: This soup party did happen but not like this. It ended up being for a birthday so I didn’t make it have such a Christmassy feel. I would have worried about spilling soup on the blanket although it has been through much worse. At the actual soup party, in addition to the tomato soup and posole, we also had albondigas and turkey noodle. We happily ate soup leftovers for a week. We also had rosemary and rustic breads. Birthday cake, of course, for dessert.

Soup tureen and mugs are from years ago. I wish I could find the potter again.




My niece was fascinated with the candles which for the birthday did not include jingle bells. They are so easy – mason jars, Epson salt, tea lights and a bit of twine.




Still too warm but it is fun having a soup party outdoors. As it got dark, the chiminea kept us warm.

Have I mentioned how much I love this blanket?

Please join Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch.

reflecting on giving...


Mother Nature gives and gives to me. I only hope that by trying to capture her with my camera, I am giving a bit in return.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

amaryllis for Christmas...


It is actually going to bloom! 16 days ago, it was a brown, dried up bulb. Next year, I am taking a day by day photo. I've never seen anything grow so fast. Why didn't I buy more?

fa la la la la la la la la...

A little musical list for Christmas

1. Favorite traditional carol – “Silent Night” tied with “O Holy Night”
2. First childhood song that actually rocked – “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen
3. Favorite song – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (it can make me smile or cry, depending on my mood)
4. Favorite song that I didn’t think I liked much until I heard it by Olivia Olson in Love Actually – “All I Want for Christmas is You”. While you have that on, be sure to listen to Otis Redding doing “White Christmas”. Sigh…
5. Song that always makes me think of my father – “Silver Bells”
6. Favorite musical holiday tradition – playing Christmas music after dessert is finished on Thanksgiving and K playing “Carol of the Bells” and sounding exactly like George Winston
7. Speaking of George Winston, album that I have bought so many times for gifts and the perfect relaxation after a crazy day, be sure to listen with a cup cocoa – “December” by George Winston
8. Album I waited years for – “James Taylor at Christmas”
9. Sexiest Christmas song – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
10. Best remake of a song for Christmas that I never even thought of as a Christmas song (composed and recorded by Gordon Lightfoot) and it was barely on my radar – “Song for a Winter’s Night” by Sarah McLachlan
11. Only version of “Rudolph” I can stand – Jack Johnson but I still don’t want to hear it
12. Song that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t hear at least once but please, don’t make me listen to any other version – “12 Days of Christmas” by John Denver and the Muppets –“ ba-dum, bum, bum”
13. The most poignant Christmas song - “River” by Joni Mitchell.
14. Best Christmas album my son ever gave me –“I Pray on Christmas” by the Blind Boys of Alabama
15. Best Christmas album my daughter ever gave me – “Snow Angels”, an album put out years ago by the Nature Company
16. Song that just hearing the first few notes, instantly makes you know it is Christmas time – “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
17. Worst Christmas album WB ever bought – Leon Redbone’s Christmas Island but I had to take it all back when I heard his duet with Zooey Dechanel of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on the Elf soundtrack. It’s wonderful!
18. Song WB likes but I don’t – Feliz Navidad. Actually this is probably the best song that he likes and I don’t. This category could be a whole other list.
19. Best song for dancing in the kitchen with WB at Christmastime – Eugene Ruffalo’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

20. Will making this list make me realize the ridiculous amount of Christmas music I have and how I don’t need any more? Probably not.

I'd love to hear about your favorites and not so favorites.

Monday, December 13, 2010

lots of visitors...

He decided to come out of hibernation, about 3 months too early.

He decided to terrorize all the little birds that live around here.

He decided that some purple sage was just what sounded good for lunch.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

an outdoor table for Christmas...


I know that a lot of you would enjoy our temperatures right now. I am ready to trade. I would like some cold and snow, please. Send it as quickly as possible. Please.

In the meantime, we’ll be eating outside.

I like bringing a bit of nature to the table whenever possible. We found the fallen aspen branch in northern Arizona. The pinecones are from northern Arizona and our local favorite spot in the mountains. The pine boughs are from our Christmas tree. It always helps to buy a tree just a little bit taller than the ceiling. It makes for some boughs all season long.



The silver is my mother’s. She told me that it was customary for a bride to have her silver engraved with her maiden initial. She decided she wanted her married initial, despite her mother's objection. What surprised me was the placement of the monogram. It seems like it is upside down. Again, this is tradition and my grandmother’s silver is engraved with the same placement of the initial.

Please tell me why I keep buying candles that say they are dripless and somehow they are not. I will try the freezer trick to see if that will help.


These plates were so hard for me to photograph, much harder than a squirmy toddler. They are so reflective that the sky just seemed to wash them out. They seem to go back and forth from gold to silver, more on the gold side.
























And a bit of the night...


Please join the Susan and everyone else for more tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch.