Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Range Christmas - Redheads and Mad Science

We were both actually home this Christmas. Dad is with the Sierra's clan enjoying a white Christmas with dogs, cousin Liz making lots of good food. Tonight she'll get on her mobile device and let him share in this day, with this post here.   He can't read the small print, but he loves the photos. Then, I can do the same when her photos come up later. Weather up in the mountains can turn nasty this time of year, sometimes impeding travel for days, so I always visit him right BEFORE the Christmas/early January storms.  Dad has happily been snowed in from Thanksgiving to New Years with Liz before.

Christmas Eve was perfect, our fourth one together, and second since we got married. What to make for a light supper? Hmm. How about eggnog pancakes (recipe in the recipe roundup on the right sidebar).  They are tall and fluffy and almost pastry-like in consistency.

Then down to the shop to work on a Christmas present. With the expenses this year with a lot of travel back and forth to the West Coast, and Dad's care, Partner and I decided not to use money normally going to savings for gifts for each other, just sending something to the parents/grandparent. For ourselves, we were just going to get each other some silly stocking stuffers and something for the house. Partner bought a new hard drive for the computer and other bits and pieces so he could upgrade the Windows operating system. But Santa's Favorite Mad Scientist had another idea to add to that.

Look, anyone can buy a necktie or bottle of cologne. But wouldn't we rather have the new components he bought housed inside a vintage analytical balance, with a big on/off KNOB.   I hope it's done in time for the tree. Once it leaves the evil laboratory, Partner in Grime will handle the transfer of data from the old computer to get it running.  For now -we'll have to finish it up tomorrow.
Christmas Eve Morning we were up at first light to have a quick breakfast of sweet rolls from the Polish bakery before worship. Santa Paws (also known as Abby's 3 dog walkers, who all work for the same dog walking service) had even left a bag under the tree full of dog toys.
Look Abby - homemade dog treats that look just like real Christmas cookies!
We know they are dog treats, because Partner and I, thinking they were put in there for us with the dog toys each nibbled on one. There was no sugar.They were quite crunchy. Can't say I'll repeat that experience anytime soon. Thanks Santa Paws! (spit spit) Abby LOVED them though and they were so beautifully decorated!

The stocking stuffers were lots of fun.
Partner said "it's a lot smaller caliber than what Santa brought you last year" (which was a new 1911). Ha! With the plastic toy pellet shooter and the Little "Book of Secrets" which has all sorts of geeky science and James Bond stuff in it, we can play later tonight.
So many little inexpensive and fun things, plus U.K. Marmalades, biscuits and candy. The Caffeinate Tishirt is a Dalek wearing a coffee barrista apron.

Science experiments for the bathtub (I'm big on long soaks before bed).

And the best one of all - Partner can't wait for his next meeting now that he has the Shark with Frickin' Laser Pointer!  (I got one for my team at work as well).

Abby was happily playing with her new stuffed plushie toys we got her while Dinner was put together.
Our family always had an English style meal on Christmas as my Dad's grandparents were from England, and the tradition came on down through the years. Often it was roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, or Steak and Ale Pies, roasted garlic potatoes, minted peas and fresh bread.

We bowed our heads, so much to be thankful for, even in a world of loss.  God is good, something I remind myself of every day in the little gifts He brings to me.

The dessert  was baked ahead of time (chocolate cake roll with cream cheese/raspberry filling) and frozen til ready to serve. (Several were made so the next door neighbors could have a whole one, as could Partner's team at work).
If we want a snack tonight there's sliced ham and flatbread but I don't think we will be hungry.

There's still a little bit of plastic trim work to finish and an adjustment to the voltmeter  but the new household computer is done.
Holidays are special and the giving of gifts always fun, but sometimes the best sorts of days, simply involve Love and a Little Mad Science.

Merry Christmas Everyone.   I hope you had as much fun this Christmas as I did. - Brigid


  1. Merry Christmas to the whole Brigid clan from the dogs and I.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  3. I don't understand how to do all you do and have time for this blog, your day must have more hours in it than the 24 us mere mortals.

  4. Merry Christmas!

    (And I love the computer with the 38999 connectors on the front! Do they do anything?)

  5. Merry Christmas Brigid & family!

  6. Merry Christmas to you and yours and I REALLY like that PC! Well done!

  7. I love the retro look on the computer.
    3.5" drive. Hard to find a 5.25 I guess :)

  8. Merry Christmas to you and yours lady!

  9. Merry Christmas to you. It sounds like you're having a great time as well as exchanging very impressive and thoughtful gifts.

  10. Thank you Murphy's Law and thank you for your service in working this holiday weekend.

    Wilson - the best to you this coming year. We thoroughly enjoyed your books this year and your continued friendship.

    old okie - I can type 85 words per minute with gusts to 100, am pretty organized, and make a lot of my meals ahead and freeze. Plus, I have a husband that shares equally in chores, be it outside or inside. Caffeine helps.

    Rich D - thank you, and we hope we'll see you again in not the too distant future.

    Mrs. S - thanks so much as always for your kindness.

    Old NFO - you too, and I'm serious about your grandson marrying my granddaughter some day. That would be something! haha

    Aaron - we had fun - not pictured but he got me a weather radio that charges with a handcrank and can charge with a usb port. Perfect for those fun evenings hiding in the crash pad closet when the tornado sirens are going off.

    Keads - the PC project was a blast. He had jotted it all down on paper last Christmas, but neither of us followed through. Friends sent me some neat bits and pieces.

    Ed Bonderenka - I call it deisel punk. I'm guessing it was from the late 40's. The thing in the middle is a card reader - still thinking of ways to make that look more retro.

    Greybeard - they don't now - but who knows what may be done with them in the future. . .

  11. Merry Christmas Brigid! Love the computer! :)

  12. Merry Christmas. Love the computer case. I am thinking I need to start looking for something crazy for my next computer I build. Perhaps even a valve or two . . .

  13. A Very Merry Christmas Brigid to you and all your family. As for me, I just found out I'm going to be a Grandfather!!! Best gift ever>

  14. Love the Shark! Merry Christmas!!!

  15. Wow! That analytical balance brings back some old, old memories of working in bio labs during my undergrad and grad student days! Have a merry and holy Christmas!

  16. Another quality product from Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  17. Love the Computer case! Every time we try a build on a computer, we discover Plun 'n Play isn't, and it costs a bundle to have the thing reconfigured to actually RUN.

    I see one of you also got a Sonic Screwdriver! And I'm guessing the black shirt is Partner's? So glad you three got to spend Christmas eve, and Christmas at home, together.

  18. Merry Christmas to you and Partner Brigid! It does indeed look like you had a wonderful Christmas! I love the shark laser pointer! :)

  19. Nice job, especially the little touches like the phone number for "Tech Support"!

  20. Oh my, eggnog pancakes. Hopefully, I have enough eggnog left to make those. The dog treat incident would be my luck. The cookies were pretty even if not sweet.


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