2013 Holiday Homes Tour

Welcome to Spokalulu!

In previous years (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) I shared scenes from my own home and offered you goodies in the kitchen. This year, I wanted to do something completely different and take you on a tour of a friend’s house (would that be cheating?) but that would require more time than either she or I had available, so you are stuck with my own cobbled attempts at decorating.  Believe me, I am feeling as “together” as the gingerbread house pictured above!

DSCN2518, cropped

I love the month of Christmas lights because it is so easy to find my house with the red tree.

I also love the colorful lights that brighten up dark afternoons and evenings.  Just a few blocks away there are several streets that really go all-out with the lighted decorations…

Neighborhood lights

Neighborhood lights

**click on any pic to embiggen**

I'm not sure if the owner here is trying to p!ss off a neighbor or if perhaps they just have a questionable sense of humor.

I’m not sure if the owner here is trying to p!ss off a neighbor or if perhaps they just have a questionable sense of humor.

Maybe we’d better head back home…

My beloved red tree (a Japanese Maple that turns red each October)

My beloved red tree (a Japanese Maple that turns red each October)

O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree!

Here are some close-ups of ornaments:

Ornaments from where we've lived: Germany, Seattle area (red umbrella, Washington State Ferry), and LoCo, Virginia

Ornaments from where we’ve lived: Germany, Seattle area (red umbrella, Washington State Ferry), and LoCo, Virginia

Bits of us (clockwise from top left): baby boy bear, pig made by Gary Rith, Mariachi turtle from Texas, Santa Fe ornaments from my maternal grandmother, childhood swinging angel (mine) and pine cone ornament made by my 18yo son this year, "fair trade" gingerbread woman and crocheted ball ornament made by my DIL last year

Bits of us (clockwise from top left): baby boy bear, pig made by Gary Rith, Mariachi turtle from Texas, Santa Fe ornaments from my maternal grandmother, childhood swinging angel (mine) and pine cone ornament made by my 18yo son this year, “fair trade” gingerbread woman and crocheted ball ornament made by my DIL last year

DSCN2484And to top off the tree, a tacky cheap star from the Oriental Trading Company, which has lasted about 10 years now!

**click on any pic to embiggen**

NOT a trendy elf on a shelf, this is my husband's elf from childhood (although I suspect the only trouble came from the boy, not the toy)

NOT a trendy elf on a shelf, this is my husband’s elf from childhood (although I suspect the only trouble came from the boy, not the toy)

Large angel made by me in Germany (she is holding a real tiny candle and the sheet music for the first line of "Stille Nacht" -- the little angels all belonged to my mother

Large angel made by me in Germany (she is holding a real tiny candle and the sheet music for the first line of “Stille Nacht” — the little angels all belonged to my mother

These angels try their very best to tie it all together… kind of like the ribbon in the first picture… and a bit like Jen on the Edge who has tied us all together with her annual Holiday Homes Tour.

Thanks, Jen!  — and thanks to each of you for stopping by my blog for a visit.

May you have the happiest of holidays, whichever ones you chose to celebrate!

Many thanks to Jen on the Edge for hosting the 2013 Holiday Homes Tour!

Unseen Benefits of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for nearly 6 years, which sort of boggles my mind if I stop to think about it.  Just think of all the house-cleaning that could have been accomplished! Instead, I was attached by my fingertips to a computer keyboard.  Now, I’m semi-attached to a computer keyboard at work several days each week and it has taken away from my blogging time — so much so that I have been remiss in blogging on a regular basis.  Housework continues to suffer, and so does holiday decorating. I may or may not be ready for Jen’s 6th Annual Holiday Homes Tour.

But enough about the remaining fall decorations, Mt. Washmore and the kitchen floor — this is about the benefits of blogging!

Over the past five or six years, I have hosted a giveaway or two of my own; I’ve also been the lucky recipient of a handful armful of prizes and giveaways via the blogs of other folks. I’ve been blessed with several books (Jenn and Jen), a box full of pink goodies, a Tassimo coffee maker! (perfect timing for a college student), and among other things I’m sure that I have failed to name, my most recent blessings of a lovely Mollytogs bag via Jen on the Edge and a delicious (I’m trying so very hard to savor it slowly) chocolate bar from Green Girl in Wisconsin.  My intent had been to share photos of some of these things… but between the whole BUSY! BUSY! BUSY! gig I’ve got going on and the theme of this post (“unseen”), you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Of course, the best unseen benefits of blogging come from the friendships that have developed over time. You have sustained me through the aftermath of 2 moves across the country and the settling into a new home/neighborhood/town.  You’ve pulled me out of the winter doldrums, celebrated with me as kids have graduated from high school, gone to college, and gotten married; you’ve sympathized when one kid totaled the car and when another one was brought home by the Sheriff’s Deputy (there was also the time when I called the Sheriff because he hadn’t come home). You’ve cried with me when my mother passed away, and you’ve laughed with me — and made me laugh and smile — more times than I could ever count.  I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that you’ve helped to keep me sane.

I’ve only met with and seen a few of you, but please know that you are a blessings in my life, each one of you. Your friendship is the best benefit of blogging.
Love,
Karen

Time Warp Tuesday: December

I looked back to see my early December post from 2012 and discovered this:

My cat is helping me rest.

My cat was helping me rest.

Last year at this time, I was sitting with my feet up on the sofa, taking pain meds and wearing fleece pants over a “boot” due to foot surgery.   This year, Frankenboot is a distant memory. My toe that received the majority of surgical attention isn’t 100% but it is livable. Ugly, but livable.

Our tree is up and decorated as of December 8th, but I am yet again/still behind on preparing for Christmas in a myriad of ways.  Last year I could blame surgery; this year, I can blame my work schedule — but really, this happens every year because I am a procrastinator. 

Luckily, I do love fall decorations…

 

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Time Warp Tuesday is brought to you by Jenn at Juggling Life. Visit here to see the other participants and their photos.

It’s December… Again…

Our tree is up and decorated, thanks to my two teenagers and the older teen’s girlfriend.

O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree!

And that is about all I’ve got. Some success at a craft fair on Saturday (hoping to squeeze in a sale at the community college this coming week), and a really busy schedule over-all.

Jen on the Edge is hosting the 6th Annual Holiday Homes Tour, scheduled for December 20th.  You can click on the link to sign up for a stop on the tour.