Tag Archives: Christmas decorations

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Sneak Peek: Comfort Food Kitchen Cooking Party at Gail’s

It’s been a busy weekend around here. We started decorating the house for Christmas. My daughter Tory and her boyfriend Kailan kicked off by decorating our tree. The two teens, music blasting, laughed, talked and, oh yeah, decorated our tree; my husband Mike just needs to put the angel on the top. And since it’s raining cats and dogs today, I’m sure he’ll do it pretty quickly. You see, the rain has dampened his exterior setup of his annual Christmas light spectacular. Mike is a man on a mission when it comes to exterior Christmas lights. Suffice to say, the front of our home is aglow every Christmas season. I’ll pull the tree skirt, stocking, santas, bells, and more out of storage boxes and bop to a Christmas beat as I finish decorating the inside of the house this afternoon.

The two cheerful teens did a great job decorating the tree!

The absolute best part of this weekend for me, though, was Friday night. My Magnificent Seven girlfriend Gail hosted a cooking party at her home, complete with professional chef! Suzanne Michaud of Comfort Food Kitchen showed five of the Magnificent Seven how to prepare a number of scrumptious savory hors d’oeuvres. She demonstrated the method, gave us helpful hints, then we tried it for ourselves, hands on. What fun! Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on the cooking part of the party!

Suzanne Michaud is da bomb!

Billie Jean says she's hungry. Really, really hungry.

Gail’s two German Short-Haired Pointers, Cooper and Billie Jean attended the cooking party too. You know Cooper and Billie Jean already if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time; I’ve written about walking with Gail and her dogs a couple of times. Friday night Cooper and Billie Jean, tails wagging, joined us in the kitchen. In short, they are mooches.

Prior to our arrival I heard that Cooper snatched a mouthful of peppers (I think) right from under Gail’s watchful eye.

Cooper, attempting to charm me into giving him a piece of. . .anything!

The dogs were in food heaven as the scent of French ham, Gruyere cheese, roasted peppers and more wafted right past their noses, and the dogs did their level best to entice us, the human guests, to smuggle them bits of savory.

Problem was that we, the human guests, were pounding down the delicious food as soon as it came off the stovetop or out of the oven! We weren’t sharing. Taste Suzanne’s food and you’ll know what I mean; you won’t be handing it to a dog, no matter how nice the dog! The dogs tried everything to score a snippet of food, but to no avail.

After a while Cooper resorted to being a pointer.

German Short-Haired Pointers really do point!



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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Animal Tales, best friends, Christmas, Christmas Decor, Comfort Food Kitchen, Cooking, Dogs, Food, German Short-Haired Pointers, Magnificent Seven, Suzanne Michaud

Outdoor Christmas Decorations: Arizona Style

Day 4 of Fun in the Sun with My Mom

Living my life on the East Coast in a state where we celebrate all four seasons (that would be Spring Summer, Fall and Winter for those of you who might live somewhere other than where I do in New Jersey), I’m finding it really cool to see how a desert area of our good old U.S of A. decorates for Christmas; in New Jersey, it’s freezing cold and often snowy at Christmas so I’m used to Santas, reindeer and a myriad of Christmas decor that “shows well” in cold conditions.  Late today with temps hovering in the 70s and dressed in shorts, t shirt and flip flops (unlike the residents who are dressed in pants and sweaters), I took a walk up the street where my Mom lives in Sun City, AZ. And, yes, I did see many “traditional” East Coast-style Christmas decorations. You know, the twinkly lights along the roofline, the wreath on the front door. That sort of decorating style is what I’d expect to see, being from the East Coast and all.

Pretty standard decorating style, albeit with a rock front yard.

When I switched direction and walked down the street where my Mom lives I saw a whole ‘nother style of outdoor Christmas décor.





Since we don’t have cactus surviving our Jersey winters I’ve never seen this:

I have never seen anything like this Christmas "shrub." Have you?

Or this:

These characters made me laugh out loud. I mean really!!

The décor was desert-style Christmas all the way. And I laughed out loud at the sheer innovativeness of the designs: simple, but oh so effective.

I just wouldn’t want to have to un-decorate these yards after Christmas. I hate prickly shrubs! And cactus? Forgettaboutit.

Would you?

P.S. For those interested in our shopping exploits, Mom purchased a preowned Broyhill dining room table and four caned-backed chairs this afternoon. We were in Estate Resale, a shop close to her home, when she spotted the creamy-colored set and fell in love with it. A family in-law was quickly called and we loaded the set onto his pickup truck. While Mom scrubbed the set super clean, I finished hanging a bunch of pictures on the walls, bound her new mudroom carpet, prepped some large pots for her to plant herbs in come January and re-arranged some more furniture.

Mom's new dining set. She loves it. (Hey. Take a look at the pictures hung on the wall. I did massive math calculations and hung them! My husband Mike would be proud, I hope.

And, yes, my friends, I am finally worn out. I wing my way back to Jersey tomorrow.

Mom said she missed her daily naps during my visit, but is happy to report that she has truly settled in and will be residing in this wonderful home for at least another year or so. We’ve had a lot of fun together and she’s already planning the projects for my next visit!

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Aging, Arizona, Christmas Decor, Shopping, used furniture