16 December 2018

The Third Sunday of Advent

O LORD Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
                                        Book of Common Prayer, collect for the third Sunday of Advent
We were providing the entree at Hair Day on Saturday, so we left the house that morning with a big container of chuck roast that had slow cooked in teriyaki sauce and pineapple all day Friday as well as a bag of gifts since we aren't joining the Christmas gathering this year. (I had a marathon wrapping session on Friday as well). When we arrived the house was already a hive of haircutting.

Our hostess was sick over Thanksgiving and had been in the hospital a total of eight days; needless to say her Christmas preparations were way behind. The tree was up, but it had only a few ornaments on it. So Juanita and her sister Shirley and I grabbed hooks and ornaments and began hanging them all over the tree. The Butlers' tree, like ours, is a conglomeration of old and new, of sentimental home-mades and of Hallmark ornaments (Lin's a big football fan so she has several football player ornaments, and they have dozens of science-fiction related ones, from Princess Leia to Duck Dodgers). We kept the fragile ones from going down low (cats!) and otherwise scattered with abandon.

If we thought the roast tasted good last night—I gave a tiny sliver to Tucker and the scent made his eyes as large as saucers—it was even better today after the flavors melded. We ate it up, tooth and toenail, along with Lin's fabulous Asian salad (this should be a food group on its own) and rice.

Found some neat things to watch on Saturday night. First found a BBC production of A Christmas Carol with Michael Hordern as Scrooge. This was from the 70s and had minimal set design, but was remarkably faithful to the book. Then I watched the first part of The Yorkshire Vet on Acorn. This British reality show is centered around Skeldale Veterinary Clinic, which is the practice originally begun by James Herriot (in real life Alfred Wight) and Seigfried Farnon (Donald Sinclair). The original Skeldale House is now a James Herriot museum; this is a newer building, and one of the two leads in the series is Peter Wright, who trained under Herriot and his son Jim. I read his book about a month ago. (Julian Norton, the other partner, also has a book out.) Kind of like watching Dr. Pol, but in England.

I finished up with the fifth season Christmas episode of The Waltons, "The Best Christmas," which is my favorite of the Waltons Christmas stories, and then "Merry Christmas, Bogg" from Voyagers!

On Sunday we had to make a trip to Kroger, then went up to Barnes & Noble and Amy's Hallmark at Town Center to buy the final two Christmas gifts. I really did not know what to get in Hallmark until something caught my eye from a lower shelf. James did find some sugarless candy. At the bookstore we bought a book.

And thus Christmas shopping was finished, and I wrapped both gifts and was able to put the rest of the wrapping paper away. Yay! Just cookies to bake left!

This evening we watched Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and the wonderfully O'Henry-ish Little House on the Prairie tale, "Christmas at Plum Creek."

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