Here's a understated Norwegian Christmas card from years gone by. For you non-Norwegian speakers out there (and there must be at least a few of you) 'God Jul" means Merry Christmas.
Much is afoot here at Stollen Central currently. The Grand Duchess and the Young Master are hard at work in the kitchen upstairs, assembling a gingerbread house kit that the former purchased earlier this month to replace the six or seven-year-old gingerbread house kit that we never managed to assemble prior to and since becoming parents. They must be having a nice time because it is pleasantly quiet in the house.
In other news -- and I'm well aware that you visitors to the GD of S blog are hanging on EVERY word -- the Grand Ducal Feline Princess Gunnlaug went to the doctor's this morning for the Royal Spaying. The doctor's office called a short while ago to let us know that the surgery had gone well, and we can pick her up tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, her brother Prince Onyx is enjoying his short status as the sole cat in the house. Demanding lots of extra attention, purring, and extra food. And, while I thought he might be skittish without his sister given his unpleasant experience with the ferocious bag monster a few days ago, he seems to be taking it in stride.
Work continues bit by bit on the wooden trucks for the Young Master. The bag of 100 wooden wheels arrived yesterday, and I was very pleased to see that they are, in fact, exactly the right size. Painting of the basic colors can commence in earnest later today, and I hope to complete detailing and attach the wheels by Saturday or Sunday.
Soldier painting has ground to a halt for the moment. There are only so many hours in the day, and sooner or later something had to give. Given my Santa Claus activities at the moment -- and I am wearing a genuine Norwegian fisherman's sweater in cream and charcoal that I've had for 20 years, so I certainly look like an elf in the workshop -- it seems unlikely that I'll get even close to finishing those 20 pledged figures for the current painting challenge, but oh well. As I mentioned previously, there will be plenty of time for painting during Christmas Week. And why kill myself during what ought to be a more relaxed period in our lives than is usually the case?
Finally, we are poised for our first big winter storm of the season! Not much snow predicted, but it's already much colder, gray, and dark here in the Grand Duchy today, so it finally feels like early winter. And hey, it's only a few more days until Festivus on the 23rd with its aluminum pole, airing of grievances, and feats of strength. I especially enjoy telling family members gathered around the supper table how they have disappointed me each year! ;-)