26 December 2016

25 December 2016

Merry Christmas




No travel plans, no shopping malls
No candy canes or Santa Claus
For as the day of rest draws near
It's just the two of us this year
No silver bells or mistletoe
We'll kiss and watch our TV shows

I'll come to you, I'll sing to you
Like it's Christmas in the room
I'll dance with you, I'll laugh with you
Until it's Christmas in the room

No traffic jams, no ice and storm
For in the house the fire is warm
No Christmas tree, no great parade
It's just an ordinary day
No parties planned, no place to go
It's just the two of us alone
And in the house we see a light
That comes from what we feel inside

I'll come to you, I'll sing to you
Like it's Christmas in the room
I'll dance with you, I'll laugh with you
Until it's Christmas in the room
Until it's Christmas in the room

Oh, I can see the day when we'll die
But I don't care to think of silence
For now, I hear you laughing
The greatest joy is like the sunrise

No gifts to give, they're all right here
Inside our hearts the glorious cheer
And in the house we see a light
That comes from what we know inside

I'll come to you, I'll sing to you
Like it's Christmas in the room
I'll dance with you, I'll laugh with you
Until it's Christmas in the room
Until it's Christmas in the room

Like it's Christmas in the room
Like it's Christmas in the room

24 December 2016

Let's hear it for the trees

Isn't it interesting how despite the fact that generations of our ancestors were terrified of the forest so many of us now strive this time of year to bring a bit of it into the hearts of our homes.

Silverlake by Ellie Davies

So let's take a moment to think about that.,,and thank the trees. And the tree farmers. 





23 December 2016

Democracy

"In these dark days Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman found comfort and hope in the work of Leonard Cohen. Together they recorded this new version of “Democracy.” Amanda composed the piano and Neil recorded the lyrics. Their friends David Mack and Olga Nunes created this stunning video to go with the song. They gave it as a gift to support PEN America and its mission to celebrate and defend free expression." - Source

 

18 December 2016

Hygge?

While in Copenhagen last December I must admit to being incredibly impressed with the place. Because English seems to be a 2nd language in that city it was easy to navigate. Plus the public transportation (bus, train, and canal boats) seemed very sensibly run AND our Copenhagen card (bought for the maximum 5 days) made taking it free!

Lots of people were still riding bicycles to and from work even in chilly December! There were plenty of places to eat and drink at whatever your budget could afford and they all seemed very cozy. Of course, the Christmas lights and greenery everywhere enhanced the feeling. We spent our last night having a fantastic meal in a restaurant totally lit by candles!

All this is, apparently, a part of what makes up hygge...



But there's a darker side to hygge...

"Twinkly candles, cheery teapots, woolly socks and cushions: these are the domestic trappings needed this winter to create a cosy sense of Danish “hygge”. But if the prospect makes you nauseous, do not despair. There is a potent antidote available for an overdose of Scandinavian kitsch that is just as old as the original concept of “hygge”. The word “uhygge” describes the exact opposite of cosy: it is the name for the unsettling feeling that you are being watched from the forest. Perhaps by a troll or an evil witch."  - Trolls, killers, watchers in the woods: Danes chill to the dark side of hygge

You can listen to more about hygge and it's darker side below; although this perspective does not involve trolls...not in the folkloric sense anyway.

15 December 2016

Snow Day

So, we had a snow day the other day. And a half-day today! And two more storm systems expected this weekend. Yep, winter has hit hard! We had about 20-25 cms of snow during most of Monday. Luckily things had fallen into place nicely re: having Christmasy things to do on a snow day.

Incredibly thankful that the day before we'd got the new snow tires installed (thanks Firestone). I didn't know a storm was coming so was also grateful to the cabbie, who took me up to get the car, for mentioning it. I'd not been listening to the news that morning as I was busy Christmas cleaning!

After taking our summer tires to the storage unit and picking up some last items (like a tree skirt) I was on my way to drop off the last of my Christmas cards. The nearest postal outlet to us is in a drugstore at Churchill Square. And there, in a corner spot of the parking lot, you can buy Xmas trees.

Having picked up the tarp, hatchet, and tree stand while at the
Hey, lady!
I put a hook thing on the floor for you!
storage unit I was all prepared. So after a quick consultation with one of the tree sellers as to available sizes, a run to the bank machine, and the setting out of the tarp in the hatchback, I got us a tree!

After an evening of thawing in the porch (recommended by the Xmas tree guy) we used the hatchet to whittle the end down to fit into my hubby's tree stand (cast iron and made by his Grandfather). And that's how it was all ready on Monday's snow day for our attention. A suitable libation in hand, cat assistant at the ready, and holiday tunes playing in the background we set to work!

Ta da!

09 December 2016

Rug Hooking Ornaments

This weekend is the tea and sale at Anna Templeton, a local arts and crafts centre.

Remember when I wrote about taking a Christmas ornament class at Anna Templeton Centre? Well, it was great! Catherine, the instructor, was really good and even though I have done some rug hooking before, I learnt some valuable tips.

First off she reassured me that I should not to be afraid to give the work room to breathe. I often try to pack in as many stitches as I can in the burlap but doing that can make it bunchy and it's not necessary. She also taught us how to finish a piece. A very valuable tip is to use diluted white glue around the edges so that after you've cut it out and are ready to fold it over the burlap trim doesn't start to unravel!

So, here are some shots in process and completed, of the bird (suppposed to be a cardinal) I did.

Front (in process)

Back (in process) 

Front (completed)

Back (completed) 

Unfinished moonlit landscape - still have to fold over
and sew down edges and do a felt backing


08 December 2016

Christmas Parade, yay!

So last Sunday the previously postponed Downtown Christmas Parade went ahead. I wasn't sure I was going to go but a friend texted me and set up a spot to meet. So, suitably clothed, off I went. And man, am I glad I did cause what great fun! Her kids came and a few other friends joined us and we all watched from the sidelines hollering and shouting. We were in front of Fred's Records where they were serving free hot chocolate...score! It was chilly but we had sunshine and some flurries. Of course, it really started snowing once Santa showed up 😉

Here are some highlights...



Lots of dancers, marching bands, dogs, a few floats, quite a few costumed characters of various sorts, but I gotta say, other than the mummering hobby horse, the Maple Leaf bologna seemed particularly local...hee hee!



06 December 2016

Christmas Specials

So, this is the time of year for some great tv watching...especially on BBC. For me it's got some of the best holiday viewing around. AND one of the upcoming specials happens to be one I've been impatiently waiting for...Last Tango in Halifax.



If you're not familiar with this show now's the time to catch up on Netflix (oh, I envy you!). Or try this link on Dailymotion for episode 1 of Series 1.