The Christmas Feast

The Christmas Feast

I wonder if my spelling has always been this atrocious! I am spelling at least one word in every paragraph incorrectly. I can not tell if this is due to old age, if this has always been the case, or if there is a decline due to the use of a keyboard rather than a pen. Whatever the reason, I do not like making spelling errors. Typing errors and faulty autocorrects I can live with, but my spelling errors are getting on my nerves!

Apple has a dictation service, but they keep records of everything dictated, on their servers, which is not acceptable in my view. So I do not use that service. Why would I willingly agree to have all my correspondence recorded by a mega corporation?

The new cell phone is holding its charge. I charged it when I first set it up, last week, and it is registering a half charge, which I interpret to mean a 50% charge. That would make it necessary to charge the cell phone twice a month, not bad. Of course, I don’t use the cell phone much. It has received morning calls from Attila, which I do not answer but take note of, to alert me that he is ready for our FaceTime chat, and one call from Terra. So far, so good. It was the cheapest cell phone available near the little house in the city, so I did not know what to expect. The ratings on this phone were poor, but that was based on it not performing the complex functions used by persons who use their cell phones as more than just an emergency call device. The ratings did not pertain to the features I needed.

This past week, here at the little house without Attila, has passed slowly and peacefully. I do miss Attila when he isn’t here, but I have to keep reminding myself that if I were at the country house with him, I would not see very much of him there either. He is busy, busy, busy with his wood chopping, snow removal, and attending to home maintenance projects. This past week, since the masonry heater had cooled for a week while we were away, Attila began to empty the ash dump for the masonry heater. The ash dump is huge, and has not been cleaned out for over five years. By the end of last winter is was full, and interfering with a good burn in the heater. So Attila removed thirty or so buckets of fine ash, and feels he is only half finished the project. The rest will need to wait until spring, when the heating season is over, and the ashes have cooled.

Attila got up at 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning, to begin firing in the masonry heater, then he went back to bed for two hours. When he arose the firing was almost complete, so that he could close the dampers, turn on the electric heaters, and begin his journey to the little house in the city. He arrived here at the little house shortly before noon.

We had a quick bite to eat, we loaded the car with the gifts, and my baking, and I drove us out to Terra’s house for our Christmas get together. Shortly after we arrived Luna and Janus, the Grandbabies, and Bim the dog arrived. They were late because as they were driving along the highway, the back window suddenly exploded and shattered. No one was hurt, thankfully. They had to return home, secure the back window with plastic, then remove and load all of their gear into the family car, a much smaller vehicle. This occurrence was not preceded by any warning that the window was not sound, nor did it receive a blow, so the cause will remain unknown.

The Grandbabies, as ever, are delightful. Terra cooked a turkey dinner, which was fantastic. After dinner we retired to the living room and opened the gifts. It was a lot of fun, and the children seemed genuinely excited with their gifts. After an evening visiting, Attila and I headed back to the little house in the city, and retired for the night shortly after arriving home. Attila was exhausted all afternoon and evening, if he sat down for any length of time, he fell asleep. He was grateful to lie down at last!

This morning I arose very early and puttered about for a few hours, letting Attila sleep until he woke up on his own. He slept in until almost 8:00 a.m., which was a real treat for him. Then it was time to pack the car, in readiness for Attila’s drive home. He left shortly before noon, and called me four and half hours later to let me know that he had arrived safely. The roads had been clear and dry, no visibility problems, a sunny day. We only spoke a few minutes, as he was headed out to the wood shed with his ax, to prepare wood to fire the masonry heater.

Attila will return to the little house in the city for Christmas.

After Attila left this morning, Tank and I headed back to Terra’s house. I spent a pleasant afternoon there, chatting with my girls, and their husbands and friends, and the Grandbabies.

The gifts we gave the Grandbabies provided entertainment for all this morning. Imp received a baking set, and she baked cupcakes for the family. Elf received an Aquapod launcher, which they all had a great time with, launching pop bottles across the farm fields. Tink received a puppet tent, which was too complicated to assemble at Terra’s house, they needed to take it home to assemble it. We are hoping for a video of her first production.

I am back at the little house now, taking a quiet moment with the computer, and Mist sleeping in the chair beside me.

I has been a lovely weekend.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EST Thursday 18 December 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -0.6°C
Dewpoint: -3.0°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: NW 19 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Date: 5:00 PM EST Sunday 21 December 2014
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 19 km
Temperature: -2.8°C
Dewpoint: -6.6°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NE 7 km/h
Wind Chill: -6


“The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

[For most men in North America, although language at the time alluded to including all of the human species under the umbrella of “man”, the universal brotherhood really only included affluent white men, or in other cultures, affluent men of the ruling class. Mark Twain may have included “others” under the umbrella of “man”, and his personal use of “universal” may have been a valid adjective, but most men did not, and were not even aware that they did not.]


  1. They took a few pictures of it Kate, it was really weird! No traffic around them, it just blew up. Some of the glass came inward, but the kids and dog were sitting far enough forward in the vehicle that it didn’t reach them. I did help Imp remove chunks of broken glass from her toy box, so glass did come into the passenger compartment, but only into their luggage. An expensive fix though. Thankfully they have a second vehicle so the visit was still a go!

  2. Bex

    I have to politely take issue with Mr. Twain’s quote above…

    β€œThe universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.”

    Although I dearly love the genius of Mr. Twain, as well as his writing and so many other things about him, he lived in another era where “man” was the more inclusive pronoun to mean “all” people no doubt, but these days, I find woman to be the dominant sex in the world for some reason… not that I am dismissing “men” but it just always seems to me that it’s the women who get most of Life’s things done properly! So, IMO, it’s “The universal sisterhood of woman is our most precious possession.” would do it for me. Of course, without men, how would we produce more women?

    Please forgive me for rambling, I am still in gadget-mode and my brain is fried! Happy Christmas to you and Atilla and Myst. xoxoxox

  3. NORA

    I don’t think it is you making spelling errors. I think it is spellcheck. This happens to me all the time. I reread my posts twice and sometimes three times. I catch errors all the time I know I did not make. Spellcheck particularly likes to change one letter in a word. I am grateful for spellcheck but it does have a mind of its own!

    Good news about the cell phone holding the charge.

    Very strange about the car window. Really odd. I wonder if a sudden change in temperature had anything to do with it or some high pitched frequency (government testing)? I guess we will never know. The whole thing seems frightening. It could have been really damaging.

    Happy you had a pleasant week end and made good memories with family. Cupcakes too!

    I laughed with the pop bottles being flung across farm fields. I wondered what the critters might think but I guess they are used to farm noises etc.


  4. Bex, how apt, “the universal sisterhood of woman is our most precious possession”! πŸ™‚

    Although the “universal brotherhood of man” supposedly referred to “all”, I am doubting the truth of that. Since most of what went on back then was dominated by white men in North America, I don’t think the “brotherhood of man” ever included women, black people, indentured slaves, aboriginal people, and many others. The powerful men of the day, the writers and movers and shakers, could have used the phrase “humankind”, but that would mean including women, and all the other “others” as part of the brotherhood, and all those “others” were definitely were outside the old boys circle.

    Sorry to hear you still “gadgetted”! Happy to hear from you, so you must have it working to some degree, thank goodness.

    Happy Christmas to you and Paul and your fur kids!

  5. Nora, you may be right about the spellcheck changing my words. I have caught it a few times, in the act. It is tricky, because it changes it after my eyes move on to the next word. I have turned it off at the operating system level, but it continues to plague me. I would prefer it to just alert me to what it thinks as an error, instead of changing the spelling. It has a limited grasp of proper grammar, and so misinterprets a lot of writing that doesn’t fall within an extremely simplistic sentence structure. I hate auto-correct! Your feedback is comforting!

    I have never even heard of a car window spontaneously shattering. I did a web search and found that this has happened to others, but it is rare. There was no definitive reason given, lots of theories. One person described the oven door shattering in her kitchen, and the oven hadn’t been used for many days. The safety glass shatters into small beads of glass, they weren’t sharp edged.

    The kids and dogs had a great time, running around after the “rocket”, bringing it back to refill and launch again! The toy is called Aquapod,

  6. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I looked up shattering car windows and found that apparently Ford Chargers and some Mercury vehicles are known to have this problem, and then there’s the odd chance of it happening with other cars. Someone who works with cars stated it’s often because there is a twist in the chasis/body of the car and it puts pressure on the glass.

  7. Thanks Teri, I am not sure what type of van they have, could be a Ford, but maybe not. I know it is big, they all fit into it, and it works, lol. Could be a twist in the body or frame, I think they bought it used, so who knows for sure.

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