The Christmas season started here with a bang.....21 on "our" side of the family and 13 on John's sister Becky's side. Thirty four, not counting the two babies on the way we did not know about till after the New Year.
All arrived within days of each other and we went from echoing in an empty house to total mayhem ( crazy good but still crazy!!). I have never cooked for that many and it showed. Either we were scraping the bottom of the cooking pot or we had tons of leftovers ....some of which are changing life forms in my fridge as I type. John hates throwing food away but I say when the color changes and they start climbing out of the tupperware its time to say good-bye. Now that he and Zack have gone back to Hawaii its hasta la vista baby for most of the stuff still fermenting.
I must say, thanks to my friend Cindy, that not only were the stockings hung but every room and window was decked out,both here and at the condo. We found an amazing tree ( not locally grown...since some of them are decades old and I was loath to cut one of them ) and it was beautiful. I do prefer "farmed" trees since I know they will be replanted but also because they are perfect. Ours was a Scotch Pine and though it lacked the fragrance of most pines it did not shed many needles and the shape was grand. That being said, I know I will still be finding needles in June but that is another matter.
This was actually our first Christmas in the house...last was in North Carolina for the birth of Mr. Thomas John McKenna and only New Year was spent here. Wonderful....lovely...and nuts. At least this time the condo was ready for guests....much better than family arriving to locked doors, no food, cold condo and us stuck in NC. Stockings were indeed hung by the chimmney with ( much love ) care. All the necessities for getting through the mornings and lunches were there. New heater for the cold bathroom and goodies ( vanilla, chocolate and bubble bath...and thats just the bathing stuff!!) for the family.
The family arrived in waves and at times I did feel swamped but I had tons of help from my daughters and sons. For the first time ever we had a peroggi night....almost ten pounds of flour ( much of which found its way to the floor ...and as an aside, dogs do NOT eat flour ) and four pounds of butter. Wow. Who knew it would take so much time and labor but it was definately a new experience for all of us ( except Tom ) and I think next time we should buy the frozen kind...just sayin' !
We also found out...after all had left, that not only Liz is expecting but also Tia and Melissa. That will bring our grand (kidlet) total to 12 in 2012. Good thing I have a perpetual calendar...there is no way I could remember all of the birthdays without one. I have been asked if this means I will be moving back to Hawaii. Um , no. Might change my P.O. Box, make the phone number unlisted and unplug the computer but no, I will not be moving back to "paradise". I do love this place even if it brings the unexpected.
Unexpected being another unwanted visitor to the garage. As you might recall in an earlier post, I bashed up the front end of my Escape ( aptly named, I might add ) and duct taped it back together. The auto body guy here in Angel Fire, and the only one in the village, said he could fix it. No problem and he did fix the body of the car. He ordered the pump for the window wash stuff and said it was good to go. We got home, poured the wash stuff in the hole and VOILA it poured right back out ( John managed to catch most of it in a bucket ) . Called the guy back and he said "whoops...I forgot to hook the pump up" . HUH??? Ok, so before we go to pick it up again, he tells me over the phone we have a new pet. Again, HUH?? Apparently during all the times the garage door was open for kidlets snowboarding, sledding and just plain freezing ( did I mention Jonah took his shoes and socks off outside in sub-zero weather?? ) we had an uninvited guest take up residence. The little pest found the dog food and proceeded to fill every opening under the hood of my car with it. There was at least a pound under there, scattered in every available hole and some may be there forever...the vacuum cant get it and I have no idea what else to try. I have found my inner killer instinct and we put out poison again....and one whole block was gone this morning. Meaning I will probably find a body of some sort, sooner rather than later..this beast is hungry!!!
There are many aspects to living in the mountains I had no idea about but I must say, I am never, ever bored.
As to the whimpering....that would be me, rattling around in this empty house ( ok , not exactly empty with the Rottie "baby" ..now close to 100 lbs. and the three poms ). I dont miss the screaming from both parents and kids and I dont miss cooking for a literal army but I do miss them all.
This is me whimpering .....