Friday, December 18, 2009

Preparations - the One Week Countdown to Christmas



Last night, we began putting up the Christmas tree, yes, a fresh one! Still holding out and not using an artificial tree. This is one part of the world where commercial Christmas tree growers still rely on sales for their family businesses, and the fresh smell of the tree is so much a part of the holiday 'senses' in our house. The lights are now on the tree, and this weekend we will decorate with so many ornaments collected from travels, and hand-made, including all the macaroni and glitter creations that the children have made at preschool, grade school, brownies and other activities throughout the years. Christmas is a magical time for us, as this is time of year we were married....we are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary today!

Last year, I baked so many cookies, I think everyone in the family gained weight, especially me! This year, I haven't baked one single recipe, yet, although I plan to bake this weekend, just a little for my family arriving home on Monday, Winter Solstice. So here is a recipe I would like to share with you, from Canadian Living magazine. These shortbread bars are super easy to make, and they taste fantastic.

Meanwhile, I am still maintaining good eating habits, following the "Good Mood Diet", you can check that out on Amazon if you like. It's working really well for me. The protein component of each meal is keeping me sated and the absense of sugar and white carbs are something I have been wanting to try for a long time.

Merry merry Christmas preparations are fully underway! Enjoy the cookies and please let me know if you enjoy the recipe!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas Preparation!

12 days until my nearly grown kids come home....and that gives me 12 days to scurry around trying to get some of the secret surprises done. Well....here is one of the very nostalgic projects I am working on. I have managed to save many of my family's Christmas wish lists in crazy places all over my office...I have gathered them up, and am making a visual journal of all these great letters to Santa.....

For anyone with little ones, you might think of keeping those precious notes, and doing something like this when your children are off at college and you are really feeling that empty nest!

I am trying all sorts of different journaling techniques and backgrounds in this project. I'll try and post a photo or two soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Place I Want to Get Back To



The Place I Want To Get Back To
by Mary Oliver
is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay,
let's see who she is
and why she is sitting

on the ground like that,
so quiet, as if
asleep, or in a dream,
but, anyway, harmless;

and so they came
on their slender legs
and gazed upon me
not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of the flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life
bring to me that could exceed
that brief moment?
For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
Such gifts, bestowed,
can't be repeated.

If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named
Gratitude.
"The Place I Want To Get Back To" by Mary Oliver, from Thirst. © Beacon Press, 2006.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First of December in Beautiful White Rock, BC, Canada


Oh how the seasons change...I heard the "s" word used for the first time today, the possibility of "snow" exists for us on Thursday, and we had a lovely frost this morning. On the West coast, we tend to get very little snow, but last year was the one exceptional year to that rule, with snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm. It was horrible for holiday travel, and for my kids trying to make it home from University and from Britain, and definitely put a damper on lots of our family plans for Christmas. Hopefully, any of that white stuff that we see this year, makes a very light appearance and is quickly washed away by rain, as that is how it should be here on the West Coast! Here is a photo from the beach during our snowy season last year. It is beautiful, though, isn't it? The above photo is of the white rock at White Rock beach, in beautiful British Columbia, which is where I live.

*On another serious note--please join me in saying prayers for my JournalFest friend, Barbara, who has been in a very serious accident and is facing a lengthy and intensive recovery following multiple surgeries. Our prayers are with you Barbara.