On the first day of Christmas…

The beginnings of ice on the Portage Canal

The beginnings of ice on the Portage Canal

I am perhaps moving this blog in a different direction for awhile, my dear loyal readers.  Today I wrote three blogs and tossed two of them away.  Even though they were both engaging, they felt cumbersome.

I shan’t tell you exactly what’s different.

You can guess, if you’re so inspired.

Yesterday, Barry and I traveled to Houghton to begin our Christmas shopping.  We do not like to shop, yet we adore our loved ones for whom we shopped.

We paused for drink and dinner.

We paused and toasted the beginning of the holiday season.

Today is the first day of Christmas, December 1st!

Last night a coyote howled outside our bedroom window.  We startled in our sleep at the closeness of the yipping, the howling.

Barry simultaneously dreamed a coyote stalked his dream.

I haven’t gone outside all day–yet.

All day I stalked your blogs and read, and read, and read.

I feel like our lives intersect.

I feel like Christmas shall arrive soon.

Shall we be ready this 2013 year?  How are you preparing for the upcoming holidays?

What happened with you on the first day of Christmas?

Closer yet

Closer yet

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in December 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to On the first day of Christmas…

  1. Elisa says:

    I thought. I froze. I shivered. I read a book. I had a LOT of ponders. Teachings lined up. I hooked things together. I enjoyed new sounds. I thought about what you did and didn’t say. I wondered about snowmobile suit tent events in December (PLEAAAAASE KATHY DON’T) lol

    • Kathy says:

      Snowmobile tent events, Elisa? Really? Are you suggesting I don’t look for a new snowmobile suit, lol? My grandma’s from 1969-72 will do very well for years to come, surely!

      • Elisa says:

        YEEEEEES I LOVE that suit, I’m just not so sure about the sitting out in it, (maybe in a tent, I can’t remember if you used a tent) all night in the frigid frosty….solstice I think it was.

  2. Kathy – We had surprisingly nice weather today so Lexi, Willa, and I raked leaves in the front yard. If the weather holds, we just may do the back yard tomorrow. Len will be home from work in a while and we’ll have turkey stew, again. It gets more delicious every day 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, your turkey stew sounds delicious. (As does your weather.) Enjoy your first days of December, as we shall! Loving the deliciousness of it all…

  3. coastalcrone says:

    Thank you for stalking blogs today. I shopped some in Houston Friday but am glad to be home today with sunshine and warmer weather.

    • Kathy says:

      It was fun stalking blogs today, coastalcrone. So nice to visit yours! Sunshine and warmer weather sound delightful. It’s 32 degrees here but we think that’s tropic these days. 🙂

  4. Stalking blogs, googled people, finished second book in second day, cried, made a video, deleted a video, moved my bird feeder …still no birds, getting the mind ready for the doctor visit in a.m….the day passed and now I put the lights on for weary travelers!

    • Kathy says:

      Linda, were you stalking blogs too, lol? Gosh, it takes a long time for birds to get acquainted to a new feeder, doesn’t it? Good luck for your doctor’s visit and keep a’shinin’ for any weary travelers…

  5. Karma says:

    On this day, I took my lovely daughter back to college after a wonderful Thanksgiving break. I had a great time spending time with her, and miss her again already.

  6. Susan D says:

    I read and took a nap and thought about Christmas decorations, and I think that’s it. Lol … I hope you have a wonderful week.

    • Kathy says:

      Wondering what you’re going to do about Christmas decorations. ?? We’re going to do very little, since we’re going to Georgia for the Big Event. But we will put up the little ceramic tree and some lights. I hope, too, it will be a good week–especially since I’ll see you!

  7. What did I do on the first? Nothing new. SSDD. Do you know that abbreviation. Learned it from a pharmacy tech at the VA many years ago.

    That canal looks too cold. Beautiful in its austerity. Hope I spelled the right.

    Coyote yipping and howling sends shivers up my spine even though I heard them growing up in the country. Still hear them here infrequently. I live in a semi wooded area with thick woods not far from my house. I am near the lake where there is still undeveloped land. Deep ravines, etc.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, I do not know what SSDD means, even though I grew up with a pharmacy family and worked in a drugstore. The canal looked very cold last night, but beautiful with the ice forming. The coyotes yipping scared me awake last night. I thought they were coming inside. Turns out it was only one coyote, chasing deer probably. Barry saw the tracks in the yard. Since I haven’t been outside to see for myself, I don’t know…

  8. john says:

    In regards to the coyotes look at the cover photo of Polly Schaefer’s Facebook page to see how she deals with them. We are done with shopping! I have been assembling plant stands so Jenny’s forest in front of the sliding glass doors to the balcony can be liberated so the xmas tree t can be erected. Two days of Grampa duties and I’m heading back to God’s country.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh yikes, John, I just saw it! None of that for me. I like their yipping too much. Feels magical. I smile every time I think of your Grampa duties–and that you’re returning to the land you love, too.

  9. Bonnie says:

    It seemed a busy day, though it was only this morning that could accurately be called busy. The children in Sunday School practiced for their concert next week, and then church. I am always tired on Sundays, and take the day to not do too much. Chores will wait for tomorrow. I didn’t even get to the blogs until just now.

  10. sandiwhite says:

    Kathy, how kind of you to ask. I attended the Hanging of the Greens Service at my church this morning, Spent the first part of the afternoon at my Aunt and Uncle’s house with their grown children while we enjoyed a “Let’s eat up all the Thanksgiving Leftovers” Lunch. Also enjoyed an interesting discussion on haunted houses and “friendly family ghosties”.
    Came home, read, napped, read some more. Dismembered my Thanksgiving turkey who is now bathing in a large pot of boiling salted water in preparation for the soup to come. Thoroughly restful and peaceful day after the week of busy near-chaos. It has been plenty enough and I am satisfied.

    • Kathy says:

      Sandi, that sounds so cool. “The Hanging of the Greens.” Also, the eating up of Thanksgiving leftovers sounds lovely, and a continuation of the holiday spirit. We have some turkey stock, too, which someday will make a delightful turkey soup. “Plenty” sounds good enough. More than good enough.

  11. I feel like I am on hold Kathy. Too busy at work, no time for shopping, and mostly on hold waiting to hear if an offer we made on a house will be accepted. That will be the highlight of Christmas for us – a home of our own finally! I am looking forward to seeing how your blog evolves, Kathy! Are you going to post every day for December? Or at least the twelve days of Christmas?

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, I didn’t know about your new house proposal. Hope it goes well. No wonder you’ve been busy lately! I can’t say what I’m doing on this blog because I change my mind so often. Would like to post every day for a while…but we shall see. You are a good guesser.

  12. Dana says:

    Marty and I went to see a few houses for sale. Feeling totally out of my element! Thank you for stalking blogs today. It was nice to see you there. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dana, sometimes I feel overwhelmed because there’s so many blogs I want to read. But every time I start reading–I start to enjoy it more and more. You are thinking of buying a house? WOW! That is a major new possibility…wishing you lots of luck.

  13. Carol says:

    On this first day of Christmas I put up the few outside decorations I’m going to do early in the morning. Then I turned football on and slept most of the day away, trying to make up for the sleep I did not get last night. My sleep depends on husband’s sleep – last night was not good.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Kathy says:

      Good job getting some outside decorations up, Carol. We don’t do any of that–no one to see them here in the woods–but I enjoy looking at houses that have them. Glad you were able to make up for some loss sleep. That can’t be any fun.

  14. I did the same thing I always do, went out in God’s beautiful creation and chased His critters around.

  15. Dawn says:

    Mostly I was lazy today. Though we did visit two of husband’s relatives this afternoon and evening. Now it’s time to get ready for work again tomorrow. Sadly.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m getting ready for work this morning, too. Just told Barry–as he left on the icy steps–must respond to some blog comments before I leave. Visiting relatives is a good way to spend the first day of Christmas.

  16. Barb says:

    Hello Kathy, I came by to wish you joy this season. I see you are paring your words, allowing me to read between and beyond the lines. I took a long walk on the packed trail into the wilderness today. I went alone. I thought of many people though – you were in my thoughts at some point. At a lonely spot, I came upon a snow child. It had a garland of pine on its head and small cones and leaves for features. I was transfixed by its innocence so deep in the silent forest. (I realize I shouldn’t write so much because wordpress doesn’t allow me to see my full comment to proof it.)

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Barb, yep, I’m always changing this blog around to my personal delight. Some days lots of beloved words–some days no words at all! (Like the previous post.) Just imagining that snow child transfixes me. Have you read the book The Snow Child? It’s a great read.

  17. lisaspiral says:

    I listened to a coyote this week too, up at my folks for the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone else was in bed and I was still up reading when suddenly the “that’s not a dog, that’s not a wolf” howling started. I figured it was something telling me I ought to get to bed myself. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Lisa. Barry and I kept bickering, I mean teasing, all day about whether it was a coyote or wolf. And whether it yipped or barked. Isn’t the howling eerie? I understand why you decided to get into bed!

  18. Brenda Hardie says:

    Good Morning Kathy,
    Alex and I spent much of the weekend getting Christmas lights outside (on the porch and all along the back yard fence). I unpacked my favorite lights, the big ceramic bulbs that remind me of childhood Christmases and we used those. It looks lovely! My neighbor, Judy, loves them and sent me an email thanking us for putting them up. Alex and I also spent much time reading his book for school. He asked me to be his reading partner for this big project and he chose the book “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini. He loves the book but it’s so long and we’ve only read 300 of the 500 pages. The book reading and report needs to be done by the 13th. So, we’re working hard to get done in time. I know he will have a lot of homework during the week so most of the reading has to be done on the weekend. (I should note that Alex did not let me know about this assignment right away and then did not choose his book right away either—sooo we got a late start. It’s not how I would go about a reading assignment. *sigh) And of course I did the usual cleaning in preparation for setting up Christmas decor so the house will be festive when family comes down for Christmas Day. It’s been a long time since I hosted Christmas and I’m excited for it. ♥
    I would much rather hear a coyote outside my window than the traffic I do hear. But at least I have many little birds visiting the feeder right outside my window and that cheers me up despite the traffic.
    We’re in for snow most of this week and then will fall into the deep freeze so I’m very glad we got the outside decorations up already! I hope your shopping was successful 🙂 I won’t be doing any shopping this year. It will be a handmade Christmas with no store bought gifts. At least from me.
    Have a beautiful day in the northwoods, my friend ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Brenda. Alex has a darn good mother in you–glad to hear that you help him so much with his homework. Glad that you have your bird feeder to remind you of nature’s beauties. I was mentioning in a comment up above–we usually don’t put up any outside decorations–sometimes a wreath. There’s nobody to see them in the woods. But I love looking at the pretty lights on other’s house. Haven’t seen too many yet this year. P.S. Handmade Christmases are some of the most special.

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        Kathy, You’re welcome honey and thank you for thinking of me as a good Mom for Alex. And I know that having a house in the woods would make outside decorations less desirable but if it was my home I would put lights out there because they brighten my spirit so much. ♥

  19. sonali says:

    I wait all the year round for the white pictures. Thank you for sending the purity & peace 🙂 1st day of Christmas 🙂 Lots happened.. lovely day I had..

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you had a lovely day, Sonali! I smile at your love of white snow pictures. Since I don’t go out and take pictures every day these days, you should go visit Heather’s northern Michigan blog. She takes marvelous snow pics! (And some days I will have snow pics here, too…) Thank you!

  20. debyemm says:

    Oh my, I don’t know how you do it. Read and reply to so many. Felt the relief of December with spaciousness from November’s intensities. My kid’s started their “Christmas Count-down Calendars” (Advent Calendars) with a piece of Chocolate for Day 1. Wrote the weekly business blog. Posted my son’s latest in the mini-movie YouTube series. Chatted with my friend in The Netherlands for a good long time. Started a new month’s Gratitude Chain in two communities with George Winston’s “Winter” piece and thought of the year end coming soon. Have NOT bought a single Christmas Gift yet and don’t feel motivated at all this year. Let my husband talk me into waiting until next Sunday, to freeze whatever Thanksgiving leftovers remain into Sunday Night Dinner packets. Enjoyed the meal of leftovers from the dinner I could hardly enjoy on Thursday because of so much work getting it done (started at 1pm, dinner at 10:30pm) and so much mess waiting to be cleaned up afterwards (finishing at 3:15am). I am not talented at getting a big feast together efficiently !! To bed early, as I have done since Friday night.

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, thanks for sharing the rich details of your life. It is good to feel the edges of who you are… Can’t imagine getting together a big feast, myself. Always admire those who seem to do it so effortlessly! As for responding to everyone, I only do so sometimes now. Not every blog post. Only when the urge and time strikes. Otherwise, it gets too overwhelming. Love to you!

  21. Heather says:

    We had a pretty relaxed day, but it followed one of shopping. And we did some online shopping. If I can buy items locally for a reasonable price, I do, but often I can’t, and Amazon just works so well. We still have lots of loved ones we’d like to get gifts for, but so many of them are children, and their parents haven’t passed along any gift ideas. Want to get something with developmental value, not just toys.
    I love when the coyotes yip and howl in the valleys. Not so sure I’d love it right outside my window. Hopefully you’ve ventured out safely 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I know just what you mean in the shopping department, Heather. We like to shop locally, too, when we can, but sometimes Amazon is the best option. As for coyotes yipping outside the window, there is something elementally scary about that. Even when you know it’s probably OK, the heart beat can increase astronomically and keep you awake. I thought a long time about getting out of bed just to see…but never made it pass the covers.

  22. sybil says:

    I took the dogs and a pair of “loppers” into the boggy woods at the end of my street and made hiking trails. Then I watched a British TV show (on-line) called “Sherlock”. Really good. Then I watched more TV as I lay in bed. Then I slept. Lots. Today was a bit better as Amy-Lynn came over an we played Carcassonne. Walked dogs. Re-potted plants.

    Am studiously ignoring all Christmas preparations or shopping.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh thank you for sharing this, Sybil. I had the most awful day yesterday–just wrote a blog about it. Can’t watch TV here when things aren’t going well. No TV. Wish I could have been with you and Amy-Lynn…

  23. Stacy says:

    Not to be pedantic or anything, Kathy….but the first day of Christmas is really December 25th (lasting until Twelfth Night, or January 5). But hey…Advent did start on December 1st this year!! How do you like that? So, let’s say that on the first Sunday of Advent, I spent the day putting boxes back into the attic because I had spent the previous two days decorating the house. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh darn, Stacy, am I making up my own interpretations again? You mean I can’t imagine December 1st is the first day of Christmas? (And get others believing it is, too, shameful…) I always think of December 1st as the first day of Christmas because it’s illegal to listen to Christmas carols until then. Ooops, did I make that up too? *grin* We used to have Advent calendars when the kids were young, and lit candles too for several years…

  24. Sheryl says:

    I relaxed as a wonderful Thanksgiving week-end wound down. Soon enough, it will be time to start thinking about Christmas.

  25. dorannrule says:

    I spent the day in a panic since nothing has been done yet for Xmas! Made peanut brittle, wrapped gifts, made lists. Kept napping between unfinished projects to recuperate from jet lag. Same Dec. 2nd and I suspect tomorrow will be no better. P.S. I think I detect your new blog look!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Dor, it’s good to see you’re back home, even though you’re still in jet-lag mode. Naps are good! As for lists, have at least two going around here now.

  26. I’m a day late. I suppose that means it’s the second day of Christmas.

    I woke up early this morning. I had big cup of hot tea. I worked out. I read blogs. It’s peaceful and quiet here in the Andes.

    Loved the quiet of this post, dear Kathy!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  27. Oops, maybe it’s the 3rd day of Christmas. I’m more behind than I realized!

  28. From a beach-y post to a snow-y post! Two of my favorite things! 🙂
    I don’t like shopping much either, and did some of it online this year.
    And on December 1st I was baking Christmas cookies…..and I was baking Christmas cookies yesterday….and will be baking more today, and then I’m DONE! With any luck they’ll last until Christmas 😉

    • Kathy says:

      It’s amazing how quickly one can go from the beach to snow, from gratitude to anger. LOL! Mmm, Christmas cookies! Sounds delicious. Wouldn’t mind munching one right now, Michaela.

  29. Pat says:

    Hi Kathy. I like your new writing style. I also have very fond memories of shopping in Houghton. It is such a quaint town with very steep hills – but that is common for cities that were settled on rivers. I had a perfect first day of Christmas. It was quiet, giving me time to settle down after the harshness and business of last week. My sister died unexpectedly and Thanksgiving at my house all in one week. Last night was capped by having serving dear friends Thanksgiving leftovers for a candlelight supper and lots of laughter and friendly chatter. Perfect!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Pat, I’m always mixing up my writing style, my goodness, yes, in order to avoid too much sameness. Houghton is such a lovely little town. Barry suggested I put some more pictures of it in the blog, but haven’t done that yesterday. So very sorry to hear about your sister’s death. Many condolences…

  30. Shopping for our loved ones at Christmas can be a joy and a nightmare. I still dream about waking up Christmas morning, having forgotten to buy presents, or having more presents for one child than the other and scrambling to figure out how to make it right!

    As for Dec. 1st, I was card-making. (What else is new?) I made a list of all the people I want to make cards for and was shocked to see the number close to 70! I may have to disappoint some people. I’m nowhere close to having made that many cards and with Christmas fast approaching, I’m not sure I ever will get that many done. I may have to pare down the list a little. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I’ve had that very same dream, withershins, although not yet this year! Smiling at your card-making. My goodness, 70 cards would be a LOT to make. I’m probably sending out a maximum of 30 and who knows how many will be homemade. Need some more card stock.

  31. Love the gray tones in your photos–so brings out the feel of winter. We took two of our kids to the plane/bus to go back to school after Thanksgiving on Dec 1, but Thanksgiving was lovely.

  32. Janet says:

    I’m just not in the Christmas spirit this year (yet). On the first day we did a little on-line shopping. I don’t like shopping, I’m not good at it, it frustrates me to not know my children well enough to know what they need/want without asking them. Then we watched football and went for a walk. Coyotes are loud when they’re nearby, surprisingly loud.

  33. New directions…I’m intrigued.

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, Lunar! I can barely remember what new direction I was thinking about turning when writing this. Well, kinda, sorta, almost remember and have kinda, sorta, almost succeeded (but not 100%).

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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