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Christmas highlights


Well folks, Christmas has come and gone. Truthfully, I had been awaiting it so eagerly that I find myself already missing it's presence. It's enough to make me want to institute the "week" rule...in our house, we celebrate birthdays for a whole week, because one day per year just isn't enough to celebrate such important people. In this case, the most important birth of all time, JESUS! (But more on the "week" rule in February when it's a certain husband's birthday.) I just might do it next year. Anyway, I miss Christmas. I'm simply pining for it. Fortunately for me, there are pictures to be looked at!

There was...

Cider - LOTS of cider
(in our gorgeous Two Hands Mugs)


Mike Huckabee stickers

Martha Stewart Living subscriptions

...and lots of LOVE. Currently I can't find our pictures with the rest of our families, so they will have to be shown at a later date. Rest assured that a good time was had by all and the countdown until next Christmas has officially begun (stupid leap year, adding another day to the countdown). I hope yours was just as merry!

Thanks, Capri Blue!

I first discovered this beauty on a trip to Anthropologie with my darling husband some months ago. Then I rediscovered it on a recent trip to the same store with my dear college roommate, Katie, and her sister, Denise. Both times I stopped myself from purchasing it (mostly because of the price) and vowed that I would acquire it at a later date. That date, my friends, was Christmas Eve! Thanks to my thoughtful mother-in-law, I am now the proud owner of a Capri Blue Red Jar volcano candle. Oh and it smells absolutely delightful! For the next non-consecutive 140+ hours, our apartment will be divinely scented. Just wanted you to know. Thanks, Pam!

What's all the excitement about?


Almost exactly one year ago (what clear phrasing I've chosen) my husband gave me an early Christmas present. It was the beautiful oncidium orchid pictured above, with flowers a lot like the ones in the picture below. (Silly me, I never took a picture of it when it was flowering - how was I to know I'd need it for my blog a year later?)

The orchid arrived in bloom with 5 or 6 huge flowers on it, which is why gene gave it to me right when it arrived and not on the 25th, and I was completely smitten. It was a thoughtful gift because I had wanted one for some time, but hardly ever mentioned it. It lasted through Christmas and perhaps New Year's, and then after 3-4 weeks or so the flowers withered and fell. After convincing myself (and gene) that I hadn't killed it, rather that it was all according to natural process, I wondered when I could look forward to another bloom. I consulted my Aunt Kristi, who is quite a green thumb, and she told me they bloom about once a year. BUT - she said - orchids are very hard to care for and I should take care not to water it too much, not to give it too much sun and not to give it air too dry. WHA?? Who knew it was going to be so difficult? Not me, I assure you. I was rather unthoughtful in my gift-wanting.

SO, for the past year I've lived with the (rather minimal) fear that I would soon kill my precious plant. Even more concerning was the thought that it may never flower again because of some sort of unintentional maltreatment on my part. In fact, I've been counting on both of those things happening imminently. But to my surprise, it has done fairly well. But to my EVEN BETTER SURPRISE, look what I found yesterday!!

Do you see that tiny finger-like projection coming off the base stalk? The regular leaves don't start out like that. The regular leaves are born already creased and they hug the stalk very tightly until they are quite tall. I feel quite confident that this little baby has all the signs of being A FLOWER STALK!!! How this good flower fortune has come upon us, we may never know. But I will tell you this - I have been talking to it every day since I discovered it. Carbon dioxide is good for plants, right?

So that's what all the excitement is about at our house. As a point of interest, the orchid lives in our bathroom where the shower makes the air tropical and humid, and she -apparently - loves it. She loves it so much that she is giving us a Christmas present - NEW FLOWERS! YAY! From now on I think I'll call her Christmy. Pronounced Kriss-mee. In honor of Christmas! I mean no disrespect to the name of Christ either - in fact, I'm all the more in love with Him because He created such a beautiful thing, capable of giving me such joy.

I will, of course, be keeping you abreast of all floral developments, so stay tuned. Or just keep me in your Google reader. Or whatever.

Passing fancies


Some of you may be privy to the fact that I once dreamed of becoming a paleontologist. In second grade. I don't know why, but I was utterly fascinated with dinosaurs. So enchanted was I that my parents took me multiple times to see a temporary dinosaur exhibit that was visiting the Fresno Metropolitan Museum at the time (which I'm sure was no cake-walk in terms of time or money - thanks mom and dad!). I believe I walked around and around the exhibit, sharing the wealth of knowledge that I had managed to discover in class and books and encyclopedias (internet? huh?) with whomever would lend me their ears. I'm sure I was never obnoxious about it.

Although my days of wanting to unearth fossils are over (all it took was the realization that I'd have to spend most of my life in dusty deserts with a paintbrush and probably no family), I still occasionally like to read about them. Today I came across this, which just fascinated me! It's about a dinosaur fossil that was discovered in North Dakota in 1999, which had been "mummified", or preserved to a remarkable degree. In fact, Dakota (that's it's name) even has in-tact tissues, scales and a skin envelope, which have allowed researchers to make a much more accurate description of what this particular dinosaur looked like, etc. Check it out! Also, for those of you who are so inclined, the Discovery Channel is airing a special called "Dino Autopsy" on December 9th at 10:00 PM which will highlight the findings. Count me in!

It should be noted that I do not endorse, nor do I believe in, the theory of evolution or the "old-earth" theory. I fully believe in the Bible's creation account, and I believe it was a literal seven day creation. But I also believe that God created dinosaurs and I think they're swell. (...just a lot younger than many scientists claim they are.)

A favorite


Christmastime is here

It sure is! I have been meaning to...nay, I have been waiting impatiently to...blog about the most anticipated event of the season - decoration time - and the day has finally come! And I know it's nobody's fault but my own that it has taken me over a week to actually post about it, but nevertheless. This was our second Christmas decoration session as husband and wife, and we are gaining valuable experience every step of the way. So without further delay, here are some pictures to tell the tale. And if you must know (note: further delay happening right now), I am drinking some delicious save-mart brand egg nog (non-alcoholic, of course) as I type, only deepening the christmas experience. Well, for me, at least.

the delicious spiced cider...mmm...

my little tree hugger

It's a Wonderful Life, on in the background
(it was the only Christmas movie we owned right then, so it had to be viewed)
((note to us: buy A Charlie Brown Christmas soon))

the sad, ugly white lights that (fortunately for us) were broken


a hideously beautiful ornament that i once won at a christmas game
(my victory must be displayed!)

the pensiero advent calendar and the reynolds stockings,
all handmade with love

the charlie brown replica...a tree for us to love

i LOVE wrapping presents

the finished product!
(with much more discreet lighting)

Merry Christmas!