Christmas Pudding

l56756-the-grinch-logo-65964I enjoy Christmas and all the fuss and busyness of the season. I have an Advent calendar, an Advent wreath and Advent candles. I do Advent devotions and attend Christmas church services.  I also hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with goodies and presents under the decorated Christmas tree. I have a foot in both the religious and secular world during this season.

Some would say you can’t have it both ways and to them I say, “Yes I can and will.”  Never has a season that is viewed as a time of peace ever been so controversial. What gives people? Everyone clamouring to be right. Guess what? You are right no matter how you celebrate Christmas.

I have a dear friend who raised her children with a religious view of Christmas and her children knew the presents came from the parents. My children knew this was a time to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus but they also believed that Santa Claus left the presents and filled their stockings.  Guess what? All the children were happy and excited about Christmas and overjoyed at the gifts they received.

My point is, no matter how you celebrate in your family, it is the right way for you and yours. These squabbles over how it should be celebrated, if it should be celebrated and when it should be celebrated (for my Orthodox friends) it is right.

Traditions seem to be dying out faster than hand written letters but it is just those very traditions that keep us connected to the past and with our ancestors. I 12373398_1054530267900672_8302093150560862531_nhave an old, patterned, heavy glass dish I got when my Mother passed away. She got it from my Grandma and she got it from my late Great Grandmother.

It was the dish that was always reserved to hold the cranberry sauce at special family gatherings such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.  I do the same. Another tradition that has evolved over the years is for Grandma to give presents to the grandchildren to open on Christmas Eve, each one containing a new pair of washed pyjamas and a new book, paper dolls, movie or other quiet activity.

So no matter how you celebrate, or even whether you celebrate, lets agree we all need a time out to sit back and think about peace and how we can do our part to make it happen.



4f63f52b28d212439408bbc7f186b563The countdown for Christmas is officially on in our home. Our village has Christmas Capers the last Saturday of November where vendors sell their wares in our community hall.  Our local Lion’s club serves up a pancake breakfast and the shoppers move on the see, sample and buy from the huge selection of goods being offered for sale.

I haven’t missed one since moving here and I count on it for buying the unique gifts I want to give my family.  Another huge bonus is the support for local businesses. I am a strong believer in fair trade, ethically produced, and local vendor goods. I see it as investing in my community and in the future for my grandchildren.

All this happiness and glitter however has one drawback; I enter hyper Christmas mode. Wrapping gifts, sending cards, planning pet and home care while we visit away and of course, the baking!

My Norwegian heritage has guided me throughout the years and I do not rest until I have baked 7 kinds of cookies. I am not sure when this tradition started in our family but it is one of those things that I carry on.

At some point in all this ‘glee’ I am bound to feel overwrought and want to hold up my HELP sign, so friends, when you see this signal, know I need a visit and a cup of tea while we test the cookies that are baked.

Slow it Down Please

Time to slow down the calendar, maybe add a few days or something because I am running out of time to get things done and have no idea where it went. Easy enough to slow down the clock but my time is now measured in weeks and months; I long ago lost any control over the hours in my day.

One of my happiest pastimes is Christmas shopping online, I am about half way done. I am enjoying getting my products before they are no longer available; very good strategy when shopping for children’s wishes and wants.



This is NOT in any way representative of how I run out of time.

Close Call

fe85008a153bfa0075278de2c760e1efI found myself with the strongest urge to clean and reorganize today. I knew it was at a critical stage when I began to line up all the mugs into neat rows.  I was already planning how I could upgrade my pantry by using decorative containers and the latest in food storage containers. Pretty in the front and utility in the back. The vision was growing and seemed to be highlighted with dancing sunbeams on this idyllic scene. I looked out the window and it was still overcast and raining, the wind was bending the trees in the wind and I recognized the danger signals. Quickly I poured myself a cup of tea, grabbed a catalog and settled onto the sofa under a quilt and a cat by my side.

I am better now, not a single thought of cleaning or organizing anything. I haven’t had a close call like that since spring. I am hopeful this horrible incident will not repeat as the new fall programming is coming on the TV and there are lots of catalogs as companies try to persuade one to part with their money for that big commercial event called Christmas.


August Preparation Time

I have always been a winter person. Not the kind of winter person who embraces the snow and ice, skiing, skating and other winter pursuits. I am the type of winter person who is always preparing for winter. As I plant my garden in the spring I think about the food it will provide to get us through the winter. When I am looking for anything, I always have an eye out for how it will benefit us through the winter. I get anxious if the outside home repairs are not completed before September 1st, keeping an eye to the thermometer for that first killing frost. 11174857_877408438969712_66517093008883550_n

I believe the label given to people like me is a “nester” because I want my home to be warm, safe and full of wonderful things that make special memories.  Call me what you will, I will always be the ant and never the grasshopper; I don’t know if I could ever relax enough for that.

Living in a manufactured home I am without a basement or even a cellar, what I do have however is a wonderful area custom built pantry shelves just off my kitchen. I always feel a sense of relief when I see the shelves full with this year’s harvest and the bounty we have been blessed with.

Now where did I leave my paint brush? The shutters and trim need some ‘spiffing’ up.

Here Comes Summer

Forever adapting and modifying my summer hobbies and chores to accommodate my mobility issues  has certainly sparked my creativity. I had the opportunity to paint or rather repaint garden gnomes, frogs and bugs for my neighbour; in return she used the weed trimmer all around the yard, under all the trees, and around my gardens.

The word gardens creates a more striking impression than it really is. I have three raised beds for gardening and one is exclusively for strawberries, the middle one is for salad fixings and the third one was for herbs.  There is a flower bed in the center of the yard that marks the beginning of the mini orchard we have planted.  Happily we had one serving of honeyberries off our little tree this year.  There were lots of blossoms for saskatoons but whether we get fruit is still to be determined.  The raspberry bushes are producing this summer so we might have enough for a few desserts.

It is also time to take care of home maintenance before winter once again returns for another visit. I am painting the decorative shutters as well as the doors in a Colonial Blue, though I admit the paint in the can looks more like a dark gray.  I guess I will be surprised either way.

The bushes in the front yard have finally gotten well rooted and thrived this spring, giving us beautiful, fragrant lilacs and the maple has grown so we should get some colourful leaves this autumn.

Like the ant and the grasshopper, I prefer to be the ant so this winter we can enjoy the season in comfort and warmth with the preserved fruits of summer to give us a taste of sunshine on the gloomy days.


In Touch


Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Instant communication has allowed us to convey information, greetings and general chatter to those that we include in our electronic address books.  the downside of course is the lack of depth in those messages. A written letter conveys more depth and insight that our 140 character messages permit.

I love fountain pens, coloured inks and pretty papers. I have sealing wax and seals that I haven’t been able to use yet but am delighted to have them.  I tell myself I am going to sit and write a proper letter to this friend or that but never seem to find the right time.  I have an image of me seated in a comfortable chair at my antique writing desk, an inkwell and a choice of pens to share my feelings and thoughts.

The reality is my fountain pen generally gets replaced with low cost disposable pens, the inkwell has been replaced by ink cartridges (I will find my fountain pen someday) and the pretty paper is pretty much the standard 8X11 white copier paper.  I do have business size envelopes and a booklet of generic postage stamps; all together these do not inspire me to write anything.

Time to unplug and get back to my true self; but first I should check my Facebook page and my Pinterest account….