Monday, December 19, 2016

Traditions Old and New & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello friends.  I hope you've enjoyed a bit of holiday cheer in some manner this past week.  I made a new lentil soup recipe that was in a book borrowed from the library, which was not very much different but even better than my usual recipe.  I tried making shower tabs, the ones that open up nose and lungs.  The recipe still needs tweaking, as even with menthol crystals and several different essential oils in them, they are not strong enough for my liking.  A trip to Aldi's provided mandarins, grapefruit and organic oranges.

After touching on some of my struggles in the last post, I read this from Ben Hewitt, which made me fall in love with his writing all over again:

"Life is uncertain. It is fraught and messy and beautiful and hard and I suppose the best thing we can do through it all is try to remain  compassionate and curious. We’re are going to fail at this, over and over and over. With our kids, with our partners, with our friends. With ourselves.

But failure too is good and important because it is also an inescapable truth. You can try all you want to avoid it, and indeed, this is what we are taught to do. So yeah, go ahead and try to avoid. But know this: You’re going to fail."     If you'd like to read the rest of his post, follow this link. 

There have been shop orders sent out across the country.  It makes me happy to know my offerings will have a small part in celebrations.  We picked out our tree over the weekend, and decorated it.  The last couple of years, we bought a tree from the big hardware store, once they marked them 50% off.  J reminded me how dry last year's tree was, as those trees are not kept in water.  He opted to buy one elsewhere from folks who set up from the NC mountains.  I bought their trees several years, but then lost track of them when they moved to a spot outside the mall.  I had to smile, realizing how long it's been since I've shopped at the mall, never knowing they were there until someone mentioned it this year.  Though the tree itself wasn't frugal, it was cut 2 days earlier, so fragrant and in water, and now that I'm back on their mailing list, I will get a card for a free wreath next year.  

The hospice where I work regularly has silent auctions for various causes.  Last week, I saw an antique ironstone bowl and plate that I bid ($2) on and won.  I thought the bowl would be perfect for forcing bulbs, and put hyacinth bulbs in it.  It's there in the first photo if you look close.  Two types of cookies were baked last week, one old favorite, and another new one that I ended up overcooking as they seemed very wet.  The good thing is I love a crispy cookie, and think they're just fine.  They're probably not ones to be shared, but cookies don't last too long around here.  I requested a couple of children's Christmas books from the library, and bought another for very little on ebay.  Another blogger shared her love of the book and it's illustrations this time of year.  

There are several ornaments that always bring sweet memories.  In addition to those, one of my favorite parts of decorating the tree is tucking in all the little nests I've found on this land through the years.  As I find almost all of them on the ground in the off season, I consider them little gifts from nature.  I hope traditions new and old bring you a smile.  Wishing you sweet memories and moments this coming week!


Jane said...

Hello Laurie! Ben Hewitt sounds like a very wise man. Good score on the antique bowl. It does look like it will be perfect for forcing bulbs. I didn't know that you enjoyed children's Christmas books. I do too. Some of the illustrations are remarkable in them. One of my favorites is The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. The story is so heartwarming and the illustrations are just so pretty. Hope you have a lovely week leading up to Christmas!


Laurie said...

Hi Jane! Thanks so much for sharing the book. I will be sure to look that one up.

terricheney said...

I smiled at the collection of bird's nests. I usually have one or three sitting about in the house. Not this year. Not sure why I haven't found any of late. Also pick up interesting rocks and bits of algae or moss that might catch my eye. It's been a lifelong thing, lol.

Laurie said...

Hi Terri! I wandered a bit yesterday, and brought home a couple pieces of wood decorated with moss and lichen. When I find heart shaped rocks, I bring those home too.