Monday, November 30, 2009

COULD YOU ALL JUST STOP HAVING SUCH A GOOD TIME WITH YOUR FAMILIES!!


I've seen your beautiful photos of Thanksgiving with your families. I've seen small families and I've seen large ones. I've seen families sharing in the food preparation; I've seen music and after dinner walks or games; I've seen family snoozing on the sofa once the turkey takes affect. I've seen babies being cuddled and trees being decorated. And I just have one thing to say:


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Waaaaaah!

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I have a daughter in Toronto who can't afford to come home this Christmas.

AND

I have a daughter in the city who just quit school so she could work and make minimum wage and will probably be working most of the Christmas season.


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My brother who lives an hour away doesn't much want to see family. (He has issues.)

The rest of my wonderful family are mostly in Newfoundland - an 8 hour drive, then an 8 hour ferry ride, followed by a 3 hour drive -- all wrapped up in oddles of Canadian currency and gas money.

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Waaaaaah!
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On Sunday afternoon, I eagerly and cheerfully began to open the Christmas decoration boxes and put a few things around. Then it struck me! Molly isn't here, and she's the daughter that takes just as much joy in Christmas decorating as I do. Libby is working so much that I may not even get to hear her groan and make large, loud sighs over having to place a few ornaments on the tree and then make 15 trips to the bathroom! (Does decorating make you want to pee a lot?) And Amy! Oh my darling Amy! She won't even make it home for Xmas again this year.

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Enough with the stiff upper lip business! I can't stand it! I miss my girls terribly! I had to put down the wreath and lean on the freezer and cry! I'm close to tears just typing this!
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I was overwhelmed with sadness! It's not that children grow up, but they move away! And a lot of the time, they move far enough away that it's difficult to visit!
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What's a sad Mama to do? Booze and chocolate just won't cut it, people! God will comfort me, I know! But I'm still gonna feel the pain of separation! And I don't want to feel this pain!
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Well, I had my cry. And I finished carrying the boxes upstairs. And then Adriana came downstairs and wanted to help. And even though, unlike Molly, she didn't know the correct place to put the nativity scene or where we always put the Snowman cookie jar; she'd never helped decorate before, so I let her do it her way and once again opened myself to change! And she did a lovely job. Then Nadine finished her school project and came downstairs and oohhed and aahed. Then Libby came home and laughed once again this year at the amount of Xmas parapheralia we have (and the tree doesn't go up until next weekend!); but she still walked around touching familiar things.

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And this all helped and I felt encouraged that it would be another wonderful Christmas!
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And calling Molly to tell her how much I missed her that day helped as well. (I couldn't reach Amy. She's out leading her life without me! Waaaaaah!)
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And watching "Elf" on TV helped.
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And having peppermint chocolate chip ice cream with crumbled peanut butter cookies and chocolate sauce helped!
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But you know what? It would also help if you'd all stop having such a good time with your families! 'Cause misery loves company, don't ya know!

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PS - The above is based on jealousy and self-pity. This jealousy and self-pity will pass (and return periodically like a bad 70's sitcom). Please ignore my crying and keep sending me your wonderful pictures and stories. I'm a big girl and will handle it -- with prayer ------ and with more ice cream and sauce!

XMAS CRAFTING IN LUNENBURG COUNTY

Saturday the 28th was the beginning of Christmas season here in Lunenburg County. So, we headed to Lunenburg first for their Xmas Craft show at the Curling Club. There was lots of window shopping and a few purchases, and we sampled every nibble of fruitcake, cheese, dip, chutney and peanut brittle that we could!





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We then drove to downtown Lunenburg and visited the shops there.


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Nadine didn't buy the moose hat!

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The whole upstairs (roughly 500 sq ft) of this shop, Comfort and Joy, is year round Christmas! However, they still didn't have a "1st Home" Xmas ornament!



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We ate lunch at "Sweet Indulgence" -- soup and sandwich and lovely cheesecake! *

While we were eating, the Santa Claus parade went by. It was great! Look at that huge seagull on the first float; it even danced!







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Santa didn't look my way, so now I'm worried that I'm on the naughty list!


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Then it was off to Mahone Bay for their Father Christmas Festival. There are lots of Father Christmas' to be found. But I'm suspicious that they were scarecrows just a couple of months ago! (Hmmm! I've always wondered what Santa did the other 364 days of the year!)



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The Father Christmas Gourmet Market is my favorite part of the festivities. It features local and Nova Scotian foods, some of which can only be found at the various Xmas markets and fairs.

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This is Grand Pre Winery. Lots of free samples (good thing I'm walking!!) and a couple of purchases!

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And here's Lunenburg Winery (Blackberry and Apricot were purchased). The lady on the right makes wonderful jellies and chutneys; she's also at the Bridgewater Farmer's Market (Raspberry/Lavender jam was purchased).

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Here's a happy shopper .......
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And here are three more!
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Then home for pizza, a movie and putting one's feet up!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ST JOSEPH'S XMAS TEA AND SALE


Last Thursday while our American friends were eating turkey and pumpkin pie, my dear old friend Clara and I were dining on barley and/or split pea soup, a selection of sandwiches, tea and the desert(s) of our choice. (Here's Clara last Xmas at my house!)


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We went to the Xmas Tea and Sale at St Joseph's. I love attending the local church or fire hall tea and sales. You always get great home cooking at great prices as well as what I like to call "Little Granny Crafts" -- you know, home knitted mittens and scarves, crocheted dish cloths and yummy breads and cookies. When the children were younger, I couldn't attend these things because of time and money. But since I've moved into town, I try to support as many as possible.

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Here are the ladies at the craft & bake table. Good bargains here!

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Sorry! We were hungry; so by the time I got my camera out, lunch was half gone!


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I bought some goodies from the bake table to take home for the girls.
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And I picked up these goodies from the flea market table. Look at those prices!
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More vintage ornaments for me. And I got 6 of these desert dishes; some years ago, Arby's would let you buy one of these for $1 with your purchase of a meal. I have 7 wine glasses at home and 3 desert dishes; it was nice to find some more.
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A very nice cookbook for $1.75 and a pair of mittens for my little Mexican student for $3. (She's going to need them in January/February!)

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You may think that I suffer from the sin of thrift-gluttony! (And you may be correct!) And you may also think that I'm going to need to build an extra shed for the loot I keep picking up lately! But you should know that many of my thrift finds don't stay with me; they get passed on as gifts to friends and family.
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I'm fortunate in that they love receiving the treasures I find; and I certainly love finding them. So, it's a happy marriage!

Friday, November 27, 2009

CHRISTMAS THRIFT SHOP

Half way between Bridgewater and Mahone Bay on the old highway is a little thrift store named PJ's. Normally, I don't find it has much to offer; so it's not on my regular shops to visit. Except at this time of year!



About a month or so before the holidays, they open up the basement for what has become known as their "Christmas Shop". They put aside and store all the Xmas goodies they receive over the year - used, vintage and sometimes new.




I dropped by early this week only to be told by the owner that it probably wouldn't be open because of all the flu and sickness with her employees. "I'll probably bring a few things upstairs", she said "little by little."
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My little heart was sad. But when I told her how much I looked forward to coming every year, she said "Well, why don't you go on downstairs and have a look. It'll be our little secret! And watch your step!"
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What an absolute sweetheart she is, huh! And how fast did I get down those stairs!!!


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This is what greeted me at the bottom of the stairs:
Boxes and bins overflowing with unorganized stuff, sometimes broken and often dusty!




Pretty daunting perhaps for the average thrifter who doesn't have the time or patience for this kind of excavation and is adverse to getting a little dirty. But not for Doris the Great! When there are treasures to be had, she go'a diggin!!


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And it really did take some digging. Box upon box of Xmas ornaments and knick-knacks; clothes baskets piled high with towels or tablecloths or aprons or Xmas hangings or stockings etc etc. But it was such fun! You go through -- 10 plastic tablecloths to find 4 beautiful, brand new placemats! 15 vintage aprons & choose 2 that speak your name! 30 towels to get that great condition & very pretty red plaid one! It was like early Christmas!


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They also had a huge bin filled with clear bags of miscellaneous Xmas stuff for 99 cents. Most of it is garbage, but there's quite a treat or two in those bags if you really look and they're well worth the 99 cents you spend. I picked up 2 bags today:

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- this one full of little wooden ornaments (some of them, a little terrifying looking -- aka clowns!!) and bottle brush and candle trees -- for my Xmas village! (Note: For some reason, the next 2 pictures turned sideways and won't turn back!!)
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- and this bag of vintage glass ornaments from the 50's. My Xmas tree is mostly decorated with these ornaments (some are my Mother-in-laws; some my Grandmas). So, I'm always on the lookout for them because they break so easily and am always pleased as punch when I find some. (Especially for 99 cents!)
Look at some of the more ornate ones ---





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I also got these Xmas cards for $1 total. (The ones on the lower right are vintage and so pretty up close.)

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As mentioned above, I did get a pretty table runner, the placemats, 2 aprons and the plaid towel. (I paid roughly $10 for those.) I also got a beautiful Xmas throw with a snowman scene -- very thick and warm. Those are all in the wash, so you have to wait to see them.

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And once again, the Thrift Gods were smiling on me! I found a gorgeous Xmas scene done in crewel work. I liked it a lot in the shop; but when I got it home and really looked at it in the light, I loved it. I think I'm going to frame it. I've included some close ups of the piece so that perhaps you can enjoy it to. (I hope my bad photography can do it a little justice!)







Thursday, November 26, 2009

HOW I SPENT MY THURSDAY NIGHT (& GIVEAWAY WINNERS!)

I spent my Thursday night addressing my Christmas cards. Thank goodness for self-stick labels is what I have to say about that!!

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And then when 10 PM rolled around, I went to my handy, dandy Giveaway post; wrote down the names of all who entered ('cause my stupid printer is on the fritz); cut them out; put them in a Christmas gift bag (Was it large enough, Sandy??). Then I went downstairs my youngest daughter's room (otherwise known as the "Den of Disgust") and asked her little highness to choose 2 winners.
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("Mom!! Don't get my face; I just cleaned my make-up off!!)
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And the winning bloggers are .................

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Congratulations Dimple from "Meditations of My Heart" and Nezzy from "Cow Patty Surprise"!
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Nezzy - Seeing as you signed up for my Xmas card, I already have your address.
Dimple - You'll need to email me the info.
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Thank you to everyone who entered. In the immortal words of "The Bare Naked Ladies" =
'If I had a million dollars ............',
I'd send you all chocolate covered fruit.