Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November Ends, December Begins


The excitement around our parts this week has been the weather. Snow fell thick and fast in some parts, but we saw just a wee bit that was gone by the late afternoon. Birds flew thick and fast to the feeder and the fig tree all morning looking for food. 

Here they are filling their faces - a male House Finch, a Dark-eyed Junco (also above), and behind, probably a sparrow. Cold weather is forecast for the rest of the week, with a possibility of more snow. Not a good weekend to be moving house, as our daughter and her husband will be doing.  

During these colder, darker days I've enjoyed reading Nigel Slater's The Christmas Chronicles, full of tasty tidbits of Christmas lore, comforting recipes, and thoughtful reflections on such topics as the scent of winter, about which he says, "But winter has its own smell: step outside on a frosty morning and you are smelling the cold.Two of our neighbours heat their homes with wood and I love seeing the neatly stacked chunks of wood, and smelling the wood smoke as it curls up from the chimneys. And often, in the evening, I will stand outside on the porch for just a few moments, breathing in the cold night air. 

Slater gives a recipe for a Fig and blue cheese salad full of crunchy apples and thinly sliced raw beets. I had no fresh figs, but added a few slivers of dried ones. In place of hazelnuts I used pecans. I love recipes that are adaptable. 

Cora turned two this week. When I gave her the bag with her birthday crown, she fished the crown out saying "My own crown" - she's been wearing her sister's from time to time. A Nana-made felt crown for a second birthday is another tradition. 

And so December begins. A busy month, if we let it be so. Slater says about Advent: "The point is sure more than a Christmas countdown, but a moment each day to stop and think of the more spiritual essence of the season. Maybe even to say a little prayer."

December can be such a busy time full of list-making and checking, of rushing from here to there with no time to enjoy the moments. At the end of the Christmas season, I find that what is remembered are the small moments: the mug of hot chocolate sipped while watching the snow fall, a particular piece of music, a game played with a child, the flicker of a candle on a grey morning, or a simple meal shared with friends. 

My intention this December is to slow down and create peaceful moments, and hopefully, wonderful memories to tuck away for the future. 


  1. Your thoughts ring true to ones I tried to write about last night and finally deleted and shortened my whole post. You said it so well.
    I'm also wondering, are those still figs on your tree?

  2. Happy birthday to Cora. Thankyou for reminding me about the Nigel Slater book. Time to dust it off. That blue cheese salad sounds delicious. Happy December. B x

  3. Happy December! Beautiful crown to match the lovely tradition.

    Hygge ruling the holiday season will make it merrier.

  4. Happy birthday to your little one! I will have to look up Nigel Slater. Have a wonderful December.

  5. I do like Nigel Slater, he takes such a sensible approach to recipes. I wonder if you have read his book called Toast, mostly about his rather sad childhood?

  6. The crown is another sweet tradition your littles can enjoy. It's a lovely creation. That salad looks delish. Happy Birthday to sweet Cora and happy December to you.

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  8. Love beets! The salad looks great!

    Happy birthday to your little princess!

  9. The salad looks delicious. The crowns are such a sweet tradition! I love your ideas for your grandchildren. And I always enjoy your garden photos. Our birdfeeder has been busy as well.

  10. A Nana-made felt crown tradition is wonderful. Happiest of birthdays to Cora. I stepped briefly out the front door earlier to shake my dusting cloth and smelled that scent of winter. Which we are definitely having.

  11. Lovely photographs.
    Happy birthday wishes for Cora.

    Happy December Wishes.

    All the best Jan

  12. Anonymous10:04 PM

    I would have loved a crown as a child! What a fun gift!

  13. The subspecies of junco you have out there, known as Oregon Junco, is beautiful and quite different from the slate-coloured subspecies we have here. It is a delightful little bird and we have a dozen or so in our backyard every day. They bring us great joy and I am sure your birds do too, Lorrie.

  14. Beautiful all.... Love the Crown.... Your Dec. plans sound perfect....


  15. We are expecting snow this weekend or next week. Today I went to get bird food for the week. You have different birds than we have they are nice. Cora has a beautiful crown Happy belated Birthday! I also love winter evenings reading by the fireplace with a scented candle. I wish you a good winter weekend !

  16. GRRRRR-Lost my comment. December can get busy but, like you, I remember and enjoy the small moments in all the busyness of it all. Cora is darling and that is a wonderful 2nd birthday tradition. I am sure she is thrilled with her crown. I love the 2s....I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Lorrie. xo Diana

  17. Your bird photos are sweet - we have these little guys here as well. I have also noticed Western Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings further down the street, but unfortunately not in my backyard. It is very cold here as well with frosty nights, but also got some much needed rain. Advent is supposed to be a quiet and peaceful time, but usually it's anything but. School is pretty wild, I got quite some orders in my shop and am busy knitting and on top of that I have been summoned for jury duty. Wishing you a good advent.

  18. Happy Birthday to Cora! 🎂🎁
    Love her adorable crown.
    The salad looks amazing!

    Hugs and blessings, Lorrie 💐

  19. No snow here... just a very grey and dull weather! Oh I just love that crown!
    Have a great Sunday and take care...

  20. Thank you for the beautiful, heart-warming and wise post, Lorrie. Slowing down is exactly what we should do this month.
    Thank you also for your most recent comment. Of my posts those that mention God or faith may receive less comments than others and I especially appreciate the comments received. :)
    Wishing you a blessed advent.

    1. Thank you for your comment yesterday! There are many national and local Independence Day celebrations. In our family, we light candles in our windows, watch the televised military parade and have dinner together.

  21. I think I must have commented on Instagram, but I love The Christmas Chronicles. It is a book worth reading every year. Now I will be checking out that recipe. Mostly I read, but I didn't try a pork chop recipe last week. I love, love the birthday crown and so happy your little one now has her own. My grandson's teacher in preschool would make each child a birthday crown. I love them. Your wreath is so pretty with the snow on it. I seem to be really into wreaths this year and love evergreens around the house.

  22. Cora's birthday crown made me smile.

    I also prefer a slower-paced December...I've already started to push work meetings (that's a January problem) to 2023. HA!

  23. You are good at making wonderful memories!


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