Stasia's Place Of Grace


Friday, December 06, 2002

Grateful For...

Those things on my feet are my Orvis ram slippers...

Walking Chester around the path in our yard, stopping to wait for him, closing my eyes, feeling the crisp winter wind on my face, not feeling the wind on my cheeks and neck because of my ultra-warm "dogsledding" hat from Wintergreen (worth every penny!)

Listening with eyes closed and hearing only a Blue Jay, a tractor moving hay at the farm behind our yard, the wind rustling in the leaves, and the tree branches squeaking as they rub against each other. There is movement, but so much peace, even during the afternoon hours of this sunny day. It is amazing what you can hear when you just stop and shut your eyes...

A Christmas CD of solo guitar music that our realtor sent us as a "Happy Holidays, please keep me in mind" gift. He does it every year. It is a great marketing tool (having worked in Marketing, I can appreciate that!) and it actually gets used. I love it!

Having a new knitting magazine sitting here waiting for me. The anticipation of sitting down with it and a cup of tea is so intoxicating that I have kept it up for 24 hours now, just waiting for the perfect time, when I know I won't be interrupted by husband or dogs... perhaps tonight, when Jeff is playing hockey and the dogs are settled for the evening, I'll plug in the fireplace, make a pot of orange spice tea, grab a couple of my fresh-baked cookies, and have some time just to myself. Though I might not want to make anything from the issue, it'll inspire me to get moving on my works in progress.

I wrapped garland and white Christmas lights around the firescreen on the (fake) fireplace and it looks very Dickens-ian! Sill wish I had a woodstove like Linda or Kary, though!

Cut-out Christmas cookies that turned out really good. (Take heart, Nan, they're easy peasy!) Here's the recipe:

    from Family Circle's Holiday Cookie Cookbook supplement, 11/1/96
    by Maureen Luchejko

    Makes: 32
    Prep: 10 min
    Refrigerate: 1 hour
    Bake: 350 for 10-12 minutes.

    3 c. all-purpose flour
    2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    2 tsp. ground ginger
    1 tsp. ground cloves
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
    1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
    1.5 c. sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 egg white mixed with 1 T. water

    1. Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, nutmeg and cardamom in bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture. Divide dough in half, flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour. (I just stuck it in Tupperware containers.)

    2. Heat oven to 350. Coat 3.5 to 4.5 cookie molds with nonstick cooking spray. (I didn't use molds, I used cutters, and they worked great. I just put them in flour in-between cutting cookies - no spray.)

    3. On lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll out half of dough 1/4 inch thick. Press cutters/molds gently into dough. Gently pull cookies out of cutters/molds. Place on ungreased (mine were non-stick, insulated) baking sheets. Brush with egg white (I didn't use - mine are plain or use water/confectioner's sugar/vanilla frosting). Reroll scraps. Repeat with remaining dough.

    4. Bake in 350 oven 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Remove to racks to cool. Store at room temperature or freeze.

The close of Hanukkah. Click here to see Jeff lighting all the candles.

It has been a fun celebration this year. I love how the menorah grows brighter and brighter with the passing nights and addition of candles. It's practically blinding by this time! I gave Jeff several books on Judaism and even Yiddish, so that we can learn more about his new-found family history (his father found out last year that an ancestor was Jewish - something we had not known before, and a fact which sparked our interest in starting to celebrate Hanukkah each year.)

I had a phone conversation with my father - we haven't spoken in a couple of years now - and it went very, very well.

His newly-adopted step-daughter is now dating his grandson (by the son of his first wife, my elder half-brother) which, if they get married, would make my dad Dad-Grandpa and make my nephew's father Uncle-Dad, but that is a whole 'nother thing...

The kids seem happy and are dealing with their long-distance relationship (Las Vegas/Maui to Baltimore) maturely, in any case. But doesn't it just sound strange?

One nice thing is that when I don't get along with my own mom, at least I now have a step-mom... even if she is only about eight years older than I! (She's very sweet, though.)

I was able to catch a sick bird and take it to the Wildlife In Need Center for treatment. It had conjunctivitis - one eye was swollen shut - and it is a very contagious condition, so the woman at the Center said it was good I brought it in.

I knew it was ill when it let me approach it as it sat in the feeder, and didn't go anywhere despite my reaching out to touch it.

I caught it by tossing a light towel over it as it fluttered around on the ground, then putting it into a paper grocery bag in the garage, and then putting it into the car (and not running the heater, so I wouldn't shock it).

I'm grateful the WINC is around to help wildlife, and that I was able to get the bird without injuring it further.

To be back on the Spindlers list, which I have missed. There is a lot of mail to keep up with, true. But I have found that it also provides a welcome respite from the rest of my day to sit quietly and catch up with everyone. I have to learn to balance online/e-mail-reading time with offline, real-life productive time. I need to make time for both - for the social aspects and sense of community both have to offer, without the stressors of too much involvement in either. I must learn to be more consistent in setting boundaries, not getting caught up in the moment, and sticking to my daily plan of the things I need to do in order to gain/maintain good emotional and physical health.

I am getting better at it. I am doing well with setting limitations with family members, with not getting caught up in "icky" situations (others' manufactured problems), and with knowing how much time is enough to spend on any one thing (baking, reading, fiberarts, e-mail, housework, self-care).

Things are going well. There are Christmas lights and Hanukkah candles twinkling in my house tonight. There is warmth and a sense of balance in my heart. There is hope despite the darkness of the night outside. I have comfort food to eat, I have relaxing guitar music playing, I have a fire (albeit a fake one!) lit, I have four well-behaved puppy dogs snoozing, and I have a good husband on his way home from work. I have wonderful friends who stop by to read this silly journal.

I wish you these same feelings tonight! Happy last night of Hanukkah!

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Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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Past Entries

Happy Hanukkah! We're having a great time celebra...
Thanksgiving Eve I have a sore throat. I have a f...
Grateful For... Homemade hot chocolate with fresh...
Grateful For... Mr. Cardinal in a tree in our orc...
Busy! Sorry for not posting in a while, but I hav...
Positivity I like to share positive things - even...
Thankful For Communication Remember when I said, ...
On Being Offended... This weekend, two people, in...
Finis! I am pleased to report that the "Welcome B...
Finished Object Today I am grateful that I have f...

July 28, 2002 August 04, 2002 August 11, 2002 August 18, 2002 August 25, 2002 September 01, 2002 September 08, 2002 September 15, 2002 September 22, 2002 September 29, 2002 October 06, 2002 October 13, 2002 October 20, 2002 October 27, 2002 November 03, 2002 November 10, 2002 November 17, 2002 November 24, 2002 December 01, 2002 December 08, 2002 December 22, 2002 December 29, 2002 January 05, 2003 January 12, 2003 January 19, 2003 January 26, 2003 February 16, 2003 February 23, 2003 March 02, 2003 March 09, 2003 March 16, 2003 March 23, 2003 March 30, 2003 April 06, 2003 April 27, 2003 May 04, 2003 May 11, 2003 May 18, 2003 June 01, 2003 June 08, 2003 June 15, 2003 June 22, 2003 June 29, 2003 July 06, 2003 July 13, 2003 July 27, 2003 August 03, 2003 August 10, 2003 August 17, 2003 August 31, 2003 September 14, 2003 September 28, 2003 October 05, 2003 October 12, 2003 October 26, 2003 November 09, 2003 November 16, 2003 November 23, 2003 November 30, 2003 December 07, 2003 December 14, 2003 December 21, 2003 December 28, 2003 January 11, 2004 January 18, 2004 January 25, 2004 February 08, 2004 February 22, 2004 March 07, 2004 March 14, 2004 March 21, 2004 March 28, 2004 April 04, 2004 April 18, 2004 May 09, 2004 May 16, 2004 June 06, 2004 June 13, 2004 June 20, 2004 June 27, 2004 August 01, 2004 August 08, 2004 August 22, 2004 August 29, 2004 September 05, 2004 September 12, 2004 September 19, 2004 November 21, 2004 November 28, 2004 December 05, 2004 December 19, 2004 December 26, 2004 January 02, 2005 January 09, 2005 January 23, 2005 January 30, 2005 March 06, 2005 April 03, 2005 May 08, 2005 May 15, 2005 May 29, 2005 June 05, 2005 June 12, 2005 June 19, 2005 July 03, 2005 July 10, 2005 July 17, 2005 July 31, 2005 August 14, 2005 August 28, 2005 September 04, 2005 September 11, 2005 September 18, 2005 November 06, 2005 November 13, 2005 November 27, 2005 December 04, 2005 December 11, 2005 December 25, 2005 January 01, 2006 January 08, 2006 January 22, 2006 March 26, 2006 April 09, 2006 April 16, 2006 April 23, 2006 April 30, 2006 May 07, 2006 May 14, 2006 June 04, 2006 June 25, 2006 September 03, 2006 November 05, 2006 November 12, 2006 November 19, 2006 November 26, 2006 December 24, 2006 January 07, 2007 January 21, 2007 January 28, 2007 February 11, 2007 February 18, 2007 February 25, 2007 September 30, 2007

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