Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Weather Outside is Not at All Frightful!

A belated Merry Christmas! The weather reports indicated we might have some snow but it never materialized. Snow is rare here on Christmas Day. We are far more likely to get it in January or February. We got a little dusting and enough for John to put together a snowball, but that was all. Now it's raining. I went to the market and bought eggs and milk as well as noodles for the turkey noodle soup I'm making. I'm also baking a couple of loaves of bread. I made the pea soup from the last of the ham yesterday. I'll be sending boxes of food home with Owen, Gavin, and Hugh.

Tonight we are visiting with John's parents and going out for Chinese. Gavin and Hugh are heading home afterwards. Hugh has to go to work at 4 am tomorrow. John 's vacation is also over and he's back to work tomorrow as well. I'll be driving Owen and Sarah to Salem and then visiting with Merrialyce at the Oregon State library. I'll be interviewing her for an article I'm writing. Friday night Jack catches his flight to NYC. By the week-end it'll be just me and John once again and we can relax by the fireplace with tea and cookies and oranges.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

And Yet More

No baking pies yet. Instead John and I made another little trip to town to finish up the shopping. I bought several types of breads to make turkey and ham sandwiches, a bag of dried split peas to make pea soup from the ham bone later this week, bananas, cheeses, a salami, crackers, various types of drinks, marmalade, sweet onions, and lemons to make lemon curd. John also went shopping but he went to a different store and I don't know what he bought.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just a Bit More

Yesterday we went to town. I bought a ham and a turkey (both small), oranges, celery for the stuffing, some nice buttery rolls from the bakery, chocolates, a red poinsettia, tea, wild birdseed, and the like along with a few small stocking stuffer type gifts. John is the one responsible for buying gifts now although I have no idea what, if anything he's gotten.

Today I baked more cookies and a pan of brownies and made the chocolate covered cherries (which should have been made last week). John and I are going to town today where I'm getting a few more small gifts, we'll go to the library, do the recycling, and then go out to dinner to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow: Finish decorating the tree, and the house, and bake the pies!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Birthday Gift

John gave me a new bird feeder for my birthday and set it near the snowball tree. Now I'm just waiting for the little birds to find it.
I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.
~ Emily Dickinson

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gilda Radner Tribute

My birthday is the day after tomorrow and I've already peeked at one of my presents. It's the complete first year of Saturday Night Live on DVD. I can hardly wait.

I love Gilda Radner best of all. She makes me laugh so hard I cry. And that she died so young makes me just cry. I miss her.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Spirit

Each year I wait for it. The one little sign that Christmas is truly here. I don't see it on the pinched, anxious faces of people at the mall or scurrying down busy streets. I don't see it in the yards bulging with a gaudy, over-blown excess of decorations and flashing lights.

I see it in the wreath hung on a church door. I see it in the snow falling down, even if it doesn't stick. I see in the glimpse of one small pine tree lit with a few strings of lights at the end of a long country driveway. I see it in the apples hanging like golden ornaments on a leafless tree. I see it in a little child, singing a Christmas carol, his face lit up like a bright candle. I see it when looking up in the sky at a cold winter moon.

I haven't seen it yet this year. I'm waiting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
~ Luke 2:19

Here we are, in the the season of Advent, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. It is a time of silence and peace, a time of acceptance of grace. As Mary became aware of her son’s purpose,she “marvelled at these things.” And she “kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

I ponder as I think about my four young-adult sons. I am not much like Mary and my sons' destiny is not like Jesus’, yet I find myself watching and marvelling as their own callings unfold.

For more than twenty years I repeated phrases to them, phrases like "take care of each other" and "remember to say thank you".

This year all four of them will be home for Christmas and now, it’s time to be quiet. This year I am in the role of having them come home to me for Christmas. I am the one fluttering and feathering, cleaning, decorating, and planning favorite dishes. And, like Mary, I will watch and pray and wonder.

This is the time to listen and love and cook more food, but not to talk. As Jesus’ calling unfolded with time, so will theirs. One son lives in New York City, a place I can only imagine. Another will marry this summer. The third is going to university and the youngest is working. I've watched my children grow and now, as their futures unfurl, will see what they'll become.

Christmas has come over me gently this year. I'll read the familiar story in the Bible, reflect on the presence of God in my life, the message of the angels, and Jesus' gift of peace and know that for all the mysteries and unknowns in our family’s lives, the good will is toward all of us, and ours is again the wonder and hope and joy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Break Reading List

Oh! I've discovered a publishing site, Persephone Books , unfortunately for me in England, which reprints old books. I've requested the following through interlibrary loan.

My Christmas break reading for this year:

**Hostages to fortune, a novel
**Good evening, Mrs. Craven
**Few eggs and no oranges
**The children who lived in a barn
**William: an Englishman