Christmas snuck up and walloped me on the head this year, and while I was on the floor it ran out the back door and was gone.
Jen prepared a fantastic Advent calendar of fun activities for us, and while I enjoyed them all I’m already missing the leadup to the big day. In some respects, Christmas itself was a letdown; I had more fun doing fun things with the girls—the symphony, ice skating, a cocoa and Christmas light tour, fancy French dinner, egg nog tasting, making cookies with the family—than I did on the day itself. Don’t get me wrong, we all had a great time, and Finn was well feted with gifts. But my favorite part is spending time doing things with the family and finding fun together, even if sometimes we have to force our moody teen to participate.
Jen’s intention was to make a St. Mary’s County Ham and fried oysters for Christmas dinner, so she went to our local butcher and asked for a Country Ham, which is what the recipe called for. This means different things to different people; what she got was a salted and smoked ham in a bag, a dry slab of meat designed to survive a voyage around the Horn of Africa. This is not the correct ham. She read up on this and did her best to make lemonade out of jerky by soaking it for a day, but what we got was a ham that was saltier than anything I’ve ever eaten. Bummed out, we took a vote and decided to ditch the rest of it. For the record, what you ask for is a corned ham.
Last night Jen used a recipe from St. Mary’s County to make oyster breading and fried up a batch for dinner. This was much more successful; we gobbled them up quickly and enjoyed every bite.
Hazel gave the family a Roomba, after I’d heard lavish praise about it from my sister. I unboxed our new unit and set it up to run on Christmas afternoon (I spent about an hour doing the New Account Signup Dance with iRobot, Nintendo, and several other companies) to clear the floors of pine needles and paper shreds. About 1/2 hour in I was getting worried because it was leaving large swaths of floor untouched and seemed to be interested in returning to the bathroom several times, but when it finally returned to its dock to recharge the floors looked worlds better. I know it’s just mapping our floor and selling the data to various government agencies, but it seems like a good tradeoff while our daughter claims she’s allergic to chores.
In preparation for a shiny old IH fridge sometime in the spring, I put the garage fridge up on Freecycle with a couple of pictures and waited for someone to contact me. Within 24 hours I had three bites, and then I had to figure out how to get it out of the garage and into the driveway by myself. I cleared a basic path and muscled it down and out of the main doorway, and a man in a pickup truck hauled it away. Now I have to stop myself from filling the big empty space with more crap.