Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015

Septic woes notwithstanding, Christmas came anyway.  Carl managed to patch the system together until the permits and excavation can begin, so we are limping along for now.

Below is this year's Christmas Twig which is really two boughs from one of our Norway spruce tied to a cedar post and stuck in a tree stand to appear tree-like (or a reasonable facsimile thereof.)

I was way behind with dinner preparations on Christmas Day, and was still scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees at 11:30AM.  Dinner wouldn't be ready by noon as I'd planned, so I sent out a text to our sons and Ann telling them to give me another half hour, please.  Ann arrived early, bless her heart, and took over washing dishes for me as I continued to get all the dirt off the floor from the day before.  Digging up the backyard and abundant rainfall had made a mess of the house.

Our Christmas celebrations are traditionally small here, just immediate family and Ann, of course, who is like a sister to me.  I'm always amazed at the huge gatherings other people routinely host; I would be a nervous wreck.  With Ann's help, we pulled this little party together.

Ann, displaying her Christmas cookies from Joel and Abby  (Abby wasn't feeling well that day.)  Next to Ann is Joel opening a really lame gift from Mom and Dad.

L-R: David, stuffed from far too much Christmas dinner, The Elusive Lucille (Mom) and Karen (me!) getting ready to sample my Christmas cookies.

Mom looks happy here; she hates having her picture taken, so I'll always cherish this one.  She's seen 95 Christmas Days. 

Joel, wondering why in the world we bought him a 'Walking Dead' video game and moments later.......

Wondering why we gave him a card with glitter on it.  Joel is a Glitterphobe, I should have known better!

After all the eating and gift opening, we settled in for a few hours of Sheepshead and after everyone but Ann had gone home, Carl, Ann and I played Pegs and Jokers until well after midnight.

On Saturday night, we went to the Green Bay Botanical Garden for the Christmas light show with Ann and her sister and husband.  We should have taken a tripod along, but here are some blurry-ish pictures of some of the sights:

It is hard for me to believe Christmas is over already; I think mostly because the weather was so strangely warm and having no snow didn't help much either.  Well, that all changed last night; we had a blizzard of epic proportion, 13" of snow fell driven by 40 mph winds, I guess I can safely call it a blizzard.  In the space of a few hours, the yard went from this:

 To this:

The Christmas Twig came off of one of the Norway spruces in the background which needed pruning anyway. 

Snow, snow, everywhere!  This will make getting the septic system done an even bigger challenge.

We spent the morning digging out of here and at Mom's; Carl has vacation this week which is a good thing.  We didn't have the snow blower on the tractor yet because we're silly and didn't think winter would come this year.  Hooking the snow blower to the tractor is a chore for me alone, and I was glad I had Carl's help.   Carl shoveled while I blew the snow to smithereens.

Even with the tractor, it took well over two hours to get everything cleared.  (I appreciate the tractor, believe me I do!  I'd hate to shovel both yards.)

We will have to do some more snow removal for the excavation crew expected on New Year's Eve.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our soil test will pass, but with our luck, a mound may well be in our future.  Sigh.  I don't know how I will deal with a mound right smack dab in the middle of my Riverbed....I know there are bigger tragedies in the world, but this was our very first flower garden.  I guess, as Carl says, we'll figure something out.  But Darn!  I will miss my Riverbed.

Wish us luck!  

Happy New Year!


Alison said...

I'll start by saying Good Luck, as you requested. Looks like you had a lovely family Christmas, despite the septic woes. We had a very quiet, calm holiday, just me and Nigel and a turkey breast. Love the shot of your mom smiling. Thanks for sharing the pics of Christmas lights. There are two botanical gardens here that put on huge light displays at Christmas, and I keep meaning to go, but just never have. Maybe next year.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dearest Karen ~ So glad you had a nice Christmas in spite of septic woes. I do hope all will go smoothly with that project and hopefully you won't have to put a mound in the middle of your first garden bed.

What a great picture to capture of your Mom and I love the one of you looking at the camera. You look lovely.

May you and Carl have a wonderful 2016 ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

El Gaucho said...

Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years. Here's hoping the new year brings you a shiny new septic system!

Pamela Gordon said...

Karen, I'm so sorry about your septic problems at Christmas time...well anytime! Not fun. I hope it isn't a big loss to your front yard and gardens. I really do like your Christmas 'twig'. We had two snowstorms this week already - that's 3 since last week! So we have over a foot of fresh snow now. Thankfully there is none in the forecast for several days. Wishing you and yours a blessed new year! Pam

PlantPostings said...

Oh, yes, you have been so very busy, Karen! You were in the snow band of 12+ inches--yikes! We had about 5 inches down here in Madison, but it was layered with ice and sleet so it was extremely slick. Ick. Anyway, your mom is so cute and your family looks happy. I'm glad you had a pleasant Christmas. I hope the septic project can be completed without much trouble. All the best wishes for a fabulous 2016!

outlawgardener said...

Good luck my friend! Your Christmas with your family and friends looks wonderful and the light show is beautiful. Sorry you had so much snow all at once. Hope you have a prosperous, happy, healthy, and peaceful 2016! Can't wait to see what glass you'll be working on once the septic tank is done!

Indie said...

So glad you were able to have a nice Christmas! What a great picture of your Mom! We went down to Georgia this year, and my Grandfather was visiting as well from Texas, so it was so wonderful to spend time with him and the rest of my family. This year we got a little live tree since we were leaving, but with kids you have to get a tree, right? It was honestly a little Charlie-brown looking, but hopefully it will grow into something great in the yard! Good luck with your septic tank! Oh, my! I hope you get to keep your gorgeous riverbed. And I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!

Missy, John & Ros said...

Like everyone else I hope your septic woes are resolved as simply as possible and that the rest of 2016 is a wonderful year for you. Your photos of the Christmas lights turned out much better than one's I took of our Christmas lights boat parade - hence none will appear on my blog. Happy New Year Karen.

Lisa Sall - Sall's Country Life said...

ugh, good luck with the septic project. I trust you will figure out something even more wonderful with a mound in the riverbed! Your Christmas looked happy and I hope relaxed after things got underway. This is the first I've had a chance to visit your blog in such a long time. So happy all is well for you and your family. Happy New Year!

Betsy said...

Sorry to hear about your septic. I know all about septic woes, as I used to have problems with mine where I used to live and like yours it seemed to be around a holiday when no one could get out to fix it.
Your Christmas day was enjoyed by all I can see and your mom was enjoying the day by the big sweet smile on her face, she is a young 95 year old for sure, she looks wonderful. Mom was here and she is 94.
I love your tree and I bet it scented the room with being so fresh and from your own yard.
I hope you are having a great New Year!