Thursday, December 26, 2013

And A Good Time Was Had By All...

White Christmas
Whew! Christmas is done. Well, at least Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Today, the day after, we're "recovering."

It went well, all things considered. The Christmas Proclamation at church went just fine, though my choirmaster wondered why I sang it in thirds instead of fifths... Hint: I'm a soprano singing alto. I have a good range, but not THAT good! 

Silent Night went ok, but we really need to rehearse that. It worked out that I was able to be up front with the group, but apparently, even though I was playing it in 3:4 time, they weren't singing it that way. Oy. Well, next year. 

And, unlike last year, NOBODY barfed at the Communion Rail. I think that perhaps the kid who threw up last year (Merry Christmas, Fr. Matt) had had a little too much celebration. This year, also, Midnight Mass was packed, which was cool. I didn't have a chance to get a shot of the altar; maybe this Sunday. It's a beautiful church. 

We also had a White Christmas. Not a lot, but enough. I wish we had more. But then again, I'm nutty that way. 

All I have left under the tree are gifts for my sister and brother; some gifts for my knitting group; and my friend's gift. I was supposed to go to her open house on Christmas Eve, but you know what? I just didn't. 

I did text her and tell her that I wasn't going to make it. That was the night we were at my mom's house and the kids had to help her clean up; also the day that Kid #2 sliced his finger open. And I'm tired. Something had to give, and it couldn't be either Midnight Mass or my mom's house. 

My friend was upset, but then again: I gave her three different opportunities to get together and she had "something going on" each time. So. This is the same friend whose commitment I've questioned. I honestly feel like I'm the one trying to keep this afloat. We shall see. 

Family...

Well, the nephew didn't show up. My mom is done; she feels justified in saying that she set down rules, and he decided it wasn't important to truly go along with those rules to belong to the family. 

Kid #1 and my brother were watching out the kitchen window. I'm sorry we appear to be cold and heartless, but this is a kid who's never had any expectations set on him, and who's got a massive chip on his shoulder because our world doesn't revolve around his. 

Anyway, as we were driving home, both kids said, "You know, it was really relaxed there this time..." Because the nephew is unpredictable and has a horrible temper. Kid's barely 20 and already has a record for domestic violence. Sorry, but we weren't going to take chances. 

Enough of that.

The twins were absolutely cute. And their big brother was just a doll. We had a really fun time with them, and it's always good to see them. 

As well, my brother committed a crime. At least a crime in our family. Almost worth an extreme penalty, except that he's a big guy and nobody wants to mess with him! 

My Day Off...
He walked off with the platter of pineapple crescents. The entire platter! Granted, I didn't put all of them out; the platter was about the size of a luncheon plate. He took one look, swiped them and said, "MINE." 

I think I'm making a double batch of those next year. And Kid #2 has already requested those instead of a birthday cake for his next birthday. 

Knitting...

Yesterday, I made progress. Today, I'm almost up to the eyelet increases. I'm taking my time because I'm still having repetitive use issues with the left hand. And that's the one that's been fixed!! 

I've been cleaning up the house, making sure the kitchen got back into something like order, and trying to get Kid #2 to do his share. He usually does, but today he's "impaired." 

He cut his finger while making baked artichoke dip. Rest assured, no blood was shed on the dip. But the cut, in retrospect, should have had stitches. I bandaged it. Then when we went to my mom's house, my sister looked at it. She said it should've been stitched. She re-bandaged it. 

And then yesterday, after breaking it open trying to help my mom clean up on Christmas Eve, Kid #1 helped him by putting butterflies on it and re-bandaging it. I did a McGyver splint of popsicle sticks and no-stick tape, just so he doesn't bend it. It's on the ring finger, right hand, right alongside the knuckle. Just lovely. 

Today, I'm sitting here, with my cup of hot cocoa, Dr. Who on the TV and my new slippers (Thanks, Hubby!!! They're wonderful!). THAT is the way to spend Boxing Day! 

Speaking of which...

Hot Cocoa...

THIS makes the best hot cocoa. When I ran out for groceries, I tried to find more. I mean, I'd be happy to bake with it, but it's also fantastic cocoa.

I have my large snowman mug; my almond/coconut milk, warmed; and my hot cocoa mix in there. Bliss. 

I like to make my own, because that way I can control the sugar. This is not as sweet as some of the pre-packaged stuff, and it's a tad sweeter than what I make with organic cocoa + agave. I'll keep experimenting, though. 

I like a nice hot cocoa, and I'm picky about it. I'm trying to cut down on the sugar, which seems like a bit of an oxymoron, but it's either have the cup of cocoa or 6 Christmas cookies. 

Also, almond+coconut milk is really good. I don't drink a lot of cow's milk. I like almond, and I figured I'd try the variety with coconut in it. It's quite good, warm or cold. It comes in a sweetened and unsweetened variety. I use this in my smoothies, but I have to tell you that when it's 17* outside, I'm not much in a "smoothie" mood. 

Soups, yes. Cold smoothies and salads, not so much. So I'm drinking more tea trying to avoid the siren call of the leftover Christmas cookies. Granted, this year, we did only single batches, so there's not all that much left. 

But my friend Nat is having a "Christmas Leftovers" open house this weekend, and I'll stop by and leave a plate of the leftover cookies. Out of sight, out of mind, out of mouth and off hips. At least that's what I'm telling myself. 

Dogs...

OK. I have the blinds open at "their" window. And unfortunately, in an act of seasonal good cheer, I wanted to feed the birds and squirrels. Lucky for me, the screen's not on the window, so nobody will rip the screen. But the squirrels are driving them nuts, and the cats who're coming over to try to poach the birds? Well, let's just say this hasn't been the quietest hour in the house... Tippi has decided that she should stay up toward the front of the house - she can't gain traction on the laminate floor, and when Quinn raises the alarm, the "danger" is over by the time Tippi gets her rear end to the window!

and........... We put in an application for a Siberian Husky rescue; my friend Sarah pointed us toward a puppy. This ought to be interesting. We'll have to see, of course, if the girls accept this one, but we can at least put the application in. It's another red one. 

Just glanced out the front window. I do wish the across-the-street neighbors would not just let their cats run willy-nilly around the yard. Not only is it driving the dogs nuts, but jeeze - you really need to keep an eye on your pets. It's not safe. 

video
Here is a video of two junco birds on the back deck. Notice how they're flicking the seed they don't want off the deck? Especially the one on the right, the little stinker. 

Politics...

I'm swearing off this holiday season. I'm just going to let the year close without comment, except to say that THIS Congress makes Harry Truman's "Do Nothing" bunch look downright prolific. HIS "do nothing" group sent him over 300 bills. 

THIS Congress sent President Obama 65. And probably 60 of those had to do with either repealing the Affordable Care Act or attempts to restrict women's reproductive rights.

Because, you know, you can only think straight if you have a penis. Those ovaries mess with your brain. 'Scuse me. Gotta go whack my head against a wall.

So I'm off politics for a bit. My brain needs a break. 

Reading...

Still plowing through "Persuasion" and lucky for me, Hubby got me the DVD! 

Yes, I'll still finish it, thank you very much. 

The kids got me two books on Mudras (hand positions) that are used in yoga for a variety of reasons. Usually with meditation and chants. Those will be useful not only for my 200-hour thesis, but also for my own teaching and my own meditation practice.

I'm happy about the DVDs also. Was it me or was this Christmas the barest "Christmas Movies" time ever? Oh, except nine hundred showings of Christmas in Connecticut. Now, I like Barbara Stanwyck. But not 24 hours a day. That's as bad as the marathon showings of Christmas Story. I only saw one version of A Christmas Carol and I polled the movie-watching group I usually  hang with. They agreed: very sparse. 
My watchers

Random Picture...

They're watching. Tippi is the head in the back and Quinn's under her chin. Even now, they're keeping an eye out. 

Norwegian Elkhounds are loud. They sound like 6 or 8 dogs at once, so we have a pretty loud alarm system. And when you see Tippi barreling down on you, it gives you pause. She's a big girl. 

I had to put a little step-stool under the window, just to keep my woodwork intact. Even so, when Tippi gets very excited, she gets her paws up on the windowsill. 

At the rate they're having conniptions with the wildlife out there, I won't have to take them for a walk. They'll tire themselves out. But I do fear for my window every once in a while. 

So, let me hear from you! I love comments, and I like to hope that you're enjoying my little bits and bobs. 



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