Thursday, December 19, 2019

Poinsettia Doppelganger

Yes,  these are Geraniums.

I used to let our geraniums freeze in their pots in the fall.  Probably not a bad idea because by the end of the summer, they can begin to look a little worn out.  However,  I discovered several years ago to clean the pots and plants of all dead flowers and leaves.  Maybe even trim back some of the scraggly branches.  Then I bring them in the house and put them beside a south window and let the sunshine do its magic.  They become beautiful Christmas flowers.  With a little fertilizer and TLC, they will bloom and look pretty until around the end of January.  When the sun starts its climb back north,  even though the days get longer, it isn't as intense and the geraniums will get lanky.  Finally,  I cut them back and let them recoup for the coming summer.

There is only one drawback to bringing summer plants in the house.  They were a nice home for a lot of little bugs and spiders throughout the summer.  Those little ones might even start their winter hibernation in the fall, but when they feel that warm winter sun, their little bodies perk up.  Among other bugs, this year a wolf spider came in on the plants.  Dan decided we didn't need to kill it because it ate other spiders. (insert eye roll emoji)   We watched this little guy first move up and down the wall behind the plant.  Soon we saw it was venturing out by moving about on the ceiling.  Sadly, one day I was cleaning my countertop and out came the little wolf spider.  It startled me and....

Probably just as well. It was all a little odd.

Anyway, tradition has it that if a person runs into their doppelganger it is a bad omen that both will soon die.  Just so you know, I am not superstitious, but I  keep my poinsettia in the livingroom well away from these red beauties.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

As we slide into Christmas week with 3 to 5 inches of snow on the ground, I am thinking it would be a good time to share our Thanksgiving/early Christmas celebration.

First, I didn’t share my usual Thanksgiving picture this year, so here you go:

Dang, I love this picture.  You got to think a lot of turkeys give it up for the Holidays each year.

Our Thanksgiving celebration started on Tuesday evening  because Doug, Drue, Trent & Carly left a day early to escape the big Colorado snow storm.  It was a good thing, for them and for us.     Once again, I was thankful that Kim, Marc, Aaron, Adam and Evan are no longer in North Carolina but just a short 10 minute drive away.   It is easy to meet up at any time,  with meals and a Free State Brewery visit a top priority.
The four dogs Gunner, Eve, Brutus, and JoJo were about as excited to see each other as their families.   I didn’t get a picture of Dan on the atv taking them out for a run.  It was a good way to wear them out.     I can guarantee that our cat did not make one move outside of her many hiding places.  She knows her limits. 

There are several in our family who are not eating meat.  It just happens one of my favorite soup recipes is an Italian Tomato Minestra soup.  I'll share…

Tomato Minestra  

8 servings
1 Tbs. Olive oil
1 large onion, choped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can 13 oz beef broth
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, pared and chopped
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash sliced
1 can (15 oz) chick peas drained & rinsed
2 cups chopped spinach or escarole
1 cup uncooked small bowtie pasta
In a large saucepot, combine oil, onion, garlic, basil, oregano and pepper.  Cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomatoes, 3 cups water, the broth, celery, carrots, zucchini and squash.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Add chick peas and pasta and cook about 20 minutes.  A minute or two before serving, stir in spinach.
Our Thanksgiving meal was traditional all the way.  Turkey, Ham, stuffing,  mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, oyster corn, stir fried brussel sprouts, hot bread,  and Kim’s cheesecake, pecan and pumpkin pie for dessert.  All with plenty of wine & beer.   Hard to go wrong with this menu
In the evening, our long time friends Laura and James came by to visit.  We had more wine and even more laughs.  I will share later the surprise present Laura brought me because there is a  story surrounding it that deserves a post of its own.

Friday morning we gathered around the tree for our grab bag gift exchange.  I think everyone was happy with their gift.  I would say the most popular grab  was  a “My Pillow.”  (If anyone reading this needs a last minute for a teenager, there you go!) 

This picture of a little birthday celebration for Marc  is the best of the three pictures I took:)

A possible Christmas card picture that Drue didn’t use so I will share:

Laura and James have us mixed in