01 January 2015

Of Roses In Winter, Christmas + Another New Year

When Advent started,
 I made a hundred and one plans--
most of which were changed when Farmer Boy decided
that Christmas would be a great time to finish some of the items on our seemingly endless 'to do' list. This would mean very little decorating and no baking, but it was logical in that he had time off from work and we would not be entertaining this year.
At first, I was VERY disappointed and stressed out, as I was looking forward to turning our home into a lovely winter wonderland...but because I wished to maintain my sanity,
I finally followed Elsa's good advice and "Let it go"--
well at least the winter wonderland part.
Now, looking back, I am glad I did because I'm SO happy to be done with more projects!
 the G (guest) room, 
new handmade cabinet doors on a once very ugly storage area
and a few smaller projects.
Additionally, we were able to start cleaning and organizing the third bedroom that's been
used as a storage room for years now AND I found all my craft stuff --
some of which I had forgotten about--
candle and soap making supplies, ribbons, craft books, stamps (unfortunately way too many of these),
other card making stuff, scrapbooks, etc. Now to finish the job so I can use the treadmill and
work on the crafts I enjoy again. It would be a great way to start the new year off don't you think?
And that winter wonderland I dreamed about creating for this Christmas season?
Well there's a little surprise decorating project I am planning for that remodeled guest room--
in honor of Elsa and the Small One who loves her of course
As I said baking was out this Christmas season,
but one of my sweet SIL's saw to it that we had a lot of homemade goodies to snack on during this time. Although this is a terrible picture, the goodies were indescribably yummy! And, unless my hubby Elf comes up with another project to work on, I still have a few days till Epiphany (January 6th) and a long list of Nordic goodies I want to make.
Speaking of indescribably yummy Christmassy food...
on Christmas Day our oldest son had us up to his place for a luscious dinner of glazed ham, green beans, mushroom gravy, a special potato-root veggie mash (sweet and russet potato, celery root, parsnips) and a lovely crostini topped with cream cheese, roasted beet and hazelnuts. It was SO GOOD that both hubby and I had multiple helpings and wanted even more!
 While there, in the lap of "civilization" (LOL) we enjoyed things we normally aren't able to do--things like watching a movie on Netflix (Skyfall--007) and doing Facetime with our granddaughter and son using an iPad. I can see why so many people love Apple products. My son used to do support for them and he has sung their 'praises' for years--LOL
As I have already mentioned, one of my Advent/Christmas dreams
had been to bake, and one of the items I had really wanted to try was lussekatter--
that lovely golden saffron roll Scandinavians make on St. Lucia's Day
(December 13th).
Here's one I shared with a good friend several years ago...
YUM. I can almost taste it now.
Doing it the traditional way was NOT going to happen due to all the remodeling and health issues;
a trip to the bakery I originally found these at was out of the question too.
But today, with no remodeling or cleanup happening and feeling OK (yea),
I was finally able to make an easy substitute...
and it did help satisfy my need for creating a pretty roll that reminded me a little of the swirls
and flourishes of rosemaling (Norwegian folk art) I love.
Since these were definitely not baked per tradition (no raisin or currant in the middle of the coils, no saffron, wrong type of dough, etc.), I also indulged my constant wintertime need for citrus with a very unorthodox orange icing that reminded me of orange sherbet.  These pseudo lussekatter turned out pretty well although next time I will have to alter the baking time +/or temperature as the bottoms were a tiny bit burnt.
As for the real thing...my son told me he will give me a private
 cooking lesson sometime soon and even provide the needed saffron :)
Around Christmas Day, I asked Farmer Boy to come with me up to Mom's gravesite and immediately started to gather a wintertime bouquet of camellia sasanqua (above photo) for her grave. Suddenly I heard him yelling that we had blooming roses. Roses? Blooming roses? Turns out we did.
All I can think is it must be some kind of miracle to have blooming roses here in winter and
that my mom must be smiling at God's little Christmas gift to me. She probably smiled at the fact that the deer that live near the cemetery would be happy to see the roses too:)
(my mom had a great sense of humor and deer love to eat roses)
Another Christmas surprise--
but not nearly as nice as the roses--
was the yellow jacket I found in the G Room this week.
Fortunately he was moving a little slower due to all the chilly night temps
 we've had recently
and I was able to convince him to leave the house without getting stung.
Roses AND yellow jackets in late December?
Strange but wonderful.
Finally, it being New Year's Day, I wanted to share my New Year's resolution here.
As I have been doing for the last several years, I chose some scripture for my goal.
For 2015 the following verses will be my resolution.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3: 5, 6 KJV
Wishing you all a blessed, peaceful and joy-filled 2015!
Sorry about the less than stellar photos.
Many of them were taken with my cell phone or when I was in less than optimum conditions. Also, as usual, I am watching one of those wonderful cooking shows and--well you know what that means:)
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