I Smell Snow

Tonight, it smells like snow.  Or December.  I think December has a very distinct smell that reminds me of The Carpenters, John Denver‘s “Aspenglow” song, Columbia, California  and clearly Christmas.  It’s this woodsmoke and cold, mountain air. It’s misty cold from the pines. It’s pines.  It’s the smell of Christmas trees and old candy canes.

Snow smells. People that don’t get snow wouldn’t understand, but snow has this metallic, slightly dirty smell. Like damp dust.  Only it’s cleaner and fresher. And colder.  I know it sounds strange to say snow smells like dust, but every snowflake is made from a speck of dust.  you would not have snow unless you had dirt.  Sounds even stranger.  But seriously, melt snow and the water isn’t very clean at the bottom.  And it tastes weird.  Definitely dirty.  I like to eat snow, but even it doesn’t taste like clean water. Yet you think it is because it’s white.

So, tonight, it smells like metallic cold pines and woodsmoke.

Tonight I smell snow.

That being said, I don’t know if it’s going to snow, but it might be in the mountains. All of California is getting much needed precipitation of some sort.

Kate

Mr. Grinch and Me

charlie brown I've killed itI’m sitting here a little after 6 at night listening to the California rain. The pouring, pouring rain. I’m sipping a glass
(finger and a half) of Crown, feeling rather depressed.  The rain is part of it, but also I’m troubled. I blame it all on Boris who sent me a very long email yesterday. Boris it seems, is my own Mr. Grinch. He doesn’t do Christmas. He doesn’t like all the commercialization of the holiday (cue Charlie Brown and Linus) He doesn’t want his house decorated, thank you very much. He is tired of the holiday already. He doesn’t like the Christmas music that’s been playing since Halloween.  He doesn’t like green. (that coming from my love of forest green nail polish at the holidays)

 

I’m sorry, but I’m a Christmas person. I LOVE Christmas. Not to the point of going overboard. In fact, our tree is very simple and small. Mrs. B puts up our unique and old figurines that are cute and tucked here and there. None of that houses and snow theme that a lot of homes have (though I love that.) We do not have garlands everywhere. There is a wreath on the front gate because Mr. B decided to take what was left from trimming the tree to the correct height and make a wreath, the old dear. It has a gold bow and a red bow on it. Nothing fancy. Yes, we have been playing Christmas music since the 31st of November, but it’s not on all day.

 

Rocky Mountain Christmas

Rocky Mountain Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, you can see that I don’t go crazy. But I love the holiday. I love listening to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas and remembering dancing in our huge living room as a little girl. When I still hoped to be a ballerina. When it was still the 80’s and the 80’s had their own feel. The years of The Carpenter’s Christmas Portrait. When a little girl still wore plaid and corduroy. When my blonde, blonde hair was super girly…. When Barbies and stuffed animals got decorated up and had balls.

 

When I read all the Christmas picture books with my sister. We would sit and read the stack quietly while the record player had our favorite music on. Oh my gosh, that was before cd players and MP3 files.  Would you believe this was long before I ever saw How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Charlie Brown? I actually had never seen those two until I was probably in my late teens. I still adore them though. It’s not Christmas without those two. And The Santa Clause with Tim Allen. And The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. And White Christmas with Bing Crosby.

 

Cropped screenshot of Bing Crosby and Danny Ka...

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye from the trailer for the film White Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I have a lot that make it Christmas. Silly things. Childish things. Nostalgic things. But it’s always Christmas.

 

So I don’t understand not really caring, and I find it sad that Boris is a bit of a Mr. Grinch about it.  Poor man.  It makes me want to make cookies for him and to arrive with a bit of Mistletoe in hand. I just don’t know what to do with him. It’s so very sad and makes me want to cry. I’m sure he has no clue about his words doing that to me, but I may tell him. How to take a marvelous holiday and make me want to cry. I don’t think that’s very nice. See, Mr. Grinch!

 

So, I’m curious. Does anyone of you have a Grinch in your close knit of friends or family members? Does it make you a bit sad?

 

Kate

 

 

 

Here We Come A-Caroling

tumblr_mxqqphYSxQ1qkpc62o1_500This year my Christmas music choice has been more melancholy and quiet. Folk with older acoustic and country, with a touch new age.

If you click the picture, you will be taken right to one of my current playlists that is really hitting me this year.

Each year music, like my nail polish choice, changes and depends on my mood. I think last year I was in the oldies Christmas music with forest green nail polish being my choice. This year, due to Boris telling me, “It’s red. It’s always red;” in regards to my nail polish, I am wearing red for him. I was going to go turquoise, but well, I might splurge right at the end of the season. I have to admit, red is rather nice. And my music choice is something you could listen to in a library, or maybe in a cozy bookstore. I was writing in the stacks at my library the other day listening to it. Plopped down on the floor by the poetry, headphones in and scribbling frantically away in my notebook. It’s rather nice.

So, tell me dearies, what kind of Christmas music do you like? Does it change from year to year? Do you start listening to it full force once the holiday season starts? I’d love to know.

Listening on

Kate

Eve and Noel – Flash Fiction

green-velvet-bow-long-sleeves-1950s-vintage-dress blue-velvet-short-sleeves-1950s-vintage-dressEve and Noel, identical twins in almost every way. Born only a couple minutes apart, Eve on the 24th, and Noel on the 25th, they were named after the holiest of days. Serene and elegant, both women were lovely to look at and calming to be around.

They both attended the Christmas Eve service with their parents. Eve wore a forest green, velvet dress, the skirt full from layers upon layers of tulle, with one of the layers edged in delicate silver, giving a glint as she walked. Her heels were matching velvet, with silver glitter on the four inch heels, twinkling as she walked. She kept with the theme of forest green on her nails, and a huge emerald and silver ring on her middle finger. Silver and green like a diamond Christmas tree, said her father. She had giggled in delight. Every year a specific color stood out for the holiday season. Last year it had been cranberry red, the year before, silver, black, and red.

churchatchristmas_2772351b 6332648515_fbf297138e_zWhile Eve was resplendent in green, Noel was in shades of sapphire blue. They set each other off perfectly with their red gold hair, similar to Rosemary Clooney’s in White Christmas. They were a statement as they walked into the little chapel, arms linked as they made their way to their favorite pew to the delicate strains of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”

Heads turned as watched the two women. Neither of them were proud, but it was impossible to ignore the stir they made.

“Our girls look like models,” their father remarked as he and his lovely wife followed behind their daughters; and it was true.

 

Okay, I wrote this piece of flash fiction last year on Christmas Eve. There wasn’t much of a plot other than velvet dresses and Rosemary Clooney. Enjoy

Kate

Christmas Stories

So the title of this post is rather misleading because I’m not talking stories about Christmas, but books that happen to have Christmas within the pages of the book.  Sadly enough, what first came to mind when I was thinking about this was a romance novel by Lisa Kleypas titled “Suddenly You.”

I love books that have that Christmas theme running through them.  It doesn’t have to take up much of the story, but I love when you draw it in and it is what makes up an intrinsic part of the plot. Maybe a gift from the hero to the heroine. Something personal even though they are at odds with each other.  Maybe it’s the heroine going away to her parents to regroup after being totally befuddled by the hero.  So you have her staying there during the holidays, and her crazy smart sister gives advice that leads the plot on further.

Maybe, like the case of Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay, the heroine learns more about herself and being loved and loving others. (I loved the Christmas part in Dear Mr. Knightley.

In Suddenly You, the heroine is a spinster that breaks down and goes to the lavish party being held by her new publisher, a rakish man.  The party is incredible and the hero is sexy, and heroine is sweet, and they finally give in to their desires and decide to do something about it….. I mean sex, by the way.  Lol.  I’m so laughing here because, really, is this what Christmas has boiled down to?  Sex?

I’m just joking because I really do love this part in the book. And in any book where it comes to play.  There is something magical about the holidays, and the attitudes of people.

If I had been having a novel written about me, I went to meet my boyfriend years ago on the holidays.  That was a massive mistake, but it made me who I am now. And I could have probably written some interesting stuff about that holiday.  So long ago, and that said boyfriend is now married to someone else and they have a baby girl. Go figure.

So I’m curious, does anyone have a specific book that has Christmas within the walls of the book that just makes them feel ooey gooey inside?  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has one of my favorite Christmas themes in it. I love the wizards chess and the cloak… (I’m afraid I’m thinking of the movie as well)  And I love the Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Christmas-y theme in that.

So what book do you love with a Christmas vibe?

Kate

Christmastime Rewind A La Charlie Brown

charlie brown christmasIt’s the second of December and tonight A Charlie Brown Christmas will be playing.  I’ve yet to watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!  I feel like I am horribly behind with these Charlie Brown’s. I think he’d be proud.

I seem to be quite behind with certain things. I haven’t watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade….. Yes, I dvr’d it. This seems to be my MO for a lot of holiday things. I record them then get back to them when I can.

Sometimes I wish life was like this. I wish I could record something or put something on hold till I had time to get to it.  Pause a part of my life so I could skip forward to what I want to do or need to do.  Rewind if I make a mistake. Fast forward when I really want to get out of the icky parts.  Not that I’ve had a ton of ick, but you know, sometimes it happens.

Life hurries by to quickly, but then not fast enough sometimes. I’d like to be able to stop and savor or fast forward at will.  For instance. I’m a 32 year old woman who lives at home and is waiting on Mr. Right.  (I am not willing to settle for Mr. Right Now) Years ago, this would be okay, but by societies standards, it’s not.  Yes, I run the family business with Mrs. B, since Mr. B can’t, but still, I am a 32 year old woman living at home.  My parents would like me gone, but at the same time they tell everyone they couldn’t do it without me.  They tell me I can go at any time, but they also are getting up there with health issues that I am not ready to help manage.  I feel like I can’t even manage myself.  Heck, I can’t even find a guy who will take me. (that sounds really weird when I write that out….)tumblr_luwdgfhdkp1qb9pa3o1_500

I’d like to fast forward this part of my life.  I want to speed by and get to the point of where I meet Mr. Right (if that ever happens)

But then if I were to do that, I’d miss all the other things in life. It’s the unknown that get’s to you.

And if I could I wish I could rewind to moments in my life when it was really good. So that I could go back and savor.

But then, you are living in the past, before you knew what you know now. Was it really better?  Probably not. We think life would be easier if we were kids again, but that only works if you don’t know anything that you know now. If I were a kid knowing what I know now, I’d go insane.  Ignorance is bliss, and that is so true.  Yet, saying that, I don’t want to be ignorant. I want to know as much as I can and keep learning….

And all of this because of Charlie Brown. (This was not where this post was going at all. I was going to talk about Christmas music. Another time, I guess) But a rather morose post. Sorry, dearies.  But on a brighter note, this is my 400th post. Whoo Hoo!

Signing off

Kate

Trees

2013's Christmas tree at the home of Kate's Bookshelf.

2013’s Christmas tree at the home of Kate’s Bookshelf.

It is the first of December already. How is this possible?  Wasn’t it just July? Wasn’t it just hot?

Normally by this time of year we would either have a. purchased the Christmas tree from a tree farm, b. already had the tree up, or c. it was in the bucket of water waiting to go up. None of those apply this year. We have yet to get our tree even due to relying on a friend to cut down a tree from the National forest and bringing it to us.  Where we live, we can get a lovely tree for only $10 if you get a permit from the Forest Service and go out into the forest and cut one down.

There is nothing quite like having a fresh tree from the forest.  They are spectacular, bugs included because yes, they come with bugs. Or spiders.  I mean, it’s from the forest. What do you expect? Sterile and sprayed with chemicals? I don’t think so. And I don’t do artificial.  Last year we were getting our permit from the forest service and the two young guys working there, rangers, were discussing the fact that one of them only has an artificial tree and sprays it down with pine tree scent so it smells.  What The!!!?  I mean, come on. You work for the forest service. You know where the trees are. You know that the forest is filled with too many trees. (and people that live in the city and are liberal, don’t try to tell me we are running out of trees. that is a pile of crap. A huge load of hog crap [why hog? because it smells worse than cow])

I love having a Christmas tree up. Usually it is up for a good two months. Yes, just when people are thinking about Valentine’s Day is when our tree is finally coming down.  Sue me. I love Christmas.

So, I am anxiously waiting for our tree. Not quite ready to figure out the rearranging of the living room to fit said tree, but well, that’s part of life.

So, when do you put up your tree?

Signing off

Kate

25 Days of Christmas

25 Days of ChristmasI think I’m a little nuts, but I’m going to attempt a 25 days of Christmas; though it’s more like 25 days of December.

I liked doing the 31 Days of October (look up to your upper right. There, see the tab? Click that for the 31 Days) and I thought it might be fun to keep the ball rolling for December. And like anything else I write about, not all will be themed with Christmas because I just can’t be that kitschy.  So there will be winter and books and Christmas and thought provoking.  Pretty much a usual day for Kate’s Bookshelf.

First post is coming right up with a post called Trees.  Then you can keep track of these days by going under the 31 Days of October heading and you will have a new page for the 25 Days challenge.  I hope that makes sense. I didn’t think about it when I started the 31 Days challenge. I should have aligned it better. Live and learn.

So, enjoy, dearies.

Kate

Plenty To Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends. I want to wish you all the best hope and joy for this coming holiday season.  I’m so thankful for all your comments, likes, and follows. I’m thankful for my dear friends and family, and every new day I greet.  I have my general health, a wonderful dog, and my family.

As Bing Crosby said it best, “I’ve Got Plenty To be Thankful For”

Saturday Inspires – Autumn

I honestly can’t believe I didn’t do a post on Autumn when I was doing my 31 days of October. I mean, can any other time of year be quite so perfect? Don’t answer, because if you are not in the Autumn love category, I don’t want to know.  Just kidding. I happen to love all the seasons and the things that make them remarkable, I just love fall a bit more.

So here are some images that have inspired me recently (I took them so they are mine, all mine, haha! <- That’s supposed to be an evil laugh.)

Signing off

Kate