Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Second Christmas Success!

Vintage Christmas card.
Who's it from? Oh, me!
I had a lovely long break with Mother dear and the sisters, and now I'm back in Spokane in time for a dreary rain-snow mix. I have to admit that I can tell the difference between pre-mini-break brain and post-mini-break brain. I feel calm, rested, clear-headed and happy (Is that what this is? I have an inkling...). Believe me, it's been a while since I could put all those things in a sentence that describes my state. And who knows? I might just make it to the end of the week with those feelings intact...although, I'm not going to hold my breath. Oh! Cynicism has made a comeback! That's OK, I wouldn't feel like myself without it.

What exactly did Second Christmas entail?

1. Tons of food. Catherine made bomb pizzas (whole wheat dough, roasted garlic, kalamata olives, potatoes, onions, basil, mozzarella, provolone). Mom made enchiladas, a Yule log cake, a Jell-o New Year's cake (don't worry, I have a picture), lemon almond biscotti, and date ball cookies. And I personally contributed potato leek soup, macaroni & cheese, and caramel rolls. Oh man, we ate so much dessert this weekend. It was the best.

2. Lots of presents. (Stay tuned for the details on that.) Many of them home-made. Some of them found in the woods and at estate sales. And some of them paid for with cold hard cash. USD! USD! As Catherine said several times during the course of Second Christmas.

3. A trip to Seattle for Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center. Yes, all the employees had fakie Brit accents (that, frankly, sounded a bit more Aussie than Brit). Yes, there were a ton of people. Yes, that one part which took place in The Forbidden Forest was a little gross because they pumped in this smoke stuff. Yuck. But all-in-all the consensus was: AWESOME. And at the end, we went to Capitol Hill for cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. That last bit was courtesy of Catherine. (She has documentation coming. You'll be jealous.) Good day. Good day.

4. An estate sale and thrift store shopping with Mom, Monika, and the lovely Jenny (Catherine had to read about systems management for her class. Boring. Snore.); dinner at QB in Olympia with Nick and Catherine (after the reading was mostly completed), which means some of the best chips and salsa $3.00 can buy; loads and loads of great conversation on a plethora of topics (Oh, we have opinions.); more quality time that you could shake a stick at...although it all seemed to go so quickly!

Now, here are some things you need to see if you want to become fully immersed in
the Second Christmas experience:

Grandma Nicolai made us these stockings, a very, very long time ago.

Jell-o cake. A bit trashy as desserts go, but delicious!

Postman ornament from Germany

The angels wind the clocks. The angels keep the time.
That was unnecessarily creepy, but all me.
This sweet little ornament is from Germany.

Another German ornament. I'm not sure what this guy
does. Is he some kind of mushroom man? Who knows?
But he does have a bindle with a toadstool inside.

This ornament belonged to Grandma Schaffer.
She had it down on the farm. Dumont, MN!

Bruno and Beatrix are all tuckered out. Second Christmas is tough for kitties.

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