Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here it is, not only the New Year, but my 200th post! I have got to say, I am really digging this blogging thing. The people I have met here are the best, I have gained so many friends, ideas, visited so many countries and homes, I feel like I have known you all for years. Thank you! And thank you for visiting my little corner of the world. As I finish 2011, I must say it has been a lovely ride. So many things to remember and cherish. I will leave you with my favorite photos from my blog for each month of the year (start at the top left hand corner and circle around) with the center picture being a fav of me and my love. May you all have a very Happy New Year. I know I will. I am hoping for some Lobster Bisque tonight and 2 bottles of Pink Champagne. Cheers! Always, Kit

1. Oldest Ski Patrol Daughter 2. Carved heart from my love 3. Finished with blood treatments
4. Youngest and I went to visit little chicks for Easter 5. My Fantastic School Bus Parade 6. The lovely garden shed my hubby built me 7. Our annual Oregon vacation
8. A return to Seeley Lake with my girls 9. Driving for 7 hours just to get my love his leather chairs 10. Celebrating my hubby's birthday with a Cars party 11. Our Griz football team won the Big Sky Championship 12. My wonderful Christmas present!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Gift

My family loves to surprise each other at the holiday. We try and think of clever and unique gifts. We fashion different ways to present them. Or we sneak around at work and home, and leave bags of goodies to make each other smile. Well this year, I was the one who ended up very surprised.

A little story to set the mood. Every year we would gather the girls up, load up the Jeep and head to Seeley Lake for a day of swimming and fun. All day long we would paddle about, the girls snorkeling, me floating on an inner tube, the hubby flopping about in his fins. But the iconic symbol to me of those wonderful days was our 4 chairs sitting on the beach. All in a row. Old metal mesh chairs, remember those? Our beach towels draped, various articles of clothing strung about, and from the lake I would think, that is our spot. Where we come and be a family and have a great time throughout the Summer. I took a picture from the lake one day. That must have been about 10 years ago. Until this Summer, we had not been to lake in many many years. The original chairs are long gone, we even have new towels (tho my girls still use the original ones) and new inner tubes. But the fun was the same. That day was very special for one Mom who had missed her grown children. I must have been talking about the old days, being silly and sentimental, because on Christmas Day I received such a wonderful gift.

I had no clue my youngest had paid such close attention (but really, doesn't she always?) out of this large box I pulled a canvas, framed in black. And when I flipped it over, I promptly burst into tears. What my children had done, was to take that little 3 x 5 aging photo of 4 old chairs and had it made into a lovely picture. I was so overwhelmed and so touched. We were all crying by this time and when I heard how hard it had been to get it just right, I cried some more. To some, it may seem like an awfully strange picture, but to me it is the perfect still life. Not only does it remind me of all those great days on the lake, it reminds me of two very special ladies that I am so proud to call my own. Always, Kit

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some Special Tags

I just realized I am just 3 posts away from 200 posts! Now usually I will post and then get around to another a few days later. But to make my milestone, I will have to post something each day until Jan 1st. I just hope I can think of enough stuff to share. My life is not that interesting....LOL But here goes!

First up. This Christmas I got creative. Using one idea from HGTV, another blogger's simple packaging and my own noggin, I came up with some tags for my families presents. I rummaged thru all my old photo albums looking for old Christmas pics. Scanned them, sent them to Picnik to embellish and then emailed them to Wal-Mart to have them process them into 4 x 6 photos. With one hour photo, I figured it was cheaper and easier to have them print them, rather than me. Next, how was I going to attach them to the package? I toyed with using old Christmas cards as backers, or just punching a hole in one corner. Then, I had a aha moment! I had bought (like 10 years ago) these Hallmark cards where you can insert a photo and never used them. And of course they were still sitting in my desk in the attic. Instant picture frames! Worked like a charm and I could just slip the picture under the ribbon and I was done. They were such a big hit! Everyone oohed and ahhed, and later when all was said and done, my youngest put all of hers along the mantle in her house. It felt good to get my creative juices flowing again and to surprise and delight everyone, but the question is... What will I do next year??? ....LOL Always, Kit

I am linking up with REDNESDAY over at It's a Very Cherry World!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve and Day!

I am going to let the pictures tell the story. We had a marvelous time! We frolicked, ate too much, drank a little and enjoyed each others company. We all received many treasures and lots of tears were shed with the thoughtfulness of each choice. I am very blessed and I go into the New Year with a very full heart. Always, Kit

I am linking up to It's A Very Cherry World for Rednesday!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!

It's here! The presents are wrapped, the stockings are filled and the house is filled with color, light and happiness. The day will be spent with preparing all the special treats my family loves for the buffet. I will set the table with vintage plates and bowls and we will gather together to chat and feast and laugh. Such fun! I will leave you with a Merry Christmas and one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite stories. Have a wonderful holiday! Always, Kit

Welcome Christmas bring your cheer.
Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Christmas Day is in our grasp,
so long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we
Welcome Christmas while we stand,
Heart to heart and Hand in hand.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hip, Hip Hooray for Christmas Vacation

Well, today is the first day of my Christmas vacation. I slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and now am into high speed Operation Christmas! I have stockings to organize, a few presents to wrap and some minor house cleaning. One cannot have Christmas without a mopped floor. What would Santa think? I don't mind one bit, the sun is shining, it is biting cold out and the snow is just sparkling (as is my sinks right now...LOL) it feels good to get all my tin soldiers in a row. Later a turn around Target for a few items I just have to have. And tonight, while I have my house all to myself, I think I will pop in the movie White Christmas, pour myself a glass of wine and join Rosemary Clooney for a sing-a-long. Then later, I know I will fall asleep, "Counting My Blessings". Always, Kit

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Party!

I am not a very social creature, just ask anyone. I like to come home from work, put on my grungies and read, compute, or watch my favorite shows. That makes me a very happy clam. But, there is a party that comes once a year, in December, that I just adore. It is my husband's company party and it is fabulous! Held in a beautiful restaurant high above the Missoula valley, we take over the whole place, all three floors. It looks like a castle, it is decorated to the nines in Christmas glow, and the food is wonderful. I am having lobster tonight. I can't wait. And I will probably have cheese cake too...LOL Good thing my outfit has pants with a stretchy waistband. For this event I will go all out (at least for me), dress slacks, fancy white blouse, my best jewelry and beaded purse. I may even curl my hair or at the least gel it up a bit. I will be on the arm of the most handsome man there, I will behave myself in regards to the open bar and try and live up to the fact that some consider me a "hoot". But all in all, I will have a great time. Always, Kit

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Pause in Advent - Lights!

Lights. In all forms. I can't get enough of them! At this time of year, when we are just beginning our long dark winter, every little glow; cheers and warms. Throughout my home, I have many little lamps, and then during this season I love to add garlands, tree lights, candles, and have my whole house just glowing with color and brightness. We added a new spot of color yesterday. My hubby and I went antique shopping (I just love searching for vintage Christmas items) and he comes to me and says, "Look at this wreath! My Grand-mom had this exact kind and it hung in her kitchen window each year." What a great memory, so of course I just had to have it. Very inexpensive and in it's original box! It now hangs in the craft room, so when my hubby comes to the house from his shop, he can see it and remember. So very wonderful!

Then last night, we loaded up our girls for a dinner out and a tour of the town to see all the Christmas Lights. We suck on candy canes, listen to Christmas music and spend about an hour ooooing and ahhhing over the displays in town. I am always amazed at how even the smallest little place with have this little string of Christmas lights and it warms my heart. I love to see people celebrating. And by putting up lights and trees and decorations, (no matter how small) I feel we then truly embrace the season. For after all, the Christmas Star and all it's neighboring stars were the very first string of Christmas lights, weren't they? :) Always, Kit

I am joining Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup' for A Pause in Advent!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I am loving right now

During this ofttimes crazy month, today I am just going to sit back and think about what I love. Simple things. Like?
  1. A very sweet and pungent Orange. So tasty and as you eat, the house smells like Christmas.
  2. Light snowfall. Not enough to cause any problems on the road, but oh so pretty.
  3. The special number 12.5 which means my Iron level is normal. I just found out today!
  4. Sparkly yellow earrings for a very sparkly daughter.
  5. Christmas surprises for my family, coming in the mail.
  6. Hearing from folks from all over the country. I just love Christmas cards.
  7. Lunch with my oldest, Asian food and later a Kung Fu Panda video as a gift. She loves it!
  8. Gray cats who smell like pine and wood smoke.
  9. Magic Cookie Bars. I swear they healed me of my nasty cold and fever.
  10. Helpful and smiling people. May we encounter more as we get toward the 25Th. :)
Always, Kit

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Pause in Advent - Music!

Music! Wonderful, lovely, heart-warming music. Christmas music. I start listening to it in November, I can't help myself. I tend to gravitate toward instrumental, it allows my mind to wander and dream. Celtic, harp, birdsong, New Age all wrapped up in old-fashioned Christmas hymns. But sometimes I enjoy hearing vocals like Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand, Singers Unlimited, or even Dean Martin (my husbands favorite). But one singer stands out for me. She lifted me out of the doldrums one night, with the most wonderful song and it now has claimed status as my all time favorite. The song is "Christmas Stays the Same", by Linda Eder. Here is a little story.

"It was Christmas and this was the first year that my oldest daughter had her own place. I was very lucky that she lived only a couple miles away, but for a Mom who had always had her girls under one roof for the holiday it was hard. We celebrated the Eve like always, such a fun time and then I drove her home. It was snowing, and we were listening to the radio and gabbing. She was to come over in the morning for the celebration, yes, her sister would miss her as they used to gather on her bed, yes, it would be strange to not be in the house, but she wanted to be in her new apartment with her new cat and I told her it would be fine. I was all smiles and kissed her good-night. But as I headed home through the snow, I started to cry. Things
had changed. Christmas had changed. I was feeling so sorry for myself. And then this wonderful singer started to sing to me, ".....tho the years may change, Christmas Stays the Same." And as each word made it's way through my sad little brain, I thought, she's right. It may morph into something a bit different in the future, but it is essentially the same holiday we have always loved. By the time I got home, I was okay and feeling much better. And it is true, our Christmases have changed, now both girls are on their own, many loved ones have passed on, but through it all Christmas is still Christmas!" Always, Kit

Please click picture to view larger!
I am joining Floss at A Pause in Advent!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Trees!

"Christmas Tree, oh, Christmas Tree, lit up like a star.
When I see my Christmas tree,
Can loved ones be far?"

I love them! And the more the merry. Each room in my house has one. In most cases it is nothing too fancy, just a ceramic tree from the 70's, or a feather tree my husband hand made for me (out of real duck feathers!) A wooden one created to hold old bubble lights and painted when I was in my Mary Englebreit faze, or how about a fibre optic tree that glows purple, yellow and blue? And in the corner of the dining room, I have a special tree that holds ornaments from friends from a long time ago. They all mean something to me, and they make me smile. But then there is the big tree, in my living room, decked out in ornaments new and old and this one commands the house. Hundreds of memories. I like to sit and glance and remember where each and every one came from and who gave them to me. The old handmade ones from my girls, the kitschy ones from our travels, and the antique ones from my childhood. All so special and for this month it makes my room sing.
"Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree..." Always, Kit

I am linking to My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Pause for Advent

Today after a very busy couple of weeks, it is literally all about, pausing. I am tired. I have been chugging along like a steam engine to get everything set for Christmas. Well, it is set and now it is time to just sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor. This is my favorite part of the season. The pressure is off, the lights are up and oh so pretty, and I am looking forward to many cups of tea, maybe a cookie or two and a festive holiday magazine. But my couch is looking mighty comfortable and today I just may curl up with my red and white throw, a warm gray cat and take a winter's nap. I hope you all have many moments of just this type of activity. Take your time, pause and just enjoy December. Always, Kit

I am joining Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup for a Pause in Advent

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Gift from a Lovely Lady

The arrival of my give-away gift was highly anticipated. Not only was it an ornament, it was a Santa (I adore Santa's) and it was from one of my loveliest friends to the South of me. I met her in "Blog Land" when I first started my blog and she has been dear to me ever since. She has such a lovely spirit; so giving, funny, and she loves the pretty things in life and loves to share them. So from a favorite Christmas store she found a beautiful glass Santa to share. And I was the lucky winner! Along with him, she sent a touching card and the cutest tag and everything made me feel warm all over. He will be the very first ornament to grace my special tree that I have in the dining room. Thank you Julie Marie (at Idyllhours)! I count myself so blessed to know you. Always, Kit

I am linking to Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!