Inspired to Bring It Back
It's That Time of Year

Start Your Engines

I woke up to rain this Monday morning.  
I think rain in December is just plain dreary.  
(No worries, though.  It looks like it will turn to snow later today.)  
No matter the precipitation, it's definitely time to . . . 


(Each Monday morning, I share a few things I found over the weekend.)


A Quote

"It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."
     --- Eleanor Roosevelt



A Word

This week, I offer you another word from Tom.  Not a science-related term this time, though.  Just a word . . . that means, well, just what you'd think it means.


This just seems like a good word to have in our vocabularly during the holiday season!



(Well.  Not so much "cook" as "bake" this week . . . )

If you're looking to add some new cookies to your tasty holiday treats repertoire, the New York Times has just published 12 Stunning Cookie recipes for all of us.  The link will take you to tempting quick videos of 12 new and gorgeous cookies, complete with recipes.  

I'm thinking some Abstract Art Cookies and maybe some Dirty Chai Earthquake Cookies might make it into my rotation this year.  

Which ones look best to you????



If you read Just Mercy with us (and even if you didn't), this article might be interesting for you.  It's about a Florida county prosecutor who is . . . well . . . just saying NO to the death penalty.  An interesting read!


A Factoid

IMG_7095 2

Tom and I haven't had a traditional Christmas tree in our house for several years now.  We do have a lovely, white lighted birch that stays in our living room through the winter, though.  (At the holidays I throw a few glittery ornaments on it for added sparkle.)  When we did have a traditional tree, it was (almost) always a real tree.  With real needles.  All over my floor.

So I was intrigued by this little Christmas tree factoid from Mental Floss:

Researchers Are Building a Better Tree:  All those pine needles that accumulate below the tree each day may soon be a thing of the past. Washington State University plant pathologist Gary Chastagner, also known as “Mr. Christmas Tree,” is currently leading a five-year, $1.3 million research project partly aimed at helping Christmas trees retain their needles for longer. Chastagner and a team of researchersare collecting tree samples from farms throughout the country, testing which are the most resistant to root rot and have the strongest needle retention, then sourcing those for seeds to plant the next crop of Christmas trees. If the team succeeds, your tree may last into the spring.

(Click here for more facts about Christmas trees.)

How about YOU?  If you celebrate Christmas . . . real tree? artificial tree? no tree?


And that's it for this (wet) (and dreary) Monday morning.  I hope your week is off to a great start!



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We do have an artificial tree. After years of sinus infections wreaking havoc with our health, we discovered that the mold in the trees was not a good thing inside. I am happy to say we have been relatively infection free since ditching the real tree. This year I am putting out much less stuff - just the things that really bring in the joy of the season.


Dirty Chai Earthquake Cookies for me! We had cookie day last Saturday and family members tend to make all the classic family favorites, but dirty chai is my favorite beverage, so having this in cookie form sounds like a big win!


Ooo! YUM! I have plans for a ginger-dark chocolate cookie already, but I am adding some of those marbled tahini cookies into the list as well!

Sigh... the list, she grows!

Carolyn S Thomas

Kym, I'd love to hear more about your white birch tree! How big is it? Where do you store it? Funny enough, I posted this morning that if we didn't have a traditional tree, I'd have a Norfolk pine. It's on my radar for 'One of These Days'! Our tradition is to cut a tree as part of the forest service's thinning program in the Arapahoe National Forest. I love the process; the final outcome doesn't matter much to me. I love the excuse for a winter traipse through the woods! Have a great week.


Real tree! And we keep it up for a ridiculously long time because I love to look at it and it's only once a year. I'll be reviewing the cookie selection at lunch...thanks Kym


I do love your white birch! I remember the pictures from last year. We always get a real tree. One or two years it was tiny - just table top because we were not going to be in town. I love the scent of a real tree. Those cookie recipes look wonderful, but I had/have already decided to cut way back on what I make. All of them never get consumed and I don't have room to freeze a bunch. I will make some and save some to make for Valentine's Day.


We had a real tree for years and I hated the mess and dreaded the whole thing. We bought an artificial tree in 2016 and it's SO much easier and now I love the tree. The best part of the artificial tree is that the lights can be either clear or multi and that way Dale and I each get our favorite. Next Tuesday is my cookie baking day with Doreen and we're working on our lists of what to bake this week!

kathy b

Artificial times 3. Small. In a cluster. so pretty our own indoor forest

those cookies, too modern for this cookie lover. Im buying all of mine at the cookie weekend in town.! I will have to give them to someone to freeze them for me in THEIR home or I am certain to eat them all.


My dad used the word plenitude at this time of year. I love that word! We have no tree and never have had one (I had one when I lived at home). The Santas and menorahs, plus all the twinkle lights, seem to do the trick!


Thanks so much for the link to the cookie recipes -- so yummy! My daughter is particularly excited about the homemade pocky!


No tree set up, yet. ” We have to replace the current artificial one; my preference is “real.” TBC...

Jane A. Wolfe

We have two artificial trees - one large and one small. Since the kids haven't been coming home, I put up the small tree in the dining area. Putting up and taking down a tree is just not my favorite thing. So this year I put out a few things that make us happy and bought a poinsettia and you know what. The world does not end if I don't put up a tree.

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