Williamsburg Wreaths 9, Caracci Madonna,

Shiny green boxwoods and deep red apples for a window garland. Would those be red delicious apples. Can't you almost smell it. I really like the natural decorations that appeal to several of the senses.

The Montalto Madonna, Annibale Caracci, Italian, abt 1600, National Gallery, London.

The Virgin is shown in the painting with St. John and St. Joseph. Her wiggling baby plays with an apple.

On Granny Sue's blog today you can read about a wonderful holiday tradition where 8 sisters gather to make fruitcakes together as they did with their mother. She brings the scene to life and the story touched me deeply. I am envious because I do not share a tradition like that with my sisters.

I was the first to leave home. I married when I was only 19 and have always lived at a distance. I was not around when those bonding moments happened.

Life was complicated in our home when I was growing up. Daddy brought a couple of friends back from his overseas stint during WWII and they were always hanging around. Maybe you have met Johnny and Jack because they get around. If you have met them you know what I mean when I say, Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels are real spoilers.

I learned early on to steer clear of those two and all their cousins - in my experience they just create problems. So I am disappointed and a bit worried to read that all the bars and watering holes in Washington, DC and I assume across the country are staying open 24/7 for the Obama Inauguration Days of feasting and festing.

I don't want to be a spoiler; to rain on the fun - to dampen the joy of the celebrations of change - but chances are its not my rain that will cause the problems.

Be careful yal.