Showing posts from December, 2013
Overcast 64°F 18°C    

As of 12:17 pm yesterday, it is officially Winter here in my part of the world. 

Now, I know everyone does not experience the same kind of winter as we do here in NJ.  In fact, we often don't have the same kind of winter any two years in a row.  We've had really snowy winters and some where the snow could be measured in fractions of an inch.

What you can usually count on, though, is cold.  The temp has dropped 10 degrees from its high of 74 F.  This afternoon while I was trying to bake cookies, it was rather warm.  Since some of the cookies we only make at Christmas require the dough to be handled, it made for an interesting afternoon.  We made pizzelles, lemon slices, butter horns, thumbprints and the dough for the pfefferneuse is in the refrigerator still because it was very soft. 

I have a small bit of baking that I traditionally do on Christmas Eve and all our favorite foods will be ready. 

I have a small amount of shopping to do with Pk (which we will…
I have no idea why but I feel like I am fairly glowing with holiday spirit this year.  It feels so strong that I am sure people see it streaming out of my ears. 
Things are not nearly ready.  I've only baked fruit cakes, nothing else (that's this weekend).  None of the presents are wrapped and some are still in transit.  I have shopping left to do.
But the house is decorated with favorite things and some new lights.  The Christmas tree is making everything smell like the outdoors. 
I put these snow flakes on my office door and they have been wildly popular.  I bought a book last year of snowflake patterns.  They teach you how to fold the paper and then how to cut them to form gorgeous flakes.  I have not-so-good scissors at work so I chose some of the less intricate patterns. 
I think the thing that is driving all this good cheer is the thought of a long vacation coming up in just a few days.  Pk and I realized last night that we haven't taken more than a long weekend in …
"When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love."

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Being mindful and living in the present has been one of my goals for this year.  I have been focusing on staying in the moment and being conscious of paying attention to those people around me.  I'll probably keep it as a goal for the upcoming year.  I'm not quite there yet.

So, how are preparations for the holiday going for you?  We are in the middle of spackling and sheet rocking the living/dining/kitchen area.  Pk got most of the living room done and we agreed to stop all work on Sunday and begin decorating for Christmas.  It made for a busy weekend. 
We brought our tree into the house and stood it up in the living room.  It's not as big as in past years but it's shaped beautifully.  We bought it in the midst of the snow storm so we weren't sure what it would lo…
This was Sunday afternoon in our neighborhood.  Elanor and Pk and I decided to go and get our Christmas tree because it would be fun to go while it was snowing.
Well, it was snowing a lot harder than we thought and by the time we got to the tree lot, all the trees were completely snow covered.  The young men working there were using leaf blowers to clear them off and they just got covered right back up.
I think they said the snow fell at over an inch and hour and it was so beautiful. 
But by the time we got home, as you can see, the front steps were covered and the snow kept falling until we had about 10 inches.  It was a beautiful day (because I could watch it from the front window with a cup of hot buttered rum and some knitting).

I am making myself another pair of mittens.  I felt like doing a little colorwork.  I find it interesting but not terribly difficult so I can listen to a book.  This is some Manos de Uruguay that Kate gave me for my birthday and some white Australian Woo…
"There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way."

~Gautama Buddha

Abraham Lincoln said "on the whole, most people are about as happy as they decide to be".  I think he and the Buddha would have had some interesting conversations regarding happiness and what it means and how one gets it.  I spend a lot of time talking in our groups here (especially this time of year) about happiness and gratitude.  It helps me remember that the only person responsible for my own happiness is me.

One of Peter Kevin's supervisors came into work sick last week which caused a cascading chain of events leading up to Elanor now coughing and sneezing.  It must be a fairly new virus because EVERYONE in our family caught it this time.  Pk spent the weekend preceding Thanksgiving sitting in one spot and vegetating.  I succumbed on the Wednesday before the holiday and El waited until the festivities were over.  It's a full on head cold and I can't remember the last time I had …