Happy Christmas everyone!

We’ve been up here for ages now. I’m not sure who got up first – Rachel or me, but we waited patiently (not) for the rest of the family to get up and mum to get the turkey ready for the oven. Once we heard our parents downstairs, we went down and waited in our family lounge/dining room.

christmas treeWe didn’t dare sneak down earlier. Not with those bells on the lounge door. They jingled when we walked through the hallway so you can imagine what they would do when the door was opened.

christmas bellsLast night Granny and Grandpa Shand and Granny and Grandpa Duncan came to ours for our traditional Christmas Eve meal. Like always, mum made Beef Olive (from scratch) and Roast Potatoes. We ate in the dining room where guests take their breakfast and lit the lovely candle centre-piece on the table.

christmas centrepieceAfter supper, we went over to the lounge where the tree is set up (pressies under it, too) and we had tea and coffee along with mum’s homemade shortbread and cheese and like always, Rachel and I got to open one present from Granny and Grandpa Shand – Christmas pyjamas.

Seeing all those gifts under the tree made it really hard to sleep last night. Which ones were mine? Did I get some of the things I wanted?

Now we have to wait until Mum gets the turkey in the oven before we can go into the lounge and start with the gifts. The bird is huge! It has to be close to 30 pounds! Dad’s in the kitchen helping her because it’s so big she can’t lift it on her own.

One year she cooked a goose, and the grease caugth fire. She ran screaming through the house waving a wooden spoon in the air. Rachel and I laughed. We thought she looked so funny. Good thing dad was about to put the lid back on the pan and smother the flames. We’re back to the traditional turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and sprouts.

Granny and Grandpa Duncan will come about 2:00 and Granny and Grandpa Shand shortly after. We usually eat our Christmas dinner about 3:30.

Hey, here’s dad. The turkey is in the oven! Christmas can officially start!

All these traditions. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I get married and move out. Will I have to come home every year at Christmas and stay just so I can continue these traditions or do I start my own?

Three more sleeps until Christmas arrives!

It’s almost Christmas! It’s my most favourite holiday of the year. My sister, Rachel, and I went to Huntly to the Market Muir with Mum and Dad to pick out our tree on the 14th. We’ve done this every year for as long as I can remember.

After we got it home and untied, Dad cut some more off the bottom of the stump and stuck it in the stand by the window so that the branches would fall down into place before we decorated it the next day. Real trees are SO much better than artificial – least I think so.

christmas treeIt turned out really well and looks fab when the fairy lights are turned on and they’re the only lights on in the room.

Mum puts wreaths on all of the inside doors – guest lounge, guest dining room, ensuite bedroom, door that separates the guest area from our private one (although we often visit with folks who are staying at the B&B).

wreath 2But this year, she’s gone and put bells on the lounge door. Guess she thinks that we’ll be trying to sneak peaks at the pressies after they go under the tree. Who me? Never… 😉

christmas bellsThe house looks beautiful with the decorations and smells even better. Christmas baking aromas linger in the air – homemade mincemeat for tarts, fruitcake, and shortbread. All treats that aren’t prepared any other time of year.

Mum has a collection of scented candles that she burns, too. Cranberry, spiced-vanilla, balsam.

christmas candle And, on the mantlepiece in the lounge, her miniature village is set up and lit. It looks so pretty. All those quaint buildings, trees, and people.

villagevillage 2

I think after the tree, I love mum’s villages the best. She used to have more buildings but Murphy knocked a couple off the mantle when he was looking for a place to sleep a few years ago. Since then, he’s not allowed in the lounge until all the decorations have been taken down and put away for another year.

The Consequences Collection – by Melanie Robertson-King

Melanie has a new book out (it’s been out for a while, I’m just remiss in posting about it). Isn’t that exciting? This one is different from A Shadow in the Past. Her new one is a collection of short stories called The Consequences Collection.

I’m all a-quiver waiting for her to unwrap the finished product. Hurry up! We want to see it.
Wrapping The Consequences Collection books 3 books 4Oh wow! Look at it. It’s gorgeous! Spooky, too. Here’s what it’s about.

Blurb:

The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

The Consequences CollectionWonder if she’ll give a snippet of one of the stories in it? Yay! She said yes!

Excerpt from the cover story Consequences:

Splat! The mail landed on the ceramic tile floor of the foyer. Usually, the noise was followed by the snap of the mail slot door closing. Today it wasn’t.

Something must have stuck in it. Sylvia put her coffee down on the counter and walked to the front door. A large white envelope remained suspended in the door. She pulled it the rest of the way through. The flap snapped shut and even though she was used to hearing the metallic sound, it startled her.

She’d expected a letter from her solicitor regarding her divorce from Bill but it wasn’t there. However, that one in particular had piqued her curiosity. Emblazoned on the top left corner was an official-looking crest. The addressee’s name and address were correct. It was her. Why would this person or agency be sending her a letter? She’d never heard of them before.

Sylvia turned the envelope over and worked her thumb under the flap. Those self-sticking envelopes are a bugger, she thought as she tried to rip it open. Finally, she gave up and tore down the side and yanked the contents out.

She skimmed over the letter but it didn’t make any sense so placed it on the small table by the door. It could be dealt with later. In the meantime, she looked at the rest of her mail. Nothing else untoward – just the electric bill, gas bill, and the usual assortment of junk – mail. She dropped them on top of the letter and returned to the kitchen.

The coffee she’d poured earlier had gone cold. She dumped it down the sink and turned the water on to rinse it away before getting a fresh one.

Drawn by some inexplicable force, Sylvia went back to the foyer and collected the letter and the mangled envelope. She returned to the kitchen, flipped on the radio and sat down at her small table. Why had she opened it in the first place? She should have just binned it. That’s what she usually did with unsolicited mail. But there was something strangely familiar about it. The addressee information was on a computer printed label so there was no clue there. The sororities from University had crests or emblems to differentiate one from another. She wracked her brain trying to remember what they looked like. It had been over thirty years since she’d attended. Sylvia never belonged to a sorority because she thought the girls who did were snooty and stuck-up.

She’d call her friend, Laurie and tell her about the letter. They’d been friends since childhood, attended the same elementary and secondary schools and even the same University. She could tell her anything, couldn’t she?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Where to buy The Consequences Collection

Paperback:

Lulu.com

Epub:

Lulu.com

iBookstore

Kindle:

amazon.com

amazon.ca

amazon.co.uk

Melanie will be selling signed copies of The Consequences Collection and A Shadow in the Past at the 1000 Island Mall, 2399 Parkedale Ave, Brockville on Saturday, 14th December from 9:30-3:30.

Happy Christmas everyone!

We’ve been up here for over five hours now. I’m not sure who got up first – Rachel or me, but we waited patiently (not) for the rest of the family to get up before charging downstairs to the lounge – wearing our Christmas pjs, of course.

christmas treeMum has the turkey in the oven now. It’s huge! It has to be close to 30 pounds! The one year she deviated from the norm and cooked a goose, it wasn’t well received so it’s back to the turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and sprouts.

I got some new CDs so I’m off now to listen to Adele.

 

Three more sleeps until Christmas arrives!

Image

It’s almost Christmas! It’s my most favourite holiday of the year. My sister, Rachel, and I went to Huntly to the Market Muir with Mum and Dad to pick out our tree last Saturday and this morning, we decorated it.

christmas treeMum puts wreaths on all of the inside doors – guest lounge, guest dining room, ensuite bedroom, door that separates the guest area from our private one (although we often visit with folks who are staying at the B&B).

wreath 2The house looks beautiful with the decorations and smells even better. Christmas baking aromas linger in the air – homemade mincemeat for tarts, fruitcake, and shortbread. All treats that aren’t prepared any other time of year.

Mum has a collection of scented candles that she burns, too. Cranberry, spiced-vanilla, balsam.

christmas candle And, on the mantlepiece in the lounge, her miniature village is set up and lit. It looks so pretty. All those quaint buildings, trees, and people.

villagevillage 2

Granny and Grandpa Shand and Granny and Grandpa Duncan come to ours Christmas Eve for a meal. Mum always makes Beef Olive (from scratch) and Roast Potatoes. We eat in the guest dining room and have a lovely candle centre-piece on the table.

christmas centrepieceAfter supper, we go over to the guest lounge where we have tea and coffee along with mum’s homemade shortbread and like always, we get to open one present from Granny and Grandpa Shand – our Christmas pyjamas.

All these traditions. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I get married and move out. Will I have to come home every year at Christmas and stay just so I can continue these traditions or do I start my own?

What are your Christmas traditions? Which ones do you absolutely have to uphold every year?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Don’t you just love Christmas? I know I do. Yeah, the pressies are great but it looks so pretty with everything lit up. And speaking of lit up, I hear that Melanie got her Christmas tree finished today. Here’s a piccie. Doesn’t it look fab?
IMG-20121213-00078And look here… what’s this ornament? It sure looks like her fabulous book cover!

IMG-20121213-00082Wow! To have pride of place on her Christmas tree… makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

And it’s only 10 days until Christmas. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. Maybe because I’ve been a starlet in Melanie’s novel?

Aberdeen’s Christmas Tree lighting at the Castlegate

Another winter event I do my best not to miss. Not sure I go in for the preceding carol service but if I want to get a good spot to watch them light the tree, I need to get into Aberdeen early.

photo courtesy of aberdeencity.gov.uk

So lots of things happening here in and around Aberdeen and I plan on being part of them! Hope you’ll be able to join me.