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a welcome winter

It’s the first week of winter! You realize that from now until the summer solstice, the days are going to get longer – you know this, right? That knowledge has already put a spring in my step although the relative increase in daylight doesn’t do it for everyone. Jeremy wants those absolute daylight hours – 12 or more. Personally, I love the nightlife. And by nightlife, I’m not talking about dance clubs.

Everyone was abuzz about the total lunar eclipse Monday night, but we had clouds and snow in our forecast. I can’t say I was devastated because I was going to ski in the morning. Total lunar eclipse or the promise of snow: either way, it was a win. As we rounded Kaweah up to go to bed, I stepped out on our deck to see if the moon was turning red. All night we could only glimpse a hazy glowing blob rising in the East through the clouds. I had low expectations. But at 12:45 am, the moon was almost directly overhead and there was a giant hole in the clouds. We call those “sucker holes” and usually they reveal blue sky. This time, they revealed the moon.


oh, you beaut of a girl



What a way to kick off the winter season! Within two seconds of that shot, the moon was obscured and I didn’t have to feel guilty about going to bed instead of staying up to watch the entire eclipse. And we have been skiing. I even met up with my longtime friend from junior high (okay, from math camp) who now lives in Breckenridge. It’s been 25 years! It’s nice to know that the friends you were close to in your youth grew up to become genuinely kind and good skiers adults.

morning light on jeremy

graham doesn’t want his picture taken, but the lens is wide…

their puppy (who looks a lot like kaweah, but is much better behaved)



This has been a week of projects. I finally broke out the pressure cooker my MIL gave me for my birthday three months ago and… I LOVE IT. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. I also infused yet another gallon of cheap vodka with the behemoth Buddha’s hand citron that Todd and Diane shipped to me recently. Oh, and the sewing machine got dusted off too.

that smells so nice!

flannel quilt



Most of all, this week has been about spending time with my pack and not so much online. I had my annual mammogram and ultrasound on Tuesday. I don’t define myself by my cancer and as a rule, I don’t let fear dictate my life. I’ll admit that every time I go in for a mammogram or MRI, I wonder. I wonder what the results will be for a second and then I don’t dwell.

of pure heart and simple mind

sunlight and cloud patterns



Getting outside is something the three of us love to do. Kaweah thoroughly enjoyed her romp in the snow and it was great to stretch my legs after hours of quilting. When we got home there was a message for me from my oncologist. All of my scans came back negative. At the bottom he wrote: Good news. Merry Christmas. I read it aloud to Jeremy who smiled and gave me a hug.

Merry Christmas, however you do it. xo

33 nibbles at “a welcome winter”

  1. Judy says:

    Great news, I’d say. Have a terrific Christmas and New Years. Perhaps I’ll see you in NM sometime next year.

  2. Nancy says:

    That is great news for a wonderful Christmas! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  3. Ronine says:

    What a lovely message, oncologist – and blog post in general. Happy holidays to you, Jeremy and Kaweah!

  4. kathy says:

    I like that Oncologist!! Good going Jen!

  5. Phoo-D says:

    Hooray for good news and great ski days! I love the shot of Kaweah. Have a very Merry Christmas.

  6. Bri says:

    Great news. That’s a pretty fantastic present, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or festivus!

    Thanks for the picture of the moon, I was a bit sad to have missed it. My husband read an article that said 3 am but missed the fact that that was eastern time. Oops. I went to bed, the plan was that he would wake me up a little before 3. I’m not sure what made him do it, but he went outside at midnight and just saw the red moon through the cloud cover. For about a minute. Then the clouds rolled in again and it was gone. He waited another half hour or so for a cloud break to wake me up but never got one. Oh well. At least I got a good nights sleep!

    Happy holidays to you all!

  7. Wei-Wei says:

    Buddha’s hand citrus – I LOVE the smell of it! We used to have one planted at home but I think it died a while ago. It smells so amazing, but looks kinda creepy… Merry christmas!

  8. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Gorgeous photos! Love the puppy looking up. I wish we had that much snow!!

  9. Caitlin says:

    Wonderful news :) May there be many hours and days of skiing ahead of you!

  10. Donna says:

    The best kind of news! Hugs to all three of you.

  11. Janet says:

    Merry Christmas, Jen! great photo of the eclipse! My darling husband let me sleep through it, thinking he was doing me a favor. grrr…

  12. Eileen in Chicagoland says:

    I spotted a Buddha’s hand citron in the produce section yesterday, the first time I have ever seen one outside of photos in your blog. Recognizing it immediately, I swept it up to my face and inhaled deeply. Absolutely lovely!! Of course my husband needed to know why I was smelling it if I wasn’t going to buy it, and didn’t quite understand my contentment at finally experiencing this marvelous fruit, but I was smiling the rest of the trip.

    Jen, your blog is one of the little pleasures in my life. Thank you for brightening my days and expanding my world. My best to you and your family (including Kaweah of course!) for this holiday season and the coming year.

  13. Eileen in Chicagoland says:

    And yes, that was indeed marvelous news!… Happy, Happy New Year!

  14. Jamie in Vegas says:

    Congrats to the three of you, Jen! Very good news, indeed.

  15. Melissa says:

    Hooray for happy messages. And for another holiday season well spent with those you love. Merry Christmas Jen!

  16. Peta says:

    Love your blog, so happy your tests came back negative. They seem to take for ever. Hope the snow lasts until you are sick of it. Happy skiing from cold and wet Australia. It snowed here in our snow fields just before Christmas.

  17. Nan says:

    So happy about the great message from your doctor!! I admire your attitude. I doubt I’d be as level-headed.

    We were clouded over for the eclipse – bummer. However I’ve managed to view it vicariously through so many wonderful photos by thoughtful folks like you! Thanks for the pix. But, I’m with Jeremy. I glad the days grow longer… I’m a longer day gal. Enjoy the skiing and quilting. Now on to the New Year!

  18. swan says:

    oh jen;

    such fantastic news! we missed the eclipse due to rain, but your photo is beautiful! i so love the simple things in life as well, and someday i would love to meet you!

    keep on keeping on, sister!
    love, swan from san ramon, ca

  19. Caterina B says:

    Wonderful news! News you deserve to hear.

  20. Whitney says:

    So happy for your good news! Happy Holidays and skiing indeed.

  21. Andrea Meyers says:

    That’s wonderful news! Happy new year and all our best to you, Jeremy, and Kaweah.

  22. Lucie says:

    Your pictures are stunning! Hope you had a very Merry Christmas filled with even more good news :)

  23. Ruth says:

    Thank you for all your work this year, thank you for the photos, the laughs and the amazing recipes you choose to delight us every week, I am always looking forward to this email, like a present!!!
    Thank you and Happy New Year!! you are an amazing girl!
    Ruth

  24. Debra says:

    That’s wonderful news Jen. I wish you and yours a Happy, Healthy New Year.

  25. Stefanie says:

    hi jen – so glad to hear your tests came back negative! also glad to hear you like your new pressure cooker – i’m still scared of those!

  26. Sil says:

    Jen, really great news indeed. All the best for you, Jeremy and lady Kaweah. Happy new Year!

  27. Nicola says:

    As a person with cancer, I understand that moment. I’m so glad that your tests came back negative! :-) Couldn’t be more pleased for you. Looking forward to many decades more of userealbutter.

  28. Heather says:

    What a lovely post, on all fronts! Thank you Jen Jen! Great news, lovely, heartwarming pics…It warms the spirit like a hug from an old friend. Thank you!!

  29. Margie says:

    Smiling and cheering from the sideline…an extra special post. Thanks for sharing the beautiful news!
    :)

  30. jenyu says:

    Awww, thank you all for the encouragement and sweet comments. I have THE BEST oncologist ever as well as THE BEST readers ever :) You guys are terrific! xoxo

    Janet – I didn’t know if it was clear enough in Boulder to see?

    Eileen in Chicagoland – so glad you got to experience the Buddha’s hand citron. Isn’t it just wonderful? All the best to you.

    Melissa – thank you, sweetheart. Big hugs to you.

    Nan – I’m looking forward to the longer days as well, but I pretty much love any day :)

    Stefanie – I’m still a little scared, but less so each time I use the pressure cooker. I just LOVE it! Highly recommend it!

    Nicola – xo

  31. Ruth Ann says:

    Great post Jen. Nice to catch up with what is going on with you and your family in Colorado. Love the “pure of heart” picture of Kaweah.
    Happy New Year!

  32. angelitacarmelita says:

    What a way to start a new year! woot, woot! my mom got bad news from her onc Dec 6th, but they are so awesome and were right on it (regular scans… good….), removed the cancer on 12/13 and the best news was “we got it all”, and no chemo or radiation required. Lovely news for two lovely people. All the best for you, Jeremy and Kaweah in 2011. XO.

  33. Pei Lin says:

    I’m glad to hear that all the scans came back negative! Truly. I’m so with you on this about not letting circumstances dictate our lives. HUbby is a Turk so it gets a little troublesome when travelling. So now that we are planning a trip to Europe and he brought up the visa issue I reminded him that we don’t limit our choices just because of the possibility that you can’t get the visa. And we planned away anyway!

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