Wednesday, December 14, 2016

frigid weather, some general chit chat, and a little more christmas

As I write this post, I can hear the winds howling outside my house and I'm watching gusts of snow fly past the window. The sun is shining but the wind chill temperature is already below zero. I know this is a horrible photo - I just grabbed my phone from where I was sitting and zoomed in outside the living room window to capture this photo of the sparrows lining the fence and fluttering about the bird feeder (and the mourning dove sitting on the branch on the left). The birds are all sitting there like the wind is a gentle summer breeze. They must have some good feathery insulation and super grippy claws in order not to blow right off the fence!

Earlier in the day, I went to open the side door (I can't even remember why now) and I heard this ripping sound and felt the door opening slowly. I was wondering what was going on and when I got the door open, I saw that the velvet ribbon from the wreath had adhered itself onto the ice on the inside of the door! The ribbon pulled away from the wreath as I was opening the door.

Inside, the cats and I have a better idea of trying to stay warm and snuggly, especially in the long, dark, cold evenings. I'm not much of a TV watcher so I've been doing lots of reading.

Last night I was reading on the couch and didn't realize at the time that the cats were each perched on the back cushions. When I got up and saw this, I grabbed my phone to take a picture. Zippo was in a hurry to get up and take my warm spot on the couch, so that's why he's blurry. 

On Monday, Brian was working a later shift so we had a chance to go out to breakfast. There's an old-fashioned diner in town that's been there "forever", but yet in the 26+ years we've lived here, we'd never been there to eat. I had a coupon for a 1/2 off breakfast, so we decided to give the place a try. I have to say, I give the place five stars for ambiance because it looks and feels like hometown Americana. But unfortunately, the food wasn't the greatest. Oh well, you live and learn. Sometimes it's fun just going to a new place instead of the usual.

A few more touches of Christmas around my house...a collection of Santas at the end of the hallway.

Every Christmas season, I put this special bunny on Phil's memory shelf. You'll see that on his scarf it says, "Joy Phil". As for the photo of the heart with the hand on it...when Phil passed away seven years ago, Tim painted that heart on Phil's bedroom wall. As an artist, that was Tim's way of expressing his pain. A few years later when we were painting Phil's bedroom, we asked Tim if he wanted to keep the heart on the wall or if we should paint over it. He wanted us to paint over it. So I took a photo of the heart and framed it for Phil's memory shelf.

In the main bathroom, I added just a few simple touches with angels, a bottlebrush tree, and a bathtub full of mini ornaments.

 Hard to believe Christmas is only 11 days away. I got some gifts wrapped today, which is actually a bit of a miracle. You see, I loathe wrapping (and I'm truly lousy at it), so I usually procrastinate and do that at the last minute. I'd like to make a few different Christmas cookies, too and get those in the freezer. 

How are your holiday preparations coming along?


  1. It was -10 when I was driving home from work tonight and I can hear the wind howling outside still. It's pretty amazing that those birds can withstand those temps! I think your cats have the right idea!

    My heart goes out to you for all that you've been through with the loss of your beloved son. It's nice that you have little memories of him throughout your home.

    We're only buying for the little ones this year, so it looks pretty bare under our tree! We're buying a nice toy for each and then giving money for children's theater, etc. We'll do games for the big people instead of exchanging gifts. That has taken all the pressure out of the season for me and our daughters, too.

    I don't think it's going to warm up until next week, so it'll be a good time to get all that baking done.

  2. I think your picture of the sparrows and then the one of your kitties sort of mimic each other! Hilarious. And while you are al cozied up with the cats, I have my dogs ensconced with their very own throws. Our home is so cold and drafty. Sheet, it's cold. I had to go out today to literally four different places, one involved a few groceries which required a few trips from the car to the house. Terrible!

    I love how you have such touching ways to remember Phil, the heart Tim made is beautiful. The bunny is so sweet, too. I know every holiday must be extra sister goes through that, too. Her youngest son recently had a baby (with his wife of course) and they named him after her son who passed away. She is so touched and happy.

    I am not good at wrapping gifts...I'm very slow. We have parties the 23rd and 24th so I'm usually finishing up last minute wrapping at 2:00 a.m. before we have our Christmas morning brunch. So trying to avoid that this year. Thank goodness for gift bags!! ;-D

    Stay WARM!!


  3. It is so festive. Now, I hope you get out to enjoy in.

  4. I am also not a good wrapper, so I feel your pain! I also get very impatient with the whole process. The wind is so strong around here this morning that it feels like I'm in the middle of a gale! Very, very cold. Poor Don has to walk around in the city today!

  5. I hate to say what the temperature is here, I'll start off with it's cloudy and breezy, and then say it is 76 degrees. Birds are chirping and butterflies flitting about. I worked outside this morning for two hours, it did me good, emotionally and physically. I needed that.

    I am really sorry for the loss of your Phil for your family. Holidays are so rough.

    Your kitties look so cute on your sofa.

    Happy Christmas dear Melanie ~ FlowerLady

  6. IT looks plenty cold where you are, but Christmas like, not here it is warm and humid. I love the idea of the framed heart, a bitter sweet time of year isn't it?

  7. The cats are hilarious! Your decorations look nice and your home very cozy. It is great weather for enjoying time inside curled up on the sofa! I have finished up my shopping and plan to wrap this weekend.

  8. Oh, the difference between a cold day and a cold windy day are huge.
    Bundle up and stay warm!

  9. It's especially hard missing loved ones at this time of mom and I have been talking a lot about my dad lately, too. I love how you honor Phil with the bunny and artwork.
    I love the photo of the cats and the one of the diner was very cool...made me want to go. Too bad the food wasn't as great as the atmosphere. Stay warm this weekend...SO cold here.

  10. Wrapping presents is one of my favorite things. I save boxes and ribbon and have had some of my ribbons for over 20 years.

    I hope you don't freeze this winter. It is actually raining here right now and we are thrilled.

  11. I love the sparrows lined up on the fence. Great shot. I love the cold frosty weather, especially at this time of year.

    JoyPhil the rabbit is so dear. Warmest hugs to you, Melanie.

  12. Your home looks warm and inviting. I love the three cats on the sofa! I've got my tree up and decorated, a few things in some cubbies and maybe that's it for this year. I'm happy to be enjoy lots of fun things with my Grands this year. I love Phil's memory shelf. Hugs!

  13. Love the cats on the sofa capture! It's pretty darn cold here too right now but I think that we are in for a break on Saturday. That diner looks so nice and old-fashioned / too bad the food was just so-so.

  14. I was all set to wrap gifts the other night and then my daughters BOTH came no chance to wrap their gifts, which leaves me with a ton to do still! I haven't decided if I'm making Christmas cookies this year - we usually do, but I've been doing Weight Watchers, so maybe it's best to skip it this year - ha ha!!

  15. I saw your weather on the news and it looks really brutal. I hope it lets up soon, but then again, snow and cold this time of year seem just right. I loved seeing the cats, they really make themselves at home on those cushions, how funny. They look like the judge and jury sitting up there. I enjoyed seeing your holiday decorations, especially Phil's shelf. I think it's really good that you decorate for him too. I'm sorry the food at the diner wasn't better. I'm not a huge breakfast person so I don't usually love going out for that meal, but I can usually find a short stack of pancakes on a menu and that works for me. A small omelet can be good too, but I'm always amazed at the breakfast offerings in some place, like huge platters of food. Around here, people like breakfast burritos drowning in chile sauce, almost like a bowl of soup. I do like the decor in those old diners. You would love to visit the southwest and go to the diners along Route 66, many of them are just like they were in the 40's and 50's, back when Route 66 was the main highway across the country. Lots of neat old signage and decor, plus the old-fashioned booths and tables. A lot of the food is very overpriced and not that good, but I guess you're paying for the nostalgia. I'm really rambling on now, ha. I hope you have a good weekend!

  16. I wrapped more than 50 presents the other night, and not one for anyone I know! lol It is for a veterans nursing home up the road. We got lots of donations that needed wrapping and boy, was I pooped!

    It's cold here too! I haven't been out since Thursday, but will be venturing out tonight for a party.

    Stay warm!


  17. Oh, your kitties on the back of the sofa makes me giggle! They looks very comfy. I've tried to keep up with wrapping my presents as I buy them. I used to buy my gifts and wrap them all at once. Not a very smart idea! Love your little Santas an the bunny! Merry Christmas to you an your fmialy.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  18. We had our Christmas today since the boys will each be gone next weekend. My family will be here the week between Christmas and New Years, and we'll get together with Greg's family on New Years Eve. So, I kind of feel like Christmas is done, yet we still have more in a couple of weeks. Weird.
    I am touched by the photo of Tims heart painting for Phil. Speaks volumes.

  19. We have very mild temperatures compared to yours, but even for us, December is colder this year than usual. I already put my gloves on, which usually don't happen before January or February. Stay warm with the cats, who apparently know how to make themselves comfortable!

  20. It has been bitter cold and is wrecking havoc on my sinuses. Christmas is aways such a hard time for me since my late daughters birthday was in December, so I understand. Your cats look so snuggly and warm...wishing you comfort in your memories.

  21. Melanie - I am convinced that my cats think that the back of comfy chairs and couches are bought just for them to sleep on! LOL! Such a sweet picture of the furry babies!

  22. Well, now it's December 22, and we leave in the morning for Detroit. So my holiday prep is complete. But since we travel away from home every year, I don't do much anyway. My favorite part of my simple Christmas prep is that it left me time to do a few handmade gifts. I always mean to do that, don't we all? And I've been thrilled with the results too. Next year, I'll try to start earlier so I can do even more. Tim's heart tribute to Phil really touched my heart.


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