20 December 2007

Catching up and counting down...

Tis the season to be very busy, as we all know...here in beautiful upper Scotts Bay, we've been doing the usual pre-Christmas things, like a little decorating...

...and after the most recent snowstorm, a little shovelling, a little plowing (well, longsuffering spouse does these things, I stay inside and handle the decorating!

Because the prevailing storm wind blows out of the west in the winter, we bank the west side of the house with straw or hay (which makes a dandy bottom layer for a new bed next spring). The hay stops the drafts into our rock-wall basement quite admirably.

In the fields next door to our property, there is grass showing through in places. Around our place, the drifts range from nearly bare ground (between barn and pasture) to three feet deep. As a friend of mine who owns a nursery and I were laughing today, "snow cover is currently NOT a problem" for finicky plants! My heathers and heaths are snuggled under a thick white blanket...and of course, those bulbs that aren't yet planted...aren't about to be planted in the next day or so.

Putting up the Christmas tree generally means I'll have help of the feline kind. Simon celebrated the tree being in the house by swinging around on their cat house, and waited patiently for us to put the tree into the tub that we use (and tying it up to the woodwork) before he could begin 'helping' me with decorating. Or undecorating, as the case may be.

I like colour on my tree (surprise surprise!) so we use coloured minilights, and a lot of gold ribbon and bows rather than tinsel and icicles, neither of which are a good idea to use around cats, who can be naughty and decide these items are something they'd like to play with...and ingest.

I have a thing about penguins, and have some quite nice blown-glass ones..which are fastened securely near the top of the tree. The catchildren play bad kitty tag under the tree, but they don't try to climb it now that they are supposedly mature...

My philosophy around getting ready for Christmas is "it'll all happen, and whatever doesn't happen doesn't matter." It's supposed to be a fun time, not a stressful time. I do have postings ready to pop up over the next few days, and now it's time to catch up on my reading.
How are YOU doing with snow and Christmas preparations?


  1. I'm LOLing at the look on your cat's face. The kitti doesn't look to be in much of a Christmas spirit.

    Reading about you not using tinsel reminded me of when I was a kid the neighbor's Siamese cat died one Christmas from eating tinsel.

  2. I LOVE your cat beside the tree! Wonderful photos too. Merry Christmas :)

  3. There is nothing my three kitties love better than a few rounds of tag under the tree. After which they all plop down onto the tree skirt and take a long nap. Maybe it makes them feel wild, somehow, having a tree in the house? It's as close as my cats ever get to nature :-) Your cats (at least that gorgeous one in that last photo) look much more dignified than mine do. Mine tend to be more than a little goofy.

    We're just about done with everything here...except for my annual holiday baking bonanza, which will keep me busy now right up until Christmas Eve. So, if I don't visit before then, I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

  4. I thought at first I was looking out my window when viewing your photos. Seems like we're having an old fashioned winter here after at least 6 very mild ones.

    Our "traditional" tree is pretty bare. 7 cats have eliminated the tinsel and delicate ornaments. And they usually reset the tree to a horizontal position.

    Your gray cat got me to comment - spitting image of our oldest catkid Pity-Patty

  5. Kris at Blithewold21 December, 2007 09:29

    I so easily get wrapped in stress around the holidays (because I procrastinate things like wrapping...) that I can forget to have fun - thank you for sharing your philosophy. I'm decorating my attitude adjustment in bright lights right now! Your penguins are great - my fancyfiance has a collection going too and I keep adding to it.
    In case I don't get back here, Merry Christmas!!

  6. Jodi, your home looks very cheerful. With all that snow around Santa won't have a problem landing by your house. :)

    I almost hate to say this out loud but we are having a particularly stress-free holiday season. We have had some doozies the past couple of years so this year is much appreciated. I hope you are able to slow down and enjoy the holidays.

  7. wonderful pictures and so sweet picture of the cat with little christmas tree.
    I am still on my way to christmas. For some reasons I am on the 'denial' phase - I think this year christmas will not come.
    and I am cruising on my childhood memoires :)
    I am little scared, that if I start the preparations I will get caught by stress again.

    Happy Christmas!

  8. I sure need the reminder not to stress. Thanks, Jodi! I'm not stressing yet - it's only Friday and we don't do Christmas until Monday night. But this weekend will likely bring a little stress to this self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination. I'll have some help, though, so I'll just take deep breaths and enjoy the fun of it all.

    We've got snow here that looks nearly identical to yours. Temps are supposed to rise, though, so who knows what we'll have by Christmas.

  9. Snow here is about the same as yours, Jodi -- big surprise. :) Your house and tree look lovely...all ready for the festivities. Your Toby looks EXACTLY like my daughter's Manchester, right down to the splash of white. If there's any chance he's a rescue cat from Wolfville, they might be related. :)

    I look forward to your upcoming posts!

  10. I like your attitude about decorating. I've been laid up all week with a terrible cold, so I almost forgot to bring up from the basement the Creche! Yes, only the most important thing for Christmas. (That's what lack of sleep will do to a brain.) I think I'm done shopping, but being sick means I have 2 type of cookies to make & frost, Gingerbread cookies to decorate, & clam risotto to prepare, all in the next 3 days. And I can't find my Christmas gift tags... Your tree is lovely, & it's amazing how you've trained your cats not to climb it (she says with tongue firmly planted in cheek).

  11. How fun! Beautiful snow, wonderful kitties, lovely tree -- Happy Christmas.
    We're in Florida so there's blue skies and a very slight breeze and it's about 78 degrees.
    My husband and I decided a few years ago to forego Christmas. We are not Christians so we do not celebrate the birth of Christ. The other parts of Christmas -- buying, wrapping, mailing, receiving gifts, large meals, sending out cards, decorating -- we simply don't do. It was hard the first year, but not very. We don't have little children or grandchildren but if we did, all of this would change in a heartbeat.
    We told our grown children we wouldn't be exchanging presents and they were all relieved. What we discovered is that we enjoy random gifting -- out of the blue, I was just thinking of you, things the person will use.
    Sorry this is so long. Have a lovely, happy, joyful, and kitty-filled holiday.

  12. I like your Christmas philosophy. I don't stress about it either. I used to do more than I do now. I keep things minimal since that my children are older. Since we usually celebrate elsewhere I don't have much to do here. We also prefer colored lights.

  13. Nice tree. Beautiful decorations and a cute cat.

    I would love to read your fibre arts articles sometime. Where can they be found?

  14. Layanee @www.ledgeandgardens.typepad.com/21 December, 2007 19:18

    I love that philosophy and your drifts and decorations and the swinging cat! Also penguins are cool. I don't have any penguin ornaments! Snow is deep and it is supposed to warm up this weekend to fifty!

  15. Hi all and welcome to bloomingwriter's happy Christmas postings!
    MBT, Toby Soprano normally looks angelic and serious. Especially just before he knocks something over. I just wrote a short piece for Reader's Digest (Canada) on pet safety around Christmas.
    Wildlife Gardener, thanks and Merry Christmas to you too!
    Colleen, our cats are all seriously goofy...even though some of them look serious and dignified. Toby had just jumped from my shoulder to the television top and was looking innocent. "What tree? What television?"
    Wiseacre, I laughed outloud at the 'reset the tree to horizontal position' comment. Ours would, too....but we tie it into the corner with baler twine (one of the things that holds this world together, along with gravity and duct tape!)
    Kris, I park in front of the television and amuse myself watching a movie or something equally mindless while I wrap presents. Of course, I have helpers...or so they think!
    Lisa, stress free holiday seasons are a good thing. The weather forecasts are giving rain for Christmas Eve, but it'll have to rain for a few days to eliminate all the snow here!
    Ewa, that's a lovely turn of phrase, "still on my way to christmas." I used to get stressed by it, but no more.
    Kylee, I too procrastinate by times, but since I don't like crowds or standing for long periods of time, I did all the shopping that needs doing already. and whatever doesn't get done (there's still a box of around-the-house decorations in the living room)...who will remember in a week or two?
    Nancy, Toby was a rescue/adoption from a farm, but not from Wolfville; Mungus came from the no-kill shelter in Wolfville, though.
    Mr. McGregor's daughter, I hope you're feeling better from your cold! I had one but it's gone since I gave it to my longsuffering spouse (one gift he didn't appreciate). I should make some gingerbread cookies too, but maybe I will...and maybe not! I think the reason some of the catchildren don't climb the tree is because they climb everything else in the house...including their parents!
    Cathy, I think foregoing Christmas if it's not your thing is a great idea--and random gifting is too. I like Christmas but I remember ghosts of Christmas past that I didn't like--so recreate it in a way that works for us, now.
    Robin, having older children does help a lot to alleviate the stress. There was always the worry about getting the right gifts so as not to disappoint--not an issue as they grow older.
    Kate, I write once in a while about fibre arts and the articles aren't online; most of the work I do for most publications isn't online except for short periods because I hold my copyright beyond first printing rights in most circumstances, and I don't want my work online for the lazy of the world to plagiarize. I'll dig up one I wrote about spinning and send it to you, though!
    Layanee, crazy weather...it's not supposed to get that warm here, but who knows what will really happen. My longsuffering spouse says that whatever the weather is like when the sun crosses the line (at solstice, etc) will be the predominant weather for the rest of the season. He was right about wind for fall....maybe a normal, cold but mostly sunny winter could be arranged!

  16. No snow here and we also have the same philosophy that you do--if it doesn't get done then it doesn't matter. Of course, this year we may be a little too lax in that way as I still have no idea what I'm getting my family for gifts. And SO glad to see that I'm not the only one with naughty catchildren! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  17. Just stopped in to say MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you have a great time with your family and your cats. Love your photos, and by the way, you are brave, leaving those nice snow men so close to the edge in that top shot. I have seen my friend's cats carefully bat things over the edge for fun.


  18. Love the penguins! So pretty perched in the tree. :)

  19. Have yourself 'a merry little Christmas', Jodi ... I have my 'tourtiers' made, "Welcome, welcome Christmas day!"


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