Saturday December 30th 2006, 10:53 am

We received a telephone call from our son Jimmy, who lives in Thailand, yesterday afternoon, and it was the first time he was able to get a phone line to call since the December 26 earthquake. He was planning on going to Kho Phi Phi beach for the Christmas holidays, but due to the earthquake, the waves are too high for the boats to go near the islands, so he will be staying in Bangkok. That is the same area which suffered a lot of damage during the December 26, 2004 tsunami. Even though Thailand is a Buddhist country, the schools are closed from December 22 to early January.

Communicating in Our High Tech World
Thursday December 28th 2006, 11:46 pm

We have been waiting for a phone call from our son, who lives in Bangkok, Thailand, as he was to telephone us on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day. We didn’t get a call so I emailed him today and he responded that there was an earthquake on Boxing Day off the coast of Taiwan which wiped out the internet and telephone connections in much of Southeast Asia. He advised that the internet is still up and down and it is difficult to make telephone connections from Asia. I hadn’t heard this news but I thought it was very eery because this quake occurred on the second anniversary of the earthquake which caused the tsunami in Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004.

Christmas Day
Tuesday December 26th 2006, 10:55 am

I spent a lovely Christmas day yesterday with my husband, daughter, brother and sister. My sister hasn’t spent a Christmas with us in Nova Scotia since 1959, so it was an extra special Christmas. We also phoned our other sister, who lives in Ottawa, after we ate our turkey dinner of free range turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and brocolli with plum pudding and sauce for dessert. We miss our son who is living in Thailand but will talk to him by phone today or tomorrow. We took several pictures of us opening gifts and I will be putting some of them on this blog today.

Merry Christmas Everyone.
Monday December 25th 2006, 8:09 am

Tuesday December 19th 2006, 11:00 pm

Did you know that in 1647 the English Parliament abolished Christmas. The ban on the festivities was lifted in 1660 when the Puritan leader, Oliver Cromwell, lost power.

The first Christmas was celebrated on December 25, AD 336 in Rome.

Many of the traditions associated with Christmas such as giving gifts, singing carols and decorating the tree, date back to older religions.

Nova Scotia leads the world in exporting lobster, blueberries and Christmas trees.

There are 364 gifts in the “Twelve Days of Christmas”.

What you should know about your drain.
Monday December 18th 2006, 10:25 am

If there is one lesson to learn in life, it is to never, ever pour anything with fat in it down the drain or down the toilet. I should have known better because a few months ago my brother had to get a plumber to replace some pipes in his home to get the congealed fat cleared from his pipes. The pipes were completely blocked with hardened fat. Apparently this is a common problem because it tends to build up over several years without anyone knowing. This is almost like your arteries after eating too much fat for years.

Plum Pudding For Christmas
Thursday December 14th 2006, 11:20 pm

Every year, a few weeks before Christmas, my grandmother made several steamed plum puddings. She would keep a few for our family and give the rest away to friends. After we ate our turkey dinner on Christmas day, she served the delicious plum pudding covered with a white vanilla sauce and it was so good. Unfortunately I never got the recipe before my grandmother died in 1969. I could figure out how to make the sauce but not how to steam the pudding which was tied tightly in cloth, put in a bowl and steamed in water for a few hours. I remembered some of the ingredients such as suet, raisins and peel but I didn’t feel confident enough to make it so I made other desserts for Christmas for the first ten years of our marriage.

Country Living
Monday December 11th 2006, 11:02 pm

I am reading a book titled “Getting Rid of Alders” which is a collection of some stories from the Rural Delivery magazine. This magazine was started in Nova Scotia in 1976 as a small classified ad exchange for old farm tools and machinery. It evolved into a magazine about country living and it’s challenges in rural Nova Scotia, with stories and country wisdom submitted by the readers. I thought the title was interesting because we are forever trying to get rid of alders at our summer cottage. This year we cut some down in August and we plan on pulling out the roots in the early spring, when the earth is wet, so they don’t grow back. Several letters to the magazine advised that the best time to cut them is about August 20, so I guess we got it right, even if we didn’t know it at the time.

Planning for a Relaxing Christmas
Saturday December 09th 2006, 12:26 pm

I have been so busy lately shopping almost every day that I haven’t had much time to write in this blog. I finished my Christmas shopping, hopefully, this morning and we will be decorating the Christmas tree and the inside of the house today. I mailed the cards and gifts yesterday so they will get to their destinations in time. I don’t plan on doing any Christmas baking this year because it never gets eaten during the holidays and I always end up eating more than I should. I bought cookies, squares and mincemeat tarts so that will have to do. In the past, the worst part of Christmas is rushing to get everything done and never accomplishing it until the last minute. Unless I plan it well, I get so tired by Christmas day that I don’t enjoy it. I made the cranberry sauce so the only reason I will have to go to any stores in the next two weeks is to get the free range turkey and the vegetables. I feel like I am ready now, so it should be an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas, at least that is my plan. Our Monday’s snowfall melted by yesterday morning. We got a few more centimeters of it last night but that will melt tomorrow. Today is Saturday and the malls are crazy, so I’m glad I’m not out there now.

The Halifax Explosion
Wednesday December 06th 2006, 10:51 am

Eighty-nine years ago today on December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax Harbour, killing 2,000 people and injuring over 9,000, in one of the worst man-made disasters of our time. It was the biggest man-made explosion in the world until the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshimo in 1945. It happened when the French munitions ship Mont Blanc collided with the Imo, a Belgian relief vessel, in Halifax Harbour at about 9:00 a.m. and flattened the north end of the city of Halifax. The blast could be felt hundreds of kilometers away. It was during World War I so many people thought the Germans had bombed the city.