December!

December!

Our 2020 Christmas Tree.

We are still here, something to be thankful for.

My gastrointestinal issues are improving, slowly. It hasn’t affected my appetite, I still love to eat!

It is worrying that there are 15 new Covid-19 cases in workplaces in the area where Attila works, 9 of which are in the facility next door to the building he works in. Hurry up Christmas break! Hurry up vaccines!

So here we are, December at last!

On the weekend Attila put Christmas lights up around our front door. This is the first year that we have put up outdoor Christmas lights, a modest offering, but very cheerful. We weren’t the only ones who made the effort over last weekend. Up and down the street people decorated their yards with lights and wreaths on their doors. It is very cheerful of an evening to look out the window!

There have been quite a few homes for sale near here, and they aren’t for sale very long before being sold. Four homes on one street sold within a few weeks, and people are already moving out and in. Home prices have doubled since we purchased Mist Cottage, a shocking situation when you consider wages have not significantly increased for most people.

Our Christmas tree is up!

When we lived at the Country House, we harvested our Christmas Trees from our own property, usually from the hydro right-of-way where the trees would be felled anyway. We loved those spindly, highly scented trees. When we moved to Mist Cottage just over five years ago, we chose to purchase real trees. This year though, after losing significant income during the pandemic lock-down, and then again when Attila was ill, we have had to make some choices. Frozen turkeys and Christmas Trees are around the same price here, we could not manage both. We chose to purchase a turkey for our Christmas Dinner, and forego the real Christmas Tree.

We will miss our real tree very much, but we do have an alternative. Years ago we found a $5, three foot tall, artificial Christmas Tree that was on sale at Walmart. On Sunday it did not take very long to decorate it with lights, a garland, and a few ornaments. Our regular Christmas Tree Star was far too heavy for it, so I rummaged around through the old Christmas Cards that I had saved, and found a lovely red one to perch at the top of the tree. Cheap and cheerful!

Attila has been busy for the last week organizing his seed collection. He managed to harvest quite a variety of seeds from the garden, to plant next season. They had been drying in their containers, all over the living room.

During preserving season we were down to our last canning jars. Now we are beginning to accumulate empty jars, as we enjoy the jams, relishes, pickles, and pie fillings that filled the pantry. Jar management is a big part of preserving our own food. Luckily I have managed to setup shelves in the basement, that will store the empty jars.

There will be quite an improvement over last years strategy for jars. Last year, as jars emptied, they would be placed on the counter, and would remain there for quite some time. The kitchen felt continuously cluttered with clean empty jars that were waiting to be carried to the basement, two at a time. This year I have two jarboxes, one for 1 liter jars, one for 500 ml jars. As the jars are emptied, they are cleaned, graced with a ring, then stored in the jarbox in the kitchen. When I have a dozen jars, Attila carries the jarbox to the basement for me, where I empty it into the cardboard boxes in which the jars will be stored until needed. This way there are no clean empty jars on the counters, and it only takes one trip to the basement per dozen jars. Note: The price for the jarbox on amazon has gone up substantially, when I bought the jarbox it less than $15, now it is $59.

Here I am writing myself into good humour. Every day I read the latest reports on the virus, and scan the media for any hint of something that might improve our chances of survival. Then I try to detach from all the woeful information, and focus on what I can do something about, here at home.

Worldly

Weather

6°C
Date: 11:40 AM EST Tuesday 1 December 2020
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.9°C
Dew point: 5.7°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: S 18 km/h
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain.”
Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931

8 Comments

  1. Eileen Barton

    I love your little tree! I have down-sized to a much smaller artificial tree the past few years and I do not miss having a big tree. Outside Christmas decorations are going up in my neighborhood and I have one cat that loves to sit in the window and look at them. Will add Atilla to my prayers that he doesn’t get Covid19! Stay well.

  2. Thanks Eileen, your prayers and good wishes are appreciated!

    I love real trees, so does Attila, and if we are fortunate another year we will have a real tree. I am enjoying this little artificial tree! Your cat sounds do cute! Stay safe dear friend!

  3. Sometimes I bring in a small piece of a bough from one of the spruce trees in our yard, to provide the scent of a fresh tree.

    We won’t be spending Christmas with anyone, unless Scott attends a meal with his family in the area, but I have been avoiding all such gatherings for many months already as not being advisable. I may bring our son Emil out from the group home where he lives; we’ll see. We haven’t allowed him to visit for the past few weeks, I haven’t dropped in on our other son Everett either, and we have discouraged our kids in Calgary from coming to see us and the plan to go there to spend Xmas with them has been dropped; right now really is well past time to smarten up out here in Saskatchewan, where so many have gone around saying the virus is nothing to worry about as “we don’t have it out here.” Well now we do, bigtime, because we’ve been so stupid. D’uh.

    There are chickens out in our deep freeze and I’m going to roast one on Christmas day. Meanwhile I’ve ordered ONE Christmas gift from a bookstore in Regina and have done no other shopping or even thought much about it, since I’m not going into stores except for groceries, and even then I usually phone in an order and pick it up at the back door. Christmas Shmismas; who cares.

    Maybe bringing in that bit of tree bough and getting my Xmas decorations out of the big trunk in the porch will help move me into a celebratory spirit. There is plenty to celebrate, still. Here, we’re alive and healthy; we have our jobs and income, which many don’t; our loved ones are all well except for my dad in hospital, but at least he’s getting care and there is hope for improvement; and now there are vaccines on the horizon, so at least there is a step forward coming soon.

    All the best to you and that handsome man,
    Kate

  4. Hello Kate! So glad to know you and Scott are doing well! This virus waits for opportunities, I hope it it under control soon where you are!

    Bringing in the spruce bough sounds like such a great idea! We are urban here, so cutting a branch off a tree would be considered vandalism. But I’ll keep my eyes open, you never know, something might turn up!

    Your plans to spend a quiet Christmas are commendable, and make a lot of sense. It is just one Christmas, the vaccine is on the horizon, and next Christmas things will be very different. If things are worse, I’d like to be around to know about it, lol. Sorry to hear your Dad is in hospital, wishing him a speedy resolution to his health issue/s.

    You are so right, there is so much to celebrate, despite the times we are living through. Your chicken sounds perfect, your decorations just right! Raising my tea cup to you and wishing you a peaceful and health filled holiday season! Stay safe dear friend!

  5. Sandy

    I love your Christmas tree, Maggie! I have a smaller tabletop artificial tree that I’ve used the last few years. I’ll put that and some window lights up this weekend. Oh I do have a nice artificial Christmas wreath that’s hung on the front door. Some of my neighbors have put lights in their windows already. I’m sure eventually I’ll feel some Christmas spirit. I’ll probably see family on Christmas using Zoom. That’s what we did for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait for the day when I can visit them in person and hug the stuffing out of them! 🙂 Love to you and Attila.

  6. Thanks Sandy, I am enjoying the little tree more than I had anticipated, 🙂
    This year the Christmas lights seem extra special! People who have not decorated the of their houses before are putting up lights this year, and this includes us. It seems like a sort of solidarity, at least that is how it feels to me. It is such a non-verbal show of let there be light, when the media, our main source of communication, so dark and portentious.
    Enjoy your lights! Stay safe dear friend!

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