Monday, December 22, 2008

Decmber 24th - Kertasnikir

Last but not least is Kertasnikir, or Candle Beggar. He's actually kind of sweet if you can overlook him pyromaniac tendencies. He likes candlelight so he hides in a corner and, when no one is watching, he takes a Christmas candle for himself.That's all of the Yule lads. They hang around until Christmas Day when they start to go back to the mountains one be one. The last one leaves on January 6th and the Icelanders celebrate with big bonfires and fireworks. The Icelanders will use any excuse to shoot off fireworks- it's pretty spectacular.

Gledileg Jol, ya'll!

December 23rd - Ketkrokur

Ketkrokur, or Meat Hook, sounds more like something out of a very un-Christmasy horror movie if you ask me. But actually he sits on top of the chimney and when he sees meat smoking over the fire, he lowers a hook down to steal it. That's something to keep in mind the next time you smoke meat in your fireplace.

December 22nd - Gattapefur

To help him find his way to your house, Gattapefur, or Door Sniffer, has a huge nose... which I guess he uses to sniff through doors. Hmmm

Sunday, December 21, 2008

december 21st - Gluggagaegir

Gluggagaegir, or Window Peeper, stands outside the windows and peeks inside. If someone happens to catch a glimpse of him, he makes an ugly face.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20th - Bjugnakraeker

This guy might have the funniest name. Bjugnakraeker, or Sausage Swiper, crawls along the rafters of the house and swipes the sausages that are hanging up there.

I wonder how many people still hang sausages over the rafters in their house. I'd be willing to bet it's not many. Poor guy.

December 19th - Skyrgamur

Skyr is sort of a special Icelandic yogurt. Not being a yogurt-kind-of-gal myself, this little guy is particularly repulsive. Skyrgamur, or Skyr Gobbler, hides in the pantry and when the door is shut, he gobbles him some skyr.

The little descriptions I've read about him always seem to mention that he gets the skyr all over his clothes and matted in his beard.
Ummm... ick.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18th - Hurdaskellir

Refreshingly, this yule lad is the first non-food related prankster. Although, I think his prank is the most disturbing.Hurdaskellir, or Door Slammer, slams doors in the middle of the night to startle the family out of their sleep on those long, cold Icelandic winter nights.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17th - Askasleikir

Today Askasleikir, or Bowl Licker, comes down from the mountain.

He comes into the house late in the evening, when the family is finishing their dinner. When fussy children don't finish their food, he creeps up and cleans out their bowls.

Huh... Seems kind of handy to those of us who don't like leftovers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16th - Pottasleikir

You know how sometimes the best part of making a yummy treat is licking the bowl afterward?

When Icelandic kids are given the bowl to lick Pottasleikir, or Pot Scraper, knocks on the door. When the kids go to the door to see who's there, he swipes the bowl and enjoys it himself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15th - Thvorusleikir

Today is the day that Thvorusleikir, or Ladle Licker, shows up.

He.. um... licks the ladles.

These little guys sure do seem hungry.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14th - Stufur

Stufur, or Shorty, arrives today.

His specialty is snatching the cooking pans and eating whatever is inside.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13th - Giljagaur

Today, Giljagaur or Gully Gawk sneaks into the cow barn and steals the cows' milk.

So apparently, milk is a hot commodity during the long, dark Icelandic winter.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12th - Stekkjastur

On December 12th, the first Yule Lad arrives. He's Stekkjastur or Sheep Cot Clod.He sneaks into the sheep pen and tries to steal the ewes' milk.
Hmmm. I guess if we lived in an Icelandic sod hut a couple of hundred years ago, we would understand how annoying that was.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gledileg Jol

"Gledileg Jol" is Icelandic for "Merry Christmas".

Rick and I spent two Christmases in Iceland and we've incorporated some of the Icelandic traditions into our own celebration. One thing we brought back with us was a calendar that tells the story of the Jolasveiner, the Yule Lads.

Instead of Santa Claus, Icelandic children receive gifts from the 13 Yule Lads. The Yule Lads live in the mountains with their parents, Gryla and Leppaludi. Starting on December 12th, the lads come down from the mountains one at a time to play tricks and leave gifts in the shoes of good children (naughty children get a potato).

My plan is to every day post a little blurb about the Yule Lad of the day. They are all named for the particular trick that they play. Some of them are pretty funny.

Card Club

Tuesday night was Card Club; we met at the Chocolate Cafe in Grandview. Over cookies and milk, mugs of hot chocolate, cakes and other goodies we exchanged cards and had our traditional white elephant gift exchange.This month I put together a little packet of cards I made with a template I got from Little Brown Pen on etsy (link to the Little Brown Pen blog is in the right column of this page under 'Crafty Sites'). In the packet were 2 standard size cards, 4 gift tags and a matchbook notepad- and I found these cute little pencils at Staples.

It was fun to catch up with the gals. See ya'll next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa is a Navy fan

This weekend we drove to Philadelphia and my dad, my brother, his girlfriend, Rick and I all bundled up in our warmest gear and went to the 109th playing of the Army-Navy football game. Wow- what an amazing experience. And, though the game was pretty good, I don't think it was the best part.
We had to get there two and a half hours early to see the Brigade of Naval Academy Midshipmen and the Corp of West Point Cadets march onto the field. My dad is a 1969 Naval Academy graduate, so that was especially nostalgic for him.

Then there were the fly-overs.

The Army Airborn parachuters all landed on the 50 yard line- very impressive.

The Navy SEAL parachuters brought the flag to the stadium.

That's Air Force 1. Yep, President Bush was there too.

There he is waving to me on his way in.

Bill the Goat and the Army Mule get rowdy.

President Bush officiated the coin toss.

Santa, obviously a Navy fan, was sitting a couple of rows ahead of us.

President Bush sat on the Army side during the first half of the game (because, they were the home team), but at half time he came over the winning side.

And, of course, the best part...

My brother supplied a pretty terrific post-game taligait barbeque.

Not to be left out of the fun, Will stayed in Bedford and went with Grandma, his friends Jamie and Ava, and their mom to breakfast with Santa. By all reports, it was a lot of fun. Good thing it was over in time for Santa to make it to the game.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shaken and Stirred

Tonight we went and saw the new 007 movie

It was

Friday, November 14, 2008

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

Today I found the Christmas music station on satellite radio and listened to Christmas music all day at work. Usually I try to exercise a little self control and at least wait until the day after Thanksgiving to break out the Christmas music.

But I just couldn't help myself.

It made my heart happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grandpa Livingston

When we bought and renovated our c.1890's house, we were excited to discover the hidden history of our house and the families who lived in it before us. Things like the blue glass door knob on the front door that a couple who lived here in the 1950's brought back from their honeymoon in Italy as a present to the house. Things like the marble tile fireplace mantle that was walled over and covered with carpeting in a second floor bedroom. Things like the markings on the wall at the top of the basement stairs that records the growth of three children who lived here with their parents in the 1980's. There was also a tombstone in the basement.The gentleman from whom we bought the house was nice enough to pass along the genealogical research had done on the family who originally built the house. The Taylor Family owned all the land for several blocks and built their home (The Taylor Mansion) on Broad Street. They had six children and our house was built behind the Taylor Mansion as a wedding present for Mary Cornelia Taylor. There is another house about a block north that looks very similar to our house and was built for one of the sons. But getting back to the tombstone. Edward Chinn Livingston was the maternal grandfather of Mary Cornelia Taylor. He was born in 1783 and was a Colonel during the War of 1812. As you can see, he lived to be 60 years old and died on November 13th.

So how did his tombstone end up in our basement? The theory is that when the Taylors owned all the land in the area, there was probably a family cemetery somewhere close by. But when they started selling off their land, rather than move the cemetery, they just plucked up the tombstones (which I guess was not an unusual thing to do at the time) and maybe Mary Cornelia held onto this one for sentimental reasons.

When we bought the house, we had our closing on November 13th- the anniversary of Edward's death. Whenever we leave the house to go on a trip we always say as we're going out the door, "Keep an eye on the house while we're gone, Grandpa Livingston".

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Llama llama surviving Barak Obama

Okay, so the world didn't end. And thank goodness or we never would have had the opportunity to go to Alpacafest.When we were in Bedford a few weekends ago we visited an Alpaca Shop that had just opened. They carried sweaters and scarves and socks and other things all made from alpaca (to be honest I'm not clear on the difference between an alpaca and a llama). Rick got a really nice sweater that is lightweight but very warm and is so soft. The ladies in the store told us about the country's biggest Alpaca Convention that takes place right here in Columbus Ohio! Seriously, the Chamber of Commerce could do a better job of advertising these things.So we spent the morning at the fairgrounds today strolling among the alpacas, watching the alpaca judging, chatting to some very nice folks, and (spoiler alert for family members) doing a little alpaca apparel Christmas shopping.Alpaca Fun Facts we learned:
(1) Their hair is called 'fiber'.

(2) Alpacas come in two varieties, Huacayo, which has fiber that grows straight out from their bodies giving them a fluffy teddy-bearlike look, and Suri, which had fiber that grows in long graceful dreadlocks.
(3) If you own alpacas you have to have more than one because they will die of loneliness.
This little boy is trying to lead his alpaca through an obstacle course. The alpaca sort of looked like it didn't get the point.

Our favorite alpaca: a black Suri named 'Surius Black'. We chuckled at the Harry Potter reference because we're nerdy like that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Hangover

Today we are not so smiley.

Distressing that our country would demonstrate an obvious disregard for strength of character, sincere love of country, and a strong and long record of service.

Distressing (though not surprising) that our country would buy in
to slick packaging and catchphrases with at best very little substance behind the rhetoric and at worst a track record of questionable moral judgment.

Most distressing of all was to hear many of my contemporaries say that it doesn't really matter who the president is. The country essentially runs itself and nothing that a politician promises ever really happens, so why not vote for the more novel candidate? I say, how is it NOT racism to NOT vote for the best qualified candidate just because he is NOT black?

I think I will quit my job and join the ranks of the welfare moms. I interact with them every day and they don't seem to have it so bad. They have cars and cell phones and their kids get great medical care. Plus they don't have all the hassle and stress involved in providing for their family and contributing to society. As long as wealth is going to be spread around, better to be on the receiving end, no?

Well, I may not really quit my job, but I certainly am resigning my Commission in the Navy Reserves. Whatever "testing" goes on in the global community of our weak and inexperienced leader, I certainly do not want to be involved in any part of it.

Columbus has become an even more attractive place to live to me because it is unlikely to be the target of a terrorist attack.

Probably because I've been avidly watching the AMC series 'Mad Men', set in the early 1960's, the one comforting thought is that this is probaly how a lot of people must have felt when John Kennedy was elected (though I am IN NO WAY comparing the moderate Kennedy to the ultra-liberal Obama). Kennedy was young and inexperienced and (gasp!) a Catholic. Despite those things, the world survived the Cuban missile crisis.

Along the same line, I pray that no idiot gets it into their head to assassinate Barack Obama. We certainly don't want Joe Biden in charge of things.
My favorite Biden quotes from the past few months:
"Let me introduce you to my incredibly beautiful wife. Oh- she also has a doctorate."
"We are going to address the three letter word that Americans care about the most: Jobs."
And to a female reporter who asked him a tough question: "Who writes your questions?"
Nice. He's a misogynist and has poor math skills. Then we really would wish that the country ran itself.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Treat or Treat!

In what has now become a two year tradition, we were invited by our good friends Rich and Vannessa to partake in the Halloween festivities in their Westerville neighborhood. They have 2 darling boys, one about a year older than Will and one about a year younger. They and two other families gather at the house next door for an evening of family fun.The dads and kids make the rounds of the neighborhood while the moms pass out treats from the driveway. In the garage are crockpots full of chili, chips and dips, sweet treats, and a cooler full of drinks.Sarah Palin stopped by to campaign a little and get a sugar fix.
The boys are back with their booty.After it cooled off a little, everyone huddled around the fire pit and told ghost stories (not really, we just talked).In a Skittles-induced stupor.
Surveying the plunder this morning.

Thanks Vannessa and Rich! We had a wonderful time and it was so great to see you and catch up on all the news!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween on Chilligan's Isle

I work at a children's hospital and we always joke about the Reality TV series we are going to make: "Chilligan's Isle". We already have the words to the theme song written (a complete ripoff of the 'Gilligan's Island' theme song of course).So today is Halloween. Rod Stewart and I were Coach and Mrs. Tressel.The GA suite across the hall was pretending to be a M.A.S.H unit.

Steve and Amy are residents on their anesthesia rotations (today was their last day- boo).

In the clinic next door, Kara (of Karemy and Friends Blog fame) was Cruella DeVille and the staff and residents were dalmatians. How hysterical is that?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creative Primworks

And these are some of my favorite things that Jill has made (see 'Fall! Glorious Fall!' post).This was the first thing I ever bought from Jill. I love 'O what a tangled web...' and her crazy yarn hair. She is dated on the back 2002. So I guess I've been a Creative Primworks collector for 6 years now.Happy Halloween Pumpkin Head. He perches on top of our desk.Jill makes a lot of dolls and my favorites are the ones with a mouthful of teeth.
Candy Corn Guy with his candy corn nose cracks me up.