Monday was the first day in several weeks that I did not have to jump out of bed to an alarm and rush off somewhere or start in on a list of tasks. I sat and read a book—which is a very good thing, because I had hit a reading wall for a few days there and was upset about it. It’s a terrible condition that hits book nerds occasionally when they’ve been reading as if their lives depended on it. But as soon as life slowed down, Across a Star-Swept Sea became fascinating, and we were back in business. (Review soon.)
I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you had a similar experience during the holidays. At work, I had a couple of projects—along with what Cinderella’s stepmother might call my “usual chores”—at the same time that our major vendor launched a new website. It may not have been as glitchy as the one where you hope to end up with health insurance, but since we were early adopters, it was a challenge. As I was determined not to even think about work during vacation, I kept meticulous to-do lists and checked off everything every day. I even got to the professional reading and shelf-cleaning on the last day, and that was that. It was rather like putting your car in park while going seventy on the interstate.
We had no money until the last few days, so shopping and wrapping were jammed into a short time, and since my brother and his girlfriend came to stay overnight with us the weekend before Christmas, cleaning was scheduled for each night after work. It was a great visit, though! I made bourbon-marinated salmon, roasted broccoli, and this new beet and pear salad from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie. It took half an hour to matchstick the red and golden beets, so when I made it again for us this week, I put them through the food processor’s shredder blade. Not as pretty, but much faster. Here is Michael’s bowl. He loves the feta cheese, obviously, and there are also sunflower seeds and mint leaves. Sounds fancy, but it’s easy, and so colorful for the winter months when vegetables can get boring. We had a chocolate raspberry low-carb cheesecake for dessert—my own recipe! We chatted late into the night and had a leisurely breakfast the next morning.
David sang in the Christmas choir this year, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Our church usually has worship teams instead of a choir, so it was a treat, although we do prefer the worship teams for regular Sundays. Our son Michael came to Christmas Eve service, which thrilled me to pieces. It is a “lessons and carols” service, which is great for Michael, since he is a big traditionalist and doesn’t like our contemporary worship. You know how those old people can be.
My husband has obviously been paying attention this year, and he knew that I wanted a heat gun to melt the embossing powder on the greeting cards I have started to make. I have a cute little pink one in my Amazon cart for about $15 or so. I was waiting for potential Amazon gift cards before I bought it. Well, what do you think was under the tree for me? David went to Lowe’s and got me an $80 heat gun loaded with testosterone. It will melt the embossing powder, the card, and the table under the card. It even looks like a gun and comes with a holster. Why get a little pink one when this one could even—dare I say it?—be used in the garage if David should have some projects? Lowes will be getting a return. David is saved because he also bought me some more of my peacock coffee cups from Pier One Imports, and because he is generally adorable.
We travelled to Lexington, SC, on Christmas day and then on to Cheraw, SC, to work on David’s mother’s house on the 28th, David’s birthday. So, of course, I had to make a special birthday dinner for Mr. Tool Time on Sunday, featuring an awesome low-carb chocolate mousse that we’ve enjoyed for years.
And now, I am done. We already have the ingredients for the wonderful North & South New Year’s dinner that we have each year, but other than that, I am reading and relaxing. The Gamecocks are in a bowl game on January first, so I might get up enough energy to cheer them on. We’re lighting the tree all day every day, and enjoying it more than we did before Christmas. My sister has written up eleven New Year’s resolutions so far, none of which have to do with losing weight or getting in shape, but I think I’m too lazy for any sort of introspection yet. After Thursday, there will be world enough and time.
Hoping your New Year is slow and sweet.