Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cool Yule

A merry time was had by all!

Christms Eve I arrived at my parents' house around 3, and my brother arrived with Cassidy around 9 (he had to deliver all those last-minute packages to expectant UPS customers). We had hot cocoa and started watching The Simpsons Movie, but I don't think anyone was awake by the end. I, for one, was fast asleep. My dad woke me up at 1:30 and they had already put all the presents under the tree (you know, to help out Santa, who must've dropped them off on the porch or something).

We got up around 8 on Christmas Day, although Cassidy probably could have slept much longer. The first few presents she was still a little dazed. But she caught on right away that all the ones with Winnie the Pooh wrapping paper were for her, so she was thrilled to run around the tree picking them all out. "It's for me!" "This one's for me too!" She got lots of Winnie the Pooh and Nemo stuff, including a washcloth that came all compacted down into this tiny star. When you run it under water, it grows. She got a kick out of that, and wanted to do the same thing to other presents. "Get it wet!" It doesn't work that way, hon.

Matthew and I made out like bandits. We both got crock pots and hepa air purifiers. I also got a toaster oven and a food steamer (which I used last night--frozen salmon, frozen cauliflower, set for 20 minutes, and voila! Dinner.) I got Lost Season 3 on DVD, and am looking forward to some marathon viewing sessions. I also got Nip Tuck Season 1 (I've heard it's good, and was a steal on Black Friday), and How I Met Your Mother Season 1 (I just started watching this year, and it's super funny!). I got my usual US Mint proof set (they seem to get bigger every they have the "regular" coins, plus the state quarters, plus the presidential gold dollars) along with an uncirculated set. There's lots of other things I haven't mentioned--it's really an embarrassment of riches--but the piece de resistance came after we were supposedly all finished, and Dad had started making breakfast. Mom said, "Oh look, there's two more presents under the tree...I didn't see those before. I wonder who they're for?" I unwrapped a super spiffy RED, engraved iPod Nano! And Matthew was pleased as punch to get a Tom Tom GPS navigator. We must have been on Santa's "very, very good" list this year!

The afternoon was spent mostly preparing our feast. I volunteered to do the green bean casserole, Good Eats style. In other words, no canned soup! I sliced up onions, tossed them in breadcrumbs and flour, and baked them to a crisp. I trimmed fresh green beans and boiled them. I made the sauce with fresh mushrooms, butter, garlic, and half and half. Super yummy. The recipe is here if you'd like to try it yourself.

Since the next day was a work day for both me and my brother, we left relatively early. Yesterday was super slow here at the office, and today is pretty similar. Some schools will be back in session starting the 2nd, though, so I'm enjoying the lull while it lasts! I was given the opportunity to go to Wisconsin again, but turned it down, because I'm snow-travel phobic. Same with Ohio. I did take on a session in Boone, NC, though, which could be just as treacherous. Hopefully there won't be a blizzard the day I'm there!

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