My Christmas

This is a brief summary of my somewhat hectic Christmas.  These first two photos are the evening of December 23.  I finally sat down on the couch and took a moment to appreciate the calm before the storm.  I admired the ornaments on the tree and had a peaceful moment.

Side of Christmas tree with lights on

Side of Christmas tree without overhead lights

Then Saturday morning I did the animal chores.  The weather had warmed, the snow and ice had all melted, and we were starting to flood.  It continued to rain profusely.  Here is the back field where the cows live.  It was like a river with the water coming through the pasture from the development behind us.  Rory was in the next field over.  I coaxed him through the gate and then shut it in case it became completely impassable.

Back field flooded

Here is an example of the ice we had been coping with.  This is a contents of a water bucket.  The ice got quite thick.

Ice from bucket

And here is the front field, in front of the barn.  Quite a mess.

Flooded front field

But then we dressed up (out of barn clothes) and drove south to my aunt’s house for an absolutely lovely Christmas Eve.  This is a long tradition in my family which we still cherish.  My aunt made a prime rib roast with all of the fixings, and my mother contributed a beautiful salad that my husband actually ate (the first time since I have known him to eat salad).

Christmas Eve dinner

Then there was the traditional flaming pudding.  So fun!


Christmas morning I got up at 5 AM to do some final house arrangements and the animal chores.  I walked by the living room window that I normally do not pass and admired the tree once again.

Christmas tree from outside

It was raining buckets so quickly my lens fogged up, and I got this interesting effect.

Rainy outside Christmas tree

I was going to get some straw for the barn as it was getting quite wet in there.  As I was moving the bale of straw to the barn, I suddenly realized that I felt quite ill and that I had managed to forget to take my morning medications.  In all of the Christmas hubbub I forget this very basic and essential task.  I didn’t feel like I could make it to the house so I called Tom on my watch and asked him to bring my medications.  It is hard to explain what adrenal insufficiency is like, but I felt extreme fatigue, breathing difficulty, my heart racing, lightheadedness and just plain ill.  Tom brought me my medications and took over the more strenuous tasks.  I slowly started feeling better and kicked myself for this stupid oversight.  This is not something that I should ever do, but it is also the reason I have a smart watch now.  After three falls on the property where I couldn’t get Tom’s attention by yelling, this watch is a lifesaver.  But it is also annoying because I get umpteen texts from work while I am trying to do the farm chores   But I guess everything is a tradeoff.

Then it was time to get the food ready for Christmas breakfast.  I had made sticky buns the day before, and they were warming in the house during the chores.  It was time to get them baked, and Tom cooked up bacon, link breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. I put out some of my previous Christmas baking as well.  Here is the spread of the baked goods.


Then my father, Tom’s son, Tom’s daughter, our son-in-law and the grandkids arrived.  The first order of business however was reviewing the plans that my dad purchased for a new cabin to replace the one that burned down.  This is so exciting for everybody.  We all plan on helping him build it in every way possible.

Tom, Les and Thomas looking at cabin plans

After breakfast William the elf handed out the presents.

William handing out presents as an elf

Then the present opening commenced.

William unwrapping Keith Richards’ book

Piper unwrapping cookbook

William unwrapping Charger model

Piper unwrapping tea set

Wrapping paper fight

William unwrapping motor model

Piper unwrapping cupcake set

Piper playing with cupcakes

William with popcorn

William reading that he has a going to Disneyland

Tom opening running boards present

Ryeleigh upset her couch has been invaded

Then it was outside.  The motorcycles and animals were looked at.

Tom on William’s bike

Then we all packed up, and most of us headed to Tom’s sister’s place for Christmas dinner. This was a sudden change in venue as his brother had lost power during the ice storm. Ryeleigh came along but hung out in the truck.  Tom remarked about how she looked like the beagle I had bought for him many years ago.  What do you think?

Beagle sleeping

Beagle sleeping

Here is the table at Tammy’s.

Schoonover family Christmas table

Piper with her great grandmother (Tom’s mother)

Tom counted 29 people there.  It was such a fun event.  Dinner was great.  There was football on the TV.  There was a rousing game of 31.  It was so nice to have everybody together again.

This morning it was Christmas clean up.  We are both exhausted.  The presents are put away, dishes are washed, and the chores are yet again done.  It was weirdly 58 degrees this morning.  There are still flood warnings.  I cannot count how many different weather warnings we have had over the last week (snow, freezing rain, wind, flooding, etc) But, in happy news, the bees seemed to have survived the 4 degrees.  I was worried, but today they are flying around.  I peeked in their hive, and they still have bee candy.  I can see that several are dying each day, but hopefully the colony will survive.


I hope you all had very happy holidays.  We certainly did.

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8 Responses to My Christmas

  1. Michelle says:

    Yours was much busier and ‘peopled’ than ours, but we enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas very much, just us three humans and two dogs (inside).

  2. Diane Cruikshank says:

    Looks like a lovely Christmas.I have never seen flaming pudding. Your food photos always look delicious. Happy new year Donna.

  3. Jeanne says:

    We had a very quiet Christmas – just me, my daughter, and our dear friend from just down the street. She lives alone in an old motor home, with her cat. She and my daughter are like sisters, and she calls me Mom. But we had a good dinner and fun together.

    I enjoyed your write-up about your Christmas very much. The pictures are really cute, with the kids. The flaming pudding looked really nice. I’ve never done that, but used to make a steamed cherry pudding, which I cooked in my 6 quart pressure pan. It was served with a butter sauce.

  4. Denise says:

    quiet christmas here- grateful that the deep freeze ended. how exciting that your dad is planning to rebuild the cabin! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Yes. I think everyone is grateful the the freeze ended in time for Christmas. It is exciting about the cabin. But he has to get through permitting first.

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