Favorite holiday traditions

Image Credit: Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Saint Nicholas Day/Feast of Saint Nicholas

It’s December! I can’t believe how this year has flown by. My mom came up with an idea this year of having a good old fashioned Christmas on the Island. A family member bought a cafe in Freeport, Nova Scotia on beautiful Long Island and it is not being used right now so we are going to get some family together and any local residents who want to join us and we are going to have a pot luck with Santa and Mrs. Claus and yes, yours truly and my husband are going to be Santa and Mrs. Claus

One of my favorite holiday traditions was something we did when I was a kid growing up in the mid to late 1980s on a Canadian Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen in Baden-Württemberg in what was then West Germany called Saint Nicholas Day or Feast of Saint Nicholas and especially the tradition pictured above (sort of) in which children put out their shoes on the evening of December 5th. This is a tradition that is common in many European Christian countries.

If I was a good girl that year then on the morning of December 6th I would wake up with my shoes filled with sweets. Usually an orange, some chocolate, and a candy cane or two. I would often find one or two little wooden Christmas tree ornaments like the ones shown below. My parents still have most of them. Apparently the tradition is bad little boys and girls would wake up with a lump of coal and they would know that they have to atone for whatever they did to cause them to get the lump of coal before Christmas (or at least that was what I was told about the tradition though I have heard much more sinister things as I have gotten older lol… google Krampus)

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This is a tradition that I absolutely loved as a child and loved when I was older and the one filling the shoes for my little brother and watching his face light up when he found them on the morning of December the 6th. I even believe we put coal in his one year This is one tradition that I hope one day to pass down to my own children.

German Wooden Pyramids

We also had a second tradition coming from our time in Germany which was putting out and lighting pyramids, we had two or three of them. I believe my parents may still have one or maybe two of them. One was a 4 or 5 tier pyramid and the second I am pretty sure is the exact one shown below.

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You would put these candles in the candle holders and as the candles heated up and the heat would rise the pyramid would slowly start turning. It was really beautiful and I would sit transfixed in the living room for hours as a youngster just watching it with the lights off and the pyramid causing colors and shadow on the ceiling. I loved it more than the Christmas tree. I can still smell the candles.

German Candle For Pyramids, Red
Image Credit: Houzz

I remember often falling asleep on the couch and mom or dad carrying me to bed as I would not go until I allowed it to lull me to sleep. Both traditions are traditions my parents kept up when we came home from Germany for both myself and my brother who was not born until we were back in Canada (kinda). I plan to eventually order one from Germany. I found a YouTube video below of a pyramid. Our other pyramid looked a lot like the one in the video only it was I am pretty sure 4 (maybe 3 or 5) tiers. It was more than 2.

I guess these traditions just really remind me of my childhood and of a time I was truly and blissfully unaware of life’s uncertainties and of things that now make life a little less easy.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Tell me in the comments below or post a link to a post on your own blog about your favorite holiday tradition(s).

This is the song that never ends…

After everything in the last three weeks, I was hoping and looking forward to going back to work yesterday. Well, it never happened. I am going to apologize in advance as this post contains TMI but this is a personal blog and well, this is personal. So, if you don’t like talking about gross stuff and body functions, don’t read any further. Since the second round of antibiotics, I have felt pretty horrible. Nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and generally just feeling ill, on top of the pain.

Last Thursday and Friday night I was really feeling particularly horrible. Thursday night we stayed up in the city mom and I, in a hotel so that I could go to an 8 am appointment at the VG oral and maxillofacial surgery department.  I spent the whole night with a fever and with it coming out both ends so to speak (vomiting and diarrhea). Since then nausea, occasional vomiting, stomach cramps and tenderness, diarrhea and fever and just general feeling of being unwell has been pretty much how I feel all day every day. I have stomach cramps as well and really bad heartburn.

Friday night last week Mom and I stayed in a hotel overnight so we did not have to drive the 2.5 to 3-hour drive to get to the appointment at 8 am. I spent the whole night in the bathroom wrapped around or on the toilet. They told me at the VG that they could not see any outward signs of infection but urged me to see my family doctor to have blood work as it would confirm if something is still going on. They cleaned my socket again and I am not sure all they did but they said there were still bone fragments, Alvogyl paste, food and other debris in it.

On the way home I just slept through the whole drive which ended up being almost 6 hours as we had to go to Bridgewater for an appointment for my mom as well. I wasn’t feeling well at all. Over the weekend I felt okay on Saturday and was starting to feel a bit better but by Sunday I was feeling pretty sick again. I still planned to try and go to work Monday as the dentists’ office had only put me off till Friday. On Monday morning after speaking to my manager we decided I would not come in yet and she took me off the schedule until Thursday.

I called and got an appointment at my family doctors who had a cancelation at 3 PM and drove myself up to Halifax yesterday. At this point, I am not on any medication except Advil or Tylenol as needed. I have Tylenol 3 for the pain but the pain has subsided considerably, now the issue is nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pains and tenderness, fever, and diarrhea. He saw me and put me off until next Monday, December 2nd. He suspects that I may have a Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection now as well and/or still have the dental infection even though they were telling me it was under control he suspects it may not be.

So now I have to do a stool sample and get blood work done today or tomorrow. Preferably today. The only issue is now after over a week of watery diarrhea for some reason last night and this morning I can’t seem to go. I feel like I need to and I feel horrible but so far nothing. It’s been 3-5 times a day for the last few days up until last night. And now when I really need to collect the sample I am just not going. I still have all the other symptoms. I still have a fever, loss of appetite, my stomach hurts, I feel like I am going to throw up and I just feel really unwell.

Unfortunately, it takes 3-5 days for them to get the results back, it’s now Tuesday, and I am limited to where I can take the stool sample and the hours I can take it there. I really can’t handle another long drive right now. I am concerned that I will not be able to get it in time to have the results come back before Monday. I am tired of driving or being driven to Kentville and Halifax and who knows where else. I just want to be at home getting rest instead of having to drive all over the province to be seen by people who just keep sending me home in misery.

*Edit – I finally got the stool sample thank god, now at least they can properly diagnose me hopefully, what a relief!

Happy Birthday Maxy!

Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett
While I am a bit belated on this my sweet little Maxy cat has turned 8! I can not really believe it but this handsome, sweet, cuddly little boy has been with me now for 8 years Back in November of 2011 my mom showed up one day at an apartment I had in the basement of a house in Hubbards, Nova Scotia with a box on the front seat of her van. I remember going out to the van and she said “Shh… come look” and low and behold this little cutie was asleep in the box

I remember thinking two things. One, wow his ears are bigger than his little furry face and two, “oh what a cute little kitty!”, at this point I don’t think yet it had even clued in that he was mine. I was wondering what he was doing in the box and why my mom, who was never a huge fan of cats had him. I hadn’t yet put 2 + 2 together and came out with 4. I asked her who’s he was and she said “yours” and I was like, “yeah, right”. See the thing is… I was not a fan of cats either. However that being said, I had mentioned to my boyfriend at the time that I was lonely there all alone and a cat would be company but I didn’t really want one and didn’t think my landlords would let me have one.

Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett
Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett

Well, apparently they would have. He had mentioned it to my mom and she had come over one day when I was in town and had asked them about it and they said yes. A friend of hers in Digby had a cat that had just had kittens about 6 weeks ago and they would be ready to go in 2 weeks and so that’s the story of how I ended up with the worlds cutest, sweetest, cuddliest (when he wants to be) and really terribly bad little kitten named Max

Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett

His badness never really let up for years. He’s a wild cat sometimes and can fly off the handle and bite scratch or just want to tear you limb from limb occasionally. It has slowed down over the years and now he just likes to lay down beside Eddie or I and be petted a little or sometimes he will crawl up in our laps to be cuddled and petted. As he gets older he seems to get sweeter and sweeter and more content to just stay close. He’s turned into an awesome cat that still has a little bit of a wild streak here and there. Honestly, I can’t complain.

Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett
Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett

He’s been a very happy and overall healthy cat since I got him years ago. As he enters his senior years he really seems to be very happy and healthy and I really hope it stays that way. He’s got quite a personality and I love watching him run around chasing his toys and playing with my husband and I. He needs to lose some weight but it can be hard to motivate him sometimes. Here’s to the next 8 years! Happy Birthday baby boy!

Image Credit: Kirsten Corbett