2001-12-06 22:25:35 (UTC)

Rituals of Small Things

In times of stress there is a comfort in keeping the rituals
of small things. For me, this means days spent at home with
cooking, housework, reading and quilting. That was my day

I mailed a note to my parents along with a newspaper
clipping of Gavin's story about Shep. I also wrote some
chatty, long notes and enclosed them in Christmas cards to
mail to my aunts in Canada. I made a quick stop at the
local market and bought candy canes, bulk caramels,
peppermints, and gumdrops (the latter three for cookies), a
container of fruit cake mix, and the only two jars of
mincemeat they had. They had to call their other store to
determine the price--$7.99 a jar. I remembered that it was
expensive but I think it was about two dollars more last
year. Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year! I
stretch it by making mincemeat pies with a layer of custard
on top which also cuts into the sweetness but the real
reason for buying it is to make little mincemeat turnover
cookies. These and the snowball cookies which I make from
his Grandmother Rasmussen recipe are the cookies John loves

Since I was making little mincemeat turnovers I decided I
might as well make meat pies for dinner. They aren't that
difficult to make--mix diced uncooked potatoes, onions,
carrots, frozen peas, beefsteak, and seasonings together.
Cut out round of pie pastry using the bottom of a soup bowl,
place a few tablespoons of the mixture on half, fold over
the other half, seal with fork, poke a few vent holes in the
top and bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for about 35
minutes. They'll work nicely in John's lunch too and make a
nice change from sandwiches.

Speaking of making lunches, John begins day shift tomorrow
so I'll make a pumpkin pie so he'll have a piece of pie,
along with a piece of lemon cake and cookies for dessert in
his lunchbox. There's a comfort in filling his lunchbox. It
means that he has a job!

When I make his lunch, I always include two containers of
something to drink--on day shifts one is coffee and the
other juice. On graveyard it's two juices--often it's
orange and apple but sometimes it's V8 or grape or cranberry
and sometimes iced tea. I also give him three pieces
of fruit which vary by the season. There's always one
sandwich in case things get busy and he can't use the
microwave and a tupperware container of something hot-- soup
or chicken and rice, for example. Then there are two to
three desserts. At least one is something he can eat
while working--usually cookies-- and the other two are pie,
cake or some other dessert he can use a spoon or fork to
eat. The work he does is hard and physical and even with
all this food he remains at a normal weight. Lucky man!

He went into Albany this morning to finish up some errands
and do more Christmas shopping. He said he would be going to
the country house this afternoon to get the Christmas tree
and another pickup load of firewood.

I spent some time sorting through the CDs and videos looking
for the Christmas ones. I found all the Christmas music
except for Handel's Water Music and I'm also missing the A
Child's Christmas in Wales video. I arranged all the CDs so
I can hear them in an order that makes sense. I don't want
to listen to religious carols followed by Dr. Demento, for
example. That just wouldn't do at all. I think I'll also
ask John if he'll make a CD of the Chipmunks Christmas
for me. I won a (slightly used) record of it many years ago
in a contest the newpaper had by writing a humorous story
about children and Christmas.