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Hey friends,

If you celebrate, happy new year, lol. 

How are you faring where you are? How are you bearing the weight of things? I ask this because of my own sponginess (referenced here) and uncanny way of absorbing large amounts of the world's anxiety. Sigh....

Our holiday was restful and nourishing (figuratively, not literally as I think I ate my weight in butter) and really quite lovely. This year I was more organized than I ever have been, with a cooking game plan for four days leading up to Christmas. I felt kind of guilty having two ovens to work with (two ovens!! Thank you previous owners!) We made these chocolate crinkle cookies that were superb, spicy candied pecans, palmiers, and this cake, which David Lebovitz says is his "desert island cake." I think everyone should have a desert island cake and while this makes a perfectly good candidate, I think this one would be my choice. Or maybe this one without the frosting.

The weeks leading up to Christmas were filled with quite a bit of remodeling. You can see we removed the green carpet and added wood floors to the existing wood floors. We removed the formica countertop and put in a nice big sink. This house has proven to be a challenge as far as design goes. The previous owners had a distinctive style and loved green! In all of the houses we've lived in before, Bert and I have had no trouble choosing paint colors: earthy rust, mustard yellow, soft sage green, silvery blue and our favorite: our last home's charcoal gray accent wall. But this house doesn't speak to us in the same way, at least not yet. So we've settled on creamy colors with white trim in most rooms and we'll just wait until the spirit moves us before we paint again.

Other than that we've been nesting. Unpacking slowly. Dreaming about the garden. Pondering grow lights and warming pads and perusing seed catalogs. Reading by the wood stove. Are you reading anything good? I picked up both of David Culp's books about his home garden Brandywine Cottage. I'm inspired by the way he doesn't just put his gardens to bed in October, waiting to start again in the spring. Instead his gardens flourish in all four seasons and I'm interested in exploring late winter/early spring bloomers like snow drops, hellebores and crocus.

I almost forgot. We binge-watched Midnight Mass on Netflix and I can't remember the last time I was so captivated and mentally exhausted at the same time by a TV show. So provocative and original and creative and complex and...... "Religious Horror"?? I didn't know that was a category, but have to say, I'm hooked on the way Mike Flanagan brings his stories to life! 

All in all, we feel fortunate to be creating something of a new life in our new home. It gives us a place to dream, work, create and play, all ways we're finding that help weather the storm of a pandemic infused world.  

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