What Blog???

Guess what I just found underneath about 43 tag end knitting projects, boxes that need to go out (now 2ND Day, ka-ching!), Christmas cards that Kodak.com darkened so badly the photo is barely visible, party dregs and the butt end of a giant unfinished snowman? My blog! I was sort of hoping Typepad would stay down longer than just last weekend; it was a good excuse while it lasted. So here are some seasonal odds and ends.

BEST BLACK TIE/PAJAMA POKER PARTY RECIPE YET- CRAB CEVICHE
In a giant, very festivus bowl mix:

-3 16oz.cans of jumbo lump crab meat. (Gasp!, I know. ka-ching, ka-ching. I get it at Whole Paycheck where it sits in ice right beneath the fish counter. It’s handpicked, pure white, fresh as can be, big chunks.)

– 5 red sweet bell peppers, diced 1/3 inch
– 5 green bell peppers, diced 1/3 inch

In the food processor: mince 1 seeded poblano pepper and 2 seeded serrano peppers. Add a large bunch, minus stems, of cilantro and one of parsley. Fine chop.

Mix all ingredients together. It mixes best with clean hands.

– Add juice of 5 fresh limes. Toss again. Serve in red and green plastic party glasses- the short, squat kind.

I ended up with close to 5# of crab ceviche and 18 people ate almost all of it- they just kept coming back for more. This is so fresh, so festive, so snappy and so luxurious with all that crab and I’ve found that this ratio of peppers is just right to add a small but not overwhelming bite. Red, green and white-with zing!
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The party was a blast. This is the first time I’ve seen Rich in a tux. He was delighted it still fit and he seemed non-plussed by the lipstick smack on the right lapel from some previous lifetime. It was okay because he looked so darn HOT but I sent that baby to the cleaners yesterday. There was a lot of black velvet, a fair amount of cleavage and everyone was beauteous. Frank’s mother is hardcore Italian and she made 4 dozen fresh cannoli. What else- oh! I boiled whole 2 bags of those small purple fingerling potatoes (also Whole Foods) until they were almost done, sliced them in half, put them on a baking sheet, sprinkled them with garlic salt, lots of crushed pepper and good olive oil and stuck them under the broiler until they got slightly brown and crispy. Nice fingerling food. Quintin won almost every hand of poker so he got lots of party gifts: kirigami Christmas trees I made, DVDs of old I Love Lucy and The East Side Kids, etc. People stayed and stayed- always a sign of a good party.
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LittlexmastreeMy favorite grandmother died young and the last couple years of her life she was low on energy from fighting cancer so she only had a small table top tree. I always loved that little tree and now I have it but I didn’t have any ornaments for it so it always sits sort of sparsely on the sideboard. This year, a friend I’ve made in this neighborhood sent me an assortment of little tiny Hallmark keepsake ornaments her husband found at an auction. Isn’t it just lovely? The little tiny bird feeder and the angel are my favorites. This makes me so happy.Creche3_1
Another bit of traditional holiday decor around here is our creche. I got it the year Dan was born; I liked the bright simplicity of the little Mexican figures. When he was two and I was setting it up he wanted to know what it was for and what each figure meant. He listened very attentively and when it came to the kings I explained that they brought the most special gifts for the new baby. At that time, Dan’s love in life was a collection of Matchbox tractors (tractors are in our genes. Buckminster Fuller will be here Thursday- promise) and the next morning when I passed by the piano I saw that Dan had given his most prized possession to the Baby: his John Deere tractor. Twenty-four years later, it’s still a part of our manger scene and I imagine it will stay that way until I pass this on to a grandchild.
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Front_yard_121605We had some fine snow these past few days and I had fun playing around with the camera (when I should have been knitting and mailing and maybe posting. Here is a picture of our front yard and some little finches on a thistle sock hanging amongst the Christmas lights.Finch_2
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Finally: MUSIC TO A MOTHER’S EARS
As many of you know I have my beautiful mermaid, Abby, aka the Snarl, who is an apple of my eye and also the world’s most intelligent airhead. I can say all this without the usual bias because I’m firmly convinced she was switched in the nursery or, more likely still, she is actually an alien (and amphibious) life form. She has been away at college in Florida, working on a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. She called the other day and said, "Mom! I’m so proud of myself! I just finished my last exam, I got all A’s, I learned how to live on my own and balance my budget and I only lost 2 driver’s licenses, one passport and 3 ATM cards!" I said, "Good job! I’m very proud of you, too. And I can’t wait to see you so go get your replacement license so you can fly home on Tuesday."

Today is Tuesday. I had lost track of the days there for a few but because she is coming home today and that’s so important to me I know what day it is. About an hour ago the phone rang. You now have to imagine essentially incoherent screaming and wailing and weeping and raging and gnashing of teeth.

"MOM!!! THE CAB IS WAITING AND I CAN’T FIND MY LICENSE I JUST GOT YESTERDAY AND IT’S GONE! IT’S GONE! I JUST HAD IT IN MY HAND AND THE CAB IS HONKING AND IT’S NOT HERE AND I’M NEVER COMING HOME AND THE CAB MAN WANTS MONEY TO WAIT AND I DON’T HAVE ANY MORE AND MY LICENSE IS GONE AND I CAN’T COME HOME AND…"

I couldn’t get a "calm down" in edgewise and my offers to pay the cab by credit card went unheard. The Snarl slammed the phone down 3 times, called back screaming more of the above and finally for the fifth time in 7 minutes she called, sobbing, "I’ll see you next year." Since she was only weeping and not screaming I said, "Abby. Take two deep breaths and think. It was in your hand and then you put it in your pack or your suitcase or…"

"Oh! Here it is." Click.

She called a few minutes ago to let me know she was at her gate and had 40 minutes to spare so she was going to (finally) register for classes on the airport’s wi-fi. Which works for me because no matter how much I love her and crave her smell, she was staying on the porch until I saw a license and a schedule of classes.

Let Christmas commence.

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12 responses to “What Blog???

  1. Never mind my suggestion of the passport, I guess that was lost too. What she needs for Christmas: one of those small cases with a long attached cloth necklace (kind of like a wide shoe string). The universities usually have these. It’s amazing what they can cram into them; school ID, driver’s license, a little money, bank card. They even have a loop to attach the keys. This is what Nyssa carries instead of a purse and with it around her neck, she can’t lose it.

    Don’t feel too bad. When we went to Europe the last time Nyssa left her purse on the train in Atlanta airport. By the time we figured out the route and when it would come back around it was gone. THANK YOU GOD!!! I had enough sense to keep her passport in my bag. She only lost a pair of glasses and the purse. (the glasses were new and that was bad enough)

    The nativity with the little tractor is the absolute most precious story. You must keep this story on paper with pictures to have for Dan’s lille boy. He gave his best and most precious possession to the baby Jesus. OK, no tears….

    I think the most beautiful decoration is the snow. I know it gets old but to us down here in the South it is gorgeous. I know that it would be a disaster if we had any, no one knows how to drive or walk in it for that matter. I remember snow at Christmas in Indiana and Pennsylvania, but it seems that it was never this much or else not that beautiful. Sigh. (much envy here)

    The Nyssa has been here since Thursday. She has been working 8 hours a day at the candy company since Friday. Her grades are not yet in but she has one A in Creative Writing and one A- in an upper level English class. She was worried that she couldn’t keep up with the high pressure classes at W&M but now I think she has more confidence that she is good enough for the school. She is registered for the spring including a geology class that is going to Hawaii to visit and study the volcano. (more envy) In fact, we already got the bill for next semester.

    Enjoy the family, enjoy the holiday, much joy and blessings and love to you and yours.

    PS: Rhett would please like to see more Sophie.

  2. Abby is so much like my younger daughter that I really had to laugh – and then remember the frustration I feel when like things happen. Mine loses something important every five minutes.

    Vicki, even your catch-up posts are excellent reading. I absolutely love that your boy gave his favorite tractor to thes baby Jesus. I hope he is always so generous wtih his love.

    Love the snowy photo and the crab ceviche! Have a most wondrous Christmas!

  3. See, I got so lost in your post I forgot why I cam in the beginning: I laughed at your wrapping experience with hub #1. Surely the kid who got the legos appreciated the Metropolitan wrap! Too funny!

  4. That party was beautiful, the people were gorgeous and witty, the conversation sparkled and the house was drop dead, magazine lovely. I was going to send you a note, but I want the whole world to know how excellent it was. Roberta

  5. Funny Abby story. Hey, have you noticed comments here and there from “Bernadette”? Just exactly who is this strange woman? Hmmmmm?

  6. Funny Abby story. Hey, have you noticed comments here and there from “Bernadette”? Just exactly who is this strange woman? Hmmmmm?

  7. Abby sounds like my Kate. Too funny. The seviche sounds great. That snow covered yard is beautiful.

  8. Great Abby story and she reminds me of MYSELF! I can misplace things so easily–can I blame that on menopause? Your little tree is beautiful and special; my mom decorates her ficus with small ornaments. We have always loved it more than the artificial tree downstairs at their house. I love the pretty snow! We are having some not very pretty rain!

  9. Whole paycheck! thats funny. I always enjoy your stories so much and this was touching and entertaining on every level. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  10. Hey, Vicki, I have nominated you for best overall blog for the blog awards. Now just make sure your readers get over there and vote for you!

  11. Thanks for your stories and gorgeous photos, V. Welcome back to blogland.

  12. Your posts are so artistic and wonderful. How can you do it, day after day? And I LOVE the picture of your musical kids. We used to have concerts of piano, violin, and punk saxophone. And thank you for posting a pic of your little tree; the things that once belonged to someone precious mean so much to us!!!

    Want some more little ornaments?

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