Tis The Season – To Be Busy


Tis the season… to be absolutely super friggin busy.  Yes, it’s that time of year when my calendar gets crazy.  Besides my regular duties as a stay-at-home dad, chef, blogger, and chauffeur for my kids, there’s all this dang holiday stuff going on.

There’s multiple Christmas parties to attend, Christmas trees to put up, kid holiday events, presents to make (and wrap), AND we have guests staying for Christmas this year.  This means I need to have a super-spotless house and a bunch of high-quality meals planned-out and provisioned ahead of time.

Whew!  I’ve got my plate full for the next couple of weeks.  Whomever said “once you retire from a full-time job your schedule is going to clear-up”, was totally lying.  I’ve never felt more busy.

That’s why today’s post is just going to be a “photo dump” of what’s been going on this last week.

First, we had to get the tree up.  The kids really enjoyed helping with this.  We use the same free hand-me-down tree every year.

christmas tree small

We’re total nerds, so our tree is decorated with a ton of nerdy Christmas ornaments…

nerd christmas

For fun, I couldn’t resist a M.C. Escher style “self portrait” using one of the reflective ornaments… luckily the camera managed to hide my identity.

self portrait

We don’t have many presents under the tree (yet), because I need to get my butt into gear and finish making them. This year I’m making board games for the kids, and picture frames for all the adults.

In the picture below, you can see they’re not quite done yet… but I’m nearing the final stages.  Here’s a picture of the picture frame “glue-up” in progress…

frames small

The frames are made from maple heartwood, which is itself a fascinating natural phenomena.  Normally maple is a much lighter color, but the heartwood is dark.  Like walnut.  To make the frame more interesting, I added some inlay using the spalted maple leftover from the cheeseboard project.

frame inlay

The contrast turned out pretty nice.  This is the first time I’ve made a picture frame with inlay, and it definitely makes the construction much harder.  The inlaid miters have to match up extremely precisely, or it looks weird.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re big on making gifts (whenever possible).  Sure, it takes more time and effort to produce a gift, but I think the results are going to be worth it.

Unfortunately my garage is a complete disaster as I try to get all the gifts done before Christmas.  Cleaning the garage has been put much lower on the priority list.  Somewhere under this mess of cutoffs, saw dust and piled up tools, is my table saw.  Maybe I’ll find it again in January.

tablesaw disaster

Beside making gifts, I’m also trying to make plenty of good meals for the family.  The weather has been cold, so the menu has included plenty of soups, stews, and hot food.

This first dish is one of Japanese origin called “Hayashi rice” and the soup is Mrs. Tako’s cucumber soup.

hayashi rice and cucumber soup

I also recently made a delicious chicken and shrimp pho, using my blog recipe.  It’s a big hit with the family on a cold night.

chicken and shrimp pho!

On top of all that, I’ve been roped into housing construction lately too.  The kids are having their Christmas parties, and I get to “help out” with gingerbread houses.  You can see a little of my handiwork here:

gingerbread house

I’m not sure if they’re up to the proper building code, but my kids were happy.  Obviously I WON’T be starting a career in homebuilding anytime soon…

 

Holiday Slowdown

That’s it for today folks!  I clearly didn’t have time to plan and write a cool post for you today.  If you were looking for a post on investing money, tips on saving money, or even just one of my frugal recipes, I’m sorry to disappoint.  Check-out the blog archives if you haven’t already read all of the old posts.

Due to all of the holiday festivities, I’m going to be slowing down the blog posts over the next few weeks.  The kids will be off school, and we’ll have relatives visiting, so I definitely won’t have time to write as frequently.

Not to worry though — I’ll still try to squeeze out a new post (or two) before the end of the year!  Regular posting should resume in 2019!

Happy Holidays!

-Mr. Tako

24 thoughts on “Tis The Season – To Be Busy

  • December 15, 2018 at 8:59 AM
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    I think the is a perfect post!
    Enjoy the time with family!
    My busy time will be the holiday week, seeing friends and family, so I’m taking it slow this weekend.
    Wishing you a great holiday season! !

    Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 10:48 AM
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    Enjoy the holidays! Sounds like you’re off to a great start.

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    • December 17, 2018 at 2:45 AM
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      Thanks Paul! I sure wish I was a little less busy, but it promises to be a great holiday! 😀

      Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 12:51 PM
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    Our Christmas tree is a bit like yours. I have all sorts of souvenirs from my holidays in Europe, the Uk, China and North Korea on it.
    Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like Hamlet holding a skull, a Chairman Mao decoration and a vampire from the Paris Opera!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with the kids. You’ve done a great job with those mitres, by the way.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 2:46 AM
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      Thanks Frogdancer! It certainly was a challenge. I hope everyone likes their gift! 😉

      Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 3:43 PM
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    happy holidays! i’ve been lurking for a while, but had to comment… will you do a post on your hayashi rice recipe? 🙂

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 2:47 AM
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      I’ll certainly consider doing it dc! I get lots of requests for recipes, and the request list has definitely been growing lately! 😉

      Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 6:01 PM
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    Happy Holidays Mr Tako and family.

    Enjoy this time with friends and family.

    -Mike

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 2:48 AM
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      Thanks Mike! Happy holidays to you and yours! 😀

      Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 11:26 PM
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    Enjoy the holidays. It’s been pretty busy for us too can’t believe December is already half over!

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 2:49 AM
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      The months sure do go by fast these days, but December has been going at light speed!

      Happy Holidays Tawcan!

      Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 11:57 AM
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    Enjoy the holidays Mr. Tako. Looking forward to your posts in January!
    I love your homemade gifts. I showed my son your Qwircle home made board game and he was very impressed. I had gotten him one for Christmas last year. Unfortunately I am not at all handy like that. I do cook everyday, do the house work/cleaning, raise chicken and garden, all with a full time job but am not very artistic or creative.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 2:52 AM
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      Thanks Danielle! I’ve always loved to make things, but my skills haven’t always matched my enthusiasm. Some projects are disasters, but over the years I’ve definitely gotten better. More successes than failures these days.

      It takes practice! 🙂

      Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 2:37 PM
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    Using the milk carton for gingerbread houses is genius! We tried constructing one with my niece on Thanksgiving and it was a disaster. Enjoy the time with your family!

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 2:53 AM
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      Yup, the milk carton provides the structure. We first saw it at my kid’s daycare. Works pretty good!

      Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 5:31 AM
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    Happy holidays from Thailand! 😉
    I don’t know how I’m going to write a blog post per week for the next 4 weeks.
    There are too many things to do with families.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 4:24 PM
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      Thanks Mrs. Sweetspot. I just finished 3 today, with only one left to go!

      Reply
  • December 18, 2018 at 11:51 AM
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    Always a good time to think abut what is important. Most of the time that will be family, so have a great holiday period.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2018 at 7:25 AM
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    Hahaha I love that you glued on still-wrapped kisses 😀
    Don’t worry about blog things, enjoy this special season with family! Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy new year, to you and yours Mr T.

    Reply
  • December 25, 2018 at 3:05 PM
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    Happy holidays. Love your woodworking skills. Inlay woodwork is a beautiful touch and also labor intensive. I’m sure the recipients are going to be thrilled

    Reply
    • December 27, 2018 at 3:59 PM
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      Thanks FIRECracker! 😀 Happy Holidays to you too!

      Reply

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