Monthly Archives: December 2010

Resolutions

Have you made your resolutions for next year?  If you believe in this sort of thing, time is running out my friend because next year is tomorrow.

I don’t often get too bound up by these types of conventions, preferring instead to mock and make fun of things like new years resolutions, back to school shopping, spring cleaning. 

However, I have been known to occasionally allow the peer pressure to whisk me away to a place where I drop my crusty frowning exterior and join in the fun.  Like the year that I resolved to be more selfish.  I kept that resolution for a while too.  In fact, I might still be holding onto that one.  How many ‘I will lose weight and get in shape’ resolutions are still holding on many years later?   

I should probably try for the ‘I will lose weight and get in shape’ resolution, but the one I am going to aim for this year is ‘I will have more fun’.  I’m off to a bad start though, because although we have had a few party invites coming our way for this evening, we have decided to stay home.  My resolution apparently will start tomorrow.

Having fun is entirely a state of mind.  Anything can be fun. Going to the dentist can be fun; you just have to find the humor in what you are doing.  Fun at the dentist can be found somewhere around the drool running down your chin, or the garbled answers to your dentist’s many questions.  I am amazed at how the placement of a large metal object into my mouth reminds the dentist to ask me interesting questions.  “So, Terra how old are your kids now?”          “arbten, ixten, ab elvn.” I delicately reply in my songlike dental voice.

So watch out everybody!  Beginning January 1, 2011 I will be having even more fun than I currently am!  This is going to be a great year.  And, who knows, I might even lose some weight and get into shape while I’m at it. 

Happy New Year!Fun

<Terra>

Where is the logic?

This morning I made a call to a provincial government department who are administering a federal program. I had received a notice for the program which stated quite clearly the deadline was December 31. When I call the number on the notice for more information they tell me the office for the particular department I was looking for was closed. Until January 4. How does that work? Of course the girl answering the phone has nothing to do with my grievance but I couldn’t help but be frustrated. How can you adhere to a deadline when the office is closed a week before? I did manage to get a fax number to send a fax, but this was still not the actual form I needed to file. In my frustration I also sent a fax to our local MLA and MP. I have no idea if this is actually going to work or not but tell me where is the logic? P.S. It happens to be an ag program.

Christmas Sleighing

How lucky can we be to go sleighing on Boxing Day!boxing day

The third day of Christmas



On the third day of Christmas, I had chocolate port.

I love it when things work out.  I am also laughing at all of the spelling mistakes I have corrected in these first two sentences already.  I may be drunk.  Let’s see how this goes.

The event for this evening was a Christmas party at the Fithen house.  The Fithens are people who we have met through our sons’ football team ‘The LCHS Barons’.  We have formed a group of 10 moms who meet monthly to drink wine and discuss football and whatever other problems of the universe that we can solve in an evening (which is a lot).

As the afternoon went on, I was starting to feel like I couldn’t possibly be any fun at all tonight.  I was too tired.  I had no clothes to wear.  I had bad hair.  I had wrinkles.

However, these people are a lot of fun, and this time we were bringing out our husbands, so I wanted to show mine off and have him meet my new friends.  I sucked it up, made some supper, and started to get ready for what was sure to be a fun evening of tired revelry to celebrate Christmas….and Marlene makes wine so I didn’t want to miss that.

My big guy came home from hauling grain just in time to pretend that he never had been told about the party and he wasn’t sure if he could make it.  Something about an appointment with his polo coach or perhaps it was that he needed to wash his hair. 

I was pretty sure I could coax him to come along with me, until his little saving grace, our wonderful little girl child began coughing in the living room and calling out oh so mournfully for ‘Halls please’…..she was clearly VERY ill.  He would of course selflessly volunteer to stay home with her…and watch TV….and have the remote all to himself.  He’s an awesome Daddy.

I decided to go anyways.  I decided that the boys could drive me.  I decided that I was going to have fun dammit.  But, only for an hour, then the boys should pick me up and bring me home to sleep on the couch with the TV on.

The boys dropped me off.  I was poured a glass of Marlene’s home made chocolate port wine.  I was poured another glass of Marlene’s chocolate porth…and then Marlene poured me another of her port….and when Martha poured me a fourth of her shoclate porth the boys had come to pick me up.  I was visiting.  I was having fun.  I was begging for 15 more minutes.  I was getting lectured about the importance of adhering to previously set curfew rules by my 16 year old.  He’s no fun sometimes.  BUT my 18 year old son took mercy on me by saying to his brother ‘she’s having fun, and how often does she do that?  Let’s give her 15 more minutes.’  He’s a darling.  I asked for half an hour, but that apparently was pushing my luck.

I had a great evening.  I stayed longer than I should have.  The boys had to help me do up the zipper on my boot.  Marlene gave me two bottles of her wine, and Roberta gave me a lovely bowl full of popcorn and chocolates.  It was a good day.  I had to ask my 16 year old to turn the heat down in his truck for fear I might be sick on his floor. 

So, the moral of my story was that we should just go out and enjoy this Christmas season.  Who cares if we are a bit tired?  That’s what a party does for us, and parties are fun.  Go have some fun. 

And the highlight of the day is obviously Marlene’s chocolate port wine.  If I was a good person I would have emphasized the wonderful company more, but I’m not that good of a person.  Don’t get me wrong, the company was amazing.  I love these ladies….even more after 4 glasses of wine.  BUT the wine was the highlight of my day.  However, I must note that we came to an amazing discovery through our conversations tonight.  Did you know that every first born boy has certain characteristics that are common to all first born boys?  They are all very goal oriented.  They all have a certain flaring temper.  They all are messy.  They all love their mommas, and they like to argue.  If you have an oldest boy at home and he does not present with these characteristics, go look in your couch cushions, or behind your fridge.  He probably isn’t your oldest, and you have another older one that you’ve forgotten about somewhere.  He’s most likely in your pantry or on the toilet.

Here’s what I took for an appetizer to the party:

I forgot to take a picture.   Jeez, that was before the wine.

I took cheese and charcuterie from The Cheesiry which is the only sheep dairy in Western Canada.

The cheese that I took was a 4 month and a 7 month pecorino, an herb du Provence cheese and a semi soft sheep’s cheese.  It was all wonderfully amazing and I need to go get more for Christmas. 

If you want to order any Alberta grown hand made artisan cheese from The Cheesiry which is in East Central Alberta, you can email them at cheesiry@gmail.com

Or, even better go see their website.  That’s where the pictures will be.   

It’s Christmas Eve.  Get out there and have a great time!! 

I’m going to my sister’s house to eat her food, make a mess, get her kids all wound up and leave.  That’s what family is for right?  I hope she will return the favor.

Merry Christmas.

<Terra>

Merry Christmas Concert

Merry Christmas!

I went to my nephews’ Christmas concert this week. Oh my gawd those kids are all so cute. There’s nothing quite like a Christmas concert to bring out those nostalgic memories of getting your hair tugged into place, wearing an itchy dress and pinchy shoes, smiling when you really want to barf, or my personal favorite – being in grade 5 and having to skip across the stage, but you are the only little girl too uncoordinated to have learned the fine art of skipping, and being a good 2 or 3 feet taller than everyone else, you look like a adolescent giraffe who has recently recovered some kind of serious leg injury galloping across the Serengeti…..not that this happened to me of course, it’s just an example of something that probably happened to Kelly.

All of the kids fulfilled their job of entertaining the crowd who had gathered. Some more than others. You can always count on the typical nose pickers and bum scratchers to be there to get a good laugh. Not at their expense exactly because they are too little to be aware of the 300 or so people who are watching them in the blindness of those lights they have to stare into for their 2 to 3 minutes on stage. Those beautiful little guys and gals are always there, every year to make us laugh inappropriately when they are singing their cute little Christmas carols. Later they likely grow into the kid who has forgotten to change the reed in their instrument at the band concert, so they squeak and belch their way through the three songs they are given to play with no one really knowing who it was, but once again allowing for comedic relief to an otherwise serious event.

My personal favorites this year were the boys from grade two who were trying to shade their eyes and yelling at each other ‘where’s my mom?’ ‘Do you see my mom?’ Not to be outdone by the little girl in the front row pulling her itchy little dress up up up and away from her legs to get a bit of relief from the itchiness. Apparently the itch must have lived in the bottom hem of her little dress, and it was way more comfortable to have that hem lifted safely up around her bellybutton. Precious. I hope her mom had the video camera rolling for that one. That’s good graduation video right there! If there are any elementary school teachers reading this, please for the love of gawd give those little girls in the front row something to do with their hands. Have them all clapping through the song, or holding hands, or jingling some bells or something……or not, it’s funnier that way.

My nephews go to a Catholic school. So did my sister and me. Oh here come more of those flashbacks, but I won’t write of them here for fear of being misunderstood and having to do 10 Hail Marys while kneeling on a ruler at the back of the church. Not that this ever happened to me, just an example of what could have happened if I was unruly say like maybe in grade 8. I’ve always loved the Hail Mary prayer. Now that I’m protestant we don’t say it, but sometimes, in secret, I still do just to feel really wild. I’m crazy like that.

Anyhow, being a Catholic school Christmas concert means that you don’t have to worry about the political correctness of not mentioning Jesus at Christmas time. There were plenty of positive messages that we were able to take home, and it was a great way to focus in on the true meaning of Christmas. After the concert we hung around to tell the boys how marvelous they were. I was a very proud Auntie.

My daughter and I were filled with the Christmas spirit as we trudged to our very cold car, started it, and waited the obligatory 4 to 5 seconds for it to warm up. Pulling up to the edge of the parking lot there is a place to merge into the traffic that is leaving. You know, taking turns. One would think that this wouldn’t be a hard concept, especially for a bunch of Catholic school goers who are leaving their child’s Christmas concert where we just learned of love, sharing, Jesus???? Merry Christmas for goodness sake?!
Nope, one by one they rushed by, trying not to make eye contact with the one lonely car sitting waiting to be allowed in, just trying to look cute and nice and……what the hell?!? Maybe they were at a different Christmas concert than me. Maybe they missed the message. Wait…..what if I missed the message. Maybe it wasn’t about love and sharing at all, and with my so far undiagnosed hearing disorder combined with my attention deficit, maybe I daydreamed that part. Maybe the message was get out there and take what you can while you can! So I slowly crept out and jammed myself into that long snake of headlights, and we made it home before Easter. My daughter was embarrassed and probably will want to drive with Grandma to the next concert, but that’s OK. I think Grandma was one of the ones who passed us, so she will probably get home earlier if she goes with her anyways. Maybe we should all hop in with Grandma. She’s still Catholic, so she gets those special driving privileges where you don’t have to let anyone in line.

This blog could get me into trouble. Where’s my ruler. ‘Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee……..’

<Terra>

Winter Solstice

December 21st, 2010. Winter Solstice.

On the fourth day of Christmas I watched a lunar eclipse…and decorated sugar cookies.

Tonight if you look up at the full moon, you will notice it slowly is disappearing as the earth passes between the moon and the sun…..at least I think that’s what’s happening. I was watching the shadow with my son and he started asking very difficult questions like which country’s shadow are we seeing now do you think? Which way does the moon orbit the earth? What do you think the cat is thinking about when she looks at us like that? It was all too much.

They say we won’t have another lunar eclipse that falls on the winter solstice until the year 2094. So we better all stay up really late and watch this one because we will all be very old (no, not dead, just very old) when the next one comes and we probably won’t care to see it. Wow, that’s just another thing to feel all pressured up about during this Christmas season, as if Christmas itself doesn’t present enough things to remember to do. AND
This is the last lunar eclipse that falls on a winter solstice for the next 84 years. Wow.

This is also the last time that I will be typing on the computer during a lunar eclipse during the winter solstice…this is the only time you will see me in socks and sandals around the house during a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. This is also the last time I will wipe flubber off my counter tops, knife block, television set and toaster during a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice, but no one is beating down my door to come watch me!

Winter solstice makes me think of the druids. They liked to celebrate these events with things like dancing, drinking, feasting and fornicating. We decided to follow their lead…somewhat. We agreed to leave out the dancing because our men folk aren’t much into dancing in the kitchen, and it makes the kids uncomfortable when we do that. And as every good catholic raised girl knows, dancing leads to fornicating, so without dancing there would be none of that either I guess. It too makes the kids uncomfortable. Maybe even more than the dancing does. But I digress.

Our men folk decided that this being the last legal day of hunting season, they would take full advantage by being up with the squirrels at the crack of dawn and head out to fill our freezers with delicious young natural venison. Well, the squirrels slept in and the crack of dawn came at around 8. Then we needed to pause for a moment to celebrate a birthday with ice cream cake. After observing these rituals, and allowing for a short recovery period for those younger ones who were celebrating the night before the winter solstice with drinking and revelry, they were off and hunting at just shortly after 12:30 PM.

The guys arrived after a successful hunt and came to the house to warm up and eat the feast that we had prepared for them. Well, it was all leftovers, but that’s because my girl child and I had spent the day making sugar cookies. Well, not the whole day. We also watched Ellen and drank some coffee and lazed around a lot. But, the day wasn’t a total write off because we made some amazing cookies. Here’s the recipe:

Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
**Note** I like to double this recipe because my sons can eat them as fast as they come out of the oven. They usually get full after the first 4 dozen or so.
Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Roll out thickness of pie crust on lightly floured surface. Cut into 3 inch rounds. Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.

Let them cool, and ice them however you like using whatever icing recipe you like. We used a combination of butter, icing sugar (then regular sugar when we ran out of icing sugar), milk and food coloring. Supervise the food coloring carefully when there are 14 year old boys involved.

Kelly’s boy had spent the day hunting with the men. It was he who had harvested the deer that they brought home with them tonight. He is a tough guy. He works along side the men and he has done this since he was about 5 years old. He also is very good at icing sugar cookies and having tea parties with my daughter….well maybe not the tea parties. I might have made that part up. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story that’s what I always say.

Just a note:
Whoever labeled Christmas a holiday was a man. Christmas is quite possibly the most work I do all year. I think it surpasses the labor requirement of harvest, and calving season combined.
But having said that, I just love it. It’s really a lot of fun to see everyone get excited about seeing neighbors and relatives. It’s a great season, and if we can turn the work into play then we will enjoy it even more.

The highlight of the day:
The youngest member of the hunting crew today was the one who brought home the bacon (or in this case the venison), and thanks to all of them we will have sausages and roasts and steaks for our tables. Well, I guess we would have had that anyway with all of the beef we have floating around, but this way we get variety in our servings of red meat.
….and that young hunter rounded off his day by icing sugar cookies with a little girl. That’s a pretty good balance I would say.

<Terra>

Just Learning

This post is part of the learning process. Trying to figure out how to insert photos.

Hello world!

Cow trails and pony tales is just beginning. Come back and check us out for updates. Happy Holidays.