Archive for December, 2013

Butter and Sugar

Christmas is coming.  Sooner than I think.  But I’m trying to maintain my cool and enjoy the minutes I’m taking in preparation.  Of course there are the gifts.  I’m pretty much decided on what I want to give people, some gifts which are already bought or made, others which are still on the list of things to make/buy.  I don’t have long, and the longer I wait the less options I have in case something goes horribly wrong.  You know, like if I can’t find what I’m looking for.  And that can happen easily with a person who doesn’t like to shop anyway.

Charlotte is all done with her shopping, at least I assume so.  She always seems so with it when it comes to Christmas.  I’m jealous of her organizational skills and every New Year’s Eve I vow to become more like her when it comes to getting things done.  But besides the gifts (of which I have most) my preparations aren’t anything to smirk at.  That is to say, things are moving along quite well.

I spent most of the day baking.  I like the baking part of Christmas.  And even though Husby is the one who does most of the cooking around this house, I’m the baker.  When it comes to entertaining I’m not only the baker, but I’m also the cook.  Every year Charlotte and I have a holiday gathering for our family.  She does hers on Christmas Eve morning every year.  I usually grab a weekend evening that’s available for everyone, which isn’t always easy considering the schedules of the eight of us.

But I digress.  Sugar, butter, and flour were my best friends today.  Christmas cookies are a must at my house.  Husby is always more than willing to sample the cookies, candies, and other delectable treats I make for us and for any entertaining we might do through the season.

I’m happy with what I accomplished today, even though it wasn’t nearly as much as I would have liked to do.  Those pesky household chores get pushed to the back burner when it comes to Christmastime but can’t be ignored completely.  Luckily I multi-tasked and got some laundry done in between cookie batches.

Now I just have to find some time for dusting.  Maybe tomorrow.

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I’ve been meaning to do all sorts of decorating for Christmas and the most I’ve done is light the tree.  Well, two trees actually.  We have a little fake tree in the parlor, right in front of the window that faces the street, and one in the rumpus room which is our main tree.  The fake parlor tree only has lights on it, no ornaments.  The rumpus room tree is the one Husby and I get to look at every day and night.  It’s usually pretty big, and putting lights on it can be challenging.  Right now it, like the parlor tree, only has lights on it.  I haven’t found the time to put on the dozens of ornaments and other embellishments like tinsel.

Pictures never do it justice, do they?

What could be more important than decking the halls this time of year?  Well, there’s this thing that I kind of like to do ~ provide the fun presents people will open on Christmas Day.  The Etsy sales are rolling in on a fairly regular basis these days, and I had to restock my inventory at the gift shop in town.  It’s pretty cool to know that my fun little crafty stuff is worthy of being Christmas presents.

Still, I really should get busy and get some presents for my own people, and decorate my house before Christmas Eve.  And that’s not to mention all the baking I have to do!

But when I think about it, if you’re going to be stressed out it might as well be over something totally worth it, like Christmas!

How are your preparations coming along?

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Charlotte, our mom and I have an annual tradition that takes place the weekend after the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Hey!  That’s today!

We’re heading out to the Landmark Center in St. Paul, MN for the 35th annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar.

The historic Landmark Center. There’s public ice skating right across the street too!

The Holiday Bazaar is two floors of handmade goodies and treasures you can’t find at your typical commercial stores.  It’s fun to shop with Mom and Charlotte because after we’ve gone through the entire affair we split up and buy stuff for each other.

Even without the Bazaar the Landmark Center is beautiful to look at.

Of course we’ll have a nice ladies’ lunch after our shopping.  Then, after I get home I’ll start decking the halls of my house.  The afternoon the the Landmark Bazaar has become the official beginning of the Christmas season for me.

Before the crowd arrives.



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Winter Is Here

The snow fell with abandon and the arctic freeze is descending upon us.  Winter is finally here.  Some people dread this time of year.  I suppose the older I get the more careful I am with the ice and cold and snow surrounding me.  My reflexes aren’t as quick and my bones are a bit more brittle.  I have to stay upright; if I don’t I know I’ll take a long time healing.  But I’m not one of those people who complain about winter.  We are in Minnesota after all.

This is the season for a fire in the hearth and soup steaming in a big bowl.  It’s the season for evening cocoa with a good book.  It’s the season of rosy cheeks, warm hats and long knitted scarves.

Christmas is coming, but the winter season lasts well beyond that.  After the gatherings and cookie indulgences the snow will still fall and the wind will become even colder.  The nights will be long and the sunlight can be scarce.  The silence that comes with a snow-covered ground is nothing less that peaceful.

Let’s clink our glasses to the barren winter.  Let’s revel in the dormancy as it gives ourselves more time for introspection.  Let’s celebrate winter.

It’s here.

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Hello again.  It’s been a while since I’ve written on these pages.

As you may or may not know, the biggest thing that’s happened to me since I’ve been here last is…

I Wrote A Novel!

That’s right.  I successfully reached the NaNoWriMo goal of writing a 50,000-word story in thirty days.  Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?  The pressure was certainly on, and I had other things to do besides writing during November, but I did it.  I did it!  My story has a beginning, middle, and end as required by the challenge, but it’s far from finished.  Maybe during the cozy winter nights by the fire I can do some editing and rewriting, cutting and adding to the story; then who knows ~ it might just be worthy for other people to read.

Also significant, for me at least, was the last show of the craft show season for Auntie B’s Wax.  Holiday at the Depot in Taylors Falls, MN has been a one-day show in years past, but this year it went to two.  I was less than excited about the additional day, but it turned out to be one of the most fun shows I did all year.  Of course sales increased with the addition of another day of shoppers, but most fun of all was the bonding Husby and I did with the rest of the vendors.  It’s quite an intimate little show with only ten of us, so we had some extra time to get all caught up with each other.  We decided that if the show is two days again next year we’ll just have a big sleep-over in the Depot.  We’re not too sure the city officials would go for that idea though.

With a novel under my belt and the craft show season behind me I can concentrate on the Christmas season.  Husby and I cut a tree today so that’s ready to find a home in our rumpus room this week.

It just started to snow and Husby has a pot of chili simmering on the stove.  What a perfect evening.

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