Tuesday, 29 December 2020

In Between

We're in the bit in between Christmas and New Year. The time when we normally visit friends, or take the kids to a Holiday movie, or crowd the stores looking for end of year bargains, or go to a hockey game, or a football game... but this year is very different. The area where I live is in lockdown. People are encouraged to stay at home, and only go out for essential shopping or for exercise. 

Christmas Day was very quiet for me... I was at home all day, and had a very short but welcome visit from OlderSon and family.... fully masked, and following the rules. Just enough time for tea and a cookie and a little gift exchange and then they were off home to their own Christmas. 

But a friend dropped by on Boxing Day with a gift of some fresh figs.... lovely!

I was able to spend an early Christmas with YoungerSon and family a week ago at their country property before the lockdown started. We had a Christmas dinner, presents under the tree, lots of chocolate and snacks, and played our traditional party games. I played far too much Monopoly, Catan and Scrabble. 
One of my special gifts this year was from grandie Isaac. Now that the family has moved to a home 1-1/2 hour drive away, he doesn't see me very often, so he documented all the happy memories of growing up and visiting my house.
Then he said "Turn them over, Nana!"
A thoughtful gift full of love, treasured forever!
Their country property has a large tree.... species yet to be determined.... and the kids have nailed a home made ladder to the trunk and fixed up a tire swing, so I made some sketches and then some lino cut printing plates and now this masterpiece is hanging on their wall. 

Only a few more days until the year 2020 is history, people the world over will be glad to see it go. Lots of optimistic hopes for 2021.... getting the vaccine, being able to gather with family again, restarting activities that have been cancelled, trying to live a "normal" life. This is one occasion where the special words HAPPY NEW YEAR really mean a lot!

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Almond Crescents and Holiday Greetings

I haven't done much baking this Christmas due to nobody available to do the eating. Thanks, Mr. Covid!  But I did make almond crescents. Blogger Boud sort of challenged me to post pictures. She made some and they looked really good so here are mine. Not perfect but soooooo delicious! A definite Christmas tradition in my house.

I'll be on my own this Christmas Day, but that's OK with me. I spent 4 crazy days with YoungerSon and family last week and we had our Christmas dinner and party around the tree, presents, and chocolates and board games and Pass-the-Parcel and Consequences (gotta play those games every Christmas or it's not a proper Christmas). Great fun.

I'll be seeing OlderSon and family on Christmas Day for a physically distanced dog walk (weather permitting, there's a nasty storm headed this way) and perhaps we can sit in the garage and enjoy coffee and some of the famous almond crescents and exchange gifts. A weird Christmas, but necessary. The whole Province of Ontario is going into Covid lockdown for 28 days starting on Boxing Day. Infection numbers are steadily rising and hospitals are filling up. The vaccine is on order and I can't wait for my turn. So we have to be sensible and follow the rules.

Meanwhile..... happy holiday season to everyone, whether you can be with your loved ones or apart.... whether you celebrate Christmas or not.... and let's keep our hopes up for a Covid-free, peaceful and healthy 2021!

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

This Week

Well, I'm sad to report that my region is back into Covid lockdown as of Monday morning. All non-essential stores have to close but can offer curb pick up or delivery. Restaurants and coffee shops too, and gyms, hairdressers, museums, theatre, everything that we all used to consider part of normal life. But the big stores like Walmart and Costco can still open, because they sell food, but can also sell everything else, while the family owned shops have to close. It's not right!

I cut the Christmas cake I made into quarters, and covered each one with almond paste, or marzipan. There should be a layer of royal icing on top, but that's even more sugar which is just too much. Family will be getting some of these.

We had an overnight snowfall a few days ago, and the trees looked very pretty for a while, until the temperature rose and all the snow melted. You can see where the treerats have knocked the snow down along the squirrel highway.
Last year at this time I took part in an ATC trading event.... ATC = Artist Trading Cards 2.5"x3.5"..... I wrote about it here and showed pictures of the cards here. We met at a local Art Gallery for the afternoon, it was a bit crazy with everyone exchanging cards and trying to add the best cards to their collections, but so much fun.
Of course, 2020 and Mr Covid has put a stop to any in person events, so one of the artists organized a physically distanced remote ATC exchange . 18 people agreed to make cards, and we dropped them off at her house, along with a small donation to the local food bank. She sorted them, and made sure everyone got at least one card from each artist.

Here are a selection of the cards that I received, already filed into their plastic storage pages. Little tiny works of art.  This was such a welcome creative distraction in an otherwise gloomy time. I hope that by next year we can do this in person.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

The Triangle Project

Since July, our local art gallery has been building this 8' long panel full of colourful triangles. Anyone in the community was invited to do some art, make some shapes, paint some colours, create some collage, all on triangles the same size and drop them off at the gallery.

It's finally complete... and I can't wait to see it in person, Sadly, I'll have to wait until after January 10, as our Region has been ordered into Covid lockdown again, so the gallery will be closed. Some lovely stuff here, provided by almost 60 different artists. A community project.

Yes, some of the triangles are from me, I am not going to say which ones.