Sunday, December 25, 2022

Our Holiday Wish For You



HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: You fabulous Reds and Readers! There is not a day that's gone by, not for the past FOURTEEN years, that we have not thought of you.

Can you imagine how amazing that is?

You are such a part of the Reds' lives, and we are so endlessly grateful.

In this time of uncertainty and stress, when so many things we rely on have changed, we are so grateful and touched that you have honored us with you joy and your contributions and your insight and support and enthusiasm. 

We have been together through triumph and struggle, through wishes fulfilled and postponed.  And weather! We have handled the murkiest of waters, and climbed the highest--so far--of heights.

You have allowed the seven of us to be part of your community, and we cannot be more in awe of you all.

 Happiest of everything, whatever you celebrate, and may all of your holiday dreams come true.

If you have a moment, tell us what you are doing today! Or tell us one good thing about anything in your lives. 

We adore you. We rely on you. You are our gift!



117 comments:

  1. Hoping everyone who celebrates has a wonderful day . . . .
    One good thing in my life . . . well, two good things . . . the lovely, special Jungle Red Writers family and the family with which we celebrate Christmas today . . . .

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    1. Awwwww you are incredibly special, dear Joan! And we are so grateful! ❤️

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    2. We love having you here Joan, Merry Christmas!

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  2. I'm going to cook a recipe I've only ever eaten when we visit my husband's family in India. It's a South Indian sweet dish called Payasam. I'm excited about making this dish, because our favorite bookstore in Braga has a lunch bar, and we eat there often and have become friends with the owners and staff. One day a week ago, they brought us a complimentary dessert called Aletria. that is served during the Christmas season here in Portugal. (It's one of five main sweets for the season.) It's like a pudding, really. AND IT TASTES EXACTLY LIKE PAYASAM. I looked up both recipes, and only two ingredients are different - Aletria uses egg yolks and cinnamon; Payasam uses cardamom and no egg yolks. Both are made with vermicelli, milk, butter, and sugar. I'm cooking it today to get it right, and then on January 6th we will be celebrating Three Kings day with our "Portuguese family" and I'm planning to take it for dessert. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the seven of you. This is one of my favorite blogs to read.

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    1. Merry Christmas Elizabeth--that sounds almost like a sweet kugel!

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    2. That is fascinating! And sounds delicious! Have a marvelous glorious day !

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  3. Happy Holidays! I'm going to a friend's house. Hope everyone enjoys their day.

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  4. Good morning, merry Christmas, and thank you for years of community and great reading!

    Hugh and I will have a quiet day of eating, opening a few gifts, a zoom with my sons, playing cribbage, and reading, plus maybe a movie.

    May all the lovely front and back bloggers here enjoy love, delicious food, and a good book.

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    1. Merry Christmas Edith, we're always glad to have you here!

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    2. Thank you Karen - he is. Thank you, Lucy. This is a great place to start my day.

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    3. Hurray! SO glad Hugh is better, and you two have a sweet and lovely day.

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    4. I know it's not the Christmas you planned, but I hope it's a wonderful day in its own way, Edith.

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  5. Happy Christmas, everyone! Thanks for everything, dear Reds and Readers. I love this community of caring human beings. xo

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    1. Aw, thank you, Amanda! You are SUCH a big part of this community--and we are so grateful.

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    2. Happy Christmas, Amanda! And stay warm up there!

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  6. Thank you, Hank and the other six Reds. We appreciate how you entertain us and enlighten us every day. And to everyone, Merry Christmas and happy seventh day of Hanukkah! My husband and I have our son at home for four days, which makes us very happy. Our big Swiss family dinner was last night, and we cooked and hosted it this year. Today's program: a leisurely breakfast with bacon and fancy coffee cake (Dresdener Stollen), opening presents, answering Christmas emails and starting one of my gift Kindle books, taking a long family walk under cloudy skies (but at least it isn't raining!), and making an easy fish chowder for dinner. A joyful day. And I wish you all the same---if possible, given the US weather.

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    1. Oh,so perfect! Coffee cake is one of my favorite things in the world, I have to say. Have a marvelous family day! xx

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    2. Frƶhliche Weihnachten, Kim!

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  7. From Celia:- Blessings and a very Happy Christmas to you my dear Reds and readers. I’m so grateful for all you have given me and I have my Christmas wish too - Victor and I are together but with our daughter, son in law and g’sons at their home! Yes we have left the house for the first time since Jan 2020! The great storm of Xmas 2022 sent our Son in law who packed us oxygen and all into his car and bore us away from our powerless home (we do have a generator but our daughter worries) into Christmas joy, hugs all round. So let joy be unconfined today and for you all, joy each day. My cup is full. Hugs to everyone.

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    1. Celia, Merry Christmas! That's wonderful news.

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    2. From Celia:- Many, many thanks Judy, I wish you a happy year ahead and more JRW fun.

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    3. Celia, so happy for you and Victor!

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    4. So glad you and Victor are with family this Christmas and doing well after the storm. It was a big blow!

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    5. WOW--that's brilliant! I can feel your joy--and I know your family is as happy as you are! Thank you so much for.everytihng..xoxo

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    6. Thinking of you and Victor up in Maine, Celia!

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    7. What a blessing for Christmas, Celia. Hooray for worrying daughters and their spouses. May you all be wrapped in love and joy. Elisabeth

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  8. Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah to my favorite start to every day. Well, along with coffee! I so appreciate the Reds and this much treasured community. And Hank, you all helped us get through Covid. That is huge.

    We started our morning with coffee and chocolate chip biscuits in our room, delivered by a Samburu wearing traditional dress, similar to that worn by the Masaai (they consider themselves cousins), and a jaunty Santa hat. Each of us was given a small bag containing our own hat and a beaded item chosen particularly for the recipient. Mine is a beautiful pair of green beaded hoop earrings.

    We had our picture taken with our guide Joseph and some of our other favorite staff, which I'll eventually post on Facebook, after we get home.

    May the peace of the season be with you always.

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    1. Karen, XXOO! Merry Christmas!

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    2. Merry Christmas Karen--you win the prize for most exotic! xo

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    3. That is amazing! YOu are having such a lifetime experience, and making so many wonderful memories along the way. And you are amazing to keep us posted every day from so far away! xxx Happy everything!

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    4. Amazing holiday experience, Karen! My sister visited the Samburu Reserve when she studied in Kenya years ago. Blessings to you.

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    5. Karen, what an amazing Christmas for your family!

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    6. Omigosh, Gillian! It's such an incredible place. How wonderful that she could spend time in this most beautiful and welcoming country. My daughter and her husband have loved living here, and we feel so lucky to be able to visit them.

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  9. I’m so happy for you Celia and Victor that you are safe with your daughter and family. Enjoy your Christmas !
    Danielle

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    1. From Celia:- Many, many thanks Danielle, I wish you a happy year ahead and more JRW fun.

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  10. Hank and Jungle Red family, thank you for welcoming me into this fabulous, uplifting group. When I tell people that I have friends all over the world whom I have never met except here, they may be skeptical but I know you understand. Happiest of holidays to all of you!
    Today, wonderful friends will come over for latkes and hors d'oeuvres and dessert. I'll spend the day in the kitchen preparing our fare. While working, I will listen to a sexy romantic audiobook and think about how much my life is better because of authors.
    Much love here, sending it out! ❤️

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    1. Judy, we couldn't imagine our family without you! I could use one of those latkes... xox

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    2. AW, thank you! And that is quite the picture--you cooking (in an apron?) and listening to that book! Hilarious. Mmmmmm, Latkes! Sending so much love!

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    3. Love and Latkes! Perfect, Judy!

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  11. Sorry, my last comment should have been in the replies.

    I wish everyone a vey good day no matter what you celebrate !
    I love you all and always enjoy reading your posts and comments.
    Danielle

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  12. Dear Hank and JRW, This blog has been such a gift to me! I am so grateful for the spirited conversations, and, as a relative newby, feel delighted by the way I have been included into the community. I've now read at least one book by all of you and will read more AND you've led me to so many other great authors. I don't have time for all the reading I would like to do. Plus I've won some free books. How fun is that?!!! However you are celebrating during this time, may you be blessed with love, warmth, and connection.

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    1. Awww...you are FAMILY now! And we are thrilled to her about your reading..hurray! ANd oh, thank you!xoxoo

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    2. I guess I didn't get to your other questions: Life is good--I'm grateful that my son is doing well in his PhD program, that church is back to meeting in person (and we will have a new rector in another month or two) and that I live in a beautiful part of the world. I'm going to be doing a stocking stuffer exchange with family (about 8 of us) todayand eating turkey and potatoes and perhaps playing games.

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    3. Isn't it wonderful to be back having Christmas with family this year, Gillian?

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    4. It really is Julia! I just realized that the last 2 Christmases I was waiting for COVID test results. Glad it’s different this year!

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  13. A blessed day to you all, however you celebrate! I start my day off with this blog every morning without fail. There is always a sense of community and fellowship, usually laughter, thought-provoking posts from the front and back of the blog. It's not just the books and new authors that bring me back, although those have provided me with many hours of pleasure! My one good thing about today? It's warmer this morning!!

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    1. Hurray! Stay cozy, and that's so sweet that you start here every day. I love imagining you! oxxoo

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  14. We are celebrating Christmas in Florida, away from family but not friends. We’ll FaceTime our daughter and husband and see our little grandson on screen for his first Christmas - he’s ten months old. We listened to Dylan Thomas read A Child’s Christmas in Wales last night, followed by some traditional carols. We head over for dinner with chums later, l’m bringing bread and butter pudding and green beans. Thanks to all you ladies for your insight and companionship and the help you have given to me, a new author, and all your faithful readers. Have a happy and wonderful holiday season, with much love and appreciation, Joyce Woollcott.

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    1. Oh, Joyce, that sounds absolutely perfect! "bread and butter pudding"? Or bread, and butter pudding? :-) Either way is lovely. And aw, a first Christmas! How adorable! Have a wonderful day!

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    2. We'll be zooming with my son and his sweetheart, Joyce - it's wonderful we have these ways of being close even when we're far apart form our loved ones.

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  15. Merry Christmas/Happy holidays to all the Reds and readers!
    I love starting the morning with this blog and connecting with you.
    We got another 13 cm (5 in) of snow yesterday so we're having a White Christmas here in Ottawa.

    A new Christmas cozy mystery and turkey dinner are on the menu today for me.

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    1. Such a joy to see you, Grace! And you are our idol for culinary skill!--I can almost smell that turkey! Have a wonderfully cozy day.xoxooo

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    2. Grace, that sounds divine. Stay warm and cozy up there!

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  16. Hank and JRW family, Happy Christmas and Happy Hannukah!

    Grateful for you all, JRW blog and my family /friends!

    Plan for today? Hope to bake gingerbread cookies. Right now I am baking Irish Oatmeal Cookies.

    Diana

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    1. Happy Everything to you, too! Irish Oatmeal cookies--wow, the must smell fabulous, too! Love you!

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    2. That's pretty ambitious, Diana! My cookies today are storebought...

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  17. Happy holidays to all! At 7:30pm last night, we finally sat down for dinner with three kids, who had experienced arduous trips to arrive 24 hours later than planned.

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    1. Oh, my gosh, what an ordeal! I imagine you are all even more grateful to be together...and now they are safe and cozy. xooo Happiest of everything!

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    2. Oh, Margaret, so glad they arrived safely!

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    3. Thank heavens they all got in safely, Margaret. It will make for great tales in Christmases to come.

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  18. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Reds and readers. I'm grateful for all of you and I've learned so much through this blog. Thank you!

    Plans for today? Quiet at home with hubs and our critters. Pumpkin pie made yesterday and cream whipped, prime rib steaks aged and ready for the griddle pan, then just simple mashers and a broccoli casserole. Hope all have peaceful and calm days.

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    1. That sounds perfect! SO delish! Peaceful and calm--that sounds exactly right. xoxo

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  19. Merry Christmas Reds.
    Hoping all of you got to where you were going safely and are with those who are your dearest.

    I’m looking forward to a quiet day, phone calls to all children and grandchildren, cuddles with dogs and good food. Today it is ham and scalloped potatoes. I’ve been eyeing that ham for several days now, can’t wait to dive it!

    I wish you each a prosperous and happy new year, filled with all the things you dream of,

    Much love, Ann

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    1. Oh, the ham has been calling to you! Aww....all the things we dream of. This brings tears to my eyes. ANd to you, too! xoxo

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    2. Now you're making me crave ham, Ann, and we know what happened the last time that happened. Have a Merry Christmas!

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  20. Happy All-The-Holidays to all the Reds and Readers! I am staying home today, cozied up with a good book and all my furry family. Part of this is by choice but part is because I may have been exposed to Covid during my recent Christmas concert, and that's one bit of holiday "joy" I definitely don't want to spread around. So far I feel fine, and I hope that continues well into the new year. I am warm, well-fed, and a pile of presents awaits under my tree. With that I am content.

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    1. Merry Christmas, Gigi, hope you escaped exposure!

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    2. Crossing fingers, and that is so wise of you. Your day sounds lovely and sweet, and we wish you health and happiness! xoxoo Love you!

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    3. What a sweet (and safe) way to spend the day. Merry Christmas, Gigi.

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    4. May you remain well, Gigi, and your contentment grow. Happy Christmas. Elisabeth

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  21. Merry Christmas! I’ve been at my sister’s since Thursday. The storm knocked out the power 5:30 Friday morning. It was restored here at 8:12 this morning! We’re happy for this gift! They have a generator but it needed a little maintenance before we could start using it later in the day on Friday. My nephew lives across the road (and he never lost power!), and we’re going there later today.

    Thank you, Reds, for creating this community! You have done so much for us, besides introducing us to good books. This is my favorite blog. Blessings on all of you!

    DebRo

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    1. I'm feeling grateful for power as well, Deb - more than half my town lost it on Friday-Saturday, but my house, knock on wood, remains on the grid.

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    2. YAY for power! It is a gift...and so is your very convenient (and generous) nephew! xoxoo

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  22. Merry Christmas Reds and readers,
    ----------Shalom. Well, it’s a little bit warmer here in Doylestown today. The weather app says it is 21F. And the wind seems to have died down. It is good to hear that so many of you are safe and with family. I was able to sleep until the decadent hour of 8:40 am. And despite the thermostat, the house doesn’t seem as cold as yesterday.
    ----------Today, I will be spending the afternoon with close friends and their family. I have gifts for the little ones (picture books) and deluxe car wash coupons that I won in a raffle earlier this year. (I don’t drive.)
    -----------The good news in my life is that I put down a deposit for a church tour to Israel and perhaps Greece taking place in late February and March of 2024. I am so excited. I was in Israel, once, in 1989. I spent 5 months living on a kibbutz and studying Hebrew. So, now, I want to brush off the dust of my Hebrew study books and other books and magazines and so forth and prepare so I can pass as a fluent Hebrew speaker.
    ----------Happy New Year to all of you and trusting that your fondest dreams will come true in the coming year.
    David

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    1. What an amazing event to look forward to, David! My priest did a tour of the Holy Land years ago and still talks about it. And combined with Greece - I'm swooning. Happy Holidays!

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    2. WOw, that is incredible! What an adventure! Happiest of everything..

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  23. Gracious Day to you all. It is day 1 of our 12th Night Feast on Nome St. Currently it is 39.2 F outside and 52 F in the living room. I plan to spend the day creating recipes to post on Facebook (12) Washing Dishes (4) Picking up clutter (2?) Watching a movie with Amy together! And relishing the happiness this blog gives to me. Thank you my magnificent seven, and thank you every one btl who have become my mystery reading/writing family.

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    1. Coralee, I hope the inside temp has picked up a little! It's 15 degrees F here, and as I sit at my desk typing this, I realize I need to turn the heat up higher - I can feel the cold seeping in.

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    2. YOu are such an important part of this, dear Coralee! We so rely on your wisdom and humor. Happiest of everything!

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  24. We are spending a proper Christmas with our kids (daughter, son in law, granddaughter) for the first time since 2019! Presents this morning at our house, dinner this afternoon at theirs. So happy!

    And so grateful for my blog sisters and everyone who joins us every day. You all uplift me and give keep me optimist about humans! Happy Christmas to you all!

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  25. The Great Storm of 2022. Yes, that resonates.

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    1. It feels like we've been having Great Storms, either literal or metaphorical, for quite a few years now, Liane...

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  26. Thank you all for the community you have created. The Santa Ana winds are blowing here in SoCal. Maybe some kayaking later today? Or maybe another lazy day watching football. And reading books preparing for my April trip to Cornwall. Hope everyone stays safe and warm today!
    Lisa in Long Beach

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  27. Happy holidays and merry Christmas, everyone! Hubby and I are having a quiet, restful day, just the two of us. Grateful that the temperature has climbed into the double digits (15! Woo HOO!) and that our power is on.

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  28. Lovely, quiet day. My sister and I exchanged funny snarky texts as we surveyed our gifts to each other. I had a long conversation with husband and son while son is preparing venison meat pies. Husband and dog will hit the road tomorrow and be here Tuesday or Wednesday. Everyone is healthy and happy and who could ask for more? Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays Reds!

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    1. Perfect! I sent my sister a text photo of the (very successful, I thought) rack of lamb I made last night, and in return she sent me hers. Which is MUCH more glamorous. SO MUCH MORE. Although hey, she IS a chef ,and the lamb was for a party she catered, at a famous person's house who I cannot mention. :-) Got to love our sisters! ANd happiest of everything.

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    2. Mmm, venison pies!
      LiLB

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    3. Happy, frabjous Christmas Day to all. I guess I could be sad today that I'm missing the usual Christmas at my daughter's house, with a delicious meal we all contribute to and presents opened by all. And, of course, I do miss them, but my day is good today. I still have Covid, but I've been getting some good rest after I started taking the Mucinex DM. I've had cinnamon rolls and coffee and juice, and I'm watching The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. It's a perfect movie for today. I would say husband is watching it, too, but he's fallen asleep in his chair, with his new, beautiful Lands End boots I got him for Christmas. Later, I will walk husband through fixing the scalloped oysters and broccoli casserole. We already have turkey and ham to eat, and a couple of potatoes to bake. And, there's that chocolate cherry cake that is sitting on the dining room table. I realize that I'm lucky I'm not any sicker than I am, and I will try to not push myself. It's very comforting to me to know where my loved ones are today and that they're okay. Well, our son is sick, getting over the flu, but his ex-girlfriend took him medicine and her tiny dog Meg before she left Lexington. So, he has what he needs to be comfortable. My daughter and her family, including the parents-in-law, have by now had a nice dinner and exchanged presents. My granddaughter Isabella and Jocelyn, the same aged cousin who lives with them, are delighting in their presents and probably making up one of their many plays they do. I talked to my brother this morning on the phone and my oldest friend through text, and my ex-boyfriend, who is one of my oldest friends, called yesterday and we did our annual Christmas call. Lulu, our Brittany Spaniel, is asleep in her bed very near me. So, I'm thinking I'm a lucky gal.

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  29. We've opened presents and eaten a ridiculous amount of bacon with scrambled eggs and leftover Parker House rolls. The house looks like a cyclone hit it but everyone is content. We are hosting one of my daughter's newly adopted kitten who is endlessly entertaining.

    I do cherish all the connections we've made over the (many!) years through Jungle Red. Folks whose names I know even if not their faces, whose lives it feels as if I'm part of even if from afar. Through covid and grief it's been a lifeline for me.

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    1. SO much love to you! And oh, a kitten! They are adorable. And so are you. xxooooo

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  30. Maureen Harrington CarterDecember 25, 2022 at 3:46 PM

    ♥️ I’m house breaking my little puppy who doesn’t really care.šŸ¾

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  31. ♥️ I’m playing with my puppy who came to live with me and show me who the boss is! —Maureen Harrington CarteršŸ¶

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  32. I'm glad that it warmed up to the 20's and that the wind stopped. Because of going to church, I had shrimp with lobster sauce from a Chinese restaurant for dinner. I'm thankful that I'm reading Carol J. Perry's High Spirits, a Christmas mystery set in Florida where there are decorated palm trees and flamingoes wearing Santa hats. I love this blog and appreciate all of you. Merry Christmas.

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  33. I tried to post earlier, but it didn't go through. Suffice it to say that even though I'm home with Covid, I'm having a good day. Although I missed seeing my daughter and her family today, we're having a nice, quiet day. Cinnamon rolls and coffee and watching The Glass Onion, the new Knives Out movie. A great movie for today. I'll talk Philip through fixing the oysters and the broccoli casserole later. Lulu doggie is sleeping alongside of us.

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  34. Christmas Eve, I went to my sister's for dinner. She and her husband were working today so we did the dinner thing yesterday instead. Then today I went to my friend Ann's where we had dinner, exchanged gifts and watched the first season of Wednesday on Netflix.

    I wrote a shamelessly ripped off version of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas that included my week in music, books and more that went through yesterday with my sister.

    I'm pasting it here should anyone want to read it.

    With my deepest apologies to Clement Clarke Moore...

    'Twas the night before Christmas
    And all through the room,
    Trans-Siberian Orchestra music was blaring
    It was NOT quiet as a tomb.

    I'd just returned from my dinner with Sis
    But my weekly post about music and more
    I just couldn't miss.

    Much like King Diamond, "No Presents For Christmas"
    My sister did insist.
    But when she gives you books and chocolate for Jolabokaflod
    It's hard to resist.

    But it all started much earlier this week.
    So let's have a flashback
    And take a quick peek.

    First there was a guy from a women's hoops board.
    One Richard 77, who, unbidden, just sent me
    a couple of Katie Smith cards to add to my treasure hoard.

    Then came my buddy named George,
    who was playing no tricks.
    When to thank me for helping to find him some comics
    bought me a ticket to see Kix.

    Then I stopped by the Purchase Street Records shop
    Where because of all the great music,
    out of my wallet, the money did POP!

    I grabbed two albums from RATT,
    A Seven Witches disc and one by a band named for a shark
    Why yes, I picked up Great White's 'Shot In The Dark'!
    How about that?

    In the extremely cold light of today
    I picked up a Papa Gino's pizza so fine
    Thanks to rewards and a gift card, what can I say?
    A $20 pizza cost me just $6.79

    I headed to the Twilight Comics shop
    Where Everlast was absent, and so was a guy named Duff
    But Palmer, Ace and I didn't stop
    We gorged on the pizza. Yes, we ate heartily enough.

    Grabbed up my new comics, watched The Glass Onion on TV
    Because a good mystery movie
    Is always great entertainment to me.

    Now I don't have a cap
    And thankfully no wife.
    But I'll be wrapping this up to settle down
    for a short winter's nap.

    Why a short nap, you say?
    Well if I know myself, yes me, the guy known as Jay
    At the hour of three
    I'll be waking up to pee.

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  35. Our youngest son and his rescue dog, Crown, came over after making a security building check at his place of employment. We had Mickey Mouse waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, sausages, eggs, & clementines, which has been our tradition for many years since the kids were small. Then we opened gifts, lounged around, and then stuffed ourselves again with a ham dinner. The Omaha son and DIL were otherwise engaged with jobs and her family who live in the area. Our daughter had planned to come, but was prevented from doing so by the weather and the woman who backed into her vehicle in the Aldi parking lot earlier in the week.
    Weather permitting, we will make the rounds of some other relatives, including our daughter, this next weekend.

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  36. Hmm I wrote a comment but it didn't seem to publish and my Boxing Day one on today's post is not appearing either. Hope everyone had a Happy Christmas!

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