Tag Archive: christmas



Northern Lights (Compass, #1)Northern Lights by Lise Gold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After finishing Kristin Lavransdatter, I needed something lighter to read, yet still wanting a little more Norway. What better than Northern Lights? It is an adventure on holiday in Norway to see the Northern Lights also a lesbian romance.

My husband and I took an Alaskan cruise in June about a decade ago. I had hoped beyond any known reality that I would get to see the Aurora Borealis. I stayed awake until the three hours of night were over hoping to see this phenomenon. It was June. I knew it wouldn’t happen. I hope I get to see it someday. Meanwhile, I have to sink into fiction to experience it.

This was a light, fun romance. And the author caught the feeling of being on a cruise or holiday together with strangers. It was fun to see how those in Norway celebrate Christmas. Oh, and at the end of the book are a bunch of recipes that a person who loves that sort of thing would enjoy. I don’t much like to cook. You might like it though.

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Just Jot It January–Trigger


I am giving you a trigger warning, but it won’t bring you:

If you are like me, this one will make you happy:

Yes, it’s been snowing AND STICKING today. We got about an inch. I took Kali out, and the peaceful sound and glow of snow just warmed my soul. I hope it snows more tonight. We really need it.

I’m trying to catch up with my Graham Norton. That is making me happy. I haven’t watched it since before Christmas. We still have up our tree(s). I feel cool knowing there is snow with the shine of Christmas lights. We were going to take it down a couple days ago, but we were all either too lazy or still glowing from the spirit. Anybody else slow to get rid of Christmas? Graham Norton commercials are all Christmas. I wish those could be packed up and the trees left out. Merry Month Later Christmas Eve!

So what did I trigger?

Here are the JusJoJan Rules:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list), counts as a “jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5). The prompt will be the word in quotation marks in the title of my 2am post. You don’t have to follow the prompt every day, but that will be where you leave your link for others to see. You’ll get a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday and on Saturday, when your prompt will be the Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS, which will appear at about 9:30am Friday. Each prompt post will include the rules.

3. Please ping back or link to the daily prompt. To ping back, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! Note: A) The newest pingbacks will be at the top of the comments section. B) Ping backs only work if you’re blogging on WordPress. Everyone else must paste a link manually.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. If your post is NSFW, do not ping back. Please leave your link in the comments with a warning.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

Another Sh-h-h But Finished! Yay!


I love this sort of scrappy hat. The colors called to me and I just knitted them in.

Oh, the yarn is just acrylic. I had very little turquoise so I used it sparingly. This is knitted on the white KB (72 peg) fine gauge.  One-by-one brim. then according to the tension, I used the flat-knit, u-knit, or e-wrap. I used the Russian join to change colors. It turned out kind of small for my head but I think it will fit a friend. Sh-h-h! (Sorry for blurry or dark pictures. I blame the photographer-me.)


What is all this? These are some of my mementos of Christmas 2018.

One of my friends (and I have some fantastic friends, just saying) had a cute idea this year. She decided that it would be fun to send me “Advent” presents. I don’t think I have had this much fun in December in a long, long time!

When you live in such a rural place that there isn’t door-to-door delivery, mail seems to become even more exciting. UPS does come straight to the house but other forms we have to drive to the post office to pick up.

Anyway, the first box included the first week and a half so that my birthday present was in it. Only on that box could I open more than one package. Woo-hoo!

Look, this is what was the best about this. My friend had to keep down costs. She’s on a fixed income like me. So for a while, she picked up goodies that were very inexpensive, you know like sales items or Dollar Store kinds of things.

I don’t know why but I nearly cried every day as I opened the proper present. Even for the cute little plastic frog or the heart-shaped pencil sharpener. There were some more expensive items. My pal said even those were bargains. That lovely fan, the fragrant sachets, the soft socks (two pairs), pattern books (four including crochet, and knitting), two small canvases for painting on, a cute purple picture frame, a couple tablets (journals) with pens, a glow in the dark wand, silly putty, play dough, a bottle of bubbles, a rock she actually painted (so adorable!), did I mention the little candle, chocolate, a tiny wonderful jar of Nutella, soft yarn, Magic Sniff a small container of tissues, a pen that says “I’m a Beautiful Snowflake a dolphin bookmark. I hope I got it all in this list.

At any rate, as good as it made me feel to open something every day, I think I may want to follow her lead and start doing this for her and other loved ones. It was truly the gift that keeps on giving, at least for 25 days.

I was thinking this might be a fun thing to do for elder friends and family. Heck, they probably already have all they need but stuck at home or in the rest home or hospital, etc. This process of opening a little something helps one to feel the love. And I can store these in a small box so it doesn’t make it hard to decide where to store everything. The only things not in the box are the chocolate and the Nutella. They disappeared within! 😀

Christmas was fun all around for me.  These momentoes will be in my heart and I feel loved.

Thank you, Linda G. Hill for Just Jot It January. Thank you, Tara, for a chance to use the prompt, Memento.


The Christmas HirelingsThe Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yawn. Another gruff old rich guy who finds love. Bah Humbug!

The narrator, Richard Armitage, did a marvelous job of acting/reading this. It made a nice bedtime story. But mostly I was irritated that the story was about the mean guy finding love and not the children or their mother who worked so hard at making life loving and kind. Even the guy who instituted the children as hirelings would have made a better story. The rich old codger made me worry about the little girl he was so fascinated by. Sure it was ‘innocent’ still it was shudder-inducing for me.

Still, for a freebie from Audible, I guess I shouldn’t complain–much.

If you love the Dicken’s Carol garbage, you’ll love this.

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The Christmas Dragon and other Seasonal StoriesThe Christmas Dragon and other Seasonal Stories by Katharina Gerlach

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick read. I thought since my tree is still up I could still handle me some Christmas, especially if there are dragons! Check and check!

If you read my reviews often, you know I am not a fan of short stories. I love long series type reads. I like getting to know the characters really well. But I have read other books by Katharina Gerlach that were delightful so I knew I couldn’t go wrong. I just needed to read something light between the heavier reads of post-apocalyptic dramas and the next long read. This hit the spot!

Did I mention it has dragons? And that starts with the first story that was touching and sweet. I think it was my favorite of all the stories.

Please, if you need a Hallmark moment that includes Christmas and Dragons, give this gem a read!

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A Christmas Gift from the PastA Christmas Gift from the Past by S.A. Molteni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a fan of schmaltzy Christmas stories. Having never had money at that time of year and having four kids that I hoped to buy something for and never could do much…. and other people, grandmothers and friends, had to supply that need (Yes, I am grateful others could gift my children—just wished I could!)… anyway, that time of year always makes me depressed and feeling very Scroogeish.

But since I was reading S.A. Molteni’s other books and this one was free, also, I thought I’d give it a chance. It was a story that warmed my heart and reminded me how great it is to make memories with loved ones. Those are the true gifts.

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