The Log Book: December 2014

“The Log Book” is a monthly summary of what I’ve been up to…kind of like a Christmas letter, but instead of reminiscing on the whole year, it’s a reflection on the past month (though I’m sure it will come in pretty handy when Christmas-letter time rolls around again).  I stole the idea from my cousin Laura over at A Nurse and A Nerd.


Latest projects:  CHRISTMAS letter and cards and gifts, of course!

What’s cooking?
Christmas breads!  My mom makes two kinds of quick breads to give to people as gifts–cranberry-orange and applesauce.  She never made them at any other time of the year, so I think of them as “Christmas breads.”  Now I do the same.
This month’s favorites:  Cranberry-orange bread; blueberry pancakes with home-made cranberry sauce and locally-made maple syrup.

Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian

Watching and listening:
“Star Trek, Voyager: Season 5” and “Star Trek, Deep Space Nine: Season 6”.
CHRISTMAS music!  Favorite groups/CDs are Glad, The Living Christmas Card and Bing Crosby.
CHRISTMAS movies!  The Muppets Christmas Carol, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon–the GOOD one).

I’m looking forward to:
A fresh start in a brand-new year!

Other happenings:
We had to put our dog, Sheena, to sleep on Sat, Dec. 6.  She was a fourteen-year-old German Shepherd, and her hips had really started to get bad.  We had planned to put her down the week before leaving on vacation, because we have to board her at the vets’ and we thought she would just be miserable.  Unfortunately on Saturday morning her back legs weren’t working at all and she couldn’t get up.  We took her to the vet and she died with us stroking her and talking to her.


Putting her down made me think of this passage from one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books:

“Jack would never again sniff the morning air and go springing over the short grass with his ears up and his mouth laughing. He would never nudge his nose under Laura’s hand again to say he wanted her to pet him. There had been so many times that she might have petted him without being asked, and hadn’t.
‘Don’t cry, Laura,’ Pa said. ‘He has gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds.’
‘Truly, Pa?’ Laura managed to ask.
‘Good dogs have their reward, Laura,’ Pa told her.”

~By the Shores of Silver Lake, by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Shaun’s grandmother came from Sweden to the United States when she was a little girl.  In honor of his family’s Swedish heritage, we like to celebrate Santa Lucia Day.  St. Lucy is also an Orthodox saint, which makes the day even more special.  We’re still working on making the celebration more elaborate and including more nods to Swedish culture, but one thing that’s easy enough to do is have a candle-light dinner.  Lovely.

We also have a REAL Christmas tree again this year.  Last year was the first time in my life I’d ever had a real tree, and I love it.  It looks pretty, it smells good, and most importantly, the cats leave it alone. 🙂

We went “over the river and through the woods” to visit Shaun’s family for Christmas.  I wrote in my Christmas letter that I wouldn’t mind a green Christmas after getting a storm in November that dumped 2 1/2 feet of snow on us.  I never thought it would actually happen, but sure enough, I got what I wished for!  It was a marvel to be taking long walks in late December, with the sun shining and wearing only a light jacket.  For just this year, Bing Crosby could keep his”white Christmas.”


And now we look ahead to 2015….


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