Monday, December 03, 2012

back fence chatter

It's such a warm day here, I could envision myself talking over the back fence with my neighbor. But she's inside, so I brought a tea tray up to my closet office as I work on a deadline this afternoon, knowing I need a whole pot on this long day. I think about this "go to" teapot of mine that I'm using with a favorite Christmas mug and tray brought home from England. The teapot is so everyday, a 50-cent find years ago in an antique shop. It warms me with pleasant memories of that mountain weekend with friends, just as it warms me with comfort and yes, coziness, (my new favorite word) as the steam from the tea presses on my face. The old pot is my favorite because it is so ... unassuming and I love its shape. And for 50 cents, a drip free spout.

So if I was chatting over the fence I might give a few "observations."  It could go like this:

1. I don't mind this extended warm weather, but I hope it doesn't trick the trees into blooming even before they're finished shedding their dead autumn leaves.

2. I tried so very hard to find a box of Christmas cards that actually used the word "Christmas." Everything looks 3-D and a bit weird to me, even the one or two packs that were truly Christmas cards.

3. And then I'd ask when did all the glitter and glitz take over the ornament aisle? I'm trying to find a pretty ornament to exchange at a party and I went through the shelves of a favorite crafty chain store and the only one that appealed to me was a cute pair of boots ornament. Which didn't really look like Christmas. Personally I'm not crazy--for myself--about all that glitter and powdery stuff shedding in my living room or onto my tree or into my still-recovering-from-bronchitis lungs.

4. And then we need a new angel for the top of our tree. Our angel has fallen to a irreparable state, How hard can it be to find a quaint, sweet replacement? Apparently not easy. The only one or two angels I have found are quite over-done, over-sized and holding electric (bright white LED of course) candles, one in each hand. Again not my taste, or maybe I don't want to mess with the white wires that attach to her candles. I'll head over to a consignment shop, but for now a glittery (succumbed, yes) silver poinsettia stands up in her place.

Of course I feel badly now. My observations sound a bit like complaints about the trivial trappings (of a holiday gone so off course over the years). I've got my focus back. Gratefulness. I might add to my neighbor before we say good-bye, that I love rereading Marjorie  Holmes' Two From Galilee at this time of year. A novel, yes, but it has helped me to grasp the suffering and challenges Mary and her fiancee endured to bring the Savior into the world. Something to ponder.

Oops, the pot is finished and it's time to get back to my real work.


  1. "born in water and blood"...a line I've always remembered from that novel, though I read it decades ago.

    Well, Christmas can get pretty "wonderland-y." I once got into a lot of trouble in Blogdom for saying that some decorations were tacky. One of my commenters took me to task and basically laid me out in lavender. ☺ I've been very good ever since.

  2. It is hard to find Christmas cards with anything vaguely related to the birth of Christ.

    I sure have enjoyed this neighborly chat :)

  3. I love this post! I would answer you with ~ The weather has been milder than normal here too but I don't mind. I always try to find Christmas cards with a true Christmas theme and often get them at our local Christian bookstore. I do love me some sparkly ornaments I'm afraid but I have definitely noticed a trend toward a more natural look this year. Our Christmas tree really can't hold anything on top such as a star or angel so I left it bare then added a small sparkly silver poinsettia to the top. Just like you!! I enjoyed our visit. Have a great week!

  4. I usually send a photo card for Christmas as I always enjoy receiving one from distant family and friends.

    Pinterest has a wealth of ideas for home made ornaments and I'm thinking that may be a fun project to do with my olderst grandson next year. Maybe you can finds ones you'd like to make?

    My tree angel is at least 20 years old! She is already packed away --I hope she survives our move!

  5. Podso,
    What a mind provoking post!!!
    Would love to be your neighbor...
    but as far as finding an Angel topper...good luck, dear friend!!! I've been to numerous stores, Antique Malls, Flea Markets, Goodwill...the list goes on, but alas, No angel topper!!!
    I loved the book Two From Galilee. Maybe I check it out again this year, now that I have the time to savor its precious story!!!

  6. I'd lean right back over the fence, tea mug in hand and tell you that it was warm here today, with a little mist in the air. From where I am the snow-capped mountains seem very, very close.
    I haven't found the perfect Christmas card yet - who'd ever have thought it would such a chore?
    The angel on my tree is as old as our marriage. I made her 39 years ago from scraps of red velvet and lace and she is still in pretty good shape.
    It was nice visiting with you!

  7. I am catching up after some very busy weeks here at my house. We put up our tree yesterday and also had to retire the angel. We need to find a new topper for our tree too!
    Loved your "cozy" post!!
    xo Kris

  8. A lovely, chatty post, Podso, full of the small details and observations that make life interesting. Our weather has been warmer than usual, but very, very wet.
    I walked through the stores a few days ago and nothing appealed to me. I didn't need anything, so it was all fine. Hope you find a sweet angel for your tree top.

  9. I'm with you...HATE glitter! We're still using the angel we've had for 30+ years and hoping it doesn't disintegrate! Great post...

  10. It sounds ideal to me to lean over the fence with a mug of tea and chat about the weather and such. We've had a mild snap but the temperature's plummeting down to where it should be for this time of year. The snow is all gone but I hope we'll have some for Christmas.
    I enjoy making my own greeting cards and have vowed not to buy store bought any more. It is a relaxing craft to do and I attend a workshop once a month.
    Our tree top angel is in good shape since we've only had a table top tree for several years and she's too big for it. She does get set out somewhere every year though.
    Well, I enjoyed out chat and must get my day started.

  11. Good Morning Sweet Friend

    The way that you describe your mug of tea and pot sound wonderful, making me want one, and I'm not a tea drinker:) But it sounds "cozy."

    Good Luck with your search...


  12. I love making a pot of tea when I'm reading or writing a blog post too. You need to add a tea cosy to your pot, you would be surprised how much longer the tea stays warm!!! I agree we have over glittered Christmas, Laura

  13. Hello Podso! I saw your comment on The Old Parsonage and was intrigued by your name, so I hopped over! And how sweet that it was your dad's nickname for you. I love your blog and I'm becoming your new follower!

  14. Hi Podso,

    Boy, could I leave a long comment on this post. First of all, I read "Two From Galilee" when I was a teenager, at the recommendation of my best friend at the time. It was a wonderfully written book, and I'd forgotten all about it until your post. Thank you for the reminder.

    Secondly, you're so right about the Christmas cards. It's sad, but true. I told my husband about your post yesterday, and we both agreed with you. I think our best bet to find true Christmas cards would be the Christian bookstore.

    Third, I'm picky about my ornaments and don't like mine really showy and ornate. As for your angel, I must confess that our treetop angel is lit by two candles in her hands, but she really is sweet, with a pretty face and dress and no glitter. :)

    Thanks for your visit; I hope you have a wonderful day!


  15. It's fun and interesting chatting with you over the back fence, so glad I stopped by at the right time to hear it.
    I love your little teapot and I can understand your observations concerning all of the glitter and glam that Christmas has been made out to be. I have gone much simpler this year than I have in many, many years.
    Talk to you later.
    Hugs, Cindy

  16. It seems like you are chatting over MY back fence!

  17. I am just getting to know you, Podso, so I quite enjoyed our little chat over the back fence. ;)

    I have a tea pot that is very similar, but mine is a family piece, passed down from my great-grandmother to my great-aunt to my aunt to me.

    I, too, have a dilly of a time finding a Christmas card that I like. It must have a definite Christmas message, the card front must suit my style, and it must not cost an arm and a leg. Do you know how difficult it is to meet all three criteria? Just ask my husband. On second thought....don't.

    I am too traditional for most of the glitzy ornaments. Sigh...I'm afraid I sound (ahem) old.

    If I may ask...what kind of deadline are you working toward? Since I am new to your corner of the bloggy world, I may not know what is common knowledge to others. I have learned that you are recently retired from a career in nursing, correct?

  18. I was having a day kinda like yours today, but then a perfect song came on my radio and that's what I posted about today. Please feel free to go over to my blog and take a listen with a cup of tea and take a breather from all the sparkly ornaments and LED angels :)


I enjoy the conversations that come with comments!

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