Category: Holidays

Happy 2011 Party

About a week and a half before the end of 2010, Matthew and I decided we should have a little New Year’s Eve party. We did a Facebook event invite, and since event invitations aren’t very noticeable in the latest iteration of Facebook, we used the “Message Guests” feature to send FB messages about the party. We also texted/called the guest list.

Lesson 1: New Year’s Eve is one of those occasions that require advance invites. Many of the guests we invited already had plans for the evening. Next year, we’ll decide sooner to have a party so we can give more advance notice.

We still had a nice group of nine friends attend. Which gave us 11 people total at the party…that’s kind of cool for a party welcoming 2011!

The main attraction of the evening was Pucket, a British pub game Matthew’s sister Amy imported for him for Christmas.

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Fall Hospitality for Your Nose

“Why are you wearing pants and long sleeves?” my shorts-and-tank-top-clad friend asked a few weeks ago.

Because I have new fall clothes, duh! And I can’t wait to usher in my favorite season.

Fall in New England is MAGICAL, with sparkling pixie dust, double rainbows, and unicorns. Or at least the most beautiful foliage in the United States.

Today it’s warm and muggy out (and I’m kind of sweltering in my button-up and cargo pants), but I persist in having the windows open and fans bringing in the air, trying to catch the slightest whiff of crispness that will tell me fall is really coming.

Inside, my house smells faintly of dirty diaper. Which is kind of inevitable when you have a toddler. (Adult-Strength Poo, Without the Grown-Up Bathroom Skills!)

So to clear the air and remind myself that autumn is coming, I turned to my favorite potpourri solution today:

  • Put a pint of water in a small, sturdy saucepan
  • Pour in a generous splash of vanilla
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (and/or nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, other fall-smelling spices) on top
  • Set it on a low simmer

It will shortly fill your home with amazing aromas, and people will think you’ve been baking pies all day.

Once the mixture starts putting off a good amount of fragrant steam, you can carefully carry the saucepan around the house, spreading the love.

CAVEAT: Watch this like a freaking HAWK. It will boil down before you can say “eggnog latte,” and you’ll be left with roiling black gunk and your house will smell like an evil, damp campfire. Don’t ask how I know this. (Or how very many times it has happened to me.) Add water as it boils down – you’ll eventually end up with cinnamon sludge, but you can keep the mixture going all evening if you’re attentive to it.

A Thanksgiving Story

Thanksgiving is going well so far at our house…this is the first year I’ve hosted…first year to cook a turkey…plus having a baby to take care of in the midst of cooking, so I wasn’t sure how it would go. Matthew invited his mom and siblings and two couples we know who weren’t planning to travel to see their families this year.

I didn’t think about how long it takes to defrost a turket, so I only took it out of the freezer on Tuesday night. So yesterday I realized I needed to thaw it faster. I ran cold water over it for a long time, soaked it in cold water in the bathtub, soaked it in cold water in the sink…hooray, it did thaw by this morning! When Eric Stephen and Jennifer came over for breakfast, they brought a turkey too, so we prepped both birds. Our upstairs neighbors are two bachelors, and they said we could use their oven as they were going to be away today. That was great, because we have so many dishes to cook, we needed two ovens. Matthew and Eric took the turkeys upstairs and tried to cram both roasting pans in the oven, which didn’t fit…so, rather than jam up our oven with a turkey too, they put one turkey in the upstairs oven and put my turkey on the porch to stay cold…I guess we’ll cook it after the first one is done. So much for hurriedly defrosting mine!

A little later an alarm started going off…turned out to be Boomer and Ben’s gas alarm. Apparently, their oven is broken, but they never knew it, as they apparently have never used it. Ever. Thankfully they had an alarm, or we might have ended up feeding paramedics and firefighters today, too.

So the turkey ended up taking up space in our oven after all, and we’re baking one side dish at a time. Oh, well. The ladies are cooking together and having a nice time, and my mother-in-law is holding Katherine, so I think everything will turn out okay.

***

Anyway, the reason I got on here was to link to a Thanksgiving story I wrote when I was 16. I freely admit that I am a geek. I have written fan fic, yes, I have. In my defense, it DID really help develop my writing skills. Ahem. Anyway, this is a JAG fanfiction story I wrote back in the day, and it’s about Thanksgiving, and here you go. Please overlook any cheesiness by remembering that I was 16 when I wrote it. Thanks.

And if you want to make me really, really, really, REALLY happy, find some way to track down all episodes of JAG ever and give them to me…I stopped watching it after about season 5 when I left for college because I didn’t have a TV, and I would kill to have the whole show on DVD.

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