Monthly Archives: December 2009

Raising my head briefly

Ah, it has been a busy holiday season.  The fashionista is here, so I have been spending most of my time with her, of course.

The Sunday before Christmas I passed off the knitting I was able to accomplish — 5 scarves — and put my needles down for a bit.  Then I made two batches of shortbread for the office cookie exchange — one plain and one chai — and they tasted great, but didn’t look great.  I wonder now if it would be better to try to use a cookie press with the dough to make a prettier cookie.  I made 8 mini loaves of eggnog bread.  Another batch of spicy mini corn muffins to take to an office chili and soup supper.  The daughter of the attorney I work for was there.  She came back in November after being abroad for a year — 6 months as an au pair in England and 6 months as an au pair in Ireland.  She made a really good potato soup from a recipe she got in Ireland.

The next evening — Monday — I went home after work and ate a small dinner and commenced to wrap gifts.  I do not enjoy wrapping gifts.  But I needed to get it done before the fashionista arrived the following morning.  So I decided that I would just keep at it and get it all done in one evening — and I did.

The fashionista arrived a little late the next morning.  Her flight from Philly to Chicago went smoothly, but she was delayed in Chicago by 1.5 hours.  And her luggage was left in Chicago.  What is it about our family flying United through Chicago?  First my luggage and now the fashionista’s.  But the good news is that it came in on the next flight and I was able to pick it up around 6 p.m.

And then the weather got bad.  The forecast was horrible.  And it was very cold and windy.  The wind was the worst — light snow with 40-60 mph wind.  ICT got the least snow in the state, which is nice.  But I had planned a lovely dinner for my father, who was driving up from Tulsa to see the fashionista for Christmas, and he had to cancel due to the pending weather.  My church canceled Christmas Eve services, and the family Christmas Eve gathering was postponed until Saturday.  So we stayed in and ate, chatted, drank wine, watched movies, played with the pug, exchanged gifts — the usual.

We ventured out around noon on Christmas Day for chinese food and a movie.  Saw Avatar in 3-D.  We both liked it very much.  I really think it should be viewed 3-D.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I liked it more than I thought I would.  I went because it was the movie the fashionista wanted to see.

So we have been busy since with going to the art museum, eating Lebanese food, shopping, getting library books, and enjoying the company of each other.  I have been teaching her to cook some new things like pasta e fagioli soup, baked shrimp scampi, a new way I found to make hummus — she wants to learn some new things to make and I have been enjoying cooking with her.

I shall post again after the first of the year.  Hopefully with photos, and what I am reading, and there shall be knitting in 2010.  Happy New Year!

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Friday’s Doings

Brrrrr — it was 18 degrees when I headed out this morning.  I think the cold weather is going to stick around a bit.  No snow or sleet — yet.  I think that may come later in the weekend.

I went to a meatless cooking class Wednesday night, and I was a little unsure of going, but I had a great time and learned a few things that I did not know.  We got a handout of all the recipes and all of the dishes are things I will make on my own.  We started with a spicy cauliflower soup topped with zaatar croutons, hummus, sliced red pear and mixed spring greens salad with a dressing made of olive oil-apple cider vinegar- cinnamon-honey, lemon asparagus risotto, and blueberry cobbler.  The food was wonderful!  I make hummus myself but have never been totally happy with it.  I really like the recipe I got on the handout and yesterday afternoon I made a batch for myself.

I took a vacation day yesterday and puttered around with various things.  I cleaned the bunny cage really good, did all my laundry, went to the yarn store to wind some O-wool that I bought in the fall and bought yarn to make two branching out scarves, gassed up the car and put air in a tire that was low, put up the rest of the Christmas decorations, put another warm blanket on the bed, wrapped my gift for our office lunch and gift exchange, cooked a batch of veggie chili, and knitted.  Oh, and read my two chapters for lifegroup. A productive day if I do say so myself.

We had our office lunch and gift exchange today.  The gift I gave was a set of Christmas towels from Pier 1.  Anything from Pier 1 is always a popular gift.  I got a cd set that I think I will really enjoy.  At each place setting was a Santa or snowman ornament — I got a Santa — and a candle from Bath/Body Works.  Mine is the Fireside scent.  We had sandwiches, two types of salad, fresh fruit, and a dessert tray.  And a nice time was had by all.

The fashionista called me this afternoon and I talked to her for a bit.  She said she is going out this evening to do some shopping, so I asked her to look in her area for one of the zhu zhu hamsters.  One of my friends has been trying to find one for his daughter for Christmas.  I doubt she will find one since it seems to be the hot item this year, but you never know.  She might be lucky!

I noticed that my answering machine has a continual buzz when playing the messages.  I guess it is time to buy a new one.  I think that one may be around 8 years old. . .

I have a small Christmas soup  and chili supper to attend tomorrow, so I am baking this evening.  I baked pumpkin bread on Sunday and I will make some egg nog bread tonight along with some spicy mini corn muffins.  And that will be my contribution.

And hopefully I will get much more knitting done this weekend!


Post-Thanksgiving Post

I realized it has been awhile since I have posted.  I seriously meant to post over the long weekend, but just never got around to it.  I had time, but just never stayed on the computer long enough.

December 1 — first day of the slide towards Christmas.  I have 4 of 6 scarves finished — or nearly finished.  I need to put fringe on two.  The tree is up from the basement and set up — one of those artificial pre-lit trees — but I have not put any ornaments on it yet. I bought a couple of holiday candles.  I went out on Black Friday to purchase one item — it was too good a bargain to pass up.  The fashionista requested luggage for Christmas, and Penney’s had a 5 piece set that was normally $160 for $38.88.  I did not get up at 4 a.m. when they opened to be there.  I went around 8 a.m. and bought the last black set they had — I would have settled for plum, but thank goodness I did not have to.

I went with family out to my brother’s this year.  Eldest daughter went to Texas to see her dad, and of course the fashionista was in PA.  This is the first time in my adult life that my brother’s family has hosted anything.  And of course he offered at the last minute — not sure what is going on with him.  I was a little peeved at first, but then realized that I could just show up and eat and then leave when I wanted to — it made for a rather nice change this year.  I was not held captive in my own home by family who lingered on and on and on.

I made stuffing (with vegetable broth and no one noticed), green bean casserole, roasted butternut squash, and a relish tray.  I was the only one who ate the butternut squash — which was fine with me.  We had a nice dinner and a nice time of catching up.

I spent most of Friday doing some deep cleaning — I washed windows and doors and woodwork and moved furniture and cleaned furniture.  I was wiped out by the end of the day, but it was nice to get it done.

I spent some time over the weekend reading.  I finished reading the Twilight series.  I went to the library and got new books.  I am currently reading The Sign by Raymond Khoury, author of The Last Templar and The Sanctuary.  I am not very far into yet, but it is keeping my attention.  I have the third book in Kate Jacob’s knitting series — Knit the Season.  I read the two most recent Agatha Raisin books — A Spoonful of Poison and There Goes the Bride.  I have the tenth book in the A.D. Chronicles by the Thoenes, Tenth Stone, to read.  Other books on the nightstand include Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock, Dune Road by Jane Green and The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman.

Sunday afternoon I baked some pumpkin bread and made lentil-vegetable soup, which I am eating for lunch this week.

I hope to get some things accomplished at home this evening — tomorrow my week gets pretty busy.  A cooking class Wednesday evening, two hour practice Thursday evening, Christmas party Saturday evening, haircut Sunday afternoon to help with a fundraiser for Africa, and I am helping some friends cater an event Sunday evening. Sheesh.  Tis the season!