Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holiday Food Traditions

Most families celebrate with food ...  here in DillyDallydom, a few food items play a starring role in our Christmas traditions.  In other words ... it would not be Christmas without them.

We begin with the food of Viking gods ... Lefse.  Both Mr. DD and I grew up with this on the holiday table ... in fact, some say Mr. DD proposed because of my lefse making abilities ... but that is another story for another day.  ;-)
Brother DD rices the potatoes - 2014
My grandmother's recipe for Lefse has traveled farther than she could have ever imagined ... and I can feel her pleasure in watching her great-grandson carry on the tradition.
The most important skill needed to make lefse, is rolling the dough paper thin.  Girlfriend DD is a quick study.  No one would ever guess that she didn't grow up eating lefse, as she mastered the skills quickly ... and enjoys consuming it with us!
The paper taped to the cabinet is a copy of my grandmother's recipe ... we mixed multiple batches and used 10 pounds of potatoes.  About two-thirds of the way through, we girls had to attend another event ... the DillyDally men took over and finished up!  I was so impressed and have been bragging about them ever since! ;-)
 The gingerbread houses are a tradition we started in our family when Sister and Brother were young, in the early 1990's.  Now I cannot imagine the holidays without them.
Sister DD is the one who introduced St. Lucia buns to our family.  She began attending Swedish Language Camp when nine years old and was introduced to the St. Lucia traditions there.  We've celebrated with those traditions ever since!
 Flicka is NOT allowed to participate in any cooking or baking activities ... and deliberately is naughty while I'm busy in the kitchen.  Love my furry little wingnut!
One of my fondest childhood memories was making and decorating Christmas cookies with my grandparents.  To continue that with my own children, I would host a Cookie Party for them and their friends each year.
When I think about the thousands millions of sugar cookies I've baked ... uff da!  ;-)
 But ... all decorating is done by the kids ... even grown-up kids!
Sister DD's First Cookie Baking - 14 months - Christmas 1984
As many know ... it is so hard to be separated by distance from your children during the holidays.  Because of her work, Sister DD is especially busy during Christmas.  We miss her so much.

But ... technology helps.  Here Flicka and I are busy sending her a holiday recipe that she had requested.
Sister DD's holiday baking - 2014
Sister DD continues our family traditions in her independent life ... and shares it with her friends.   She recently launched her own lifestyle blog, check it out here.  One more way technology allows us to remain close to one another ... love that!
Celebrate good food ... celebrate traditions ... celebrate family.  One of the best ways to dillydally!

Do what you love.  Celebrate!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, December 26, 2014

Celebrating Love!

Celebrations continue here in DillyDallydom!
Photo by Woody Bausch - February 1981
Thirty-four years ago today Mr. DD proposed ... and I said "YES"!  The back story can be found here.  
 We've aged ... and now we tend to resemble Santa and Mrs. Claus!  They're probably celebrating today as well!

Do what you love.  Celebrate love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

... a thrill of hope,
the weary world rejoices ...
--lyrics from O Holy Night

Embrace the day and all it represents!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

I got up this morning ... it was 5:30 am ... I checked the temperature outside ... it was 39 degrees!  Lots of rain ...
12.22.14 @ 10:30 am
... but obviously ... no snow.
Here in DillyDallydom we have chosen denial!  Flicka is working hard to get on Santa's naughty list.  The ornaments are just too tempting for her!  ;-)
I've taken denial optimism to a whole new level ... those dillydally winds have been blowing ... recently I finished up three pairs of mittens.
Today I blocked them ... when the snow comes ... I'll be ready! ;-)
More Frozen fabric arrived ... even while online shopping I've been dreaming of "snow"! ;-)
We've worked hard at ignoring the rain.  I've submerged us in our favorite holiday movies, music and literature while we dillydally our way toward Christmas Day ... and ... I keep dreaming of a white Christmas.  It could happen!

Do what you love.  Dream.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Staying Untangled

I came across this the other day ... it made me giggle ... as I thought it described perfectly what often happens during the holidays.
Zoom!  Zoom!  Zoom!  We find ourselves running in circles ... baking ... gifting ... parties ... shopping ... the list seems endless.  It is so easy to lose sight of what the holidays are really about and we often find ourselves tangled in the stress instead.
A brisk morning walk helps ...
... drinking coffee while wearing warm woolen mittens helps ...
... and having a sweet walking partner like Kysa is especially wonderful.
But ... here in my remote corner of the world ... Mother Nature is often fickle ... she doesn't always cooperate with my relaxation techniques ... ;-)!
I have used reading as a way to deal with stress for as long as I can remember!  There is nothing better than losing one's self in a good book!  It is a forty-one year tradition for me to read this simple book ... I first read it when I was 16 years old!  The background story can be found in this 2009 post.  This book works its magic every year ... it holds such a special place in my heart!
For over 20 years I taught one or more levels of English here in our Jr./Sr. High School.  No matter what age group I had, we always read The Christmas Carol!  Of course, all the students had seen one or more versions in film ... how I loved introducing them to the magic of Charles Dickens ... and the depth of his timeless message.  This is the first year I am not teaching this piece of literature ... it felt like a small empty spot.  I decided to take care of that ... and downloaded the audiobook!  This year ... instead of reading the book to others ... I am enjoying having it read to me!
 Remember this family?  How I looked forward to Sunday nights as a child!  First ... the Wonderful World of Disney ... then Bonanza!  I think Little Joe was everyone's first crush and we all wanted Hoss as an uncle!  And then there was Ben Cartwright (Loren Greene) ... the wise and loving father ... who knew how to make everything right in the world!
Lorne Greene is the one who introduced me to another favorite piece of holiday literature, O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.
In 1965, he released this holiday record, Have a Happy Holiday.  Long before the concept of audiobooks, he recorded on this album, The Gift of the Magi!  My ... how I feel in love with the story and all it represents!  Of course I have no idea what happened to the album ... and even if I had it, would have no way to play it.  On a dillydally whim ... I looked ... and found it in the iTunes Store!  How exciting is that?  I couldn't believe it!  Many childhood holiday memories come flooding back every time I listen to it!  Wonderful!

So ... as I am zooming around like a crazy person, Dickens and Loren Greene help me remember to find joy in what I'm doing.  And every evening, as I read the greatest love story ... the stress melts away.  The message of the season is hope ... hope untangles all of life's complications.

Do what you love.  Stay untangled.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Dizzy DillyDally Weekend!

Many assume that because I live in the middle of nowhere ...
... my life is quiet, calm, and serene.  Reality is quite the opposite!  This past weekend was a good example!  I literally could not attend all the events that I wanted!  Yep ... love when that happens!
Friday was a big day here in our community!  The annual community tree lighting, Santa's arrival and the yearly bazaar!  Lots of treasure and terrific food at this event!  Also, many quilts on display ... this stunning quilt was made by a former student.  She was 17 when she pieced it in my classroom!  We have amazing talent in this small town!
On Saturday, I made St. Lucia buns to commemorate the holiday.  The house smelled like heaven!
The DillyDally family also went on their annual tree hunt.  Long time readers will remember that last year we cancelled the hunt because the weather was so nasty ... Mr. DD actually suggested we get an artificial tree ... we did!
The weather on Saturday was a bit threatening ... but we're hardy and Girlfriend DD was excited about her first Alaska Tree Hunt!
They're off!
By the time they found one, Mother Nature's temperament had changed ... it was raining hard!
The adventures didn't end there ... one tree decided to fly out of the truck ...
... and Brother had to chase it down ... we all had the giggles!  We had earned our hot cocoa, lefse, and St. Lucia buns when we got those two trees home.  Then it was off to a wedding ... a lovely way to end the day.
Sunday was all about the December QBee Birthday Bash!  We have three birthdays this month ... triple the fun!  We decided to have an appetizer potluck here at my house!  Yummy!  I tried out a new recipe and made an Eggnog Bundt Cake.  It was such a relaxing afternoon catching up with one another before holiday travels begin!
Terry B. brought her Trellis for some show and tell!
Her top is completely finished!  She appliqu├ęd the vine by machine and did the leaves, flowers and berries by hand!  We were all inspired to pull out ours and get busy ... after the holidays of course!

Ten days before Christmas ... this week I'll be substitute teaching, continuing my 007 projects and baking!  I love my dizzy dillydally life!

Do what you love.  Embrace the dizzy!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Foo-Whee Fun!

I have been submerged in dillydallying ... undercover work on gifts ... yep, it's that time of the year!  Our weather has been cooperating ... large storms have been pounding our coastal community.  There have been a few days when the street lights never went out ... the cloud cover was so thick, it was dark the entire day!  Great weather for dillydallying with a deadline!
Today ... the clouds lifted ... I had to get out and enjoy some time outdoors.  Kysa and I went for a walk ... it was so refreshing!  Because I can't share the fun Flicka and I are having with our 007 projects,  instead I'll talk about the Foo-Whee fun that has been going on!
I finished my navy/lupine mittens last week!  In the bubble bath they went ...
... blocked and off to air dry!
Idaho KBee, Nancy (on the left), sent me photos last week of her progress!
Pic by KBee Nancy
Here is the pair of Foo-Whee mittens she began during the class ... the second one nearly done!  They're beautiful ... love the red fleece with the light oatmeal yarn!
Pic by KBee Nancy
And her second pair ... one mitt is finished!  Wow!  In her email she asked that I send her two additional skeins of yarn!  She commented that all she wants to do is knit!  You go Girlfriend!  Knit on with wild abandon!  I can't tell you how fun it is when converts people share their progress!  Makes my heart sing!
I was inspired, so I decided to make another pair too!  I chose this rich dark chocolate brown color ... love the way it looks with the lupine fleece!
Yesterday I finished them and into the suds they went!
Girlfriend DD has also caught the Foo-Whee funbug.  She dropped by last night and gave her mitts the spa treatment as well!  Love her color combination of a light lime green and the teal Sitka Spruce fleece.
After we blocked them, I put them under the tree to air dry ... they are basking in the glow of Christmas lights ... seems appropriate!
Mother Nature gifted us with a beautiful sunset this afternoon ... her color combinations are always inspiring!  I'm going to look for a fleece painted in these golden colors ... a pair of Foo-Whee mittens knit in this color combination just has to be in my near future!  More Foo-Whee fun!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally