31 thoughts on “Merry Christmas”

  1. How beautiful!

    Yesterday I was watching a football game when I apparently dozed off. I fumbled toward wakefulness when I heard what sounded like an argument in my apartment. That seemed odd. I was the only person in the apartment, and I wasn’t talking.

    As the fog of sleep lifted I understood the TV was one of the voices. It was promoting Amazon’s home artificial intelligence products, the ones with “Alexa” the personal assistance. Alexa springs to life when she hears the wakeup word: “Alexa.”

    The other voice, the one behind me and to my left, came from my new Amazon Kindle tablet. That tablet includes AI personal assistance Alexa. She had been slumbering sweetly when she heard her wakeup word. Now she was complaining that she couldn’t understand the question being asked of her. The argument, then, was between my TV and my tablet computer, Alexa arguing with Alexa.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Just beautiful!

    Hope everybody has a great day. We do stockings this morning and then are heading off to the movies!


  3. Thanks ljb, beautiful work!
    We are having a very quiet Christmas this year, but we are enjoying it.

    Christmas scones are baked, stocking stuffer.

    Just waiting for the s&h to wake up 🎄.

    Wishing you all peace and joy on this frosty morn.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Pancakes this morning. Then we make spritz cookies and spitzbuben, then we assemble the crib. We did church and presents and a big meal last night. It has been a low stress, relaxing visit. Son insists on doing all the cooking, but wants my assistance with the cookies.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. I went to my sister’s yesterday and we made rosettes. They were very tasty just after they were made, but I had one after dinner and found it a little on the soggy side. Hope they crisp up a little in the dry winter air.

    Went to a Celtic Christmas Eve service at a local church. They had very nice music – the pastor sings much of it.

    I’m gearing up to make some spritz this morning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. They seemed to crisp up by themselves for today. They were quite tasty and all the food was delicious and there were several nice bottles of wine and a lovely time was had by all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We had quiet Christmas Eve two friends here last night, and now are gearing up for a visit from family that includes an almost two-year-old. Will visit Mom later this afternoon.

    Down here we supposedly have a high of 15 F. today – get our bitter cold tomorrow and Wednesday. Stay warm, baboons.


  7. Six degrees here. I have turned on the heater in the wellhouse and it appears I can leave it on for the next two weeks. Ish-da.

    A quiet day for us today. Tomorrow driving to Bloomington with my mom for Christmas with our Son and DIL.

    Daughter was up about 8:30, but she’s all about routine even on Christmas. Did her stuff in her room, made breakfast, and THEN she was ready for stockings and gifts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 9:00 at night and -8 now. Well-house is a respectable 46. (Thanks to remote ‘Indoor/outdoor’ thermometer I can monitor that from the house.)

      I said it was a “quiet day”. Kelly and Amelia made fudge, then Kelly made Oreo cookie salad for tomorrow. (It’s our sons favorite). Then she made pasta for supper. Guess I should ask her if she thought it was “quiet”.
      I read a new book I received on Old Bridges of MN and I took a nap, and I did chicken chores. I thought it was a nice quiet day.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m waiting for youngest daughter to come. Her flight was delayed, but only for about half an hour. Meanwhile I’m trying hard to not eat ALL the coffee walnut toffee. And blowing my nose a lot. There is no end to the snot.


  9. Those are really nice photos ljb. My wife would will appreciate the blog today as that’s the kind of photos she takes. You’ve got a good eye! Thanks for sharing.


  10. Lovely photos, ljb. I especially love the one of the birches. Brought this, and Clyde, to mind:

    By Robert Frost

    When I see birches bend to left and right
    Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
    I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
    But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
    As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
    Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
    After a rain. They click upon themselves
    As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
    As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
    Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
    Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
    Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
    You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
    They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
    And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
    So low for long, they never right themselves:
    You may see their trunks arching in the woods
    Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
    Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
    Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
    But I was going to say when Truth broke in
    With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
    I should prefer to have some boy bend them
    As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
    Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
    Whose only play was what he found himself,
    Summer or winter, and could play alone.
    One by one he subdued his father’s trees
    By riding them down over and over again
    Until he took the stiffness out of them,
    And not one but hung limp, not one was left
    For him to conquer. He learned all there was
    To learn about not launching out too soon
    And so not carrying the tree away
    Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
    To the top branches, climbing carefully
    With the same pains you use to fill a cup
    Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
    Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
    Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
    So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
    And so I dream of going back to be.
    It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
    And life is too much like a pathless wood
    Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
    Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
    From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
    I’d like to get away from earth awhile
    And then come back to it and begin over.
    May no fate willfully misunderstand me
    And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
    Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
    I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
    I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
    Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
    But dipped its top and set me down again.
    That would be good both going and coming back.
    One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.


    Liked by 6 people

  11. ljb
    great stuff
    your eye is strong and composition is excellent my day was wonderful
    food and family
    last night and again today
    christmas movies and music
    parlor games that provide the most wonderful laughter
    i screwed up the lasagne so i have lots left that only i will eat but that was incidental
    we had to take a break from enjoying each other to eat and let daughter get to her moms house with sil
    dogs are loving the people and laughter as much as i am
    cats could care less


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