Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Star In The Making

There is not much time for blogging right now.....
Most of my time is spent in the kitchen a favorite place to be for me.

We did however make a whirlwind visit to see the Southern California troupe, Maria, Garbo and I, as Saga was performing in a high school production of The Jungle Book.

No, Saga is not in high school yet..... it was high school students who produced the play, the direction, the scenography, the casting, and all that goes with a theater performance of this kind.  They did a fabulous job teaching the "actors" to sing, dance and perform!

We are so glad we made that long drive to see the production.  All the kids were great!  Saga was excellent!
(The photo credit, for the pictures from the show,  goes to the Mother of the STAR! Nice shots!!)

Saga was born to perform.  There is no doubt!  Not that I am not biased, I am and I admit it.  But there were several other people who, after the show was over, marveled over her talent.  Her ability to project  with both motion and voice!  I am totally blown away!

Christmas preparations were in full swing there!  The kids making ginger bread cookies and other goodies!  It was a fun visit!

We had a mini Christmas here last weekend, as the Seattle son and his wife came bringing a stash of gifts, helping us eat Lussekatter, a traditional saffron bread and ginger cookies for Saint Lucia Day!

The traditional calendar was delivered, with its stories and pictorial telling about their year 2014.  It is an especially fun calendar as the stories and events of the year include those who are most important to us, our swedish family!  JQ will remain in Seattle with his gang, along with our oldest granddaughter and her true love, this  holiday.  We had so hoped that Kellie would come home for Christmas, but things change when you grow up, have a job and other responsibilities and we have to accept that.

Now we are getting ready for the Big Day when we gather around the tree after eating ourselves silly!

It will be a big group!  It will be fun!

Before Christmas, there is my "Big Sister's" Birthday to celebrate and Winter Solstice, the day when "everything changes!"  The day when the dark nights get shorter and the days gradually longer! Hurrah!

Merry Christmas .. God Jul .. Feliz Navidad to you  all!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving Reflections and Full Speed Ahead

After much anticipation Thanksgiving arrived and proved to be a wild, crazy, chaotic and fun affair with big kids, little kids, two extra dogs, one of which, a nine month old adorable Havanese puppy by the name of Luna, not at all used to cats!  Or I can say, when a cat invades her territory, her back yard, it is NOT welcomed!  Her older "brother" on the other hand, Tipster, who have been here several times before... he is a buddy of Mister Cat... so at least he was chased by only one! =^..^=

Garbo was in her essence.  There were SO MANY to keep track of!

It was a well travelled turkey we had the pleasure to dive into, last Thursday. Adding a quote from the turkey deliverer: "turkeys are not migratory birds". Well, it seems ours was.
Delivered by the "southern California group" Tuesday last.  The head of the So Cal branch had won it as a prize in a golf tournament.  Hurrah for him!  The turkey who's original origin I am unsure of, ( most likely from Oregon or possibly Washington State) it rested here a bit, was then delivered to the kitchen of the "future Chef" to be  stuffed, brown paper bagged and roasted for the ultimate Thanksgiving Feast!

Most of the other "musts" were prepared here with the help of the youngest sous chef Saga!  Brussels Sprout salad, sweet potatoes, crescent rolls, mashed potatoes, along with pumpkin pie and a pumpkin tiramisu (that turned out less spectacular than I had hoped).  We stuck to the traditional... there were no walnuts in the stuffing, nor any new twists on the main meal,  other than the deserts.  As per majority request:-)  We did get some other  exotic tastes in the form of ice cream, prepared by the soon to be graduated Johnson and Wales student.  Pumpkin, 5 Spice, Beet with Poppy Seed, and Citrus Zest.  The latter was my favorite.  Surely some fun twists on the ordinary.

The dinner was great!  The BIG downside was that the photographer had to go to work before we all sat down at the table, making sure the presses kept running so the silly advert pages would go out in time for the Black Friday sales.  A day when people here knock each other down to get a deal on a sales item.  A day that should be abolished if you were to ask me.

After dinner cleanup, the  left over turkey disappeared, along with the Chefs who cooked it.  So, it went for another spin down the road.  While we had left over potatoes of assorted kind.... I am thinking ...  "Heck, where is my turkey "sammy?"  Well..., it, or parts of it  reappeared!  So back up the road it came.  This time in the shape of slices and as a carcass!  Turkey sandwiches for the masses!  The skeleton went into the soup pot to become Turkey Rice and Vegetable Soup! (my favorite part of the whole deal.)  Half of which, once done, went BACK down the road, to become lunch and or dinner at the future Chefs house.

When the Southern California Branch of our family were leaving, there was talk of taking turkey sandwiches along on the road... but they decided to chomp those down here, rater than  take the poor turkey for yet another drive.  Now this is what I call A Well Travelled Turkey!

Today, as I write this, December the third, a year ago, is the day we picked up Garbo or Vi'Skaly's Tropical Hurricane, at SFO!   She came to us from Sweden, with a brief, but oh such fun stop in Michigan where she stayed with Brigitte and Denver Doxtator of Oneida Acres for " de briefing" :-)

Life has not been the same since.  It has been a bit like living with, yes, a Tropical Hurricane!  Full of DOG "this and that."  A bit of a stubborn streak, she has.  She fancies she knows best in many situations:-)   Walks, training and adjustments!  She is loving, happy, silly and oh so sweet!  Loves all other dogs as well as every person she meets.

We go to class Monday mornings and I feel like we are the comic relief!  I have a hard time producing the Mary Poppins voice, so desirable for making dogs respond!  She pulls, I tug..... our ever positive, encouraging instructor, Tiffanie Moyano of Dog Logic U tells us we are doing great!  If I can just learn to leave the leash loose, miracles will happen.  Rome was not built in a day, so they say!  Heck, we are having fun!  Garbo LOVES it!  I keep feeling like the klutz!  Why is it, that those who know HOW to train dogs make it look so easy?

On another note, Vi'Skaly's Ralph Lauren, better known as Ralle, would have turned ten years old on his birthday in the end of November, had he still been "with us!"  We miss him everyday!  Forever grateful for the time we had together.

This coming weekend, Maria, Garbo and I will do a whirlwind visit to the home of the shortest branches of our family tree.  Saga is performing in a school play, portraying "Mowgli" in a presentation of The Jungle Book!  Such fun!  It will be exciting to see her and all the other members of the cast.  So, another adventure for us.

Advent is here!  Christmas decorations are finding their way out of the closet.  Saint Lucia will be celebrated soon with saffron bread and all, with the head of the Seattle part of our family visiting, the weekend of the 13th.

Much to look forward to in the time that is left of the year 2014!