Saturday, January 16, 2016

Twas the Season

I really wished the Christmas season would never end. It only just started to be cozy after Christmas when the snow finally fell. Will and I are in a season of total exhaustion, so reading by the light of the Christmas tree was good soul medicine.

I didn't make any handmade Christmas presents this year, as I decided that simplicity and sanity was more valuable than my ideals of handmade. I barely did any decorating or baking. We ordered everyone's presents from Amazon in November and consequently had a peaceful Christmas.

We won't always have a nursing, sleep-defying baby. Next year I will glam it up. But I was kind of edified that, for us, Christmas magic lies in the traditions we love best: sleeping under the Christmas tree (the kids), putting baby Jesus in the manger, chai tea, singing carols in candle light.

Also, I discovered rum and eggnog.

We make our own with maple syrup and farm eggs and milk. I'm already looking forward to next Christmas.

 1 litre milk
 1 whole egg
 2-3 egg yolks
 1/2 cup maple syrup
 blend well until thin liquid

 separately, pour 1/4 cup boiling over:
 1 tsp nutmeg
 1/2 tsp cloves
 let steep five minutes

  Combine all ingredients. Chill if desired. Add shot of rum.

"Thy nativity, O Christ our God, 
has shown to the world the light of wisdom;
for by it, those who worshipped the stars
were taught by a star to adore Thee
the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee."

I finally got around to making a nature table for the children. I've been admiring beautiful Waldorf seasonal tables like these and for years. Our children bring a steady stream of natural treasures into the house: cool rocks, birds' nests, skulls. Actually its more of a bone collection than a Waldorf display, but thats OK, we need a few memento mori around. So now we have a place to put our skulls and branches, as well as our field guides and seasonal books.


Hugh is really into. He's taken up needle-felting and is a big fan of gnomes and woodland animals. He scans his big photographic National Geographic animal books for fresh ideas. Above, bald eagle.

I change the nature table at night while the children sleep, to preserve the mystery. Also, I can quietly throw out the bottle caps and unidentified flotsam that the boys deposit everywhere.  

And finally: TIS THE SEASON! After a record green December, January snow! Hurray for cross-country skiing! 

And so a new year begins.

The boys are gearing up for a production of Macbeth! We have friends who are real home schoolers—they found a script for Macbeth that is modified for children with a few extra parts (the Scottish play is a bit short on female roles) but uses Shakespearean lines for the most part. We are so excited! it embraces the Pemberton boys' greatest loves: friends, sword-fighting, fighting, costumery, speaking in a bad Scottish accent, and, so I am informed, playing the jaw harp The boys have been pouring over the lines and of course we do not mention the Scottish play by name. We care about our safety. 

Here's to a new semester of life, love, and learning!


  1. Lovely! Thanks for sharing your egg nog recipe! Do you use your goats' milk? That's all we ever have so I'm going to try making it! I'm a puritain when it comes to my nog though, I just can't stand to adultetate it with rum. Glad you're enjoying it though!

    1. Yes to goats' milk. Our goats' milk doesn't taste goaty, otherwise I don't think I'd attempt it.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!! We have a sleep defying nursling, as well, but he saved his birthday for after the Christmas season.

    Nature table is on my to do list as well. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. Every year I fantasize about a homemade Christmas...and every year I fail. And I don't even have a sleep defying nursling for an excuse.
    The nature table is lovely. As is the eagle!

    A belated lovely Christmas season to you!

    1. And to you, dear Naomi. Cut yourself some slack. You excel in the homemade awesome food department, something which I never manage.