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Sunday, December 17, 2006


Too much garlic in the pesto. I am awake reealllly early with a bad taste in my mouth. Dinner party yesterday was a total success. Because we cleaned house for the party last weekend, all I really had to do was cook. All Day. Everything was pretty much ready to go at mid afternon when my daughter's family arrived. They brought the appetizers. She noticed that I was locked and loaded - shallots chopped, egg yolks separated, serving dishes laid out. I was afraid I would forget something so I gave her a quick list of what I was going to do. I find if I review things out loud or write a list, I am less like to really forget.
The wine sauce I tried was not worth the trouble of searching out some good shallots. And I don't want to hear from you people who don't try new recipes when you've invited guests over. When else am I gonna be adventurous? I always try out new recipes on guests. It's less embarassing for me to say "this is a bomb, sorry, I never tried it before" than to say, "this is my alltime favorite family recipe" and discover that nobody likes it.
We had perfect weather so we could sit outside and chat - they smoke and we don't. It was close to 70 degrees and muggy with cloudy skies later in the evening. No stars or meteor showers visible. For fun and games, the gas tank on the grill ran out mid way and B had to change that while my asparagus got a little too limp from its steam bath.
Besides the shallots shopping this morning, we also went in search of toothpicks with those little ruffles on them. B had this great idea. Our dinner guest likes Arby's. A lot. So the kids picked up a bunch of the roast beef sandwiches and a lot of horsey sauce for the appetizers and B wanted to serve them up as fancy finger food by cutting them in quarters and putting toothpicks in each one. Well, no one in a five mile radius has cutsey toothpicks not even the local dollar store, so M and I colored the ends of some plain ones with markers and paint. So much for an art project today. By the way, the dollar store was a whole nother post....
Baby H was a good boy, amusing everyone with his gurgles and coos, barely holding his eyes open but not willing to fall asleep and miss any of the fun. He will probably be sleeping like a baby tonight ... whereas, I am here typing away and burping garlic.
Moira had asked to spend the night at our house after the dinner party. While I was busy doing the dishes, she removed some of the parts from some Christmas ornaments. Pulled some "candy" off the miniature village houses.

Since the ornaments only come out once a year, I told her they were special to me and it made me really sad when she did that. She corrected me... "and reealllly mad, too." Yes, I was really mad, too. Long lecture about not tearing up other people's things. Second art project for the day - a little drilling and a little gluing to repair the houses, while she got ready for bed. So she and Grandpa are reading the bedtime story and taking turns at each paragraph. He keeps falling asleep during her turn and she has to pat him to get him to read the next one. She's reading big words and I occasionally ask some questions to see if she knows what she's reading. It's a story about Huckle and Lowly Worm who are camping out in their backyard and are "terrified" - she says that means: really, really, reealllly scared. At some point, grandpa is snoring loudly while she reads and she gets annoyed and says, "hey, stop doing that!" It's reealllly time for lights out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

one more done

Finished the annual Christmas letter. Sometimes a challenge to put a upbeat twist on some of the rougher parts of life. But it's kinda like the answer to "hi, how are you?" no one really wants to hear to the complete unvarnished truth.
I have opened my mouth entirely too much today. I have said things I shouldn't have and I have eaten much more than I planned to. Tension and gluttony have gotten the best of me again.
On the plus side of the tally, you can see more of the floor in my workroom.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

first card

Just got my first Christmas card of the season. It's from my daughter and contains a newsy letter with photos of the kids. My granddaughter even signed the card herself. I think it's my daughter's first annual letter. She is so totally into this Christmas season.

08:00 Posted in family stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

soup's on

My daughter called to say she made too much soup from the leftover turkey and would we come over and help them out by eating dinner with them. Ha! If there are key lime bars and pumpkin bars leftover, too, we are in!
My granddaughter is playing with the green things in her soup and very quietly asks me if she can come spend the night at my house. She really knows the perfect moment. Her mom and I have been scheming about finding a good day for her to spend with us so that my daughter can get her Christmas present made. Played right into our plan. I looked at my daughter knowingly and said, well, if it's okay with your mom, I think it will be fun night for you. Grandpa had to go to work for a few hours and so it was just us two snuggled up. She read me two stories and then we turned out the lights and five minutes later she was asleep. A couple of hours later and she is whacking me in the nose with her arm as she dreams. Time to move to the couch.

Next day, we decorate the tree. I'm up early pulling things out of the bowels of the walk-in closet. I don't want any help with that. So I get the tree put together and the lights mostly working and then make pancakes while Grandpa finds the broken strand and replaces it. Then she and I put on all the handmade ornaments and some of most memorable of the store-bought ones. She moves faster than my shutter lens. I have too many ornaments and she likes to hang all the matchings ones on the same branch. All the Guatemalan worry dolls go together, all the Hmong quilt blocks on one branch, all the clothespin soldiers together on another. I have to teach her a little about spreading things around - working towards planned chaos. At this point though, I'm thinking her future is in retailing. All the little products lined up neatly would suit her fine.
She is absorbed in the decorating process, admiring some ornaments more than others. I point out the ones her mother made a long time ago. Hmmm, it's about time that M made a few ornaments for my collection.

19:35 Posted in family stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 24, 2006


I'm generally the last one to venture out on the day after Thanksgiving to hit the malls. But my daughter had a coupon for a big discount at Michael's that started at 6 am. So after one cup of coffee, we met up there and exited three hours later with two shopping carts full of stuff. She was better than me, much of what she bought will be for making Christmas presents. I realized that most of what I bought was just for me, all mine. We got some good deals and planned our next attack on Saturday. Her birthday present this year was a print I picked up for a dollar at a garage sale. Big spender, right? Well actually as it turns out ... with the framing I promised her, it will be one of the nicest presents I've given her lately! And custom framing was half price. Yikes, we should all become framers in our next lives. I also want to get a handmade paper piece of mine redone since it deserves better treatment than I had done some years ago. And I have some lime green thread things that Carol gave me that I want to mount for Christmas decorations.

15:05 Posted in family stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)