Jan 04 2009

Christmas Past

Finally, our Christmas celebrations have come to an end, as Epiphany Mass was this morning and we attended our sixth and last Christmas party today. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed them all. In fact, I’d have to say it’s been quite a few years since I enjoyed the season’s parties this much. But six parties in a little over two weeks is a lot for me to take.  That many parties in two months would be a lot for me. It’s a good thing I like the people in our families so much.

I got some cool stuff, too, which is always nice.  We spent some of the deer hunting money my folks gave us on a really nice food processor.  The only odd thing about it is that you turn the pieces clockwise to remove them.  Maybe it was intended for sale south of the equator.  Anyway, it seems to be very good quality, and it does a fine job of turning pork rinds into powder for breading things.  It came from Amazon, so I’ll have to do a review of it once we’ve used it more.

My sister gave us the book lover’s version of Trivial Pursuit.  Now, I probably read close to a hundred books a year,  so I think I qualify as a “book lover.”  I pulled ten cards out and read the 60 questions on them, and got 1½ right.  Yikes, it might take us all day to finish a game!  Most of the questions seem to be about classic literature, and most of my reading has been epic fantasy, sci-fi, mysteries, westerns, and so on.  Maybe when we actually play it, we’ll run into more of those kinds of questions.

I got two of those “Life Is Good” T-shirts from Angel.  I have to admit, I don’t completely understand the Life Is Good phenomenon.  I’ve heard other people rave about them, and I’m not sure exactly why.  I do like them, though, because they seem to be very good quality and they’re not advertising a shoe or beer company.  Works for me.

I got a left-handed weekly planner, where the pages go “backwards.”  It’s kind of a cool idea, but it might be hard to get used to, after 30+ years of using right-handed books.  It also has little jokes and facts about left-handedness, though, so that’s fun.

My brother’s family got me a stand for grilling beer-butt chicken.  That’s where you stick a can of beer (or other liquid) into the cavity of a whole chicken, and stand the chicken up on the can while it grills.  The moisture rising into the chicken is supposed to keep it from drying out, but it can be hard to keep the chicken from tipping over.  This stand holds the beer (and thus the chicken) in place, and can hold two at once.  Should come in handy this summer.

My godson Stephen got me cheese.  You can never have too much cheese.  One block is like basil and tomato flavored or something, so that should be interesting.

Those are some of the highlights.  We also gave some really fun gifts, like the T-shirt for my niece that says, with the lettering upside-down, “If you can read this, get me up and help me catch my goats.”  Almost everyone in my family has been knocked down and stepped on by some kind of runaway animal or another; but since she’s the one who raises goats, she won the prize.

So, now we settle into a few months of winter, with only our seed catalogs to keep us company and remind us that spring will be here eventually.  It’s usually about now that I start circling about three varieties of every vegetable in the catalog, making overly ambitious plans for all the things I’d like to grow if I had a 5-acre garden.  Kind of silly, but it helps put some color into those cold, gray winter days.

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