Archive for December, 2013

Vacation Mode

Some people think living in Minnesota in the wintertime is impossible, like we’re all going to freeze to death or something.  I suppose if you live in the tropics a temperature of 0 degrees F. (and frequently below 0) would seem enough to freeze a person’s blood right in its veins, but we all survive somehow.

I don’t mind cold weather, and I don’t mind snow.  In fact I like them both.  But today, after spending a nine-day holiday away from the day job, the snow and cold temperature slapped me in the face to shake me from my dreamy vacation frame of mind.  I returned to the doldrums of the day job, and spent my time counting the hours until the weekend.  Surviving a Minnesota winter is simple compared to having the snow and ice abruptly turn off my vacation mode.

Grey winter day in the city.

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I’m serious now.  I’m going to start cooking for me and Husby more than I have been for the last many years.  You see, Husby took over the cooking one year when I was especially mental about upcoming craft shows.  That was before I had the planning and production down to a tee.  But since then I’ve let him do all the cooking.  All…of…the…cooking.  Like the poor guy doesn’t have a life of his own.

So with this glorious week I’ve had off work I’ve been scouring the interlinks finding recipes that are day-job-friendly and am pinning like mad for my own quick reference.  There are a lot of recipes for two, which makes a lot of sense for me and Husby.  For those recipes that make enough for an army, I can take some over to my parents’ house so my mom doesn’t have to think up things to make, as she’s had to do for the past fifty-five-plus years.

If you’d like to see what I’ve been pinning on Pinterest, check out my Stirring Up Goodness board.  If you don’t have an account there, sign up already!  It’s free!

I mostly use Pinterest for my own personal use, not so much as a social media platform.  But seriously, if you want to find good stuff, Pinterest is the place to find it.  Stuff, stuff, and more stuff.  Ideas galore.  Recipes to die for.  Craft projects.  Redecorating ideas.

Go for it!

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The Day After

The day is soft and quiet ~ the day after Christmas.  The pine trees lining our yard have beautiful highlights of white snow on top of the dark green needles and the squirrels are playing with each other between their nut-gathering activities beneath the bird feeder.  When I looked outside our bedroom window on the second floor of the house I noticed deer tracks across the front yard, right up to the front window of the house.

From my bedroom window.

I wish I could have seen them lingering outside the window.  Or maybe seeing a creature staring back at me through the parlor window would have freaked me out.  We live in the suburbs, after all.

Again from the bedroom window up on the second floor.  Tracks right up to the shrubs directly in front of the parlor window. Yikes.

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Enjoy, Relax And Be Merry

It’s almost time to pack up the presents and head over to my mom and dad’s house for a very merry and festive Christmas Day.  And what a perfect Christmas Day it is.  It snowed quite a bit last night so my world is white and fluffy, and even now there are little, weightless snowflakes falling.

We’ll gather for the annual family photo and eat a lunch of pick-up nibbles.  Then on to the present opening that can last hours as we open our gifts one at a time.  I like that tradition because everyone can see what everyone else got.  It’s relaxed rather than a chaotic and almost greedy tearing of colorful wrappings in a span of a few short minutes.  Good things should be savored, and gifts from others are very good things.

The Christmas dinner will be delicious, although never the traditional turkey or ham.  My mom got that right too ~ a make-ahead meal makes so much more sense.  It’s usually Italian and always very savory.

This year I did the Christmas season as close to my dream Christmas season as I ever have.  I wasn’t rushed, gifts given are modest but thoughtful, entertaining went relatively smoothly (although I have a huge burn on my arm from taking a pan out of the oven after having a glass of champagne ~ not paying attention!), and the snowy weather is literally icing on the figurative cake.

A merry day to everyone!

Snow Girl and Stormy, enjoying the season.

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It’s past 1:00 in the morning.  Christmas Eve morning.  In less than eight hours I’ll be drinking mimosas and eating caramel rolls at Charlotte’s annual holiday event she calls the Champagne Jam.  I should be sound asleep but instead I’m basking in the light of the Christmas tree eating a leftover dinner roll with peanut butter.

My hands are dry for all the paper I’ve been handling tonight.  Wrapping paper.  All of the Christmas presents are packaged up and tied with pretty bows.  I made a complete mess of the kitchen where I prepared the gifts, but by now the scraps have been thrown away and the long tub of my collection of papers and the box of ribbons are back in storage until next year.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be loaded with festivities, food and family.  Tonight I relish the silence.  Reflections, lights on the shiny tree ornaments and thoughts in my mind, remind me of how much I have to be grateful for and how treasured this time of year is to me.

Merry Christmas to all.  And to all a good night.

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