It was a relaxing holiday, complete with laughs on new year’s eve: supplied by one and a half seasons of Flight of the Conchords.

“Ou est la piscine?”
“Je ne comprend pas”
“hm? splish splash. . .”

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office outfit

This is some sweet mail that I picked up recently, after winning (winning!) an ebay auction ages ago.

office outfit

It’s an Office Outfit!

Opened up, it has rows and rows of yet-unused, unseparated rubber letters, words, numbers, and punctuation. It also has little tweezers to pick up the type. I adore it. When I was little, my dad used to work at a car dealership, and I used to love going in there after hours to sit on the high stools that the receptionist-secretaries used (you called them that then!) and play with their date stamps and “paid” and “copy” and “received” stamps. Ah, heaven! I was born to have a justrite office outfit.

office outfit kit

I love that it might have belonged to a botanist once. One who would have had a need to stamp
Cystopteris fragilis L on things.

Cystopteris fragilis L.

Ah, who am I kidding? He would have had not only a need to stamp Cystopteris fragilis L. (Bernhardt) on things, but would have had a secretary to do it for him, no doubt. It being 1956 and all.


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gingerbread cookies

I have broken my earlier bah humbug moment, which had me declaring a moratorium on baking for the season, to make our family cookies. These are great grandma Olsson’s gingerbread cookies, a staple in our house every year for as long as I can remember. They are crisp and spicy, and now that they are made, Christmas can happen.

gingerbread beginnings

gingerbread heap

gingerbread peoples

dish detritus

Is there a food that you need to make in order for the holidays to feel like the holidays?

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etsy alberta team winter theme

I almost missed posting this! My skier card featured on the beautifully icy-blue etsy Alberta Street team Window Shopping Theme Nov. 29-Dec.5.

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bear pillow featured on AB street team blog

My felt bear pillow has been featured on the Alberta Street Team blog!

Thanks, Lindy! What a fun way to lead up to Christmas–with the twelve days of Alberta Team etsy seller items.

brown-grey felt bear pillow

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salt in your eyes

I used to love Kids in the Hall. Back in college when it used to be on regular TV (CBC) at regular times, most of my friends watched it. Kids’ episodes would sometimes become shorthand for what was “really” going on in our worlds.

I used to love Kids in the Hall and I have had a couple of rough weeks. Mainly, a recurring recurrence of the symptoms of what sent me to the bottom of the pit a few years ago. Depression. Or in psych-speak, a “severe major depressive episode.” Last time, I was down for a few years. This time, a few days. It may have been scarier this time, though, because I recognized it. My brain wasn’t working so well. I was getting confused on small things. My words were getting stalled in my brain and on my tongue–they wouldn’t come out quite right. There was some stammering. I’d come into the house and start crying, unprovoked. I tried to work, and not cry at work. My sleep was wonky. I knew something was wrong.

I also, however, know what I need to be doing to keep on track. Eat healthy foods. Exercise daily. Take time to meditate. Stay away from stress. Manage the amount of stuff I do in a day, a week, a month. Go to acupuncture.

Was I doing these good things? Well, some of them.

I am religious about acupuncture. I have been preparing and eating tons of fresh veggies and fruits, and avoiding processed foods. Exercise? Every two or three or four days. Meditate? It has been months. Stress? Well, it’s month thirteen of building a house, the final stretch of editing a dense and demanding course full of bias, and the season of trying to figure out how to navigate the holidays while accommodating everyone in a blended family. I just started trying to launch a new business, my first. And I have been pushing myself to work longer hours to get product in the shop and figure out the details.

Among it all, I had a moment. Well, two, actually, over the course of two weeks. One lasted about four days, and the other, about two. When I came out of the second, I realized that my behaviour has been contributing to the episodes occurring: by not doing what I know works for me, and by doing what I know doesn’t work for me.

So, after surviving another difficult-to-describe difficult patch, Kids in the Hall shorthand called.

Conference guy: “What did my mother say about taking care of my eyes? Never put salt in your eyes. Never put–never put–put salt in your eyes. Always put salt in your eyes.” I have been (metaphorically!) sitting at the boring, pointless conference table, putting salt in my eyes. Now that I know, I can stop.


If you think that you might be experiencing symptoms of depression, talk to an attentive doctor. There are also reasonably useful tools online, like the mayo clinic’s depression self-assessment.

Also, I discovered last week that a blog that I found helpful when I was at the bottom is still around. Check out Beyond Blue.

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secret santa!

Secret Santa has arrived–and is no longer a secret!

Thanks to Ira of Ira Rott and Design Projects for these professional-looking handmade treats! I love the little pouch that the necklace came in–the pouch and necklace are both very delicate and really make me feel like it’s a special gift! And the mitts will be great for my walks–in my favourite colours too! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.

This exchange was arranged by Ange at dearange for the Etsy Alberta Street Team. Thanks Ange! Go Alberta Street Team!

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