Post-Holiday Update

Posted by mrssmythe on December 26, 2016 in Baking, Celebrations, Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

I hope you had a lovely holiday. Ours was packed with fun, food, and good friends – just the way a holiday should be.

The past two weeks were equally full and festive. We enjoyed a performance of “The Nutcracker” at The Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. Here you see one of the lions who guards the front gate.


It was a particularly frigid day, and I remember that by the time I got to my car after pausing to snap this photo, my ears were so numb they actually hurt when they began to “thaw” out. Of course I had a hat I could have popped on my head at any time, but I did not. I didn’t want to muss my hair. So, I froze my ears instead. Such vanity.

Snow followed the next day. Here you see my Christmas pine, buried.


And the patio chairs were filled.


Driving was perilous, but I do love a good snow, so I didn’t mind.

I’m not sure this cactus shared my enthusiasm, though.


The nursery said that it should be able to withstand our winter temps, though, so I’m hoping for the best. I’ve gotten rather attached to this particular plant.

The chickens continue to soldier on. Only one of them is laying right now, but that’s to be expected with the decrease in daylight.


Here’s a particularly nice photo of our Ameraucana, “Mabel”.


Because of the lowered egg production, I had to actually buy eggs for the first time in months! I used them in the Christmas cake I made – a “Red Velvet” version, chosen for its festive color.


I used a recipe from the Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook. The Cook’s Country recipes are so thorough and detailed, it’s hard to go wrong. I find I go back to them again and again. This cake was a definite hit!

And, finally, the crafts.

I finished that red, sparkly scarf I was working on last time I posted – I finished it just in time for Christmas Eve services, but then I got side-tracked and didn’t have time to weave in the loose ends, so I couldn’t wear it after all. Never mind. A sparkly red scarf should be suitable through at least February, so it will get worn.

In the meantime, I have an assortment of other projects to keep me busy now that our schedule has relaxed a bit.

There’s the “Fireside Throw” I’m putting together using acrylic leftovers.


This is just the beginning. When finished, it should be approx. 62″ x 56″.

And Ginger requested a “Raspberry Hat” from one of the cute “Fruits and Veggies” kits we found at our local yarn store.


The color is so bright it defies photography, but here’s what I have finished, shown in black and white so you can see the texture.


For the color, think of the brightest pink you can imagine, and you’ll have it.

Once that hat is finished, I’m on to a pair of socks, using this yarn Ginger gave me for Christmas.


I’m excited to see how it will knit up. You can’t go wrong with a “Crazy Zauberball“.

So that brings you up to date! I hope you’re enjoying some restful moments, too, after the bustle of the holidays. Bonus points if you’re enjoying good music, good food, and a cozy fire.

From the dining room table (where I’m one for three on the above),

Mrs. Smythe

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  • Amy says:

    Sounds like a lovely holiday, indeed!
    And that lion . . . such a handsome fellow.

  • Jenn M says:

    I love all the snow too as long as a) I don’t have to drive in it, or (b) the roads have been cleared. It’s going to be winter anyway so I want snow!
    I have always wanted to make a red velvet cake: yours looks really good!
    I like the pink hat yarn, and a bonus will be how easy it will be to find Ginger in a crowd:)
    Can’t wait to see the blanket progress. I have two I want to make this year, so I should have lots of scraps for my own fireside blanket in 2018.
    The sock yarn is very nice. I am currently struggling to knit a cowl on circular needles (first time for all those things), so socks seem like light years away at the moment…
    Happy New Year!

    • mrssmythe says:

      Once you get comfortable knitting in the round, socks should be no problem. They’re a bit awkward for the first few rounds, but once you get going, it gets easier. Looking forward to seeing the cowl when you finish it!

  • TeaLady says:

    Such a great picture of Mabel – she’s a real beauty. Your red velvet cake looks so yummy. Love that thick cream cheese frosting. Really admiring your crocheted throw. It looks like you are joining the pieces as you go. Are they joined together with a crochet stitch?

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