Category Archives: Holidays and Holy Days

A New Year, a change in the weather ~ yikes it’s cold!

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Yeah, Yeah, I know. It’s winter. I live in Idaho. But seriously… this is ridiculous. Let’s see, right now it is… 7 degrees. They are forecasting that the temperature in the morning will be minus 4 or thereabouts. brrrrrrrr!! It used to be this cold, the first time we lived here. It just seems like it hasn’t been like this the last several years. But now? Global warming my eye.¬†

It’s so cold I couldn’t bear to make the outdoor cat sleep … well, outdoors. He has a bed – well, a blanket in a box in the shed – but it’s so cold! Poor kitty. So I made him a spot out in my dad’s garage, and dad didn’t argue. He says cats are spawn of the devil, but he has a soft spot in his heart for all animals, regardless. ūüôā¬†¬†It’s nearly 60 in the garage, so I¬†think that’s a big step up.

It makes it rather hard to follow through – oh, shoot, to even begin! – that wonderful ‘resolution’ of getting out and walking every day! Yeah, I don’t think so!

Just as I’ve been typing this (altho I admit, I am also watching a movie, so it’s taken longer than you’d think) it has dropped to 5.5 degrees…

Thank the Lord for warm homes, fireplaces, snuggly beds and hot tea.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Craft ~ Big Felt Robot

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This hasn’t neccessarily been my year for crafting. I got really upset last summer – two summers ago, actually – when the medication my doctor prescribed for my pnuemonia wreaked havoc on my system, including the loss of the use of my right thumb. Everything I tried doing – crafty or otherwise – was incredibly hard and discouraging. I set aside several projects I’d been working on and have yet to restart them.

It’s been a long year and a half but I have regained most of the strength in my arms and my thumb is usable, although it doesn’t quite have the dexterity it once did. I have hope that it may come back completely, but it’s been a process for sure.

Anyway, this year I did decide to try a couple craft projects as gifts. I painted a couple things, one of which I have yet to finish (yeah, yeah, I know – Christmas was a week ago!) I sort of ran out of time. Our entire household has been battling the flu, and as “last one standing” I had way too much on my plate.

This particular project, the stuffed robot, I made for my youngest niece. Still, she’s 13, so I wasn’t sure if she’d love it or¬†wonder “What the heck is my Auntie thinking?!” It was, of course, much more difficult and time consuming that I’d planned; I was actually going to¬†use a blanket stitch around¬†each of the cubes, but ended up only¬†doing¬†his head and sewing the rest of the cubes on the machine … ¬†and I was thinking that if my niece didn’t love it he was going to be a huge waste of time! I am glad to report that she LOVED him!! I haven’t seen her that excited in awhile ūüôā I also had sprayed my perfume on the stuffing (she always tells me she loves how I smell, lol) and she just hugged him and sniffed him for ages. It was so worth the effort!

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Did you have a Merry Christmas?

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I can’t believe it’s over. It’s like you wait forever – like, an entire year!!¬† ūüėČ – for Christmas to come, then zoooom… it has come and gone just that quick.

This year was worse than most, because the flu hit my family with a vengence this year. Kiki and both my parents were sick for a full week leading up to Christmas, so not only did we not get to do most of the “getting in the Holiday Spirit” things we do each year, but since I was the only one well I had to do all the cooking and cleaning and what-not, so it was just not my favorite time. Also I think I was fighting the flu myself, so I spent alot of time feeling woozy and nauseated, albeit never actually sick. Alan came down with the flu on Christmas Eve, so he was pretty out of it today as well.

I also didn’t bake hardly anthing this year. I always make frosted sugar cookies, fudge, coconut balls, pecan tarts, and a few other things. This year between feeling rather icky and being overwhelmed with chores and nursing the sick I just had no desire to bake… maybe because I had no real desire to eat, either. But I wish I had some now!

On top of all that, my sister’s side of the family decided they didn’t want to risk getting sick so they opted out of coming over for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner because our house was “too germy”.¬† I am almost wicked enough to hope they all get the flu anyway – almost, but not quite. It’s a pretty nasty flu.

All that being said, I still had a good Christmas. I love Christmas. I go completely overboard trying to make it an awesome time for my daughter, and once again I did not fail in that! She was thrilled with every gift she got, even tho I found a good bit of it on Craigslist and at the local thrift stores. I did great at thrift shopping this year! I don’t normally do that, but since we are sooo very broke, it seemed like a good idea – and it worked out well.

Of course we try to focus on the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Christ. I feel like I was a little slack on that this year…

I am sure I try a little too hard to get all the “right” gifts for my daughter, which I am sure goes back to my own childhood (and, well, into my adulthood) in which my parents never really got me what I asked for. I mean, they asked us to make a “wish list”, and then never got me any of the things on it. Don’t get me wrong – I have good parents, and they meant well.¬† I can totally understand why I never got a horse, even tho it was the #1 thing on my list for – well, forever. We didn’t have a place for a horse, I get that. What was hard is that no matter what I wanted, what I got was… tweaked. Like,¬†say I asked for a Veterinarian Barbie… I would get something close, but not that. And the thing is, it¬†wouldn’t¬†even be super-close. Like I wouldn’t even get “Doctor Barbie” which at least is practically the same thing… I would get some other sort of¬† doll. It was always because there was some sort of logical reason why they item they bought me was “better”. Maybe it was cheaper, maybe it had did more stuff or came with more accessories or whatever… so I mean, they thought it was a good thing they were doing. But, it wasn’t. I wanted, well, what I wanted. I had some reason why it was the item I wanted, but it didn’t matter I guess.

Which is why I have this… obsession… to get my daughter exactly what she wants for Christmas. I don’t mean she gets every item on her list (I’d have to be a millionaire!) or that she even gets everything that my limited budget would consider a lot spent – I just mean, if I get her something on her list, I get her as close to exactly what she wants as I can. Like, when she was little and asked for a particular American Girl doll, she got that exact doll. Not a different American Girl doll that was on sale that holiday, and certainly not some other doll that was close but… not.¬† This year I spent hours looking for the exact scarf she had described to me. So, yeah, it’s nuts… but she’s never been disappointed in her Christmas. For good or bad. This year was no exception even though I had very limited funds to draw from. I was creative, so it all worked out!

It was also nice because I myself had nothing in particular I wanted. All I really, really want is a home of my own, and since no one can afford to buy me that, I¬†didn’t anything special, so everything I got was just great!

But now it’s over. And it seems like it came and went far too fast. Tonight my niece asked Kiki to spend the night and she just called to say goodnight, and she’s having a great time. I love that she gets along so well with her cousin, and love that she’s enjoying her time.¬†But I am feeling kind of sad and lonely, and wish she was home with me. I guess we can have fun together even if it’s not Christmas, right? But, I am totally feeling that “after-the-holiday-letdown”; you know what I mean? Plus, tomorrow is back to work for me, so it’s back to the regular old grind and I really wish I had some time off to just enjoy my family, especially since Kiki is on break from school.

Well, I hope you and yours had an amazing Christmas!!

Hunting Christmas Trees in Idaho

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This is how we get Christmas trees in Idaho.

We traipse through the woods.

Tree cutting, nana's tea, some work stuff, ksilly 297

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After we find the (very im-)perfect tree, we strap it to the top of the car.

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We have soup, sausages cooked over the fire, hot cocoa, and of course – s’mores!

We also have a bunch of fun with friends and family.

Thanksgiving ~ Family, Friends, Food, Frivolity…Fractiousness, Franticness,Freaking out….

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Well, here it is… the first pie I have ever made. Well, besides ice cream pies; I do those fairly regularly and quite often on request. But, this is the first time I ever made a non-graham-or-other-cookie-type-crust with an actual pie-ish filling. Which is weird when you consider all the baking I do… but somehow pie crust seemed like something I’d never be able to do correctly. And on my first attempt, I was right… I did up a ‘test’ crust and it was kind of… well, rubbery. How did that¬†happen? So I tried another recipe, and I think it’s going to be good… I didn’t do a test on again, but I did have a few scraps left over so I baked them separately¬†and they were pretty good. It will be interesting to eat this tomorrow and see how it is! Geez, if it was cookies I could have eaten some already, so I’d know if they are worthy of being shared.

The other item I made for tomorrow’s celebration was silly rice crispy turkeys. Which were way harder than they sounded in the instructions.

Alan’s comment was something along the lines of “You do realize there is no longer a houseful of small children running around, right? It’s all teens and adults?” He’s just sore because he wanted me to make a Chocolate Pecan Coconut Tart we’d found a recipe for, and after the whole pie stress I said I’d save that one for Christmas… it just seemed like too much effort. Kind of like why I bought 2 rolls of Pilsbury cresent rolls instead of my originally intended homemade rolls.. because I’ve never made yeast bread before, either, and I guess I only felt up to one new possible disaster!

I haven’t been home with my own family for Thanksgiving in several years… we usually travel to see my husband’s side of the family – but this year we simply can’t afford that, and I am actually really looking forward to spending the day with my family here, even though it’s meant more work on my part!

We have all the extended family plus we always invite a few friends who don’t have other family or other places to go, so it’s a lot of fun. Well, so I have heard! I am excited to be a part of it this year.

Mostly I am hoping not to get sick, as I have been feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and just slightly ‘ukkk’ for the last couple days…

                                    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours

Thoughtless Sister Strikes Again

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I know, I know… I only come here to complain. Where, well else should I go? Huh??

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Holiday and all that. So, we wanted a low-key event, family barbeque, some ‘safe and sane’ fireworks, call it good. Mom and I asked my sister if she and her family wanted to come over. Fine. Because they are coming, I told Kiki that her friend couldn’t come, because I wanted her to spend time with her cousin. My sister later told me she’d invited a gal and her two daughters (who are around Kiki’s age) and that’s fine, because we all know this family, they are going thru some really hard times right now, and they’ll be fun to have over. No problem.

This afternoon I went to the market and bought the amount of groceries I knew it would take to cover the amount of people I was expecting.

Then tonight when I got home, my mom was freaking out about the ‘extra people’ my sister has invited. A total of at least 10 more than we’d¬†planned on!¬†First off, isn’t it pretty rude to invite people over to someone else’s house?? Without asking first? Secondly, these are people my mom doesn’t even know. They are my sister’s friends, not family friends. I do happen to know them – and one couple I don’t like. They annoy me, and the husband annoys Alan so badly I am not even telling him that that guy will be here, because honestly, Alan might decide to go elsewhere… yeah, it’s that bad. And I know I have mentioned to my sister that we don’t really care for this particular couple. And yet….

Her comment was “well, we just have a hard time saying ‘no'”…. Really?? No to what? When someone asks what you are doing how about you reply “Oh, just a little family get-together”. And I bet that person doesn’t invite themself to your family’s event, so what is it that you’d be saying “no” to?

The truth is, my sister not only thinks ‘the more the merrier’ (a trait that my mom, my dad, my husband and myself do NOT share) she also wants to be involved in every little thing – to not miss out on anything – and the only way to not miss out on what your friends might be doing is to be sure your friends are doing it with you.

The other problem this creates is that a couple of these families have kids that Kiki’s cousin is good friends with – so now that I have told Kiki she can hang out with her cousin and therefore doesn’t need to have a friend over, her cousin will now be ditching her for the other kids. (And yes, she will, That’s how it works.)

I was really looking forward to tomorrow. Both Alan and I have the day off work, and I thought it would just be a fun little day. But once again, my sister’s selfishness has thrown a shadow over my life. I am trying to make the best of it… I am sure there will be parts of the day that will be nice. However, I am absolutely dreading the moment Alan finds out about who is coming… that could really make it crappy.

Snow? Why today?

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This afternoon, since it’s a holiday,¬†a group of us are going up to the ski mountain to take a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh.¬† The road up the hill is treacherous if it’s snowy,¬†and full of hairpin curves. Not to worry though, as it’s been pretty much dry as a bone this winter. We’ve had the latest opening ever of the local ski resort, and the road has been dry pretty much the whole winter. Which is bad for a whole host of reasons, but makes for better driving, to be sure.

Until today. Today it is snowing like mad. Big, lovely flakes fluttering down. I’d be thrilled – if it wasn’t for my plans.¬† The snow isn’t really sticking here in the valley, but it’s most likely a different story up the hill.

IF we make it up there safe, I bet it will be a really pretty ride!

Then hopefully we make it back home safe, as well!