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Posts Tagged ‘home’

According to my local bird store, today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Now, I’m fairly sure that the local squirrels object to being relegated to just one day, but given the monopoly they have over the neighborhood feeders, I think they’ll get along fine.

To avoid the possibility of a Great Squirrel Uprising (TM) however, I have arranged to send one squirrel to a resort and spa for the day.

Yes, this was a rush job. No, you will not get extra nuts with dinner!
Photos by big.tiny.belly on Unsplash and maja777 on Pixabay.

Also bird seed. Works every time.

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It’s a snow day! True, I still have to work and all that but regardless, there’s something about a fresh blanket of deep snow that brings back childhood feelings of joy.

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“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”

― Margaret Atwood
Photo by R K on Unsplash

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Recently I was asked if I was ready for another cat, and I have to say that I’m not quite there yet. My memories still fill the house with cat-shaped holes. I see Neko around corners, on the stairs, by the patio doors.

So, not yet. But someday.

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Today is booster shot day!

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Photo by Akshay Nanavati on Unsplash

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Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day, a Commonwealth holiday unfamiliar to most Americans, and a national holiday in Canada since 1871.

And it has nothing to do with fighters in a ring with a bell.

While its history is a little fuzzy, traditionally Boxing Day was thought of as a time for alms-giving, and for lords and ladies to distribute gifts to household servants, dependents and the poor. It was originally known as Offering Day.

Fiction-related note: Charles Dickens mentioned Boxing Day in “The Pickwick Papers,” which was published as a monthly serial in 1836 and 1837.

These days, Boxing Day in Canada is more like a second Black Friday, an excuse for big sales and shopping shopping shopping. 

I have no servants but as you may know, I like to contribute to the community and causes that matter to me. So today, I’ll help support some of the groups out there doing good.

No boxing necessary.

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Merry Christmas!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Today is the first time I will be making Swedish meatballs for Christmas Eve. I’ve helped my father, many times, but have never made them in my own house. 

The recipe we grew up with was my grandmother’s. Every year we would pull out the little wooden recipe card box and find a three by five index card in her handwriting, with my father’s annotations at the edges. You could tell which one it was by all the lingonberry stains. 

I loved that it was a family recipe, and that every time we made it I remembered Christmas as a kid at my grandparents’ house in Chicago. 

I will admit that I didn’t exactly love the recipe. A decade or so ago we all admitted that maybe, just maybe, the meatballs weren’t all they could be (sorry, Grandma!), and tried an alternative. Here’s what I had to say about that:

… a few years ago we made the shift from Grandma Johnson’s handwritten recipes (so homey!) for dishes like Swedish meatballs and limpa and roast pork to the spectacular versions of same in Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit. Yes, an Ethiopian-born immigrant throws down on traditional Swedish food and wins big. See what I mean? The food still says home, only better:) 

The Universal Language? | J.R. Johnson

So this year we’re doing the new old family recipe. It won’t be the traditional Christmas Eve smorgasbord with family, but it will feel like the holidays.

Mr Man and I have already made the quick-pickled cucumbers and are letting them steep (half the sugar though, and no apologies!). As soon as the juice is at full flavor it will be time to make the meatballs. 

Until then we’ll kick back, listen to classic Christmas music and make the most of this Christmas Eve. 

God jul everyone!

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Photo by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash

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Today’s numbers: 18, 6, 4, 2.

  • 18: pounds of mushrooms*
  • 6: pounds of pears
  • 4: quarts of mushroom soup
  • 2: loaves of bread

I made cream of mushroom soup, fresh bread, plus pears poached with lemon, cinnamon and cardamom. And that was pretty much my day:)

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Photo by Dmitry Kovalchuk on Unsplash

* That was a lot of mushrooms.

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One thing about adulthood is that you get better at peering behind life’s facade and seeing its complexities.

That’s not always fun, but the good part is that you get to decide what to make of it for yourself.*

If there is a wizard behind the curtain, shouldn’t it be you?

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This holiday season won’t be what we hoped. I won’t be seeing my family in person this year. I keep reminding myself how tiring the drive is but it’s thin consolation.

What isn’t thin is that I can rest easy knowing that I won’t be passing on any Canadian Covid, or even the flu, to my immunocompromised family members. That’s a whole lot of yay.

We also now have the option of making this holiday whatever we want. An author I follow had a good take on this idea so feel free to head on over and take a gander. 

It’s ok, I’ll wait.

It’s not like I’m going anywhere.

Guilt Free

“This won’t do.

You still have a right to peace and happiness this holiday season, whichever holiday you choose to celebrate. Decide what that happiness is and go for it.”

— Ilona Adrews

Excellent idea.

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* Also, if you want to have ice cream for breakfast, dangit, you can.

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Are You Ok?

This pandemic just keeps on keeping on, and while we are in a much better place than we were last year we’re not back to normal yet.

I watch my neighbors walk by, the teenager who gets off the school bus alone every day at 3:45, the man who drives a cab that may or may not be in demand, the new father who strolls up and down the street every afternoon, the older couple who always hold hands as they walk their dog, and the orange cat we are (almost) certain has a home.

I wave and say hello but mostly I want to ask, “Are you ok? Are your homes warm, your pantries full, your hearts whole?”

I know that in my neighborhood and others, the answers will not always be what I hope. And so I smile and wave and when I can, I help food pantries, animal rescues and other groups who do their best to keep our community strong. 

And that helps me be ok, too.

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Photo by Sonika Agarwal on Unsplash

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