13 December 2009
I love weekends at home with family any time of year. In December, there are some added things to enjoy. The picture here is one of those things that I will explain later.
Our Christmas tree is up in the family room and the outside of the house is lit. We have a decent tree that is not the biggest that we have ever had but is probably as big as we would ever need. The timers on our exterior lights are on so that every night from 6-10 p.m. we are doing our part to contribute to the holiday lighting in our neighborhood. We braved the stores and mall yesterday to make sure that most of our shopping for extended family was completed. While out at the mall we even caught Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" last night. It was much better than I expected. I would recommend it for anyone that is not cynical to enjoy a good story.
Today, we had thought about getting out to the Magic Kingdom to see the castle lit up before our seasonal passes get blacked out. Instead, we did a little grocery shopping that should hold us until we get out of town for Christmas. I made my famous, secret recipe pancakes. Some had pecans and others did not. I made enough for the kids to reheat a few times for breakfast this week before school. Analexis and Shannon got the silkscreening supplies out and made some Blue Dolfins paraphernalia. They made stencils for shirts and shorts and even made a few test runs before also making a couple finished products. They were very cute. The shirts and shorts were nice too. Ana and Mickey proceeded to wrap all of yesterday's purchases and get them under the tree. If our nieces, nephews and cousins don't like the loot, I will take it. NFL football is in week 14 which, of course, means that the fantasy football season is getting ready for the playoffs. I secured my spot in the post-season last week and can kind of enjoy today's games. Shannon is reading Dickens' "The Christmas Carol" for a school project and has to finish it today. I made a steak dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans. The steak was of average quality which afforded me the opportunity to break out the steak sauce. If you do not have Peter Luger Steak Sauce for enjoying affordable at-home steaks, I would recommend getting some. I can't, however, imagine putting it on a steak at Peter Luger's.
The beer pictured above is a funny story. That bottle of beer is Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale. This particular type of beer is like a wine in that it can improve with age. I bought a six pack in of this particular "2002" dated beer back in 2002. Ralph and I tried a couple back then and after a few uncomfortable moments of silence, we agreed that we did not like it. Over time, the six-pack only had one left. I decided to keep it and save it to see how it aged. I had no particular plan or date as to when I would drink it. This bottle made it through three moves and a wife that loves to throw things away. What it did not make it through was sending Mickey to the refrigerator to get me a beer. I have, more times than I can count, dispatched one of my children to the fridge for the purpose of returning with a beer. They are now quite learned in the beer serving arts. I know what beers I have and as this beer approached I was wondering what in the world he had found. It was not until I saw the bottle that I realized what had happened. He was momentarily frozen when I told him to look at the cap and he saw 2002. It was very good and so different than those I tasted years ago as to seem like a completely different beer.
The NFL games were fun, but I think watching the MFL (Margarita Football League) games with text messages from involved owners may have made them even more fun. The next couple weeks have a lot of work and fun planned. I hope to write often, but imagine that there may be more quantity than quality as I enjoy the holidays. If I don't get to tell you in person or see you soon, I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday and that it is filled with gratitude and love.