Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holly Days

We have a plant that grows wild here.  It’s called Oregon Grape.  It looks just like Holly.  I think of it now that Christmas will be here in a few days.  The Oregon Grape is under six inches of snow, so I won’t be gathering any for decoration.  Plus, it turns bright orange in the fall, so it doesn’t really look like Holly at this time of the year.  Pokes like Holly though.
Before - Which one?

I had the most fun walking around the property in the snow and picking out a Christmas tree.  I think of all the pretty trees and I hate to kill even one, but there are so many that are crowded so close together, some of them won’t make it anyway.  Don said that if you take 20 trees over 20 years, it really isn’t that many and he is right.  So he got out the chain saw and after several minutes of contemplating, buzz buzz, it was over.  

After.  Hardly missed!
Many of our things are still in Nevada, including all of our Christmas decorations.  So I splurged on two sets of lights, one for a tree outside and one for the inside tree.  The ‘ornaments’ are straight from Costco, brightly foil wrapped hollow chocolate candies and Lindt truffles.  Who says you can’t have your Christmas tree and eat the decorations too?  It’s a beautiful tree.  It smells good and it will eventually taste good too.

Today I made peanut butter fudge.  That is my Christmas specialty.   Everybody has one thing they do for Christmas each year that people remember them for and mine is peanut butter fudge.  I figure anyone can make chocolate fudge, but that smooth creamy peanut butter is oh so good!  Plus it’s the one candy I have mastered as I am not really much of a cook.

Carry ALL the way home!
Speaking of not much of a cook, we are of course in our new home in NEWA, sporting new appliances.  I am still washing dishes in the laundry room and I have towels for countertops, but I have this wonderful Jennair double convection oven and Frigidaire glass cooktop.  The oven is awesome.  It cooks everything fast, well and evenly.  

The cooktop, I am not so crazy about yet.  I know there is a period of adjustment with any new ‘thing’.  Computers come to mind.  A stove is a stove, right?  Apparently not.  I am used to electric cooking, having grown up with gas and wanting it badly, then Don telling me “no gas in the house”!  So I have been cooking electric for 30 years in Nevada.  However, this new glass cooktop takes some getting used to.  

In the buff
My major gripe is that it’s so darn hard to clean!  There must be a trick of the trade, something my friends haven’t told me.  I have the ceramabrite cleaner stuff, but it is hard to imagine that you need to use that stuff every time you cook.  I am not a big pig when it comes to cooking either, but every time I am finished, I feel like I am waxing the boat!  This glass cooktop streaks and gets marks like you would not believe.  I’d like to hate it, but I’m trying very hard not to.  Any suggestions??  Vinegar?  I am afraid to use anything but soap and water and the stuff they recommend that comes with it.  

So Christmas is right around the corner and we just had Daniel’s 17th birthday party.  If you can call dinner with his parents and grandma a party.  Daniel is over 6’ tall and I miss my little boy.  But he is a wonderful man, this boy of mine and I am proud to call him my son.  Makes me feel old.  Not too old, just old.

Ta Da!
Well, the house in NEWA is coming along nicely.  We’ve slowed in production, but are very much enjoying the fruits of our labor.  Don gets a new project done almost every day.  We have two bathroom vanities installed, two sinks running, along with the laundry room sink.  All but one of the cabinets is installed in the kitchen and laundry and plywood tops are on.  We will tile in the future.  

The kitchen is big and beautiful.  I want you to see it finished, but have to finish it first.  It’s going to be the focal point of the house.  There is one cabinet still in storage that houses the microwave.  Since we don’t have a microwave yet, there is no hurry to install it.  I do miss the microwave.  But it’s not ‘necessary’ right now.

The things I really miss are in storage in Silver Springs probably until spring.  I miss the toaster.  I miss my food processor and I really miss plates.  Yes, plates.  We are eating on those smaller Corning ware plates, which are great if you are on a diet and you want your plate to look full.  But a bigger plate comes in real handy on a daily basis.
I had the foresight to bring my crockpot, but I miss garbage cans.  We use a box with a plastic liner.  I also miss my bed frame and box springs.  We have the head and foot boards, but the side rails were left behind, along with the box spring.  So our mattress is on the floor for now.  When I was 20, that didn’t bother me, but now . . .

Most of all I miss my tub for those long hot baths in the evening.  My new big tub is in the hallway right now and I am sure it will be in soon.  I don’t like to set priorities for Don.  I am so happy just to have these new things, I’ll take them as they happen, whatever working mood of the day strikes him.  I am not a picky person.

Our Bear

Besides, I have peanut butter fudge and promise of a white Christmas.  What more could I ask for?
Happy Holly Days from NEWA. 

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