Simple, Quiet, and Good

At our home on the edge of woods, Thanksgiving was simple, quiet, and good. I made two loaves of pumpkin bread and thought we would have one to eat and one to freeze for Christmas. Silly me! We ate those two loaves as quick as can be, which means I’ll have to make two more for Christmas.

We had a nice little brunch on Thanksgiving morning. As you might notice, we even had dessert, leftover homemade chocolate pudding from the pie I made. Good thing we don’t eat like this every morning.

I forgot to take pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner. Too busy cooking and getting ready for our little feast. Afterward, we were all too stuffed to do much of anything, and we settled in for some episodes of Season 4 of The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition. Past seasons of the Baking Show—British and American—are available for free on the Roku channel. There are commercials, and they are often clumsily inserted, but the shows are still worth watching.


Outside, the snow has all melted, and the gardens are in a strange in-between state, not quite fall, not quite winter. There’s still plenty of green on the lawns, but one morning there was a skim of ice in the ornamental bird bath.

Black-eyed Susans, their petals long gone, lean into another plant, whose name, alas, I have forgotten.

And Minerva, in her wisdom, presides over the front garden.


The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas tree. It is an artificial one, and while I miss having a real tree, I don’t miss the mess or the expense—in central Maine, $50 is about the least you can pay for a decent-looking tree.Β  (I know it is much higher in other places.)

Still, it gives me pleasure to put up our ornaments—some plain, some silly, some old, some new, some poignant. The house ornament was made by my blogging friend Judy of New England Garden and Thread. 2020 was indeed the year we stayed home, and to me the ornament is a lovely reminder of all the ways we stayed in touch during that first terrible pandemic year. Many thanks, Judy.


A couple of days ago, a special card came into our home—another beauty from my blogging friend Alys of Gardening Nirvana. Alys made this card from a 100-year-old National Geographic. In the lower-left-hand corner is the word Maine. In the middle, White Pine. The white pine is Maine’s state tree, and the tassel is its state flower. My oh my! Thanks so much, Alys.

Yet again, as the day grows shorter and the nights grow longer and the cold settles into our yard, I am reminded of how much there is to be grateful for.



68 thoughts on “Simple, Quiet, and Good”

  1. It is fun isn’t it to get out the decorations that remind you of all sorts of things – where you were when you bought them or who gave them to you, different trees in different places. We won’t put our up until much later, though as we are having visitors from Sweden this year it may go up on the 19th which is early for us. Looking at your tree makes me long for the day!

    That card is beautiful.

  2. That card is absolutely lovely. I wonder if I could motivate myself to make such cards for next year? Probably not- there’s too many projects on my list already. I love this post. I made pumpkin bread this year too. It was good yet it wasn’t gobbled up very fast. I’m not sure what the problem was.

    1. Many thanks! That card will be framed. Because of having two diabetics in the family, I hardly ever bake. So when I do, we chew right through whatever I make.

  3. It sounds like a blissful Thanksgiving Laurie and so lovely to see the Christmas tree already decorated and the card is so beautiful – what a lovely gift! πŸ’š

  4. My son made pumpkin cookies (which were yummy!), but I’ve never tried pumpkin bread. It looks delicious! We usually watch the national dog show on Thanksgiving (after going to church and catching part of the Macy’s parade). Then, naps for all!!

  5. Simple, quiet and good, indeed. I’d add rich, savory and redolent of love and memories. What a beautiful post to salute Thanksgiving and guide us to Christmas, in the company of family and friends.

  6. Your pumpkin bread looks great. On the same note: I had pumpkin beer last night. I don’t like the pumpkin beers that some breweries produce. But last night’s was absolutely delicious.

  7. The pumpkin bread looks delicious, no wonder it was all gone in no time! What a lovely card from your blogging friend, and thoughtfully crafted. As my daughter would say, blogging friends are cool!

  8. Sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, complete with intro into the Christmas season. Do you think we’ll have a white Christmas?
    Clever Alys! She makes the most beautiful cards, I love the embossing.

    1. Thanks, Eliza! As for a white Christmas… it’s anybody’s guess. Today, the temperature rose to 50. On the last day of November? Yikes! Alys is a wonder, that’s what she is. I am in awe of her creativity.

  9. It sounds like a perfect thanksgiving. I was quite taken with the moose (or whatever it is) on your mug. I’m not surprised your pumpkin bread went so quickly. I pulled out my mother’s recipe recently; I haven’t made it for a few years, but I’ve been remembering how delicious it is.

    The card you received is beautiful. It’s especially interesting that the state tree provides your state flower; they must be as plentiful as they are beautiful.

    1. Many thanks! Yes, interesting that the state tree provides the state flower. We have a giant white pine in our backyard. Had to move the clothesline as pitch fell from the tree onto our clean laundry. A beautiful tree, though.

  10. All of it sounds lovely. Pumpkin bread sounds doubly lovely. πŸ™‚ I put up a tree once a couple years ago…before that it had been years with no tree as we worked out of our funk over dad. I’d like to put it up this year because I, like you, enjoy looking at the ornaments…but it seems like a lot of work when we’re not doing anything this Christmas…and Bruce had surgery at the end of September and is just coming off a lifting prohibition. I don’t know how exactly I’d get it up out of the basement. So maybe I’ll just get the ceramic Christmas tree and put that up.

  11. Seems that you ate very well at Thanksgiving! That pumpkin bread wouldn’t have lasted long at all “chez Platypus Man.” I’m impressed that your Christmas tree is up already. Our (artificial!) tree is still luring at the back of the wardrobe, awaiting Mrs P’s attention.

    1. Our daughter Dee was keen to put it up, and since the tree is artificial, the weekend after Thanksgiving seemed like a fine time to do it. There will be more pumpkin bread for Christmas!

  12. I have never eaten pumpkin breadbut I imagine it is a traditional Thanksgiving dish. I am rather envious of you all in the USA for having 2 reasons to get together and celebrate in the winter! I will put up an artificial tree outside my door in a couple of weeks time and later cut fresh greenery to decorate the big mantlepiece over the fire. Driving my neighbours daughter home from her piano lesson this evening I saw the first few houses with decorations up but most people will wait until next weekend at the earliest.

    1. Wish you lived closer so that I could make you some pumpkin bread. It’s pretty darned good, of I do say so myself. πŸ˜‰ Love the decorations and the twinkling lights. It makes it seem as though there is magic in the air.

      1. I think I may put some of mine up early this year but the greenery will have to be later or it will be dead before Christmas is over.

  13. I had to chuckle when you said you were glad you didn’t eat like that every morning. Yum. It would be fun, but I’d have to spend the rest of the holiday exercising. πŸ˜€ And a lovely ornament and card. Those personal gifts are loaded with gratefulness and special memories. ❀

  14. Lovely words and photos!πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your beautiful holiday and I always think there is something special about the memories attached to favorite ornaments.πŸ™‚

  15. What an idyllic way to segue from Thanksgiving into Christmas – I really love this time of year when a festivity hangs in the air. Even though we don’t have the cold or snow, it is a cooler time of year for us, and with the rainfall, we can almost imagine melting snow …

  16. I can smell and taste the pumpkin bread! It is that time of year for good food, and enjoying the season. Quince grows in our area, and a friend gave me some. I have experimented with baking quince and apple together with a little cinnamon and coconut oil. The fragrance of baking quince can brighten any dark day!

Comments are closed.