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Winter Solstice 2015–What a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday December 22, 2015                                                                        Most Recent Posts:
Long Key State Park                                                                                     Solstice Eve
Layton, Florida                                                                                             Great News in Our Family




It’s early morning.  The sun has not risen.  It’s still the longest night of the year.  But I’ve been in bed too long.  My body thinks it’s time to go to bed when the sun goes down at 5:30 and by 9:00 it’s no use fighting it.  but that means that by 4:30 or 5am, I’m up for the day and the sun doesn’t show up until 7:00.   I’m sure happy to be celebrating the lengthening of the days. 




Outside the dawn is breaking.
As usual, black clouds at the horizon.
Not much color on this Winter solstice morn.




As the light comes into the sky I turn to get a Solstice picture of Winnona.


The color disperses and David joins me outside.
Doesn’t look like a great day ahead weather wise but we’re sure going to have a good time.



Optimistically, Carrie and I get the chairs set up as the colors brighten in the cloudless spaces.




Here comes the sun!




The colors are beautiful despite the clouds.






It’s a wonderful Solstice Morning.
We’re singing “It’s gonna be a bright bright sunshiny day”.



Back inside, I catch this picture of Santa leaving the stockings hung on the door with care.   It’s a rare sighting.






Our singing was apparently ignored as all those clouds gang up and down comes the rain.   But our party is inside so it’s OK.
That’s the wing of the butterfly on top of the tree in the left of the picture.





Time for those carefully chosen pastries.




After those many bakery taste tests, David seems pretty happy with his choice and the evil black brew he’s painstakingly made to go with it..



The rain clears out but the winds are still whipping the flag around.  I really do love our front window view here at Long Key.



Carrie’s first present is a set of baby bibs.  There are never enough of those.


I really hate to open some of the pretty packages under the tree.





Books are always favorite gifts.


























We’re one of those families which open every gift separately and have to look each one over and enjoy it before moving on to the next.   Even stocking gifts are opened one at a time.  This will take us nearly all day.  What fun!!


More rain.  Time for a breakfast break.





Matthew isn’t able to be with us but there are presents under the tree for both Carrie and him.
A special ornament commemorates their wedding this past May.
It is hand painted and says Carrie & Matthew May 23, 2015



Both the investment book and Sibley’s Guide to Birds are also for them both.




Other favorite gifts

Dried Cherries UNsweetned.  Boy are they hard to find.



A keyboard and case for Carrie’s Kindle fire HD 8.9.  Now she can finally type again.



And speaking of Kindle, I’m going to TRY stepping into the 21st Century with a Kindle Paperwhite reader. Now I need everyone to tell me where to get Free books that aren’t all the classics I’ve already read.  It appears the purpose of the paperwhite is to force you to buy books from Amazon.  Hope I’m wrong about that.





My sweetie surprises me with two jars of Cherry Salsa from The Cherry Republic.
Love their slogan.
A big smooch for you dear!







More rain.  Time for dinner.


Yes it’s true, it’s dark outside, this takes us all day.
Boy do we have a good time.





Our very favorite gift is this wedding photograph from Carrie and Matthew.  What a perfect day that was.




Among the final notes are a new Earth Flag to replace my well used and well loved and well faded one.  Now maybe folks won’t ask me “what’s on that flag”.   Thank you Carrie.




I managed to sneak some jars out of the Mustard Run Nancy and Bill did for us this summer.
So Mr. Mustard is well pleased and has to sample them right away.




What fun that the last gift of the day,  like the first one, is for the upcoming additon to the family. 




Inspite of the rain, We’ve had a grand time.
It’s been a wonderful wonderful day with lots of gifts, laughter, fun and food.
It’s truly a Wonderful Life!


  1. Looks like a really lovely day with beautiful clouds and rain too.

  2. If Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is your home library, and you still have membership there, you can search the connected SW VA libraries website for eboopks. I see that at least some of the "overdrive" books are available in Kindle format. At my library, borrowing the Kindle book goes through the Amazon website, so you'll have to register your new Paperwhite there, then the book can download via wi-fi or by connecting the Kindle to your computer.Here's the basic help screen at SW VA libraries http://swvapub.lib.overdrive.com/09632A84-3833-40B3-9E89-D8DE4051E74C/10/50/en/Help.htm

  3. You sure had a houseful of presents! Coffee and pastries can't be beat.

  4. Your family certainly knows how to enjoy Christmas! Free books for Kindle? They are everywhere. I've collected thousands of them. I have purchased MAYBE half a dozen in the last few years.

    To say nothing of borrowing from libraries, as noted.

    Virtual hugs,


  5. We use BookBub.com They send a daily email with about 7 titles for $ 1.99 or so and then 1 to 4 free books. They are a listing agent for discounted Amazon books.
    We read free books from our local library also.

    Looks like you had a fun Christmas.

  6. There is so much to say about this post especially the love, the warmth the joy that you all shared with us. Love the pic of you and David as you await for the break of dawn and the family picture watching the sunrise, beautiful!

  7. What a wonderful day!!! Sure hope Carrie feels as well & happy as she looks...she has that new mom glow;o)) Lots of thoughtful gifts and of course you never miss with good eats!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you:o)))

  8. Lovely day ... mom and my sister share a Christmas Eve birthday so it was doubly festive for them with all the extra gifts. Glad you asked the question about free books ... I'm going to get a pin number from the Port A library to check out the overdrive books.

  9. Love the photo of the three of you. Actually all your photos are beautiful today. The love shows in your family and I bet Carrie was really missing her husband. I second Bookbub. You can select what genre of books you like and everyday you get an email with a couple from each category.

  10. I use Bookbub also It has introduced me to many new authors. You can select the genres you are interested in receiving offers on. I usually find plenty of free books I like but the others are really cheap. If you get the free books and end up not looking one, it cost you nothing. Just don't expect to find your favorite authors. Happy reading! I love your blog and always look forward to reading them.

  11. I cannot believe the rain you have had. I guess you'll be leaving soon, so maybe you'll be leaving the rain and bad weather behind.

    The dried cherries and salsa sound so good. Found them on e-Bay... phew..pretty pricey, but no tax or shipping, so I might give them a try. I used to make a jalapeno mustard. It was pretty sweet but good.

    We have library cards in Tampa, GA and the Keys, so we can download e-books from the library. We haven't done it for a long time because we always found there was too much of a wait list and we never would get notification the book was available. Maybe it's better now. We have found so many donated books at the campground libraries that we always have plenty of real books and they are free. I like the Samsung Galaxy tablet for reading e-books. It's small and easy to read even in the sun. I'll bet you like yours too. We have bought a few e-books that I want to keep and maybe want to help the author, but I prefer free books myself.

    I hope your next destination is dry and with calm winds.

  12. Great capturing our of our Solstice gift exchange! What a fun day that was - it always is for us! So many great presents, tasty treats and a a scrumptious meal - definitely a special time of year :) xoxo

  13. The big thanks goes to Ms. Santa who was able to plan all this way far in advance (11 months for reservations) and pull it all together in time for Carrie's visit with a little help from the other Santa. We always have a fine time doing it 'our way'. ;)

  14. Looks like it was a warm, wonderful Christmas for you three, four, counting the one in the "oven." :)
    Zero degrees here in Lovely Ouray; count your blessings…
    Box Canyon Mark

  15. What a wonderful day you had. Now the fun begins...where to put all those gift items in an RV. Carrie's wedding portrait deserves a special place, it's beautiful! :c)

  16. You sure have endured a lot of rain, but this day inside it really didn't matter.

  17. A whole lot of gifts! My aunt used to say that the weather we got at the first day of a season would determine the weather for the rest of that season.

  18. What a beautiful day! You guys sure know how to celebrate -- I love that you linger over each aspect of the day, reveling in the joy of being together. Looks like some very good book choices all around. I think you'll really enjoy your Kindle -- I got one last year and now it's hard for me to read a "regular" book (I like the backlighting for reading at night in bed). I've been meaning to try out Bookbub and now that I see so many good reports on it here, will definitely give it a try. Hugs to you all!

  19. We always did the one at a time - in the last years with six boys and some girlfriends it was definitely an all day affair on our Christmas morning. Solstice has always been ritual with friends and circle - I love that your's is all on Solstice :-) Magical Child is a wonderful book - my daughter in law loves it. You'll find free books from different sources, and for $9.99/month you can access thousands of Kindle Unlimited selections. We probably read 8-9 books a month from there so definitely get our monies worth.

  20. The colors are beautiful Because of the clouds. I love the slow celebration, savoring every moment. I new flag is very cool. Best of all will be next Christmas with your new grandchild.

  21. Funny you mentioned the Kindle, I've been getting so many books from Overdrive on mine that is why I am so behind on blog reading! I can't keep up when I have to worry about book loans expiring! I keep a few books I buy on the kindle as well in case I run out of library books while traveling without a wifi connection. So great to have a book to read no matter where I go. I started with the paperwhite but this year upgraded to the Fire. I was straining to read in my tent in the dark and the backlit screen of the Fire works better for that. Might be heading to Cherry Republic myself this year, we're planning a swing up and around the north end of Lake Superior for late August or early September. Can't decide whether to stop in Empire/Traverse City area or try a new area on our way up...

  22. Love your Solstice celebrations. When all of our family used to get together for Christmas, we'd always open one gift at a time, then that person would hand out the next gift, and so on. I always loved to see the expressions on family members faces when they opened their gifts. Carrie looks fabulous! I picked a lot of those bib sets, maybe I did that one :-)

  23. Looks like a fabulous day. I'm so happy that Carrie was there to celebrate with you. I'm sure that you've heard we've had some Key West-like weather here. I don't ever remember going to Christmas dinner in a sleeveless blouse, long skirt, and no tights. If it hadn't been rainy/misty, we could have had a Christmas picnic outside. I fear for the fruit trees though. I've seen some ornamental trees already blooming. Yikes!

  24. What a wonderful day! It looks all your gifts were well thought out and much appreciated:) How nice to have Carrie with you for this day. Sorry Matthew couldn't make it.

  25. That sounds like a great day. I'm glad you got a new Earth flag.

    We are thinking of spending some time next winter in Florida, so your posts about the different campsites are really helpful. You're like two advance scouts for us!

  26. Sounds like a wonderful family Solstice celebration. I still use one of the first Kindles...it's nothing but an e-reader. I still belong to a VT library and they have an online lending library I use.


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