Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Holidays!

December is always a busy month for me. I like to decorate the house, so that gets done first, then we always host a party for my husband's colleagues, so that's next. We had the party last Friday and now I have some time to bake, shop, wrap gifts and write cards and notes. Because it's important to get things mailed early, I have some packages ready to mail first thing Monday morning.

This is the table in the family room set for 8. It's a narrow table, so with the chargers there wasn't room for a centerpiece.
This is the table in the dining room. I have used the gold chargers in here before, but decided to change things around this year. We had 10 in this room. The table expands to seat up to 14, but 10 was enough. I always use cloth napkins when I have company. I enjoy finding new ways to fold them. These are some that I believe belonged to my grandmother or great aunt. I don't think they were used much, though before I acquired them. I use them and wash and iron them. I don't do tablecloths, though. My tablecloths are mostly easy-care.

If you want to see pictures of my home decorated for the holidays, take a look here. I was in Norway in June and have had a collection of things Norwegian for a while now, which worked themselves into my decor this year. Growing up we always had Norwegian cookies, breads, flötegröt, sylte, and more during the holidays, so that's when we would remember our Norwegian heritage. So I guess displaying my Norwegian things at Christmas fits in with remembering my heritage and family at this time of year. (I'm 1/4 Norwegian and 1/4 Swedish.)

I wish you a most joyous holiday season, spent with the ones you love, full of laughter, good times all the things you like best!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Back Home in Duluth

We arrived home late Friday night Nov. 30th. I heard from the woman sitting next to me that they were predicting 6-12 inches of snow for Saturday. At this time of year we hardly ever get as much as they predict, but I thought some snow would be nice.

Sure enough, the next morning after we got one car started and got some groceries the snow started and continued all afternoon. On Sunday we shoveled ourselves out. We have a walkway to the front of the house and another one going back to the alley, where the cars are, so we really have to shovel both front and back, but a wonderful neighbor was having fun with a new snow-blower and did the sidewalk out by the street. That's a big part of the job, so we really appreciated that.

Now, I've been tagged. I appreciate the honor and am going to try to follow the rules, which say that I have to list random facts about myslef beginning with each letter of my middle name. My middle name is MARGARET, so this is a challenge for me.

I Married my college chemistry teacher in 1972. I like to say he’s much older than I, but we’re really only 3 years apart. He was a 2nd year grad student and I was a 3rd year undergrad when I landed in his Chemistry lab for Chem 101 or whatever the number was. Thirty-five years later, I know it was the right decision.

(This was taken last year at a Gala Christmas Party.)
I Am 56 years old. I was a kid in the ‘50’s, a teenager in the ‘60’s and a college student, newlywed and young mother in the ‘70’s. They were great decades.

I Read novels and memoirs in French. Last summer I enjoyed 4 novels by Claude Michelet about an agricultural town in central France, and then read his memoir of his childhood. I’m reading some Colette, now.

I Get to travel to all kinds of wonderful places with my husband. We even went around the world in 2006, stopping in Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Karachi, Quetta, Dubai, Pisa, Florence and Rome. If you want to see those pictures, they start here with Beijing.

I lived in Africa for a year. In 1969-70 I lived with my family in the Congo. That was before it became Zaire, which is now again the Congo.

(My mother painted this during our stay there.)

I’m a Rosemaler. I started trying to learn this interesting folk art in 2001 and have been working at it off and on ever since. I hope I am still improving and will continue for many years to learn and get better at it. Here is one of my painted plates.

I Enjoy working cryptic cross-word puzzles. A lot of people have never seen these, but they are the standard type of cross-word in England. I am doing some really challenging ones right now written by Frank Lewis for ‘The Nation.‘

I Try not to brag too much, but I’m really proud of our two sons. They both have PhD’s now. James just finished his in October. They live in Boston and Santa Barbara. They have great jobs and are fun to have around. And they’re both single, play the French horn, enjoy sports and outdoor activities, so if you know any sweet girls…. (Just kidding guys.)

My legal middle initial is S. which is the only way I could figure out how to get this one in.

I love Snow and skiing, snowshoeing, sledding or just walking in it. It makes me happy every time I see it, falling, on the ground, even in the form of slush.
(This was taken in our front yard after a big storm last March. We don't have this much snow now.)