December 27th – It’s Over

For better or worse, the Christmas of 2021 has come and gone. It was definitely nice that Dan had the day off this year. In fact we had a few days together. It was very special to have some quiet time to relax in front of the fireplace (which is conveniently placed under the television) and enjoy each other’s company.

Santa Dan was good to me as always. He was out and about for two days finding me the perfect winter boots – with is no simple task and a new elephant to join our herd.

Short enough to be easy to put on but tall enough to cover my ankles, solid enough to be safe on icy walks but light enough to drive in, warm & cozy but stylish to boot!
Latest member of the herdπŸ’ž

Granddaughter Genie and Alex came by on Christmas morning to drop off a Christmas bouquet and pick up their gifts from us. They stayed for a lovely visit.

Flowers from Genie & Alex

We had a good phone chat with son Dan and photos from Amanda of the kids opening their gifts. Gabby and Lucas were obviously happy with theirs. It was a bit harder to tell with Cason from his ‘butt shot’. πŸ˜‚ I had a call from son Mark later in the day and my siblings and I exchanged seasonal greetings by email. Dan and I had a nice long video chat with his sister Joan.

Dan and I enjoyed a nice ham supper for Christmas Eve and a beautiful turkey supper for Christmas Day. We have officially perfected the art of making turkey stuffing. It was our best ever! In between ham and turkey and Boxing Day quesadillas, we snacked on an abundance of treats including the gourmet chocolates I picked up a few days ago. 🀒 I saved Dan from the Rose Petal one.

Annual jigsaw puzzle

That it for today. I hope you all had a nice Christmas with the perfect mix of food and family and peace and goodwill.

Take care and have a great rest of the holidays. πŸŽ„

December 22nd – 3 More Sleeps

Every day is still a day to celebrate the season!  I have gotten a few things accomplished lately and could realistically be ready for Christmas any time now.

We packaged up a few things for son Dan and family.Β  Dan sent it out for three day delivery on Monday and Amanda let me know they got it yesterday. (Way to go Canada Post!)

I wrapped presents – without a single glass of wine 🍷.  Not that I need wine to do anything,  but it helps if that anything involves rolls of paper, sharp instruments, and sticky tape.

I received the last of the Christmas gifts that I had ordered for Dan and the birthday gift that I had ordered for granddaughter Genie.Β  Dan drove me to ‘Chocolate Regina’ to pick up a small box of gourmet chocolates and we stopped by a the recently renovated restaurant at Casino Regina for lunch. The food and the restaurant were both very nice but the rest of the renovations left a lot to be desired in my mind. I am not a fan of clutter and chaos and that seems to be what they were going for.

Bernard Callebaut chocolates are amazing! Definitely not a treat we buy every day but they are Christmas worthy.

I have done a bit more cleaning up and decorating around the house. I love this little candle and these placemats that I picked up from The Dollar Store.

I also ran to Walmart to pick up a few last minute things while Dan was at work yesterday. Their Christmas displays are running a bit low but they brightened the place up by adding shelves of Valentine’s chocolates and Easter bunnies. That is not too wierd. Who buys Easter bunnies in December? 🐰

Today I am going to try to get a bit of baking done and wrap the rest of the gifts.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

December 16th – ‘Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’

The title of my blog today might be a bit of an exaggeration but this Grandma is feeling rough this week and definitely not much in a mood to ‘celebrate’.

I had my hernia procedure on Tuesday morning. It was, as hospital experiences go, a great experience. Before I had time to stress about it, I was done and gone. Yay!

Then things started to slide. I left the hospital with a small patch over a tiny incision – a small patch to which I am obviously very allergic to. I also, left with prescriptions for three medications – none of which agree with me. I tossed the painkillers and anti-inflammatory. The third medication I will try to deal with for the time being. I can handle nausea and sleepiness. If I lose my breath, blood pressure or pulse, I may have to rethink this one as well.

That is it for today, folks. I am ready for a serious nap. Take care and have a great day!

December 13th – Feliz Navidad πŸŽΆ

One of my favourite ways to celebrate the holidays was to enjoy the music of the season – until it was not. For years the thought of Christmas carols and hymns upset me. On December 1st, the radio stations and department stores would start to ring in the season with the likes of ‘Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer’ and ‘Silent Night’ – and I would feel physically ill and emotionally scarred.

This year, I decided that I was going to celebrate this Christmas Season – no holds barred! I have been cleaning and shopping and decorating. I have watched Christmas specials, baked Christmas treats AND I have been playing hours of Christmas music. It was a bit difficult going in, but things have turned around. If I am having a good day, the music makes it better. If I am having a bad day, the music lifts my spirits as it did long ago. It’s a Christmas Miracle. 🌟

Today, I decided to share some favourite Christmas tunes. My apologies to those who cannot access North America You Tube offerings. Hopefully, you will recognize the tunes and share in some pleasant memories.

Feliz Navidad
Little Drummer Boy
The Newborn King – Bonanza Christmas Special
Old Toy Trains
Away In a Manger
Do They Know It’s Christmas

I hope that jogged some memories or at least reminded you of your own favourite Christmas Carols from over the years.

That is it for today, folks. Take care and have a great day. πŸ’ž

December 2nd – The Joy of Shopping

It has been a few years since I have done any serious Christmas shopping. We have pretty much dropped exchanging gifts between adults and have been giving cash to/for the kids. I didn’t expect to change this new normal, but I placed an order through Amazon the other day and couldn’t resist the perfect little gift set that I found for our barely three year old grandson, Cason. It arrived late yesterday, so today I am celebrating the joy of Christmas shopping. 🎁

Cason and Dad (son Dan) all dressed up for Dan and Amanda’s wedding reception this past summer.
Before the official wedding reception photos…. Son Dan was in the house scrubbing an abundance of blue marker off of Cason when we arrived. Within minutes of that cleanup, Cason had poured grape pop all over his shirt and gotten a splinter in his foot.
The perfect gift for a little boy with a huge yard to explore, energy to burn, and the imagination to find his way into and through all kinds of trouble!

I haven’t had so much fun shopping for a long time. I might have to get out to some brick and mortar stores around town to see what else I have been missing out on in recent years.

I hope everyone is enjoying these early days of December. Our weather is holding but there are colder temps and snow in the forecast so I had better go run the errands that I need to get done this morning.

Christmas Display at Lowe’s

Take care and have a great day!

Evraz In The News

On Wednesday evening, Evraz issued 500 layoff notices in the tubular division of their Regina pipe mill. That included every unionized worker from seniority number 500 down to 0. I think my husband Dan is around #92.

This news did not come as a shock. Evraz warned of an impending work shortage some time ago. Financially, we will manage but any extended time off will mess with Dan’s pension, so that isn’t great. But, it isn’t all bad for us, either. If Dan’s layoff is actually December 17th, we can spend the holidays together. πŸŒ²β›„β˜ƒοΈπŸ₯³. We can hibernate in January. 🐻🐿️ And, I am pretty sure I can find some things on the honey-do list for Dan to work on. (That gym in the garage is not going to build itself – it hasn’t so far… πŸ™„)

Sadly, this news is devastating for many of Dan’s co-workers. That it has come to this, days before Christmas, makes it worse. I feel so sorry for the younger people out there – the ones with mortgages, loan payments and families to support. It doesn’t help that many of them have been off lately due to a Covid outbreak in that plant. I certainly hope for everyone’s sake that this lay-off is short term. There is not a lot of comparable employment around here – especially now.

The Evraz layoff made our news yesterday. Our politicians are running true to form. Ryan Meilli (our leader of the opposition) is taking the governing Saskatchewan Party to task for their failure to use Evraz pipe for local crown projects. Mopey Moe, our Premier, is blaming Prime Minister Trudeau for the Saskatchewan economy. And, Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to support Evraz and their employees through this difficult time. πŸ€”

Keep well, keep safe, and have a great day.

Holidays

Growing up in my family we kept to a fairly predictable schedule. (My mother was a drill Sargent in her previous life 🀣) Dinner was at 12 noon, supper was at 6 PM, laundry was done on Monday morning, and birthdays and holidays were celebrated on their appropriate dates.

When my family was young, our schedule was somewhat predictable. Meals were always at the table. Supper was 6ish, I did laundry once a week, and birthdays and holidays were celebrated on or close to appropriate dates.

Between Dan’s 24/7 shifts, kids growing up and having their own families, and various births and health crises, our schedule has become rather loosely goosey…. We eat, we do a load of laundry when one of us happens to go downstairs for whatever reason, and we celebrate birthdays and holidays.

Last night we had granddaughter Genie and her boyfriend Alex/Ben over. We enjoyed our Christmas turkey supper, topped off with a peanut butter cheesecake to celebrate Genie’s birthday (she will turn 17 on December 24th – and she doesn’t eat peanuts 🀦- I made her a mug cake and dressed it up for the occasion).

Aren’t they the cutest?
I love Genie’s hair – gorgeous colour.
My amazing husband who helped make supper and cleared away all of the leftovers. My less than amazing dog lurking for any flying food that Genie lost control over.

Dan is scheduled to work straight through December 22nd to 26th but we will be getting together with Genie and Alex/Ben on the 30th. But, we won’t be celebrating New Year’s πŸ˜‚ – they are coming with us to son Dan’s wedding on the 31st. New Year’s will have to merge with Easter and Dan’s birthday sometime in the spring.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s – I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones!πŸŒ²β˜ƒοΈ And for our southern neighbours – Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ¦ƒ

Christmas Miracles

Merry Christmas From Our Home To Yours

I grew up in a French Catholic home. Religion was a part of our lives every day but even more so at Christmas. For weeks before Christmas, we were put into super drive preparing for the big day. We scrubbed our home from top to bottom, cooked and baked, shopped and wrapped, we prepared for our school Christmas concert (which centred around the Nativity story in those day), we decorated our home and of course we attended choir practice and church services six ways to Sunday. My older, married sisters would arrive with husbands and children and gifts.

By the big day, we were ready for the MIRACLE OF CHRISTMASπŸŽπŸŽ„πŸŽ†

And then, my mother would crash and burn. The exhaustion and the stress of weeks of preparation, topped off with a couple of hours at midnight mass, would finally get the best of her. By noon, Mother would be in full meltdown, babies would start to cry, men would start to drink, sisters would start to fight. No Christmas miracles in our home, just bitter disappointment and the obligatory Christmas pictures to prove that we had the happiest of timesπŸ™„. By supper, we had all thrown in the towel and spent the evening working at jigsaw puzzles and playing cards.

Once I had my own family, I pretty much carried on the same tradition with a few extra perks thrown in. Christmas in our home was never done until someone had the flu or a case of pneumonia. The epitome had to be the year Danny puked on the Christmas tree. That was a classic. The year my Dad died days before Christmas was memorable. I was almost ready to give up on the MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS by 2003. That was the year our precious Genie was born. We left the hospital at 3:30pm on Christmas Eve with love and joy in our hearts. We were so close. We got home to find that my Mother had decided to place a box of chocolates under the Christmas tree, inspite of our asking her repeatedly not to do that, inspite of our moving them sixteen times. She had no idea our dog would eat them. Good grief! What dog wouldn’t eat them? Really hard to hold onto the Christmas spirit, when you are sitting in the vet’s office on Christmas Eve. 🀦

My family grew up, in spite of our annual Christmas debacles. They all have children of their own and their own Christmas stories to tell. For many years we have been going to my daughter’s for Christmas. I have powered through shopping for gifts and food, while my husband kept a running total of the cost. I went to Christmas concerts, which always seem to be held on December 17th 😒. My daughter would bake and clean. We were always ready for a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE that never quite made it. There was tears, disappointment, arguments, melt downs, way to much noise and just downright unChristmassy behaviour – but we kept powering through and I kept doing my damnedest to aim for a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.

This year my sons are with their in-laws, my husband is at work, my daughter is at her home with her family and we are not there because she has shut me out of her life and banned me from seeing my grandchildren. My father and mother are both gone. I am alone for Christmas Day. I went into this season with no expectations or hope of making this the year of the CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.

Honestly, I am having the best Christmas ever. My sister and her husband were here for an overnight visit a few days ago. We sent out for pizza and had wine. So nice. My sons are coming with their families on the weekend. I have done a bit of baking – some good, some not so much, but whatever. It was Christmassy. Genie’s stepfather dropped her off for a quick visit on the 23rd. She brought us some gifts she had made for us. There were a lot of tears but it was all good. I cooked a ham last night, destroyed the scalloped potatoes but the broccoli was great. After supper, we opened presents. We cried over Genie’s. They were so special. She painted us a picture and wrote a book for Grandpa, telling him how much he meant to her. She gave me a sparkling elephant pin. Today I made myself Pillsbury cinnamon buns for breakfast. I have a turkey in the oven for when Dan gets home from work. I am relaxing by my new fireplace, ready to start doing a jigsaw puzzle. I am happy, at peace, and full of love and good wishes for my family – all of my family. I feel really good. This is is the year of my CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.

The thing is, you can’t make miracles happen. You can’t force them or fake them. Miracles just happen when you let themπŸ•ŠοΈ

Peace on Earth – Good Will Towards Men πŸ•ŠοΈ

This year, for the first time in 42 years, my nest will be empty for Christmas. I somehow thought this would be a time to dread but to be honest, I am quite enjoying it.

I am sorry that my husband has to work all Christmas Day, but I will spend much of the day making us a beautiful turkey supper. We will have time together in the days before Christmas and over New Years. My sister and her husband will be here this weekend and my sons will be here with their families after Christmas.

We will have wine & treats

I have done some baking and set out minimal decorations. I am picking up a couple of gifts for my husband. The kids are getting cards with enough cash to take their families on a special outting.

My Christmas Tree

For the most part, this will just be a nice relaxing time off from work. This year I will have time to enjoy the winter wonderland outside our door – without actually going outside of our door. This year there will be no fussy babies, fighting siblings or arguing couples. There will be no whining, complaining, or crying. And there will definitely be nobody getting the flu and throwing up on the Christmas tree.

Little bits of Christmas

This year there will just be peace and goodwill! The way Christmas should beπŸ•ŠοΈ