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Archive for December, 2010

Day 21!

Well, it’s officially been the fastest month ever, but I can’t complain that today is our last day of work before we head to California for the holidays.  Of course we haven’t packed, Sally-proofed the house (which I imagine will be an extensive process), done a dump run, or written up the notes for our doggy caretakers (not like they need them, I know).  This is actually the first time we will have left Sally for a night (one of us has always been home since we got her — can you believe that??), so I have visions of chewed, well, everything. 

In happy news, G discovered three additional days off racked up in his log AND discovered RCDC is closed on Christmas Eve (for salaried employees who aren’t needed — not for guests).  What that means is that instead of working Tues-Fri after we get home, he gets THE ENTIRE WEEK OFF.  Woohoo!  8 vacay days plus two weekends together before we head back after the holidays!

We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. We look forward to seeing family and talking to the family we don’t get to see in person this year.  We can’t wait to share special Christmas greetings with everyone!

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Counting down

Day 20 on the advent calendar, which is hard to believe. Our Florida family is already together for the holidays, and K is already in California, which means it’s almost time for us to wrap up work and join the festivities. Just two more days before we travel.

This weekend was a flurry of activity on one day and a big pile of nothingness on the other.  On Saturday, we had the neighbors over for a holiday dinner with spiral ham, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, and gingerbread cheesecake.  The kids watched Polar Express while we caught up with L & D (who are so nice to watch the pups while we are away at Christmas). That was the fun part of Saturday. The rest was consumed by car maintenance and errands and parking lot arguments with crazy shoppers.  Although we did pick up some *amazing* glasses for G at Costco. I can’t wait till those are ready!

Sunday was laundry and football and relaxing by the fire. G also went for a runs with the puppies (while I lazily waved goodbye).  It was a big day for the Ravens and a BAD day for the Giants. It was half of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (cause, yanno, bedtime is still early on Sundays) and lotsa leftover ham for the doggies. 

And today is Monday. T-2 days till we get out of town!!

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Pictures you’re not seeing

Last night, our street went down.  Power shut off for 28 houses on our block for (what I can figure) no good reason.  No wind, no snow, no rain, no ice, no obnoxious neighbor with 200 strings of lights causing the transformer to explode…  And, as it always does, it went off at such a convenient time.  We had just arrived home, G was on his computer rendering a video for work, I was cooking dinner (microwave and cooktop on) and watching Polar Express (which apparently I am doomed to never watch this season), and all the Christmas lights and tree lights were shining bright…

Dark.

Off went all the Christmas lights. Off went the kitchen lights and the living room lights.  Off went my movie.  Off went G’s computer.  Off went the microwave and my mostly-but-not-quite cooked broccoli.  Off went the cook top on my cooked-but-not-quite-crispy-on-the-edges salmon.  Etc etc.

Sigh.

So we ate salmon and slightly chewy broccoli (which as I pointed out to G was not my best meal but was likely the best meal he would ever have during a power outage).  We fed the puppies by candlelight.  We called the power company to whine.  We got more firewood for the chilly night ahead.  We took the puppies out by flashlight and then gave them monster chewies.

And then we went to bed.  At 9.  Cause, yanno, what else are you supposed to do?

Power came back on in the middle of the night, and we awoke to blinding lights throughout the house.  But our Christmas light timers are all screwed up, so there were no festive holiday decorations to greet us this morning.  We’re also expecting 1-3 inches of snow today, so we have our mittens crossed that our power won’t go off again.  I had planned to blog mightily last night, but since I didn’t get a chance to do so, here are a few of the pictures you’re not seeing this morning:

– the wonderful hats Grandma C knitted me that absolutely rock — they keep my ears warm, they work over pony tails, and they match all my outfits (how did she know gray and camel are my favorite wardrobe colors?!)

– the steaming mug of Williams Sonoma hot chocolate I didn’t get to make last night (thank you Liz and Andrei!!!!!!)

– the new toys from Mom and Dad J for the puppies, that have been current fixtures in the mouths of Sally B and Linus since arrival

I’ll try again tonight, but it seems that winter weather — and outages — are definitely upon us.

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More holiday goodness

In our continuing efforts to ease Lucy’s anxiety, we got her some non-slip booties for the house. She actually didn’t mind them much and did pound up and down the stairs several times for treats (a vast improvement over her recent behavior).  They’re definitely an ‘under supervision’ item only, but if it helps her get around on the weekends with us, then it’s worth it!

Here she is finishing a bone and barely even registering the plastic purple baubles on her paws.

This weekend has been cold and rainy and perfect for staying inside relaxing. I made two batches of gingerbread biscotti with vanilla glaze (one for us and one for work!). Here is the first batch cooling with their glaze. Delicious!

I also made the best soup ever. Seriously. Want to make soup? Make Guy Fieri’s Ginger Carrot Soup. So good! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/ginger-carrot-soup-recipe/index.html

After all the baking and cooking, it was time for holiday cocktails. Like this delicious bellini!  In addition to peach nectar, I also brought home some pear nectar for a different kind of cocktail for another night.

Day 12 on the advent calendar! Can you believe it?

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Playing with some new toys last night!

G and his awesome new hat from Liz. Doesn’t he look cute?

Making sweet potato soup with my new immersion blender. (!)  See how chunky it is at first — sweet potatoes and leeks and celery. Both G and I had a try at the blender.  And at the end — perfect soup!  On tonight’s menu: carrot soup. I can’t wait!

My new toaster oven making perfectly crisp toast to go with our soup!

Today is a lazy winter Saturday. A day for putting on a fire and reading with the puppies. And maybe making some biscotti…

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…winter! It’s so cold, and DC saw a few stray flurries today. As an elderly woman spontaneously said to me this afternoon, “It’s beginning to feel like Christmas!”

Yes, indeed.  I had my first work holiday party this week, and next week is chock-full of holiday extravagance. You know what that means — more silver dress!

We’ve had a few wonderful surprises show up at our home, and the larger ones were opened immediately (because we’re both apparently very lazy wrappers). I got a convection toaster oven that I plan to use tonight to toast my delicious bruschetta that I will pair with sweet potato soup (with my immersion blender!!!).  Can’t wait!

One very large package also showed up for G.  Too large, in fact, for me to move, hide, or…anything. So G got his fabulous gift from K immediately. And, as an added bonus, he got to carry it into the house and set it up!

I mean — what was I supposed to do with this?

 (Not to mention it said Pottery Barn all over it.)

Lucy was very excited — she thought a giant cookie was hidden inside. Imagine her disappointment…

The lamp looks AWESOME.  It moves, expands, tucks, DIMS, and fills the space beautifully (even with all the furniture squished together to make room for the tree).  THANK YOU K!!!!!

Can you believe it’s already December 10?  Gah…

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Nutcracker

New York at Christmas is the best of the city — festive parties, tiny white lights, and a blur of red mittens and pompom hats – and the worst of the city — frenzied shoppers, cattle call crowds pushing in front of store windows, and cold. But this weekend, it was the best combination of both while K and I rang in the holiday season.

We watched ice skaters at Rockefeller Center, bought advent calendars and ornaments at the Met Museum Store, were herded past the store windows at Saks and Lord & Taylor, and joined the crush of people filling Times Square. We had amazing wine and seafood across from Lincoln Center, and then we saw the New York Ballet perform the Nutcracker, followed by cocktails in the West Village.

Lincoln Center is stunning.  The orchestra was perfect.  The ballet was beautiful, though we wish it could have lasted longer. We didn’t pay to get our pictures taken with a ballerina against a snowy backdrop, but we did shamelessly pose in front of the drape after the show.

The holiday season only really begins once you’ve seen the dance of the sugar plum fairies.

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