December 12, 2014

Progress Report

I am starting to feel a bit bad vis-à-vis the Notebook. Can´t remember when I last put in a proper post - whatever that is. Something personal and thought out, I guess; something communicative that I´m happy with. I am not very communicative at the moment, my focus is on work and my drawing course, which is wrapping up next week. Then I have blocked out two whole days in my calendar for Christmas cleaning and tidying up. At least I got the gifts for the nephews and the niece sent off. The husband is occupied at work night and day, having one of his PhD students defending his thesis today. I hope it all went well.

In the middle of all this we should be celebrating our tenth (!) wedding anniversary, which is at this awkward time of year simply because we decided to go to Paris ten years ago and the embassy was so busy with couples wanting to get married that we had to wait until the 17th of December and the very last slot of the year (if we had waited any longer we would have had to renew our wedding licence...). I don´t think we have celebrated "properly" one single time - I mean, what are we supposed to do? I´m allergic to flowers and fancy food is pretty wasted on me. A visit with a friend to one of the more upscale eating places last week made my tummy rumble for the entire week afterwards. Considering I paid more for my single meal than we usually do for both of us, I really am not eager to return there. I simply don´t know how to party any more, that´s what it is. Besides, we are pretty good at creating a celebratory mood without having any particular reason to, every day. I really appreciate the husband, I do. I don´t know who else would put up with me and he always makes me laugh.

Also, it is dark out. Like the inside of a sack, more or less. We have maybe one or two hours of almost daylight, when I am fast asleep after having worked through the night. This photo is taken at four o´clock this afternoon. As you can see, there is no snow, only water on top of a treacherous layer of ice. It´s a bad idea to walk anywhere without spikes attached to one´s shoes.

I am looking forward to having people over for Christmas. My nephew-in-law is coming to stay for a couple of weeks, and we haven´t seen him for a whole year, so that will be wonderful. My Swiss sister and her husband are also making an appearance for a few days and for the brother-in-law it´s the first visit anywhere this close to the Polar circle. I hope we´ll have a bit more snow by then. 

The cute snowman/santa is a gift from the mum-in-law´s
neighbours, it is battery-powered and changes colours
every few seconds. It amuses her greatly.
The mum-in-law is stable and in a good mood, she and I did the Christmas baking this Sunday last, which really made her happy. (She was the overseer, I did all the kneading and rolling.) Particularly as we managed to get the dough for lussekatterna to rise perfectly! I didn´t bring my camera, but I did make a sketch (on yellow paper, very fitting) of the enire batch cooling on an oven rack as we had a well-deserved dinner and fika later in the evening.

We didn´t make gingerbread biscuits as those can be bought everywhere, but rather a star-shaped almond cookie that the mum-in-law has been making since she was 13 and got her first cookbook as a gift from the Rumford company, who makes baking powder. That book is now in shreads, literally, but the recipe is part of the family tradition and will continue to be made for as long as I am around, at least. My Swiss sister loves them too, and took lessons from the mum-in-law years ago, which the mum-in-law remembers fondly, that is why these cookies were especially important this year.

So, that´s what´s going on. I should - I mean, I will - put up some recipes on the Kitchen blog later. I have a stack of books to read during the quiet days between Christmas and New Year, and I have some books read but not yet blogged. I supposed it is as it should be; for a while there, blogging started feeling like work, and I still have a twitch of that, but not nearly as much.

Life is good. I hope that it is for you, too.


  1. Our anniversary is also in December, and we'll be celebrating 36 years. Like you, we're not fancy restaurant people, but we almost always go out to eat. The last couple of years we've gone for ribs, and that's our plan this year, too. When we look at the prices of steaks in restaurants, we go to the meat market and cook them at home ;)

    Those star cookies are cute. I have Mother's sugar cookie recipe, and she used to make star-shaped ones and also ones shaped like bells and wreaths and other Christmas-y shapes. She always used red and green sugar sprinkles. Fond memories.

    I'll look forward to your book posts and your recipes. I've never looked at blogging as work, but I don't write the same kinds of posts as you do. Mine are basically just a log of some of what I've done. Easy really for me to do that.

    I'm always amazed at the lack of sunlight during your winters. I mean I _know_ about it, but it's different looking at a photo. Wow! I love the little snow guy in your sketch. :)

    1. Actually, I don´t count ten years. I count when we moved in together, which was 1991, and sometimes it hits me that we have lived in the same flat for more than 22 years. I have this joke that Imarried him for money - actually it was to make sure we would inherit each other, as it started to seem probable that we´d stay together that long... No great romantics are we! ;-)
      Ribs sound nice, I like those. We don´t have special rib restaurants, though, and it is rare to find. I have made elk ribs, with a honey glaze, that was pretty nice. Food is so important, so full of memories and feelings, and makes us feel secure, I think. Like not everything can be wrong with the world if one can still get peasoup and panncakes.

    2. "Food is so important, so full of memories and feelings, and makes us feel secure,"