23 December 2012

Christmas Eve Eve

GZMoohoo posted elsewhere today that I was over at his house, doing some Christmas baking and helping with the decorating. First, the baking. I am in charge of both the traditional cheese ball and, for the first time this year, dessert for the massive Elvecrog family get-together.

Here they are, in the order mentioned above:

Cheese Ball - cream cheese, herb/garlic goat cheese, cheddar, tabasco, and pecans.

Peppermint Shortbread Bars, from The Kitchn

Foolproof Fudge

And of course, Cranberry Bread as always.

We were really very productive and efficient - all of the above plus grocery shopping was finished by 3:30pm or so. That left plenty of time for some decorating. First, the extraordinarily all-inclusive Nativity Scene.


And then some of the old stand-bys for the Christmas Tree (or Christmas Bush, all grown up):

Sheep!

Our favorite bicycling related ornament. There are many.

Hand crafted in the Old World European style. In Romania.

Merry Christmas to All!

09 December 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Twin Cities metro area is getting its' first snowfall of the winter and boy is it a doozy. The originally predicted 2-4" have been surpassed with 7 inches already on the ground and it is still coming down out there at quite a clip. Calvin was entirely fascinated by it this morning:

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We decided to leave the car where it is, safely parked in the garage, and take the train downtown to get some exercise at our local gym. We ran into one of our neighbors already out there shoveling. An omen of things to come. The train was (and still is) running exactly on time. Unlike the buses, it pretty much always does. I love the train.

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We came home and decided it was time to get out there and shovel some of this stuff. I felt very accomplished when I finished all the sidewalks out front:

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That blue shovel is pretty awesome. Good hardware store purchase.

We are now in the warm house reading our books and listening to some Christmas music on the radio. I love December, even if it does come with lots of shoveling.

P.S. To my regular readers: I sold my grandfather's car yesterday. The guy paid cash and took it home with him, after we gave him a discount for the sorry state of the front brakes. It could not have happened at a more opportune time (imagine moving it in all this snow!), and my grandparent's are almost $2000 richer just before the holidays, not to mention the car insurance and garage space savings. It worked out wonderfully.