2021

Good Morning ALL! It feels like forever since I last wrote a post. Well Christmas is all over for yet another year. We had a fantastic Christmas. My daughter’s friend who just happens to be a pharmacist tested us all on Christmas Eve and yes, we were all NEGATIVE. Definitely one of times when I wanted the results to be negative. No worrying about securing an A+ grade. We ate until we almost burst on Christmas Eve filling ourselves with, let me see if I can remember the menu. Hot Cheese Dip with Baguette, Butterfly Shrimp, Mozzarella Sticks, Boursin Cranberry with Cracked Black Pepper Cheese “Ball”, crackers, Guacamole with corn chips, vegetable tray, and a sweet tray of baking. We also had nuts and chocolate. I see where the CHEESE was the star of the show. Likely not the best plan but oh well. We enjoyed the food. After we ate we played a game that my son-in-law got for Christmas (he opened it early), BLOCKBUSTER. Now we did not have the patience for the rules so we made up our own and I never laughed so hard. We had the best time. The game is all about movie trivia. So much fun. After the game was over we opened gifts. Now this is funny, I am now thinking after we ate then we opened gifts and then played the game. We were up until after 2:30 a.m. No, pretty sure we played the game and then opened gifts, yes that is correct. We played the game until about midnight and then it took us 2.5 hours to open our gifts. We opened one at a time. Then we had fours pups with gifts although the only one really interested in opening gifts was Alvin, Mi-Mi did make an attempt. I always love watching Alvin as he impatiently opens his gifts. He had his paw on the bag and then with his nose and mouth pulled out the tissue paper. So much fun. He loves opening presents. My daughter had a couple of her stocking gifts laying beside her, wrapped and he was tearing open the paper. Cute not someone was not impressed, lol. I was happy to see that the pups got along. Earlier I had been concerned that perhaps Mi-Mi and Cookie would be at odds but they were not. Actually a couple of times the quiet Miss Aspen let out a sharp bark at Cookie when she got too close.

Everyone was spoiled this year. I made quite the haul. I believe everything on my list with the exception of having my mortgage paid in full was under the tree. Some of the things that I had asked for were: Debbie Travis’s new book about life, filled with photos and recipes AND Rebel Homemaker, the first cookbook from Drew Barrymore and Chef Pilar Valdes, filled with photos, recipes and stories. Also on the list were fuzzy Christmas socks, Cuisinart paring knife, Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap, and a Day Planner for 2022. In addition to these gifts, I got a package of Player’s choice scratch tickets and won $5.00. Ecologic Paper Towel which can be used 200 times and is biodegradable and a Packet of tea. I also received a poinsettia plant and turtles chocolates from our guests. Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, some friends dropped a card and baking off for me and some treats for Mr. Alvin. We are so lucky. Mr. Alvin received from his sister and family – a cute Reindeer stuffed toy and from his momma – the most beautiful blue and green turtle. He also received more edible gifts. So we were totally spoiled. That was Christmas EVE. We did not get to bed until after 2:30 closer to 3:00 on Christmas Eve. The kids had our room and our guest the “guest room,” me, Alvin and Cookie slept on the sofa except it took awhile to get a little someone to settle down. I had placed the baby gate up so that she could not go upstairs and she whined until I got up from the and placed her on the “green” chair with Rudolph, her favorite sleeping spot. I had to do this about 10 times before she finally stopped. So it was well after 3:00 when we got to sleep.

Alvin woke up at 5:00 and then we were up about 7:30 to stay up. Not much sleep. Most of the house was up about 8:30. We had coffee which we all needed. It was us girls that were up and my son-in-law stayed in bed for awhile beyond us. Amanda’s friend left about 10:00 as she was going to pick up her girls and open gifts with them. We invited them back for supper with us.

We had a late brunch with quiches, the veggie tray and some cheese. Lots of coffee was drank. I made a second pot. Throughout Christmas Day, I quietly putzed. Taking the gifts out from under the tree and reorganizing them. Washed the dishes that did not fit in the dishwasher and once the main floor was tidied up, I went to the basement and put away the gift bags, folded up the tissue paper – all to use another day. The kids had done some wrapping in the basement after they arrived on Christmas Eve. Once the cleaning and tidying was done, I had some more coffee and checked out the recipes for fresh cranberry relish and dressing. We had a quiet but enjoyable afternoon. We had planned to have supper about 7:00 p.m. but our company arrived a bit later, and then she wanted to test her daughters with the rapid covid test (like the one that we did the night before). It was closer to 8:00 p.m. when we had supper. The girls were negative. Thank goodness everyone was negative. We had a lovely supper of roast chicken breasts, whipped garlic potatoes and gravy, dressing, fresh cranberry relish, corn, peas and homemade buns (from one of my friends). Our dessert was baking which consisted of fudge, sugar and chocolate chip cookies, butter pecan tarts, chocolate caramel candy and some cookies from the BON TON Bakery. Anyway, we ate too much but it was good (if I do say so myself). Usually I do not like to make new recipes when there is company but both the dressing and the relish were so good. Will make them again.

The girls opened their Christmas gifts from us.

After clean up, we sat down and had another good game of BLOCKBUSTER. My son-in-law and I took on the other four girls. They won but it was a close fun game. We close on a Christmas movie category. Can you believe that I lost on the category? We named so many movies before we could not name anymore. If I could have included all of the HALLMARK movies that I have been watching – we would have won but they were excluded. Oh well.

Dee and the girls left just before midnight. We were in bed shortly after. This time the kids took Cookie to bed with them. She settled down and we all had a good night sleep. In fact, it was not even Mr. Alvin who was up first – it was the other pups at 6:15. My daughter and I fed the pups and then laid back down again. It was almost 10:00 when we all woke up. I guess we needed the sleep. I was happy that the kids decided to stay for another day.

We had a bit of breakfast and visited. My daughter and I had packed up most of their things.

The best gift of all was not really a physical gift but my son-in-law arranged for me to go to the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, to go to space via a virtual reality headset. Both my son-in-law and daughter had tried it and warned me that I may be dizzy or nauseous and that I may not be able to keep the headset on for a long period of time BUT I surprised then when I squealed with delight during my space trip. I got to literally touch the space station, saw the stars and the sun and earth. I felt as though I was an astronaut in space. It was the most coolest experience of my life. I would have stayed there all day long. I loved it. After the space trip, I was able to go Africa and come up close and personal with a zebra, saw giraffes and an elephant and a large cat not a lion this time. I definitely would like to do this again and again. I had no idea that you could buy virtual reality headset – I thought it was only in the movies.

After the VR experience, I packed up food for the kids and they loaded up the car. They left for home in the afternoon. Then it was just me, Alvin and Cookie left. The noise and excitement all done for another year. We had the best Christmas ever. So much fun.

Well I have trapped Alvin and Cookie in the office with me and they are getting a bit restless so time to sign off. I wanted to catch you up in our last two days – in our Christmas.

The outside temperature is bitterly cold. Minus 30 without the windchill. Supposed to be cold all week. I guess we won’t be going anywhere. I am grateful that I asked my daughter to pick up more food for Alvin and as it would turn out that is the only food that Miss Cookie will eat. Yikes. Oh well. At least she is eating.

Time for a shower and to rescue the pups from the office.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas, that you are safe and warm and happy and most of all in good health.

Until tomorrow.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding and gratitude.

Always, Carol, Alvin and Cookie Monster (that is my new name for her), lol.

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