|Port of Orillia Boardwalk|
|Unimpressed fat tabby.|
So far we've seen perhaps an inch or so the first major "snow-down", and about two inches the second time around. But, the mild weather and abundant rainfall have cleared away the snow and we're left with bare ground, and I seldom complain about that sort of thing (since I seriously don't like shoveling snow, and don't like wearing boots, and just generally don't like the winter much.)
That creates a nice festive mood, even without the snow, and because we've had a lot of wet days, the pavement and small puddles reflect the lights giving the town a glow when viewed from the hills surrounding the city-center.
The little Christmas Tree was our small "rushed" put-up from 2010. My husband spent most of the Christmas season in hospital for heart surgery, and we ended up having our Christmas after December 25th. This year, I haven't put up a tree at all. We don't really have Christmas parcels for under the tree anymore. The grandkids are all at the stage where you just don't know what to buy, and they'd rather have money or gift cards.
|New (well, used actually)|
The deer itself took off, so we don't know how badly it was hurt, but the insurance company called the van "totaled" and we had to buy something else. Too bad they don't give you enough money to actually buy something else. The "new" van isn't brand new, but it's pretty nice and it certainly looks brand new and it came with all the bells and whistles we didn't have in the old one.
|Preparing to bake.|
It took a couple of months to make enough cookies - I had about 30 varieties of cookies and baked goods, and because I made 8 to 12 dozen of each, it took forever. Now, we give out a lot less cookie boxes, and so my baking has been pared down to the point where it usually only takes a couple of weeks of baking.
|In the Oven|
Baking the cookies doesn't take long...decorating them takes about a week. These pictures are of a batch of chocolate-white chocolate-butterscotch chip cookies. These cookies are very rich because of the butterscotch chips (um, don't mind the dirty oven...the short story is the stove came with the house, and I'm still trying to figure out how to use the self-cleaning part. I never had a self-cleaning oven before and can't find the book).
This year, the day dawned gray and damp, and stayed that way. It was chilly, but it didn't rain or snow and so the kids still had a great time. One of my granddaughters is usually in the parade (with the Air Cadets), but when she was small she was enthralled most of all by the Pipe & Drum bands - I mean literally "enthralled" - it was like she had been put under a spell (she's still like that) whenever she heard the bagpipes.
|Shriners at Parade|
|At the Parade|