Monday, December 26, 2011

A Change of Season...

Due to only having a day to think about our family's Christmas festivities, the school Christmas program went really well, the kids were so cute in their pretty dresses and a few of the boys even had fancy suit coats, but Friday found me sitting on my bed, laptop in hand, searching the web for some last minute ideas for our Christmas menu.

In the end, I went back to our family's simple favorites-I did make breakfast burritos, having just learned from Molina, my fellow teacher and Navajo, how to make homemade tortillas, then  we did our family favorite- Fondue for Christmas Eve dinner- the oil kind with cubed raw steak, shrimp and mushrooms to fry and a cheese fondue with cubed bread and asparagus spears to dip with all kinds of yummy dips. 

We also uncorked and dispersed Jon's wild plum rum to friends and enjoyed it ourselves Christmas Eve. Our old homestead has a long hedge of wild plums and thanks to one of the wonderful blogs I read from England, where I found this recipe for what they call Damsons - I put the idea of plum rum in Jon's head and he ran with it! Yum- this is our second batch and we made sure to make more of it for ourselves then last year because everyone wanted it!

I also divided and conquered, assigning cooking duties to other members of the family members even though I could hear the objections of all my grandmothers  in my head. Yes the kitchen was a little messy- but I got to sit down and enjoy the day which was beautiful and warm and I just kept loading and running the dishwasher and wiping down counters.

Christmas morning- I had planned to make sausage, fried potatoes and eggs, but a friend gave us the most yummy bread birdies, sweet roll knots, with one end clipped to look like tail feather and the other complete with an almond beak- and we still had daughter #2's cheese ball and I had everything to make my mom's Tipsy Dogs...
1 cup Bourbon
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar

simmer sauce until it reduces slightly and then add quartered good hot dogs or those mini sausage links for about 30 minutes.
My kids wanted to eat everything off a plate with toothpicks in little cups while playing with their Christmas toys!

Today, after Daughter #1 makes crepes,  I told the family we are observing Boxing Day- and purging of a lot of out grown clothes, unwanted items and recycling- which we will box up, take over to Durango, with a boyfriend in tow and  drop off at the thrift stores and recycling center  and then it is off to the movies where I think everyone is splitting up, and then down to downtown to wander a great old mining town main street, find a good place for dinner, browse a book, magazine store and then end it with a trip to the coffee shop. Nice way to end the holiday!

And then I don't know about you...but come Tuesday and two weeks of school break, I am devoting it to my studio- which now resemble more of a large junk room- everyone discovered a long time ago my large work table makes a mighty fine gift wrapping station!

Hope you all had a wonderful time with your family this Holiday Season! This year felt like such a transition year with a kid going off to college, a boyfriend part of our family mix, me teaching again and not home when the kids are done with school. I'd trade it all back, to be home with my two sweet little girls, didn't seem like enough time.

 It is like a really big chapter of our life is closing and a new on is starting- which mean we need to think about what is important and what needs to change. We still have Daughter #2 at home and  with Grandpa, who lives in another house on the homestead and is 86, we can't make any drastic changes quite yet, but my thoughts more and more often go to dreaming of moving- possible to Santa Fe or back over to Durango where we went to college or traveling- I am starting to look at Artist Residency programs on the East Coast and Europe, short ones and long term ones. I keep telling Jon he has to figure out how to do this lawyer thing over the internet so he can come with me and do some of the writing he always talks about.

His thoughts have gone to apples, saving what is left of the orchard on our property and helping to replant some of the heirloom varieties that are dying out in Southwest Colorado, once a thriving fruit producer about the turn of the twentieth century. It is just plain weird to start to think past kids- since for two decades they seemed to be our only thought- making a nest to raise our babies- which I think we made a pretty good nest and have two pretty awesome girls to show for it, but they are thinking about flying away and I got to think about what I'll be doing next!


  1. Oh yeah, so many things about this post echo my own stage in life; aging parents, growing children, and sense of change coming. The same crunch for time that you write of I know many Creative Types find they are up against in December. Sometimes the lack of time to plan can bring on some surprisingly good innovations and new traditions. Like our impromtu homemade Christmas pizza (roasted red peppers, goat chees and artichokes) for dinner last night! And to console you, my studio currently looks like a paper tornado has struck- no surface is workable! And I have deadlines looming and an at-home family that just want to veg around and play, me included. So. There is always the New Year, shining and full of possibility. May yours be creative and adventure-filled.

  2. Wow, it sounds like a flurry of change. Here's to grace and lightness as you discover the perfect balance in it all. And Happy Christmas. I love the glowy tree.