Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas Week

It has been another busy week, but mostly lovely.  My trees are still up and I am still enjoying them.  One little tree in the guest room, one in the entry way, the larger one in the living room, and a small ceramic tree by the downstairs fireplace.  But the presents have been distributed and company is tapering off.







On Thursday, my son's family came over for a Christmas brunch.  We had a variety of meats and cheeses and pastries, both cold and warm, and enjoyed each other's company.  I am always sorry to see them go, it is never enough time for me.  My grandson interviewed all of us for his upcoming science fair project, and he and his sister played around with their new ukuleles.  I do hope they have some fun with those!  

While we were visiting, a couple who have been Jack's friends for more than 30 years (and mine for about 7) stopped by with an unexpected housewarming gift -- this metal "H" is quite large, 28" square,"  and we are still trying to decide exactly where it should be displayed.   It is not our usual style -- a bit showy for us -- but we will find a place for it.  And for the lovely Belleek blessing wreath that Jack's sister and brother in law brought back from Ireland, also something we would not have bought for ourselves.  It is fun to see our house shaping up, with bits of each of us and the people we love.



Yesterday was the gathering of my Michigan family; my sister and brother, my son's and nephew's families.   Although we were in daily contact when our kids were small, now we get together as a group pretty rarely, only a few times a year, so this annual gathering is always a treat.  My brother spent the night last night and I was grateful for that.  He lives about an hour and a half north of us, and yesterday's family gathering was a little more than two hours south, so he drove to our house and he and Jack and I drove to my nephew's house together.  I drove our new Tesla, a trip that included a stop at a Supercharger, and managed to get us there and back with all of us, including the car, intact.   It was late when we returned home and we were all tired, so my usually stubborn brother gave in and agreed to sleep over. He is not well, otherwise I am certain he would have pushed himself on.   Now it is 6:30 a.m. and both he and my husband are still soundly sleeping, giving me a few minutes to myself, sitting under a quilt, blogging by the light of the tree and the fire.

Now that our schedule should be slowing down a bit, maybe I will find time to sew the gifts I had intended to make this year, and put them aside for next.  More likely, if I get them sewn at all, I will give them away instead of waiting.  

I love the holidays, but I admit I am ready to have a less cluttered house and a lot less cooking for a little while!   Just a short breather, before our annual New Year's Even chocolate fondue!   I hope your holidays were peaceful and bright.  :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Crazy, Continued

It's been another crazy week.   My husband's birthday was last Sunday, and since I knew I would be busy that day, I carefully (or semi carefully) scheduled all the necessary tasks and chores around his little celebration.  The morning before his birthday, however, he got a text -- which he eventually shared with me -- saying that his daughter had decided to drive to Michigan to visit and the share his birthday and that, hurray, she would arrive at 1:30 am!  My husband was delighted and so was I, truth be told, but I had to work a little to push the long list of to-dos out of my head!    We had a lovely day.  I made puff pastries in the morning, we had Facetime with his family and his twin sister, went see Star Wars together at his request, and then we finished off the day with dinner with all his kids and a couple that he has know for probably 30 years.   A good day for all of us.  But for sure we had stayed up too late the night before, and my semi-careful task list was already beginning to erode.

My husband had ordered a new car several weeks ago and he got 3 texts that afternoon, one announcing the the car would be delivered on December 28th, one announcing that it arrive a little later, and one announcing that additional information would be forthcoming.  A fun text to get on his birthday, even if a little confusing!

The next day was the day we had chosen to celebrate Christmas with his kids.  His daughter's gifts, of course, had already been mailed to her in Washington D.C, so we were empty-handed for her.   Some of the gifts for the others had arrived and some had not, but no problem, we are not gift-focused people.  My husband, his daughter and I were just getting started cooking and getting ready for the other siblings when my husband got a text that his new car was being delivered . . . now, in just a few minutes.    His daughter and I went outside with him and sure enough, we could see the car carrier just down the street.  Quite a bit down the street, in fact -- the driver later told me that he could not park by our house before the trees were too low.

What excitement!   We spent a few minutes checking off the checklist and figuring our how to work this new contraption, and then we drove around the block, waving while my step-daughter filmed us and apparently posted it on Instagram!

Amid all the excitement, my husband's other kids and daughter in law arrived, and we enjoyed the first minutes together admiring the car and beginning to assemble the meal.   At some point, out of my presence, one member of the family took offense at something that had been said.   He stormed out of the house and did not return.   The remaining members tried to figure out what had gone wrong, with each of them saying to me at some point in the day, "Maybe it was my fault . . ."   Eventually, though, since he did not answer our calls or texts, and since there was no consensus on what had been so offensive, we carried on with a lovely dinner, fun gifts, and hours of board games and laughter before we called it a night.

Today is Christmas Eve.   The new car is not insured until the 26th since the earliest it should have arrived was the 28th.  The offended family member is still offended.   But I made banana bread, and although I did it all wrong, it tastes pretty darn good.   I didn't realize until house later when I opened the microwave that I forgot to add the melted butter to the batter!  

I also got a few errands finally done and got my monthly - rarely monthly any more - pedicure.   It feels so good.  At the moment, my husband's daughter is visiting with friends, my husband is asleep in the chair beside me in front of the fire, and I have had the space of time needed to finish a gift for him to open tomorrow -- a lovely pen wrap for his endless collection of fountain pens, and maybe something to prevent ink stains in his shirt pockets going forward.


Not a creature is stirring, and I couldn't be happier.   I hope it is peaceful and pleasant in your life, whatever you are celebrating and wherever you are doing it.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Lucky Me

Yesterday was my birthday.    It was a really lovely day, even though the end result is that I am not Older Than Dirt.   The night before I received my last November bouquet of flowers, lovely white roses.

On my Birthday morning we woke up and sat by the fire in our mish-mashed pajamas -- both of us pull together whatever collection of fleece is clean and available to sit around on chilly mornings -- and Jack made coffee since I had forgotten to set it up the night before.   I sat and sat and sat until I could sit no more, and then we went out to breakfast at the local fancy hotel, a pretty typical breakfast but a lovely setting.  From there we went to Starbucks for my free birthday hot cocoa (made with almond milk so I don't have to regret it later!) and picked up a couple other birthday freebies before returning to my chair by the fire.  While I sat, checked my Facebook greetings, and worked on our Christmas cards, Jack put up the Christmas tree (which I will think about decorating today . . . although I love it with just the lights).

We went to dinner with friends -- all of them are on some special diet or other so we waited until we got home to have a glass of wine . . . by the fire.   Just a lovely day.

But back now to the Real World.  We were awakened some time around 4 am by a falling branch as a result of last night's ice storm.  We have about 3/10 of an inch of ice and now there is snow accumulating on top of it.  Our upstairs bedroom is a little like sleeping in a tent.   We hear every turn of weather.   We love that about it . . . most of the time . . . but by the time Jack was done this morning investigating the property for damage, we were both up and any dreams of sleeping in were done.   Or at least mine are done -- I see that he is about to doze off on the couch.  Branches are still falling.  We are warm and cozy here but the power is out at his "old" house so we will need to check it a few times -- power at the other house is not expected back on until tomorrow sometime, and that is only if conditions city-wide don't get worse.   I'm hoping it's a good reminder to him that two houses are too many!

Here, I have a pot of soup simmering on the stove and my feet propped up by the fire, finally drinking that Starbucks cocoa.  Mmmmm.   Even when it isn't my birthday, I am living the good life!