Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!
Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!
Are you familiar with the story “The Gift o the Magi”? You know, the story of a couple in love who are desperately poor, selling their own beloved treasure (her hair and his watch) to buy a gift for the other (a watch chain and hair combs) because they are unselfish and so very in love. It is a very touching story. Ahem. I present to you a similar (not really) story.
Once, in a city called Austin, there lived a brother and a sister. They were fond of each other and enjoyed buying gifts the other was sure to love and adore. The brother especially loved being surprised with a present he had never requested. One Christmas, the sister decided to buy her brother a print from one of their favorite artists. She thought this print was especially clever as the brother was a musician. “He shall hang it on his wall for inspiration!” she thought.
The sister waited anxiously for the print to arrive. A week went by and still she had not heard anything. Finally, 10 days after placing her order, she heard it was on its way and would arrive in time for Christmas. She breathed a sigh of relief knowing she would not have to relive the disaster of Christmas ’05. The sister confidently crossed the brother off her list and went on with her Christmas shopping.
Then, five days before Christmas she received an email from the artist of the print she had ordered. It seemed a person with the same last name and address had just ordered the very same print she had. Was this a mistake? Did they really want two of the same prints? Did we want to swap for another print? The sister was confused. She cautiously probed the brother for an answer.
“Show me what you got Christmas shopping today!”
“Umm, okay. Here. I got this for mom. Do you think she’ll like it?”
“Oh yeah, it’s perfect! What else?”
“I got this for dad.”
“Oh cool. It’s nice.”
“Yeah, I know. And I got this for Xavier, ’cause he wanted it.”
“Hahaha, oh that Xavier. He is so silly. Sooooo, did you buy anyone anything else?”
“No? Nothing? You didn’t buy anything else today?”
The sister faced a difficult conundrum. Either the brother had bought the print for her, which seemed unlikely, as she was not a musician and had proclaimed her love for the yeti impaling the hiker print—-or he had bought it for himself. Whichever the case, she had no choice but to give her gift early and let the brother explain his purchase.
“Happy Early Christmas!”
“Am I supposed to open this now?”
“Because. You’ll see.”
The sister waited anxiously while the brother unwrapped and opened the gift.
“Sooooo why did I have to open this today?”
“Nate Wragg emailed me and said you bought the same print.”
“Who did you buy it for?”
“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT FIVE DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS?!?”
“IT WAS ON SALE AND I LIKED IT! At least you can say you know me well.”
“Yes, well, I am glad you like it, Merry Christmas! I’m going to email Nate Wragg and tell him no, we don’t want two of the same prints–my brother is just a dumbass and buys stuff for himself five days before Christmas.”
Merry Early Christmas, Daniel!
Everyone has their own favorite baked good and sweets to make (and consume!) this time of year. Perhaps you adore gingerbread men or you can’t get enough the delicious, buttery Norwegian cookies from your childhood (Hi Mom!). For me, Christmas means white chocolate cranberries. Friends, you have not lived until you have sampled this delectable delight. Thankfully, it is a snap to whip up—requiring only two ingredients and leaving you only one bowl to clean up. Hurray!
What you need:
~Fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried.
Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl (microwave or double boiler, whichever suits your fancy). Drop a handful of cranberries in the chocolate, toss to coat and transfer to the baking sheet. Allow the chocolate to set or pop the sheet in the freezer for a few minutes if you are too impatient to wait (like me). Keep the cranberries in the fridge and be sure to grab a handful every time you open the door. When the bowl of cranberries is nearly empty, transfer to a tiki mug, which, contrary to popular belief, is very festive. Enjoy!
I’m a bit ashamed to confess that it has been over a year since I last picked up my knitting needles. But the cold weather (by Austin standards, that is) has inspired me to cast on a new project. I bought the most scrumptious merino wool/silk yarn in a deep eggplant color to knit up a hat for a Christmas gift. I had nearly forgotten how to cast on and I knitted several rows before I remembered I was supposed to be knitting a 1×1 rib. It’s going to take me a while to get used to double pointed needles again. The pattern is the Le Slouch beret from Knit and Tonic—which oddly enough I can’t find on her site anymore, but you can find the pattern here. Here is hoping I can finish it with plenty of time to spare for it to arrive in time for Christmas.
Outside the world is cold and damp, so I remain snuggled in my bed with a cup of tea in hand and a book waiting to be read. I like Sundays.
I know that for my fellow Americans Thanksgiving is so last week and we have moved on to bigger and glitzier holidays…but I don’t care. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (tied with the Fourth of July, actually) and because I am a terrible blogger, I didn’t get the chance to share what I’m most thankful for on the actual Thanksgiving day. But it is my blog and I get to write about what I want, when I want to, so here it goes.
This year, this month, this week, today, right at this very moment, I am thankful for ABC Pest & Lawn.
Allow me to explain.
A few weeks ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by my brothers voice. Now, this is not unusual. He is a musician and keeps to his own unique schedule. But he kept on uttering the same word over and over again in a distraught voice. “Cuss.” (Thank you, Wes Anderson, for the censoring idea.) “Cuss. Cuss. Cuss. This is not good. Cuss. This is not good. I don’t know what to do.”
“What’s wrong?” I croaked out.
There was a short pause. “There is a rat..in the kitchen.”
I’m not going to lie. For about 5 seconds I thought, “Maybe I can pretend I didn’t hear that and just go back to sleep.” But I am the big sister and it didn’t seem fair to leave Daniel alone to solve this conundrum, so I rolled out of bed and we set out to rid our kitchen from this unwelcome guest.
TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER—after an epic battle that involved four large poster frames; two chairs; several brooms; the moving of a microwave cabinet, stove AND refrigerator, we had chased the rat out of the kitchen and into the backyard. Exhausted, I crawled back into bed, curled up in my warm, comfy blankets and thought to myself, “It’s going to be a long time before I can watch Ratatouille again.” Pixar, you had me lulled me into a false sense of security when it came rats and tricked me into believing they all looked like this:
Pixar made me believe that if a rat ever appeared in my house, he would make me the most delicious omelet I had ever tasted. The truth, dear readers, is the rat in my kitchen looked nothing like the above adorable Remmy. Nope—in fact it looked more like the baby eating rat from Lady and the Tramp:
THAT RAT IS PURE EVIL! AND IT WAS IN MY KITCHEN! And in my room. And my sewing room. In short, the day the weather turned cool & wet, the rats headed for the comfort of my home. So I am thankful for ABC Pest & Lawn coming out to my house, sealing off every single hole in the attic & underneath the house and setting traps to catch the evil rats. Now I don’t have to lie to myself before I go to sleep every night (“The rats can’t get into my room when I’m asleep. That’s silly!”) or resort to drastic measures to ensure pies are not eaten before the appointed time. My house is home to only myself and my brother again, and for that I am so thankful.
…but at least I admit it. I guess I am a someone who likes to disappear from Blogging Land for prolonged periods of time with no announcement, for no apparent rhyme or reason. I’ll try to work on that, but, (to paraphrase a favorite con man) I’m a complex gal, sweetheart. Since my last post (I can’t look at the exact date or I will feel ashamed and then I’ll put off writing a new post until after the New Year), I’ve thought a lot about this blog, you lovely readers, my priorities…life, the universe and everything else (I will never tire of using that phrase. Thank you, Douglas Adams). And do you know what I discovered? I think too much (I’ve also discovered I abuse parentheses, but I don’t really care). So I’m just going to dive back in, take it easy, and play it by ear. I know it’s a sentiment I’ve quoted before (and I’m sure to use it again), but I’ve missed the hell out of you, my darlings. But you know that, don’t you?