We arrived home late last night after a quick getaway to beautiful, wintery Quebec City where the Christmas lights twinkled and the city was dressed in its holiday finest. Snow and ice covered the sidewalks, the temperature hovered in the teens and oh that northerly wind! Brrrrrrrr, bundle up baby!
But two days in the city came at a cost, two travel days from hell. It’s the travel days that had us questioning our decision to leave the comfort of our home. Each day involved 12 hours, mostly spent in the confines of several airports with only 3 3/4 hours spent in the air. This and John fell victim to a stomach virus that kept him in the room from Monday night until we left the hotel on Wednesday morning. Not the best of trips for him but not bad for me. I will save the details for another post.
Christmas decorations are going up slowly around here. We pull the artificial tree out on years we travel but, well, you can see the problem with the lights, er no lights. Tomorrow we will find a few replacement strands and relegate the tree to the porch. Plans are to replace it with a fresh one. I am look forward to the house filling with the sights and scents of Christmas.
This small wooden bowl was picked up at The Great Alaskan Bowl Company on a stop in Fairbanks in 2001. We spent a few days there waiting for our group to gather before heading to the Brooks Range for our first backpack in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bowl holds memories (rocks) from several backpacks I have taken and feathers discovered on local walks. I like the bits of glitter among the earthy wood and rocks.
The holiday cactus defy my lack of preparedness and are blooming right on schedule. I am a holiday cactus fan. They take a lot of abuse during the year and continue to put on an amazing show of flowers during the holidays. The red cactus was purchased about five years ago from a local grocery. It started as a few sprigs, look at it now!
The fuchsia cactus holds my heart. I purchased it in 2010 for my mother the Christmas before she passed away in spring 2011. This cactus is moving toward the end of its life as the base becomes very woody and stalks break easily. I am working on rooting pieces as fast as they break. Hopefully a new cactus (or two) will emerge from the old.
A few lights and Christmas items sit on the buffet. The photos need to be culled to give Christmas room to breath. The dining room is waiting for holiday linens, candles, lots of food and laughter from family.
Today I received this lovely holiday gift from Lancôme. A nice unexpected surprise and a little luxury during the hustle-bustle of Christmas. It consists of a full size Absolue cleansing cream, a small size soft cream and a lovely candle. I look forward to burning the candle while sipping coffee after the 1st of the year.
I am closing with this picture of La Petite Champlain in Quebec, a reminder that Christmas is a short six days away. It’s time to put on my running shoes and get going. I have much shopping, wrapping and decorating to do and a little gathering with friends before the big day.