Thursday, December 17, 2015

When Your Spouse Gets A New Hobby.......

Andy got a new camera this year, and once in a while there are odd "go stand over there" moments, but most of the time it's just very cool.  He took this picture of the living room looking festive,
and, of course, Theo:
who is nothing if not a ham.  I take pictures of things, but while I can manage not-blurry and actual-representations-of-things, that's as far as I go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I Think I'm a Holiday Behind...

Though I don't think it's all my fault.  Thanks to Global Warming, our garden was alive until November, so we got things harvested a bit late and with everything else I needed to get done,
the pumpkins got pushed aside.  They do store fairly well, but Monday I noticed one of them was going bad, so yesterday I started on roasting pumpkins. 

Once, in my younger and more foolish days, I used to try to cut through their tough little skins with a knife.  Now I use the easier and FAR more fun bouncing-them-off-the-patio method.  When they're fresh, they don't bounce.  When they've aged a bit, they do, so it can take a couple tries, and is a lovely way to work out frustration....say, that of never getting rid of bronchitis, for instance.

I have also discovered that a grapefruit spoon works REALLY well for scraping the insides clean:
and I can now tell you that our oven has enough room to roast exactly 4 sugar pumpkins at a time.  This was a good thing to figure out before breaking open a fifth pumpkin, so I'm feeling proud of myself. 

It's been longer than I thought since I roasted pumpkins, so while I remembered that boiling the seeds in salt water before roasting them both flavors them and gets the remaining pumpkin gunk off of them,
I didn't use enough salt.  Oh well.  There are more pumpkins......

And what better way to celebrate fresh pumpkin puree than..
pumpkin muffins?  Okay, in a household which has never, ever made a pumpkin pie, that is..............

Monday, December 14, 2015

Almost There!

I have read 99 books for the year so far.  A lot of them have been audio books, because honestly that is the only way I would ever be able to do this.  And I usually have more than one book going at any time--there's an audio book in the sewing room, one on my phone, and there was one in our bedroom, but I just made the executive decision that if I still don't care for the book on the third disc out of 6, it's time to call it quits.  Besides, there are others.

I've been rereading a lot, which I've always done.  Not everything is worth reading twice, but some things I can read over and over again.  Like this:
This is a 1945 book of Grimm's fairy tales, mercifully before the era when parents decided children were too "fragile" for these tales which have been around for hundreds of years.  I must have read this at least a hundred times growing up, and still know much of it by heart.  To fair, they don't always have morals--I probably wouldn't have liked them as much if they had, although my favorite, "The Fisherman and His Wife," certainly has one--the fisherman's wife demands more and more from the magical flounder, and finally goes too far and is left exactly where she started.  Reading the story as an adult, I do feel sorry for the fisherman because he's a kind soul and is obviously married to a nasty old bat and remains so at the end, but fairy tales don't believe in divorce, though one can murder a troublesome spouse.  I guess I can see why people freaked out about the original stories, but I still like them better than the Disney ones. Maybe we're more entertained by darkness than we like to think..........

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's the Holiday Season

So here in America, within a span of 6 weeks, we have 3 federal holidays and manage to make the entire period a season of parties, shopping, and eating.  Maybe I should mention eating twice, as there's just THAT much food.  I don't care how healthy one tries to be, there just isn't that festive atmosphere about lettuce.  Sad, but true. 

Both trees are up,
I have finished the last gift (I hope, because otherwise this means I have forgotten someone), many things are shipped, and now I need to get cracking on the Christmas letter.  Or holiday letter, in case it's a New Year's thing.  I'm flexible that way.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Wow, Was That A Full Month?

Here it is already December, and I didn't even get our Thanksgiving picture posted.  This:

is what we did for Black Friday.  We spent the holiday on the ranch with my parents, and visiting my aunt and uncle and cousins.  A really fun time.

Now we're in to the full craziness of December.  And I have shipped gifts!   Not all of them, but most.  In early December.  I am very excited about this.  And surprised, of course, but I prefer not to talk about that............

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...