20 December 2010

5 Days Before Christmas

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without an emergency run to the grocery store for forgotten baking supplies.

But that happened later, after I woke up with a "broken motivator." :-)

Trouble is, there were about three things I wanted to do, all of them important. Since one should always start at the beginning, I started with breakfast. :-) Then I finally did something about those wretched coupons that are scattered all over the coffee table. The restaurant ones were hung in the foyer, the grocery ones in the coupon book, the craft ones up front to grab for a trip to Michaels or JoAnn. A couple of trips up and down the stairs worked wonders.

I had never put up the little tree in our bedroom, so next I fixed that up (replaced ornaments fallen off, and re-swagged the gold-star garland), then worked on some Christmas gifts and wrapped them up. Just need to pick up a couple of gift cards now.

By this time I was hungry as a wolf and was spoiling for a headache. I ate the turkey sandwich I made yesterday and read the last of the three small Getty Images books I got a few months back for $2 each, The 1930s (the other two were the 1900s and the 1910s). These are black-and-white photos in different categories (work, leisure, have and have nots, etc.) for each of the decades), chiefly from Europe, but also from the U.S. and a few from Asia.

The headache didn't let up, so I attacked it with some ibuprofin, then fetched the mail, happy to see my Amazon order had come. I now have a nice professional copy of Mercy Mission: The Rescue of Flight 771, and also the DVD "Merry Sitcom," which is a collection of television Christmas episodes from the 1950s and the 1960s (and also a bargain copy of Christietown, the fourth Cece Caruso mystery, which never showed up in any of the local bookstores—I just looked them up; it appears there is a fifth one. I've never seen that one either).

So I didn't start on baking wine biscuits until after three. I listened to Rick Steves talk about European countries getting ready for Christmas as I mixed the dough and shaped the cookies and put them in the oven. So funny: I used the same everything for two batches of cookies, even the same bottle of wine in the same proportions. The first batch of dough was beige, and the second had the pale purple glow. Odd. And the dough smelled odd to me, although it tastes perfect.

I was almost finished with the second batch when James got home. He had some leftover steak to finish, so I hadn't take out anything for dinner. While he finished the steak, I had chicken soup with rice. We watched Mercy Mission; fab as always, and nice to see the great picture rather than my recorded-off-NBC washed-out copy, and to finally see the credits instead of the Little House on the Prairie nostalgic clip stuck there at the end of the NBC broadcast to promote Melissa Gilbert's lawyer series way back when. We also watched "Silly, But It's Fun...", the Good Life Christmas special.

James started baking cookies and discovered we didn't have any vanilla, so we had to make a quick run to Publix before he could continue. It was a lovely, cold, crisp night, so this wasn't a chore at all. Unfortunately, we won't be able to see the lunar eclipse tonight, as it's cloudy.

He was able to do only one batch tonight, some Splenda chocolate chip cookies (with sugarless chips), as the dough for the Splenda-and-spice cookies needs to chill before baking. While he was thus engaged, I watched some of the shows off the "Merry Sitcom" DVD: "The Christmas Story" from Father Knows Best (the Andersons are stranded in a mountain cabin on Christmas Eve), "A Very Merry Christmas" from The Donna Reed Show (Donna helps make Christmas merry in the children's ward at the hospital), and "Wailing in a Winter Wonderland" from The Flying Nun (Sister Bertrille makes it snow in Puerto Rico as a gift to an elderly Norwegian nun, and ruins the tourist trade). The episodes left are for McHale's Navy, Bewitched, That Girl and Window on Main Street.

After James tidied up, we watched "Merry Gentlemen," the Christmas episode of All Creatures Great and Small. It always makes me feel "kringly." But then it was a totally kringly day. :-)

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