Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas in My Little Town ...

This is my little town. 

 It snowed last weekend, and the trees were laden with beautiful, pristine snow. It was so pretty.

We had rain last night, so much of the snow is gone today. But no one in Newfoundland complains about no snow: we manufacture it here!

This was the library and city hall last night as I drove home after our work Xmas dinner. 

I've been in a Christmas-y mood since last weekend when I had my first opportunity to do some Xmas food prep. I made cranberry sauce -- one bottle to share with everyone round the Xmas dinner table at my daughters ..... and one bottle for me to hold on my lap and spoon into my eager mouth between the turkey and stuffing.

I made a traditional German Stollen. I've made the yeast versions many times with great success. But my last German student's grandma sent us stollen; and it was magnificant! This one doesn't use yeast, but it was rich and dense and moist! Yummy! I tried to follow Grandma's recipe as closely as possible. But you cannot buy 'quark' in Corner Brook NL (substitute cottage cheese). And although she doesn't add marzipan (and I adore it), I grated in a log of it. It needs to cure. So fingers crossed that it will be even a fraction as tasty as Grandma Holsts' stollen. 

And then because there was still a smidge of glace fruit and slivered almonds left, I cooked up a few apples and made a sort of poor-man's version of mincemeat. I'm the only one who likes it in my family.

I've started to make dates with myself for baking and my favorite sappy movies. (Do you folks do that?) Trying to get the most I can out of this season!

So, what's on your baking list? Share a recipe (or a link to) if you wish. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

You Can't Shut Us Up!

This is a difficult day for women, especially those who have lived or are living with violence and those of us who care or work with them. 

The lead up to today has been a display of "What Were You Wearing", part of our 16 Days of Activism re violence against women. We at the Women's Centre co-ordinated it with community partners. Hanging up tiny little shorts and t-shirts along with adult sized sweats and baggy jeans not only brings home the fact that it does NOT matter what you wear or how old you are, but it brings home the fact that everywhere, women are experiencing sexual violence -- even in your own little home town. 

It's been a difficult couple of weeks! 

How lovely it was to come back to the office, sit with my coffee, open up Facebook and find this post: 



Friday, December 1, 2017

Rabbit Rabbit! OMG! It's December!

Rabbit rabbit everyone! I hope you have good luck all month.

Last weekend, my house was a hussle 'n' bussle of Xmas decorating. I was having friends over Monday evening for potluck and cards, so what better excuse to decorate early. 

It was a lot of work! I'm in a new place, so I had to rearrange furniture (and re-rearrange!!) in order to find the best possible location for the tree. Then it was "Where will this particular item go?" And "What would look nice in this particular location?" Phew! I was extra pooped by the time I was finished. But it does look soooo pretty! Much prettier than last year's apartment. I love the way the tree lights reflect off the walls and create a kaleidoscope effect!

Last Xmas, everything was upside down; my Mom was very ill in hospital and the family was consumed with that worry.  I'm grateful that this Xmas will be different from last. I'm grateful for my daughter hosting  Xmas dinner so those of us without partners will be with family. And I'm super grateful that she wants my help with dinner; we all need to be needed, right! 

Xmas has always been my favorite holiday. In NS, the children and I created Xmas traditions we all loved. And then each international daughter added to our special brand of Xmas. Being all alone now and inserting myself into other people's Xmas means, of course, that everything is different. I especially miss our Xmas Eve and Xmas Day meals together; no matter how old the girls became, we all loved to be together to feast! Now I'll be creating new memories and, I hope, new traditions. 

Another one of the hardest things about decorating was tree. I now have a small, artificial tree, so only the most special ornaments are chosen. Some were given to me by my lovely Ex before the children were born. A few came from my girls; and many were given to me by my international children. And I have a wonderful collection of ornaments that I purchased on the very few, very special vacations the girls and I were able to take. But each ornament that went on the tree holds a special memory: I decorated alone and there were many smiles and some tears shed. It was a happy/sad event! 

Yes, as I've said before, change is hard!

But I shall forge ahead with hope in my heart ... which brings a (tentative) smile to my lips .... and sometimes adds a spring in my step. 

Happy December to you all! 


  Sorry! I thought I could return to a normal schedule. But my sense of 'normal' has changed. After the past 5 years of various ailm...