Christmas 2018…Just a little late!

2018_12_25__dorsey's new home_0027Christmas wasn’t our typical family gathering this year. We weren’t exchanging presents because we’re all saving up for a special family vacation in July, which will be our gift to each other. On Christmas Eve, we got together for a delicious dinner at Becky and Marty’s house before Bob and I went to the 11 pm service. Alison had announced she would host us on Christmas Day, but there would be conditions!

1) The dress would be casual and comfortable (even pjs if that was our idea of comfortable. 2)Fondue, with both cheese and chocolate for dipping, would be the main course; 3) We could sit around and nibble for hours, on into the evening; and 4) No photography allowed! We enthusiastically agreed! Who wouldn’t agree to chocolate fondue and hours of relaxed nibbling? So on Christmas afternoon we drove out to Alison and Mike’s new home in the country for the first time. It turned out to be both fun and relaxing…and delicious too.

As you would expect, I sneaked a few pictures that I forgot to download to my computer when I got home. Today, however, Gretchen who lives in Arizona and wasn’t here to celebrate with us, asked what happened to the pictures. That was when I realized they were still sitting in my camera on the memory card. I have to admit that is carrying casual a little too far. Sorry Gretchen and other far-away family members!

And, yes, Alison’s “conditions” made for a perfect day! It was definitely comfortable and relaxing, and maybe even the start of a new family tradition.

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!
~Trail Walker

Soup for Supper

An invitation from my daughter to “Come over this afternoon and make some chicken soup”; a whole chicken simmering for hours until the stock was rich and well seasoned; plenty of chopped fresh vegetables; and a dollop of patience…That’s what it took to make a large pot of savory soup.


Believe it or not, my first venture into making soup, but probably not my last. As I climbed into the car and headed for home with my share of the soup, Becky said, “Next time we’ll make vegetable beef.”

This post was created entirely with my iPhone 6+ for cellpic Sunday.

Cellpic Sunday: Cookies

I think I may have eaten my fill of Christmas cookies with these thumbprint cookies and the sand tarts Becky and I baked on Sunday. Enough is enough! It was way too icy to take a trail walk, but the baking was a great substitute activity.  As soon as the ice melts and the trails are clear, I better hit the trails. After baking (and eating) so many cookies, I need the exercise!

Baking Christmas cookies

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Baking cookies (and eating them) is a time-honored tradition in our home during the holiday season. What would the holiday be like without tons of cookies stored in tins, waiting to be consumed by family and friends? That at least was my mother’s conviction when preparing for the holiday. She was fortunate to have a large pantry off the kitchen with enough space for many cookie tins. During the weeks preceding Christmas, in anticipation of family and friends descending on her kitchen, she would marshal her baking supplies, fill the pantry and refrigerator with fresh ingredients, and rally some friends to help her with a big baking blitz.

This year, my daughters Becky and Alison decided to carry on the tradition, and Becky, Alison, granddaughter Emmy, and I gathered at Becky’s home the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and said, “Let the baking commence!”  Guaranteed to make a cookie-lover drool, here are a few pictures of the bake-a-thon.

Max, one of the resident dogs, was not too happy to be restricted to his kennel in the corner of the kitchen, where he could only observe the fun. His expression says that he would much rather be “helping.”

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Why can’t I help?
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When do I get to taste a cookie?

An occasional glance out the window convinced us that this was the perfect day to be indoors, enjoying the scent of freshly baked cookies seasoned with conversation, laughter, and fun: essential ingredients for baking cookies to share with the people you love.

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Outside, Lake Erie was chilly and dreary.

That’s it for this memory-making holiday event. It would have been extra fun to have our third daughter and other grandchildren join us, but they all live too far away to pop in for a Saturday afternoon baking session.

Thank you for popping in though.
Sharing the fun makes it extra special.
See you soon.
Trail Walker
PS: No trail walking was done today!

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