Happy December 1st! There's something about this date, something crisp and clean and promising, like the first fallen snow. So many possibilities, so much anticipated joy. But...
I have a running joke with my family, it goes like this, "Now, I'm not one to complain..." and this gets a big laugh because I love to complain. Well, we talk about holiday stress and then something happens and we REALLY know what stress is. First, I have the ongoing problems with my laptop. The Husband went and picked a new one out for me (I know...what is she complaining about?). Well this one I have is almost dead and very slow. I have to grab The Husband's when he's not using it. Nothing of mine on his is bookmarked and I can't seem to send emails. To muck up matters worse, the new computer won't be shipped until the 13th. Sigh.
Major, major plumbing problems. Yesterday while using the washing machine, water backed up into a sewer drain in the garage, and I mean this was sewer, 'in the ground' water. Pee Ewww! Then today I used the washer and the same thing happened only in the sewer drain in the backyard outside one of the bathrooms. The Husband thinks that the length of pipes stopped up will equal big money to have cleaned out. I'm trying to think positively and the only thing I can count on is that the cute, sexy Irish plumbers will be paying a visit tomorrow. They are the kind of plumbers you like to see in that crouching position most associated with and disliked when it comes to plumbers. Oh my, did I just say that? Blush.
Finally, I have a guy coming to do the closet door. I rely on Home Adviser if I can't get someone by word of mouth and that's how I came upon Pauly from Pauly's Punch List. I really really like him a lot but he loves to talk! We have to have the track replaced on the door and with the hardware and labor, it was not what I expected. And then of course when I find a good handyman, The Husband finds a few other hundred jobs for the guy. So he's going to be here two days this week. Even though you are getting problems solved, don't you hate having a stranger in your house? He's very nice but when he left, The Husband asked, "Where did you find this character?!!" He's very sweet though, he called Friday to ask how our Thanksgiving went. And we chatted over an hour.
Wednesday marked the sixth year anniversary since my sister Leslie passed away. I don't usually talk much about her on this blog but her daughter posted this picture of her on Facebook and I just couldn't help myself...this was SO HER!! She had a big grin and loud, "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha..." laugh that went on forever. She's at work here and we have no clue why she's dressed like this nor what she's doing. Anyway, I love this picture, you can see her personality, her goofiness. Can you hear her laughing? Miss you, Lux.
Okay, Thanksgiving 2013. I brined that 18 pound baby and it spent the night in my car. I popped it in the oven promptly at 8:00 a.m. Thanksgiving morning while the rest of the gang went to a nearby park to play football. This is a much loved occasion for my daughters Emily and Abby to beat the s*** out of each other, a true pent up yearning. Meanwhile I slept, content that three people had calculated and confirmed that the bird would take 6 hours. I got up, took a shower, cleaned up the house and I was just starting to put on my make up around noon when I smelled something oddly funny. The smell of turkey. Cooked turkey. Done turkey. I ran to the kitchen and like the nurse I always wanted to be, I took it's temperature. 180 degrees!!! Okay, I'm using the s*** word again. What was I going to do with a cooked turkey when we weren't planning on eating until 4:00? Sort of ironic when we think of all the people horrified by overcooking or burning a dinner. And can I fess up? I wasn't even going to mention this on my blog, I was really mortified and wanted to uphold this persona of a good cook. Truth is, I calculated 20 minutes per pound and for an unstuffed bird, it's more like 10 to 15 minutes tops. Anywho...I kept the bird covered very tightly. Everyone loved the appetizers and wine (maybe that helped!) and were pretty okay that dinner was actually on time (I wonder how?!!!)
I made a sweet potato casserole for the first time rather than just boiled and tossed with brown sugar and butter...
...and this dessert was out of sight. Cheesecake over chocolate chip cookies, a bar cookie thing. I will give you all the recipe in another post because this was a big winner, served so many and was make ahead. A trifecta!
The table. I set it the night before. I knew I had had my fill of rustic. I wanted elegant again. People feeling spoiled, their faces lit up by candlelight. The clinking of glasses and the good manners. I was wandering the aisles of Target Tuesday night and saw this gold thingie...I actually think it's to hold a candle. And I knew I wanted white roses and sparkle. Since I was squeezing 8 people around a table meant for 4 (yes, I break the rules big time), I kept the centerpiece small and had the silver in a sparkling vase so it didn't compete for room next to the plates.
I don't think the coziness mattered. We told our favorite Thanksgiving of Past stories and had some good laughs. The food was good and all went well. And I think my two Irish nephews felt right at home at how 'normal' we are, if not a little Griswold-est!
I have nothing remotely speaking of Christmas here in Blondieville, so we are moving on to Emily's Journal. This is how she arranged her little city porch with that fabulous old sled she found for $25.00. Plaid blankets that aren't cheap and that will be left out in the elements were traded for inexpensive scarves. Good tip. I wish I had gotten a picture of the tree and candle in the lantern lit.
Emily made this wreath last summer and just changes out flowers for berries and for whatever. I think it's so cute and simple.
Don't let not having a fireplace keep you from hanging those stockings...they're a fire hazard if you ask me. She had these made very inexpensively by a girl with an Etsy shop. On the right you can see the bone for Rusty, the flower for her and the tag for Mike.
And her beautiful tree. It's done in silver with white lights and burlap and natural ornaments. Look closely and you will see the animal print ribbon. She showed me how she twisted the wireless ribbon from the top and secured it at intervals with florist wire. She found the sweet tree skirt at Hobby Lobby. So far the Rustmeister seems to almost be a little leary of the tree. Keep your fingers crossed.
Emily started buying Christmas decorations and ornaments before she got married last year, hitting the after season sales. At that time she rattled on to me about how she was going to do her tree. I'm sorry, it went in one ear and out the other. I know I change my mind 20 times a day. I have a mind like a pinball machine. But this year it was exactly as she told me a year ago. She said, "As a designer, I have a vision. I have a gift and the knowledge to see what others can't and I can pass that on." I hear so many say that they don't need an interior designer to do what they want to do in their own homes. Oh goodness, it is nothing further from the truth. Emily goes to homes and looks at what the people already have. Then she discusses not only what they would like, but their dislikes, taste, family loves, requirements, and space issues. She sits and has coffee with these people and gets a good handle on their personalities. Then the fun part comes and she did this with me. She has access to hundreds of furniture and accessory manufacturers that we aren't privy to. She will put together endless ideas for you that fit your personality and lifestyle until you're happy. And this is how an interior decorator works. I have been wanting to clear the air on this because they are hard working individuals that work and work to make clients happy. They do not sweep in and tell you that you need leopard rugs and fur pillows!!
Oh my, how did I get off on that tangent?
This is as close as I am to a Christmas tree. Found in the lot at CVS. I really fell for the felt star! :) The Husband and I have opposing views on how early to get the live tree. We are pretty good at compromising this late in the game (marriage, not holiday time) and decided on a tree farm nearby next weekend. That's fine by me, I have the Sexy Irish Plumbers tomorrow, and Pauly the Personality Thursday. Two doctor appointments (nothing serious), and oh, did I mention my ice maker quit? 1-800-For-Sears.
Holiday Hugs! :)