Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2017!

I hope you all had a really nice Christmas holiday and were able to spend time with family and friends. We had a very quiet Christmas Day with just my little family of four spent happily opening a few presents and having lots of laughs together while we did that. It seemed every gift needed an explanation, and I loved the comment my son made "I love gifts that come with a story". It's true isn't it? It's a lot more fun when we can share how we came to choose this gift (or in my case "make" this gift!). 

I was making signs this year as well as knitting scarves. I made a sign for my son to hang in his room with the name of his current-favourite lake painted on it.

I also painted (but could not finish due to technical difficulties) a sign for my husband painted on an old saw of my Dad's to put in his workshop. If anyone ever wants to paint on metal ... use enamel paints ... just saying. I'll share that when I get it finished.

We had an enormous turkey for just four people, and there are about 8 plastic boxes each with 2 cups of turkey stock in the freezer, and still enough turkey left chopped up in the fridge for one more turkey pot pie to feed four! Big turkey! None of us are complaining since we all love our turkey. 

The tree will be coming down today ... something I always do on New Year's Day. It gives a bit of a gentle flourish to end the holidays. We're still all home again tomorrow, and head back to work and school on Tuesday. I'm glad this coming week is a short one!

my old Christmas stocking from the early 1960s
We did only a few things this holiday. We saw the new Star Wars movie "Rogue One", and I just might have dozed off for a brief second there in the theatre. I was so tired after having a long drive to and from Mississauga to see Dad through terribly slow traffic. A 45-minute drive turned into an hour and a half each way! It just wears me out these days. I was so restless in the theatre seat because of it. I finally took off my shoes and tucked my feet under me and was more comfortable and able to watch the rest of the movie. Do you get like that when you're really tired? I get so restless when I'm tired. 

I gave my husband a few cards with "Christmas moments" written into each one. They were things that we could do on the holidays. One was the movie, and another was a trip to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). I gave him the membership for his birthday in October. In the card I told him to bring his membership card and I'd take him to the AGO and lunch afterwards. We went to see the "Small Wonders" exhibit which was a display of handcarved prayer beads and miniature alters, carved from boxwood. It was amazing! The carved "beads" were anywhere from one inch to two and three inches in diameter. They opened up with little wooden hinges and inside were these spectacular teeny tiny 3D carvings of biblical scenes. Many were of Jesus in the manger, or of his crucifixion. 

Object Main Image

Object Main Image
All this detail in about 1 1/2 inches!

Object Main Image
The details were incredible. There were all kinds of people carved into the wood, and horses and soldiers with swords about the width of a hair. We were both fascinated with these art treasures. There was one set of beads on loan from Chatsworth, England that was originally owned by Henry VIII and his wife Katharine. I found that was just amazing to see something that had been in Katharine's own hands (as it seems she was the true owner of the beads). I really like seeing hand carving, and this exhibit was a real pleasure to see. You can go to this site to see the collection online.

This will mark the first year that we didn't have any large family gathering. I'm not sure how all that fell apart, but I didn't enjoy Christmas as much as I used to because of it. I didn't do much baking apart from the Christmas cake and a lemon meringue pie. I didn't make even one cookie! My little cookie stamps didn't get used at all. But there were lots of turkey recipes being cranked out, and I wore my Christmas apron that Mom made me many years ago.

I did get over to see my dad on Boxing Day and gave him a few gifts. It was a rather heartbreaking visit with his questions, "Why are you giving me these gifts? Have I ever given you gifts?"  He couldn't understand why I would give him these things. I don't even think he understood what I meant when I said "I'm your daughter". Oh well, it is what it is, and there's no point in pining for the good old days because they are gone for good now. I'm glad it's a new year, but I don't see anything changing with respect to dear old Dad. 

Dad poring over the photos of his family and not knowing even one person :(
I still have more things to knit and paint and carve in the next little while ... it's never ending these days! I'm looking forward to these projects though because there is no deadline attached to them. Well, the carving has to be done by July, but I'm not starting to panic (just yet!). I bought some yarn on sale to make a lap blanket. The only thing that has held me back in the past is having to buy so much yarn for it! I'm still not used to the expense of knitting in comparison to the less expensive sewing I have always done.

Well, it's getting late in the morning now, and I should tackle that Christmas tree and put it to bed. I like to take my time with this. I have my last hurray of Christmas music ready ...

Two of my favourite CDs
... the tea is brewed (Cream of Earl Grey by David's a gift from my daughter) ....

... I have a lovely scented candle burning ...

... the good china is ready to be put away until the next special occasion ...

... so goodbye little wooden snowmen and wooden Santas ...

... and goodbye beautiful snowy wintry scenes ...

... oh, wait ... what?! ... what am I thinking, I live in Canada and winter has only just started!!

Actually the above scene was taken on Thursday the 29th. I'm laughing at my son right now because he completely missed this snowy scene (he's sitting beside me as I type this). The snow was wet and had fallen off the trees by the time he got up that day. Today it looks like this ... crisp and cold and sunny ...

 Enjoy your day, and all the best to you in the New Year.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Happy New Year. I'll be starting to take down Christmas at my house, too. Out with the old, in with the new!

  2. I sure enjoyed this post, dear Wendy~
    I love the photo of you!
    I'm like you, in that I too get restless (especially my legs) when I'm tired.
    What a great gift in those cards you gave your husband. I'll have to remember that and borrow your idea . ☺

    Hearing you talk about taking your Christmas tree down and putting it to sleep is kind of sad. I will keep ours up a while longer as I have one more Christmas tea party. One of my sisters was not able to make it on her set date. I had a total of 8 Christmas Friendship Teas in December and what a joy it was.

    Blessings to you and your family for the New Year ♡

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  4. Happy New Year Wendy I hope that 2017 is a great one for you and your lovely family. :) xx

  5. Happy New Year, Wendy. Those boxwood carvings are extraordinary - and your signwriting is pretty good, what a lovely idea! Lovely to see a photo of your father, I know how hard it is when a close relative has dementia, and I also know that they miss you if you don't visit, even if they don't seem to know who you are when you do visit. Life throws difficult things at us sometimes. This seems a good time to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog, and I look forward to lots more posts in 2017. x

  6. Ha-ha! Your comment about winter and Canada made me laugh. My in-laws used to live in Mississauga. The bead carving exhibit definitely looks like something incredibly amazing to see. Glad you got to do that. Yesterday I put away the Christmas decorations, ready for a fresh start in this new year. Now to tackle all the clutter and get organized. You are wise to accept how things are now with your dad. It's hard, but as you said, it is what it is, and to fight it is futile. You just have to deal with him from your heart, remembering that although he is your dad, he is now a stranger even to himself. Wishing you and yours all the best, Tammy

  7. Wishing you, and your family a very happy 2017 !

  8. It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the first day of the new year. The carving you showed is just amazing! I can't imagine the time and patience that would go into each piece.

    It was a beautiful day in our neighbourhood, wasn't it? :) Sunshine and not a cloud in the sky!

  9. What a delightful post. Loved the photos. I see we both love the same Christmas music CDs. Great minds and all that...

    I was marveling at those carvings, and the beads on loan from Chatsworth. Oh my, to be so close to something that was so old and to imagine it in the Queen's own hands feels ... I don't know what ...a wonder and a marvel indeed. I felt a little like that when we were in Highclere Castle. They have one of Napoleon's antique desks in one of the rooms (not ever seen on Downton); I felt that sense of awe to actually see a desk where a famous man of history actually sat and wrote his letters, and to think I'm standing here looking at it. It does gives a little thrill, doesn't it?

    Wendy, thanks for a lovely visit. Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Look forward to sharing the blogging journey with you in 2017.


  10. Those miniature carvings are simply phenomenal, aren't they? I am fascinated by the level of artistry and skill that went into so many handcarved treasures of the past, and of course I love wood, anyway. Thanks for sharing these pictures and the link!
    We just had our fourth real snowstorm, and another is predicted tomorrow. I've been moving hay on the hayboggan for a couple of weeks now, to the accompaniment of the shouts from the herd as soon as I step out the back door. I try to believe they are encouraging me - thanking me, even! - but I suspect they are really just telling me to "hurry it up!"
    Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year, Wendy. Looking forawrad to seeing more of your wonderful projects in 2017 :)

  11. lovely photos Wendy...happy New Year !
    Gail x

  12. I did read about the Small Wonders exhibit in one of the newspapers some weeks back... what a thing to see!

  13. Happy New Year, Wendy! I'm glad to hear that you had a good holiday, despite the difficult visit with your dad. Thank you for sharing the amazing boxwood beads. Very cool!

    I'll be taking my Christmas tree and decor down this coming Saturday. I took a couple of extra days off so I return to work on Wednesday. Good luck with your first day back at work!

  14. You did a great job of the lettering on your son's lake sign Wendy and I know what you mean about small Christmas celebrations, been there before.
    When my mother was to the point where you dad is, we didn't give her gifts any more as it was confusing and they were promptly forgotten minutes later. I can laugh now - my mother thought I was one of the workers in the nursing home. :-)
    Back to the grind on Tuesday but hopefully a year of good things for you.

  15. Happy New Year, dearest Wendy! Lucky you that you've already taken down your Christmas tree. That is what I will be doing in just a few moments and I confess that I'm having a hard time getting motivated :) It's alwats sad when the twinkling lights are put away.

    Your dear that picture of him looking at photos brought tears to my eyes. I know it's not easy on you or him.

    Thinking of you and wishing you a most wonderful and blessed 2017. Love and hugs!

  16. That sounds like a pretty good holiday. Love that your presents come with stories and that your children appreciate them.
    Sorry to hear about your dad, it most be tough, i can't even imagine.

  17. I had a great holiday... yours does sound great even though you missed the larger ampunt of family... things happen last year was different for me as well I did't really celebrate but this year I did in every way.. I enjoyed my visit with you I felt like we were having tea together while you told me everything... I love the snow photo so pretty it brought back many childhood days up north in the snow.. have a wonderful day with love Janice

  18. Happy New Year!
    The carvings are spectacular. I must tell my daughter about that exhibit.
    I remember my Da having difficulty remembering so many things.

  19. Happy New Year my dear sweet Friend! And all good blessings wished to you for 2017!! Sounds like it was still a lovely Christmas holiday - even if it was a smaller and quieter affair. And if you get sick of all that turkey feel free to send some on over. Lol! ;)

    So sorry about your Dad visit - I know how hard that can be. It's difficult enough time marching on and we all age and traditions change. But to have to keep watching your loved one fade away - it's just really unfair. Sending ya a big hug on that one!

    It sounds like you had a wonderful break - and I'm amazed by those beads and carvings!! So cool!

    We still have a few inches of snow, but it had been mild too. Today it's getting cold again and will be below zero tonight. bbrrr! Gotta love living in the north, right?

    Wishing you a good back to normal week! xoxo

  20. Happy New Year Wendy. I hope that your New Year brings you lots of blessings, Cindy


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