Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Summary of the Day

Finished wrapping presents at 11:30 last night. While doing exercises this morning, remembered the candy, which had been hidden primarily so the dog would not find it.

Got up before the teenagers (not hard). Opened presents in shifts, as people arrived. Got positive comments from the daughter, so happy there. Gave games to husband and exchange student, won those games.

Grandson entertained everybody, and ignored presents in favor of eating a small flashlight on a tripod. And chasing after wadded up wrapping paper.

Burned fingers on the turkey roaster pan (how was I supposed to know that a metal pan in the 325 degree oven was hot?) Spent the next couple of hours doing things 1 handed. A couple of ibuprofen helped; the fingers feel almost normal now, but the blisters, when they pop, won't be nice. Someone else will be shuffling cards tomorrow.

Tried a wild rice/white rice stuffing for the turkey (the ancestral family stuffing, which included croutons and clams, could not be used because one daughter is sensitive to gluten and one guest is allergic to seafood. As it turns out, the daughter doesn't like stuffing anyway and the seafood guest was too sick to come. But the rice stuffing got positive reviews even if the wild rice turned everything a dark purple. (Cooked rice in chicken stock; added sauteed onions and garlic; celery, carrots and parsley. Will try to add different seasonings and sausage next time.)

Had 10 people around the table at dinner. Note to self: daughter and boyfriend are too big to share the piano bench, and even they said so! Next time we will have to consider ages and possibly get out the card table. Or create a teenager table around the coffee table in the playroom.

One of the games is Monty Python Fluxx. Highly recommended. The other game was Robo Rally. As the exchange student said, two hours later, this is for a really rainy day. Or a Friday night. And you have to be willing to think. Note to self: perhaps Jack lost because he was drinking Gluehwein. Must remember this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

decorating for Christmas

When it comes to Christmas decorations, I tend to the simple -- no rotating things, no fancy light shows, angels that stay put. I like to say I'm not into gaudy, but basically, that is what Christmas decorations are.

It was fun to watch a pair of exchange students do what they had never done before, which is put Christmas lights on the outside of the house. They argued, the insulted each other, they got the job done and done well. They had a good time. That's boys for you. Girls don't insult each other and have a good time, they become enemies for life.

The gingerbread house is not supposed to have any moving parts either, but this time I rolled the dough out too thick and it didn't dry properly. You can see the fatal flaw in the roof. It is not that the piece is not rectangular; it is starting to cave in. So it was doomed from the start...two days previous when I made the pieces wrong. The house was basically holding together until the fundamental forces of the universe (mainly gravity, assisted by time) ganged up on it.

Twenty years ago, if you looked at my house, you would have thought that Christmas had to do with angels instead of Jesus. I have lots of angels, and somehow I keep adding more, even though I have more than enough decorations! (I didn't have, and still don't have, many Santas) I had to force myself to get a nativity! I now have several, and my favorite is the carved wooden one from my Czech girl's parents. It came with lots of sheep. They tend to misbehave, mainly because the shepherd (there is only one of them, this is part of the problem) is paying more attention to baby Jesus. They always seem to end up on the roof. We never knew how they did it, but this year we caught them in the act.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finally Done!

I originally got the floral fabric (on the borders and the middle of the star) because I fell in love with it. I decided, in the beginning of 2009, to pull matching fabric from my stash. Then I saw the pattern, the 2009 block of the month, on The rest is history (A little tiny history). I made modifications (of course!). I got impatient waiting for the rest of the instructions each month. Then it took 6 months to get around to figuring out how to get the triangles with the pinwheels on the feathered star. From there it was only days to finish. Then it was on a 5 month waiting list at the machine quilters. NOW it is on our bed and we'd like to report that it is gorgeous, it matches the carpet (which is about the color of the dark teal blue in the last picture) and it keeps us warm! Which is good, because the temperatures are dropping again!