Doug is cooking, I’m setting table and doing odd jobs to get ready for the brothers tomorrow. Christmas Number 2 at brother Art’s was delightful. Us and Them, two friends from church who would otherwise have been alone, great brunch food, conversation about teaching and retirement, all in all, pretty relaxing. Headache-making again, for us both, and slippery drive home kind of took the shine off a bit. Stuffed chicken breasts for supper, and the stuffing of some whole-grain bread, pecan pieces, dried cranberries, sautéed onions and mushrooms, actually stayed in the chicken! I should have taken a picture because it really looked quite lovely. And tasted pretty good as well. Green beans, cherry tomatoes, Christmas (plum) pudding and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Perhaps Christmas Number 2.5?
Looking at the stuff under our Christmas trees (2 small artificial ones — no more than a foot tall — that used to belong to our mothers), one might wonder about us. Lots of neat stuff from family, but my present to Doug was a high-tech blender and his to me was a high-tech Dyson hand vacuum. We do have fun!
We really aren’t used to the noise level when more than 4 people congregate. Christmas Number 3 tomorrow will be really loud too, since one of my sisters-in-law is stone deaf in one ear. But we will enjoy the time with the family, and the good food. They come for lunch and since the Toronto brother is on his way to Windsor, they will get away at a reasonable time so that we can clean up and still have some time together.
The highlight of the week so far has been a note from my niece in Toronto. She wasn’t able to join us this year, but the clarity with which she is thinking about why that happened gives me great joy. She is so much like me, it’s a bit scary. She seems to be finding her niche in life far sooner than I did. Even though I gave the outward appearance of a successful professional at her age, the inside of me was in turmoil for so long. It was a combination of many factors that brought me into touch with myself, or at least began the process. This blog is simply a continuation. For Jen, I suspect it is also a combination of things coming together for her now: her professional success must be giving her the confidence and validation of her talent that she has so long sought; her environment in Toronto seems to be supportive, caring and understanding; her inner strength is emerging and empowering her in all kinds of ways. I am so proud of her, so happy for her, missing her so much.
So on I go to set the table with all the fancy dishes and cutlery. The beef bourgignon is ready to finish tomorrow, the apple pie will go into the oven this afternoon. The crudités will be prepared, the appetizer is all set. Tomorrow, God willing, will be a wonderful day weather-wise and all will be well.
I hope everyone had a great day yesterday, and can spend today doing what makes them happiest.
PS…the spellchecker doesn’t like the way I spelled bourgignon but right now I don’t have time to find the right spelling, so shoot me.