Tag Archives: traditions

Christmaschristmaschristmas

Sing with me!

It’s Christ-mas, Christ-mas
Christmaschristmaschrist-mas
Chr-its-mas!

Editor’s note – here’s a great Latvian cultural blog that will be celebrating 24 days of Christmas Baltic style! Priecīgus Ziemassvētku, Liene!

Ok, it’s Christmas time, not actually Christmas but I was anxiously waiting for Dec 1st as though it was Dec 25th.

I’m over the hill and acting like a child from 1 to 99. How did this happen?

Perhaps it was the US Capitol Christmas tree viewing? I recently read a facebook post that flew by on my news feed as I was scrolling for celebrity gossip that children are more successful if they experience delayed gratification. It was the “you can have one cookie now or two cookies if you wait an hour” test. I postulate, although I was dunked into the Christmas spirit when the US Capitol tree came to town and because I prohibited celebrating early, that my excitement was intensified by anticipation for Thanksgiving to be done! The feeling reminds me of the good ol’ Christmas mornings of my youth when I’d bask in the overflowing glow of the Christmas tree while waiting for everyone else to wake up.

Perhaps I’m overly excited about spending Christmas at my house, with my tree, with presents decorated my way? (please, husband, don’t use a whole roll of wrapping paper on a jewelry box). We spend nearly every holiday out-of-state. Usually, to accommodate all the family gatherings and obligations, we have to leave days before each holiday. As a result, I don’t get a chance to share many of the wonderful things my parents did for me with my children. It won’t be much longer before the magic will fade for them. Older Kid is already nonchalant about decorations. I feel this year has to be a ringer (Ref. Polar Express Sleigh Bell).

Perhaps I’m just a holiday freak?

…I figure that statement doesn’t require any further explanation.

So Sing with me!

All I really want from you, is your beau-ti-ful Christ-mas lights
Learn more about the song Beautiful Christmas Lights here
Younger Kid has taken over the outdoor lights. I guess, I can’t have everything my way.

IMG_4602.JPG

IMG_4604.JPG

IMG_4586.JPG

1 Comment

Filed under family, wonderland

Jeanne’s Homemade Applesauce

The apples are ripe for the picking! Only I don’t pick, I buy, cook/bake and eat apples. The freezer is empty (minus 25 bags of frozen corn thanks to the Mister) so it’s an applesauce year. It’s something my mom made for us so I do the same for my kids. Or, maybe, I really just do it for myself.

One thing I treasure from the six months my mom had after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was the “sister time” my sister and I spent with my mom. We did crafts together and added to a long list of insider jokes. One of the activities my mom organized for us was a lesson on how to make Jeanne’s Homemade Applesauce.

Fast forward fourteen years, it’s time to open Jeanne’s instructions and cook down to applesauce.

IMG_4417.JPG
Instructions and apples – check

IMG_4418.JPG
Read Instructions for the fourteenth time.

In Jeanne’s own words:
Hello
My name is Jeanne
Today we are going to learn how to make Applesauce which is fun and very easy. Here are a few steps into a wonderful dish of Homemade Applesauce.

1. Go out and buy yourself a bushel of apples like Macs or Jonathan and just ask the orchard owner what is a good apple for sauce.

2, return home before you use up your energy you will need a lot for applesauce.

3 run water in the sink catching it to about 1/2 full and pour some of the apples into the water to wash.

4 NOw you must make a choice on how you want to cut up the apples I myself like the corer and just drop the quartered apple into the pan on the stove on =—–LOW (COULDN’T FIND THE UNDERLINE for under the Low)

5. The apples must simmer for 2 to 3 hours stir occasionally and watch to see if the apples are going to stick which makes then brown black better known as burnt.

6. An easy way to get them started is to put them in the Micro for about 10 minutes then into the pan and helps to avoid the burning. And gets them off to an easy start;

7. NOw if you remember your apples cooking you can relax for 2 to 3 hours returning to the apples to stir once in a while go read , do laundry ., put the kid to bed , or make a wreath.

8. The apples must be ready to finish now. . Get out the colander put it over a deep dish and pour some hot cooked apple into the colander working with the round handled part sieve through into the deep dish YOu will need to clean out the colander once in a while and pour in more until it is all done. From here you will add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Fill the plastic bags and enjoy when winter comes. You might want to mark on this paper from the amount of apples you have today how much sauce you get so that next year you have an idea how much to buy.

IMG_4419.JPG

My mother gave me an A-.

2 Comments

Filed under family, Lessons learned, wonderland

Six Steps Celebrating Jani: A Beginners Guide To PseudoLatvianism

Jani: A midsummer’s celebration that is like celebrating New Year’s Eve only it makes New Year’s Eve look like Groundhog’s Day. (Note: Reasons for celebrating Jani will be covered under PseudoLatvian Novice : Transitioning from Light-Weight to Mid-Weight.

1. Build a bonfire by the lake.

2. Build a bonfire so big that it could be seen 10 miles away. Since you’ll need to be in the country side for this bonfire to avoid being arrested for arson, it helps to follow number 1 so “could be seen” will change to “can be seen”.

3. Put a bonfire up on a pole. Lighting this bonfire can be tricky. The old tradition is to have a young man with the proper skills light it with an arrow. However, one missed shot in the wrong location could lead to a wildfire that can be viewed 10 miles away which is not the way to complete number 2.

4. Adorn your head and the head of everyone else with a crown of flowers or leaves depending upon gender, preference, or availability of materials.

5. Eat cheese. If it doesn’t have seeds in it, you’ve got the wrong cheese.

6. Sing and dance all night until the sun comes up. What else are you going to do while you wait for that “10 mile” bonfire to burn out?

To sum it up, enjoy the fires, accessorize with organics, and forget that you need singing and dancing lessons. Or, go to Garezers where you can be indoctrinated into PseudoLatvianism in one night.

20140623-114322-42202165.jpg2013 Jani Bonfire in forefront and pole bonfire in the distance.

2 Comments

Filed under Michigan, PseudoLatvianism