Happy new year to us all! Here’s hoping for health, happiness, and prosperity in the year before us. It does sound nice.
Winter arrived at 11:28 a.m. on Dec. 21, and on that day there was a mackerel sky that foretold the coming storm on the 22nd, which gave us four more inches of snow and C.T. #6.
The last two weeks of December were crazy-busy. Steve and I put on a Christmas Eve party, so there was shopping, preparing, decorating, etc. for that. Over the course of two days, we made thumbprint cookies using six different kinds of my homemade jams and jellies. That was fun, and they were delicious! Don’t worry, we saved some for the party.
The party guests numbered 22, which include Craig and Donna Leeman; Chris and Heather Leeman; Heather’s sister, Kyna Kindell; Norma Leeman; Tim and Colleen; Mitch Holmes and Kristin Orne; Dale and Kristen Orne; Lori McFarland-Storozynsky (no Mark); Ashley, Jayden, and Skylar Orne; Jay and Kathy Pinkerton; Julia Rose and Eloise Falabella.
It was a very pleasant gathering and lots of amazing food to eat. We prepared a glorious High Hopes Farm ham, a veggie platter, hot crab dip served in a bread bowl, pigs in a blanket with Scott’s homemade mustard (yum!), and the cookies, punch, and eggnog. And then each guest brought a delicious goodie to share.
While we ate, we visited and made new acquaintances or reconnected with an old friend or family member. (Oh, Darleen Hanley also stopped in and I was very glad.) There, did you see how a word or words can trigger your memory? Or else I might have forgotten my cousin in the event.
I’m glad we had the party and a wonderful turnout on such a busy night.
Then – wham! — it was Christmas morning, and a very different one without my parents there, as Mom is still laid up with her broken ankle, so they could not come down. On top of that, I do believe it snowed, but the kids all made it for our traditional breakfast and then the opening of gifts. As we were finishing things up (family photo taken), and they were getting ready to leave, my nephew, Kory (minus Myles, who was with Heather), showed up with gifts. I was very surprised and pleased that he came, but he didn’t stay long. I think he hooked up with Steven and then had dinner at the farm.
Now I have to back up to Dec. 22, the day that my Aunt Ruby Hanley passed away. She had just had her 94th birthday on the 14th, and granddaughter Alison posted a really nice photo taken on the occasion. Thank you, Alison!
On the 21st, Jewel posted that her mother was on hospice care and Mark was flying in from Florida. Mark and Alison were with her when she passed. I wish to extend my sincere sympathy to her family and friends. She lived a wonderful long life and can now go and catch up with Uncle Bob and son Scott, just to name a few. Rest in peace, Aunt Ruby.
December ended brutally cold and lasted into Jan. 7 before we reached a temperature of 31 degrees on the 8th. That was quite a long stretch of temps in the single digits and well below with the wind chill. It took a great deal more fuel, propane, electric, and wood for us to keep our homes from freezing and pipes bursting (if you were lucky). Oil/gas companies are struggling to keep up with the greater demand and they are short on licensed drivers to deliver the product, of which has also been delayed due to all the recent weather hassles like the blizzard on Jan. 4 shutting down the entire state of Maine. And it came at a time of an astronomically high tide cycle that came just after the Jan. 1 super full “wolf moon,” causing coastal flooding in places like Damariscotta, Portland, Wells, etc.
January 2018 – Happy new year! We had dinner at the farm. I brought my traditional lasagna and Ross and Meaghan prepared a kale dish, a stew, and some of their pumpkin wine. Another very pleasant and relaxing gathering featuring good food and family, plus we got to see the puppies, now four weeks old.
After dinner, we made up plates of food to take to Colleen and Tim, who were busy moving into a larger place in New Harbor.
As we make our way into this new month, the weather delivers snow (and ice) all along the East Coast. This beast of a storm left us about eight inches, while in Winn they had 20 inches and Bangor 18.3 inches. New record low highs were set on Jan. 6, when Portland reached four degrees, breaking the old of 10 degrees set in 1959. Maybe the prolonged cold will have an effect on the tick population.
The cat tracker count stands at 14 to date.
And wasn’t it nice to see the sun and have it actually melting the snow from roofs and roads? A short but effective January thaw — I’ll take it.
The Winter Olympics is less than a month away and I have enjoyed watching the skating, skiing, and snowboarding as the athletes vie for their spots on the team.
Birthdays: Belated birthday wishes go out to Tim Hanley and Lani McAlice-Gordon, Jan. 1; Joe Hatch, Jan. 5; Becky Bryant, Jan. 6; Susie Smerdon, Jan. 8; Julie Simmons and Luke Plummer, Jan. 9; Lucille “Little Lou” Lathrop, who turns 1 on Jan. 10; Margaret Sproul-Wade, Nate Hanna, David Gale, and Ulysses Percival-Cook, all on Jan. 11.
And happy birthday wishes go to Nancy Tarrant on Jan. 14, Chloe Hallowell on Jan. 15, Kristin Orne on Jan. 16, and Deborah Barnes on Jan. 19. Hope they are or were all happy ones!
That’s all for now. Stay safe and warm, and I’ll see you here next week. Have a good one!