Sunday, December 31, 2023


I am still listening to holiday music but it will soon be time to sing this one.

I have lost count of how many times in my 73 years I have sung this song.  In my family it was a tradition on New Year's Eve. Aunts and Uncles would come on over, as well as close friends of my parents, while listening to Andy Stewart as he hosted Hogmanay on TV.

What is Hogmanay and for those who are unfamiliar to the term, this is what I found online:

"Hogmanay is the Scottish celebration of New Year's Eve and can last for days.  No one celebrates the evening quite like the Scots.  It is believed the Scots inherited the celebration of Hogmanay from the Vikings and their celebration of the shortest day.  Many, however, believed that as Christmas was virtually banned and not celebrated in Scotland from the end of the 17th century until the 1950's, New Year's Eve was an excellent excuse for revelry, to drink whisky and eat good food.  To this day Hogmanay involves parties and festivals all across Scotland, with the largest and most famous public party in Edinburgh."

I had an Aunty who was born in Scotland, who used to tell me how she celebrated as a child and I loved those stories. 

For us we joined our family circle and crossed arms, held hands and sang Auld Lang Syne as the clock struck midnight and we said goodbye to the Old Year. Then we hugged one another and raised a glass to bring in the New. It was the only night of the year that we kids were allowed to stay up late and party with the adults. There was always a lot of laughter in our house, especially at times such as these.

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burnes in 1788

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll take a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, me dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindess yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o'thine!
And we'll take a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

This week we are returning back to normal after all the fun activity of the holidays. We become reflective and realize we have so much to be thankful for. No day is taken for granted because having family and friends whose lives have changed in the blink of an eye, and with events that have happened in our own lives, we know only too well that we need to count each day as a blessing. For me, if I have made any New Year's Resolutions it is this, to tell those nearest and dearest to me how very much I love them, and how much better I am for having them in my life.   

And to those whose lives are affected terribly by world events, our hearts go out to you, we see you and wish you Peace and Joy in 2024.  

A Happy New Year to everyone!  
May it be your best one ever,
And in the words of this marvelous melody,
Let’s tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Saturday, December 30, 2023


 but a pretty dog who was very curious at the person taking its photo. Not me for a change. No conversation today though. Pretty dog just stared quietly and quizzically at the man with the black box.

This is Gregg’s photo taken at our local supermarket parking lot.

Have a great weekend everyone, 
and thanks for dropping by.

Friday, December 29, 2023


Lisa was singing at church in the morning. They come over to our house for lunch and then it's off to her parents for dinner.  They give their time to us equally. We have often offered them to forego Christmas Dinner with us, but they won't hear of it and split their time between the parents. We love them dearly for that.  
You can read about the tradition of Christmas Crackers at this link and many blogging friends know all about them, even over here. Now, how do they work for those who aren't familiar? They got their name because of the sound they make when they're pulled open.  Each one is a tube of cardboard prettily decorated. It has a tiny explosive charge attached to narrow paper strips attached in the middle, which is woven inside the cracker. Sounds crazy I know but I can honestly say they don't burn your fingers like they used to mine when I was a child, and that was part of the excitement as a kid. Nowadays not so much. You give each person on either side one end of your cracker, and on the other they give you theirs. They hold on tight and tug with the strip held by your fingertips. It cracks and things fall out of the inside. 
We each enjoy reading the oh so corny jokes on little bits of paper inside, and little bits of trivia, which we did yesterday. We did this with Brad all through his growing up years.
There are also things like this inside. It came in handy. Gregg couldn't find the bottle opener for his coca-cola and I handed him this. It worked! Our Christmas Crackers were more for adults. You can buy them with children in mind. 
And now it's time to open gifts.
I forgot to take photos of other ones.
Lisa sang for us, which was a joy as you heard in my post yesterday.
and now...

We gave away a lot of food, and half the cake/yule log. Slices were cut up and put in the freezer. 
Lisa's birthday was on December 27th. They went away on a birthday trip. I have been looking at their photos and I can share them in a few days. Now I will end with the photo I turned into a painting at the beginning of this post.

I wish everyone a very blessed ending to the old year. It's hard to believe that a new one is almost upon us.

Thursday, December 28, 2023



I am in the middle of putting our Christmas Day post together but in the meantime, I wanted to share this with you. It is a video of our daughter-in-law Lisa singing a Christmas Carol, Oh Holy Night, at home. It is always a joy for us to listen to her sing. She is a Cantor at her church, teaches Choir and is a voice coach. She is also a piano teacher and on top of everything else is a wonderful artist. Her voice is that of an opera singer and she has had voice lessons since childhood. 

On special occasions she gifts us with her voice.  The last time we were all together she sang a piece from a German Opera. I sent it to my brother-in-law (he and my niece live in Germany). He enjoyed her voice very much and asked if she spoke German.  He said her pronunciations were absolutely perfect. 

All I know is that her voice can evoke such memories for me, as this is the music I grew up with and I still love. It's been a long, long time since I listened to my Father. He encouraged me to join him as he sang his own opera pieces and Carols at Christmas. I still have sheets of his old music stored in the basement. I was his page turner. I should find them and share them with Lisa. He was also an excellent piano player, as is our daughter-in-law.  They would have become firm friends. 

My sweet daughter-in-law gave me permission to share this with you today.  Our son took the video during our time together on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023


I wanted to share our post on the bakery where we purchased this year's cakes for the holiday table, with thanks to my guys who did all the pre-shopping for me. I had been staying home for a few days. I slipped in mud and went down hard, with my nose kissing a nobbly tree root, and a lovely time eating grit (when we were out birdwatching). I was very sore but thankfully nothing broken but had a bloody and scraped nose and bruises and sore spots here and there. I have had other falls, a lifetime history of being distracted at the sight of say birds landing on a lake, and Gregg often reminds me, "Now be careful, when you're tired you're dangerous." My guys have taken to reminding me if obstacles are afoot. I'm fine now I hasten to add and well-taken care of by my angels, and I include my sweet daughter-in-law in that statement. 

Anyhow, I was late in getting the Yule Log. Normally I have ordered a Christmas Cake and the Log long before this, but my knights came to the rescue. When they got to the store they sent me photos so that I could choose the decoration. 

This bakery was our son's idea as he and our daughter-in-law's wedding cake came from there years ago, and he and his Dad decided to go to their bakery.

 A few years back I ordered a Yule Log from their restaurant at a different location. They sell an excellent selection of baked goods in their foyer.  At that time I had no idea they had their own bakery. 

 The young lady in the center of the above photo was making one of those Yule Logs. I didn't want to get too close as she was in the middle of putting it together. She noticed me and gave me a lovely smile and was probably used to the curious. I took all photos with my cell phone. Gregg and I picked our order up on 12-22-23. I mention the bakery just in case you live in the area or are visiting.  I get nothing in return and I don't think they need my help with advertising.  They have been well established here for years and the place was hopping. 

Amphoras Bakery here and:

Things to note when visiting a busy bakery, make sure it is your dear other half you are talking to when reaching out and grabbing an arm. As I turned round, Gregg was haloed by the backlit window, and I was caught off-guard by the glint of the sun in my eyes. Putting one hand out to shade them, and the other to reach out and hold his arm, I heard a chuckle and I said to him....well I can't remember what I said because suddenly a strange man was staring down at me with a big smile on his face. When I finally made out his features, it wasn't Gregg at all as still squinting, a big moustache came into focus. Nope, "You're not my husband!" Thankfully he thought it was funny and so did his wife who said I could take him home! I looked for Gregg who had moved position and was chuckling by the counter, looking at my dilemma. I rolled the eyes to the skies/ceiling for the first time that day. 
Didn't take me long to shift thoughts, as the displays were drawing me in. I definitely could have stayed in there for a long time. Somehow, I think the people behind the counter are used to customers taking photos. When I started taking mine, next to me was another lady taking hers, and we weren't the only ones.
Isn't this a cute gnome cake?
The pies were looking good also!
“Baking is the poetry of the kitchen.” 

"I thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses, and eat cookie dough and go ice skating and maybe even hold hands."

~Buddy the Elf~

I also bought a few Christmas Cookies and took these photos at home when we unpacked everything.  
Yes, there's a stormtrooper in there, just for a smile for Star Wars fans we know. There are actually two, one out of sight. 
The size of the Yule Log was a surprise to all of us. It was supposed to be half that. It's all good and we have since shared with more people. We thought we were getting ones the same size as those behind the counter in the photos above. I'm surprised we could make room for it in the refrigerator, but Gregg said I do puzzles, I can manage and I did.
I may have confused people. When the boys texted me a photo to show the designs, I was late getting back and son had already ordered, not this one.  I called minutes later and asked him to ask the lady to change to the poinsettia design. I heard their conversation, it seemed okay. Still, wires were probably crossed at that time.
When I saw this one my eyes got wide and they rolled to the ceiling for the second time that day. I had tasked them with getting the Christmas Cake also and it was large and tall, and beautiful. 
If I ask them to do something for me, they are true to their task and I certainly wasn't going to complain. Next year I am thinking of making both myself, so if you have any good recipes with decorating ideas, send them my way if you would please. Mother always had a Christmas Cake and a Yule Log on the table when we were growing up. That tradition is engraved in me like stone. I have only ever made one log in my life, and that was in my school days. I know that's been a while, but it could be fun.  I'll visit this subject again next year.
We saw this at our local supermarket pharmacy, where we both got another Covid booster shot. We've been meaning to do that since October.  
I can't stop taking photos - it kept my mind off the actual shot, which turned out to be good, no side effects. 
We went through the door into a small office to get our shots. A nice young man gave them to us.  He was very good. I felt something but it wasn't painful, and Gregg didn't feel his at all.  Fortunately, apart from a little soreness at the vaccination site, there have been no side effects.
The supermarket was packed out, it was hopping!  I have never been there with so many people. I was glad to get out of there.
This area was quieter. We had just come off the elevator and I saw the poinsettia display tree. Through the doors, back to the car and we were on our home where we sat down, had a cup of tea and enjoyed a Christmas Cookie each from Amphoras. 

I hope yours has been a great day and as always, thank you so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday.  I am looking forward to visiting and seeing all your photos.  

A short post here, mostly relaxing and putting our feet up. These are a few leftover cookies we bought from a bakery a few days ago. I will be sharing photos from our Christmas Day and the visit to the bakery over the next few days.  

The day after Christmas is Boxing Day where I grew up. There are several stories of how it came to be, but one story I was told was that it dates back to the Victorian era when neighbors came together to fill individual boxes with generous donations, so that people who were experiencing poverty could knock on their doors and receive one of these boxes. I believe Boxing Day originated in Great Britain but is also celebrated in several Commonwealth countries.  Our Canadian, Australian and New Zealand friends, and elsewhere, might be able to tell us more.  

My memories are that my parents invited family and friends over and Mother fixed a tea with all the leftover food from the day before, sandwiches and cake, that kind of thing.  

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Boxing Day!