Thursday, December 31, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Yes, I know I'm late by about a week.

I was going to post last week, and tell you about the pies I made for the carpenters who have been doing an outstanding job on reconstructing my attic.

And I was going to post a picture of my menu, which picture is now lost somewhere.  Oops.  It wasn't very detailed, anyway: just the main dish, maybe with the starch if I felt that was absolutely the correct starch, and me expecting to wing it with everything else.  It worked; no one starved.

And I was going to tell you about Kellie's nice boyfriend sending this, with the note: "To all, because the M. women love their cheese and the M. men will eat anything."  He figured us out in 3 short days, when he was here for Shannon's wedding.

And Shannon's new mother in law bought us a dozen ornaments, to help replace the ones we lost.

But, really, for me, everything else became just icing on the cake on Christmas morning.  You recall that all of our Christmas stuff was lost save our silver plated Christmas ornaments.  And I was most upset about losing my Christmas tree skirt, which the girls and I had embroidered in 2000.  My dearly beloved said, "Well, just tell them to make new quarters, and make a new tree skirt!"  They are adults, and I couldn't make such demands on their time.

But they did it of their own accord.  And I almost cried.  Great tears of joy welled up in my eyes, and in the back of my throat.  These 3 fabric quarter circles might just be the best present ever, because it was the gift of their time.  And now I"ll have to design and create my own quarter, and we will have a new tree skirt for next year.

More pictures another day.  Merry Belated Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Prep

So, Ryan wandered into the breakfast room a little while ago, toting a red plastic bag, and announced that we need to put up our Christmas tree tonight.  He then dumped the bag out on the table in front of me, and told me that the sisters and brothers had gotten me some new ornaments to help rebuild our collection.

My kids are the best.

I hope all of you are well prepared for Christmas, and not feeling crunched by the holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Things We Found In the Fire

The day after the fire, Ryan went to the attic in search of our dated Christmas ornaments.  He found all but 2 (which I have purchased at absurd expense, so my set is complete).

This one was not one of my regular ornaments, but a commemorative flat ornament from our community center at the bottom of the hill, where our daughter's reception was held.  I cleaned it up somewhat after the fire, but you can see what I was working with.

 I then proceeded to clean up 36 of these:

Just FYI, if you put foil in the bottom of a pan, add a generous handful of baking soda and half fill the pan with water, you can boil silverplate clean.  That's right.  Some required just a quick rinse in clean water, some needed a little buffing with a dry towel, and the very worst (looking like my poor brass ornament) had to be boiled for a long time, then polished pretty hard, but they all came out looking pretty good.

I was delighted when I realized that I had put my grandmother's glass icicles in my dresser drawer for safe keeping, so they were not destroyed in the fire.

Ryan was very saddened to find just his name off his Christmas stocking, and I nearly cried last weekend when I realized that the Christmas tree skirt that the girls and I made back in 2000 was burned up.  Some things can never be replicated.

On the plus side, after firing 2 subcontractors, we finally have a guy who's actually getting some lumber in the air, and we now have about 1/3 of the roof replaced.  Heck, we might even have another bedroom back in service by Christmas!  I'll be cleaning that carpet and painting that ceiling this weekend, so we shall see.

Happy weekending, everyone!  Take a little extra time to enjoy the things you've had for a long time, which hold memories for you, and be happy for me that some of my memories were found after the fire.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Thanksgiving Recap

Yes, I know I should have done this last week.  But with the rebuild....well, let's just say you should all be glad you don't live in my house.

First up, on Thanksgiving morning the boys, led by Dan, rebuilt our dining table.


 The reason the holiday had to go on, regardless of fire and flood...

 This kid is an exchange student from Norway, living with Scott and Erin for the year.  He bought this sweater as a competition with his family for the best "Ugly Christmas Sweater".  I love it.  And I'm glad we've provided yet another person from overseas with a very unrealistic picture of what Thanksgiving in America is like!

Tank and Lily, AKA Bat Dog and his trusty sidekick, Adventure Beagle:
 And, of course, dessert.  There were multiples of all except the cake, so I didn't bother to photograph all of them.

So, we looked respectable enough to hold Thanksgiving; now it's time to see how we will do with Christmas!  Happy Wednesday, everyone.