Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Rat!

When I adopted YA from China, there was an enormous amount of support for the new family I was creating. There were adoption magazines, online forums and a very active local chapter of Families with Children from China.  You know me, I dived right in, learning about traditional holidays in China as well as taking part in gatherings with other adoptive families and even subscribing to two adoptive magazines.  We even traveled to Illinois once to go to an adoptive family conference when YA was 3.

I dropped the magazines early on; they were really depressing, overwhelmingly focused on all the negative aspects of adoption and very few of the joys. Then when YA was about five and I was signing us up for another “culture camp” (these were annual weekends), she said “Do we have to go?  They’re boring.”  So that was the end of culture camps and big FCC gatherings.

When she was in middle school I was informed that the Chinese delicacies that I had taught myself to cook for CNY weren’t that great. Could we just have take-out instead?  Okey dokey.

Then when she was in high school and I was in a whirlwind of cleaning before Chinese New Year (it’s traditional to really clean the house before CNY so the kitchen god and goddess give a good report on your household to the emperor of heaven), she said “You know, I don’t really care about this, so if you’re doing it for me, you don’t have to.”

So here I am, several years later, still caring about this holiday that I embraced when she was a child. I still have little figurines of the kitchen god and goddess; I still try to get the house spiffed up before the new year and I still have a my best friend and her hubby over for a nice take out dinner to celebrate the new year.  I don’t put out a lot of decorations, although there are a few things I’ll put out.  I had a toilet tank topper made from some fun Asian-designed fabric last year, so that’s a must and a great dragon flag for the front of the house.  I do make a few CNY cards.   YA just rolls her eyes.

What will you be up to while I’m celebrating the Year of the Rat?

24 thoughts on “Chinese New Year”

  1. hey vs. happy new year
    my relationship with china has me noting cny and connecting with my chinese friends to wish them the best
    it’s fun to learn about other cultures. when i was a kid we used to celebrate passover for some reason. lamb salad with butter herbs applesauce to symbolize mortar that holds the bricks together, a lamb cake in a mold the story of the jews. i’m not sure why my folks thought that was a good idea but it came around every year . st patrick’s day brought out the wearing of the green, 4th of july was a thing, my kids get nothing. christmas i guess.
    this is the year of the rat? i am a goat and still have a couple years to wait for it to come around again.
    i’m kind of feeling mixed emotions that my china visits are no longer part of my deal, i enjoy china very much. i have an artist friend who goes over once or twice a year maybe i’ll go over with him in the future.
    this year i’m doing all my business online.
    online traditions and etiquette are fun to learn. my partners are good teachers.
    learning new traditions and plugging them in is an interesting aspect of life . x’s on the calendar are a good way to mark time.
    i’m staring a farming project this year that has me paying attention to the seasons and weather . interesting stuff these seasonal circles.
    i’ve never thought about toilet tank toppers to mark it but i like it

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The Farmers Almanac is a great resource for farming, seasons, weather, and moon phases. My mother tells me that her father planted by phases of the moon—he could grow anything.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I will bake some sweet rolls, do some case notes (I brought my work laptop home) and generally take it easy. Husband did our weekend cooking yesterday (pot roast), so we won’t need to prepare meals and we will just eat leftovers.

    It appears that the USPS hired a carrier for our route, so I won’t need to go to the PO to pick up our mail today.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I told Husband that I have to make sweet rolls, since one recipe uses frozen raspberries in the filling, and we need to start using up our raspberries to make room for this summer’s crop. I will make plain cinnamon rolls for the other batch and share them at church choir tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What time will these be ready? I will be traveling from AZ to ND. Really, Renee, as you consider retirement homes, I am rooting for MN near the Cities. We will all trek to your house regularly to eat your cooking.

      Liked by 7 people

  4. My sister adopted an infant from Oregon in 1997, and turned out he is 1/4 native. I have sometimes wished that she had done the research as you did, VS, and helped him connect to that part of his heritage. Reading this helps me see that, though it may have helped, there’s no guarantee it would have been important to him.

    Today is a rare, unscheduled day – we’ll visit our friend W and my mom, after Wait Wait… Tomorrow is UU, and Ataria String Quartet in the afternoon. I nicely paced weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I will try to spend time outdoors today. Lou and I both had some nasty little bug on Wednesday and Thursday. We spent a lot of time sleeping and watching TV. So now I have cabin fever and I want to get out of the house.

    There is a sweet little hiking trail near Fountain HIlls’ park that is just right for strengthening my reconstructed knee, so we will take the dogs for a walk there and to the dog park, where I will just sit in the sun awhile. Then, who knows?

    Liked by 6 people

  6. The search for one’s unique identity is extremely complicated and personal. As old as I am, this continues to be a challenge. While VS’s efforts to help YA connect with Chinese culture were loving and commendable, each of us has to walk that path on our own.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Husband made pot roast yesterday to have beef he could slice very thin to go with the Danish Rugbrod he made last week. It is a very dense, yet coarse sourdough rye bread used for open face sandwiches. We have 3 loaves of it. I like it but I have to resist the impulse to whinny and stomp my foot when I eat it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Does his Danish rugbrød have whole seeds or kernels of any kind in it? I love a good loaf of “fuldkorns rugbrød.” I bet if you prepare some good open faced sandwiches, that impulse whinny will go away.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. This afternoon I am off to the Guthrie to see a friend’s son perform in “Noura.” Then a quiet evening at home, maybe watch some of the US Nationals Figure Skating (Husband is a huge fan and bought a “pass” that allows us to stream all the competitions – allows us more than just once every four years at Olympics or the rare bits that NBC actually puts on “regular” TV). I should probably do some cleaning for CNY…though frankly, it’s really just cleaning I need to do. I am bit embarrassed to admit I still have stuff stacked in boxes from clearing out the living room last summer to have it painted. :-/

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Today get some of the layers of salt and slop off my car. Do some snowshoeing tomorrow and then start to get ready for a trip to Tucson in a week. Happy CNY!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. My son has embraced German food traditions and speaks German well enough to get by in Germany. He participated in a fun task on Facebook some time ago in which he submitted his photo and the photo was compared with famous portrait paintings to find the closest match. He was very amused to find all his matches were to paintings by Dutch masters in the Rijksmuseum.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. its hard too understand just after saying- YA just roll her eyes; great! dramatic ending I guess… I don’t know what too say


  12. Went out to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. Had Swedish meatballs for dinner, along with a salad with French dressing, and a nice Italian red wine. Watched a British movie on DVD.

    Liked by 2 people

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