December 25, 2013

Peace and Joy

December always seems to go by at high speed. There is so much effort expended preparing for one day. I meant to post more often but 'whoosh', the month flew by.

We have tried to keep things simpler this year. We put out less decorations. (The photo shows a simple but beautiful candle arrangement Chloé made for our table, with our tree in the background.) We bought less things although the pile of gifts under the tree still seemed monumental. We have shifted our traditions over the years as our family changes. We still eat tourtière on Christmas Eve to honour my husband's Quebec traditions although I now make both traditional meat and vegetarian tourtière as Emma is a vegetarian.

In honour of my anglophone traditions, we open our gifts on Christmas morning. In Quebec, it is more common to open gifts just after midnight on Christmas Eve.

We used to have a turkey dinner on Christmas Day which is what I always ate growing up. But cooking a turkey for a family of four, actually three since Emma doesn't eat it, made less and less sense.

The past couple of years, we have eaten 'raclette', a traditional Swiss meal. No Swiss heritage here but it works for us. We put out plates of potatoes, cheese, vegetables (this year--green beans, asparagus and cauliflower), pickles, cured meats and marinated tofu.  We sit around our round kitchen table right beside our Christmas tree. We light a fire in our fireplace. Each person chooses and cooks exactly what they want on a small communal raclette grill. We cook, we eat, we chat. It is perfect.

I hope you are enjoying your holidays whatever your traditions.  May you find pockets of peace and joy in all of the bustle. I won't be posting again until the New Year so I will take this moment to thank you for your friendship and to wish you all a beautiful new year!

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I am having a Boxing Day Sale in my Etsy Shop. I am offering 20% off all purchases (prints, cards and original paintings) when you use the coupon code BOXINGDAY. It is effective now until midnight on December 29th. All orders will be mailed during the first week of January.

December 9, 2013

A Love Note to December

December has arrived. Our snow came and went and is, as of today, back again. Yes!

Last week looked oddly like springtime. It felt so strange to lose the snow so quickly. I didn't take photos then.

Here are some of the wintry photos I've taken in the past week or so when we did have snow. The forest walk that Meeko and I take once a day and occasionally twice is restorative for me. About 35 to 40 minutes surrounded by nature is a joy. Meeko bounds and leaps and then waits for his less rapid companion who is usually off taking a photo somewhere. We both revel in the sights and sounds of the forest, each other's company as well as occasional encounters with fellow nature lovers, both two-footed and four-footed.

Airborne! 'Superdog' in his head and in my heart. :)
If you look at all of the frozen water, you get a sense of why we can't walk here for three seasons.
Wrap yourself up. It's getting cold.
Autumn and winter. Soul mates.
Love in the forest.
Gorgeous spiky frost on the marsh. It reminded me of a feather boa.
Touchdown after leaping over the log!
Frost-tipped echinacea in my garden. (The only photo not from the forest.)
My beautiful heart tree. When I was trying to find it again, I actually said
'Where is my heart' out loud and then 'There it is'.  My heart.
More leaf love.
Is there such a thing as too much leaf love. I don't think so.
We have lived in our house here for over fourteen years. I didn't know about this beautiful path, even though it is just at the foot of our street, until we had Meeko.  I owe thanks to my furry friend for so many things.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 



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