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I’m on my…uh…8th day of vacation?  I think?  I don’t know.  I had to burn 10 of them in December.  I’d been hording them to work on the house, but since we’re so far behind, it became a “use it or lose it” deal.  So I’m not sure what day it is anymore.  I’ve spent a great deal of time with a 2 year old.  As a result…I’m climbing the walls.

So are these guys:


Left: Dining Room window; Middle:  Front door; Right:  Guest room window

Hurrah!  The walls are finally going up!


Here’s the side of the house – the two small windows will be in the living room.  The one to the left will be in the guest room.

They’ll be working all week (we hope) except for New Year’s Day.  So hopefully the walls will keep climbing!  In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out with these goofballs:


(It’s a bit blurry…sorry about that.  The boy and his cousins enjoying Jingle in the Jungle.)

Happy Holidays everyone!  I’ll be back next week.

Since nothing great and exciting is going on at the property due to the bitter cold weather, we’re gonna do something a bit different today.

Jen on the Edge over here is hosting a holiday homes tour. So come on inside, grab yourself a cup of delish Frango hot chocolate and enjoy the tour.


Here’s our tree. It’s real of course. We chopped it down ourselves…right after we spent 45 minutes getting the Montero un-stuck on the two-track. Here in the Black Hills they encourage you to go out and get your own (provided you fork over the $10 permit fee!) to help with managing the forest. No I will not tell you our secret spot.

At the bottom you’ll see my one major “collection”: Marshall Fields’ Santa Bears. My Aunt Rose, who worked for Fields, first gave me a bear way back when I was just a young un’ (in other words…I don’t remember when, but it seems like forever ago. 4th grade maybe?). That first bear is still around – the boy is fond of toting him around. But his fur is not nearly so nice and white and he’s lost his hat/scarf. He’s well loved! Anyway, I decided I liked Mr. Bear so much I asked my Aunt to continue getting me the Bears for Christmas. I don’t have all of them, needless to say. And I quit collecting them when Marshall Fields officially became Macys. *grumbles*

Here are a few of my favorite bears:

bear2Fireman not scary

bear3Let’s Ski

bear1Ranger Bear

bear4This one time, at band camp…

I do have the collection of ceramic ornaments for all the years. They are much smaller and easier to store…they’re the cornerstone of the tree decorations. Some other treasured ornaments:

grandmaThis was my grandmother Grace’s.

momThis was my mother’s when she was a girl.

bThis is….me. (I know, what happened, eh?)

fuzzysantaAnd not to leave my hubby out – this is one of his from when he was a kid. The fly-away beard makes me giggle.

santamouseornHere’s Santa Mouse.

santamousecoverDo you know the story of Santa Mouse?

santamouseYou should.

santamouse2Especially if you have kids. This story was my favorite growing up. And now I’m passing him on to the boy.

What else do we have…I love this candle holder.

candlwYou can’t see the snowball candle unfortunately, but these cutie pies live on our entertainment center from Thanksgiving through New Years.

Anybody here from PHS? Anybody that was in Madrigals? You might remember this guy.


*Does the 12 Days motions*

And hey look! Santa’s already been here! (Thanks Mom!)

stockingsI’ve chosen to confine my decorating this year to the first floor. The basement is just too much of a mess with projects. And we’re hardly down there anyway.

I always decorate the windows:
Nothing extravagant, just a bit of greenery to liven it up a bit.

Hey – see that cookie jar? Another touch of history:

unclemThis is Uncle Mistletoe. Anybody that grew up around the Chicagoland area should know him. Uncle Mistletoe and Aunt Holly were Marshall Fields icons for a long long time. Long before the mall Santa’s came into play. I have numerous Uncle Mistletoe’s hanging around the house. I think Macy’s should bring them back.

Here’s another blast from Josh’s past which is now one of the boys favorite decorations:

nutcrackerPull the cord and his arms and legs dance around.

I have 3 of these apothecary jars filled with ornaments. In the new house I want to find permanent homes for them and rotate the fillings by the seasons. But for now they only make an appearance for the Christmas holiday.

islandAnd that snowman? I won him during this year’s cookie exchange. I admit, my Snickerdoodles did come out rather yummy. Wanna see?

doodlesMmmmmm – someone should hurry up and invent smell-o-vision.

Here’s the hallway.

hallThe garland and the snowflakes are free-cycled from the art gallery I worked at for a year. It’s a booby-trap though – the garland is precariously balanced on the railing. The slightest bump as you walk by and next thing you know, it’s all at the bottom of the stairs. Oh, please meet Holly. She’s my Christmas cat. Really. We picked her up from the pound right before Christmas. Her full name is Holly Terror. (Even though she’s a big scaredy cat.)

catangelWe brought Holly home because we lost our original fat cat, Hobbes (of the duo Calvin and Hobbes) right around Thanksgiving. Mom gave me this Angel Kitty that year. He’s nearly a mini-me of Hobbes.

And of course, it ain’t the Holidays unless I’ve consumed massive quantities of this:

eggnog(Expires January what? There’s now way this is going to last more than a week in my fridge.)

Thanks so much for stopping by. We hope you all have a wonderful Holiday full of love, friends, and family.


(This post brought to you courtesy of the Arby’s wi-fi in Torrington WY!)

Once again the weather has thrown a wrench at us.  Best laid plans and all that.   When I left the house this morning the thermometer read a whopping -21.6 degrees.  Did you catch the negative in that number?  Yikes!  So while we have clear blue skies…it’s way too cold for any framing to be happening.

But before this arctic blast hit (BTW, Mom tells me it is currently colder here than at the North Pole.  Thanks Mom.), the three of us took a trip to the property to check out the progress.

We have a floor!


We stood around in the foyer.  And the dining room.  And the guest room.  And part of the kitchen/living area.

But that really wasn’t the most exciting part of the trip.  At least not if you ask the 2 year old…