Holiday Re-cap and Lemon Mousse

December 29, 2012



I hope you had a wonderful holiday, Readers?  I confess, I struggled getting into the holiday spirit this year, but in the end, joyous times were had. Much laughter and mischief, as it should be.

A few highlights from the holiday season:

~Mucho, mucho cookie decorating. At one point, I turned around and witnessed Miss M. squirting icing from a huge tube directly into her mouth. Hey, who needs a cookie when you have a direct method of icing ingestion?

~Many games of Pictionary and Blurt! This mommy got smoked every time; apparently, her mental faculties are slow. Shocker, eh? **

~One dead Russian white hamster. Ahem. Who knew that hamsters could suffer strokes? Apparently, they can and the Scamper-man did. December is a perilous time for hamsters in the T. household–if you can recall, our first hamster (Twinkle the Gay Russian Dwarf Hamster) perished on Christmas Eve a few years ago. What the heck?

~One trip to the pet store with daddy, who took one look at teary Minx faces and promised them a replacement.   *doghouse*

~One newly purchased hamster, who was absolutely demonic-looking. Note to self: Never send the kids alone with Daddy to the pet store. This sucker had the creepiest red-brown eyes I’ve ever seen. “How did you manage to choose the nastiest-looking hamster in the store?” I hissed at him.   *double doghouse*

~One returned hamster to the pet store. Hey, call me Mrs. Horrible, but I couldn’t live with that thing. “Bowzer” (aka Damien Omen) gave me the heebie jeebies. Plus, Bowzer immediately took a vicious chomp out of Miss D.’s finger and drew blood. Hmph. Later, Bowz. You’re going back.

~ Another foray to the pet store to choose a much cuter, less chomp-y hamster. And he is a cutie. Miss D. wanted to name him “Fluffer,” which sent my husband into hysterics. Clearly, I am ignorant because the only connotation of “fluffer” I know is that it’s a polite way to refer to a fart. North Dakotans used that term constantly when I was a kid. Oh no, caterpillars. There’s a lot more to “fluffer” than a fart. Google it. I dare you. You learn new things every day.

~We now own a hamster named “Hercules.”

~We lucked out with a lovely (white!) Christmas.

~I hosted lunch for two dear friends who’ve known me (and miraculously, still tolerate my company) since 7th grade. Lots and lots of laughter and catching up and food.

~We’re working on a torturous 5th grade book project with accompanying diorama. Why the fuck do they still make kids create dioramas? There’s no educational value in those suckers, and they take Hella Lotta time.


Deep Breath. Rant over.

**What I really want to talk about today is Christmas, and to let you in on a little secret: if you want to score awesome swag, invite a food blogger over for Christmas dinner. Donna arrived at my doorstep with a cool cheese slicer-thingy (with premium cheese alongside), chocolate cookies, two fresh-out-of-the-oven loaves of rye bread, and a large container of lemon mousse.

Yeah, I made out like a bandit.

Donna is proof that the blogosphere can bring people together, in beautiful ways. I’d been Facebook friends with her for a while, and followed her blog, Cookistry. I knew she lived somewhere in Colorado, but it wasn’t until she posted several months ago that her husband had suffered a freak medical emergency and was in ICU at the same hospital where my husband works that finally…I connected the dots. Did I mention that I am slow?

That sassy lady lives ten minutes away from me. I wrote to her. We’ve been in touch ever since, and while her husband, Bob, is now on a rocky road to recovery, he spent a grueling and traumatic 15 weeks in the ICU. Fifteen.Weeks. Can you imagine? Fifteen weeks of uncertainty and heartbreak.

Donna is made of tough stuff. We met in person for the first time for lunch in November and I invited her for Thanksgiving (where she beat my ass at Board Game Throwdown #1) and again for Christmas (more beatdown), and she is a delight. Bob is still in the weeds, but is improving and has been moved to a different facility. If y’all could keep your fingers crossed for him, I’d be so grateful.

But Readers, we had such a great day. There was much Minx mischief, great company, terrific food, and so–so–many things to be grateful for. I just kept thinking about last Christmas, and how I spent the whole day veering on this roller coaster of gratitude and despair, wondering if it was my last Christmas with Mama. I cried so much last Christmas that I do believe I looked as scary as Bowzer.

Not this year. This year, we took things slow and savored; we counted our blessings. There are so many. It’s been such a scary two years for us.  Included in the blessing department is this lemon mousse that Donna brought. I woke up at 2 am on the morning of Dec. 26th to the sonorous snoring of my husband. I crept downstairs, opened the refrigerator, and ate lemon mousse right out of the jar. Dang, I’m a lucky girl.

For the lemon mousse recipe, go here:

Thank you for being here, and reading, and showing me such patience when I freak out and disappear. And for being you. Because I am so lucky to have you.


{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa December 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Fluffer!!! Whew-wee! That made me laugh hysterically also!

Glad to hear y’all had a good Christmas and your girls decided to actually get in on the cookie decorating!

Happy new year!


TKW December 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm


Happy New Year to you also, my funny and beautiful friend.


ayala December 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Double dog house :) happy this Christmas was better than last and that you are counting your blessings. xo


TKW December 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm


This is a year of hardship and blessings, but damn, we are lucky.



Dawn December 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

How did the hamster name go from Fluffer to Hercules? Glad you found one that fits in….and glad you found Donna as well, and she you. Sounds like you’re going to be very good friends. I think we’re all lucky to have you too!


TKW December 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm


How was your holiday? I know it’s been an interesting (cough) year for you…Check in, okay?


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon December 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Curiosity got the better of me so of course I googled it…oh my word.

Savor the moments…all of them.


TKW December 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Festivus to you and Libby and your gorgeous family. I will always think of you as “Queen of the Love Bomb.” You are amazing, Wendi.


Katybeth December 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Happy New Year to you, your family and little hamster too!


Debbie December 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Well said, as always. Glad you had a good Christmas. I can’t bring myself to google “fluffer” just yet.


TKW December 30, 2012 at 9:04 am


Your eyes might scorch if you do…


idiosyncratic eye December 30, 2012 at 1:21 am

What’s a diorama? They sound painful. :)


TKW December 30, 2012 at 9:06 am


A diorama is a little model (usually of a scene from a book) made up of many, many, pieces of little crap, put inside a box. Sooooo painful.


elizabeth December 30, 2012 at 8:36 am

For a second I had to think about “fluffer” and oh yeah, it’s so not an appropriate name for a hamster (or any pet, for that matter).

So happy to hear that this Christmas was a vast improvement over last year. Happy New Year, dear!


TKW December 30, 2012 at 9:07 am


I still can’t stop laughing like a 13-year old when I think of “fluffer.”

Happy New Year to you and Michael!


Biz December 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

Want to hear a coincidental blog story? I had been blog friends with Mara for nearly a year. I knew we both lived in Illinois, but it’s a big state, and I never gave it much thought – we enjoyed each others blogs.

One day I posted a picture of some cookies a co-worker brought for one of our attorneys who announced that she was pregnant. There were cookies with nuts (those were the boy cookies) and ones without (the girl cookies).

I suddently get an email from Mara and she said “Are those cookies for a woman named Whitney?” Shocked, I said yes, and how the hell did she know that – turns out she worked with the sister of Whitney and Whitney had sent a text picture to her showing the exact same cookies.

Small world! She works in the town next to me, and lives in the town next to where I work – we’ve met about half a dozen times of the last year, and while she’s in her late 20’s – ahem, we have the common bond of food and age doesn’t seem to matter!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I am wishing you nothing but the best for 2013!


Arnebya December 31, 2012 at 7:16 am

I think the hamster’s nickname would have to be Fluffer in my mind just so I could randomly giggle. How does one even become a fluffer? Is it an acquired skill? Is that how it’s worded on announcements for openings in the industry? Has anyone ever attempted to be the best damn fluffer ever?

Anyway, best of 2013 to you and your family, your mama, minx growing, hamster living, food making, friendship fostering. And laughter. May there be laughter that makes you pee. Oh, wait.


TKW December 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm


Actually, I am still thinking of him as Fluffer and randomly breaking into mirth. I’m as bad as a 13-year old.

Happy New Year to you and yours. Laughter but no peeing!


Amy Whitley December 31, 2012 at 8:31 am

Cheers for blogger friends! They really do live in real life, who knew?! And um…I didn’t know what a fluffer was either (or even that the world had need of them). Now I know. Thanks, Google, and Kitch’s husband, for the education.


TKW December 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm


Sorry about that little educational tidbit…eek!


Contemporary Troubadour December 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Best wishes for 2013, Kitch. We’re lucky to have you and every part of your family you share with us here too.



TKW December 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm


Wishing you nothing but awesome health and happiness this year! xoxo


Jaimie December 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I’m sure fluffer will make any hamster friends he meets very very happy. Haha! My inner fatty came out when I read this the first time, all I could think about were marshmallows. At least my brain didn’t jump straight to porn!!


Samantha Angela December 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Miss M and I would get along very well with cookie decorating. Icing to mouth piping is my specialty.


TKW January 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm


I know who’s invited to our house next year…


BigLittleWolf January 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

No cookie decorating around here this year… a very last minute set of holidays, and way too few “actual” days off.

Still, even a few days with friends & kids is heavenly. Looks like your dessert up there is heavenly, too!

Just may beat out cookie decorating…

Wishing you a blissful (and peaceful) new year, Dana.


Velva January 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

2012 has been a journey. May 2013 bring much peace and laughter.


P.S. Glad you had the opportunity to meet Donna. Very awesome. Very cool.
I am sending good vibes her husbands way.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri January 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm

2012 was a rollercoaster here. Hoping I can coast a little in 2013.

Happy Holidays Kitch! You always manage to make me laugh, cry, and fill me with gratitude everytime I come to your space. xoxo


Sherri January 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

Happy New Year! And…. thanks for the lemon mousse.


Barbara January 3, 2013 at 5:23 am

Happy New Year, sweetie! Love your Christmas review. Too funny about squirting frosting directly into mouths….why not cut out the middle man is what I say. :)

Our holiday was slightly different….no grandkids around this year so we spent time unpacking and organizing. We did take some time off for our traditional Christmas brunch, but the rest of the time we worked like dogs.
Looking forward to another year with you……


Maria January 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

So happy you were able to savor the holidays this year instead of feeling like you are playing beat the clock. Love you. That is all.


Tiffany January 22, 2013 at 6:22 am

I’m so glad you had a great and white holiday!!! You are a saint for the hamster deal. No way would I get one of those!!! And dioramas? I agree…what purpose do they serve???


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