Friday, December 30, 2016

New Years Eve | An Anniversary

Carole and Kat's prompt was how we felt about New Year's Eve.  Based on other posters I think we all agree that when we were young we enjoyed the party-stay up all night styled NYE, but then as we get older we are very happy to stay in and probably going to bed early.  The above photo was taken at the Fairbanks House in Amelia Island [Fernandina Beach] FL.  The long weekend was a gift from my in-laws for our 25th anniversary which was in May.  It was a wonderful weekend, and we ate lots of amazing food.  It was totally blog worthy, but alas I am again late for that train.  This post isn't about our 25th anniversary, but rather our first date which was on New Year's Eve 1989!  I remember it like it was yesterday, we had prime rib at Houston's, and went to watch the peach drop at Underground Atlanta.  It was the first year of the peach drop, and the last time we went.  So on the one hand yes, I love NYE because it commemorates a special day.  However, I don't like NYE because Steve has worked every one since our first date; that's what happens when you are a police officer.  This year will be no different, but we are on the count down to retirement, so hopefully we can plan something really fun to commemorate what will be the 30th anniversary of our first date!  This year as in years past, there will be snacks and prosecco and I will do my best to stay up to see the new year roll in.  Since I have family in England and Australia, I try to watch the new year roll in from around the world.  I used to enjoy watching Dick Clark's Rocking New Year show, but since he's gone it's just not the same.  Hopefully Steve will be home in time to have a kiss and a celebratory drink, but with the Peach Bowl on Saturday, and the Falcons playing the Saints on Sunday-well let's just say downtown Atlanta is going to be a VERY interesting place this weekend.  I  Andrew will be home for a few more days, so we'll celebrate and watch football together.  I really want to savor this time together.  He got me a Clemson t-shirt for Christmas so I can show a little team spirit, although, quite honestly I don't know if I can watch this match up with Ohio State.  Thank goodness there will be plenty of knitting, and I'm looking forward to a 3 day weekend to celebrate, and also get ready for the new year.  Perhaps I'll get in gear and be more present on my blog than I have been this past year.  In the mean time, I'm wishing you all a very happy, prosperous and healthy new year.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekending| Solitude [almost]

This weekend presented an opportunity to get lots done, and also a chance to re-charge before the holidays are in full swing.  Saturday started with real breakfast for Steve and I and getting organized. It was a full day of errands and test driving a car-not sure if this is THE one, but it was a lot of fun to drive and despite the 46 degrees we drove it with the top down and the heat up!  The designing of convertibles now really keep the wind off, and no wind noise.  Of course, the Audi is a little more practical [if a convertible can actually be practical!] than this one I'm considering!  That evening we went to see the next play in the series at Stage Door Players-note to self-do not go to the 8pm show unless you get to have a nap. I started to doze on Steve's shoulder after intermission because it was getting past my bedtime, and it was not because the play was boring!

While I was zipping around town Steve got our tree and put lights on the balcony. [yea! lights outside].  On Sunday I pulled out a few things to have around the apartment, but most things are going back into the garage as we just don't have the space to go all out with decorations.

Steve had to work Sunday and meet up with someone afterwards, so he didn't get home until way late.  I was looking forward to a productive day, and it certainly was- I did some tidying up, laundry, made my shopping list for Christmas meals, addressed Christmas cards, got Monday night's dinner together, prepped my dishes for the office lunch [also known as the day Lydia gets to order everyone around] and my book club pot luck both of which are on Tuesday.  Clearly poor planning on my part as I set the day of the office lunch!  Sophie got a good brushing [which she didn't really enjoy], and then we took a nap since we had a 90 minute walk that morning!  I have to be ready for the last episode for this season of the Walking Dead [I know so holiday-y].  What I really loved about having the apartment to myself on Sunday was that I put on Pandora as soon as I got back from walking Sophie, and listened to Holiday music ALL DAY!  Yep, the TV didn't come on until around 5ish when I checked on the Falcons vs Rams game.  I didn't even log onto my Fantasy Football league to see how I was doing in the playoffs-well let's just say it's no competition when all but one of your top players had to be replaced with not so good players.  Only teams who are good should be in the playoffs [I know, this isn't real football, but still].  It was tranquil and refreshing day, I hope this energizes me to tackle the clearing out of the closet and other organizing I really need to do over the next couple weeks.  I have plans to leave work early on Thursday to finish my shopping, and if all goes well, when I get home I will be DONE-DONE.  I'll just need to get things wrapped, but that's not the hard part.  There is lots I'm looking forward to- including getting together with "the girls" on Sunday, lunch with my quilting friends, and Andrew coming home for a few weeks.  I'm glad I had Sunday to slow down a bit because I've got 4 kinds of cookies to make, a huge pan of stuffing and a "quiche" for Tuesday night's dinner, and work so no time for a nap!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Traditions-it's about the food [mostly]

As usual I'm a bit late to the party.  Carole has had some great Think Write Thursday topics, so I think it's about time I did at least one post.  Favorite traditions.
Growing up the holidays never were about making the time special for us [my brother and I].  My parents split up when I was very young [4 years old], and I only have a few Christmas photos. Christmas break usually meant extended with my dad and brother.  I can't recall a single "thing" we did together except for when we visited my dad's parents, usually Christmas Day.  I didn't get to help decorate the tree because my older step-sister was "so much better at it", but I was sure good at taking it down- go figure.   I went to live with my dad and stepmother when I was about 10, and didn't see my mother for probably about 3 or so years.  I don't recall baking cookies for friends or neighbors, special programs at church, listening to Christmas music, and I don't think we even sent out cards.  We did visit with my dad's family, he had 3 sisters and 1 brother, so we'd all gather at my grandmother's house for a big dinner and a gift exchange.  It was a lot of fun seeing my cousins and the food was always good.  Having traditions is very important to me, and have come to include the baking of cookies [one year I made 17 different kinds] and sending out cards.  I've always cooked a big "English" dinner Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day included potato sausage and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and snacks/leftovers for the rest of the day, and opening gifts.  I'm still working on traditions that are more mine; the boys were rarely on board with anything I wanted to do, and honestly, it's not near as much fun doing everything solo.  This year I'm going to be adventurous and we're having a Feast of Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve-we'll start with "brunch" at my Mom's and work our way through some dishes I found on-line today. I'm following the advise I found to keep the dishes simple and small.  We'll see how it goes, and I'm hoping Andrew will put his culinary skills to use so we can pull this off!  We're sticking with the potato sausage and scrambled eggs, but Christmas Day dinner will be Beef Wellington [with a mushroom duxelles instead of a  pate.  My list includes a lot of ingredients, so now I've got to come up with a shopping list and a timeline for making all this happen.  One tradition that I haven't done in a while is riding around town looking at Christmas lights.  Now that we are in a different part of Atlanta, I'm hoping to do that this week with Sophie.  She loves to be in the car and I really love all the lights-so magical.  Maybe I'll get myself in gear and blog about this adventure-we'll see!