Merry Christmas to You (and You and You)

Having a cup of coffee on this chilly Christmas morning before I switch to mimosas. Coffee to wake up; mimosas to relax me enough to cook. It’s not a precise science, but I’m willing to take that risk.

My publishing company’s logo on a coffee mug! Thank you daughter, Ashley!

Merry Christmas to you and to those you love. I hope this day finds you safe and warm and healthy. I love you all.

Peace, and love, people.

Bear With Me

Studly Doright and I had a great time hanging out with our daughter and her family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, last week. We ate a lot, played a bunch of fun games, enjoyed an indoor snowball fight with fake snowballs, played an intense Christmas game, and opened presents.

The week began rather inauspiciously when a bear made him/herself at home in my car, decimating a can of peanut brittle, but doing very little damage to the car. We apparently hosted a considerate bear.

Bears don’t recognize such niceties as lids.
Someone was sitting in my chair….

My daughter stepped outside just in time to take these photos on the morning after we discovered the car incident. Wonder if this was our culprit:

Move along bear….

The remainder of the trip was bear-free; although, we were on constant guard any time we were outside. Just look at this view from our deck:

Smoky Mountains floating above the clouds.

I’ll leave you with photos of my loved ones. We sure missed having our son and his family with us this year, but were so happy to be with part of the family after such a stressful year. I needed the hugs.

Harper, with a tiny piece from one of her Christmas game presents. She REALLY got into the game.
McKayla ended up with one of the gag gifts….
Garrett with a techie gadget.
Son-in-law, Stephen, with his bounty from our Christmas game.
Daughter, Ashley with her goodies.
Studly Doright with “snow balls.” We had quite the fight with these.

Hoping your holidays are bear free.

Peace, people!

Naughty or Nice

How was your Christmas? Was there a box of chocolate covered cherries in your stocking or a fat lump of coal? You know it all depends on whether Santa had you marked as naughty or nice on his famous list, right?

I had an exceptionally good Christmas, and after getting a peek at Santa’s list, I know that it was my due as one of the “nice” kids. In fact, if one’s name is even close to being spelled like mine–Leslie, the odds are in your favor. Only poor Lesli was on the naughty list.

Have a burning desire to know where you fell on Santa’s list this year? Check out this link from the Department of Christmas Affairs:

https://abc6onyourside.com/news/offbeat/naughty-or-nice-the-north-pole-has-issued-an-official-list-for-2019

Of course we all have an opportunity to do better in 2020, so I suggest we all get started. Thanks to my friend Denise for calling my attention to this site. Of course she’s considering changing the spelling of her name now. Naughty girl that she is.

Peace, people!

Phone Me

For Christmas Studly Doright bought me a new iPhone. According to him it’s the biggest, baddest iPhone available. I’m properly humbled and intimidated.

In my typically stubborn way I dove into setting up the new phone, heedless of Studly’s advice to let someone at the Verizon store assist me. “They said it’ll be easy!” Studly assured me. “Just switch out the memory cards and you’re good to go.”

It was not easy. I’ve lost all my contacts and have had to download all of my apps and remember the passwords and try to recall user names until I’m ready to scream. Plus, the navigation between pages is totally different. And all my contacts are screwed up. Argh!

It literally took me an hour to figure out how to get from the home page to my app icons. If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because I’ve been admitted to a psych ward–preferably one where no electronic devices are allowed.

Peace on earth and all that jazz.

A Little Felt Tree

Studly Doright and I were married in July of 1976. I was just shy of twenty, while he was only 18. Broke, stupid, and in love, we had no idea then of the hurdles we’d have to jump over on our way to 43 years of marriage and beyond.

As our first Christmas as a married couple approached we had to set some new guidelines. I was set on keeping up my family’s Christmas traditions while he was equally set on keeping his. We managed to compromise fairly well, but there was one thing I insisted on–a live tree at least six feet tall. Studly’s family had a smaller tree that stood on a short table, as I recall.

I got my way that year, and we soon had our beautiful tall tree standing in its brand new red and green tree strand awaiting decorations. There was just one problem–we had no ornaments. None. And that tree had eaten up most of our disposable income.

My mom came to the rescue. She gave us three kits of felt ornaments that I could stitch together and decorate. One set featured characters from the Wizard of Oz.

Another set included typical Christmas characters–an angel, a snowman, and a Santa.

The last set featured Christmas trees and wreaths. I’ve managed to lose the wreaths, but my Christmas trees have hung in there (pun intended) all these years.

Several days ago I was scavenging for book five in the Harry Potter series at our local Goodwill book store when I came across a little felt tree hanging from the store’s tree. It was exactly like the one I’d made all those years ago

I wondered if some young woman had lovingly stitched the pieces together, adding shiny sequins where indicated by the kit’s directions. Had she been as nervous about her future as I was about mine?

And I wondered why this poor felt tree came to be all by itself at the Goodwill store. Of course I bought it and brought it home. I introduced the ornament to its counterparts on my tree, and then I let our elf on the shelf comfort it.

Welcome home, little tree.

Peace, people.

Christmas Decor at Doright Manor

Doright Manor isn’t a fancy place. Studly Doright and I seldom (never) entertain, and neither of us is overly concerned with having a spotless house.

I do enjoy playing with decorative items, though. And while my styling taste is on the eclectic side it’s also not expensive. All those years of having no money taught me how to make do with the decorating resources at hand.

Here’s a little tour of a few of my Christmas vignettes:

The Santa above was purchased for me when I was about four. When Mom passed away it was one of the few items I wanted. The old guy is getting pretty worn, but he’s my favorite decoration.

This Christmas bear would greet guests at the front door if we ever had any. I bought him at a post-holiday sale many years ago.

My mismatched Christmas village is mostly comprised of items I’ve found at garage sales. I like that the items are built to different scales. Imperfection pleases me.

Studly Doright has yet to notice the sprig of mistletoe hanging in the main hallway. I’ve gone unkissed for several days now. Well not exactly, but no kissing has occurred under the mistletoe.

My preppy reindeer couple and stylized Christmas trees are relative newcomers to Doright Manor. I need a backdrop for them, but nothing has caught my eye yet.

Our main tree is perfect in an imperfect way. I used to do a fancy schmancy tree, but it was sort of boring.

Above are stockings that SHOULD have been given to my children when they started their own families, but I cry every time I think of letting them go. The bear was bought for our daughter’s first Christmas and the reindeer for our son’s. Neither of them holds many goodies, which was a good thing in those years we were so poor.

Since we don’t have a fireplace, our stockings are hung on the bookshelves with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. From left are Studly’s, mine, and the two cats’.

That’s our dining table with Santa and a single reindeer.

Below is my gigantic angel overseeing the nativity. Almost a Gulliver’s Travels situation going on here, but I love my nativity scene.

Scout was interested in my placement of each piece, so I took the opportunity to tell her the story of how Jesus came to be born in a stable and placed in a manger.

Here she is, looking for the baby. Well, that’s my story anyway.

My cowboy snowman is fittingly in the Texas guest room.

This Santa is in one of the guest bathrooms. He is quite discreet when folks need to use the facilities.

On my kitchen hutch is a party of reindeer being hosted by my naughty elf on the shelf. They raise a ruckus in the wee hours.

That’s about it, I suppose. Thanks for taking the tour.

Peace on earth, and good will towards men, people!

Christmas, Christmas Everywhere

I needed some holiday inspiration yesterday, but where to go? Since a doctor’s appointment took me near Esposito’s, a local Tallahassee garden shop, I thought it might be a source of Christmas decorating ideas. Let me tell you, when I’m right, I’m so right.

We’ve lived in the Tallahassee area for six years now, and I’ve been in Esposito’s at least a dozen times. But never in December. I had no idea what I’ve been missing.

I’d best let you know that I’m not being compensated by Esposito’s for this or any other blog posts. I just wanted to share a cool place with my local readers. So, without further ado, and very few words, I give you Esposito’s Christmas shop.

Now, the cutest thing I encountered wasn’t a decorated tree or a gilded ornament.

It was an adorable cat who’d snuggled into a stack of tree skirts. She allowed me to pet her before giving me a look that indicated I should move on and leave her to her nap.

The Christmas village was pretty spectacular, too, but it didn’t purr.

I found a couple of things to purchase, but because they’re potential gifts for family members I won’t share the photos here. There was a piece that I think was made for me, though. Maybe someone will put it in my stocking.

It’s the third sign from the top. Tailor made for me.

Peace, people!