It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
|First snow of the season|
Yes, it's the first snowfall of the season for us here in HPNC. And, as always, I'm loving it!
Mr. T and I got up earlier than we usually do on a Saturday morning so we could take the Houndz to the Fluff 'n Fold...our pet phrase for the Grooming Center at PetsMart. Although they are never happy to make this journey, they all really needed to go to the salon; their nails were turning into talons! Duchess' dew-claws looked like the Wicked Witch of the West...and she certainly knows how to use 'em. Ouch.
After herding the Basset Brigade behind the swing-door in the store, we humans headed for Bruegger's Bagels in Friendly Center. We don't have a bagel place in High Point, so we treat ourselves to Bruegger's whenever we can. Usually we sit outside, but not today! Brrrrr. It was just too cold, so we opted for an inside two-top.
The conversation turned to our Christmas Tree, and I shared an idea with Mr. T. On Thursday, I had gone shopping in Winston (I like Hanes Mall there better than Four Seasons in Greensboro, and Thruway Shopping Center is still one of my fav places: Dewey's Bakery = yum!); as I passed the Sandy Ridge exit off I-40 on my way home, I'd noticed the sign at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market, where they were advertising NC-grown sweet potatoes and Christmas Trees.
When we lived here before, we used to enjoy making a whole day out of driving 421 to Boone, having lunch at the Dan'l Boone Inn, shopping at Mast General Store, and then cutting our own tree at one of the many, many Choose 'n Cut Christmas Tree farms in that area. We had hoped to revive the tradition on the Friday after Thanksgiving when Missy M was home, but the rainy weather interferred with our plans.
Then, we contemplated buying an artificial tree. We already have a couple small trees that I have used for years to supplement our "real" tree; I usually decorate one of those with all my sheep ornaments, and N/M/E uses another one for all of her Santa ornaments. But, with sustainability on the brain, we've discussed which is more environmentally-friendly for the "big" tree...live or artificial?
Live and local won! When we finished our coffee and bagels, we headed out Market to the Market to see what they had. OMG! There must have been 10-12 growers from the mountain counties of Watauga (Boone), Ashe (West Jefferson), and Avery (Crossnore). Fresh cut trees, straight from the NC mountains...and they came to us; we didn't have to drive to them! Life is so good.
|Choosing our NC Tree at the Market|
Just as the tree guy snapped the shot (right), he said : "Look! It's snowing!" Perfect, said I. Just like a little kid.
By the time we got home with the tree, the flakes were coming down fast and furious. Big, fat, fluffy flakes. Wet and ploppy...you know that sound they make? Plop...plop...plop. Not a bit hard and pingy, like they are when they have ice inside. I prefer ploppy myself.
|Mr. T with Duchess, Gus, and Elmo in the snow|
I got out N/M/E's recipe (such that it is...:) and started a pot of stew, taking a short cut by using the other half of a Rotisserie chicken I'd gotten at Harris Teeter on Thursday. Shred the meat...boil the bones for stock. Chop the veggies...oh, drat: no onions. No problem...out to the garden (yes, in the snow...:) and get a couple. I'm loving this whole Fall garden thing, you know. It was too late to start baking a loaf of bread like I usually do on stew days, but no worries. I'd gotten a loaf of freshly-made Sourdough on that little trip to Dewey's Bakery. It would fit the bill.
|Hot apple cider on a cold day|
While he was working, I heated up some apple cider, added some orange slices, cloves, and cinnamon sticks...and had a tasty hot beverage ready when he finished his chore. Turned on the fireplace to make the morning room toasty.
Tasty and toasty. Ahhh. Lovely.
Now, let's see if we can find that DVD of White Christmas...snow, snow, snow, snow, s-n-o-w...!