Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Holiday

Yay! Christmas is over!

I'm sure it's at best inappropriate to say that.

But seriously, I am tired and enjoying the after-holiday loveliness that is the time between Christmas and New Years. Before Christmas, I just have too much to do:
Baking all those yummy treats to send to my family and friends
Eating yummy holiday treats
Making and eating holiday meals
Sending packages
Opening packages!
Eating more stuff from packages
Trying to get the cat to eat anything from any package or her food bowl
Drinking gallons of Starbucks Christmas Coffee
Oh Book-mas Tree, Oh Book-mas Tree!

Do Not Disturb Till Christmas!

Beautiful Pueblo Wedding Vase from Charlotte

Pine Street
Merry Xmas!

The Chimpanzee/Human Communications Institute is just up the road.

Golf Course

Yeah, poor me.
On Christmas Eve, I got a text from my friend Lisa asking if I wanted to go cross country skiing.  I haven't been in years and years.  Grey at first decided to go.  As we walked down to the ski shop to rent skis, he realized that he would be supporting a business that makes its employees work on the holiday.  He just couldn't do it, but didn't have any problem with me going. Thank goodness because I had a raging good time.

We went out to the golf course and skied 9 holes.  The course goes past a river and by a pasture with shaggy ponies with long tails and heavy winter coats.  It was lovely, and uh, pastoral.  On the first two downhill slopes I fell first on my butt, then on my face.  It's cool though, because snow is soft and I am fearless.  By the time we were halfway through, I had the hang of it again.  By the time we were done an hour or so later, I was tired.  Lisa looked merely as though she was warmed up.  I sort of squeaked about spending time with my husband on Christmas Eve, and she let me off the hook.  I imagine she spent a few more hours out in the frozen, powdery sunshine before calling it a day.  I remembered how to get up again when on a hill and how to walk uphill in 175cm skis.  Pretty exciting for me.

I was sore the next day, though not particularly in pain.  I love getting out in the world to do active things and spend time with interesting people.  In this case I got my butt kicked my a gentle slope and a lady I am coming to admire greatly.  When I got home, I got warmed up and in the evening, Grey and I had a Yahtzee tournament, some homemade fudge and a glass of Pinot Noir.  Now that was a lovely evening, complete with Christmas jammies.  I took the idea from my sisters, Patti and Mickie, years ago.  On Christmas Eve, they would let their kids open one special present- Christmas jammies. Once they got older, the real surprise wasn't the present, but what design and style they were in.  For years, Patti sent me a pair.  Last year, I got Grey a pair of black jammies and bought my own.  This year was his turn.  I think next year we will try to buy a pair for each other.

In my book, if you really like someone,  you should get them a good pair of jammies to keep them warm on winter nights.  Laugh all you want; that probably means you don't have a pair.

The best part of Christmas for me might have been that we live here in Ellensburg (Eburg, as we locals call it), and it snowed big fat wet flakes from sunup to sundown.  That isn't a particularly big feat as sunup is around 8 and sundown is around 4:30.  But still, it was lovely and welcome and heartening.  Grey and I are well provisioned and we walked around the deserted streets and took pictures and tried not to fall on our asses.  There is ice under the snow, so there are places it's a bit treacherous.  We opened stockings and presents and called and talked to family.  I even Facetimed with Patti and 10 or so of our relatives over there.

And there was food too.  Grey made an olive tapenade - an "oliveade" is the same thing, only without capers.  But since we found capers here in town and the local grocer carries olives in bulk, it was a great idea.  I made a fettuccine alfredo from scratch.  Alfredo is so easy to make and so easy to eat too much of.  There are few ingredients and it always comes out lovely.  Just use a half cup of butter, half pint of heavy whipping cream, several cups of parmesan grated finely and as much garlic as you can stand to sauté.  I used five cloves of garlic in the recipe and we could have eaten the whole batch but we called it off.

Yeah, that's a foot of snow
I do wish we could have been with Grey's family.  They are so nice and called and talked for a long time.  Maybe next year~

I am allergic to garlic.

I was sick yesterday because of my own darn delicious cooking.  Since I didn't eat it raw, it wasn't that awful of a reaction. But I did spend the day in bed, reading a good book.  It was worth it; both the day off and the sick part.  I'm halfway through the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy now.  Right in the middle of "The Two Towers".  I have learned a few things in re-reading the series.  I never get tired of Ents, for one, and for the other, I love that Sir Ian McKellan is now inside of my head, narrating the story for me.  Legolas has a face and Gimli is not the simpering, gaping fool that the movie makes him out to be and my beloved dwarf regains his proper dignity in the book.  Hmpf! I guess the third thing is that Viggo Mortensen is most definitely Aragorn.  Yummy, yummy Aragorn.

The Ellensburg Bull.  He's, uh, anatomically correct. Sorry for telling you.
I always take time to ponder what other people do on religious holidays.  I love the Haunkkah story of the oil and understand a bit of the lighting of the Menorah. And I have several times now celebrated Ramadan, but for the most part, my friends are of the Christian or Christian-compatible religions and as such, they take Christmas off.  And mostly, the spend quiet holidays with friends and family eating too much food, talking shit about Santa, and playing games.  A few observe the Christian concept of Christ's birth and give gifts and do kind deeds to celebrate.  Or if you're Grey, you walk over a mile to the movie theater and catch a double feature.

Anyway, I'm glad it's over for this year.  I have such things planned for my classes next quarter.  Oh yes, indeed.  I'm teaching a writing theory class for graduate students and I'm just up to my neck in reading and writing about it.

One last thing: the thing I want most.

A gym membership/and end to the delicious fudge.

Next post?  New Years Resolutions.  Stay Tuned!

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