Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve in the Morning

The first sweet words of the day came from Maria. Her eyes barely open, she spoke... "Merry Christmas eve in the morning."

Hello Ferris. Merry Christmas eve in the morning.
Ferris is either wide awake and completely full steam ahead... or he is...

This is how he greeted guests when they arrived for the big screening of the original "Tron." We had a holiday Geek-stacular festival, and the house was full of friends and family... a mini robotics reunion. Evidently finding DVD copies of Tron is not easy. Disney has them vaulted. We've had our copy since way back, because... well, because we are Geeks. Gosh, why would Disney want to hold back such a *ahem* "classic?" (*warning: colorful language link)

Speaking of colorful language and other sentence enhancers, I have been remarkably civil-tongued about a certain large appliance in our kitchen. The oven is still a bust!

Arggghhh!!! Mmmffwharbles! Snargggflat! Gnashwhackers!

A second part came, the 42 ton oven was hauled out, and nothing.
No oven wide enough for cookie sheets.
No oven deep enough for the big goose.
It was the wrong part.

And my poor mom, with six pies assembled and waiting, had to bake until the wee hours in the mini-side oven. Hopes are dashed. Cookie dreams are crushed. These are the domestic trials we endure. And still, we have refrained from truly ugly language.

Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest.

Life can be rough. It's enough to make you curl-up, cover your eyes, and take another nap.

Or have another party!

Ferris opted for another nap. We opted for an early Christmas celebration, with a turkey, big salad, lots of tamales and beans, smashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, cranberries, and those pies! And to enjoy the feast: Eunice and Becky, Julie and Adrian, Hans and Gretchen, Delia, and us...

My cousin Julie and her sweetheart, Adrian.

Maria knows when her aunt Gretchen is around, there is bound to be some glamor-time! They go way back with this tradition.* Maria loves her aunt Gretchen, and the quality time they spend together!

*editing this link, I discover yet another time I retained my composure under duress. lol

We had a little gift exchange. Hans and Gretchen are opening a skunk gag... they have such a skunk problem! My brother is about to resort to the use of special forces to rid themselves once and for all, so hopefully this Zhu-Zhu will be the the last skunk they have to contend with from now on.

This was the best gift of the night. Gretchen ordered puzzles made from our own family pictures. This 99 piece set is of Maria at the petting corral. A second one is a group shot from the same day in the country.

This is such a fun gift! Hold on a sec... I am going to get a link... Portrait Puzzles! Oh, and they are in Wisconsin... so they must be good!

Hans says the next one will have more pieces, because Maria and Gretchen finished this one so quickly! Maria and Gretchen just have sweet skills, and work well together.

Oh! Gosh! It's already ten. It is still Christmas Eve in the morning, but before it gets any later, I had better get off the computer and prepare for more fun!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Water Colors

The world is all water colored this week.
More rain coming. Thunderstorms too.

Delia and I made double lists for our shopping and holiday plans, then we set forth. Now we are well stocked, prepared for holiday gatherings, and Christmas meals. It looks as though the big oven will remain in disrepair, and I cannot imagine using the grill in this weather, but we have a handle on this... no worries, here.

I love the distorted glow of red and green traffic lights, the reflections and refractions, on the windshield. I love the dashes between showers, the splashes in the parking lot, ducking for cover. I love driving under bridges, and the sudden pelting of water that hits the roof of the car. I love the wind, and the trees in it. I love coming home.

Home for Christmas. I love it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Here We Go, Here We Go, Here We Go!

Wish it'd snow! Wish it'd snow! Wish it'd snow!

The weather outside is frightful, but only because there is no snow! We have had days and days of gray skies and rain, which I have no objection to, except that as long as we have to live with cold, wind, and sogginess, then I think it would be wonderful if it would switch to the white stuff! Of course I say this in a completely naive and fanciful vein, because I appreciate that actual snowfall in coastal Southern California would likely be frightful.

Good News: The weather did nothing to dampen our holiday tradition... City sidewalk, busy sidewalks. Dressed in holiday style.

Hahaha... It's the most wonderful time of the year, when my thoughts come out in carols, and holiday tunes!

Our day in the city really does feel like a solid holiday tradition, now that we've done it three times. Our first trip with Ruth included a gospel brunch, and then last year we had a post-sniffphony dinner downtown.

This year we went for an early lunch in Little Italy, before arriving at Symphony Hall for the family Christmas Concert.

It really was a warm and cheery holiday benvenuto. We ate a hearty lunch, talked about plans for Christmas day, and watched Geoff artfully decorate our bottle of holiday cheer, Chianti. In the restaurant they hang the personalized bottles from the ceiling!

Then we bundled ourselves and popped over to Sniffphony Hall. Maria doesn't actually say "sniffphony" any more, but we do!

My boys! They've grown! Even Maria added an inch or two since last Christmas. The boys got early gifts, new bow ties, a couple of vests, dark socks.

Maria's pink eye made huge healing strides when we got the eye drops going. That was the nastiest conjunctivitis I have ever seen. Her tutu kept us supplied with hand sanitizer, and I had cleaning swabs on hand. And Maria was so overcome with sniffphony joy that none of her symptoms hampered her happiness.

The music was fun and familiar. The hall, so beautiful with the tall tree and decorations, and everyone donning their gay apparel, was merry and bright. These are the gifts of Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gone 'round the Bend

I need to see Zoltar about some feathers for my hat, otherwise I am ready for the holidays.

Sometimes I ask myself, What would Scarlett do?

What would Scarlett do, confronted with a daughter with conjunctivitis, and projectile pus?

What would Scarlett say about hitching up the buggy for a late night ER visit?

If Scarlett were here, would she fret about a broken oven, or would she dine on take-out pizzas?

Well, fiddle-dee-dee! My Tara may look like the last thing standing after Sherman's march, I may be a bit frayed around the edges too, but my Rhett is here, hanging some drapes, and the roof only leaks a little bit, the children are home, and we have five more days to prepare and anticipate and... and what I cannot fix today, I will think about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.