Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Heard a Bird Sing

Many years ago I came across this little verse (by Oliver Herford) on a Christmas card.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

“We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

One can only hope that winter will be as short and sweet as this verse...

Monday, December 23, 2013

All Is Calm, All Is Bright...

This year I have five Christmas trees in my house. Most ever. Not sure how I ended up with 5 but it happened. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not really a "tree" person. I like all the other things that go along with Christmas but I just can't wrap my head around the idea of bringing a 7-foot evergreen, needle-dropping tree into your house. So I have four artificial trees this year, and one natural tree (a Balsom Fir) in the living-room. Not showing that one, although it's not too bad by our standards, Ha! But this little one is in my dining-room. It's about 20 years old and kinda crazy looking. This year I have it perched in a Ganong Hard Candies bucket and decorated with cookie cutters and red glass balls. 
And here's my mantel all decked out with fresh greenery. I love the way the pine branches droop over the edge. The picture above the mantel is a print by Trisha Romance called The Museum.    Maybe I will do a post about  this artist in  January. 
Have a wonderful Christmas. Hope you get to celebrate the holiday with family and friends!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Three Bears

Once upon a time there was a young girl who loved the story of The Three Bears. When she discovered a hooked rug pattern depicting the bears she asked her aunt to make it for her. Auntie Gwen agreed and the mat was started. She worked on it in Nova Scotia in the summer months,  and then took it to Florida to continue the hooking throughout the fall and winter. But somehow the mat never got finished...
Four years ago my aunt was admitted to a nursing home with a special ward for Alzheimer's patients. As my cousin and I readied her house to put it on the market, we discovered the half finished Three Bears mat. Well finally, after four years in my closet, I found someone who could finish Gwen's mat. (Thank you Lynn for taking on this little project with such enthusiasm.) When I last visited with my aunt I took the finished mat with me. I truly believe her eyes brightened up a tiny bit when I showed her those Three Bears and their bowls of porridge :)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Merry, Merry. Slowly.

Slowly getting ready for the holidays...

The outside  decor is all taken care of...

The hall tree is swagged...

And MY 55 year old skates are hanging next to Santa's hat. How is it possible that MY skates are this old when I'm only 39? I must have calculated that wrong...they must be MY 35 year old skates, LOL.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Favourite Christmas CD

I have several Christmas CD's but there is one that I absolutely love. It's called Sarah McLachlan Wintersong. Apparently it was released in 2006, but I have only had it in my collection for a few years. My favourite track is "River". I could listen to this one song all day long...
Live footage of Sarah performing 'River'

Friday, December 06, 2013

Santa's Watching

Do you believe in Santa? I do. I guess that's why I have a Santa collection. I like to display some of my collection on our antique buffet hutch in the dining room. (It's a tricky place to take a photo because of the large mirror below the top shelf.) 

I add a new Santa (or two) each Christmas. That tall one I picked up for .75 cents at the thrift store about a month ago.

A few more on the other end. Love that tole painted one with the clay star...

...and a few more below, waiting for SNOW!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Confession # 5, I Love Chicken Bones

I LOVE chicken bones! No, no, not real chicken bones. I love the candy version, especially the ones made by Ganong in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

They are a little on the expensive side, but they are so yummy! Pink, spicy, cinnamon candy filled with bittersweet chocolate. You can either let them melt in your mouth or you can crunch them to get that delicious rush of goodness! Check out this video clip if you would like to see how this delicacy is made.
Chicken bones are labour intensive, I guess that's why they are so pricey. It just wouldn't be Christmas without chicken bones! What is your favourite Christmas candy?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Overlooking the Ocean

On Sunday, my husband and I spent the afternoon attending the River John Country Village Christmas Tour. Since the home tours didn't start until 2pm, we also shopped at the Lismore Sheep Farm Christmas Market, checked in on our cottage, and took a little jaunt over to Pictou. I don't have any photos of the first two homes we toured, but here's one shot of the Robinson Retreat, our third and final stop.

Isn't it lovely? Believe me, it was just as nice on the inside. (Please excuse the quality of the photo, my husband snapped it with his phone.) The Robinson property was settled in the mid 1800s with a traditional Nova Scotia 1 1/2 story home with barns and outbuildings. I had passed by this house on my way to the beach at Cape John this summer, but I had no idea it was being so extensively renovated. The current owners have removed the outbuildings, but they have utilized some unique pieces from the barn in their house. For example, they used huge arch-shaped pieces to define the dining area. They also used a beam from the barn as a mantel for their fireplace. The Robinson Retreat will be available to rent this summer. If  you are looking for a huge farmhouse to host a family reunion, this is the spot!