Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Christmas arrived, the first one I didn't have to drive or fly 4 or 5 hours to spend with family. Dad and I visit a few weeks before or after Christmas, when weather is a little more conducive to the trip and I know the ferry will be running. 
It was great on Christmas Eve to just have a little time for Dr. Who in the den and a toast after evening services were done and the neighborhood was quiet.

We both pondered that it was just four years ago I was here in this house, sitting in an old recliner with a package of frozen peas on my knee, the meniscus of which I'd just torn in a fall, outside as I arrived to help him prepare for a party.  I asked Partner if he thought at that time, that four years later we'd be married.

He just grinned and said "I figured that since I broke you, I had to keep you".

So many changes, so much grief in those years, losing my brother and Barkley and so much to be grateful to as well, friends, a warm home and the friends that have become family and opening our heart up to another black lab - Abby Normal.
Like my family, there are traditions. The retro aluminum tree that Partner found at a yard sale for $3. The little Nativity scene that was Moms with the silver, pink and purple wise men that don't match the rest of the set that I just refer to as "pimp my camel". I remember playing with those with my brother 50 years ago. The tiny baby Jesus there took more than one ride in a hotwheel down the hallway.
Breakfast, like Mom used to do, is a big danish pastry of some sort, freshly baked and served with lots of black coffee.
Then after giving thanks for all of His blessings, we open the presents from one another.  We never spend elaborately, finding small, fun and often usable things that will make the other smile. I also take the amount I spend each year for gifts and give that same amount to one or two people quietly, those folks in blog or Facebook land that are disabled and/or have small children and unexpected medical expenses, so they can have a little better Christmas. I'd rather do that each year than buy a flat screen TV and a bunch of expensive stuff we really don't need.
I have fun shopping for Partner in Grime though.
A gun barrel pencil/pen holder
 Dr. Who ice cube tray (I have some Daleks freezing for cocktails tonight).

 Pajama bottoms and a t-shirt

Everyone needs a tactical flask, but nothing says "emergency hootch" like Kevlar (the Glenfiddich Santa got for me so that's a nice pairing).
And for a little afternoon getting derailed - a Mexican train set with  a wooden train stain and cast iron trains.
I had just as much fun with my gifts.

First the card, which it appears someone altered.

I chuckled as we brewed some tea.
with the new  teatanic - tea infuser
A new computer bag/backpack with Minion accessories - and something to have on hand for one of "those days" at work.
The meeting skunk. . .

and bubble bath stuff Partner actually braved hippies at Whole Foods to buy because he knows I like it.
 An inlaid travel cribbage board.
I think this is a hint to make Danish pancakes for breakfast tomorrow.
 I'd dropped enough "clue by fours" to Santa that I needed this.  Thanks!

Even Abby got in on the fun with toys from friends and her dog walkers.

And it doesn't matter HOW old you are, every kid that secretly (or not so secretly) lives inside an adult wants a stocking filled with goodies to eat and play with.

You know how people are often asking on social media "who IS that person that actually buys and eats the black licorice?"  That would be me.

Then it was time for a little cowboy action darts in the kitchen (thanks Peter and Miss D) 

Until lunch - carne asada tacos with chili verde salsa and beans cooked in bacon fat.
Another Christmas tradition - listening to more carols while playing an assortment of board games.

This antique board has seen a lot of games over the years.

Soon it was time for supper - Partner in Grime had checked out his new book earlier, hatching an evil plan for dinner.
which will hopefully be made without blowing anything up.  This time.
On the menu - Beef and Ale pies, garlic roasted potatoes, bread and minted peas. This is from last year, Partner in Grime is making some special garlic mashed potatoes tonight to go with the pies, which are in the oven.

But before the fork will be  lifted, we will take a moment to bow our heads and pray, for although the toys and fun make the day special, it is not the reason for the celebration. . . HE is.

This is a celebration of a Holy birth, a day of love and forgiveness. One I am so very grateful for.
Merry Christmas everyone.


  1. Hope your christmas was as merry as any ever has been, and wishing you a Happy New Year from MagiK & Mysti aka Ray and Colleen.

    1. Our best to you all as well. Happy New Year.

  2. Wow, what a haul, some fun and great stuff there. Good food, good friends and good family, that's all that matters!

    1. Thanks for being one of those friends.

  3. Heh. We're glad you liked the cowboy darts. The moment we saw that, we looked at each other and said simultaneously, "That's for Brigid!"


    1. They have a surprising amount of "punch" for being so little, we had to be careful not to fire them around any glassware. So much fun!

  4. I'm that person who would buy and eat black licorice; but on vacation one year my BP started to spike for an unknown reason. Unknown until my son in law did some research and found it was the bag of Aussie brand black licorice that my daughter had purchased for me. The licorice cancels out my BP medication. I stopped eating it and the BP returned to normal.

    1. That's good to know, I'm one of those people everyone hates that has BP of 105 over 58 and cholesterol of 104 despite eating bacon and steak and beer. Thank you genetics!

  5. I received "Pulp Fiction" action figures which, by strange coincidence, are exactly the right size for my son's new Millennium Falcon toy.

    (Go see the movie if you haven't already. Han and Chewie get the most giggles ... and the biggest tears.)

    I also have a new "how to" book from one of the local BBQ gurus. I'm not sure it is safe to call it a "cookbook" since the author advocates acquisition of welding skills.

    1. We plan on watching that again. The Cooking for Geeks turned out to be really interesting (I found it on Amazon) and I'd recommend.

    2. If you don't already have a copy, Alton Brown's "I'm Just Here For More Food" is a huge geek out on the science behind baking.

      In a previous life, Alton Brown directed REM's landmark music videos -- serious geek cred.

      Yeah, JJ Abrams saved another sci-fi franchise. "Star Trek" is still coasting on the emotional gut punch from the opening 10 minutes of Abrams first film in that series (the less said about "Into Darkness" the better, however).

  6. I am another one that eats black licoresh, AND fruitcake too!


  7. Merry Christmas to you, Partner, and Abby and a healthy. prosperous new year. Santa certainly took a while at your house. The Mrs and I enjoyed the 3 pack of scotch, adding a couple more, including one blend, for a private tasting one evening. Her favorite was the 15 year.


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