December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013


SNOW. We find that the arrival of snow brings on the Christmas Spirit in our home. Every year we wish for it. This year we had our first lovely covering and we thought for sure we would have a white Christmas. Alas the rains came along with some very warms days and flake by flake it has melted away.

PEPPERMINT BARK and other fine foods. So onto another harbinger of the season. The annual peppermint bark making. Somewhat of a disappointment as I forgot to put in the peppermint oil at a crucial stage. Managed to save the day and the bark. YUM! We also produced an abundance of Salsa Sauce in the Fall as per usual. This year we were short a pair of hands and mouths so we made one batch less. I also made peach jam for my homemade greek yoghurt. I started making yoghurt because of the ridiculous price of the thick greek variety only to find that fresh yoghurt is rich, delicious and has no preservatives or additives. More YUM! Steve is always spoiling me with his cooking and has taken to making bread. He is determined to perfect his technique. Fresh out of the oven and buttered liberally will do just fine.

FAMILY. We have been to Canada a lot this year. In June to tour Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario, for Alec. Moving him there. Visiting with the whole Martin Clan in Baysville. Seeing and being spoiled by our friends. Having a care free summer vacation and anniversary at Langdon Hall and Niagara on the Lake. Looking forward to more travel in the New Year when we will be celebrating upcoming weddings. My niece Brigitte is the first of her generation in the Vanderfleet Family to tie the knot with her prince Andrew. And a third knot to be tied around my very dear friends Amanda and her Brian.

Well I probably should have mentioned this first but I’m saving my best christmas news for last. We have both boys home for the holidays. They bring with them laundry, big boots, large appetites, noise noise noise. Loving every minute of it and look forward to a quiet New Year. But the best of all is that they have both found success at school. John at Parkland College in Champaign Illinois where he is studying for a degree in the technical and industrial field with an emphasis on welding. He has been living there full time with his lovely girlfriend Jane for a few years now. Alec has found success at Canadore College where he is studying to be an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. He is doing very well, has made great friends and is freezing his buns. I wonder if I should caution him about licking fence poles??? He has learned that a guy who cannot skate is a chick magnet. One of us at least is getting his fill of SNOW. I as usual am quilting up a storm. Aah, maybe I should make a white quilt.

Steve is working on creating an online presence for me at I can also be found on Facebook at Barbie Quilts. I took my show on the road this Christmas for the annual Summit Holiday House tour where I displayed and sold my creations at the Reeves Reed Arboretum. It was the last stop on the tour.

We wish all our friends and family the best for the year ahead. May all your days be filled with Joy. Peace and a little SNOW.

Posted by smartin at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2013

Happy 2013

Well 2012 has come and gone and we are on to a new year. Time seems to fly so fast now that it is hard to look back and remember what has happened. The most significant memories for us related to travel and weather. In July we spent a week or so up in Baysville relaxing and catching up with family and friends. Lucy, Tim, Isla and Becca were there and we had a great visit doing lots of swimming, boating and enjoying breakfast at Miss Nell's.

For Barb and I, it was a year of milestones in terms of birthdays and our wedding anniversary and to celebrate we went to France for two weeks. We spent the first week wandering around Paris and the second in the Burgundy region. Paris really is a beautiful city and I think that we really did a good job getting to know it and seeing the sights. The highlight of the trip was a stay at the incredible Abbaye De La Bussière, which is a gorgeous Inn built out of thousand year old abbey. The accommodations and food were everything we had hoped for and we never wanted to leave. To finish the trip we returned to Paris for another couple of days and took a day long cooking course at Le Cordon Bleu.

In October we were hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy, our third major weather event in 14 months. We were pretty lucky in that the storm did not do any damage for us personally other than being without hydro for 10 days. This time we were on the windy side and while there was no rain, the winds were intense destroying many more of the big trees that make this area so nice to live in. Locally I don't think it was anywhere near as bad as the destruction caused by the snowstorm the previous October but the big problem was that it was so widespread, affecting all of New Jersey and much of New York.
The kids had a very quiet year, but John has discovered the universe and wants to learn more about it. To do so, he is starting college this month in Illinois. Some day he may be the next Steven Hawking. Alec on the other hand is still looking to find his calling.

Well that's about it for this year, we are looking forward to more travel and less weather in the next year. Hopefully we will get the chance to see more or our friends and wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2013!
Posted by smartin at 04:35 PM | Comments (0)