wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Most Popular Elusive Guy

I think I see him. I hope he’s got my bag of grubs.

Yes, you’re right! And I see the big sack full of hazelnuts for me.

Er, ah, HERE I AM, Santa. OVER HERE!

Where? I don’t see anything.

When he does come, I hope he brings me a lot of rosehips. Wonder what they’d taste like. In the winter I get tired of these holly berries and mountain ash berries. But maybe the rosehips are too fuzzy inside. They look good though.

Oooooh! Look! He’s got sleigh troubles. His reindeer are conking out. Should’ve got a Tesla Sleigh. With inflation, the price of reindeer food today is high, even for Santa. But even so, the cost of the Tesla Sleigh itself is enough to break the bank.

Yeah, he’s in trouble all right.  Look! He’s turning around. Sniff… there goes that box of dog biscuits I asked for.

I see that. Hmm … I think I hear them complaining about being hitched up so close. Something about social distancing.

Sigh! No herring for supper tonight. Not by special delivery, anyway.


Well, I never! He’s going back to the North Pole. There goes that bunch of tree bugs I asked for.

I’ll go round up some recr-hoots.

Hey, you. Santa’s looking to hire you, Al and the Paca, to be his reindeer substitutes.

What’s that you say? You don’t play second fiddle? Huh! You’d think that in the spirit of Christmas, you’d oblige an old man. I see you are related to those llamas next door with all their llammering. You’re just lazy, the All Packa ya. Well, see if I give a hoot.

Here’s a likely crew.

Say, would you pronghorns like to save Santa’s bacon tonight?

But we’re in Montana.

That’s okay. He’ll have to go by there when he limps home with his rainydeer crew and drops them off. Maybe you can hop on and help get them home before the nightshift begins. Thanks a lot.

I’ve been watching and I don’t see him coming back yet. Must be in the workshop, adjusting the harnesses to the new team.

I think I see him now, with his fresh crew of pronghorns. Funny-looking reindeer. Better than nothing, I guess.

Oh, this is so exciting. We just can’t sit still.

Children, children, not so loud,

Reindeer’s nervous of the crowd,

Send a delegation out,

Find that sleigh, and kids don’t pout.

Let’s go meet him.

This way! This way!

Santa’s big sleigh.

Sliding, gliding,

Santa’s riding.

 

Now settle down or Santa will think you’re all quackers.

Look how well behaved we are; black and white, eating at the same table together. One big happy flock. We’re a “blended flock.”

Oh, listen to you guys. You think it’s easy being the black swan of the family?

Whaddaya mean? You think you’ve got it bad? You try being a rat. All I did was chew on a few of those lovely black licorice cords in the truck and WHAM! They lifted the trunk and exposed me to the elements. But they won’t see me hiding in the corner. Bet you can’t see me either. I’ve got a really good hiding place in the door well too. I’ll just wait there until Santa brings new wiring for me to nibble on.

One thing we all got for Christmas – not sure if Santa had anything to do with it – was darn cold weather. So when Santa had to fly back to change his Rainydeer tires for the more heavy-duty Pronghorn brand, he asked the North Wind to provide some Puddle Puzzles for us to play with while we await his return.

Actually, I thought the puzzles were more like A-maze-ing. You just try it. See if you can find a path out of this maze.

I hope your Christmas holiday time is amazing too.

Did you find the rat in the truck? Look on the far back right-hand corner of the picture (actually the left side of the truck).


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Holiday Time

 

It seems to be snowier this year, but only in dribs and drabs. It snows, and the next day it rains and the snow is gone. But the wind is bitter cold and the air is raw. I hope all the little birds and squirrels find warm places to spend the night. I know they’re out and about even in terrible weather, looking for bits of food to keep them warm enough. Even the hummingbirds that didn’t fly south are sipping at the cold sugar water in the feeder. Poor little things.

I hope you are all helping to keep the birds alive this winter by putting out suet or bird seed. Please don’t feed them bread. It’s not going to do them any good. They need proper bird seed and sunflower seeds.  And if you have a cat, be sure not to put the feeder where a cat could get to it. On second thought, if you have a cat, don’t feed the birds. Let your neighbour do it.

I hope you all have a happy time over the Christmas holidays. Be good to your friends, neighbours, and families. There is probably not enough of that kindness in the world.

With so much Covid fear, it seems that we are losing the closeness we had with friends and family. Everyone is afraid of this monster illness. But maybe we need to work harder at keeping up our friendships by writing, or phoning, or having more over-the-fence visits, until we get a handle on this virus.

Let us try not to forget that humans are meant to hug, and smile without masks, and love each other.  I worry about the toddlers who are not learning to read their parents’ facial expressions as they grow up. Somehow, someday, we need to get back to the way things were.

Have a healthy and happy Christmas time. I wish you all the best for 2022.

 

PS. I noticed I said, “I hope” several times in this post. I was going to change it, but then I thought, “No, I DO hope a lot.”

I hope you have a  lot of hope too.

 

 


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Yule Love Yule Logs

This is a very Christmassy recipe, but it’s good any time of the year.

Simple to make: all the ingredients are in the picture below. No baking powder or baking soda or salt. Just butter, sugar, flour and an egg, vanilla, dates and nuts (you can do without the nuts if you have an allergy). Recipe is at the end of this post.

You can see that I’ve chopped the dates (except for one to show you) and the pecans (you can use walnuts if you prefer them).

Mix the butter and sugar, add an egg and mix again, add the vanilla and then the flour. You’ll get a gooey batter. Add the nuts and dates.

Drop by spoonfuls, a couple at a time, into a bowl with shredded coconut, and to avoid getting batter all over your fingers, take a big pinch of coconut and push the batter off the spoon with it. Then coat the batter over and over  in the coconut, pressing lots of coconut into the batter as you shape it into a roll (a yule log).

Place the logs on a greased cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for 15 minutes.

They should be golden brown when they’re done.

Now all you need is a cup of something to go with the logs.

I copied my mother-in-law’s recipe years ago. She used walnuts, but I like pecans too, so sometimes I substitute.

Easy recipe. Enjoy!


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Winter’s Frosty Breath

It’s only October, but this farm scene would make a perfect Christmas card.

The shrubs in the distance have a frosting on them that is making the little ground squirrels living under them shiver.

Here is plenty of fuel to keep someone warm – someone far away, wherever this train is going.

The clumps of sagebrush and other grasses have been coated by winter’s frosty breath, giving them a designer look.

Did you ever mix up powdered laundry soap and water with an egg-beater and then dab the “snow” you made onto your Christmas tree? Then the decorations would be hung once the soapy snow had dried. These trees reminded me of doing that as a child. (I apologize for mentioning Christmas so early.)

The wintery air brings out the elves

They wait for dark or fog

So they can better hide themselves

Behind a nearby log.

The head elf orders laundry soap

The powdered kind is best

They spit in it and then they hope

That this will pass the test.

The soapy snow must be so thick

That it won’t dribble down

It must be right so it will stick

And give the tree its gown.

With sagey brush, like tiny brooms

They paint each branch with snow

The night is short, a new day looms

And all the elves must go.

If I’d been passing by last night

I’m sure I would have seen

But I’d have given them a fright

And I can’t be that mean.

And so I’ll just admire their trees

That look so pure and white

The elves are happy when they please

And know they’ve done it right.


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End of Year Thoughts

I’ve never taken a  break from blogging since I started this blog in 2011, but I think it’s time for a breather until after the new year.

At this time, I often think about people who have lost loved ones they miss even more than usual around this traditional family time. I tell myself that if it were me, I would manage to get through the hardest times by remembering the lost ones with good memories of them. If I need to have a little cry in private, so be it, but then I would pull myself together and try to focus on the joy of others.

Soon a new day will begin. It will be just another day without all the traditions that come with bittersweet memories attached, but it will be a new day and a challenge for me to make the most of it.

I like to think ahead and make plans and goals and things to look forward to – one of the reasons I love January.

I want to thank you all for being there. Blogging would not be fun without you.

I hope that, whatever form your celebrations take at this time of year, you have lots of warm, fuzzy  times with friends and family. I look forward to seeing you on your blogs and mine in the new year.