Good morning! Welcome to "Morning Musings".

Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back

Looking back over the year is always fun to do.  That's why I keep several journals.  I have my daily journal, a Christmas journal, a journal to keep track of the meals I make for guests,  my photo scrapbook albums, as well as this Blog and Another Perfect Day.  Here's a brief look back at 2012 starting in May when I began Morning Musings....

May:  Serenade to Spring

June:  Paris

July: Let It Be Easy

August: To Be An Artist


November: TA-DAH! Week 9


December: Let It Snow

hope you've enjoyed reading my "morning musings" this year.  I look forward to next year and hope you'll continue to follow my Blog.  I love getting comments!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let It Snow!

Christmas Eve it started....
 ....just a dusting at this point....

 Gabriel's checking it out....
 ....it's getting deeper and sledding draws us outside....
Gabriel had a ball running about in it....
video
All's quiet Christmas Eve night....
By Christmas Day it has stopped and started to warm up.  Our snowman begins to list....
 But today it's coming down strong again....
 ....and the birds are hanging around the bird feeder....
 ....it's stopped again....I still have roses blooming....
....the trees seem to be holding out their arms to show off their decoration....
Even the downed trees look pretty with the snow outlining their form....

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Story





A Christmas Story

The church bells had just finished chiming the midnight hour across the valley.  It was Christmas.  Snow had been falling all evening and now as Elizabeth walked down the church steps she gripped the railing and carefully placed her foot on each step making sure not to slip.  Tomorrow was going to be a busy day and she could not afford to slip and bruise herself, or something worse. 

Pastor John’s homily kept running through her mind as she walked the few blocks to her home.  He’d said Christ came as a babe and lived among us so that we’d feel he was our friend as well as our Savior.  Elizabeth desperately needed a friend.  She was getting on in years and much of her family was gone now.  She’d never married.  It was just her and her dog and cat in the little cottage.  But tomorrow she’d have a house-full.  It was the day she opened her home to the people in the Shelterthose who were temporarily without a home for one reason or another.  The Shelter cared for them well enough, but Elizabeth couldn’t bear to think anyone might spend Christmas anywhere but in a real home and so offered hers for the day.

Turning the key in her front door she turned her face to the sky for a few moments to take in the night sky.  It was then she noticed the North Star.  It seemed brighter tonight and she thought about that night long ago in Bethlehem.  How Mary must have felt giving birth in such humble surroundingsaway from home.  Elizabeth’s house was humble, but she’d made it into a home and hoped those who came tomorrowno it was today nowwould find comfort and hope to meet the challenges that lay ahead for them.

AS Elizabeth lay down in her bed to sleep the few remaining hours of the night she thought about her hopes and dreams.  As a little girl she’d looked forward to growing up and having a family of her own.  Marrying a good man and having as many children as she could were at the base of her dream.  From there she imagined how her life would go with her little family around her.grandchildren eventually as she grew into old age with her husband..

She awoke with a start!  Elizabeth lay there waiting for her head to clear.  Had she heard a noise?  Is that what woke her?  The curtain was slightly parted and a stream of light found its way across her quilt.  She hadn’t noticed a full moon earlier, so she went to the window to see where the light was coming from.  It was the North Star.  It was much brighter now.  The snow that graced the landscape shimmered in the light.  Bare branches cast long shadows across the back garden.  Elizabeth’s eyes were drawn to an outline of a child standing there.  Who could be out at this time of night?! 

Before she could move from the window the small figure dissolved before her eyes.  Was she just dreaming?  Dreaming.dreams.  She was reminded of her childhood dream and tears welled up in her eyes.  She blinked causing them to spill out and as one lone tear landed on the sill Elizabeth began to feel a certain hope warm her heart.  She thought about the people who would be arriving in just a few hours.  Some would be children.  They wouldn’t be her children, but she could love them all the same, just as much.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Decorating for Christmas


We just got our tree today so I can show you what I've done throughout the house.  My daughter-in-law, Paola, and her sister, Marijose, decorated it for me.  Isn't it beautiful....


The dolls celebrating Christmas....

The fireplace mantel....

My Snowman Tree....

Our dining room....


Tasha Tudor's Take Joy Christmas book....
And Susan Branch's Christmas book....

Harry Richardson's painting of his grandmother's house in winter....

The hutch with my Laura Ashley dishes and Williamsburg pottery....
This year I put live Norfolk pines in the guest bedrooms....


And my five snowmen on the front porch welcome visitors with Joy....

May your Christmas be full of Joy, Peace, & Love!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas City USA


We visited Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, known as Christmas City USA, last week.  The area was settled by Moravians in 1741 and named Bethlehem by visiting Count Zinzendorf, a pietist nobleman from Saxony, who, in 1722, had given them refuge on his estate in Saxony before their migration to Georgia in 1735.  

One of the yearly events is the outdoors market called Weihnachtsmarkt (pronounced vy-naukts-markt) held in the historic section....

....featuring 20 wooden huts selling a variety of crafts and gifts....

I fell in love with the Moravian star....

You can see them all over town on porches....

....and in store window displays....

I bought two small ornaments and turned them into candle holders....
The table scarf was another find....

We took the trolley across the river to the Christkindlmarkt, another craft fair.  There was an ice sculptor....

....fresh greens were sold....


....and handcrafts....





Back in the historic section we visited the oldest book store in the world....

Which also had a gift section where I found a mug for my collection....

When we walked out of the shop we were greeted with this beautiful sky....

On our walk through the town after dark we came upon these scenes....

Hotel Bethlehem
When we left the Hotel by the side door we heard the clip-clopping of horses' hooves.  I caught the motion of a passing carriage--of which you can see the wheels if you look carefully in the center of the photo (click on photo to enlarge)....

Here comes the trolley....

As we walked back to our B&B, Morningstar Inn, I saw the famed Bethlehem Star on top of South Mountain.  It is 91 feet tall and several miles away.  This is my zoomed-in photo of it.  It can be seen  from 20 miles away they say....

Across the street from the B&B was this creche....

The Morningstar Inn lit up at night....

....the Inn's dining room set for breakfast....

....a German Christmas Pyramid....

....more Inn decorations....



A walk through the neighborhood brought us past this house that was enchanting....



....a charming statue in front of the public library....

....one of the many buildings on the Moravian Church campus....

The church's Navtity Putz told the story of Christ's birth through lighted scenes as each part of the story was revealed in the darkened room....

This video of a Christmas Putz is from a church here in Frederick....  
         
We also visited the Moravian Museum.  We weren't allowed to take photos but you can learn more about it HERE.

On our way home we stopped at a shop along the way in a quaint house.  This is the back garden....

We followed this path....

....to this darling play house....

We also stopped in New Oxford, PA, for a late lunch where we saw these lovely decorations around the Town Square....



Once home I hung another of my purchases--a kissing ball....

Wishing you a beautiful Christmas celebration!  May the Christmas Spirit fill your heart with love, peace & hope!