Category Archives: Winter

A Lovely, Simple Vacation

My holiday vacation is over, and what a lovely, simple one it was.

Clif, Dee, and I started out on Christmas Eve with chocolate peppermint martinis. (We had some on New Year’s Eve, too.)

With the martinis, we had lots of nibble and nuts, which I did not photograph.

For Christmas, I gave Clif a game, Horrified, which we played every afternoon during our vacation. It’s a cooperative game where everyone must work together to save the villagers from various monsters.  Sometimes we won. Sometimes we lost. But win or lose, we had such fun.

During my vacation, each morning—with a mug of tea—I settled on the couch and read until everyone was ready for breakfast. The books I read were The Fortnight in September by R.C. Sherriff; Harlem Shuffle by the fabulous Colson Whitehead; and Wintering by Katherine May. Three very different books but all worth reading and a great way to end the year.

We watched lots of movies, but the standout for me was Pig with Nicolas Cage. Pig is about a man named Rob and his beloved truffle-hunting pig. When the pig is stolen, Rob sets out in search of her. He leaves his seclusion in the woods and travels to the big city, where he encounters obstacles but also receives help. Part fable, part meditation on love, grief, loss, and forgiveness, this movie touched me in a way that only a few films ever have, and it is my favorite of the year. The movie’s slow, indie pacing won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for those with patience, Pig is a must-see

In the middle of the week, we had a little ice storm, but fortunately we did not lose our power. Clif went out and took some pictures.

And now January is here. It’s back to work for me and the rest of the family. Our restful vacation reminded me, once again, that while it’s good to have purpose and to work hard, it’s also good to take a break now and again.

Refreshed, we can approach what we do with vigor and enthusiasm.

Onward to finishing Book Four of my Great Library Series.


En Hiver

In the still, in the cold…

Although I love spring and summer and the lengthening of the days, I also cherish this time of year, this time of giving, this time of rest, when I have tea on the couch at 4:00, and out the big window I watch the sky go from blue to black and the bright shine of Venus, which glitters just above the horizon.

I will be taking a blogging break from now until the New Year. Because of Covid, it will definitely be a staycation, but it will be a luxury to read in the mornings, play board games in the afternoon, and watch Oscar nominees at night. And, of course, nibble on treats.

I know many of you are wondering about Little Green, our trusty electric snow thrower. Clif did indeed find the problem—a rascally rodent, probably a mouse, who not only made a nest inside Little Green but chewed the belt in half as well. A new belt is on the way.

Because I am Franco-American, I wish those who celebrate Christmas a joyeux Noël.

And to everyone a Bonne Année.

Whatever you celebrate, have a joyous and safe time. I hope your holidays are filled with warmth, merriment, and good food.

See you all in 2022.


A White Christmas

On Saturday we got another small snowstorm that left about four inches, which is enough to give Mainers what they always crave in December—a white Christmas.

The day after the storm was beautiful, as it often is, and out I went to take some pictures.

Here is our backyard, on the edge of the woods, looking very northern with its snow-covered trees.

Next, a side view of Clif cleaning the driveway. (Little Green conked out, and Clif will soon be doing an assessment to see if the snow-thrower can be fixed, or if we need to buy another one.)

Then, a view from the front of our cozy home tucked by the woods.

Finally, a picture I know you’ve all been waiting for—the trusty town plow. Thanks to the diligence of the people who clean our roads, we are never stranded at our homes for more than half a day, no matter how much snow we get. Note how clear the road is a day after the storm.

This is what you  might call a lucky shot. With camera in hand, I happened to be by the mailbox across the street from our home, when I heard the distinctive roar of the plow. I didn’t have to wait long before it came thundering up the road. After exchanging a friendly wave with the driver, I took a picture of the truck with its sand and plow that is so essential to life in the north in the winter.

Before and After

This weekend a miserable rain came, melting away most of our lovely snow. I know that for some readers, rain in December is a common occurrence. However, in Maine it is not. Or at least once upon a time it wasn’t. Back in the day, December was a cold month, and when there was precipitation, it came down as snow. This rain business feels weird, and it makes everything look dreary.

Here is before.

And here is after.

To add to the gray, nasty weekend, Dee, Clif, and I had our COVID boosters, and on Sunday, we all felt like roadkill. It was a day for eating Saltine crackers with butter, lying on the couch, and watching easy-to-take shows such as Blown Away: Christmas and 8-Bit Christmas. Although neither show is what you might call hard hitting, they are both fun, in their own way, and worth seeing.

Today, on Monday, we all feel better, and onward, ho to the holidays. Even though I am not much of a list maker, I will be making grocery lists and a cooking schedule. Although my knee is greatly improved, I can only stand for an hour or so before it starts aching. Therefore, planning ahead will be crucial.

Dee has bought the ingredients for peppermint cocktails. I’m still aiming to make a vegan tourtière pie and a tofu chocolate pie.

At our home on the edge of the woods, we know how to party. 😉


First Real Snowfall

Yesterday, we had our first real snowfall, three inches of light, fluffy snow. So easy to clean that Clif didn’t even need to use Little Green, our trusty snow thrower.  A shovel did the trick.

Everything is pretty and fresh after a snowfall. Here are some pictures from the front  yard.

Here is one of our backyard by the woods.

And last night when I heard the snow plow go by, it was the real thing, not a phantom sound the way it had been a month earlier.

Winter is here.