Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Minutiae vol. 4 ~ Christmas cookies and Santa Lucia

So, I have a little story to share with you today.  This is the one where I break down crying. So yeah. For two weeks in a row, I had a plan. My babysitter would come when she always comes, and I would go run a million errands out by the Mall. I had my long list of items, my purse, and a lot of energy and sans-kid time. Holidays + Little Time + Pressure = Stress, Lots and Lots of Stress.

I got to the Mall area, and realized that I was actually without my phone and wallet, and... had a gas tank that was on empty.  It hit me that I was a little more than useless.  Nooooooo!  I was so mad!  I just stared, wondering... what in the world am I going to do?! After a 30 minute bout with aimlessness and the aforementioned, ahem..... crying, I ended up reading at Barnes and Noble- without coffee, ugh! I just got a stupid Pepsi from the newsstand in the mall food court- yes, my friends just ended up reading, for three and a half hours, and made it home with just barely enough gas left in the tank.
A dear friend sent this Christmas Novena to me - I am thankful!

And... yeah. It happened again a week later (!!!), but I just rolled with it.  It's like my new tradition now. I go to the Shopping Center with a long list of items to cross off my to-do list, and I.... read.  Yeah, mmhmm...  I just read.  And I look at the "Artful Blogging" magazine, and that's about it. Take that, Mall!

Christmas books lit up by the lights from the tree

So, let's talk St. Lucia.

This short description includes some great tidbits of history about St. Lucia, or as she is called in Norway, "Santa Lucia." They remember how Lucia, a young girl, brought food to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome during the time of Emperor Diocletian.  I think I mentioned in a recent post that my maternal grandparents were Swedish, but technically they were/are Swedish and Norwegian.  I'm pretty sure the celebration is similar in Sweden and Norway, but somebody correct me if I'm wrong! I have many memories of bringing this 95 year old woman sweet rolls in bed when she came to visit us in December!
My Swedish/Norwegian Grandma Evelyn with her two daughters making homemade Christmas cookies!  | With her great-granddaughter, Evelyn, for whom she is the namesake

My Mom still makes scorpa, a traditional Norwegian food similar to biscotti, as well as Scandinavian cookies- sandbakkels and krumkake with her three sisters and her mother, who are all living in Nashville. We left the lefsa (dried fish) and a few other traditional foods in our family culture behind! What a wonderful tradition, I wish I could have been there.

So we're going with the daily play-by-play style for this edition of Weekly Minutiae (min-oo-shuh). On Monday, I went jogging. I know! That's an event, right? So I live-tweeted it. I think this might be a yearly tradition!  Have you ever tried it? If you can, use your microphone. That explains why I couldn't do a proper hashtag, without spaces between the words. I think my favorite tweet was "I have a cramp that's burning blazes #my moms words not mine." This phrase came from a story from a ski trip we went on when Molly was a baby. My Mom said that her bunion was "burning blazes." My brother-in-law Pete said, "I have no idea what that means." Later, on recollection of this somewhat comical conversation, I skied into a snowdrift. So that's the story behind the story. :-)

On Tuesday, we went to the Catholic Motherhood group that meets at my church.  It was so refreshing to be with other moms from my parish.  We discussed this book, The Incorruptibles, and shared conversion stories with a new member who was cradle Catholic and curious to hear our stories. I realized that even though I have known some of these women for a while now, I did not know their conversion stories. I was blessed to hear from them. If you are sensitive of death stories, or the discussion of exhumation, do not buy this book! (Just sayin.) If you want to learn more about this crazy phenomenon and you are not easily startled, this may just be the book for you!
Philipok, by Leo Tolstoy

Also we spent a very long time on Tuesday afternoon just reading from our basket of Christmas books. Yes, it feels nice now that we have quite a collection, between the books we’ve collected over the years, and the library books we are borrowing right now. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with my sweet girls on either side of me! We watched Home Alone and Home Alone 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

On Wednesday, we did our normal thing. Our babysitter came, I ran into a friend from elementary school at the mall play area (yeah, I told her "I'm a writer," and that was... well, a story for another day). We picked up Molly, I dropped off some nuts for a funeral at our church, and in the afternoon, we played game after game of "ring around the rosy" for what felt like hours and Anders officially likes the "all fall down" part a lot right now. ;)
And we made these gift tags. I think they're not too shabby for a DIY. :-) You should try it!

So my Mom and I made some Christmas cookies and Scorpa together on Thursday.
Swedish Biscotti, called Scorpa... Yum Yum Yum!
I have never made saffron bread, but I've made many batches of delicious Scorpa in the past! It's like biscotti but flavored with cardamom. Maybe I'll share the recipe here someday soon.
On Friday, we .... drum roll please.... went to the Dollar Store!
And on Saturday, we celebrated the Feast of Santa Lucia (or alternatively, St. Lucy) with almond bear claws ... that I bought. :) Molly helped me make the wreath.
To make your own wearable wreath, use two pieces of long Ivy twine, and tie the ends with ribbon. Shape into a circle. Make another crown of rosemary, also by tying long sprigs with ribbon. Layer the rosemary crown over the Ivy crown, and add birthday candles using two twisty ties (the kind you find from a loaf of bread). Use the twisty ties to combine the two wreaths and make them into one.
Btw, does anyone know if there is a movie about St Lucy? My girls would love it, I'm sure.

And now, a couple of interviews with a 6+4+2 year old from this past week!
Stephen: Today is December 11th, and what day of the week is it?
Molly: The eleventh. I know... it is the eleventh day of Lent.
Stephen: Ah.. Wait, wait, Lent comes before... what? When does Lent happen? Before what holiday? ....What feast?
Molly: Thanksgiving?
Stephen: Easter. So what are we in right now? 
Molly: I don't know. Lent?
Stephen: Advent.
Molly: Advent? I don't know what I was thinking about... oh, Lent.
Stephen: It's time to prepare for one of the biggest days of the year.
Molly: I'm drawing you as a heart... this is heart world.
Stephen: You're drawing me as a heart? Ok. Frances what did you do today? Did you spend time with Grandma and Grandpa?
Frances: Yeah! I made cookies!
Stephen: What kind of cookies?
Frances: The kind that are in the Santa cookie jar.  I didn't have time for dessert, but that's ok... I'll quickly do one.
Stephen: Why does it help to get it quickly? 
Frances: Umm... well...
Stephen: Frances what did you do today?
Frances: Well, you already know that.
Stephen: Well, what did we do for the tree today?
Frances: Oh yeah, decorated the tree with candy canes.
Stephen: Molly, tell me what you got this morning {from the Book Fair at school}.
Molly: It's a diary with a top secret pen and you write with it, and it's invisible, and when you put the light on it in the dark, you can put the light on it and see what you write.
Stephen: That's amazing! So why would you ever want to write invisible messages?
Molly: So no one knows I writed it!

Stephen: Is there anything else you want to say about today that was interesting?
Frances: Well, Molly's writing stuff in her diary and I don't think... I don't remember what else!
Stephen: That's fine, what do you want to do tomorrow?
Frances: Maybe I can get all the stuff Molly wants, maybe I can get the BFF thing Molly wants!
Stephen: Ok,  great. Say goodnight everyone!
Madeleine: Goodnight, phone!
~ ~ ~
Frances: I remember Easter last year. Can I get all of the same things on Easter this year as I got last year?
Stephen: What did you get last year?
Frances: It was a Chocolate Easter. I got Easter Chocolate.
(Well, that really must have really been something...)
~ ~ ~
Stephen: Tell me what you did today?
Madeleine: Played with my Frances
Stephen: You mean, played with Molly and Frances?
Madeleine: Because I need a little soap... and put it on my face, and then cheese!
Stephen: That doesn't look very good, it looks like you got soap in your mouth.
Madeleine: Yep!
Stephen: What does it taste like?
Madeleine: SOAP!
Anders: "I want to learn how to do all the things my sisters can do:-) Like talk, for example..."

Stephen: What else did you do with Grandma and Grandpa?
Madeleine: Played with Anders and Grandpa.. what is this little thingy?
Stephen: It looks like somebody glued a google eye to the sink. Did you do that?
Madeleine: No... it comed from Mommy because she put this little thing on. UH! I'll get it off... because Mommy won't get it off and I might break it!
Stephen: Did you bake today? What did you bake today? Cookies?
Madeleine: Um, cookies!
Stephen: Something else, or just cookies?
Madeleine: Something else?
Stephen: Um...Scorpa, right?
Madeleine: I want PJ's. 
Stephen: Because why?
Madeleine: Um because to get them wet for the water. (singing) Jesus loves... Jingle Bees! Jingle all the way.. How much fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh.... gibberish.....{laughing, laughing, laughing}. What is that thing again?
Stephen: Um, my phone.
Madeleine: No I'm talking about that THING!
Stephen: It's the case.
Madeleine: So what do you do with your phone?
Stephen: Um, I read on it, and...
Madeleine: Put your case on it?
Stephen: ...What do you do on the phone?
Madeleine: I play the baby game.
Stephen: What do you do with babies, do you feed the babies?
Madeleine: Mmmhmm! And you put the soap on it!
Stephen: Ok.... say goodnight!
Madeleine: Goodnight! (mumbling to herself) Because this is a triangle, not a square. (???)

What is "Weekly Minutiae" you may ask?
updates, funny things they say, photo dumps, and the like,  a "blogging is fun" type deal with all of the fun trivial details that make life fun and/or interesting.

In January, this is going to become a Link-Up through InLinkz! Every Monday here at Picture a Skyline. This blog only gets about 25 hits per post, maximum 125. That's very small, traffic-wise.  Please email me with more questions. We're blogging for fun :-) Join us!

And stay tuned for a week of giveaways!

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