Today, the 6th January, is the Twelfth Night or Little Christmas or Epiphany.  Whatever you call it, it’s time for us to get serious about cleaning up and cleaning out.  Our land home isn’t grand but it’s surpising how much ‘stuff’ accumulates over the years.  All our closets have been renovated since moving to this condo.  But what was once beautifully organized storage has become ‘quick close the door before things fall out’ storage.

We extracted ourselves from the bed (not lovin’ this flu season) and spent the day tackling two things: one large closet and putting away our Christmas decorations.  At the end we’re pretty pleased with the first ‘rough sort’ results.

Christmas Things

Christmas decorations have been reduced to half. Confession, still hanging onto a few little treasures, but only a few.  I said ‘rough’ sort didn’t I?

We now have a pile of ‘to trash’, ‘to donate’ and ‘to sell’. But inspite of having no particular emotional connection to clothing, I’m finding it hard to get rid of at least a dozen gowns.  I look at them and in my mind can relive each wonderful event, the clattering of fine china and clinking crystal, the lilting sounds of music, the conversations where I smiled and nodded (it’s Frenchland and most of the time smiling and nodding was all I could do). I’m not sure if some of those dresses even fit the way they used to (cargo has shifted over the years)..but really!  Do women (except those of a certain age) even wear full-length gowns anymore? Release the clutter hounds I say! Out with them all!  Tomorrow, my lovelies, you go on eBay to the highest size 2/4 bidder

eBay Bound

 This is partly why I love blogging.  I can talk to you about what I should be or am thinking about doing and voilà.  It’s out there for the world to know, so I’m almost obligated to follow through.

Donate, Sell, Trash

Now onto celebrating Little Christmas…

We’ve been invited to share in the Twelfth Day of Christmas at the home of a friend.  His place is a spectacular display of all things Christmas. Every inch decorated for the season including real candles on his floor to ceiling tree.

Every Inch


Traditional 3′ German Spinning Pyramid

…we dined…

Please be Seated

Oh did we dine!. I think I counted seven courses in all, the final course being the Cake of the Kings (a brief description of its origin here) or in French ‘galette des rois’ which has a tiny procelain figurine hidden somewhere in the filling.  The person whose piece contains the little treasure becomes king or in this case, queen of the feast who then chooses her king to sit by her side for the rest of the evening

The Queen Chose Her King

It was an evening filled with beautiful music, delicious food, laughter, friendship and tradition…and in the wee hours of the morning we returned home, with bellies and hearts full, with heads full of great memories to carry us through winter’s chilly days, and with a bag full of treats for tomorrow’s first coffee.

A Sack Full of Treats


Breakfast is Served



To all of our readers,

may the wind always be at your back

and the sun on your face

and whatever and wherever you celebrate

may it be a safe and happy holiday





A bit about Barb the Saint….
She’s the Patron Saint of Artillerymen.
“She is also traditionally the patron of armourers,
military engineers, gunsmiths, miners
and anyone else who worked with cannon and explosives.
Saint Barbara’s Day,
December 4,
is celebrated by the British (Royal Artillery, RAF Armourers, Royal Engineers),
Australian (Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, RAAF Armourers),
Canadian (Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians (EOD),
Canadian Air Force Armourers, Royal Canadian Artillery, Canadian Military Field Engineers,
Royal Canadian Navy Weapons Engineering Technicians),
New Zealand (RNZAF Armourers, RNZA, RNZN Gunners Branch) armed forces.
Additionally, it is celebrated by
Irish Defence Forces Artillery Regiments,
Norwegian Armed Forces Artillery Battalion,
United States Army and Marine Corps Field and Air Defense Artillery,
Marine Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians.”
…all to say,
she’s the Saint of blowing up stuff.
December 4th also coincides with the date
Francois signed on as an army recruit 1975,
40 years ago.
Even though he has now traded in his combats
for a boat, a beard and a bigger smile,
and as a retired officer,
he can no longer wear the dress uniform of the Royal Canadian Artillery,
he remains in touch with the small community of gunners,
also known as the guys who blow up stuff.
Tonight is such an occasion.
I, on the other hand, will remain at home
to decorate for upcoming holiday festivities.
Every year I get read the ‘riot act’: “Please don’t overdo it!”
Really difficult for someone who grew up in a home
where, if it didn’t move it got decorated.
Living in a small condo apartment though does help me to keep things minimal.
Our land galley will soon be bustling with activity
while we prepare for just under 3 dozen guests.
Even as I write this I feel just a slight rush of stress rising,
so I’m going to close for now,
pour myself a glass of wine,
put on some Christmas tunes,
let the tension melt away,
and dream of being back on the water.