Monday, December 11, 2023

December festivities, fruitcake and yard project

December is here and with it some cooler weather, beautiful sunny days and temps in the low to mid-60's. Just perfect weather for addressing a glaring issue with our xeriscape yard, particularly the side yard. 

After almost 10 years, and with minimal maintenance beyond pulling up a weed or 2 and picking up palm tree fronds/debris it's beginning to look a lot shabbier than I like. I need to take it all the way down to the landscape fabric, parse out the dirt and leaf litter then rinse the mud off the rocks before putting them back in place. Rinse & Repeat! I actually find it very soothing and zen-like sitting there (outside! 😊) picking out the rocks from the dirt - am I nutz? I'm sure some of my neighbors think so, although the finished product is causing them to re-evaluate the time I'm  spending. For my part, as a perfectionist, it's instant gratification, which leads to a dopamine hit or 10, Haha. I'm very thankful to have a handy "reheat" to serve for dinner after spending the day rocking it.

I'm making good headway and when finished, a leaf blower used
with some regularity should keep it looking neat and tidy for
another 10 years (or well into my dotage I hope).

One of my neighborhood ladies organized a Christmas Cookie Exchange for our small 100+ neighborhood. I had never participated in one and didn't know what to expect. What a great time, about 16+ ladies came laden with yummy baked goods to share. Our hostess provided us each with a pretty take-home tray and let us have at it. We each made a trip around the table and picked out a few from each plate, and then again etc until we were filled to the brim with tasty goodies to take home. She also had hot cider, decaf coffee and wine, plus a sumptuous charcuterie array. It was so nice to see everyone and get caught up on things.

The hostess with the "mostest" and her tray.

Next year the extra leaf goes in the table!

What a great group of lady neighbors I've got!

These treats have made our hot tea after dinner indulgence special. Put me down for attending next year, lol.

On the cooking front around here I perfected a recipe for Ginger Snaps that we both love. Super easy, both the raw dough and the baked cookies freeze well. Here's the link to the recipe on The only changes I made was to double the spices and add finely chopped candied ginger and chopped pecans. I think these are our new favorites. I also was under the gun to get the fruitcake made so it would have a few weeks to mellow.

 And on the puzzling front I finished up Pickle Lake, one of my favorites.

Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon. In the meantime, enjoy the Holiday season in all it's glory. A Savior is Born.


  1. Do you ever slow down? That rock picking looks like tedious, yet rewarding work. Great job!

    1. Thanks Jim, I feel a bit run ragged what with everything going on, but all in all, I like busy!

  2. I see peanut butter buckeyes! Yumm! What fun!

    1. I had never had a buckeye before and boy are they good. I cut them into quarters to make them last longer.