It’s the weekend before Christmas! Are you ready?
Okay, Amy, define “ready” . . .
For my part . . . I was going to be sooo ultra-organized and ready (my definition of “ready”: house cleaned(ish), meals planned and prepped, guest room cleaned, gifts all wrapped, tree decorated, cookies made, the dirty ceilings washed!), all finished actually way ahead of time (to eliminate the stress that some folks run into at the last minute, cough). But. Both Amalia and Mack got sick (necessitating much toting and hauling, orange julius-making, and the patient soothing of fevered brows, not to mention more laundry and dishes than usual) and then I got sick (necessitating total neglect of everything save basic needs of critters and folks) and so, no. I’m not ready.
If you’re asking.
But it’s coming anyway and I can’t wait!
I can’t wait to hear the jingle bells on the rooftop, to eat more cookies than I ought, to have all my kith and kin together for a short time, to watch little ones open presents and pull goodies out of stockings. It’s so much trouble and it’s so much fun.
And, of course: it’s Jesus’s birthday. Lest we forget. If Jesus were right here in our midst, what would you give him for his birthday? But wait–He is. 🙂
Here are a few things that I ran across this week that I thought you might find interesting too:
There are free calendars at the farm stores and the banks this time of year, but I treat myself (I copied my baby sister Mollie on this) with this one every year. It hangs in my pantry and I write everything on it. It brightens my every day: not bad for $11.00.
Three essential rules for having self-confidence, according to the phenomenally-successful tennis champion Venus Williams. Gosh, have you thought about self-confidence as being a skill that you can work on and make better? I hadn’t. Food for thought.
Speaking of food . . . how does she do it? Deb from Smitten Kitchen continues to provide some of my favorite recipes. Deb for President! I made this one this week and I loved it so much that I ate double helpings, and then finished off the leftovers the next day, too. It’s SO YUMMY. (I added halved Brussels sprouts because I had some, I love them, and they were a great addition.) (Now I really, really want to figure out how to grow Brussels sprouts so I can eat them EVERY STINKin’ DAY.)
And speaking of eating veggies with rich cheese sauces with no guilt whatsoever, I’m eating everything I want to these days, and still have lost 9 pounds of annoying muffin top that I thought was There To Stay Forever (and anon, alas) and it feels like a miracle. How am I doing it? I’ll tell you. (Except if you’re my mother. Please don’t read this, mom, as I know it would upset you if you knew that was skipping meals. You can skip the rest of this paragraph, too, Amalia.) Two words: Intermittent Fasting. It sounds scary and dangerous, so I’ve not told Mom about it (she’d worry) but I feel great and I’m wearing jeans that I hadn’t dared pull on for years. There’s a lot of buzz right now about Intermittent Fasting and the benefits to the health of us overfed Americans in doing it, not even counting the (possible) weight loss. This is the book that I learned from. There are others, as well.
My current podcast crush: Shane Parrish and The Knowledge Project. “The Knowledge Project Podcast explores the ideas, methods, and mental models, that help expand your mind, live deliberately, and master the best of what other people have already figured out.” Some great stuff here. Aaaand I think I’ve finally figured out how to use my ‘phone to listen to podcasts, huzzah! I love his Part 1 interview of author, educator, and hedge fund advisor, Adam Robinson. Can’t wait to listen to Part 2 (hint, Shane, I’m waaaiting . . . ).
Elon Musk is certainly a man of action. When he decided to do something about the horrible traffic in the Los Angeles area (excuse me? One man do something about that traffic??), he invented a machine to bore a hole big enough for a car to drive through . . . Whoa. Amazing. The possibilities for fast travel in a tunnel really are astounding. (He named his new company The Boring Company, which is confusing to somebody like me who lives under a rock. But who’s going to quibble with Elon Musk?)
My first thought, as an artist and a highly-visual person, at watching this video: not much to look at, Elon. Stark white walls of that tunnel. Not to sound as if I live under a rock (though, again, I do) but I prefer driving along above ground, thank you, so I can look at the neighbor’s cows and the color of the bean fields and what’s happening in the sky at this moment. At what might be falling from the sky, even. Spending too much time in a tunnel is for moles. Or voles. Or earthworms. And you can quote me on that, gentle reader. But those tunnel walls, on the other hand, might be a great opportunity for artistic expression, Elon. Just sayin’.
And still: amazing.
It’s about time somebody started this movement, in my humble (and unapologetically prudish) opinion. It’s time to stop calling foods ‘crack’. I’m totally with it. Now, along the same lines: how about somebody starts a movement to stop referring to “porn” as something good? I.e. “Food porn.” Not. Cool.
Maybe it all started with “Better than Sex Dessert” 🙂 which my (Puritanical) people changed to “Better than Robert Redford Dessert.” Totally takes me back to 80s-era potluck dinners. Yum.
Usually I make pies for holidays, but this year I really want to make this. And I will top it with these. At least that’s how I’m leaning. I’ve got a few more days to mull it over. I might just go with Robert Redford . . I’ve been unpacking (believe it or not!) the last of my kitchen boxes (from our remodel a couple
months years ago) and have found some cake pans, so yay!
Look who ESPN named “Most Dominant Athlete of the Year.” If you want to be inspired, read her story. WOW. You go, girl. (Hint: child of addict parents, she spent time in foster care with her siblings before being adopted by grandparents.)
We are having an unseasonably mild stretch . . . I know it’s temporary but apparently a couple of my chooks don’t and they’ve gone broody. Broody hens in December! How I’d love to let them hatch out eggs, but this article explains why I really shouldn’t risk it. It’s not so cold now, but in three weeks (when the chicks would hatch out) who knows, it could be -20° and I would have mamas and chicks in the house for the rest of the winter. (Been there, done that!) Come back to those nests in about eight weeks, ladies!
Are you finished with all your Christmas cookies? If not (and if you can find them in stock) this would be an amazing help in getting them done.
Also, I posted a new cookie recipe that includes crushed pretzels, gumdrops, chocolate chips AND M&Ms. So much goodness.
Also if you’re making lots of cookies (or freeform loaves of bread, of whatev) you really ought to get some of these. For some hackneyed reason, I’m down to one (they last for years) and so I’m buying myself a few for an early Christmas present.
I love this so much: the heavens declare our God is no minimalist. The world is a place of exponential extravagance and complexity (link).
Missed last week’s Weekending? Here ’tis.
Well, that’s probably enough for one week.
Happy, blessed, peaceful, lovely Christmas to you, gentle reader.
p.s. One more thing: if you’re still doing some last-minute shopping, you can now give my ebooks as gifts! All you have to do is click on the little gift icon when checking out, and your purchase will be given as a gift to whomever you might choose. What could be easier than that?
More from my site
- Sweet ‘n’ Salty, Chewy ‘n’ Crunchy Pretzel Cookies
- Creamy caper and herby salad dressing: it has staying power
Oh my goodness! YES!!! STOP CALLING GOOD THINGS “CRACK” AND “PORN”!!!! -Amy for president!!!! You get my vote and I’ll talk the other voting age members of my family into voting for you too!!
Thank you for your vote, Becky! Ha!
Merry Christ-mas my Sweet Gentle Friend. Thank you for blessing my life with your presence. And may 2019 treat you with love & joy.
Kay, you are the one who blesses me. I hope you have a blessed Christmas, too. Hopefully your beautiful family will be with you?
Amy – Well, you haven’t exactly been loafing while you are “resting” are you? You must be sitting up in bed with your laptop doing the research/prep for a blog posting like this one. I didn’t follow all of your links, but I really liked the one about Simone Biles. So nice that both Bethany and Amalia are helping you coach the drama kids; you have a right to be extra proud of those kids. It really is a family affair!
Gene, I’m not very good at loafing! No, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. I loved that story about Simone Biles, too. What an amazing little woman she is! And I’m very proud of my kiddos and appreciate their help with the melodrama so much. I love, love, love putting my feet up and watching them do their magic! I could get used to that. Thanks for your comment.
Sorry I can’t vote for you, we don’t need chickens, ducks and all kinds of other animals running around the white house, it is already crazy enough around there. However if you run for farm Queen, you have my vote. With all the great info you are offering in this article, I will need to go through it more than once. Wishing you and All your family a wonderful holiday and a Very Happy New Year. Let me know how you come out with the Brussels Sprouts, we grew them in Wisconsin because they are my very favorite veggie.
Aww. Chef, I’m touched. Farm Queen. I love that!! I’ll keep you posted on the Brussels Sprouts Project!!