are the best. Mom & Dad sent us this awesome package in the mail. It's our "December 1" present. When Ron & I were first married, Mom always gave us a "December 1" present which was usually some kind of Christmas decoration. But as the kids arrived, the present has changed to include different things like cookies for decorating, etc. Our "December 1" package arrived on Tuesday and it sure was nice to have such a surprise with the recent cold snap of temperatures in the -20's and -30's. There were brownies, gumdrop cake, fleece throws, hot chocolate, new mugs, cookies and frosting and sprinkles, pepperoni for Daddy, green tea, a Christmas apron and oven mitts. It was so fun to open that box. What more could anyone ask for? (Fast forward 2 days later: the brownies are gone, empty pepperoni packages are in the garbage, the gumdrop cake is cut, the throws are on the sofa where little bodies have left them.)
A few weeks ago, Ron attended National Meetings in Toronto for his company. An awards and recognition banquet was held on Wednesday evening, and to our surprise, Ron was awarded the "Globe & Spear" award, which is an award given as recognition of outstanding service to the company over the past year. The awards are made in the U.S. and are reportedly made by the same company that is commissioned to make the Academy Awards. The award is a globe made of gold leaf and suspended in glass, with name and date. That baby flew home in Ron's briefcase. I call it his "Academy Award". He is so self deprecating. "No where to go but down from here. I'll have to start looking for a new job." he says. He is so funny.
Tonight I had the privelege of attending a fundraising dinner organized by "Ubuntu Edmonton", which is a charity dedicated to helping widows in Rwanda rebuild and find purpose in their lives. Ubuntu was founded by a Canadian woman who now lives in Rwanda. The dinner was punctuated by ethnic dances performed by Rwanda orphans visiting Canada with the Ubuntu founder. The guest speaker was Senator Romeo Dallaire-a man that I have admired since reading his book, "Shake Hands with the Devil". I got to speak with him briefly and I thanked him for telling his story of what happened in Rwanda in 1994. He suffers from post-truamatic stress sydrome, takes anti-depressants and sleep medication at night due to the atrocities he witnessed in Rwanda. A peacekeeping mission gone so wrong forced him to arrive home with so much baggage. I was so humbled to meet this man. He thanked me for my "kind comments" about his book. And he signed my book, of course!
Seeing him "live" was incredible. His musical talent is amazing. Vocals, guitar and piano. He writes all his own stuff. The concert was not sold out, but the crowd was alive. I cannot wait until his next CD is released. He played some new material along with the "Back to Bedlam" songs. We all had such a blast!!!
is fast approaching. (That's Christmas in our family.) Homemade eggnog. English Trifle. Cherry Balls. Fruitcake. Gumdrop Cake. Nanaimo Bars. I am so excited that my parental units will be arrving just in time for my mother's magic touches to grace a few of these family treats. I don't why, but although I have watched her make these things a million times and I have HER actual recipes, my versions just don't look or taste the same. My mother's christmas baking could put Martha Stewart's to shame. In fact, there are many great bakers in my family. My Aunt Janet's nanaimo bars were second to none. My Uncle Derrick makes incredible carrot cake, pies and pastry wrapped apples. I found this great quote on one of my favorite food blogs-
We preserve people by making the dishes they taught us. Dishes they loved, were proud of, and gave us permission to start making when their hands stopped working. Sharing food with others is about tradition. About a desire to reach in and pull close. About re-remembering. Closing our eyes and taking us there. Let the food holiday begin!
The kids were so exicted that they were invited to go trick or treating with Nicholas and Alexandra. I was so excited because Nicholas' & Alexandra's daddy was taking them out treating. (Ron is on the road). Nicole and I stayed at her house to give out treats. But we didn't eat anything. No we didn't! It was a very cold, windy and snowy Halloween. The kids came back with an impressive bundle of candy. I think people were giving out "more" candy than usual because the weather was so cold that the numbers of trick or treaters were down. The kids are downstairs right now. I told them they could eat as much candy as they wanted for half an hour. And we will have supper an hour after that. (and if anybody throws up, that will be the end of that little experiment for future reference.) I can hear them downstairs sorting, organizing, trading and bargaining. Serious stuff happening.