Monday, December 26, 2011

Holidays and celebrations

This morning, feeling the effects of too much sugar, too much butter and too much food, I thought a sort of cleansing diet would be helpful... nothing sweet, nothing with empty calories.

I began with a kefir-spinach-flaxseed smoothie which also had strawberries, peaches and stevia, and wasn't half-bad (although the kefir was pretty sour, as I've been getting a bit behind with the production process).

I also started boiling some eggs at the outset. I decided just to go for hard-boiled, as I've been having tremendous issues with the act of boiling eggs lately.

Green tea with a small wedge of lemon was just the ticket. After finishing my smoothie, I sat down with my tea to chat with Shawn. He was trying out some coffee beans that he and Jon roasted yesterday as a special Christmas project. In the middle of our chat, the timer rang for my hard boiled eggs. I went and got two, rinsed them under cold, running water, and sat down to peel them.

Upon being knocked gently on a napkin on the table, the first egg leaked liquid egg white. How can this be? Even now, as I sit here typing away, I cannot for the life of me figure out how, for days, every time we tried to cook soft boiled eggs for 3 minutes, they came out hard, but here I had cooked eggs for 15 minutes in an effort to produce hard-boiled, and they were not even to the point of a good soft-boiled egg.

I can cook. Really, I can. Although, clearly, I cannot boil eggs.

I quickly melted some butter in the frying pan and added what was left of the undercooked, cracked egg to finish cooking. I returned the other egg to the saucepan with the other eggs I thought I had already hard-boiled, and turned the flame back on to try to finish boiling them.

Then I puttered around and took a picture of the messy boxes in our living room in honor of Boxing Day.

And then I got intrigued and began to download all the holiday photos off my camera, which was a fun project until DJ walked into the kitchen and exclaimed, "Mom! What in the world is in this frying pan???"

As a punishment to myself, I ate it. It had a very crispy bottom.

Here are a few of the pictures that had distracted me:

This is from the night we decorated the Christmas tree (12-21-11).

Each of our kids has an ornament collection... we have a tradition of giving them an ornament every year from birth until high school graduation. By now it is very nostalgic to get out their collections and hang them on the tree. I wouldn't trade our memories of past Christmases for all the designer trees on HGTV.

I just like this picture of Shannon and Shawn sharing a moment during the tree-decorating. By now there are too many ornaments to all fit on the tree, so the kids unpack and look at all their ornaments, then take turns hanging them one-by-one (favorites first) until the tree is full. This was taken during somebody else's turn to hang.

My birthday.

I'd asked for "Blogging For Dummies," so maybe I can figure out what I'm doing here.

Me getting the vegetable brush I'd asked for (more birthday). Now we can start having celery again!

My cake.

I said I wanted one with my name on it.

The cake with candles.

The way they arranged the candles, it looks like I am 55, but I am really 46. Either way it makes 10 candles. They went for artistry and symmetry. But really, I am only 46, not 55.

I got them all.

Christmas morning.

Jon's stocking after he had emptied it and then stuffed some things (including his Nordic ski cap) back into it. We have brassy and tasteless stockings, and I embrace them. They make the morning fun.

The tree on Christmas morning.

Isn't it an odd custom to put gifts under the tree? I wonder where that idea ever arose? It reminds me of eggs under a chicken. (I guess I have eggs on my brain these days.)

Our little family room tree.

I got a fake one this year, which was not as nice as the miniature real tree we had last year, but it made me really happy anyway. Strange, how much I like having two Christmas trees. I kept the dogs toys under this one, because I have a sense of humor that way (just saying).

The kids, ready and waiting to open gifts.

Jon sporting a new sweater.

Laura going to town... those fingers are flying.

What's in there, David??

You know she's all grown up if she gets this happy about a set of flannel sheets.

Of course, Shawn has his coffee.

Unwrapping a joint gift together.


For some reason, this picture makes me want to say, "Happy Christmas, Harry!" with my best British accent. I don't know why.

Well, it was a good one. I'd better go clean.

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