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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

This & That - December 2016

December had us out and about more than usual.  Here are a few of them, including a few animal encounters.  Our first outing was to attend a retirement party for a friend on a restaurant boat as it floated up and down the Potomac River.  You can see the lights of Washington, DC here when we took a short, brisk walk around the deck.  Because it was dark outside and we were moving slowly you could hardly tell you were on a boat from inside.  This was empasized when putting on our coats to make this little jaunt around the deck--our hostess asked us if we were leaving already 😊. . . .

The Take Joy Society went out to lunch for our Christmas get-together.  You can read about it HERE. . . .

We always enjoy our outing to get our Christmas tree.  Our youngest son has continued to go with us since he left home and this year brought along his fiancee so she could be a part of our family tradition.  On the 10th we returned to the tree farm we've been going to for several years now so that I could get my favorite tree--Hemlock. . . .

Here it is all decorated. . . .

We had a dusting of snow the next morning.  The Cardinal that visits my little bird bath looks even more stunning against the winter landscape. . . .

On the 19th a Red-bellied Woodpecker visited the bird feeder. . . .

With two of our sons spending Christmas Day with their in-laws or future in-laws and one son in Mexico with his in-laws we held our celebration on Christmas Eve afternoon into evening.  Before grandchildren came along I often would hide the gifts giving out clues in a poem.  This year I decided Olivia was old enough to enjoy the hunt, but the earlier rain caused a change of plans.  Originally the clue was to lead everyone to the treehouse where they'd find Santa's bag of gifts.  At the last minute Santa had to tape over the clue and change the last two lines.  Can you fill in the blank? . . . .

Righto!  Attic!  When Olivia heard where the gifts were she dutifully declared that she was not allowed to go in the attic by herself and grabbed her daddy's hand.  Ken pulled down the stairs and there it was!. . . .

After a lot of excitement the bag was brought into the living room where Olivia handed out the gifts to everyone.  Then we went around the room taking turns opening the gifts while Gabriel found a spot by the fire. . . .

Later we had our traditional fondue of beef and shrimp, various vegetables and bread to dip in the cheese, plus tator tots and fried onion rings.  Olivia enjoyed just eating the bread by itself. . . .

We ended the evening by carrying candles out to the creche in the woods while we sang carols. . . .

Olivia was in charge of carrying the basket of fruit, carrots, and acorns for the animals. . . .
The wildlife camera installed nearby told us it was the deer who'd feasted early the next morning.

Christmas night we went to a restaurant in downtown Frederick, which is always lit up along the main street with lights in the trees and on the various shops. . . .

I had hoped to end this post with a picture of Poetry carrying the mouse she'd caught in our basement, but by the time I came back down with the camera she'd let it go.  I brought Gabriel down and he and Poetry continued to search for the mouse, but it had managed to secret itself away, not to be seen since. . . .

the little mouse is hiding in the wainscoting!

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!


  1. Your Christmas traditions are lovely Cathy. The carol singing to the creche in your woods is especially wonderful. Happy New Year to you and yours. ♥

    1. Happy New Year to you and yours, too, Martha Ellen! ❤️

  2. Happy New Year Cathy! Loved your December post! Your Christmas celebration was magical! Love Olivia holding on to the bag of gifts! Looking forward to the new year. We are finally going out for our birthday dinner today....we have all been under the weather with a respiratory bug. Jim and I and Jim's daughter all have our birthday just a day apart and have celebrated together for a long time.
    Laughing at you mouse story. Our Golden, Molly, came in and dropped a dead field rat on the kitchen floor! Grateful it was dead!
    Have a blessed year!
    Chris W Tx

    1. A happy and WELL new year to you, Chris! Thank you for being a part of my year! ❤️

  3. You really know how to have fun... I mean it.
    Your little is lucky to have such a grandma. Frederick is BEAUTIFUL at Christmas, I remember it well. Hope you have a wonderful year, working on your book and living life in your inimitable way!

    1. Thank you, Jeri, for the compliment! I just do the best I know how and am always looking for ways to express the ideas I get! I know you'll have a wonderful year with your book and mouse house, and your menagerie. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us! ❤️

  4. Enjoyed reading about your traditions. As for the missing mouse, do I detect a children book about the missing mouse?!

  5. Cathy, you Schultzes really do the family thing so well - no kidding. Christmas at your house is straight out of a children's book to me - such special & fun activities. These are things Olivia and eventually all the grandkids will remember forever. Having fondue on Christmas is the nicest custom. After our traditional Christmas Eve buffer, we do Irish coffee in our family - something we all look forward to each year. We've gotten to be very good at toasting too. LOVE that photo of Gabriel settled in by the fire. He's like a benevolent uncle sitting back & watching over his family. Olivia's smile holding onto the Christmas present bag says it all. Poetry & the mouse is so funny too. I remember a Christmas when our toy fox terrier went over to the farm next door & rolled around in a cow pie, coming home looking & smelling very unlike he left. Took FOUR of us to return him to his normal state in the laundry room soaker sink - that was a pretty memorable Christmas too! Haha! Here's hoping 2017 holds nothing but good things for all the Schultzes! ⭐️⭐️

    1. Thank you, Janet! I'm just having the childhood I never had. 😊 I loved that our son wanted to share our Christmas tree hunt tradition with his wife-to-be. We all enjoyed Olivia's excitement. Christmas is for children after all. Your memorable Christmas with your toy fox terrier is one I, fortunately, have not had to deal with. However, Gabriel did find a pile of scat (bear? deer? fox?) and rubbed the side of his face and neck in it once. At least it wasn't on a holiday!

  6. Dear Cathy. Your post is full of joy, it had me smiling from the beginning to the end! Have you found the mouse yet? That scene is so familiar here too! Your cardinal bird looks extraordinary. Wishing you and your family a very Happy new Year. Sarah x

    1. No! We have not seen hide nor hair of the mouse since! Wishing you and your family, as well, a very Happy New Year! ❤️


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