Saturday, December 17, 2016

Six (and a jumble) Things Saturday, Some Random Before Christmas. . .

Still bubbling over with Random here, and I was looking forward to coralling that Random into a Five Things Friday post. Instead, yesterday was conscripted for 1) Finally writing the final post in my Ferrante Readalong over on my Reading Blog; 2) Getting to a yoga class with Pater, our first class since we got back home, and a much-needed stretch; 3) A delightful afternoon at my granddaughter's school Christmas concert; 4) getting my iPhone screen replaced after dropping it on the sidewalk walking home after the concert (no, I don't, and I've managed almost two years without a protective case, but it's so cold, and my fingers were so stiff.  . .)

You can see my current predilection for list-making erupting already. With so much going on in so many directions, lists, litanies, even catalogues become surprisingly calming -- or if the calm fails to arrive, at least I begin to see why it's so elusive....

So instead of fighting it, instead of regretting that I missed Five Things Friday, please indulge me with a very rare Six Things Saturday this penultimate weekend before Christmas.

1. Today, the delivery truck arrives with a new-to-us dining table and chairs -- mid-century modern, teak, a different table than we'd planned on when I wrote this post, but we're fairly confident this one, 'tho bigger, will play nicely with the grand piano as well... The delivery truck is also bringing a small leather armchair (it swivels) bought rather impulsively when we spotted its small silhouette in a display window, so now we're crossing our fingers it will sit as nicely in its new home as we imagined. . .

2. The truck will also take away an item -- a favourite antique oak buffet which we've had for over 25 years. Happily, one of my daughters feels as sentimental about it as I do, so she's going to make room for it. It's been very useful at housing table linens, candles, the Scrabble game, precious miscellany, over the years. And over the weeks it's been here, it's served well to house tea towels, napkins, and cookbooks, but it's also spared a large drawer for my art supplies and another smaller drawer for "small stuff that needs to be readily retrieved." So rehousing all those items needs to be arranged -- amidst the maelstrom that is Christmas prep. Good luck to me, right?

3. I made the tourtières for Christmas Eve, and they're in the freezer, already for their turn in the oven followed by a fragrant and savoury entrance at my daughter's a week from today. So pleased the kids wanted me to make these again (they hesitated to ask since we'd already offered to host Christmas dinner, but I love the tradition we established about ten years ago, love that some traditions fade but new ones overlap and replace them).

4. I've made several meals this week -- not such a big deal, except that I've relinquished most of the cooking to Pater over the years of his retirement, and I'd like to hope this might be a trend to finding my own way back to the satisfactions of the kitchen. Up until now, my retirement has been taken up with preparing for and achieving this move as well as with some significant travel. But I begin to see the possibility of a schedule that might include some culinary indulgence -- (did you notice that I've used this word several times in this post -- I almost deleted it because of that, began looking for a synonym. . . but it occurs to me that I might want to think about why I'm craving -- and granting myself, occasionally -- some indulgence. Hmmmmm)

5. Yes, we've begun watching The Crown, and we got caught up immediately, will definitely be back soon to watch the full series. But we had to stop for the new episodes of Rectify. Or, at least, I had to stop, and once Pater viewed an episode, he was hooked as well. I'm still not sure how this could have happened, but he swears he didn't see the first three seasons, and I'm pretty sure it's American Football's fault (or basketball, could definitely have been basketball). This series is so brilliant and thought-provoking and sad and beautiful and difficult that I'm thinking now I might just have to go back to Season 1, Episode 1 and watch it all over again with the Mr.   Have you seen it? Do you agree?

6. Were I to cram a whole cutlery-drawerful-of-jangling-stuff at you in one bullet point, I might tell you that I love my new leather pencil-skirt, bought on sale last week, but that I've worn my very utilitarian, new snow boots much more. And that I had a lovely lunch with my daughter after our joint shopping expedition. Said daughter knows very well that a restaurant meal isn't probably complete until a dessert (or two) has been shared. We got two forks with this little beauty . . .
As well, I should advise those of you who were betting on 4-year-old granddaughter needing to be carried out of last weekend's performance of Hansel and Gretel when the witch arrived. . . the girl did end up in tears, sometime after these happy photos which were taken in the lobby during intermission
 but she allowed herself to be comforted and reassured. The witch was very clearly a large puppet operated by two actors, the one in front clearly visible, and I think that recognising that helped underline the make-believe aspect of the performance (although it might also have left her magical-thinking 4-year-old brain with a conviction that there are two-person witches roaming the world with huge googly-eyed faces looming above their red silk capes).
As we took our photo ops in the lobby, some of the VOA workers or volunteers offered the girls giant lollipops as cute props -- Nana had to quickly step in to explain that the lollipops weren't for them to eat (in fact, I'm not sure they weren't just cardboard or another facsimile material). Seriously, can you imagine offering kids a treat like this and expecting them to understand they couldn't immediately rip the wrapping off? I was relieved we didn't have a meltdown right there!
Also could be squished into a very crowded #6: yarn-shopping I plan to do today for Matching Cardigans for 8-year-old and her doll; the bread Pater has rising on the kitchen counter, first bread in our new home, first he's made in months and months; the surprising affection 8-year-old displays for the cloth doll I made her mother some 37 or 38 Christmasses ago and the promise I've made to replace said doll's hair, removed some 36 or 37 years ago....

But no, I should just stop, right? Take some deep, slowing-down breaths, sit and look out the window at the still-dark city streets, thinking that next week, those streets will lose a dark minute or two in the morning and in the evening as we begin our climb back toward the light. Meanwhile, some wonderful celebrations ahead. And I can close this Random post with that image of Smiles and Lollipops. Happy Saturday! I know you're all rushing as well, but if you find time to wave a hello in the comments section, I'll wave back. xo

53 comments:

  1. Mater, Do you have a favorite yarn shop in Vancouver? I really like 3 Bags Full up on Main St .......

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  2. I'm heading there today, Kristine! Hoping it might become my new favourite. . .

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    1. 3BF is a great little shop; it's my local, and favourite shop.

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    2. So perhaps I'll meet you there, Pearl, Kristine, at some point. . . I liked it very much yesterday (although, predictably, it was very crowded on the Saturday before Christmas weekend. . .

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  3. Your schedule is a whirlwind!
    Almost all of my comments got lost lately (the same with Hostess),so I'll just wave and tell you how lovely your granddaughters are
    Dottoressa

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    1. I am sorry to hear this Dottoressa as I always like hearing from you.

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  4. Dottoressa, I hate thinking of losing any of your comments -- if you'd prefer to email them to me, I could add them in for you, although it does seem as if they're getting through now. (for a while, some were landing in Spam, but I've been checking for them and retrieving when that happens)

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    1. Mater and Hostess,thank you very much!
      D.

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  5. Sounds like you are having a super busy schedule these days and are handling it very well! Your grand daughters are lovely.
    Thank you very much for taking some precious time to post. Happy furniture arranging and item shuffling today!
    Suz from Vancouver

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    1. You're so welcome, Suz, and thanks for taking the time to comment. Always appreciated.

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  6. Would you consider posting your recipe for the tourtieres?
    I have not been able to find my recipe...I have looked high and low and wonder if I threw it out by mistake...I think it was from Canadian Living back in the mid 1980's.
    If you get a chance I would love to see a picture of the cardigan that you are going to knit...I am having so much fun knitting things for the grand children!
    Have you been to Full House to peruse their teak and mid century items?

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    1. That's an easy one, L. I just google Canadian Living tourtière -- there are three different possibilities, if I remember correctly -- I always make the one with mushrooms, although, yes, that's not really traditional.
      And I'll make a note to share a photo of the cardigan pattern -- are you on Ravelry?
      No, we haven't been to Full House, but we've had fun checking out Metropolitan Home -- I see they're not too far apart.

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    2. Of course...why did i not think to check out Canadian Living online?
      I am on Ravelry...you'll be amazed by the selection of furnishings at Full House! Attic Treasures is a funky retro shop on Commercial that sells modernist furniture, we purchased a chair for our daughter there once.
      I like the scale of modernist pieces and if (or when) we move to a condo I plan to decorate in that style.

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    3. I'll check both those shops, thanks, although I might wait until the credit card has recovered from this last round ;-)

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  7. Congrats on your new furniture! And on the topic of winter-fashion, be SO grateful that you are retired. I will likely manage to look somewhat inappropriate from now till, um, March - on most occasions. Cuz I'm not wrecking gorgeous boots (that I'll slip in) or wearing skirts and dresses (when it's freezing). People actually notice, regrettably.

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    1. Ha! I hear you! I will not be cold; I don't want to wreck good boots; and I refuse to risk breaking a leg or spraining an ankle because there's not enough tread to my soles. . . . And strangely, fabulous leather pencil skirts are not as fabulous worn with Sperry snow boots, even boots given the Imprimatur of J. Crew curation and despite the colourful laces on the latter...

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  8. I had that very dessert yesterday at lunch!

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    1. Oh, we are nearly crossing paths, aren't we! Yew?

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    2. Yes! I was there with work colleagues for our annual Christmas lunch.

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  9. Hi there, what a whirlwind! We just finished watching The Crown; I have also in tandem been reading recaps from the blog The Court Jeweller which talks about, obvs., the jewellery. Haven't tried Rectify yet, but we have so many shows and movies on our Netflix list, and on our PFV. We are sort of snowed in this afternoon, so I fancy watching Murder on the Orient Express on PVR, just for the hit of nostalgia.

    Cute photos of the granddaughters - poor wee mite re. the witch! I hope you'll share photos of your new skirt and snow boots. I have big clunky snow boots, but I'm looking for something a bit sleeker for days when I'm not out walking, like something in waterproof shearling by La Canadienne - that should definitely be a sale purchase!

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    1. That sounds like a very cosy afternoon, Agatha Christie on the telly and snow outside. . .
      and for even more comfort, I'd say you could easily, in your climate, justify those gorgeous boots. Yummy!

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  10. I love the climb back to light. The girls look so festive. I'm going to the pantomime at Metro Theatre today. It's my first pantomime. New to you furniture is great. Good luck with the supplies rehousing. I forget where I put things if I am under seasonal stress. Yoga is important at this time of the year.

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    1. I'm trying to remember what pantomime we took the kids to at the Metro years (decades!) ago. And we went to one at the QE a year or two earlier that had Ross Petty and his wife, Karen Kain, both performing -- and can you believe, speaking of memory, that I can't remember which shows? Hope you enjoyed the panto and had loads of laughs.

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  11. I see you wore your beautiful embroidered dress to the theater!

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  12. I have become strangely addicted to knitting doll sweaters! They are so quick, for one thing, and perfect while listening to podcasts or audiobooks. There may be an Etsy shop in my future, when I retire! Do you know Phoebe & Egg? Lovely handmade dolls with wonderful clothing and sweaters. I've had fun sewing doll dresses for my granddaughter's doll, too.

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    1. I see the appeal -- and an Etsy shop would be a perfect way to share the joy. Just got out my old sewing machine because g'daughter craves a flannelette nightgown and sees from photos that I made them in the past for her mom -- and she thinks matching ones for the cousins would be perfect! I don't know Phoebe & Egg but I'm off to research now.

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  13. What a whirlwind. I'm caught up in my own right now, which will show up eventually. But happy to see you here and the happy photos.

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    1. Happy to see you here as well, Mardel. Take care in your whirlwind. xo

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  14. Thanks so much for sharing. We are getting ready for family coming to stayfor two weeks, including our little four year old and 18 month old granddaughters. ��. As well we have our other two adult children and their families, here in town. Getting ready has been complicated by the snow and ice in Portland, making it difficult to get out. But the bad weather does lend itself well to organizing at home. Wishing you and your family the best.

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    1. Sounds as if we have much in common, Beth -- we're having one last serious snow day here in Vanc'r where it's falling steadily right now but will probably turn to a slushy mess by tomorrow morning as the Arctic front moves away. You'd think if we had to work around the snow for the last week or so, it could at least stick around for a White Christmas, right? ;-)

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  15. Thank you for sharing the smiles and the lollipops, both.

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  16. Into the dark, then the light returns. It's a busy week all around. This post fairly vibrates with energy.

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    1. You'll be switching gears now, I'm guessing Lorrie, with the school holidays. Hope you're able to slow down a bit and recharge...

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  17. Such a wonderful busy week! I have never heard of Rectify but will now research from the comfort of the sofa and the enforced rest of a foot operation. This has at least relieved me from the usual frantic Christmas preparations which the children have assured me they will all do this year! I await developments with interest.
    We have loved The Crown - and you might be interested to know that an extremely well-connected friend of mine has confirmed that even the most sensational and apparently fictitious moments are based on truth!
    London is grey foggy damp and dull - not a snowflake in sight so I envy your cold white Christmas. I wish you a very happy one.

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    1. Let me know what you think of Rectify. It's difficult, dark, but also thoughtful and, ultimately, redemptive. So human.
      We're just getting going on The Crown, and haven't noticed too much of the sensational yet, but I will keep your comment in mind.
      Sadly, I suspect our Christmas will end up being grey and wet also, with the odd half-melted snowman dotting the landscape. . .

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    2. I just checked out Rectify on Netflix. I will probably watch it after The Crown, which I plan to watch after I finish House. A few years ago my son and I watched After Innocence, a documentary on the same topic as Rectify. It is the most shocking and moving movie I've ever seen.

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  18. The 3 opera ladies look lovely, and so color coordinated! I just finished a very long list of things to do today, with supplemental lists for the rest of the week.....next step is a whirlwind house tidying and plant watering so I can stand to even be here. As someone said above, yoga is very important this time of year!

    Merry merry,
    ceci

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    1. We were rather coordinated, weren't we?!
      Good luck with the whirlwind. Remember to breathe! ;-) And Merry Merry back to you. . .

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  19. Such a lovely post. You sound busy, but happy. I was pulled out of circulation for more than a week by a nasty cold, so now my lists are longer than ever. But for the first time in 15 years I was able to finish all my marking before the holidays. So there will be no school work in the next two weeks. Sometimes in these last days I have been wondering what Xmas is going to be like next year around. Will I feel more relaxed and able to really enjoy the preparations?
    I am looking forward to seeing a full-size portrait of your new dining table. And I share your feelings about your daughter taking over your buffet. It is so reassuring when children are willing to step into some family tradition. We know that the chain is not going to break; they will carry on - whatever it is.
    I was wondering how your granddaughter was going to react to the witch after all. My son, at her age, would certainly have fled the theater already. He used to be horrified by all puppets (and masks) until far into primary school age. No long term effects, though. Today, as a grownup, he is not timid at all.
    I had to postpone the knitting of the Advent Calendar/Mystery scarf because I have to finish the scarf I promised my nephew. But I am collecting the patterns and keeping them as a treat for the holidays. The same with the Ferrante. I dropped out for lack of time, but will finish the book in the holidays and then read your posts about it.

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    1. Busy but happy, yes, well put.
      So happy for you having the holidays marking-free. I do remember pulling that off at least once, but it's very rare. Nice to get a slight taste of what your retirement might be like.
      Good to know your son survived his horror of masks. This little one is a glutton for stories -- she asks for book after book after book to be read, so she will be exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly. . .
      What good plans you have already for the holidays. Enjoy the knitting and the Ferrante -- delicious combo!

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  20. Just getting out my supplies to make tourtière today. We're packing up and heading out east for Christmas with my mum in a day or so... weather permitting. Oh those long treks home for Christmas. We don't do them very often any more.

    Saw your new table on IG... looks great. Have a wonderful Christmas, Frances,...with your gang. Hope my tourtière tastes as good as yours:)

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    1. You're heading to tourtière country (or through it, really) -- I know you're family is Anglo, but do your francophone NB friends defend their version/recipe fiercely?
      I remember doing that drive once in the summer with my husband -- loved it, but it is a long trek. Take care.

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  21. I am so enjoying both of your blogs and finding serendipitous connections between my good friend's recent move to a much smaller Vancouver condo, and her intrepid research & search for smaller scale furniture. The there is the March book club meeting with My Brilliant Friend as the focus -- you could join us? Send me a personal email, if you wish!

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    1. I'd love to join you, if the dates work, BiscottiMaker, but I haven't your personal email -- perhaps you could email me: fsproutATgmailDOTcom

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  22. Stoooppp!!!! I am knackered for you. Have a good long sit and look out of the windows. And breathe...

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  23. Goodness, how do you manage to cram it all in?? As I've said on IG, I adore your table.
    The Crown seems to be quite a hit. I have to admit that I haven't watched it - basically I haven't watched anything lately. I don't like crime in either the printed word or on the screen, so that rules out a huge chunk of current series. And we don't have Netflix and don't seem to have any inclination to, so that cuts out a lot of viewing. Since decluttering is underway we're not going to be buying box sets either! I dutifully bought the Christmas and New Year Radio Times (a British institution, listing all the TV and radio programmes for the 2 weeks of the holiday), worked my way through it and realised there was nothing I wanted to watch. I seem to be feeling encroached on by the outside world this year of horrible external news, what with Syria/Brexit/terror/Trump that I am cutting down on what is coming at me image-wise.
    Your panto (or was it opera?) visit plus grandchildren sounds like the start of a lovely tradition.

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    1. I fully understand the urge to turn off all the TV and radio knobs. . . .Books are more comfortably processed at a pace we can think our way through. In our household though, it's a pleasant way of spending time together in the evening when Someone might otherwise be inclined to spend Too Much Time watching football. . . (although it can also be very companionable to sit opposite each other with a book and a Scotch. . .
      It was a great start to the season, and yes, it was opera (light!): Engelbert Humperdinck (the original fellow, the 19th/early20th century composer)'s Hansel and Gretel -- you will surely know the lovely lullaby from that opera, the one about the Fourteen Angels watching over the sleeping child)

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  24. The miracles of life! Darling granddaughters (so jealous, although I think we may have a new daughter-in-law on the way soon), a new beginning and so much more. Although they are scary, we need new challenges in our 60's or we get stale. I'm just not sure what mine will be... but yours seem alluring.

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    1. Well, a potential daughter-in-law is a very good start in the acquisition of grandchildren, although we won't want her or your son to read this, will we?!? ;-)
      I do think we need new challenges -- it's easy to feel the quagmire temptations of the tried and reliable. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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