It can’t be December already can it?

Oh where has time gone? I can’t believe it’s December already. My grandson had his 9th birthday yesterday and before you know it Santa will have come and he’ll be going crazy opening his gifts.

So I didn’t make it through NaBloPoMo for November. I hit a wall one day where I couldn’t find or think of anything to post and that’s all it took. I did at least make it 21 days in a row which I’ll take as a major accomplishment. The one thing I did learn is that I really need to prepare ahead of time. I can’t just hope something will inspire me every day. I also found myself a bit too busy some days and simply ran out of time to post even if I did have some content.

TSO Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Tacoma Dome

As in other years the start of the holiday season must start with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). This was our fifth year going and we can’t even imagine not going now. It’s become our favorite holiday family tradition and we are always trying to get others to jump on the bandwagon. Most people seem to have no idea who or what TSO is when we mention it. The word “orchestra” really throws them off and they immediately say no thanks, not interested. Even when we tell them “rock opera” they shake their heads. Even though I know well and good they’ve heard a few TSO songs over the years. Like Wizards of Winter is always played on the radio. Oh well, they just don’t know what they are missing. Even my 9-year old grandson loves them.

The Storyteller – Phillip Brandon. He has the perfect voice for narration.

This year they put on another fantastic show, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, at the Tacoma Dome. Every year we get closer and closer, this year we were in the sixth row. There weren’t as many moving parts as other years and I can’t say that I really missed them. I was able to focus and really enjoy the music and not get distracted by all of the moving stages and lifts. There’s just something about the stories they tell, the laser light show and the music. They have some extremely talented singers and I don’t think I can pick a favorite, they’re all great.

Al Pitrelli

Angus Clark – what a nut

Jeff Scott Soto – I lied, I can pick a favorite and he’s one of them

Chloe Lowery – girl has a set of pipes

Asha Mevlana

How was your Thanksgiving? We had a really nice one at my daughter’s place and her stuffing was a success. I finally have the recipe written down. I wouldn’t say it’s quite perfected yet but at this point it’s just a matter of taste. How much extra sage needs to go in. My mom thought it needed more and I thought it tasted just fine, so there you go. I’ll post that in a few days.

The Thanksgiving Feast – Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, homemade dinner rolls, coleslaw, garlicky green beans, corn casserole, pistachio salad, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce

Next it was putting away the fall decorations and bringing out the Christmas. Earlier in the year I bought a pre-lit Christmas tree. It’s rather hard to believe that we are running into a Christmas tree shortage here in the PNW, but we are. My favorite tree farm has had some slim pickings the last few years while they wait for the young trees to grow to the right size. Last year they were only open one weekend and we had the hardest time finding one we liked. I like trees big enough to hold all of my ornaments and the one we ended up choosing didn’t have enough room or large enough branches for half of my ornaments. This year they were also only open one weekend and other local farms were either not opening for u-cut or open only for one weekend as well. Maybe in a couple of years we’ll go back and try to find the perfect tree. There’s just something about walking around and finding the perfect tree and cutting it down yourself. It’s just a great tradition and something the whole family can participate in.

The ornaments – this isn’t all of them. Only what I thought I could fit on the tree

The tree is 7 1/2 fee tall but not really big in diameter so I’m afraid I still didn’t get all of my ornaments on the tree. Maybe next year I’ll put a second tree up in the family room downstairs so I can use them all up. I admit that I do buy a new ornament or two every year. I have quite a collection of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments and like to keep up with a few of my favorites. I also like to pick up handmade or unusual ornaments at the Christmas bazaars. The kids like looking at the ornaments and remembering where we got them. Especially the ones they made for me 25-30 years ago.

The finished tree. It does switch between white and colored lights if we want.

The tree turned out pretty nice but it’s missing tinsel. I know, it’s pretty old-fashioned to have tinsel on a tree but I like finished look it gives to the tree. Especially during the day when there are no lights on. We can actually switch between white or colored lights depending on who is home, I prefer colored and my daughter prefers the white. I did have to add a few strings of colored lights because it looked really bare in spots. For some reason when we switch it to the white lights it doesn’t have that same issue.

So that’s the end of a whirlwind November and here we are almost done with the first week of December. I’m not ready! Are you?