Sunday, December 22, 2019

From My House to Yours, A Very Merry Christmas

Here in west-central Minnesota, I'm planning on a quiet Christmas so far. Today I woke up to this beautiful sunrise, with a pink sky and snow. This was about 7:45.

I haven't baked much so far, but will be making more lefse tomorrow. Last week I had the first lutefisk of the season with lefse. I had only made a dozen, but it was good. I used Yukon gold potatoes this time for the dough. I'll be having lutefisk and lefse again on Christmas Eve, a Norwegian family tradition.

I've had quite a few birds at the feeders this winter. Here are a cardinal--a first for me-- and a pileated woodpecker.

Here is a December scene on the east side of the house.

Different birds seem to visit on different days, depending on the temperature, wind and who is already at the feeder. A bluejay and several pheasant hens appeared together one day.

After trimming all the nightshade and Virginia creeper vines from under the spruce trees this Fall, I saved some and made this crooked, rustic wreath for the back door. I just wound the vines up and tied them and used various pinecones. I have stopped buying all commercial type decorations, and have given away a lot, and am trying to have a more meaningful and minimal Christmas, but still have the place somewhat festive. 

I like the old nativity scene in the corner by the Christmas tree. I received this as a Christmas gift from my mom and dad. The candle behind it was mom's funeral candle. On it is inscribed the verse from Ecclesiastes made famous by the Byrds years ago, and I always liked the verse and the song. "To everything there is a season..."

Tonight I made some cherry and walnut fudge. It set up well. I like this version that always turns out well and is very firm.

Byron or "Baby Boy," as I call him, is sitting in his favorite place under the tree and wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

So do I. Peace be with you. 


  1. So good to see a post from you. Your pictures are always gorgeous. Thank you for the holiday greetings and the same to you! May you have a Merry Christmas and contented, rewarding year to come.

  2. There's nothing like a good tradition. I love them. And love making new ones too. And I also love feeding the birds, especially in winter. You are so lucky to have wild pheasants. All ours are stocked and end up being food for the birds of prey, coyotes, etc. And like you, I am trying to simplify our Holiday decorations to those that I make or find in nature. Not just Christmas decorations but year-round. It's a lot harder than it seems! Have a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks for visiting. I visited your blog and enjoyed it.

  3. I've long thought those verses in Ecclesiastes offer great comfort--a pattern for our years.
    How wonderful that your cat-companion is sitting so meekly beneath the Christmas tree--generations of our resident felines have not been kind to decorations!
    I like your 'rustic' wreath--it reminds me of those my Grampa Mac and I made so many years ago.
    Living now in Kentucky I don't miss the long harsh winters of Vermont, but I am a bit nostalgic for the beautiful reflected colors on snow; I must be content to admire them in photos such as yours.
    Wishing you quiet joys of winter and a peaceful Christmas Day.

  4. Dear Phil ~ I love the glimpses into your simple Christmas. I loved the sunrise picture with pink sky and snow. Beautiful!

    Have a wonderful Christmas day and a great 2020 ~ FlowerLady

  5. Your post is a wonderful Christmas gift to your blog readers. Wishing you and yours a very Blessed Christmas!

  6. Phil, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. It looks very peaceful and Christmas like around your home. The birds are so pretty, and so is the snow. We are supposed to have sunshine and temperatures in the high 60' Christmas Day. That won't seem much like Christmas. Merry Christmas!

    1. Sometimes I wouldn't mind the 60's now, but I think we all get used to what we have experienced for Christmas weather. Keep up those good posts.

  7. I love that pink sunrise! And how fortunate you are to have the birds that visit your feeder. Watching the birds in my own back yard is one of the joys of winter.
    Thank you for the Christmas wishes. I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas and all the best in 2020.

  8. Merry Christmas Phil! We share those beautiful sunrises! I am loving these warmer temperatures too!!!! I am so jealous of your Cardinal. We seem to have less birds this year not sure why? Not going through the seeds like we usually do. Perhaps you can share the Fudge recipe as I failed the no fail fudge it is only good straight out of the fridge! :)

    1. I just use the microwave recipe: 3 cups semi-sweet chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 4 T butter. Microwave 30 second spurts and stir, repeat until all mixed, then add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt, and any nuts or whatever you like to add and put in a 8X8 pan lined with paper or foil. I make mine with well-drained maraschino cherries and walnuts. I also have used white chocolate chips for the base and added craisins, which was very good.

  9. Wishing you a blessed and peaceful new year!

  10. Just stopping by to say hello and to see that you have had a happy new year!

    1. Thanks! The New Year is good so far, and I have enjoyed the winter. I hope you are having a pleasant New Year also.

    2. Thanks! The New Year is good so far, and I have enjoyed the winter. I hope you are having a pleasant New Year also.

  11. Belas fotografias, gostei de ver e muito obrigado pela visita ao meu blog.
    Um abraço e bom Domingo.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa

  12. The gate and an inside Christmas candle inside were my only decor last year. This year will be better as I am almost done with all my have tos on the property and hopefully I won’t be otherwise occupied.

    Love the nativity , fudge and cat.

  13. Just dropping by to say hello. Hope this finds you are enjoying a pleasant February!

    1. Thanks! I can't believe how the time is moving along. Hope you are able to get outside in your garden and greenhouse!

  14. Hi Phil. Came across one of your comments over at Granny Marigold's blog and realized you live about an hour away from me. I'm in the Nevis area. Thought I'd wave hello over the backyard fence! I've had lots of pileated woodpeckers this winter and enjoy watching a local fox out of my window. God bless! :)

    1. Hi! It's nice to hear from a fellow-Minnesotan. Nevis is in a beautiful area. All the Crow Wing lakes are quite nearby! Thanks for making me aware of your blogs too.

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