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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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christmas stuff

More favourite snacks:

  • Milky Way spread on crackers (thanks, Diana!)
  • microwaved tofu with grated ginger and Kikkoman shoyu (soy sauce) on top
  • sliced cucumber with dab of miso spread

To Chris: yummy-sounding fruit salad recipe!

To Annie: I used to be a major Christmas buff. :-) When we lived out in the country, I went the whole nine yards (where DID that term come from) in terms of Christmas stuff. Baked cookies, made my own wreaths from pine boughs gathered in the forest and decorated with flowers and herbs I had grown, picked, and dried during the summer. Decorated the bannister with a ribboned garland, set out Christmas decorations all through the house, including a display of porcelain figures with Santa and his reindeer on a bed of white cotton. Always did a real Christmas tree, lots of ornaments collected and made over the years (I still like to collect Christmas ornaments when we go travelling). Made elaborate snow sculpture people on the lawn (once I made a snow sculpture family, complete with snow dog and snow tv). Hung up seed-studded suet for the birds, sprinkled nuts around as a xmas treat for the squirrels.

Unfortunately we don't have room for lots of Christmas stuff in our city place, real trees aren't allowed in the building (though it's obvious from pine needles sprinkled in the elevator in January that some tenants are furtively sneaking them in), and I don't have time for elaborate Christmas decorating and baking anymore. I've also grown a bit jaded, I think. :-) My favourite time of Christmas is the time we spend with our nieces...children add a LOT to the holiday season, I think.

Happy Hannukah to those who celebrate it, by the way!!

Alisa: the picture was taken out in Winnipeg a few years ago when we (Jodi, Allison and I) were invited out there courtesy the Winnipeg Musician's Hat Fund. :-) One of Dandelion Wine's buddies was/is a talented fellow named Alan, and he was kind enough to give me Northumbrian bagpipe lessons as well as a lesson in playing the bones. I need to practice a lot more, tho. He also plays a mean Celtic penny whistle. :-) As for my bones (rhythm bones, that is), I was kindly given a pair by Brenda Sutton at a Filkontario several years ago. I was admiring them at a Dead Penguin Party, and she just GAVE them to me!!!! She is incredible. I wrote a song in her honour called Shake Them Bones (the chorus goes, "Brenda Sutton told me, 'Shake them bones....'" :-)

For those who have Macs...altho you can access the filk chat room via a regular browser, you might also consider using a Mac client. I'm using Mac IRC, and it's working out pretty well altho it took a bit of getting used to the interface.

Debbie's Tips For Christmas Shopping In Crowds:

These tips actually work (at least for me), and keep me sane when I'm
being jostled or waiting in lines...

  • Bring a Walkman with some of your favourite music.
  • Bring a book.
  • Don't wear a coat if possible (I'm about 30 seconds' walk from
    the vast Toronto underground, so usually do my Christmas shopping
    without having to lug around a bulky winter coat)
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Don't shop until you're exhausted. You're more likely to
    get irritable and impatient.
  • Plan to reward yourself in some way at the end of the
    shopping trip, even in a very small way. I tend to reward
    myself with one (1) chocolate truffle. :-)

Grocery Gateway Report:

    Got a call about 20 minutes ago from the driver, who sounded
    unusually cheery, saying he was leaving to make my delivery, and to
    confirm delivery instructions. I had selected the delivery
    time window of 1-4 pm. And by my watch, they now have 15 minutes
    to make that window...will they come through? Will my search for
    an online grocery shopping service find fulfillment?? WILL I
    GET A LIFE???? Full report tomorrow...

Saw Fame last night with Cathy at the Royal Alex. Fun to watch, and the choreography was incredibly energetic...I swear, some of those dancers were made of rubber.

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