Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Dear Mary and Jeni,

Christmas Day dawned snowy and cold.   That sound like a good first sentence.  I am trying to keep up with all the pictures, but I forgot to take a picture of the tree surrounded by presents.  It is not hard to surround the tree as it is just 3 feet tall.  However I did take a picture of Jim with one of his favorite presents.  A lovely tie pin...ahem...well, that is what he is calling it, done in the 'wheat' motif.   He wore it proudly, as you can see, until the end of the day.

We opened our presents and then sat around waiting for Jon and E to turn up.  Well we waited for about a half hour and then I decided that I had to make some snowpeople.  It was perfect packing snow.  It was a quick job, but I had to make Christy come out and help me lift the bottom pieces over the snow piles next to the sidewalk.  That was wet heavy snow!

When we were done we took a few pictures for posterity. 

Then we went in to dry off and wait for Jon and E some more.  Once they came Jon decided our van needed to be uncovered, so he volunteered.  What a good brother.

We had a very slow game (with 6 people) of hand and foot and when we were done we were exhausted.  E tried to get us to play another game but no one was up for a second one.   I know I went upstairs and took a nap. 
Christy played with Alice, or maybe it was the other way around.  I am about to go to bed and I think I am the last one up.  Tomorrow we are going to a movie.  Up in the Air is the one we have chosen.  George Clooney....yum.

Love  to you all,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Birthday Present

We went to the airport last night to pick up one of my Birthday gifts.  Of course I told Christy that it was a gift to her, but I know the truth.  It was fine on the way there although it was busy on the freeway.  However as soon as we got to the airport exit we ran into solid traffic all the way up to the terminal.  Evidently we were not the only people trying to get to the airport yesterday.  Someone must have told people about the coming storm.
Anyway as we waited in the long line the snow started.  It was rain for about 5 minutes and then little tiny very determined snowflakes.  By the time we had corraled Christy and made our way home the snow was already making the freeway look like a country road.

Christy had to kiss the parents even before she took off her 'sleeping bag' coat.

I am glad we made the tickets for Wednesday because this is what we woke up far, about 8 inches.  I think that is Block leader  Bob using the block snow blower across the street.  He went up our side and was going down the other side and up everyone's driveway.

One of Christy's requests was to go to Turtle Bread so I found my boots and off we went.  I bought some good looking rolls for our Christmas Pizza/Card Party snacks and we had juice and a roll before struggling back.  We tried to go to Brown and Greene but they hadn't made it in yet so we settled for the Rick Rack store.

We came home and rested for a while.  Well, some of us rested and others texted.
Now Jim has gone off to eat his homemade sandwich and read their paper at Sebastian Joe's.  They must not mind much because they gave him a pint of eggnog ice cream yesterday.  He accepted it to after I complained at his refusing it last year.  He took Christy and she is going to the Linden Hills Co-op to pick up some spices and buy some things only she knows about.
Jon and E came over and changed into their snowshoes and went off for a little jaunt.  They say they will be back later.   It is still snowing lightly but is supposed to pick up again later.  I expect we will play some cards later too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And now for an encore performance:

of Mom's Wild Rice & Sausage Dressing (or Stuffing, as the case may be).

This is such a lot of sausage for the amount of wild rice made from cooking 1 cup of wild rice:

and I even left out one of the three pounds of sausage in the recipe.  There are a lot of cups of onion and celery that will also go in it though.

Christy called this morning too.  She's packing to get on the airplane.  I know you will all have so much fun together that I am not even

Love you all, Mary

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Amaryllis Left Behind

Dear Jeni,
I am posting some pictures of the Amaryllis that you had to leave behind.  It started showing color two days ago and now it looks as if it will really open.  I brought down my water mister that I use when I am ironing quilt blocks in case it needed a little help in opening up.  I misted it yesterday and today and it is opening up nicely although I don't know if the water had anything to do with it.
Here is a closeup of the one that is opening.

I also misted down below where the promised third flower is just starting to show.

I thought about it after I saw the third flower and I have decided that the leaves off to the side are a baby bulb being started.  What do you think?
I also read that it is possible to cut the bulb to start new plants.  One of the sites I went to had a video.  Don't worry, I am NOT going to do that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas Tree

Dear Family,

The tree is up in Whitefish! I don't know about those cousins in Missoula, whether they have trees up or not, since they'll all be going places for Christmas (not here). But school is out, I have precious precious time off (hence the post) and we have a tree, and people are coming over for Christmas Day dinner and did I mention I have time off? Even though it doesn't start until Christmas Eve I feel ecstatic about it. Lounge-y about it. Still in my pajamas about it. And here is the tree, thanks to Jon Drew for the inspiration, me for the first visualization, and Brian for bringing the concept to life.

It is not a photogenic tree. The pictures do not do justice to its...uniqueness.

And here's Katie, dressed in her Santa's Elf costume - she won a "Spirit" prize at school (forgot to ask: "spirit of what?")

Missing is the peaked elf hat which sings a song when a button is pressed..."We are Santa's elves, we are Santa's elves, etc." Horribly obnoxious, except I do like the peak which flaps and wiggles to the music (more or less). However, a dress with candy canes on it overcomes a singing hat any day. Imagine a dress with chocolates! I'd soon be naked.

So we are pretty much on the road to being ready for guests on Christmas Day except...why, oh why don't I have Mom's Broccoli Salad recipe anywhere?

Love, Mary

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hi there Mary,

We took Jeni to the airport today to catch her flight to the west coast.  She was traveling in her lovely new blue Land's End coat and looked quite spiffy with her matching sunglasses.  I took a few pictures, much to her dismay.

She had her sunglasses off for these photo's though.

And the day before Jim and I made our big move he took a picture of me being comfy in my big chair, surrounded by boxes, both full and empty.  Just a little break before continuing packing.

We have been here a week and it has been lots of fun. Lots of card games were played.   Jeni and I went to Land's End (where she got the coat at 1/2 off) and we spent some time at Target too. Now we have a few days to relax before Christy  gets here for her visit.  The stores were full of merchandise and clerks and surprisingly more shoppers than I thought there would be.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Here is the meal I made for E a few days ago. It is a roast beef & Christmas tree dinner.
The meal was designed around an interesting variety of broccoli that I found at Linden Hills Coop.

The broccoli trees are planted into a squash, yam & potato mash. with a roast-drip reduction drizzled over everything.