Finish line time.

From the early encyclopedia, Liber Floridus, around 1121, Ghent University LibraryIts all coming up. Coming to fruition. The potatoes are peeled. The presents wrapped. The stream of young men and women coming to gather (we had a crew until 2 a.m. of around 10) with roaring laughter, shouting stories and great hilarity in general —so the stream of snacks and dinners keep coming. Once again, thank goodness for the big hunks of pork I cooked down to make barbeque a few days ago. Breakfast this morning for the troops had Kitty and Laura cooking up banana pancakes and pillsbury cinnamon rolls that were devoured within seconds of being pulled out the the oven.

All the prep is almost done. I baked and iced a carrot cake. Lovely. The fishes are purchased (salmon, oysters and crabmeat) which will be: a broiled salmon with parsley and white wine, oysters are baked with breadcrumbs and garlic (will make two ways), and a crabmeat casserole that is my sister’s recipe. There is a torta (potato leek tart). There will be green beans and another green. No one wants a fancy breakfast, so I have some stock thawing to make a nice soup for lunch. Celeriac soup?

We are soooo lucky that it is cold out now so I can use the garage as my prep space for tomorrow. The cake is setting up, and I plan on making a few more things that just will need to be baked off tomorrow a.m./ early p.m. There is something to feasting in the cold weather months with the add of the back porch and garage storage. Makes everything so much easier. Maybe Santa could put a walk in freezer in my stocking?

Lou Jacobs, Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey CircusMy friend Amy Brill stopped by unexpectedly last night and we had such a nice visit—catching up on her world of family, fashion and friends.  Her fashion site is here>> Her fun blog is here>> She is doing very well with her clothing lines and is in a ton of stores with an online presence at Artful Home. Amy is always full of energy and enthusiasm—inspiring me to pickup my morose self and try to see the good out there and be grateful. She has had some big life challenges in the last few years and she has been a model for how to hit the tough spots with grace and energy. Now, with all that behind her, she seems poised to launch into 2012 with so much to look forward to.  We talked about present things, about past things, about local things, and about world things. All provocative and very entertaining. And beyond the gift of her time, Amy brought me amazing presents…so sensitive and thoughtful of her. She brought me three totally rocking vintage circus posters (you have heard me rave ) from her collection. Two were amazing type and the last was a prized clown poster accompanied by a photo of the famous clown, Lou Jacobs, who Amy worked along with in her past. If that wasnt enough, she brought this totally hilarious little book of line art with very curious and funny captions. I plan on scanning and sharing with you soon as it will, I am sure, delight you as much as it did me! I am so lucky to have  had such a nice visit with such a remarkable woman. I have a lot to learn from her which she gives so generously. She made my day!

It is nice to have a moment of reflection. A year has passed. Kitty and Alex keep growing and changing. I love what is happening with them, their lives, their friends and the problems that pop up and how they solve them.They are such nice people and I am blessed to have them as part of my life.  Rob is wonderful and keeps doing remarkable things that change people’s way of thinking, living and learning. He has been so additive in his job at the museum, his role on the village board and the various small projects he is engaging in in Trumansburg. It keeps getting better for him. My life would be an empty shell without him.

Jacob K. joined us this summer and now this winter. We now have another member of the tribe along with E. his friend and another team member.

Gloria has moved along with Justin and they seem to be not just liking it, but loving it here. Ron and Mary are healthy and still are able to do what they have to do. I am the same though I must admit, I find myself a bit stale with my work and the sluggish content my illustration has been taking. Lesson from this year’s advent calendar, is that I cannot just work on a style independant of content…if the content of my pictures is nominal, they really don’t  sing visually nor spiritually for me. I missed the toothiness of Christmas by pursuing a cut paper tradition and trying to be more responsible to that style. Onward to the kitchen to keep plugging away at “it”. If I have a chance, maybe a bit of drawing too? Styling exercises need content too…as does the illustrator need time away from her desk to have her brain relax to get into this sort of thing. I need more me time…in the next year.

Speaking of me time…time to mash some potatoes. Have a jolly Christmas Eve and Christmas.