Sunday, December 13, 2020

The week that was -


I was up with the sun on Saturday. A mild morning with such a fiery sky it
 took my breath away for a few fleeting minutes. 
Followed by scattered bird songs from around the garden, I sat down
 to listen on the front porch, wrapped in a chunky cabled throw, coffee
 mug in hand, hoping this would be a good day.

I picked up a lovely bunch of mixed fresh cut greenery from a nearby 
garden center - today I will arrange it on the mantel and hopefully 
it will remain pretty through Christmastime.

Now it's already Sunday with a little rain from the night glistening 
on the shrubs and grass, but the sun breaking through and a pleasant
 day reaching 68F predicted. . . . . . .perfect for me!

Yesterday this bluebird was caught showering in one of the backyard
 baths - always a sweet bird to see.

Cooking this weekend included a tasty cauliflower soup - and although
 not shown here, I added a teaspoon of Dijon mustard noted in a French
 recipe, and it did give an extra flavor layer which was really tasty.

I also made that good spinach quiche again - it's delicious right out
of the oven but, for me, the leftover portions reheated gently are actually
 my favorite when the ingredients seem even more tasty.

At long last the city leaf collection truck showed up in our
 neighborhood on Friday - here they are working on our pile. 
Fortunately the leaves were dry and sucked up quickly - of course
 there are still more to come down but hopefully a second clean up
 will happen in January.

The 'Apple Blossom' amaryllis continues to bloom - four flowers
 open fully now, one more bud just beginning to open this morning.
This has been a stunner.  

The old bulbs are showing a bit more green but it will be 
some time before a stem and buds appear - if ever! Fingers are
 crossed for them, also for the Christmas cactus which hasn't 
done much despite my care in the year since I was gifted with it.

When it comes to Christmas mail, I love to discover envelopes
 with beautiful stamps waiting in the mailbox at the end of the
 driveway. So far, this year, my favorite is this one on my card
 from my family in France. It's not actually a Christmas stamp but
it's a lovely illustration of the facade of Notre Dame Cathedral.
All snail mail cards are so welcome, especially with the
exorbitant cost of postage for overseas mail.

I had a health scare last week which included having to return for a 
second (diagnostic 3-D) mammogram when my annual screening one
 showed an abnormality. Thankfully it was determined by the radiologist
not to be anything resembling cancer - and I walked away from the 
clinic feeling free and so grateful after several days of nervous thoughts.

Always have your annual check ups even if, like me, you are older. 
I was going to skip my annual due to COVID and having to go
 to a medical facility - thank goodness I didn't.
They can save your life!

Here's to a good week ahead for everyone.
Hope your 'different' plans for Christmas this year will go smoothly.  


  1. Mary, That surely was a spectacular sunset. Christmas will be scaled back especially the socializing aspect for us also. I had a similar scare to yours last end of year. I received good news too. This coming January I will have my annual check up and hope for the same. It certainly leaves you with gratefulness for your results and more awareness of what other women may go through. Blessings for a peaceful and healthy Christmas.

  2. Your quiche and soup both sound wonderful So glad that your scare turned out alright! I had that happen to me a couple of years ago. I burst into tears when I found out it was nothing...sending hugs.

  3. What a gorgeous sunrise! I'm jealous of your 68 degree weather. It is at the most, 30 degrees here right now with a light dusting of snow on the ground.

    Your quiche looks so good. One of my favorites, along with a crisp salad.

    I get mammograms once every three years since I'm not high risk. And yes, that is what my doctor agrees with. About 10 years ago, I had the same thing happen to me with a mammogram where I had to go back and have the 3D scan. Thank goodness, nothing to worry about. I believe it was calcium deposits or fatty tissue. Hard to remember from that long ago.


  4. Dearest Mary,
    Lovely sky you show.
    We are not living in the city limits so no leaf pickup and that is far better.
    In nature, the woods are not being raked bare and leaves removed... that makes the rich humus for plants and trees to thrive on! On our lawn it always gets mulched, for the very same reason, to become much needed food for the lawn itself. And all other areas get natural protection for the bulbs and other perennials that rest below the leaves.
    Your Apple Blossom amaryllis is stunning!
    As for the Notre Dame, it is wonderful that on Christmas Eve, 20 singers, two soloists and an organist are scheduled to perform a concert that will have no live audience in the cathedral itself, due to strict coronavirus protection measures, but will be broadcast live on television.
    Enjoy your 3rd week of Advent!

  5. So glad to hear you got a clean bill of health. I kept all in annual appointments, in spite of COVID, as I did not want this virus to cause more disruption in all our lives. My son had a positive case in his class but we are thankful that he tested negative. It's always important to be thankful of these 'little' things which are so important.
    Your amaryllis is stunning. It's such a pretty colour. What a spectacular sunrise you've witnessed. I've been working from home since mid-October so I get to sleep in a bit more. Haven't seen a sunrise in a while but I need to go to the office this week so maybe I will
    Take care Mary and enjoy this beautiful season.

  6. It all looks beautiful and delicious. The neurologist said last week, you're not going to get Covid at the hospital. He said you will get it from restaurants. I've had to go to so many doctor appointments lately, they are very cautious. Have a very merry Christmas!

  7. Every image a delight, and the bluebird photo is as good a bird shot the professionals take! The French stamp is just beautiful; they really can do things with style! But a health scare with a happy ending is always terrific news, in my book. xx

  8. As always, your food looks delicious and your pictures are beautiful.
    Also, I am of course very glad to know your health scare turned out to be nothing serious. I have recently been invited to a mammogram, it is something all women above 50 are asked to every two years by our national health organisation. The whole process went very smoothly without much waiting time, and the letter with the "all clear" message arrived about a week later.

  9. Wonderful sunrise and that amaryllis is exceptional. I always had to grow bright red ones for my mother but always hankered after the more subtle shades.

  10. Dear Mary,
    I was holding my breath until I read that you are out of danger. Now you can enjoy getting ready for Christmas. I love all of your photographs, especially the little bird photo.

  11. Dear Mary, I am so pleased you got the all-clear, and did not skip your test. What a good Christmas gift, nothing betters good health. I really enjoyed this post, the gorgeous stamp from France, the tiny blue-bird, and the orange sky in the morning. Hail to the beautiful amaryllis which is doing a super job for Christmas. May your Christmas week be merry and bright. xxx

  12. What a fabulous sky Mary - perfectly captured by you. I am so pleased that your annual screen test proved to be nothing at all for you to worry about. The little Eastern bluebird is such a cute little fellow.

  13. I have seen my doctor several times this year for small things, but not had the full annual check up. Hoping after the first of the year I will feel confident enough to actually go in. The bluebird picture is just gorgeous. That is a breathtaking sunrise too. Always yumm when it comes to quiche. Glad your mammogram was confirmed as being OK.


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