Still celebrating!

Of course, we’re into the 12 days of Christmas, now, so we’ll be celebrating until the Feast of the Epiphany, aka: Three King’s Day, on Jan. 6. 🙂

Even the kitties get to celebrate with special treats from the kitchen. I’ve got more in the fridge waiting for them, too. 🙂

We did our big dinner on Christmas Eve and I was planning to bring a turkey dinner to my mother’s on Christmas Day. My sister (who belongs to a denomination that doesn’t celebrate Christmas) brought my mother over to her place for a Christmas dinner. I’m glad she was able to do that, and that my mother was up to the trip. So I visited Mom today, instead. I still brought her a turkey dinner for later. When getting groceries for her for the last while, I noticed she hasn’t been getting any protein, so I brought her one of the 2 pound packaged of ground beef from our freezer pack, too. Since she’s just feeding herself, that should last her a while.

I am happy to say she really liked the crochet mushrooms I made for her!

She even commented on how much it looked like her drawings. 🙂 I’m glad she liked them. She had wanted them carved of wood, but it turns out she meant for the younger of my brothers to carve them for her. He does chainsaw carving out of repurposed cedar power poles. He makes really great morels, but I’m not sure how he’d have chainsaw carved porcini mushrooms using his tools and techniques! 😀

I’m glad I was able to visit her today. We’re getting heavy snowfall warnings for tonight, into tomorrow. It doesn’t look like the worst of it will reach as far north as we are. After that, the temperatures are supposed to drop quite a bit again, ranging between -20C/4F and -27C/-17F for the highs. Mostly closer to -20C. Still pretty average for this time of year. I will make sure to get another grocery trip for my mother in there, at least. I don’t want her to be going out in these temperatures, if I can help it!

It’s going to be a nice, quiet Christmas season for us, which is just how we like it. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Waiting for the first star

It’s Christmas Eve today, which is when we have our non-traditional Wigilia dinner. The meal may not be very traditional (we don’t go meatless, for example, and we certainly don’t have 12 dishes!), but we do traditionally wait until the first star is seen before we begin.

Or best guess, considering it’s overcast today. It’s also only -2C/28F! Several degrees warmer than forecast. It’s supposed to drop right down again by tomorrow, but we’ll see. We were also supposed to get a storm last night, and that never happened, so who knows? 😀

Nosencrantz, enjoying yesterday’s sunshine.

Yesterday, we got together to take our annual family photo to make a digital Christmas card. After much fussing with the DSLR under horrible lighting conditions, we did get something useable. 😉 Only one cat in the photo this time, though. 😀

One of the things I pushed to get done was a Christmas gift for my mother. She has been asking for a carved mushroom, sketching out mushrooms that she remembered from her childhood in Poland. I haven’t been able to do any carving lately, though.

So I crocheted some for her!

It’s actually pretty close to her doodles, too! It took a while for me to figure out that she was talking about porcini mushrooms (she knew them by another name, of course), so I spent some time looking them up to get an idea of what they looked like at different stages and angle, and even found some crochet patters on etsy for them. I didn’t use a pattern, though, and just winged it. The challenge was finding a way to have the stem going into the cap. When stuffing it, the whole thing wants to be a big ball, but I found a way. Then, when stitching the cap to the stem/underside pieces, I used the extra sewing yard to try and secure it into shape on this inside.

Which is not easy to do, from the outside!

I had to make do with the colours, though. I would have preferred a darker brown for the cap, and more of a cream colour for the stems, but brown is not a common or popular colour in the yarn department at the best of times. Still, it’s fairly close.

I made two circles for the base, with the top one ever so slightly larger than the bottom one. After sewing the mushrooms together, then sewing to the larger disc, I stitched the base pieces together, lining up the edges, which created a sort of dome shape. Using two strands of yarn and the double layer base, it’s now quite stable.

I hope my mother likes it. I expect I’ll get comments about how she wanted it carved from wood, but who knows. She might be on one of her good days. I hope to be able to swing by and drop it off on Christmas Day.

Since I got the ink we needed and our printer works again, I wanted to print out our digital card for my mother, too. I picked up 4×6 photo paper, and will be able to print out a photo for my PAL application once I get that done (I’ve given up on trying to go somewhere that does passport photos). To print on the smaller size paper, we have to use a rear, manual feed tray in the back. We’ve never used it before.

I should have gotten standard sized paper and just cut it.

I ended up spending hours fighting with the printer! First, the paper loaded from the rear got jammed. The display screen said it was jammed in the front. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I had to stop to do something else, so my husband fiddled with it. He ended up tipping the printer on its side, just so he could see, finally found it tucked above a plastic flap and was able to pull it out.

Once back at it, I tried again, but the printer kept taking the regular paper instead of the paper loaded in the manual try. Or getting jammed again. I finally managed to get a test print right, and was able to print out the photo card for my mother – well past 2am! But that’s done, and I now know how the stars, planets and the moon need to be aligned to get the idiot thing to print on 4×6 paper loaded from the back.

Ugh.

In the middle of all this, the girls and I worked out a plan of action for today, which I started as soon as I was done with my morning rounds.

Laser beams!!!

The longest thing is the turkey, which is in the oven now. I’ve also got mulled wine happening in the slow cooker. Once the turkey is done, the girls will pretty much take over the kitchen. The layout makes it difficult for there to be more than one person working in there at the same time, but they’ve worked out how one of them can stay trapped on one side of the stove, doing the perogies, while the other does the stuff that needs more moving around as she works on garlic braised brussel sprouts. I’ll take on bringing stuff from the old kitchen for them. Not only is that where the freezer is, but this time of year, we can use it as a spare fridge. My younger daughter made coffee panna cotta for today’s desert, and that’s where they are chilling right now, along with the rum eggnog they made last night. Which was really, really good!

So while we’ve got a bit of a lull before the chaos starts, and we have our Wigilia dinner. I wanted to pause and take a moment to say thank you to all of you who take the tame to come visit our little corner of the interwebs, and share your lives with us, too. It’s really appreciated!

I wish you all a wonderful and joyous Christmas, filled with food, family and friends. May you all be blessed as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift of all. ❤

From the Re-Farmer family to yours!