Thursday, December 31, 2009

reflections of 2009

January always starts with a big batch of New Years Cookies for my extended family gathering.
Tomorrow we'll be holding the festivities in my beloved's shop.
He has been cleaning and putting away equipment and today is giving his floor a good wash.

Our wonderful friend John passed away suddenly the beginning of February.
It has been hard to really get our minds around the fact that he won't be joining us for coffee this week or next week.
If I have learned anything this year. . .
it is "you just never know" and I've tried to keep my accounts short.
So often we talk about John. . the example he was . .. what he would have said on any given occasion and we miss him.
In February I turned 50 and thus began my year of Jubilee.

I ate cake. . .and lots of it.
I'm not one to turn down a reason to celebrate and since I didn't want one big party .. .
I enjoyed several.
My beloved took me pussy willow picking to celebrate the near end of winter.

The end of March we headed to the Oregon Coast for two weeks.
We had just purchased a travel trailer and we were just itching to give it a whirl.
It was still cool out and we wore jackets most days.
At night we were cozy warm .. .
and we loved it.
We walked . .
miles and miles of glassy sand ..
and watched the stormy skies.

We rarely ate out. . . cooking in the trailer seemed like such fun.
We would go most days to the market to pick up a few groceries and he'd sit and watch me from his vantage point. . .and I cooked with an audience. . .
and I loved it.
When we arrived home the beginning of April . .
spring had sprung . ..
and I fell in love with my garden .. .

Looking through the pictures of this last year . . .
I see again what really does matter most to me.
I love my Creator . .
I love my family . . .
I love my friends . . .
and . .
I love food.

Every season has its own foods.
Paska is for Easter.
Easter is new life . ..and the greatest gift mankind has ever been offered.

The leaves were starting to really come out in May . .
and the weather started to warm up . .
and the promise of a warm summer was hopeful.
We played outside this summer with the energy of two year olds. ..
oh wait. .no the two year olds had the energy and we ran to keep up.

My rhubarb grew like a weed and I baked one rhubarb bar after another doing my part to keep the garden under control.
By June . . .
we were loving the toddler pool.
It was waded in by young and old alike and motor boat noise contests ran throughout the summer months.

The strawberries ripened on the vine in June and I did my part to keep the juices flowing between flaky layers of tender scones.
In June we took our annual family weekend.
It was sweater weather so . . .
we lounged at the warm and hot pools. . .
and relaxed.
We've decided that the two nights away are worth every cent.
We are blessed to have our family live close by . . .
but nothing is like a few days of rest and relaxing as a family.

In July. ..the blueberries ripened . . .
Rollkuchen and Watermelon is part of summer and we bought our fair share of watermelon and I think we ate our fair share of rollkuchen in the summer months.

and the lil' farm hand became a big brother.
He picked blueberries . . .
oblivious to the fact that the next day . . .
he would see his little sister and love her instantly.
Kanneloni Macaroni was born on July 15th.
Her blog name was picked in honour of her grandpa who loves his pasta like nothing else.
We had a contest at the pool during our weekend away. . .
and he won.
We love this little girl . . .
all of us do.

In honour of Kanneloni Macaroni's birth . . .
I invited all the girls and women who are part of her life to high tea.
She loved it.

In August we went camping to Manning Park for two weeks.

We were joined by our friends Ray and Becky and their son Robbie.
Together we went for long walks and planned scrumptious meals . .
and sat under canopies while the rain fell.
We loved it.

We were joined by S and Kathy and the meal planning and walking and fishing continued on.
We loved it.

In August the peaches were ready for picking . .
and I did my part to peel and dice juicy peaches into pie crusts.
My mouth has done it's fair share of watering . .
in preparation for this post.
I can't believe how many food pictures I've taken this year.
I have so enjoyed being part of Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
What ever did I do before blogging?
In September we went for a hike up Mt Cheam.
It was a cloudy day and I huffed and puffed my way up there.
At the top . . .
I fell in love with my creator all over again.
The end of summer was still warm and plenty of outside days were enjoyed.
We were given a toddler outdoor climbing toy . .
and the lil' farm hand and his grandpa cleaned it up . .
and set it up.

October had me longing for cream pie. . .
well truth be told I longed for cream pie while making this post and included the picture . .
because I can.

Apples were ready in October so I made apple pie and apple sauce.
My extended family held it's annual wiener roast at Dwain and Lori's my niece and nephews home.
It is one of the highlights of the year for our extended family.
I grew up on that farm . .
and it's wonderful to have the chance to go back there.

In November . . .
it started to cool . .
and the winter hats and puffy vests came out of the closet.
and . .
we played outdoors.
In early November I started sewing and decorating the bungalow for the Christmas home tour.
It was something I have thought about doing over the years.
I enjoy fussing now and then . .
and the encouragement of friends had me convinced we could do it together.
It's been a good year.
There of course has been hard days . .
but through it all . .
there has been blessings.
You may not have a blog of your own but you can look through your own pictures and you can see where you heart has been.
It's a opportunity to reflect on the blessings we have.

My life is full.
I have friends who are so good to me.
I have grandchildren who love me with open arms . . .who are healthy and happy.
I have children who are a blessing to me by the lives they are living.
I have a husband who remains my dearest one and only.
It's all good here in the bungalow.
We talk about setting goals for the new year.
We strategize and plan for our future.
I have lots of small goals but I also have one important big goal.
I call it my end goal.
At the end of my life. . .
whether I live another 50 years or if I die this next year . . .
I will be with my creator . .
the one who gave me this year . . .
of Jubilee. . .
and because of that . . .
I have joy. . .
All for now. . .


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

on the third day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas .. .my true love said to me. . . "I don't smell no turkey" . .

and so I opened the freezer. .

pulled out a frozen stuffed bird. . .

tossed it in a pan .. added a cup of water every hour or so since it tends to keep its juices to itself .. . . . . . .and started the brunch.

Six hours later .. .

turkey with all the trimmings was served.

It tastes remarkably delicious and the leftovers were divided up with great care.

I noticed this year that being five months old . . . is perhaps the best time in a girls life.You are encouraged to put your feet up. . to nap willy nilly . . and you are given great cheers for giggles.

When you begin to fuss at five months old. . .
you are encouraged to disrobe for greater comfort . . .
and the softness on the thighs is considered cuddly and patted with affection.
In the afternoon . . .after the grands were settled for their naps . . the grown ups voted unanimously on opening gifts for each other in a manner of calm and peacefulness.

It is amazing how long it can take two gifts each to open when it's all about savouring the moment
We enjoyed the process of giving and watching the recipient . . . receive.

When the grands woke finished resting . . .
we made them take one gift at a time from the family room to the living room to open.

They found this task increasingly more exciting with each trip.

Children really don't need a lot of fancy things.

A new pair of pajamas . . . some new socks and underwear . . .a new book .. .a puzzle and

a fire engine for the lil' farm hand and a dolly high chair for grandgirlie . . .

and they were all smiles.

Yesterday I took down the very brittle .. .

rather drab looking Christmas tree.

I'm leaving the rest up until after the new year.

It won't all be boxed up though . . .

it's winter after all and the "wintery" decorations will keep the bungalow cheery until spring.

All for now...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the gift

Dreadfully sorry to have left some of you fretting about my where abouts yesterday.

Sometimes a girl just needs to play hooky .. .right?

Our family was over on the 27th and since we coaxed them to stay until bedtime . . .

I had no chance to do my evening post for the following morning.

More about the 27th tomorrow.

Pretend today is the 26th and I'm posting on the evening of the 25th.

My beloved had been full of mystery and intrigue the days just prior to Christmas.

He announced he didn't need any help this year ...

which suited me fine since I had my own fish to fry.

On the 24th he came to inquire about a bow.

I told him I was using ribbons this year for part of the fancy-shmancy Christmas in the bungalow.

I told him there were a few at the bottom of the Christmas wrapping paper box . ..

and as you can see . ..

he found them.

The box appeared beside the tree on Christmas morning . .
I nearly tripped on it as I was doing my morning routine of lighting the tree first thing . .
before turning on lights.
Apparently my ribbon for the garland making episodes that had his lunch late on several occasions had left a deep impression on him . . .and he has now done his part to be sure that meals and coffee breaks will not be late because of whining from the sewing closet.
I had one project that didn't quite make it under the tree.
I had sewn up a little apron for grandgirlie with the left over fabric from my care group girl aprons . . . and found that it was just the cutest thing for her them to wear while helping in the kitchen.
The lil' farm hand's Daddy was mortified to come into the kitchen one afternoon to see his son wearing the festive looking Christmas fabric and suggested that a manly apron should be sewn up .. .
lickety split.
Being the conscientious mom I am . ..
I ran straight to our local Wallymart and found this JD fabric.

What didn't happen quite as quickly was the sewing.

I left it sitting on my sewing counter hoping the elves would have it done in the morning but still it sat.

When I opened up my Christmas present . . .

my beloved announced with a rather winning smile that they tossed in a pack of free thread.

It was JD green.

Now .. .

I don't plan on sewing JD green overalls for all the menfolk in the household.

but at least one lil' farm hand will have perfectly matching thread for his workbench apron.

And so anyways . . .

that is just the typical thing that made me smile these last few days.

All for now . .

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

There is no snow this year . . .

but Christmas is not about snow.

Today it will be the two of us . . .

and there is no turkey in the oven until the 27th. . .

but we plan to go knock on doors. . .

(just kidding)

I'm a happy girl here in the bungalow.

I am celebrating the birth of Christ . . .

and that is what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas my dear ones.

All for now. .

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

We'll start the day with a pot of coffee and some warmed cinnamon buns.

Conversations will include some chuckles from the care group dinner last night.

I'll wash some linens and prepare some appetizers for after the Christmas Eve Service.

For the last month. . .

I've reset the bed with the tray of goodies and we've yet to drink the cocoa and eat the chocolates . .

but maybe tonight we will.

It's Christmas Eve.

All for now . .