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Showing posts from December, 2019

Trying to wake up

Happy Solstice! Although I have been focused on celebrating Advent and the Birth of Christ, I breathe a sigh of relief when we are on the other side and the days are starting to get longer again. We did a little Hanukkah dinner, too, meditating on the wonder of the Light that stayed.

(I came in to write about being tired....and discovered my computer was drained of energy, how ironic! Trying not to be mad at The Person who goes around plugging and unplugging things.)

(The Internet is being slow, too...but at least I can write!)

A few years ago, I read a book about Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Then last winter (earlier this year, apparently) I wrote a post here about my findings.  https://lizinstpete.blogspot.com/2019/02/sleep-and-sad-can-you-ignore-weather.html

Side note: Winter Blues (Norman E. Rosenthal) is worth reading for the case studies alone. Many of us will recognize ourselves in those mentioned...

"The physical difficulties start first: eating more, slee…

December doldrums

Excited to be writing my 28th post of 2019, making this only my second-least productive blogging year. :) That's still more than 2 per month-not bad, right?

So, how has December been treating you? Are you on as much of a roller coaster as we have been?

December started out with a few inches of snow, fluffy and beautiful for the first Advent. It was so nice!

Speaking of Advent, I managed to get out the candles and a minimum of other decorations just in time. I couldn't find the Jesse Tree ornaments, so I had my son coloring a print-out. He did great! Speaking of print-outs, I used to search for Advent (and general Sunday school materials) back 10 years ago, before Pinterest was really used, and before people monetized their blogs. Maybe there was less on the Internet then...so not as much to choose from, but at least it was free! It actually took me a while to find a sheet of really simple Jesse Tree symbols to print out in black and white. I understand that monetizing is pret…

Bureaucracy Update- Part 3

Getting the kids registered long-term in St. Petersburg, Russia

News from last time: The process has been streamlined, meaning we can apply immediately for permanent residency for the kids, skipping the trial residency. And, processing time will be 4 months, not 6. That will come in handy...

Big application deadlines. I was trying to get this done by the end of the year, because then there are 2 weeks of holidays, and we need everything to be processed by summer, and we also have to do a border run soon.

I had a time cushion in there for unforeseen circumstances. That cushion is now gone.


1) There was a typo in our passport translations. We can only get them done when Andrei has the chance to go there before/after work, since it's not near where we live. So the translations took a few weeks when they probably could have taken a few days. Even if Andrei had noticed the mistake on the spot, it would have taken an extra day or two to redo since they have to notarize it and bind it spe…

How was your New Year's?

Looking at everyone's fun photos, I was suddenly hit by the realization that American Thanksgiving is a LOT like NEW YEAR'S EVE in Russia.

I've always compared American Christmas and Russian New Year's, because there are obvious similarities. Russian New Year's Eve is like a secular Western Christmas: snow, gifts, yummy food, Father Frost, nostalgic films, a Christmas tree, school vacation...basically the same holiday, right?

It would seem. In fact, I've seen "Advent calendars" come on the scene in Russia recently. Protestant families might celebrate Western Christmas, but others use an Advent calendar to count down the days until New Year's Eve. A completely secular thing!

Back to Thanksgiving. I'm struck every year by how meaningful it seems to be to almost everyone I know back in the U.S. Of course, there is that special American feeling of kicking off the winter holiday season...

There's a big meal with lots of prep, time spent reflec…