I’m going to listen to Xmas music and bake tonight. I think, banana bread without nuts, and Chocolate Crinkle cookies. I’ve never tried the cookies before. I have a recipe for Chocolate Sugar cookies, but I have no place to roll them out. I have cookie cutters now, and I could even make pinwheels with regular sugar cookie dough. But no space. Maybe I will move some stuff to the pantry for the season to give me room on the “spare” counter. And, if I have enough energy, Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies. Or maybe fudge, I don’t know if I dare try that tonight.
I found my grandmother’s recipe. It turns out it was the recipe that used to be on the side of the Hershey’s Baking Cocoa tins. It’s really simple. I just need to find one with the temps listed. This “soft ball” stuff is no good. I tried to learn that for years, and never got it. I always overcook the candy when I do the water drop test.
The table top tree is up. It has magenta lights on it that still work. It’s a 00’s design, very skinny. With a wooden trunk. I forgot we even had it. I put some miniature candy canes on it and decided not to decorate it any further. The second tree, a larger table top deal, is going out in the security vestibule. Doc is even going to set up a cable so I can plug it in. I have a bunch of etched-glass-looking plastic 3D stars to hang from it. The big tree is still on hold. Every time Doc approaches the dining room table, he promises to clean it off. I don’t know if I should be taking bets.
Today I tried my last ditch effort to get him into the holidays. I attempted an ancestral blending of customs. Japanese and Swedish December holidays. He still wasn’t into it. He just can’t bring himself to celebrate anything. For years. Since we got married. I keep trying different ways to include him. Like his presents. He informed me today that I had spent a rather large sum of money in the last month. I just thought about all of his Xmas presents and all of the Xmas presents for everyone else. I’ve spent about $100 on myself. The two blouses I bought are going to Kelli for Xmas, because they will look better on her, and she will really love one of them. Most of the stuff I have bought for myself has been subsidized by Patrons of my Arting. Especially Lilliane. She has been a life saver. And that doesn’t even begin to count her constant emotional support and critical eye towards my art, driving me to be better. I wish everyone could have a Patron like her. She is fabulous.
Got to get in the mood to bake. Bake Bake Bake. I need munchies and Doc took his chocolate candies when he figured out how many I ate. Heh. Caramel. I should make myself some caramels. I can do that now, I have a candy thermometer, thanks to Lilliane. I could make nut brittle, too, and toffee. But I can’t eat either of those. Bad teeth. I could still make them. The dollar store had these great square xmas tins. I’ll have Doc get a few of those. And another tree skirt for the outside tree, to cover up that it sits on top of a night stand. And maybe a couple more rolls of Star Wars and Hello Kitty wrapping paper because they were such a find at the dollar store. If there is any left.
Got to pay rent this week. Doc gets a huge check to do that with. We’re fighting with my bank over yet another overdraft fee, when we had the money in the bank in time to cover the expenses. This is getting really tiring. They do this every damn month. Plus they took away my ATM card because I am only the Beneficiary, and Doc is the Payee. As Beneficiary, I’m not enough of a person to warrant my own ATM card. I had one for two years, and then they deactivated it for no reason and refused to replace it and would’t give a reason other than “policy”. I’ve kind of had enough of this bank. US Bank, if you’re curious. I pay $8 a month for a checking account they are always trying to overdraw and can’t have my own ATM card of. It kind of seems I am getting ripped off.
Jultomten – Swedish Santa – An elf/gnome/wood spirit/ancestral spirit that lives on the homestead/under the floorboards of the house and brings gifts to the door of the house directly to the children of the house. Candles are burned in the windows to let Jultomten know where the children are (though, if it is an ancestral spirit, I have questions, all myths are mixed).
Hoteiosho – Japanese Santa – An insanely happy Buddha in a red robe with a sack of toys. Or, Colonel Sanders. Yes, of KFC. No, I don’t get it, but KFC is HUGE in modern Japanese Christmas. We will not be following that particular tradition. But the Emporer’s birthday is on the 23rd, and they celebrate solstice on the 22nd this year.
That fits in the Swedish Jul time, which starts December 13th with St. Lucia’s Day, a Christian-based tradition, with some pagan overtones; and ends January 13th with Knut-something. So, essentially, a month of feasting for Swedes, on cakes and cookies and sweets. With a couple of somber holidays for the Emporer and Solstice. I will drag Doc, kicking and screaming. Maybe there is some kind of sweet or delicacy that I can make without fish or rice. Or else it’s rice pudding (traditional Swedish Xmas desert).
That reminds me that he brought half a fucking tree home the other night. We can go out with the chainsaw and pick out a Jul Log. Then on a warmer evening (it warms up on weekends when he is off), we can burn the log and make our wishes for next year. I don’t know if you’re supposed to make wishes on the Jul Log, but it feels right. It’s kind of a final act, it seems right.
Okay, I’m going to go install a ton of Photoshop actions and see if they can’t improve my vast collection of selfies. Yes, so I can post them. I don’t know why, I guess because they didn’t get a fair shake the first time around. Bad light, bad hues. So easy to fix. All need to be cropped. They really are the worst of my photographs that I post. And you would think that since they were of me, I would take care to make sure they look as good as possible. That’s just not me.
I also finally figured out how to work a filter plugin I have installed in Photoshop, and I love it on inanimate objects. I can’t wait to try it on people.
Off to do all of that, and bake. And there is so much to do.