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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ 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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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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Candlemas 2017

I love calling today Candlemas instead of ‘Groundhog Day’.  I don’t know why we suddenly need a rodent to tell us the weather forecast.  The old poem does a good enough job:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

I belong to a Facebook group that has a lot of British/European ladies.  They are all talking about their snowdrops and such.  I headed out this morning to look for my snowdrops:

Oh, right, they are still buried under a foot of snow and it was -21 C (6 F) this morning with snow in the forecast.  But I guess that means the worst of winter is behind us?

I’m disappointed we won’t be able to go to church on Sunday.  I love the Candlemas service in Ottawa.  Ella has a skating competition on Sunday and we can’t do both with all the driving.  Hopefully next year.

We were in Ottawa doing some errands and visiting with my friend Teresa.  Came home to a surprise.  Look what Daddy bought us!!!

Took a while to convince Daisy she couldn’t catch them.  So much fun ripping around the fields.

“I want to ride too, Momma”

One worn out and chilly Ella.  Warming up in her mermaid tail that Auntie B made for her and reading her Minecraft book bought with her Christmas Chapters’ cards.

I picked up a couple of cool books too.  Ella is very excited to start the LEGO Shakespeare (she bought herself the Brick Fairy Tales and Brick Dracula/Frankenstein).  I treated myself to a beautiful, illustrated copy of The Hobbit.  My old paperback copy has seen better days.  I want to read it with Ella and I will enjoy the larger print in the new copy too.

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albert_chevallier_tayler_-_the_christmas_tree_1911

 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!  May you all be happy and surrounded by the people you love.

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I got lots of knitting done during our Christmas down south.  First up on Yarn Along this week:

The Traveler’s Stocking socks.  I’m not that happy with the fit.  The tops are kind of snug.  I may see if Ella likes them.  If you have skinnier calves, they were a fun knit.

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A bit more work on my Clock Socks.  I’ve finished the lace so now it’s just plain knitting to the top.  The book was one of my presents from the Advent swap.  It was set in the pre-war South and was quite good.

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Finally looks like Christmas!  Luckily it waited until we got home from Bowmanville.  Ella was snowed in over at Grandma’s yesterday.  Daddy has gone over this morning to dig them out.

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We’ve got about a foot of snow, but it was really blowing around.  It was a couple of feet deep on the machine shed, so Colin was up there shoveling.  I hate when he has to shovel the tarp building -oval isn’t the best shape for standing on.

We had a great time with my family for Christmas:

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Santa found Auntie B’s house with no problems.  He was even able to find the Om Nom that Ella really, really wanted.  Mrs. Claus knitted Om Nom some candy for the trip since that’s what they eat.

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Ella was totally spoiled by Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan. I think her favourites were the Ever After High dolls. She got Ever After High Rosabella Beauty Doll, the daughter of Beauty and the Beast. And Ever After High First Chapter Cerise Hood Doll, the daughter of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.

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Ella loved the blanket Petra had on the bed at the B&B in Enniskillen. We’ve been staying with Martin and Petra for about 8 years now. They treat us like family and we look forward to seeing them every year.

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On the way home we stopped at Grandpa Jim and Grandma Linda’s in Peterborough where we got spoiled some more!

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More presents waiting for us at home.  Ella got Doll Travel: Trips to take and crafts to make!. Everything Olivia and Caroline need for their travels.

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Ella loved the doll bed from Momma and Daddy. I didn’t get the blanket finished, but that’s because of Ella’s cold just before Christmas. She was so stuffy she had a hard time sleeping so there was little stealth knitting time. I’ll get it finished soon. Only Caroline is in the picture, but it’s big enough for both girls. Also, it rolls under Ella’s bed like a trundle.

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Tim thinks it’s a pretty good place for a nap.

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I got a nice new stainless steel roasting pan (with lid) from Grandma. It will replace the one that I burnt this summer.

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And here’s my favourite present!!  If you had told me 14 years ago (while working at the stock brokerage in downtown Toronto) that my best present would come from Colin’s farm paper I would have told you you were crazy.  But here it is!  A sewing store in Woodstock had a bunch of machines they had ordered for a school’s home ec. class, but the order was cancelled.  From what I’ve seen online, the Janome HD-1000 is a real work horse.  It’s actually made of metal!!  I love that it’s run by knobs and not all computerized.  It doesn’t have all the fancy stitches, but I never use those any way.  One video I found online actually showed this machine sewing a wooden yard stick!

We’ve still got one more family party to round out our Christmas holiday.  I hope everyone is having a great Christmas with the people they love.

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Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas!

TashaTudorChristmas

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