Sunday, December 19, 2010

Let the holidays begin...

We are five again. Daughter #1 came home on Friday and our holiday preparations began in earnest. Saturday we baked...

...and began decorating the tree.

More baking and decorating is on tap today.  Yes, there are still reviews to finish and year-end lists to compile, but Lakeside Musing will be quiet this week.  My days will be less hectic after Christmas and there should be plenty of time for reading and blogging then.

Reading notes:

I finished Pavilion of Women on audio and am in awe of Pearl S. Buck's understanding and portrayal of life, especially for women, in China.  Now I want to reread The Good Earth and continue with Sons, the second book in the trilogy.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is still my current read.  It's taking a long time, but is well worth it.  I love Franzen's writing and shared a quote earlier this week.


It has been another snowy week. Schools were delayed (or closed), Christmas concerts and games were cancelled. Over 70 inches of snow has made this the snowiest December in history. Another seven inches earns the title of snowiest month ever and, with 12 days left, this seems highly probable. Good Morning America was even filming weather segments in the area.  It's hard to believe the official start of winter is still a few days away!

Best wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas...


  1. Merry Christmas to you, as well. That baking all looks delicious!

  2. Merry Christmas, JoAnn! Enjoy your time with your family.

    I adored The Good Earth and really must read more Pearl S. Buck.

  3. I love the way those deep red cookies look. I'm sure they taste good too! Seventy inches - wow!

  4. Best wishes to you and yours, JoAnn for a Happy and Peaceful Christmas. Those bikkies (cookies in US I guess!) are to die for. I still have The Good Earth on TBR pile but will move it up in the New Year.

    Like you, I will be quiet for the next wee while as Christmas preparations are completed but I already have a few book shaped parcels under the tree so that TBR pile won't be easing any day soon! Txx

  5. Have a wonderful week and enjoy your time with your family!

  6. The cookies look delicious - and while I am sure that the weather gets old after a while, just once I would like to experience that kind of snowfall.

    I hope you and your family have a glorious Christmas holiday, JoAnn!

  7. I'm still in shock over how much snow you guys have received. I'd think that life would have been on hold for six months! Your cookies look wonderful...have you ever considered selling them? They look professional.

    Just saw that Freedom on audio is on its way to my house from the library. I have to read it for February book club. Opinions have ranged from "best thing ever" to "ruined my desire for reading it was so bad". Where will I fall?

  8. Are those chocolate mint thumbprints I spy? Yum!

    70 inches of snow. I can't believe that. We've been really mild and I'm surprised given the cool spring and fall we had. Luckily no snow, but the ice usually doesn't come until January/February anyway.

    Enjoy the time with your daughters home!!

  9. Sam - Thanks! I'm glad we will be giving away most of the cookies... too much temptation to have them around.

    Nymeth - Merry Christmas to you, too. I found another Buck title to add to my list in the most recent Bookmarks magazine - Peony.

    Rhapsodyinbooks - We used quite a bit of food coloring.. didn't want them to turn pink.

    Lovely treez - Oh, I like the word bikkies! We had a good time baking them all, now will package most up to give to friends. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

    Stephanie - Thanks... and a very happy holiday week to you, too!

    Molly - The snow really doesn't bother me ... if it's going to be cold, there may as well be snow! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Molly.

    Sandy - Although driving can get a little tough sometimes, we usually deal with the snow pretty well. Can't wait to see what you make of Freedom.

    Trish - The cookbook calls them chocolate mint dreams, but yes, they are chocolate mint thumbprints - my favorites!! I'm still trying to figure out how you can make 11 different cookies in one day...

  10. 70 inches of snow!! Whoa!! Your house looks warm and Christmas-y and lovely. And the baked goods...yum! Have a wonderful holiday, JoAnn!

  11. Happy Holidays JoAnn....i can't believe ALL the snow you've had....enough already.

    I am hoping for a white Christmas here (we've had a brown-out) LOL

  12. 70 inches is a little over the top--of everything ;) Enough already!! So glad Daughter #1 made it home safely; we just retrieved our CS this afternoon (no snow). Baking can now commence in earnest, and at some point there will be a tree...

    Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours, JoAnn!!

  13. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the time at home with your family!

  14. BEAUTIFUL baking - and Happy Christmas - hope you have a lovely time with your girls at home

  15. Have a lovely week Jo Ann. I think the blogging world will be a bit hit and miss this week for most of us. The baking looks fabulous.

  16. Your cookies look amazing! Merry Christmas!

  17. Have a wonderful time with your family JoAnn. All that baking looks so yummy!

  18. Merry Christmas, JoAnn!! I baked cookies too this past weekend. The house still smells good.

  19. The cookies look delicious. Have a Merry Christmas!

  20. Beautiful cookies, JoAnn, and over 70 inches of snow! I will be baking today and tomorrow and look forward to a quite holiday with my sister and brother-in-law. Have a wonderful holiday week!

  21. It's so good when the family's together. Many blessings on all your events, and no calories in your cookies!

    (I've heard nothing but good about Freedom...)

  22. Merry Christmas To you and your family! What a great way to get your holiday season started!!

  23. I hope you have a Safe and Merry Christmas this Holiday season.

  24. Merry Christmas. So glad you're all together for the holidays.

  25. wow - that's a LOT of snow. I probably should try Pearl again now that I'm a bit more mature (hate that word sometimes!) but I know I was put off by her style when I attempted as a teenager.

  26. Still waiting for the new router but I've somehow been able to log on just now! Furiously making the rounds to see how everyone is doing...lovely tree and baked goods, ladies!

    Merry Christmas, JoAnn and Happy New Year wishes too!

  27. WOW on those cookies! YUM! It's been raining several days here in Las Vegas. Have a wonderful week, a Merry Christmas, and a great New Year!

  28. I am a huge fan of The Good Earth. I have a pretty large collection of Pearl Buck books, but I'll admit that I can collect them faster than I can read them!

  29. Erin - We've enjoyed delivering the cookies this week, too. Merry Christmas!

    Diane - There's certainly no doubt of a White Christmas here... hope you get one, too!

    DS - Hope you're enjoying the holiday preparations with CS home. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Booksnyc - Merry Christmas and bon voyage!

    Verity - Thanks. I've been admiring your Christmas baking, too :-)

    Vivienne - Yes, definitely a slow week for blogging. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Vasilly - Have a very Merry Christmas!

    Darlene - Hope Sammy enjoys his first Christmas!

    Ti - Nothing like the smell of cookies, lol! We have one more batch to deliver today.

  30. Carolsnotebook - Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Gavin - Hope you're enjoying the preparations this holiday week... Merry Christmas!

    Bellezza - I hope your family has a very Merry Christmas!

    Staci - Merry Christmas!

    Yolanda - Thank you, and a very Merry Christmas to you too!

    Beth F - Happy Holidays to you, too! Our King Arthur cookbook is seeing some heavy use this week.

    Care - Wonder what you'd think of Buck now. I had no idea she'd written so many books... may just have to start collecting them!

    Darlene - Hope your router woes end soon. Merry Christmas to you, R, and The Heiress... and, of course Deacon, too!

    Kim - Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Everybookandcranny - I think I'm going to start collecting Buck's books, too. Just saw Peony mentioned in the new Bookmarks magazine... it sounds good!

  31. Merry Christmas JoAnn. I like the little peek at all your nutcrakers. Enjoy your holiday.

  32. merry christmas! love the cookies! :-)

  33. That is a lot of cookies!

    Merry Christmas to you.


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