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  • Christmas Day

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 25th December 2013 (All posts by )

    Merry Christmas to all. My youngest daughter drove 8 hours from Tucson and my oldest son 9 hours from San Francisco yesterday to be with the family Christmas Eve. We were all at my younger son’s house for their annual party but he had to work at the fire house. Today we will assemble at various houses and one restaurant for dinner. All are healthy and happy.

    My best to all.

    I have research subjects for this morning. My daughter-in-law wanted to know the value of the tetra drachma I had given my middle daughter as a birthday gift this year. I bought it from a workman at Ephesus a few years ago. It is the most perfect Attic Owl I’ve ever seen. I had it mounted in a necklace. This morning I’ve been researching the subject. What would a tetra drachma buy in 500 BC ?

    My son-in-law and I discussed the question of extra-terrestrial life last evening. I’m doing some research on Archea and extremophiles today. Lots to do on Christmas Day before dinner time.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Deep Thoughts, Holidays, Personal Narrative | 6 Comments »

    Christmas Cookies

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 11th December 2013 (All posts by )

    Pecan Angel Cookies – packed in a tin for delivery

    (This year my daughter and I decided to afflict our neighbors with Christmas cookies again – in years past we have done herb vinegars and oils, pickles and preserves and home-made cheeses and bread.)

    Pecan Angel Slices
    (from Joy of Cooking – 1975 Edition)
    Cream together until well-blended: ½ cup butter and ¼ cup sugar
    Beat in well: 1 egg and ½ teasp vanilla
    Combine and add to the above: 1 ¼ cup sifted flour and 1/8 teasp salt

    Pat dough evenly into a greased 9×12 inch pan and bake at 350° for fifteen minutes. Remove from oven.

    Combine: 2 beaten eggs, 1 ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup flaked cocoanut, 1 cup chopped pecans, 2 Tbsp. flour, ½ teasp double acting baking powder, ½ teasp salt and 1 teasp vanilla.
    Pour over cookie layer and return to oven for 25 minutes

    Combine 1 ½ cup sifted confectioner’s sugar with sufficient lemon juice to make a smooth, runny glaze. Pour over warm cookie/pecan/coconut layer and allow to set.

    When cool, cut into bars or squares. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays … and bon appetite!

    Posted in Recipes | 5 Comments »

    Archive – Oh!! Christmas Tree!

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 11th December 2012 (All posts by )

    (From the old SSDB archive – a reminiscence about the search for the perfect Christmas tree, December, 1981.)

    It really takes a gift to find yourself on a soggy-wet mountainside in on a Sunday afternoon in December, with a fine drizzle coagulating out of the fog in the higher altitudes, slipping and sliding on a muddy deer track with a tree saw in one hand, and leading a sniffling and wet (inside and out) toddler with the other.
    Yep, it’s a gift all right, born of spontaneous optimism and an assumption based on the map on the back page of the Sacra-Tomato bloody-f#$*%^g Bee newspaper, and a promise to Mom. Said map made the %$#*ing Christmas tree farm look like it was a couple of blocks, a mere hop-skip-and-jump from the back gate of Mather AFB’s housing area, an easy jaunt on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, a lovely and traditional Christmas pastime, choosing your own tree from the place they were growing in!
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Deep Thoughts, Diversions, Holidays, Humor, Miscellaneous, North America | 6 Comments »

    Weekend at the Weihnachtsmarkt

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 21st November 2012 (All posts by )

    All the other authors and publishers whom I talked to over the three days of the Christmas Market agreed – as an author, and none of us being of the NY Times best-seller class – it is profitable and much less dispiriting to do an event like a Christmas craft fair in company with a bunch of other authors. Much less foully dispiriting than doing a single-author event at a book-store, which is usually total ego-death-onna-stick. First and most importantly of all – customers with money and the intention of spending it are plentiful at a craft fair or a similar community market event, especially in the holiday gift-giving season. Trust me; many of them can see books as the perfect gift, and they are inclined to buy. Secondly – it’s a venue where one is in completion with vendors of a wide variety of consumer items – not every other published author on the shelves. And thirdly – in the slack times, there are other authors to talk to.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Book Notes, Diversions, Germany, USA | 5 Comments »

    A Very Modern Christmas

    Posted by onparkstreet on 14th December 2010 (All posts by )

    The hospital is dotted with Christmas trees: plastic green triangles, some tall and some small, in lobbies and resident rooms and offices. The lights twinkle, golden tinsel glitters, and little angels top the trees. And yet, every posted sign or printed document reads, “happy holidays!”. Easier that way, I suppose. Covers the lot.

    Shopping in the neighborhood, I notice that rows of neat little Christmas trees, in shades of pale gray, are standing upright in oblong concrete planters lining the sidewalks. In summer, the planters hold flowers in every color imaginable. Now, in winter, the Christmas season, bright lights are strung around the oddly ethereal trees, shocking pink and blue and purple to contrast with the dove gray branches and silvery bows. From a distance, it looks like an 80s dance floor.

    We will have our annual Christmas potluck lunch at work next Monday and food from every corner of the planet, seemingly, will grace the table. Freshly made hummus and pita, spicy fragrant curries and rice, baba ganoush sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, sesame noodles and eggrolls, home made Filipino Pancit, southern fried chicken, red beans and rice, pierogies, baked ham and chicken and salad and cookies and cakes. Well, that’s some of what we had last year I think. We’ll see about this year. The potluck menu rotates because, in a busy teaching hospital like ours, the staff rotates a lot too. It’s a very nice event and a chance to catch your breath during a busy work day, wish others well and a Merry Christmas, and remember just why it is that you chose to practice medicine. You wanted to help people and you wanted to do it in an environment that is warm and nurturing.

    Posted in Christianity, Diversions, Holidays, Human Behavior, Personal Narrative | 4 Comments »

    “One of Irina’s grandsons, nicknamed Riri, was sent to her at Christmas.”

    Posted by onparkstreet on 22nd December 2009 (All posts by )

    “One of Irina’s grandsons, nicknamed Riri, was sent to her at Christmas. His mother was going into hospital, but nobody told him that. The real cause of his visit was that since Irina had become a widow her children worried about her being alone. The children, as Irina would call them forever, were married and in their thirties and forties. They did not think they were like other people, because their father had been a powerful old man. He was a Swiss writer, Richard Notte. They carried his reputation and the memory of his puritan equity like an immense jar filled with water of which they had been told not to spill a drop.” – from the short story Irina, by Mavis Gallant (Paris Stories collection)

    Paris Stories is a beautiful collection. The short story Irina has the most vivid sense of place – it’s all a feeling of hushed, chilled, snowy air outside, and the quiet of an apartment unused to children inside:

    “At half past four, when the windows were as black as the sky in the painting of tulips and began to reflect the lamps in a disturbing sort of way, they drew the curtains and had tea around the table. They pushed Riri’s books and belongings to one side and spread a cross-stitched tablecloth. Riri had hot chocolate, a croissant left from breakfast and warmed in the oven….”

    And now, Urban Sketchers:

    gamexmas

    The above drawing – by Cathy Gatland – is from the website, Urban Sketchers. Urban Sketchers is one of the most interesting sites I have encountered this year. It’s a group blog for people who draw, and they draw, charmingly, what they see: The city life around them! It’s dizzying, the talent on display.

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Book Notes | 3 Comments »