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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on a Year

Hmm, it's New Year's Eve already.

Christmas came and went quietly, but not unnoticed. It wasn't the holiday I'm used to. There was no fan fare, or travelling, or big dinner. There was no endless string of photographs. There was no turkey, or stuffing or mashed potatoes.

But there was family, and smiles and laughter. There were presents exchanged and virtual hugs and kisses given. Our day was made better for the simple fact that despite 7000 kilometres between us and our families, they were there. My brother was away with his girlfriend visiting her family and we had a very frustrating chat before they left that made me momentarily curse our internet connections. Hopefully our chat next week will be better.

On Christmas morning, at 8am, my parents called us over Skype from their hotel. They went away for a couple days, since it was just them this year. An 8 hour time difference meant that technically it was Christmas morning for them too. They watched while we opened some of the gifts the sent over and we all watched as K sort of got the hang of this opening gifts deal we tossed at her. It was amusing.

I made the most wonderful muffins for breakfast and not only were they easy, they put me in a festive mood. Thank you dear Nigella. If you want the recipe, click HERE.

Later in the evening we Skyped with hubby family who were all there and it was so wonderful to talk to everyone. We miss everyone greatly and it's hard to be away, but this helped.

I didn't make turkey. A fact that later that morning I lamented to one of my dearest friends to as I texted as many people a message as I could. Instead I made this fabulous spiced leg of lamb, which while being amazing, didn't quite hit the spot the way a bit of turkey, stuffing and gravy does.

So I decided that we would do a turkey dinner on New Years Day. And then there were no small turkey crowns to be had. Except for frozen turkeys that were far too big for our small gas oven. We did however find a small frozen turkey crown from a frozen food store that will cook in 2 hours 45 minutes from frozen. Great! It's the right size so that while I can't stuff it, I could make a small amount of stuffing to go in the oven. Then I realized before dinner tonight that there was a problem with this plan:

I don't have the herbs I need for the stuffing, dried or fresh.


Sorry, but stuffing isn't the same without that wonderful blend of marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. It just isn't.

So we're having turkey… with no stuffing. And no cranberries. Sigh…

Normally I'm really good at planning holiday meals, but when we had done our shopping earlier in the week for New Years and our turkey plan fell through, I didn't get most of the stuff I needed for it. Then we reverted back to the original plan and forgot half the things we needed.

I feel silly… and gypped.

(I should note that there are no stores open here tomorrow. Not even the express stores)

* * * * *

More importantly, I'm trying to wrap my mind around 2011. Years ago, back in the early days of my relationship with R, we discussed his career. I knew there was a chance he could get a job overseas. Did I actually ever truly imagine that I would actually be living across the world far from the country of my birth?


I've come to realize that I am a exploring dreamer. I like the idea of it, but the reality scares me! I do think that I have lost some of the ability I used to have to jump into things with both feet. Now, I need to dip my toes in a little and then I'll jump in. At least that is how things are for the time being. Perhaps it'll change, perhaps it won't.

I'm pondering a new motto for 2012 as my dear friend C and I do every year. Not sure what it will be yet.

As for the shift from one year to another, it will go rather quietly and I've decided I'm alright with that.

As you reflect on the closing of one year and the entrance of a new one, take a moment to be grateful for all that you have. In these days of uncertainty across the globe, there is much still to smile at and laugh about. There is also, always, hope.

I'll see you in 2012.