Hey there hiatus

I think almost every day in the past week or two, I have said I had to update my blog. You see how that worked out.

Christmas was fine, we managed to see pretty much everyone and eat too much. Funny stories abound everywhere, including this touching interchange between my mom and Emma.

I didn’t take too many pictures, I was relaxing and being “in” the moment instead of photographing the moment. I also spent some time just doing fun things, instead of work things or house things or mom things.

I’d like to say I caught up on things, but it seems I just had a lull. Server emergencies and last-minute things still happen over major holidays. But let’s hit the highlights shall we? Because we all know if I don’t get it down now, I never will. πŸ™‚

– there was a power outage Christmas morning. Meaghan & I noticed at 6am. By 6:30, the crew was outside and Ron was bringing them gingerbread men.

– we spoiled our kids and got them each a major present. Emma got a portable DVD player (which I gave her on her birthday by accident) as well as a stack of movies, and a couple stocking stuffers, Sarah got her own digital camera (plus stocking stuffers) and we got Meaghan a KitchenAid mixer – plus a few more stocking stuffers, just in case. πŸ˜‰

I know there were a lot of anti-consumerist posts before the holidays, and I had a little bit of a rant / explanation, and I should probably point out I’m not trying to be defensive here. But, you know, we had a couple of pretty lean years recently. The stuff we bought is still within our budget or under what a LOT of people usually spend at Christmas. I can justify each purchase quite a bit. πŸ™‚ Emma watches a lot of movies and hogs the tv, which is an issue, plus there are two dvd players we have that broke recently. Sarah takes amazing pictures, and is out way more than I am. And since I have killed two cheaper stand mixers and Meg cooks quite a bit, a pro one (on SALE even) is a smart choice.

– we got Mom & Carl a digital picture frame, which they were really happy with.

– when Addison and Kaytlyn got here, we gave them a night in a hotel, plus a donation to the Canadian Spinal Research Association. I thought Kaytlyn was going to cry. As a side note and follow-up, Addison says that Guitar Hero (which they brought with them) has really helped with the nerve damage in his arm. (For new readers: He broke his neck in 2004.)

– also, when your grown children come visit, you can clean out your freezer and send them home with two bags of food you don’t want. They get fed, you get a cleaner freezer.

– Ron got me an elliptical trainer a couple weeks before Christmas, so we exchanged smaller things on the actual day. He got me jammies, I got him a coffee grinder & beans.

Even still, this was nothing outside of what we can afford, since we tend to deny ourselves of frivolous things from about October on, what with all the birthdays and Christmas we save purchases for those occasions. Yes, even socks. πŸ˜‰

Also, a cleint sent me a present. I was telling her that the only exercise I got was going downstairs to refill my tea, so after she heard I got an elliptical, she sent me a glass tea pot with blooming tea, so I can relax in the office. πŸ™‚

Other news:

– Sarah got a second job. It’s at a renamed access center, now an Adult Learning Center, in the local school. The difference in attitude is huge. her boss there doesn’t feel threatened that Sarah is a “just” a teenager and might know more than she does. In fact, the boss is greatly relieved. πŸ˜€ Sarah gets to sit on the computer all day and do web stuff for them. Well, she will when they get their Internet back up, because the school is off on holidays.

– We finally got in a visit to Saint John. I haven’t been there in two years, and haven’t seen my grandfather in that time. I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. the visit was okay. It’s just really sad to see him like this, he’s so tired and old. You have to know him really well to see the differences, but they are there. Even if he is in his 90’s. It’s a 500km round trip, and we did it in one day.

– On the up side, we had bought domains and starting building sites for my aunt and my father, for their professional lives. They were both pleased. *Phew*. I was a bit nervous about it, but I’m hoping it will give them both a career boost. Also, I had picked up a small stained glass suncatcher of Snoopy on his doghouse, for my aunt who is a long-time Snoopy fan. Even though it had obvious repairs and I paid ten whole cents for it, she loved it.

Since we’re packrats on that side of the family, and tend to clean out in batches and pass things around (see above with the freezer bit), we came home with a couple large boxes of things, and a fruitcake known as “the Brick”.

why the Rotarians thinks giving seniors, half of whom are probably diabetic, a large chemically-filled fruitcake doorstop is beyond me.

(Yes, I have been eating it. Tastes okay, except for theΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β  extra preservatives.)

– we’ve been doing crafty things. Meaghan has been re-covering notebooks, here’s one example and I’ll be posting the rest with instructions at some point. So on a couple of stops, we headed in to Micheal’s and picked up large gorgeous sheets of cardstock. Mom gave is a 50% off coupon and Ron picked up a large tub of melt & pour soap, which we have just started to play with.

– One of Emma’s stocking stuffers was a couple small Perler bead kits. We all got hooked and eventually picked up a huge bucket. on New Year;s Eve, we watched the food network and made melted bead creations becasue we party hard like that.

– Right before Christmas, our back doorknob came off. Not terribly surprising. So guests were greeted with needle-nosed vice grips to turn it. We did have a replacement knob, but somehow lost the deadbolt (so that’s what the piece of metal was that has been floating around the house), and by the time we got to the hardware store for a replacement, it was Christmas Eve and Ron was enjoying himself before working on the house. It’s fixed now though. πŸ˜€

– the stove has been picky, something to do with with the feed. of course, it acts up on the coldest days and nights. Last night, it went out shortly after the last of us had gone to bed. (Note: we have an electric heater at the other end of the house too) When I woke up, it was freezing and of course windy, which is hard to keep the house heated anyway. We put plastic over more windows downstairs. I accidentally put tape on a dry part of my lip and ripped off some skin. (Ow.) While we warmed up under the covers, we watched the food network (yes, AGAIN) and made perler bead creations.

So the overall theme of the holidays so far has been us being slighty chilly while in our flannel jammies, eating too much chocolate, tuned into the Food Network, playing on the Wii together now that we have a second remote, or troubleshooting someone’s server. including our own.

I’ve also been trying to work out every day. I did skip a couple here and there, but the benefits are starting to show. I sleep better, and I can feel my metabolism and brain ramping up. the down side is I want to do so much in the run of a day, I can’t do it all and get frustrated. I want to clean and organize every single room. RIGHT NOW. πŸ˜€

The tree is still up though. The boxes are in the sunporch, it’s cold out there since it’s unheated, and I want to wait for a warm day to cut down on heat loss. Such is my day.

Sorry this is disjointed – I also got called away and took a phone call in the middle. πŸ™‚

happy thanksgiving!

Happy Fhanksgiving!

Mom and Carl are here and we’ve unloaded the truck, sorted through all the stuff (sent back what we don’t want…) taken Mom into town shopping, chopped all the veggies, made fabric pumpkins for the centerpiece, and… I dunno. I think they are playing on the Wii and watching Shrek 3.

The pots are bubbling away on the stove, and I just glazed the ham. I’m at the spot where I have a ten to fifteen minute lull and then I can drain, mash, and present. The menu? Well, I know you are on the edge of your seat waiting.

A boneless cooked ham
Apricot glaze

Take 1/2 cup apricot jam, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1.5 tablespoons vinegar (cider if you have it), 1 tsp mustard power and 1/2 tsp cloves. Mix and heat in saucepan. Pour over ham 15 minutes before it is done and finish baking uncovered

Carrots and turnips, cooked together and mashed
Mashed potatoes
fresh green beans
brown sugar baked squash

quarter and gut a buttercup squash, place in baking pan. bake for a half hour or so. add a small knob of butter and a couple spoons of brown sugar to hollowed out bits. Finish baking. when done, use a large spoon to scrape it all off into a bowl, squash included, leaving skins behind.

Mom also brought potato stuffing (which I have to get the recipe for AGAIN and put it in my blog this time) and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Edit: pics!
Thanksgiving dinner