Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent 2.7 at Langollen

I've been out most of the day with Ms. Conroy, getting ready for Christmas at Llangollen.

This is the wreath at our front door, which I decorated myself (as if you couldn't already tell).

We've always - always! - had a mantle in our home. We don't have one here at Llangollen - not surprising for a home on the water - although we do have a small gas heater in the sun room.  When the renovations are complete, we will have a gas fireplace there, but even then, the mantle will not be big enough to hold all the Christmas stockings.

So, I improvised and used the "curio" shelf above the couch as the mantle to hang the eighteen (18!) and counting stockings. They include one for Ms. Conroy and me, six children, five grandchildren, three sons-in-law, one daughter in law, and one VSBF (Very Serious Boy Friend - as opposed to a RNB, which is a "Right Now Boy").
This is the Great Ficus Tree of Christmas.

Some of you may remember the trials and travails of schlepping her here from New Jersey.  Well, as you can see, she made it and is in great form.

She is festooned in red bows, candy canes and Christmas ornaments of the Twelve Days of Christmas - minus one or two that have gotten "misplaced" in the move.

We have purchased a proper Christmas Tree - a Frasier Fir - which has lovely blue highlights - and is sitting in some water in the sun room, breathing and expanding her branches.

Tomorrow night, I'll go out and put on the lights and let her sit for another night to get used to her new home.

Then, on Christmas Eve, she'll be fully dressed in ornaments and garland and memories and melancholia of Christmases past and hopes for future Christmases filled with hope and joy which will make future memories.

Here, to your right, you will see Ms. CoCo sitting guard over Father Christmas and some of the many Bathing Beauties of Rehoboth Bay.

She takes her work rather seriously, Ms. CoCo does, never leaving her post unless to bark at a boat going by the house and out into the bay.

She can hear them more clearly these days, by the "crunch-crunch-crunch" of the boat breaking through the very thin icy covering of the water.

Oh, she may run to get a quick drink of water from her bowl, and perhaps take a potty break or two, but for the most part, she is persistent and vigilant.

Father Christmas will make his appearance on December 24th. Sleep well and rest assured that Ms. CoCo is on guard duty.

Ah, and here Santa Claus is just chillin' in Ms. Manning's chair.  He has a few Russian "nesting dolls" to keep him company on the Celtic Tree mosaic tile table Mia and Bob made us as a Christmas present last year. 

At the ready, under the table, you'll note there is a copy of a collection of Walker Percy's stories. No one loves a good short story more than Santa, and no one can tell them quite as well as Walker Percy - especially the one about what makes a good Southern bourbon.

He's sitting in front of the Great Ficus Tree of Christmas, delighted that she made it here in such good shape and seems to be thriving. He'll be very happy once the Christmas Tree is up and decorated so he can join her there. 

I'm going to go into the kitchen soon and begin to make the Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti which will adorn most of the Christmas presents I'll wrap, as well as be festively wrapped as presents for friends and colleagues.  It will also be part of the breakfast we'll have on Christmas morning.

You can find a great recipe for it here.

Once the Christmas Tree is ready for her debut, I'll post her picture here.

Right now, I'm "stirring up" for Christmas - which I suppose is appropriate on the night before "Stir up Sunday." So, as I take my leave to be covered with flour and sugar, cranberries and pistachios, let us pray:
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Off I go then.

We'll talk tomorrow about some things that have been stewing in my head and pondering in my heart about Mary and women in the church.

I feel a rant coming on.

What? Did you think all this house decorating would turn me all gushing and mushy and nostalgic?

Not on your life!

I'm just starting to get all stirred up.

You have been duly warned.


Ann said...

Rant away! bring it on.

suzanne said...

I can't wait for a good Christmas rant. Have fun baking.

Matthew said...

I did not know that advent 3 is considered stir up Sunday in the USA. In the CofE, stir up Sunday is the Sunday before the first Sunday of advent (Christ the king). Traditionally it is the Sunday that you stir up the Christmas pudding. Everyone is supposed to stir the mixture and make a wish as you stir it. Then you make the pudding that way it sits and cures for a month before Christmas. On Christmas day you reheat it and then pour a bunch of brandy or rum over it and set a match to it. Then eat the boozy dessert.

Riley said...

Sorry I'm so late to this post.
I love that you used the curio for a mantle...very creative. Your home looks so warm and festive. Everything from the beloved Ficus tree to the table displays and mantle are decorated with love.

I'll be heading home soon for the holidays, which will resemble the scene on the pillow on your sofa.
I think I've gotten a bit soft since moving to CA, b/c I'm not looking forward to the bone chilling cold. "The eighteen(18!) stockings and counting" if I change my mind and end up in Rehoboth, you would add one more? : )

Love the pup!! I think Ms. CoCo deserves some special treats for a job well done.

Hope you and Barbara and the family have a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. Love you, sweetlady.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Riley, darlin', no one looks forward to the bone-chilling cold. There's ice on the bay this morning, about the 6th day when I've awakened to temps in the low to mid 20's. Yesterday, it didn't get about 29. This is DE, for gracious sake!

Well, anyway, have a wonderful Christmas. If you are headed this way, there'll be another stocking up and another chair at the table with plenty to eat.