Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Blessing of a Snow Day

We all know this is one of the most busy times of the year. Even when you want to keep things simple ...... even when you're organized and ready for the festivities, life is just so darned busy. I've found that with aging, it's so, so important to make ME the priority: one just doesn't have the strength, stamina, or health to ignore the signs that you need to slow down. So, I make allowances for the things that I 'wanted' to do and just stick to what 'needs' to be done. And I'm okay with that. But if a good ole Newfie blizzard causes a work closure, I take full advantage of that extra day. 

Sunday afternoon, I didn't do my usual cooking for the week but instead took myself for a walk in the mist and scattered slush and sat near the bay to soak up some nature. Ahhhhh! 

Alas, Monday morning I woke to a raging blizzard outside which meant no work. So, while I enjoyed my morning coffee, I looked through my new-to-me cookbooks (purchased for $1 each at our library book sale). I adore reading cookbooks! 

I earmarked recipes that I want to try in future; not everything was a Xmas recipe. But I did pull out my tried 'n' true Xmas recipes and made a list of pantry needs. I took out butter and cream cheese to warm to room temp. And while that was happening, I decided to do my weekly cook. 

Soon I had a pot of delicious Japanese curry bubbling on my stovetop, filling the apartment with the most delicious, comforting aromas! Japanese curry cubes are wonderful: they're really quick and convenient and wonderfully flavorful, adding just a hint of sweetness and a deep, rich color. One of my Japanese international students introduced me to them, and although I love Indian carries, there are times that I crave a good Japanese curry, especially in winter. Yum!
For dinner, I made a favorite chicken dish that I've made for years. I put a couple of chicken breasts in a baking dish, top with salsa and Jack cheese and bake. Serve with a good rice and a salad, and you have a completely balanced meal. 

I ate a simple lunch; and by that time, the butter and cream cheese were room temp. So, I made a couple of batches of cookie dough to pop in the freezer: shortbread and Rugelach, two of our favorites. Then, just like the good Lord Himself, I rested! Feet up, a large mug of hot chocolate (and perhaps a few German chocolate treats which had just arrived), and a little Netflix. 

Because this unexpected snow day, I'll be able to give more time to prepping my 89 year old Dad's house for our family Christmas dinner and my grandson's Dec 23rd birthday. And I'll be able to rest more. Fingers crossed that this Xmas will be illness and stress free!

My last day of work will be this Friday. And as I don't have a computer at home yet, you may not hear much from me until I return to work. But I'll be catching up on your posts via my phone.

Hubert, Doris and I all wish you a Happy Solstice tomorrow, a Happy Hannukah, and the very best of Christmas'. And if you don't celebrate, I wish you peace and joy and quiet amidst the hooplah.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Rabbit Rabbit December

Rabbit Rabbit everyone. Christmas month is here.

I've had 3 Xmas's here in Newfoundland, each one worse than the previous. So last year, I did the bare minimum: I didn't decorate other than my memory 'tree' laden with pictures of the people I missed the most. It served it's purpose. 

But a few months ago, I began to think on Christmas and I began to actually get excited about it. I've had a change of attitude that's happened since last year; I don't know how it happened other than through the power of prayer. And although life here is still challenging and I'm still very alone, I feel more settled and content and able to cope with the upcoming long, cold winter. 

So, I decided to decorate and celebrate Xmas for me: not with expectations of the past, but just to celebrate the lights, the music, the joy of Christ, the food, the movies -- ALL the good that the season has to offer.   

As I spent Sunday decorating, I felt happy. Each ornament has a story, a memory, a name attached to it; and it was wonderful to think on these. 

From my 1st Grandma bulb to Ugly Santa, onto Snoopy (who after 37 years is showing some wear), then thru 28 yr old Molly's snowflake, Ayaka's cupcake and finally onto Miley's wrecking ball:  the perfect spot was found for each one.

The same was true for my nativity scene, my Newfoundland mummers and all my Xmas decor. I didn't even take out all my stuff the 1st Xmas here; so it was nice to find those perfect spots and commit them to memory for years to come. One of my favorites is my kitchen window display: it holds all my small Santa and Mrs Clauses. Washing up will be more pleasant now .... 
especially in the dark December evenings when the twinkle lights above make my hanging crystal icicles glitter. So pretty! 

Yes, the month is upon us and before you know it, the big day will come. But there's lots to enjoy leading up to Dec 25th. I hope today you find something beautiful to enrich your life -- even if it's only a good cup of coffee.


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