Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

I trust you had a wonderful holiday, a safe New Year and we're all back at work! I'm sorry I worried so many of you by not blogging or answering your e-mails...I'll try to do better next year. In the meantime, I frantically trying to catch up. I frankly need a vacation from the exhaustion of the holiday, although I did take 3 days and didn't get out of my p.j.'s nor did I get off the sofa except to get some food and stitch. I spent the three days watching a British Comedy called "Keeping up appearances" which is funny, funny, funny and stitching. What a great vacation that was. I had so much fun. But let me fill you in on my holiday. The week before Christmas I took off work and concentrated on getting the house finished, getting the food together and wrapping gifts. I thought I was doing well, O.K., I wasn't even close but kept telling myself I was close to being on schedule. Since each Christmas Day I've had to call Sara in a panic and ask her to come down and help me, she kept in contact with me asking if I needed her to make anything, to which I kept saying, "No, I really think I'm O.K. this year...I had my serving pieces in sterling shined (although not the individual settings), I had my table set and serving pieces out with the serving pieces in place and each dished named so we didn't have to wonder where to put anything. Yes, I was living with the allusion that I was going to get it all done. And I might have if I didn't decide I didn't have enough boxes for C.J. to open (money wise I was fine, but because his items were so expensive there weren't that many). So two days before Christmas I hit the mall again, and I was so astounded at the prices I ended up shopping for everyone again, you just couldn't resist the prices...I mean things were 50-70%off. Of course that neccessitated that I then spend 4 hours Christmas eve wrapping the damn presents. Crap...there went the time line! But I was still optimistic, that is until around 2:00 p.m. on Christmas eve when I heard a tapping at the door. Knowing that Sara and Mary wouldn't have dared to come over here knowing how crazy I had gotten I couldn't imagine who would have the nerve. And there stood my sister, Susan and Chuck and Kelly, who were suppose to arrive Christmas Day in the afternoon. Now I try to be gracious at all times, however, this was almost more than I could take....my time line, my time line...it was going down the drain. So after my usual pleasant holiday greeting, "What the hell are you doing here," Susan always a quick assessor of the situation said, "Would you like us to go to the hotel and stay there?" But that wasn't a possibility because she may put her luggage there but she'd be right back on my doorstep to help, but really would only be in my way. So I said, no, but only Kelly's room was ready since their room was my wrapping room, so they should put their things in Kelly's room and get lost for a few hours. Such a gracious hello, and not lost on them as they decided to go to Chuck's sister's house for the night and come back Christmas Day....oh, yea, my time line is back on schedule. Chuck did look at the wreaths sitting on the porch and asked, "Sally do you realize tomorrow is Christmas?" Smart ass...no one said the wreaths had to be on the doors before Christmas day. Anyway, I knew without sleep I just might get the time line back on schedule. So I brined the turkey, wrapped the gifts I purchased the day before (4 more hours out of my life), got the yeast sweet dough made, cinnamon rolls forms and in the refrig, yes I was moving right along, I messed up the Chocolate Damnation cake...which has a multiple parts, I got the mocha meringue done, the brownie cake didn't rise correctly and I had to do the chocolate mousse twice...forget about the mocha mousse and the ganuache...I decided that dessert would have to wait, after all I had the New York style cheesecake made and in the refrig. I worked diligently through the night (reminded m e of when the girls were little and we worked all night putting their toys together)...and at 5:30 a.m. I crept down to the church (I'm on altar duty in December) in my p.j.'s and did altar duty. (I hope my mother was right when she said God doesn't care what you wear to church as long as you show up). Came home and continued the cleaning and cooking and decorating, hell I even washed my front windows so I could see through them. Then at 8:00 a.m. C.J. came down and we went to Sara's to watch Michael open his gifts and have breakfast. That's also where I open my first wave of gifts from Sara, Vernon and Michael...such a slew of gifts I was opening for an hour. I was now feeling the results of no sleep, so as soon as Michael was done I took the two boys downstairs and gave them one of their gifts from me...electric Razor scooters. So they took off, I said good-bye and went home to work on the dinner. Sara called me and asked if I needed her to come down, and while I felt I might get it done, I was fading fast so I thanked her and said I would appreciate the help. So she arrived champagne bottle in hand and asked if I minded if she kept drinking (she has champagne and orange juice with her breakfast on holidays)...and of course I said I didn't care if she got drunk I just needed her help at this point. So Sara really took over. I sat down and kept working on the dinner, but Sara took over the stove. Since I had put the turkey before I went to her house, we just kept making dish after dish, and when I explained I gave up on the damnation cake, she and Chuck devised a way to use the three parts, Sara made the gaunche and the dessert was delicious. Anyway, when Chuck arrived they told me to sit down as I wasn't looking too hot and my ankles were the size of grapefruits. So I said, "Well for just a moment perhaps." I woke up sometime later to see the dinner was well in hand. Sara came in and said, "Mom why don't you go take a shower and get dressed." I just looked at her and said, "What makes you think I'm showering or changing...I'm eating in my p.j.'s." Sara said, "Well I have to go home and change." To which I said, "Why bother, call everyone up and tell them the dress code is pajamas." She's had enough to drink (after the champagne ran out she opened the wine)...that she called everyone and said, "Mom's wearing P.j.'s and suggests everyone else do the same." So with my mother rolling her eyes up in heaven and my father clutching his heart in heaven, the women and children went along with the program and had dinner in their pajamas...the men just wouldn't get with the program, although as soon as dinner was over Chuck did change into his. It was a wonderful way to enjoy a dinner with family. None of us were wearing pants that were a little too tight, or tops that were constrictive...yes, I suggest to you all...next holiday make it a p.j. only event. You will be thanked by everyone, except the men. It really does make sense in our case, because a tradition for my family is everyone gets to open one gift Christmas Eve...and it is always a new pair of p.j.'s to wear so everyone has on new p.j.'s Christmas morning. (You can imagine how thrilled the children are with this tradition, however, the girls appreciate it today and carry on the tradition with their families). So most of the people showing up have on their new p.j's to begin with. The day after Christmas Sara told me to stay home and she'd open the shop. I thanked her as at this point I was trying to get my ankles back to normal size. Saturday I did go to work even though my ankles were not going down but by Tuesday of this week I decided to sit on the sofa until they reduced to their normal size. After 3 days it happened. My ankles are now back to pre-Christmas size...whoopee! That's how I know Christmas is over. Now, of course, I have to put everything away. By the way, my tree...well it's pitiful but my Charlie Brown tree is easy to move around so I'll have this thing put away in short order. I'm hopeful I'll have things put away this week...but I wouldn't swear to it. I just tried downloading pictures into my new computer...it didn't work so I'll take this down to the office and do it on that computer. Sorry about that. I'll try tomorrow. Although I'm already stressing over having Solomon overnight tomorrow night. He never sits down...however, he does go to bed at 8:00 p.m., so I'll just have to chase him for 4 hours...oh, no, my ankles, my ankles...I think I can do it...although Sara is just a phone call away. She's already anticipating my call I'm sure. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh, just heads up. While you are going wild with the January sales, please make sure you get your discounts. You remember my computer experience at Best Buy? Well Sara had a similar experience at Vernon Powell. She purchase shoes supposedly at 50% off, but didn't check her receipt. She had purchased a few pairs of shoes and just assumed she got the discount. Luckily she had to return a pair and that's when she noticed she didn't get it. She mentioned it to the gentlemen and was given the discount when she took the shoes back..she ended up getting $50 back. I had the same thing happen in my store today. A woman was buying multiple items, and one of the leaflets didn't have the charms with it, but when it was originally put into inventory it had the charms and was priced accordingly. I've gotten use to looking for these problems and when it scanned $10 I knew that was wrong and made the correction. I don't think any store does this on purpose, but when it's your money they are screwing with it's aggravating. So be vigilant shoppers and keep the money in your pocket not in the shops pocket. Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll be talking to you.