Christmas Spirit Hodgepodge

Wednesday Hodgepodge questions that Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks each week are not surprisingly Christmas themed in December. Here we go…

1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit?

Going deep on this one and deferring to my hubby:

“It’s having the Spirit of Christ, who convicts of sin and enables faith in that Jesus is who He says He is and has done what He has says He has done. Without the work of the Spirit of Christ we would have no hope for forgiveness, for eternity with Him, for glory.

Romans 5:1 (ESV)

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

2. What’s one thing you’ve baked this month?

I baked a Chocolate Decadent Bundt cake last week for our card night.

Have you eaten the finished product?

Yes, at the card night last Friday night. It got very good reviews from those who ate it.

How much baking do you do around the holidays?

This varies from year to year. Some years I don’t make any cookies…shock!

What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year?

Roolyet is a Russian treat our mom would make every Christmas. A yeast dough rolled with a  walnut filling (walnuts, sugar, egg whites and vanilla). Now that my sister and I perfected the recipe I should make it every Christmas, too.

3. Your most recent ‘half-baked’ idea?

How about thoroughly baked. In January I clicked on the buy button for plane tickets from Seattle to London for September of this year. Then COVID-19 struck us all. Plane tickets, Air BnB deposits and many plans made that had to all be cancelled. Thankfully all was refunded.

4. Where were you the last time you ‘baked’ in the sun?

In my own backyard pulling weeds.

The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed?

I was born in East Los Angeles and raised in the “burbs” of Los Angeles and spent many summers baking on Southern California beaches slathered in Coconut Butter. Craziness!

Which one on the list appeals to you the most?

We do not choose sunny destinations these days. We do not lay in the sun. We look for shade and head straight to an umbrella when the sun is out and the air is hot. The only reason L.A. is appealing these days is because of our loved ones who live there and who we enjoy spending time with.

If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go?

Never mind lying on the beaches, I would choose Jolly Old England any time of the year, walking down a lane instead of lying on a beach!

Now that said, we do enjoy walking on the beach at dawn in the summer and any time of day in the Winter.

5. Today I wish I had more _____________________.

Options for shopping in my little town of Colville.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This past Sunday to Monday we enjoyed a 46th Anniversary night at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Dinner at Beverly’s on the 7th floor made us feel like normal before all this craziness came upon us all.

Our complimentary Anniversary dessert! Vanilla ice cream wrapped in cotton candy with some fruit and dessert bark.

When the Christmas cards are all signed, sealed and delivered to the Post Office I feel like I should get an award. Do you still send cards?

My Mom’s Roolyet

I posted the recipe that we finally perfected that tastes like my mom’s nut roll. Head over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog to see the recipe and instructions. Click here.

I’m happy to have arrived home safe and sound from Southern California on Wednesday morning. Now I’m doing laundry and sorting through some mail. I’m hoping to get around to some blogs soon.

It was so good to see family and friends over my seven days in Orange County. I arrived on Wednesday and we had a birthday dinner for my pop on Thursday at my sister Kathy’s. Then on Friday we had a sister day in Huntington Beach. On Saturday we had another family gathering at my sister Vera’s and we honored my sister Kathy, my pop and niece Debbee who all have May birthdays.

On Sunday evening Vera and I had a lovely time at Ken and Heidi’s. Heidi was my best friend and partner in crime in my college years and beyond. She and Ken met and were engaged during a period of time that Heidi was living with Dear and me. We have been good friends for all these years and it was nice to enjoy an evening together.

Ken and Heidi have a slice of paradise home with an outdoor space that really reminds you of something you would call a tropical paradise.

Our fellowship, the weather, the setting and the food were wonderful. While we were eating outside a Bobcat chose to walk across the far side of their outdoor space with no interest in us, thankfully. I heard recently that bobcats really aren’t interested in attacking humans.

On Memorial day we enjoyed a barbecue at my niece Debbee and Lenny’s home in Huntington Beach. Red, white and blue were the colors of choice on this day. Before we ate a friend of the family prayed and thanked God for those who served and gave their lives for us and the freedoms we enjoy. We enjoyed burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, salads, sweet watermelon and a few desserts. Thank you Lenny and Debbee!

On my last evening in Southern California Vera and I met up with Dear’s brother, sister-in-law and two of three nieces. It was another good time to catch up with what is going on in their lives. Cell phone photos are hit and miss in the darker restaurant.

Thank you Vera for letting me crash at your place and for being my private chauffeur while I was in Southern California.

Hello June! We are starting the month off with rain here in the Puget Sound area. We’ll see how long June gloom lasts. I have gloomy things to do inside so I’ll go with the flow and soldier on with sorting, trashing, shredding and recycling things I should never have stored away! Addy’s expression in this next photo just about covers the task set before me.

I love her expressions! Thank you modern technology. Snap and send has never been more appreciated!

Huntington Beach

On Thursday the 25th of May my sister Vera and I had a walk in Huntington Beach and on the pier.

It was fun to see the pelicans. They look so prehistoric, don’t they?

We took the obligatory selfie.

On Friday Kathy joined Vera and me in Huntington Beach for a sister morning. We had breakfast and did some shopping together.Our youngest sister, Lana, is traveling in Scotland right now.

Before Kathy left we took another sister selfie.

On Saturday we are going to have another family gathering with more of our family at my sister Vera’s. It will be nice to see two of my brothers and my sister-in-laws. Vera and I will be baking again on Saturday morning because our dear old pop told us it would be good if we baked another roolyet (nut roll) for our family gathering.

I’ll be posting the recipe of this family favorite on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook on the 31st of May.

Hope you are having a good long weekend and can pause to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.