Archive for the ‘The Holidays’ Category

The strangest valentine companion yet!

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

February 14, 2024

My Valentine

I certainly didn’t plan my day the way it turned out.  Nor did I intend to spend it with this particular companion.  But, sometimes, you just need to do whatever is required and hope that it beats whatever the alternative might be.

It was a day spent trying to iron out kinks in my new computer.  And, truth to tell, my own kinks, as well.  I am the first to admit that if it looks different, I am immediately in a world of hurt and I am here to tell you that Windows 11 looks different from Windows 10.  BIGTIME!!  Though my son Charlie says he doesn’t remember that being the case.  Well, what can I say?  He’s the previous generation and that much closer to the realities of the 21st century.

The Interfering Printer

Worst of all,  it didn’t automatically embrace all of my programs and it seemed that I was stymied at every turn.  Yesterday I took it to the Computer Doctor who fixed it right up and took pains to review several “changes” with me. More than once.  I came right home and practiced and all seemed well.

But, first thing this morning, I needed to print something for the first time since TBC (The Big Change.)  For whatever reason (and don’t bother to tell me the possibilities — you may as well speak Greek or Chinese) I couldn’t fix it.  The Computer Doctor worked on it remotely and finally had to make a house call. Thinking one of the printer ports was wonky, he tried to get it to work wirelessly.  Nada.  And then… don’t ask.  I certainly didn’t.  We were up and running and I almost feel confident that I can proceed without more travail.

Compatibility at Last!

I’m trying to send good messages to this new computer — love messages for Valentine’s Day.  If you are able to read this lament (which I’m trying mightily to disguise as a love letter) you will know that so far, so good!

Here’s hoping  your Valentine Day was terrific and that your Valentine wasn’t as recalcitrant as mine!

It’s the Snap and Crackle Season already!

Monday, November 27th, 2023

The Library Fireplace

There are bad things and good things about an aging mind.  The bad part is you can’t remember squat.  The good thing is you can’t remember squat, either.  It all becomes more noticeable on these long dark evenings when I snuggle up by the fire with a good book and, even so, my mind drifts away to the Worry Zone.  Like can I really fit all those Christmas dinner things into one oven this year and how did I used to do it and oh! that’s right for 35 years I didn’t because Nyel did.  And weren’t there some phone calls I was supposed to make this morning or did I decide not to deal with those issues right now.,,

Tucker’s Cards and Ornaments

The thing is… I don’t remember all of this stewing about ordinary everyday things in times past.  Maybe I was too busy getting stuff done to have time to worry about it.  Which, of course, leads me to the conclusion that I should be busier…  But then again, who has the energy and what about a Christmas tree this year?  That mental discussion seems to go on daily  — a small tree I can handle myself or a traditional ten-footer so all the ornaments from four generations will have a place?  And what’s the point of having Christmas without the traditions anyway — without taking time to reflect on our blessings and to think about our loved ones and the joys we’ve shared.  For me, each decoration, each holiday tradition brings up joyful memories.  So… I guess the tree question is answered after all.

Heidemarie’s Christmas Angel

But, no doubt I’ll circle ’round to it again in the next few days.  Until I finally get moving toward the Christmas tree lot and get those decorations out of the back forty.  Meanwhile though, the calendar is filling up with notes about visitors to enjoy and events to attend and even a deadline or two to meet for the paper.  (Which, of course, sets the stewing a-boil again… do I really want to submit the column I have ready or is something else percolating that would be better.)   Snap and crackle goes the fire.  Snap and crackle go my synapses. Is it my age or the season? Probably a combination.  Whatever the reason, it seems to be a condition that’s here to stay for a while so I’d better get busy enjoying it, eh?

Holiday Picnic at Our House!

Monday, May 31st, 2021

Lynn Madigan In Full Picnic Mode!

It’s not every day (or even every holiday!) that friends bring a picnic right in through your front door!  But that’s what happened at our place today!  At high noon here came Michael and Lynn Madigan with fried chicken, green bean salad, pissaladèire which was a flatbread with all sorts of goodies on top. Plus oysters on the half shell ready for the barbecue.  Oh, yes.  And Prosecco.  Close on their heels came Pat and Erik Fagerland with potato salad, ice tea and, most importantly, the grill.  (We could have supplied that but… we were told just to set the table and set ourselves down.  So we did.)

Michael Madigan Prepping Oysters For The Grill

We’d had a couple of days notice — enough so I could get a messy “project” cleared off the dining room table, a new leaf added, and six places set with Fiesta Ware and Sterling Silver.  I have to say here that the old oak table hardly knew what was happening.  She’s been laden with project after project since the sheltering began and having a luncheon party was almost more than she could manage!  But she and I both thought the bright dishes and gleaming utensils (recently polished during one of those “projects”) made the old dining room look especially festive.

And, I’d suggest you eat your hearts out looking at the pictures but none of us (spelled N-O-N-E) of us with our fancy schmancy cell phone cameras thought to take pictures once the food was set upon the table.  We were way too busy talking and eating, eating and talking!  It was fabulous!



Coming Up: The Oyster Crackers in Concert!

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Mark your calendars!  Two days after Thanksgiving — another Blessing coming our way!

Here come the holidays!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Nyel (who follows these sorts of things) tells me that roast chicken is going to be the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals this year  So says the internet. That won’t be a change from “the usual” for us.  We’ve been a family of two for Thanksgiving for many years now.  But, I am just a tad concerned that whole chickens will become the new shortage — the déjà vu of the run on toilet paper last Spring.

Just in case the girls are catching wind of the trends on the chicken telegraph, I’ve reassured them that we won’t be looking in their direction should we run into a problem.  Too old and too tough — although I didn’t put the news in those terms.  I don’t know that Chef Nyel has a back-up position, but I’m sure he’ll come up with something festive no matter what.  Something to be thankful about — along with so many other blessings this November 2020!

And, from my cousin Lina Biegl in Austria, we have received our first Christmas gift of the year!  It’s a darling Advent Calendar featuring a glittery carousel with Santa and all the sugar plums and surprises anyone could wish for!  And, about the glittery part, it says on the back: “Hadebeglittert in Deutschland – Glittered manually in Germany.”  I love that!

This is our second-ever Advent Calendar.  The first was last year from Lina’s sister, Eva Legerer, who wanted us to share in a tradition that they have enjoyed since childhood.  (And actually, last year’s calendar was sent by Eva but she said it was from the two of them; I think that’s probably true this year, as well, though Lina didn’t mention it.)

We can scarcely wait for Advent to begin.  November 29th is the date!  Last year we opened a little window each morning during our pre-dawn Coffee Hour.  It brightened the start of every wintery day until Christmas Eve and we wondered how we had grown so old without experiencing such a pleasurable tradition before!  Thank you so much, my beloved Austrian Cousins, for introducing this wonderful custom!  And for remembering again!