Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deck the Halls

The day after Thanksgiving Wilson, Jessica, Raquel and I had a girls lunch over at T Bar. Jessica and Raquel were our newest inductees to the awesomeness of T Bar. I think we have them hooked, too. Afterwards I kidnapped Jessica and took her to the scrapbook store so that she could be tempted by millions of things that she doesn't need, but wants. Actually our store isn't as good as the Paradise store or Bella's up in Jessica's neck of the woods. When we were done we came back to my house so that I could give back the cricut cartridge I'd borrowed for the weekend and to give her their bunch of Christmas presents to take back to Washington with them. When Rick and Tyler came by to pick up Jessica, I got my picture with the littlest visitor.
Apparently since I'm crouched down, he thought he should to. Too cute!

I spent some time yesterday in my craft room and got another page done. This one was about my trip to Spirit West Coast in July.

After church this morning I ran around town to different places so that I could put together an advent calendar for the Canadian. After four stops and some private time in my craft room I presented Chris with this:
A beer advent calendar with 24 different beers, each labeled 1-24, with any Christmas beer being reserved for any potential Santas out there. This is Sean's second year of getting a beer advent calendar (from a local brewing equipment business) and the Canadian was a little jealous, but he too can now enjoy the drunkin spirit of Christmas!

This afternoon we dragged out our Christmas decorations and got busy getting festive around here. The tree went up,
And the mantle was decorated with holiday splendor.

Hopefully it'll all come down in a timely manner, too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Um, can I talk to Uncle Chris now?

My first call this turkey day morning was from C. She wanted to tell me about a conversation that she had with Andrew about Chris. Andrew saw some professional wrestling on TV and decided he wanted to be a wrestler and wrestle Uncle Chris. We're not sure why Chris, but Andrew has it all set in his mind. Andrew got on the phone to wish me a happy Thanksgiving, but then immediately wanted to know if he could talk to Uncle Chris. Dissed for the cool uncle. I see how it is. Then Connor got on the phone with Chris and was telling him "racecar". Susan said they read the race car book (about colors) all the time and he acts surprised everytime the silver car wins and always says it's Uncle Chris. C. and family were going over to one of Todd's sister's houses in O-town. I think she said there was 34 of them getting together. Oye!

We didn't do a lot around here this morning. We had a big breakfast of poached eggs, country style potatoes, bacon and some leftover sourdough pancakes hoping to hold ourselves over until our 2:00 pm turkey feast. Our part of the meal was to bring rolls, green bean casserole and dessert. After a lot of deliberation I settled on an apple crostata. I hadn't made one before, but the recipe on the Pillsbury website looked easy enough. Peeled, sliced apples mixed with cinnamon and sugar and baked in a pie crust. Luckily, it didn't disappoint.
We got over to the 'rents right at 2:00 pm with arms full of hot food. Mum had pulled out the table to it's full extension and was decorated all in holiday splendor.
We had some of Mum's delicious artichoke stuffing,
And a mix of sweet and regular potatoes.
We had turkey this year which I thought was perfect, but Mum was convinced she cooked it too long. Nothing a little gravy can't fix, right? We have a quarter spiral cut ham in the fridge to make this weekend that'll go nicely with the boatloads of leftovers they sent us home with. Mum gave us a turkey leg, too so that we could make a turkey soup. We'll be eating leftovers for weeks to come.

Chris shared some of his Macau photos with them from his trip, but they didn't get to enjoy the spicy dried fish he brought home as his only souvenir. Chris tricked me into eating one yesterday and it was one of the most gawd awful things I'd ever tasted. Ick.
If he offers you any say 'no' and run away!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fancy Shoes

My favorite moment of this last week was when a little boy (4 yrs old) at work told me he liked my 'fancy shoes'. Just some black heels I was wearing. That little boy will make some girl very happy some day!

This has been my Canadian vacation week. Chris left Monday night for Macau and doesn't come back until next Monday afternoon. I had all these fabulous plans for being productive, both crafting and cleaning, but sadly not much of either of those things have happened. I mean I did sit down for a few minutes in my craft room and get a few things accomplished. I made a birthday card for a co-worker.
And I got a clock Christmas gift started for Kari.
I stole some photos from her screensaver directory on her computer at work of friends and family and sent them to the printer. I still need to decide on a background paper to apply.

As for the house I at least got my tub scrubbed, bathroom floor mopped and house sweeped and vacuumed. It's so much easier to clean house when there's nobody under foot.

I did find a little time to do a little baking, too. I made a Splenda pumpkin pie yesterday morning and just had a slice as my mid morning snack today.
It was hands down the best baked item I've made with Splenda. I can't even tell it's in it.

I don't have a lot of plans for today. I would like to roam around Costco a little bit, maybe stop at Cost Plus for some peppermint coffee and pick up a cookbook at B&N for a co-worker's birthday. I have a dinner date with the 'rents tonight at their house at 6:00 pm. Mum's making raviolis which means that she'll probably have my beloved asiago cheese bread from Safeway, too. Christmas Preview is tomorrow night downtown. I haven't decided yet if I want to go. I don't really need anything and I'm not sure it's worth the headache. I'll wait and see if Mum brings it up.

I guess if I'm really planning on leaving the house I should probably go make myself presentable.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

I spent my Friday off yesterday shopping and lunching with Mum. I took her to T Bar for lunch, tea and turkey talk. We made our plans for Thanksgiving since realistically we're the only two who really care what or when we eat. Mum's making the turkey, mashed potatoes (apparently a mix between russet and sweet), artichoke stuffing (per my request) and brandied cranberries. Chris and I are in charge of the veggies, bread and dessert. I love green bean casserole, but I'm not sure that everybody else does so we'll see what we decide for a veggie.

Since I had a good amount of my sourdough starter, Eduardo, in the fridge I starting prepping him yesterday morning for waffles today. They're so tasty and different I don't think we'll ever tire of them.
The only bad part about them is having to continue to cook up the whole batter all morning. Just because we're done eating doesn't mean I'm anywhere near done making them, but at least breakfast will be a snap tomorrow. Maybe I will make some when everyone comes to visit....

After breakfast we ran out and did some errands. We needed new Christmas lights for this year and a timer, a new smoke detector, the Canadian needed a haircut, and I had photos to pick up from Wal-Fart. When we got home Chris went right to work putting up all of our lights. First he installed some new solar walkway lights along the side of the garage.
Then he starting putting up Christmas lights. Yes, I know we're early, but we're always the last ones on the block to get ours up. But not this year suckas!
We also bought a couple of strands for the back pergola. I've been wanting lights out there ever since we moved in and finally my dreams came true...
We bought all LED lights this year so hopefully we don't see our PG&E bill go through the roof for all these lights we put up. Chris bought two timers, one for the fronts and one for the rears, and set them to come on at 5:30 pm and shut off at 10:00 pm.

If you want to see photos of the front lights in action, look at the Canadian's blog.

I spent all afternoon cooped up in my craft room cranking out Mum's 2010 calendar. Some of the photos I printed at Wally World were for January thru October of the calendar. And I actually finished all the pages today. I just have to take photos at Thanksgiving and probably use Christmas photos from last year, or use our Christmas card photo.

I'm guessing we'll be spending some time tomorrow getting the Canadian packed. He leaves for Macau Monday evening after work. Pack some plaid shirts and plaid shorts so he can impress the natives with his dress savvy.

Party, my house next week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hurray for Holidays

Days off for holidays are righteous. Days off that Chris doesn't get are priceless. Mwhahahahaaa!! Not having any plans for today I invited myself along to a site visit Chris had to do in Pleasant Grove (between here and Sacramento). It was the same contractor who'd done the septic system at the hospital so they knew me.
Yeah, I'm working that hardhat.
Four hours in the truck, that's about all I've got to show for my day off. Very productive, I know.

Other than that, other big news of the week is that I finally got my replacement sourdough loaf from my baking class back in June. That would be to replace the loaf I left on the roof of my car as I roared down Pentz Rd. Sherry, my co-worker, had taught another class over the weekend and brought me in an extra loaf.
It was so tasty (not that we're done with it yet). Slightly warmed with butter. Mmmm....

Let's see....we went out to lunch/dinner with the 'rents on Sunday for their 23rd anniversary. We went to Sierra Nevada at their request. Since I'm never very impressed with their food it's always an adventure to pick something off of the menu. This time I chose the chicken thai pizza.
The chicken was marinated in a peanut sauce, there were julienned zucchini, squash and carrots and everything was covered in a sweet chili sauce. It was actually really good. I've had the best luck with their pizzas. They have a mediterranian one that is tasty, too.

I got back to my craft room this week and finished up a couple of more pages. One for the baking class and one for Wilson's 21st birthday. Spirit West Coast goes in between those, but I didn't print the photos yet.

Tonight's bible study night and even though it's a holiday, we're still getting together up at Kari's. She's making us pesto chicken, an apple walnut salad and a crustless pumpkin pie for dessert. But the Canadian's being well cared for too, I through a couple of pounds of beef ribs with bbq sauce in the crock pot this morning and I've got some Marie Callendar's cornbread muffins in the oven and some Busch's baked beans on the stove. He'll be just fine.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Little Porch of Horrors

First I cursed the little devils that stole my Halloween pumpkin, but now I wish they'd taken both of them because Chris' has turned into a Club Med for fruit flies.It is sooooo disgusting (hint, hint to the hubby if he's reading this) and right in our path to the front door. As soon as you get close to it the flies disburse and then come back to continue nibbling on the apparent maple syrup flavor pumpkin. Gag.

As far as non-repulsive news, I received my new New Balance shoes in the mail Monday from the Canadian's friend, Craig (the one going to Macau with him). I just give some suggestions as to which shoes I like, but he has the final pick and it's always a surprise. This time I got pink booby shoes:
See, the inside foot bed is all breast cancer ribbons. And they're on the tongue of the shoe and on the heel. Fuchsia and silver rock. My last ones were blue and silver, but these are better! Ka-pow!

This week is the sustainability conference at Chico State. It's Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Kari and I sweet talked our way into getting to go again and it's been great so far. I mean, there's a couple of keynote speakers that I literally am trying not to fall asleep during, but some of the concurrent classes have been really informative and interesting. I'm actually going to be speaking at a class tomorrow with the Mayor of Chico. Our vice mayor, my nemesis, was supposed to be there, but he had some family emergency and pitched it to me late Wednesday afternoon. Completely too late to put together a power point presentation or really get a chance to meet with Ann, the Chico mayor. But at least I'm talking about the stuff I did at the town the last year for sustainability purposes so it's stuff I know. So after Chico talks about what 'green' things they've done I'm going to get up and blow their little minds. Or bore them to death, I'm not sure yet.

As a parting thought, I want to leave you with this picture:
Really...?!? Who leaves two and a half crackers and crumbs in the box and puts it back in the cupboard? Here's a hint, it wasn't me. Discuss amongst yourselves...