Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eve all-nighter

Santa wasn't the only one who pulled an all-nighter on Christmas Eve.  Let me tell you, if there were money to be made through procrastination I would be wealthy beyond measure.  Note to self:  there will never be an extra day between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  As it turns out I only had to sacrifice one thing from my to-do list.  Alas, it was the bacon peanut truffles, but since they were not on the original list, that's okay.  I found the recipe cleverly saved in a random box of bits and pieces stored with my Christmas decorations.  I guess I know what I will be doing for Valentine's Day.

So that to-do list.  Cashew Cardamom Balls, Swedish Almond Cookies, finishing the ornaments I made to use as tags for presents, wrapping said presents, packing for a trip to Hinesburg, an emergency trip to the dollar store for more green tinsel, building two wreaths, and other nonsense I can't remember.  My soundtrack of the day was George Winston's December.  Over and over and over again.  Here's a picture of my lovely wrapped presents - I was very proud of my Swedish flair:

And here's the beginning of one of the wreaths:

In the interest of full disclosure, I took this picture today.  I was able to do that because as you can see, I ran out of silver tinsel on Christmas Eve.  A tragic moment, for sure, as nobody in this ENTIRE TOWN has silver tinsel, so I had to make do with bright blue.  And when I say bright blue, I mean Cookie Monster blue.  This change in plan made me change up the color scheme a bit - I added some teal blue ornaments I had leftover from Eletra's wreath.  Here is the finished piece:

My intent was to make this a winter wreath, but in looking at it Christmas morning I realized I inadvertently made a Frozen wreath.  Oops.

The other wreath, the one that necessitated the emergency run for more green tinsel, is here:

Totally impractical gifts, yes I know.  The Christmas wreath went to Ann's house and the Frozen wreath went to Kathy's house.  Some day I will make one for myself.

Oh, also on my to-do list for Christmas Eve was the test-drive of Roxie's present from Derek.

Heh heh.  We didn't go far because it was raining.  I think the weirdest thing for her wasn't the boots themselves but the noise they make.  I can't wait to see what a fashion statement she will make when she wears these boots with her new coat:

When we got home from our Christmas Extravaganza trip, one of the first things we did was assemble and hang this present from the Thomas house:

Roxie was very impressed; that window is the perfect spot:

Today was going to be a day for cleaning house and doing laundry and crossing things off my new to-do list, but I'm not making much progress except with the laundry.  So perhaps it would be fitting to close with a haiku I penned today:

Last year: upheaval
This year: procrastination
Next year: kicking ass

The end.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Solstice

I have maybe one article of clothing that does not have paint on it, so today I dropped a paintbrush and on its way to the floor....

Black shirt, white paint.

Oh yes I did.

Luckily there is a sink nearby and I salvaged it, so I still have one article of clothing that does not have paint on it.

But that's not what I was going to say.  We got a bunch of snow a while back, and I had to shovel off the steps outside my living room door for Roxie, so I shoveled her a cul-de-sac.

She loves this kind of snow - deep and leapable.  Normally I would not post a picture that is so out of focus, but this is the best action shot I could get of my snow bunny:

Leapin' and hoppin'.

Moonshadow, moonshadow.  Go with it.

The snow was tremendously heavy - it took my bird feeder right to the ground.  I'm not sure if that wee tree will recover.

I think my awesomely cool tree in the front yard (which, by the way, I've been told by a volunteer Master Gardener with the UVM Extension Service is an atypical form of a Burning Bush - a species that has been declared invasive here in Vermont) lost a big branch, but it may have been the branch that was held on with packing tape.

Roxie and I loaded up the jeep last Friday with cookie-making supplies and headed away from the only home in my Vermont family that had power to make cookies with my niece and nephew.  Mom's power was out for four days.  Kathy's power was out for a couple of days, then came back on for a night, then went back out for half a day, then came back on, then went out.  She has a generator so they had things like heat and running water, but this was to be cookie-baking central.  Ann, all of three-ish miles from Kathy, only lost power for a couple of hours, so the cookie baking parade moved to Ann's house, but Kathy's van was stuck in her driveway so we packed the jeep to the gills with three people, one dog and about seven thousand pounds of stuff.  I wrote on facebook that it was like a clown car.  Here is Kathy's driveway:

Roxie ran around with Ruby like a mad dog, then put herself to bed on a beanbag.

Exciting news at my house - I found out my snow blower is not worth fixing.  I could spend about $400 having the belts replaced and the carburetor cleaned out and whatever else they need to do, but since it was probably the very first snow blower ever invented and I have no idea of its maintenance history, there is no guarantee the engine won't blow the first time I use it.  So I'm probably going to suck it up and get a new one.  I certainly have no problem spending quality time with a shovel, but there's no way I'm going to shovel two driveways, and I'd like to have the second driveway available in case someone ever comes to visit me.  Plus, with a snow blower I can make a whole neighborhood of cul-de-sacs for poodle in my yard.  Woo hoo!

Speaking of poodle, again, we got a box UPS two days ago and in it was her Christmas present from Uncle Derek.  Here is the initial test drive:

POOR SAD POODLE FACE!  She looks like she's going to cry!  I reminded her that we can't go for walks in the winter because the salt the road crew puts on the road hurts her feet.  We got all four boots on and she very gingerly made her way out to the driveway, while trying to not put any of her feet on the ground.  We haven't gone for an actual walk yet, but that's next.  I think once she gets used to them she will be fine.  And I'm going to invent idiot mittens for dogs and make a million zillion dollars.  These boots are fab and they stay on her feet really well, but she won't be able to do any leapin' and hoppin' with them.  Hence, idiot mittens.  Or some kind of harness so I can make dog garters.  I need a clever product name....

Have I mentioned that I put up a second tree?  It's a wee small one, and today I turned it into a pickle tree.

I found all kinds of things when I unearthed my box of Christmas decorations.

And I have a third tree, too.  Because three is a magic number.

There is a reason I am not a professional Christmas tree fluffer.  That nonsense gets old in a hurry.  I may have to leave my trees up all year.  HO HO HO.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wait, what happened to November?

You know how time goes by much faster the older you get?  Well I must be absolutely ancient.  I don't know where November went.  The whole month - poof.  Except Thanksgiving - I remember that.  There was a turkey:

I couldn't take a picture from the other side because Kathy picked a bunch of the skin off before it left the kitchen.  Heh heh.  There was all kinds of other food too, including the pies Evan made with me.

Mom, those beaters are from the Stone Age - I can't believe they still work.

He was very proud.

What else.  I only painted one thing in the entire month, and here it is:

HA!  A purple wall.  In real life it isn't that bright.  I don't generally use the light along the window wall - not sure why I turned it on to take these pictures.  Derek - notice how I am channeling the '80s with my color scheme.  It's awesome.

Winter is here to stay, I think.  We've had several snowstorms that have melted away within days, but this one seems like it is going to stick around.  And it was COLD today.  I broke down and got winter tires for the jeep on Friday.  Some times you just have to suck it up.  I also figured out how to start my snow blower.  Now I just need to figure out how to get it to stay running.  Baby steps....

The only other thing to report over here is that Christmas has creeped into my dining room.

Yep.  Those two hooks were already in the ceiling (why, I have no idea) so I used them.  I might have to leave those ornaments up all year.