musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Home It Is


We will be home for Christmas.  Yes!  

How lucky I am…

…as I set up our little tree in front of the windows that allow us to see the expanse of our hills and valley

…to get out the silver bell ornaments that John’s mom gave us every Christmas during her lifetime and the green and white Tom and Jerry bowl and cups that were holiday mainstays for my mom and dad.

And how about the remnant of a red Christmas sweatshirt from so many decades ago that said “Merry Me” as a hint to John pre-marriage—hmm… And the straw Dalarna horse and heart ornaments and woven and embroidered red and green designs from times abroad.  And then there are the multi-colored twinkling lights on our mantel wrapped around our glassy baby candles.  And the large holly wreath and its accompanying mini-wreath that adorn our mantel and front door.  Hello, Holidays❣️

In the mornings, I light a few candles, have my latte, give thanks, and write in my journal.  Over the last few days, I have become re-enamored with the words “home” and “hearth” and all the words contained in those two words.  I love that “home” has “he,” “me” and “om” in it.  Oh, my.  And then look at all the words contained in “hearth”…have fun discovering those little treasures.  

And so—I think I’ve already received all the gifts I need this holiday season—life, love, beauty, health, hearth, and home.  Wowza!

Wishing you all a blessed holiday season filled with health, comfort and joy. ❤️🎈❤️


What I’ve Been Reading:

Christmas From the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch.

This is a wonderfully illustrated cookbook that I have had on my bookshelf for many years.  I am again reading and enjoying it and will be making some of its recipes—like Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts, Creamed Spinach, Poached Salmon with Lime Ginger Sauce, and Turkey Lasagna.  

Ciao, Biscotti by Dominica Marchetti

Yet another rediscovered cookbook that I’ve already baked from this week— Christmas Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti—they are good!  The next one will be of John’s choosing.

♥ Draw and Be Happy by Tim A. Shaw, illustrated by Cachetejack

I have been doing an exercise from this book most mornings over the last few weeks and it is fun, colorful, inspirational.  There’s an exercise called “Calming Curves”—“soothing” and “lulling” as the author says—and another about making your own postcards to send when you’re on a holiday.  Or how about the one that I turned to this week—“Draw Your Future.” Okay…There are 75 exercises to help you, as the author says, “Go forth, draw, and be happy!”  Why not❣️





8 thoughts on “Home It Is”

  • Yay….the Archers aren’t wandering and our paths will cross. Now that’s a blessing. I always, always LOVED your beautiful, cozy home full of heart at Christmas time. The Steere Family with dogs in tow will arrive in Monterey Christmas Eve and will be there into the new year so I will look forward to visiting. Wishing you and John a joyful, merry, fun Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, Solstice and anything else worth celebrating. Sending love.

  • Enjoy as usual!

    I Just heard a podcast today, “Bay Curious”, about problems Italian Americans had after being identified on the West Coast and made to relocate away from the West Coast, similar to the Japanese relocation, but not quite as severe. It looks like things eased up in early 1942 when we appeared, but your parents and other family may have been affected. I was surprised to hear, and I wondered if your family ever talked about those days? I know that I think about you and your dad when I have my macerated cherry in my Manhattan!

    • Wow, Bruce….so good to hear from you— I’m smilin’🤗
      And what an interesting program you heard; I want to listen to it. I don’t remember my mom or dad talking about what you mentioned but I bet they did talk about it (probably in Italian!) and maybe even experienced some prejudice. All the things I wish I had asked them😌
      So glad you’re enjoying those Manhattans! Powerful little critters!
      Sending much love—have a lovely holiday season🧑🏻‍🎄🤶🏼💓 and hope to see you at the reunion❣️

  • Your Christmas memories added to mine have given me a joyful , cozy , and grateful heart .
    Happy holidays to you and John….🎄

  • Have I told you how much I enjoyed this posting? I read it earlier, and it warmed my heart. You expressed so well the joys of hearth and home, and the delight in discovering our Christmas treasures tucked away each year. We keep ours out until after the feast of the Epiphany. So although the celebrations are over, my heart is still savoring this precious time of year with its lights and decor and memories. I vow to keep the lights shining in my mind’s eye all year long.

    • Such a lovely description of all that the season means to you. May the joy and light you experienced stay with you and nurture you as you move forward into 2024. 💓💓

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