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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas!!  Belinda and Stefan have been here for a couple of days. They spoiled us as usual, as did Santa.  Having a nice and quiet Boxing Day.  Supper with Colin’s family tomorrow.  I love the Christmas season.

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The Christmas cookies are all done (as many as I’m doing this year anyway) and 3 of the tins are already delivered.  The kitchen is nearly put back in order (ran out of drying space).  I need to start wrapping this afternoon.  It looks like Mom’s sweater is not going to be finished on time (I hate doing sleeves).  Good thing she’s understanding.  I need to work out my cooking menus/schedule for the 24th and 25th.  I wish I had a bigger fridge.  Belinda and Stefan arrive on Sunday.

I thought I’d give you a tour around today…

Our tree just isn’t right until I find a nice strong branch for my Christmas house.  My best friend’s mom made it back in 1977 when we were 6 and had just met.   Hopefully, we’ll get to hang out when I’m back in Bowmanville during Christmas.

This is another one made by Charlynne’s mom, but for Belinda.  Yeah, I know, it should be on Belinda’s tree or Mom’s.  The first Christmas we were married I was feeling alone and missed seeing my sister’s ornaments on the tree. So Mom let me have a couple of these ones.  My sister’s not as sentimental as me, so it works out.

Dad gave us this one after Colin’s Mom died.  It’s an old tin ornament that once belonged to Ella’s great-great-Grandma Fletcher.

This is another one from Charlynne, but is rather special.  It’s made from the leftover candle stubs from our church in Bowmanville!  I thought that was really cool.

This is a new tradition I’ve started.  This is our ‘memory angel’.  I made her for Isobel.

The Advent tree continues to get more festive.

Our Little People nativity.  I think I will miss this once I get my knitted one finished (or started TBH).  Merry’s checking things out too.  What else has she and Faith been up to?

We caught them in the tree one morning.  Also checking out Ella’s stocking -maybe taking measurements?

This morning we found them nibbling on Ella’s gingerbread house.  Yesterday they were getting ready to use cookie cutters on the fruitcake!  Oh what mischief these elves get into when we’re asleep.

Ella’s funny, the older she gets the more shy she acts around Santa.  They had a good chat.  The mall lets you take your own pictures, which I appreciate.

This one is better, but I’m back on my darn inhalers, so it’s blurry  😦

Guess that’s about it.  Time to quit procrastinating and get back to work.  Hope your holiday preparations are going well.  Don’t forget to enjoy the last days of Advent.

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This is why farmers don’t make plans (Colin comes up with ideas, not plans).  Colin bought a ‘new to him’ cultivator and it was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday.  So we planned thought we’d go get our tree on Thursday, before the cold weather arrived on Friday.  We had decided to get our tree a little earlier this year.  The firs last so long and look so pretty, I hate to take them down after the Christmas holiday.  Some years our tree stays up well into January -even though it takes up valuable living room space.   Monday we still hadn’t had confirmation from the trucker so Colin called the salesman.  Well, it seems the trucker didn’t pick up the cultivator until last Friday.  There was no way it was getting to our house for Tuesday, ‘probably Thursday’.  So quick change of plans and we headed out for our tree on Tuesday.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.  The temperature was perfect (-1C) , just a nice bit of snow on the ground, and picture perfect flakes falling down.

This is a picture from our first time at Cedar Hill Tree Farm, back in 2012.  Look how young Ella looks!

And here’s the picture from this year!  Sigh…

The scenic route to the tree field.

Future Christmas trees.

Apparently it was exhausting finding the perfect tree.  That’s Ella on the sled.

Though, she found energy for tubing.

She’s still moving in this one.  She got a great distance.

And the long hike back up the hill.

Back inside for a hot lunch.

Ella had to be patted-down for bunnies before we left.  The one bunny was adorable.  It would hop over and reach up to Ella, just like a cat!  I’ve never seen one want to be picked up and snuggled.

 

As usual, it’s hard to get the whole tree in the picture because my living room is so small.  The trunk has a bit of a dip which makes the tree look like it’s leaning towards the corner a bit.  It’s not too noticeable in person.  I think we need more lights.  I also wish they wouldn’t trim the trees so much.  They are getting a bit thick for my taste.

Thursday was St. Nicholas’ day and Merry decided that would be a good day to finally arrive.  She brought a bag of ‘gold’ too.  So far there hasn’t been too much mischief.

 

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A couple of things for Crafting On/Yarn Along:

Did I show you the progress on Mom’s sweater after I ripped out all the patterned body part?

Sorry for the too much flash.  I was trying to get the pattern to show up.  It’s a charcoal colour, but with a black base, not grey like in this picture.  I really need to start doing some focused knitting.  I hate giving half-made presents.

Ella having book club every Monday morning is really helping my purse knitting.  First sock is done, just finishing up the casings/bind off at the top.  I love making socks.

I know I haven’t mentioned it this fall, but I hope you all have been working on your Christmas countdown preparations.  I’m behind on the cleaning, but I’m done shopping (I think) and have lots of ideas ready for the Advent season.   Don’t forget, this Sunday is ‘Stir-Up Sunday‘, get all your ingredients ready for your Christmas pudding and cakes.  Follow the link to grab my recipe or just to see my adorable little helper.

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How is 2018 starting for you?  Things are fairly quiet around here.  Ella caught her tradition ‘I’ve been to Toronto’ cold and has had a miserable few days.  I really should buy stock in Royale.   We have basically been house-bound since we came home from Toronto and I’m starting to go stir-crazy.  I think today is the worst yet.  It’s 2pm and it’s -20C and -40C /F with the windchill and the wind is blowing like crazy!  I love winter but weeks of -20/-40 get tiring.  I need to get out to get January groceries but I’m certainly not going out in this weather.

I’ve tried a few new recipes lately that I thought I’d share with you.  I’ll share the links, if they stop working let me know.  I’ve got the recipes written in my cookbook too.  The first is a delicious way to use up the last of the turkey, turkey and biscuit casserole.  Found Colin’s new favourite pizza crust, pizza crust.

OK, apparently I’ve lost the link for the next recipe.  We had steak the other day and ended up with some leftover (they were huge).  Pinterest to the rescue again and I found Steak Soup.   It was good with fresh garlic buns.

Steak Soup

serves 6

2 Tbsp oil                               4 cloves garlic, minced                                  1 onion, minced

5 small potatoes, diced       2 large carrots, diced                                     2 cups steak, diced

1 tsp salt                                 1 tsp pepper                                                     1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce          4 cups beef broth

Saute onions and garlic.  Add the rest of the veg. for a couple of minutes.  Add everything else.  Boil, then simmer (covered) for an hour.

 

I used some home canned tomato sauce in the soup so I had to find something else to do with the leftover tomato sauce.  Enter home-made ‘condensed tomato soup‘ and chili mac.  I really liked the chili mac recipe because it only made 4 servings, we won’t have to eat leftover pasta for days.

So that’s how I’ve been spending my days, what have you been doing to stay warm?

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O Christmas Tree

The days are whirling by a mile a minute and I just realized I forgot to share our tree.  We had to wait for Daddy to be finished combining corn so we were a little later than I hoped.  Also, it was a bitterly cold day -20C plus windchill.

Cedar Hill Christmas Tree farm has new wagons this year.  They have a very low step so now I can get in without a helpful ‘shove’ from Colin.

As usual, we decided on the first one Ella picked out -after traipsing around looking at a bunch of other trees.  Colin had a hard time cutting the tree down this year because the trunk was frozen (the saw might not have been the sharpest either, but no one listens when I say to bring ours!).

Back inside to warm up with some lunch and hot cocoa.  Ella and Daddy went out and did some sledding too.

The tree seemed bigger out in the field.  Oh well, Ella did a fabulous job like always just with fewer decorations.  I like my new garland for the door way.  I got it at Michaels for 50%.  It’s holly leaves and berries.

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Crafting On this week is my poor scarf with yet another pattern.  I really wasn’t ‘digging’ the Versailles pattern.  Looked around and actually found a pattern that I had purchased a long time ago but never used.

The elves have been up to their usual mischief.

Though one day they tried to help dust.

And just when you think they’ll be helpful this Advent…

They get into Daddy’s Turtles!

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