The Motherboard at Christmas

dishwasher 2019Kid: “Why is a computer so smart?”
Mother: “It listens to its motherboard.”

We had a dishwasher we really liked until it stopped communicating with its motherboard. At least that’s what the repairman said after studying a series of blinking light codes. I didn’t like the sound of that and I feared hearing the words, “You need a new dishwasher.” His work on resetting the motherboard failed and he turned to me, “You need a new dishwasher.”

It was either that or a new motherboard. After Christmas Eve 2019comparing the cost of a motherboard vs. new dishwasher, I dashed out to the big box store that evening for a new dishwasher on the last day of a good sale. I came home with the same model, a brand we like… that now includes a cutlery shelf and an extended warranty.

Everyone has different holiday traditions. Our tradition is a Christmas Eve feast and we needed that dishwasher to host the feast. We spent time making the table festive and inviting for arriving family. No reader would want to see an ‘after’ photos of the same table following 3 tykes and 5 adults feasting on traditional goodies…  ending with a delicious Yule Log (La Maison Navarre) and figgy pudding… and a off key chorus of song!

Our tradition on Christmas Day is always a late morning brunch hosted by my daughter… egg casserole, grits, french toast casserole, scalloped potatoes, sweet rolls… a meal we could return to throughout the morning as we relax by a fire and watch the little ones.

That was all two days ago and now we have returned to regular routines. I’m still working on my holiday puzzle, listening to holiday music, but thinking more about our two Christmas trees and rooms full of holiday decor. Mentally, I’m planning the Big Takedown shortly after we ring in the new year.

I wouldn’t trade a minute of the decorating, volunteering, the parties and festivities leading up to the holiday, and it’s fun to trim the trees and deck the halls and be with family and friends… but it’s a bit of a comedown to think about spending one or two days disassembling and packing everything away for another year. The rooms will look austere for awhile. It may be that everyone feels a bit like this, yes?

 

Pause to Remember

Today Exeter paused to remember and honor those who lost their lives while serving in the United States Military in all wars. Hundreds lined the parade route and followed along for several wreath ceremonies.

Click photos to enlarge.

There’s just something about snow

There is something magic about the first snowfall of the season. It transforms the drab colors of fall into a pristine blanket of white. Somehow it transforms us, too. The stresses of daily life seem to fade, allowing our minds to slow down and simply enjoy the moment.

New Hampshire had the first REAL snowfall over the weekend, super timing for the weekend when most could thoroughly enjoy the experience. The snow fell softly through the night, covering bare branches and blanketing evergreen boughs, shrubs and the ground, allowing us to see nature in a fresh way. Mister gardener and I donned our boots, down coats, scarves and hats and enjoyed walking through the drifts to a neighborhood Christmas party where the excitement of the holiday season, enhanced by the falling snow, was contagious.

snow 12/14/1013In the stillness of early morning, we shoveled our way to the bird feeders to make sure our feathered friends were well taken care of and an ice dam had not frozen the food supply. And we sprinkled enough seed over the snow to assist the ground feeding birds.

Shoveling to the feedersWell-received by the birds is our new heated birdbath, not for bathing, but allowing a fresh drink of water in this frozen landscape.

heated birdbathAlas, the peacefulness of a snowy morning was eventually broken by the din of snowplows, jolting us back from the land of snow castles and daydreams and hot chocolate to the land of must-do’s and our endless lists of chores.

snow removalOh well. We’re back on the road again… but I’m thrilled that the weatherman announced that the accumulation of snow we received over the weekend guarantees us a blanket of snow for Christmas. Matter of fact, over half of the USA is covered in snow, said to be the most in 11 years on this date. It should be a white Christmas for many!

Christmas 2012

I can say nothing that has not already been said about the tragedy in a quaint New England town last week. The event has impacted us all. It has changed us. Days that followed grew gray and cold in New Hampshire, matching the somberness in our souls.

fiveEventually, we knew that continuing with traditions of the season and tightening our family bonds would help sustain us.  Gathering together, conversation, music, color, seasonal evergreen decorations, and holiday baking have helped us manage our emotions and deal with the tragedy in our own way. There is a reason for the season and honoring that nourishes us all.

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Christmas Pomanders

caramels

Butter Caramels