Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Blogville Christmas

It was another geeky Blogville Christmas here at the Johnson house. The silver 60's tree survived another year though we had to do some repair work to a few branches this year.  Fortunately, the weather in Chicagoland has been extra mild so we had an easy drive last night for the Christmas Candlelight service which is a few villages away.  My husband played the violin and sang a solo. We joined this church a little over a year ago and it's the first time he has performed.  As he started to play and sing, a  few jaws dropped - no one had heard him sing before and he's got quite the voice.  If I sing, cats gather on the porch so it's good he can cover for me during the hymns :-)

We got up extra early to open the packages before this mornings service. 
We could NOT find our stockings  - they went into a bin for safekeeping last winter.  We have so many bins in storage - always fun to look at new and old memories in them but we just weren't sure which one held the stockings (think of the last scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark).  So Santa had to improvise with the "stockings".

There were a couple of items that didn't get wrapped.  A bird bath for me, and a Bora edge guide for EJ. Actually, the thing in the center of the birdbath is the bottom of a plant stand.  If water is put in the feeder it will just freeze.  Mom can put one of the plant stand bottoms filled with water every morning in the feeder, and replace it with a fresh one the next day (Dad bought 3).  That way there's fresh water. 

Since he had asked for one, the 50 something inch box in the sun porch for the last month, didn't leave any mystery, though I was tempted to put a few marbles inside in case of shaking.
We had the stockings with candy and cookies and little tool things and our usual geeky gifts -
My best friend got me hooked on this chocolate. (Tcho).

Steampunk cufflinks (the steampunk watch was from last year.)

Vintage vest and handmade leather bowtie.

The Tactical Chef Apron - every Millenial should have one! (I married one that actually knows how to use a can opener and makes a mean Cream Brulee' with a propane torch).
Handmade fun handkerchiefs.  Its' an Etsy shop called Hankenstein - their handkerchiefs last for years and there's a ton of unique patterns.

I got an antique necklace and LOTS of Bend Goat Milk Soap and bulk milk bath (LOVE this stuff!).  They are a family run company out in Oregon and make the best soaps and lotions.

A new game to learn!

It's not Christmas without new books - the Steam Tractor Encylopedia came from my Father in Law and my Mother in Law for Partner.  The Kindle is the first one I've ever had.  I'm a big "dead tree" person but when I realized I spent $800 on books last year on Amazon it was time to do the Kindle.  Unlike the first Kindle's out - this one  (Generation 8) has a matte screen so it reads like real paper, without glare, even in direct sunlight. You can adjust the text to any size that's comfortable reading.  I love it!

My gift from them was super cool - a Dr. Who satchel with shoulder strap!  (It's Bigger on the Inside!)  The bag is from the very talented Kathleen at Sew Gaelic. 
Of course, we both have to give each other new coffee cups (you know to add to the 87 we already have.)  Here's mine
With tea!
And his.

You know those little games at Cracker Barrel with pegs you have cross one another until there is only one left (if you are smart).  Partner surprised me with one (handmade out of wood) with something other than pegs.  (Unlike Barney Fife- Squirrel Headquarters allows me more than one bullet).

Abby got some gifts, including some really cool "unstuffed" stuffies from Miss Maizie (thank you SO much).  HER stocking we were able to find.

After playing with Miss Maize's pressies she made a beeline for the beehive filled with squeaky bees.

The afternoon was spent playing board games including a new Cribbage Board.
As the roast cooks and we settle in to watch The Incredibles II, I realize how lucky I am. Like most people, I have had losses, a Mom, a Stepmom, a baby, two siblings, and a dog that changed my life.  But I have a snug, warm home, a husband that loves me dearly, that shares my love of the unique things in our world and a Senior Lab Rescue that is happy and healthy.  Dad is still with us, at 98, each day with him a gift. Add to that my church family and all the friends we have made in Blogville I know I am truly blessed.  Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!


  1. We always enjoy your Christmas post, especially all the unique gifts you get for each other. Abby looks pretty happy with her presents too. We bet she is enjoying that stuffie.

    Merry Christmas!


    Woos - Lightning, Misty, Timber, and Mom Kathie

  2. What a wonderful day for all!!!
    Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty (Beth and Ed too!)

    PS from Beth...I have been meaning to thank you for "turning me on to" Bend Soap(and lotion)...it's all I use!!

  3. You all sure give and receive the most unique gifts in all of Blogville. Merry Christmas!

  4. Those are some charming and quite unique gifts. I LOVE that Dr. Who bag and hope you'll tell where it was sourced. Fleas Navidog from all of us at the Ranch.

    1. It's from this etsy shop (Sew Gaelic). It's incredibly well made and I just loved it. https://www.etsy.com/shop/KathleenLH/items

  5. BOL, we loves your bullet game!! Momma says she always plays that at Cracker Barrel, and yours looks like more fun.

  6. Abby OMDs you and your staff know how to have fun!! I might have to sneak in the back door next Christmas morning.
    I giggled at your mom's singing abilities...I always sing Solo...so low you can't hear me.
    Hugs Cecilia

  7. Looks like you were all spoiled. Glad you had a great day.

  8. What a great "old fashioned" Christmas you guys had. We had a tree like that for a long, long time. Wish we still had the original.

    Belated wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

  9. what a fun and clever Christmas you had!! Such great gifts!!

  10. Stopping by to wish you a belated happy Christmas and wonderful 2019 filled with many blessings!


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on our Lab Rescues that have joined our household since Barkley left us.

Stop in and say hello. However, comments from strangers offering business links will NOT be posted. I