pegkerr: (Default)
Snapchat just received. At first I couldn't figure out WHAT was on her head. And then I realized: it's probably the only candle in her apartment. Love and lussekatter to you all.

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Edited to add: This was my reply:

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pegkerr: (Default)
Week 20: Twelfth
Once again, we gather around the table to celebrate the end of Christmas.

Week 20 Twelfth

Yes, yes, this card should be named 'Twelfth Night' But I am limiting my card titles to one word. Not quite satisfactory, but I couldn't find a one word that would substitute (unlike finding "Hogmanay" as a substitution for "New Year's Eve.")
Again, this card was an experiment with different media. The table cloth and napkins are tissue paper, the forks are cut from aluminum foil. And the plates are from the foil wrapped around the Hershey's Kisses we had inside the miniature stockings.
We did indeed manage to gather around the table this year, although it was a Twelfth Night dinner this time rather than breakfast. That's just the way the schedules worked out.

Week 21: Severus
He was the bravest man I ever knew.

Week 21 Severus

This was the week that Alan Rickman died, and I made this card in honor of him and in honor of one of my favorite of his performances. Once I started thinking about Severus, I started making connections between his situation and mine (and not all of them are flattering, to say the least). This gets into personal stuff, so Elinor Dashwood will leave it there for now.
It was the last day of the previous week, January 9, that was Severus Snape's birthday. Rowling deliberately chose that day because it was the feast for the Roman God Janus, the two-headed god who guarded doorways, looking both into the past and into the future. An extremely appropriate choice for the ambiguous Severus Snape's birthday, and an appropriate thing for me to ponder, as I think about my career--where it has been as well as where it is going.

Week 22: iPod
I lost my iPod in the snow and felt helpless without it.

Week 22 iPod

At least by process of elimination, that's where I figured it wound up. I never got it back. I held out a week, gritting my teeth, and then I bought a replacement. Screw the fact that I am unemployed. I need one to organize my life.

Annoyingly, I found out when I upgraded to the next model, that I can't synch it on my iMac. The software on my desktop Apple is too old. Planned obsolescence is pretty damned annoying.

Week 23: Three
There are three things I do to help myself.

Week 23 Three

This was a tough week. Again, Elinor Dashwood will not provide many details. The three stones represent three stepping stones, the sort to keep you above the water you would drown in otherwise (I tried and tried to find an image of three stepping stones, but for a variety of reasons, what I found just didn't work. So I used an image of stacked stones). The stones represent three things I do throughout the week for self-care. The stones are carried by a manatee, and if you haven't found the site Calming Manatee, really, what are you waiting for?

I know what the next card is (Card 24) and I worked on it today, but I had tremendous trouble with figuring out the right fixative to use. I had an image with words superimposed over it. I printed the words on waxed paper, but every fixative I used just smeared or blurred the words. I have an idea for how to fix the problem, but it involves a trip to the store. So I started working on the next card (Card 25), and finished it, too. I worked on the cards OUT OF ORDER! I felt SO GUILTY! And I will not scan and show this past week's card until I finish the card for the week before.

This means we are almost halfway through the year! (It also means it's been half a year since I've had a job--groan). [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K. impishly suggested that we could swap decks and I would do the rest of hers and she would do the rest of mine. I firmly vetoed this idea. But then she made the clever suggestion that we would each do the jokers of the other person's deck, one at Week 26 and one at the end. Which I think is a really cool idea.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 17: Biopsy
After the second of two biopsies, Rob hovers at the brink of awakening.

Week 17 Biopsy

I took a picture of Rob right right before he awoke from the anesthesia, after a double bone marrow biopsy. Something about his posture, the angle of his face, the lighting (and the suffering of which he never complains)...something made me think of religious iconography. (Which would certainly bemuse Rob, as he is an agnostic.) A saint in a religious trance or something. Religious ecstacy.

That impression and that word, 'ecstacy' triggered a memory of an image I'd had stashed in my soulcollaging cache of images, "The Ecstasy of St. Teresa," a central sculptural group in white marble set in an elevated aedicule in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome (google it to see). I flipped that image and scaled Rob's down to fit in with it. Note the angel holds an arrow, indicative of the sharp point just used to do the biopsy. It pleases me that the arrow is pointed at the site of the cancer.

Week 18: Yule
Light a candle, sing a song.

Week 18 Yule

There is a Peter Mayer song about the winter solstice called "The Longest Night." Here are the lyrics )

I've always loved that song, especially given that I'm vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder. This card is trying to juxtapose the thoughts of this song with Christmas (the wreath) and Solstice (the diamond candle), which fell during the same week. "Yule" is a concept that would encompass both of them.

Although I like the concept, the card just didn't turn out to have as much impact as I'd hoped. Just not vivid enough or something.

Week 19: Hogmanay
The year comes to an end.

Week 19 Hogmanay

THIS card, on the other hand, turned out SPLENDIDLY. I had a great deal of difficulty, however, managing a decent scan of the card, because it is difficult for scans to capture the way it glitters. It's much more scintillatingly impressive when you hold it in your hand than I can convey here. "Hogmanay" is an old Scottish word referring to New Year's Eve (and I resorted to it because I'm limiting the titles of these cards to one word, and "Newyear' just didn't look right to me). The monks are a reference to the poem I wrote and posted earlier about our trip to Mayo Clinic the day before New Year's Eve, and the silver light and the glittering spindrift was made from nail polish. The very same nail polish, as a matter of fact, that I used in my New Year's Eve manicure. I think they captured the sense of the 'icy spindrift' (and the cones of silver light) extremely well!

And the Chinese fortune was from the fortune cookie I opened on New Year's Eve. My family has been gathering together and eating Chinese every single New Year's Eve for years. Perhaps this fortune was a wry commentary on the job hunting process.
pegkerr: (Default)
My sentiment about 2015 is pretty well summed up by [livejournal.com profile] alfreda89 on Facebook:
I just brought three kinds of salt to the crossroads. Judith Tarr brought flamethrowers and stakes. Somebody has a machete.

A bunch of us are making sure 2015 *never* rises again."
I hope 2016 goes better. Here's my New Year's manicure to start it off right:


pegkerr: (Glory and Trumpets)
After YEARS of searching, I have finally, finally found a menu for Christmas morning that EVERYONE likes all the components.

Christmas breakfast 2015

This was a new experiment this year: a 'snowflake' made of puff pastry layered with Nutella. (The gold-rimmed plate it is resting on is from a set that belonged to my great grandmother).

Nutella Snowflake Christmas 2015

Fiona tackles her favorite part of the breakfast, the pastry stars that go with the fruit.

Fiona pastry star Christmas breakfast 2015

Then we made these rolls, which are crescent roll dough, rolled up with raspberry jam, ham and swiss cheese and cut into spirals.

Delia Christmas breakfast 2015

Peg Christmas breakfast 2015


Gifts were wonderful. Everything was wonderful. Our Christmas Eve dinner last night with guests was wonderful. A very satisfactory holiday.

Christmas 2015


Merry Christmas from our household to yours!

Christmas breakfast 2015
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 13: Networking
Over coffee, we meet to build connections (and maybe help me find a job).

Week 13 Networking

I had six networking meetings that week, all in coffeeshops, I think. The background of the card is latte art. I cribbed the rest from business cards exchanged that week. The LinkedIn Profile QR code is mine. I have been uncertain about what business title I'm applying for, so I had cards made up in two styles, one saying "Marketing Specialist" and one saying "Wordsmith." The stylized typewriter in the upper right of the card is the graphic I created for my card. The other logos are the business logos of some of the people I met during the week.

Week 14: Thanksgiving
We gather together to give thanks and to enjoy good food and each other's company.

Week 14 Thanksgiving

The pictures on this card were cannibalized from an old Pillsbury Thanksgiving cookbook I had been keeping around. On Thanksgiving day, we went to family gatherings at both Rob's brother Lance's house and my sister Betsy's house. And then, since we had been given the ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner by Open Arms of Minnesota, we cooked our own turkey and had yet another Thanksgiving feast on Saturday night, just Rob and me and the girls. That meant we had leftover turkey for the first time in years.

The Thanksgiving card finished the Autumn cycle (the first card I made, Smithereens, was the last card for summer. I have now picked out the paper for the backs of the cards. Here is Summer:

Summer

And here is Autumn:

Autumn

The paper for Winter and Spring are the same pattern, except that Winter is white with gold accents and Spring is green with gold accents.
pegkerr: (Default)
I have many reasons to be grateful. One is that these two beautiful girls are home from college for the weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving from our household to yours.

Fiona and Delia Thanksgiving November 26 2015
pegkerr: (Default)
In honor of my dad, Allen Kerr, who served in the United States Navy:

2_A_Kerr003
Mom and Dad, wedding day

Today is Veteran's Day (I'm sneaking this under the wire) and Friday would have been his birthday. So I post these two pictures from another occasion, his wedding day with my mother, as they're the only pictures I have right at hand of him wearing his uniform.
pegkerr: (Default)
Fiona has a work shift and wants to get back to her apartment, so we held our 12th night celebration today, a few days early.

On the menu was sweet rolls, bacon, fruit salad and cocoa:

Sweet rolls

twelfth night table 2

Twelfth night table

twelfth night gifts

More pictures behind the cut )

Happy Twelfth Night (early) to you and yours:

Family 12th night
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
We have been visiting with family this week, but I wanted to get pictures up of our Christmas morning breakfast.

The menu included chocolate eggnog bread pudding,

Chocolate bread pudding

bacon, and fruit with pastry stars:

bowl of stars

Here's what it looked like, all put together:

the meal

Family gathering

More pictures under the cut )

All done
pegkerr: (Default)
Fiona was over last night to make the Lussekatter! We also put up our new (artificial) Christmas tree, which looks lovely.

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Lussekatter and cocoa for breakfast. Mmm....
pegkerr: (Default)
It is really an advent carol, but almost entirely unknown, I think. About its origins Mudcat.org says:
John Taylor, Postbridge aged 85, Tune not recorded in Killerton Ms but can be found in the Rough Ms. Baring-Gould gives a second version which he says is closer to the broadside ballad.
K3 p297
from Sabine Baring-Gould and the folk songs of South-West England


The gorgeous version I have is by Jennifer Cutting's Ocean Orchestra (here you can hear small sample).

I found another artist who put the whole song online, giving it a different title.



Here are the lyrics of the version I know )

Advent

Dec. 1st, 2014 06:10 pm
pegkerr: (A light in dark places ice candle)
Some things just must continue. Despite the cancer, despite the girls being off at college.

Advent 2014

No matter what.
pegkerr: (Default)
From our home (with a very low table) to yours.

Happy Valentine's Day!
pegkerr: (Default)
As longtime readers of my online journal now, the happy custom we've created for our family is that after Christmas, I shop the 75% Christmas sales and then use them to stuff the miniature stockings I have on the table for our Twelfth Night celebration. Usually, we have this as a breakfast. Today, we did it as an afternoon snack: the girls and I had the day off school and work because of the weather, and Rob got up early to go to work.

Twelfth night 2013

Twelfth night table

Happy Twelfth night

Twelfth night snowmen

We had [livejournal.com profile] aome's Gingerbread Scones:

Mmm, scones

Happy Twelfth Night!
pegkerr: (Default)
I know I do this every year. Which is sort of silly, because our Christmas breakfasts really look quite the same. But I love them so much; they mean so much to our entire family, so humor me. I'm posting our Christmas breakfast yet again.


Table Christmas morning 2013

More pictures of the table )

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Fiona Christmas morning 2013

Delia Christmas morning 2013

We are each given four pastry stars. Of course, this is not enough for Fiona, and some swapping of bacon for pastry stars is usually traditional.

Passing a pastry star

Fiona reveling in pastry star

Om nom nom

One of the neatest gifts this year, I thought, was something that Fiona brought back from England. If you have ever read Regency Romances, you are familiar with Bath, which Fiona visited for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austens' Pride and Prejudice. The town was built as a spa because of the mineral waters. The bottle she brought back has some of the famous waters of Bath, touted in prior centuries as being a cure-all for every conceivable ill. A funny and touching gift for her daddy with cancer. She had quite a time getting it through customs in her carry-on luggage, given that there are strictures on liquids. Finally, they passed it through on the same theory that they pass snow globes: an object meant as a gift.

Waters of Bath
pegkerr: (Default)
We started with some Pomegranate Punch. (The leftover champagne will be finished up with the mimosas tomorrow morning).

Christmas Eve with Pomagranate Punch

Christmas Eve 2013

Here was the finished plum pudding. I took pains with the presentation (and yes, I DID go out and fight the crowds to go to the grocery store just to buy a sprig of holly to put on the top).

Plum pudding

We may have not let it sit a day, but [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer's [livejournal.com profile] notthatedburke's recipe for hard sauce still turned out wonderfully.

I attempted to light it with brandy, but I didn't use a high enough proof alcohol. We DID achieve a flame, but not long enough for me to capture it with the camera. We all agreed that we witnessed it, however!

Om nom nom

Verdict: I liked it and did not miss the sugar I forgot to add into the recipe. With the hard sauce and dried fruit, it was more than sweet enough for my taste. Rob and Fiona allowed as they were glad to have tried it and wouldn't mind it making an occasional appearance in the holiday rotation.

Delia tried it, too, but with her sensitivity to texture, she found it rather confounding. I was pleased that she tried it at least. Even if she didn't enjoy eating it, we sure had fun making it, and that's what I'll always remember about it. And at least it's something we can all say we've tried.

On its way to being demolished
pegkerr: (Default)
Cutting butter into the flour and spices:

Cutting butter into the flour and spices

Greasing the pudding mold
Greasing the pudding mold

Adding the dried fruit. So much dried fruit.

Adding the dried fruit. So much dried fruit

Adding the bread crumbs:

Adding the bread crumbs

A crucial ingredient!

A crucial ingredient

Ready to add the batter to the mold:

ready to add batter to mold

Ready to go into the pot:

ready to go into the pot

A rack is set in the bottom of the pot:

Rack in the bottom of the pot

Putting pudding in to steam:

Putting pudding to steam

Water is added up halfway the height of the pudding mold

Adding water to the pudding steam pot

We will let you know how it turns out!
pegkerr: (Family)
I am being brave and attempting to make a plum pudding for the very first time. I blame [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K and B, who invited me to their home for a wonderful live reading of A Christmas Carol. I plan to take some pictures to show you how it turns out.

We will be having a quiet Christmas at home by ourselves. Rob works today until 6 pm (curse you, retail America) and he is going into work at 4:00 am on December 26 and working for three hours, and then is heading to the doctor's, where we will get the results of the PET scan from last Friday and learn then if he has chemo that day. Consequently, it just wasn't convenient for us to travel anywhere to join the family (thinks of the rest of the family enjoying Christmas at my sister's cabin. Sigh). Oh well. We will have beef tenderloin and plum pudding to console ourselves!

Happy holidays to everyone near and far. Pictures (I hope) of plum pudding construction to follow.
pegkerr: (Default)
We had a pleasant holiday with both sides of the family. We ate dinner at Rob's brother's house (several relatives were there from out of town) and then went over to spend several more hours at my sister's house. We caught up with Fiona by Skype. Poor Rob had to go to work at 11:00 p.m. and work until 9:00 a.m. the next day.

I didn't do any Black Friday shopping. I've been troubled with a cold for a week and just didn't feel up to it, although I did go out today because it's supposed to snow and Delia needed snow boots. I went to the Mall of America, which just about killed me, but at least we got the boots.

We had a bat in our bedroom last night. I was quite indignant about this purely as it's December and we're not supposed to be troubled with them if it's not August. Rob got it out of the house.

Delia has been accepted by Coe College in Iowa. We're still waiting to hear back about several others.

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