Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas Serenity


Hello, Dear Friends! I hope that you are finding 

simple ways to bring light and joy into your hearts,

and the hearts of all you know and love

as we celebrate this Christmas season. 

Not an easy task during this difficult time, 

but so important to keep hope, faith and charity

alive and spread it around whenever and wherever we can. 

I love angels and this little one has been 
overseeing all of our Christmas celebrations 
since the first year of our marriage. 

She represents faith, enduring love, family, 
resilience and now, at this stage of our lives, wisdom. 

With wisdom comes serenity. 

My favorite Irish Proverb.....

God grant me the Serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference. 

 Serenity can sometimes be elusive, but worth 
cultivating. One of the ways in which I find
serenity is to make my home as cozy as I can - filled 
with the sentimental things that I love. 

Comfortable pillows and beautiful books are two things that I love. 

I don't think you can have too many of either.

They do go hand in hand, I think. 

I especially love illustrated children's books. 
This one by Tasha Tudor was my own children's 
book, a much-loved gift from my Mother and Father
many years ago. 

The illustrations are magical. 

Illustrated cookbooks are another love of mine. 

Susan Branch is a favorite. 

A first edition Christmas cookbook - 1990. 

I love browsing through them whenever I am planning 
something special. 

My Hoover 'Kitchen Queen' cupboard has 
a few cheery updates for Christmas.

An elf on a shelf. My sister sewed this version, 
and I sewed the toad-stools. They're pin-cushions. 

Some pie-baking supplies and my favorite mixing bowl. 

My collection of cookie-cutters. 

My daughter presented me with the green plaid 
dish filled with delicious cookies 
on my birthday. 

Jars filled with baking sprinkles. 

Happy things. 
Cooking in a cheerful kitchen is one 
of the sweet joys of life. 

The Mr. came home with the silver 'percolator' coffee pot
the other day, just in case we lose our electricity 
during our stormy winters. 
We can make coffee on the woodstove with it. 

The 'gingerbread' houses are actually made with graham crackers!
I made them a few years ago and carefully wrap 
them in parchment and store them in a large tin from year to year. 

My 'scrapbook paper' frame. 
I change out the theme for every holiday. 

It's been very gray and gloomy the last few 
days and my photos are reflecting that lack of light. 

I crocheted the 'flower' dish cloths but can't bring 
myself to use them for clean-up so I use them
as  hot-pads :)

The butcher string and gingham dish-towels are in 
a 3-tier hanging basket that's hard to see in the gloom. 

A small child-themed tree by the glass door. 

Vintage pony lights, candy garlands and tiny apples. 

My collection of vintage Santa's. 
The ceramic one on the right was the last Christmas gift
my Mom gave to me. It opens at the waist to hold a little surprise. 

I made the Victorian 'Father Christmas' years ago from cotton batting. 
His face is a sticker and his 'fur' hood and bag is simply
batting colored with a brown marker! 

I didn't feel like baking this year, so I put together 
a cookie mix in a jar for my children and their families. 
I think they came out rather pretty, 
with green and red M&M candies on top. I put the 
baking instructions on a recipe card attached to the back. 

I also made up some peppermint bark candy. 
This is a favorite of my Hubby. 
I have to hide it until it is all bagged up, 
but I made an extra large bag just for his stocking. 

I also tried my hand at creating a charcuterie board.
Sliced summer sausage, pepperoni, pepper jack cheese, 
crackers, bread, tiny pumpkin pies (from the bakery dept.),
 peach-mango jam and stone ground mustard, olives and nuts. 

It makes a nice indoor picnic! 

And for dessert.....

Slow-Cooker Cherry Pie Crisp

8 servings
Ideal size slow-cooker; 3-4 quarts

Cook on low 3-4 hours


21 oz can Cherry Pie filling
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cold butter

Grease slow-cooker. Pour cherry pie filling in and spread to edges. 
In separate bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, oats and vanilla. 
Cut in butter until crumbly. 
Sprinkle over cherries. 

Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. 
Place paper toweling under lid to help absorb excess moisture. 


Now let's sit in front of the fire and warm the body and soul. 

I'll tell you a little story about a special log cabin from my childhood :)

My Father worked for a man named, Mr. Butler. 
He had a log cabin in the White Mountains of Jackson, New Hampshire.
This was many years ago before it became a famous ski resort. 

My Father was his foreman, a Machinist and tool and die maker by trade, 
and Mr. Butler thought so much of him
that he let us use his cabin any time we wanted.
The cabin was a four-hour drive away, but once we entered the little 
town of Jackson, our road-weary spirits lifted. 
I remember traveling through the red, covered bridge, stopping at the old general store, 
driving past the family-owned dairy farms tucked into the rolling hills,
 the ghostly birch trees lining the way, and the little stone house at the turn of the road. 

Up and up we would go, along the rushing creek tumbling beside 
the winding road - a hand-built bridge on every farm driveway along that side.

Finally, after our long drive, we would arrive, tired but excited, my sisters and I
eager to claim one of the four, quilt-covered feather beds tucked under the eaves
in the long, narrow loft bedroom. Two tiny, pained windows 
let in light on either side - the rays illuminating the dust
 we stirred by flopping on the beds. 
The scent of pine, wood-smoke, and fresh mountain air filled 
the room when we opened the windows, and we could hear 
the chickadees and jays, the only sounds in the peaceful quiet. 

My Father would light the gas furnace, and prime the old-fashioned water pump
over the old soap-stone sink, which drew its supply 
from the little brook that ran beside the cabin. 
While my Mom unpacked and tended to my little sisters,
my Dad and I would take the big, glass, 5 gallon 'car-boy' water jugs
back down the winding road to the general store where 
we would fill them at the town spring, for drinking and cooking. 
Then we would go into the store and buy the perishables that
 my Mother didn't pack -  milk, eggs, bacon, bread and butter, 
a newspaper for my Dad, and rock candy on a stick for my sisters and me.

The cabin had one, large, main room with a massive stone fireplace, 
 a small kitchen with pine paneled walls and red-checked curtains,  
and a tiny bathroom off to the side.  
A large 'Picture' window looked out over a mountain meadow
 filled with doe-eyed Jersey cows,
and apple trees that bordered the slope of Black mountain. 

A rock wall and barbed-wire fence separated these from the cabin. 
Chipmunks lived in the wall and the cows from the farm next door 
would come to the fence - curious to see if we would climb the trees
and throw them some apples. 

One day, my sister and I did just that, and attracted the whole herd
who surrounded our tree and wouldn't let us climb down. 
My Father had to rescue us and I remember thinking 
how strong and brave he was, pushing the cows away, 
and carrying us in each arm to safety. 

One time we visited in the beautiful, late autumn, and woke up to a surprise 
snow-fall that was so deep that I had to climb out
 the high kitchen window over the sink, and 
shovel the snow so we could open the door. I was just small enough
to fit through the window that my Father couldn't. 
He and I had to hike through the snow to the farm next-door
and ask the farmer to plow us out. He had a snow-plow
attached to his tractor and he plowed the mountain road 
down to the main road, so that we could leave. 
We were so sorry to have to cut 
our trip short, but we were afraid that more snow was on the way. 
My Dad tried to give him some money, but he wouldn't 
take any, so the next time we went to the cabin, my Dad helped 
him repair his barn, and that is how he returned the favor. 
Over the years my Dad and the farmer became good friends.
I have so many wonderful memories of our trips 
to Butler's Cabin. 

Our own home was also a log cabin by a large lake. 
We lived there through-out my early childhood.
Log cabins are very special to me.
Happy memories are such a nice way to find serenity 
in these tumultuous times.
Especially memories of loved ones that are no longer 
here with us, but live on in our hearts. 

Merry Christmas, Dear Ones. 
I wish you peace, serenity, comfort and joy 
as we celebrate this special day and look 
forward to a better year ahead. 



  1. What a lovely festive post full of happy memories and beautiful Christmas decorations. Have a wonderful Christmas in this strange old year. Take care, stay safe. x

  2. Love all your decorations Karen and wonderful story of when you were a child. Snowed yesterday after having record highs and pouring rain.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday and New Year. Hope 2021 turns out to be a more normal year.

    Hugs Diane

  3. What a wonderful story about your friend's log cabin. It sounds so cozy and nice. I love that little log cabin on your dresser. The cookie mix was a heartwarming gift you made the family. I'm sure they'll love it. Your peppermint bark sounds so Yummy. Your vintage Santa's are delightful, and I was thinking of starting a collection of vintage Santa's too. They're so cute. When I saw your jars filled with baking sprinkles I smiled because my mom used to have the same ones.

    Merry Christmas Karen. And thank you for being such a faithful blog friend and visiting and commenting often. Have a wonderful day with your family.


  4. You are perfectly ready for the happy holidays.
    I wish you a Merry Christmas.

  5. Karen, your post is so lovely to read this evening before I go to bed. I can picture your cabin times and how precious those times were. New Hampshire is a beautiful state. Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory with us. Merry Merry Christmas dear Karen! xo

  6. Happy Christmas Karen - I love your sweet post it is almost as if everything is normal in our challenging world! I have a sense of peace reading your post :)
    Your Mr is a keeper I love the coffee pot and the cookie jars you put together with the recipe, this is a lovely new tradition :)
    Wishing you the best of festive times
    Wren x

  7. Adorable post and awesome pics!Merry Christmas!

  8. ooooh karen, i am trying to leave a comment again!!

  9. the house looks so beautiful, i LOVE seeing your home at the holidays!!

  10. i make apple crisp for the holidays, crisps are so good!!!

  11. Your home looks as lovely as ever, dear Karen and the decorations are wonderful. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and wish you to very best for the coming year, here's hoping it is better and brighter.

  12. I’m slow to visit, Karen, but I so enjoyed peeking in your cozy home. We both are sentimental souls and cherish things of old. I loved you log cabin story and knowing more about your childhood. Your cherry crisp sounds wonderful and I will be making that soon. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2021 will be a much better year!

  13. Such a wonderful post.
    I hope your Christmas was merry and I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2021.

    All the best Jan

  14. Liebe Karen,
    ich bin immer so berührt von Deine gefühlvollen Posts! Ich besuche Dich von Herzen gern auf Deinem wundervollen Blog, und jedesmal entdecke ich neue Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Dir und mir...Dein Hand zur Gemütlichkeit und zu schönen Dingen, die für uns eher ideelle Werte haben, wie z.B. die alten Kinderbücher unserer Kinder mit den liebevoll gestalteten Bildern...Ich habe ein ganzes Regal mit Kinderbüchern, noch welche von mir, dann von meinen Kindern, von und für meine Enkelkinder und für die Kinder, die es in unserer Familie hoffentlich noch geben wird...Ich sammele diese besonderen Kinderbücher, solche die WErte vermitteln, die tun sogar meiner Seel gut! Und dann die Kissen...Gerade bin ich dabei ein paar neue Kissen zu nähen...denn davon kann ich auch nicht genug haben...Mein Mann meint, ich übertreibe damit, aber es gefällt mir, wenn ich passend zur Jahresheit die Kissenbezüge habe...und jetzt sind noch die Weihnachtskissen dran, dann kommen die Winterkissen, und dann die mit frühlingshaften und österlichen Motiven...Ja, vielleicht es doch etwas übertrieben, aber es gibt den Räumen, dann immer den passenden Rahmen...wie die übrige Deko auch...
    Und bei Büchern kann ich auch nicht nein sagen, wenn es welche sind, die mich ansprechen...Bei uns im Haus kannst Du überall Bücher finden, nur nicht im Bad...

    Die Geschichte über Deine Kindheit mit Deinen Eltern im Bloghaus finde ich so wunderschön...Es sind wirklich die guten Erinnerungen, die wir machen durften und die sich dann durch unser ganzes Leben ziehen...Und diese Erinnerungen, die uns auch geprägt haben, die helfen auch in schweren Zeiten...das ist etwas woran man sich festhalten kann...

    Liebe Karen bleibe so wie Du bist! Würden wir deutlich näher zusammenwohnen, ich bin sicher, wir könnten richtig gute Freundinnen werden...Es gibt Vieles was uns verbindet...
    Ich wünsche Dir und all Deinen Lieben ein Jahr voller Zuversicht, auf dass es besser werde und auf dass die Menschheit das Virus mit seinen Mutationen besiege. Und möge die Menschheit endlich die Augen öffnen, und erkennen, dass wir künftig deutlich achtsamer mit unserer Welt umgehen müssen!!! Damit wir unseren Kindern und Enkeln nicht nur Chaos hinterlassen!!!
    Und mögen wir alle das menschliche Miteinander deutlich mehr leben!!!
    Alles, alles Liebe

  15. Precious Karen though every house has things but the way you nurture them with your inner peace and affection is astonishing :)))

    everything within your home speaks for your deep love for household and strong bonding with family ,all you do is not just to make house comfortable but this unfolds layers of your inner beauty and peace of mind the way you keep up all ,a beautiful enchanting display of serene soul that has ocean of love and sooth with it everything she encounters :)Wow :)))

    i loved the proverb and i agree that once we get to the DIVINE TRUTH we find peace eventually and this is greatest blessing of all indeed :)
    i will return for sure to read your childhood story as it is evening and i have to accompany hubby for tea :)
    Merry Christmas to you and family ,may you see many many more with all you love and care !

  16. dear Karen what a serene and touching story :)

    i almost felt there with you and the depth of peace i felt through your comforting lovely words made my eyes teary i don't know why but my lips had smile meanwhile :)

    giving favor to each other is beautiful peak of humanity and friendship indeed :) that peak served you such delightful memories that will stay in your heart forever and their shine will keep your heart enlightened and warm with their splendor :)
    thank you for sharing this with us and brightening up my day :)
    more showers of love and peace to you and lovely family!

  17. Karen, I think you will like my post today. You and your way of life is an inspiration to me, dear friend. I hope the new year is being good to you.


  18. Hello dear Friend! Sorry I'm so late playing catch up here. You know how much I love your posts and all you share here. It looks like you eased into a very lovely Christmas season. I pray your 2021 has begun beautifully. 🙏 And I love your stories so much - love the Butler's cabin one. Speaks to this northwoods loving girl's heart. 😉 Blessings xoxo


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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