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.