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Posts Tagged ‘family’

When I got home yesterday I realized that my calendar for June is just about completely full. I think I have like 4 days the rest of this month that I don’t have something planned.

Of course, that means that cooking anything exciting or fun is almost out of the question until July. *grumble*

However, I do have a project that I had put on hold for a while because this/that or the other thing got in the way, I got too busy and now – mostly because I’m already almost too busy to even sleep at night (I slept through my alarm this morning and was almost late to work today because  I was so tired) I figured now was the time to pick up this set-aside project and get it finished so it’s not looming over my head.

 A year ago last April my brother got married. It was my intention of putting together a cookbook of family recipes, putting it together in Adobe InDesign, writing up an intro and all sorts of stuff, making it pretty, printing it and then giving it to them as a wedding present.

Well, for one reason or another I ended up not being able to finish the book. Not wanting to go empty-handed I bought them “the Joy of Cooking” which I heard is like one of the best cookbooks out there – especially for beginners. It explains how to do everything in that book – and frankly, I was tempted to buy two copies that day – one of which to keep for myself.

So the Hall Family cookbook was set aside for a time being because after my brother’s wedding my then-boyfriend Dave and I broke up, Garry moved back to Binghamton and we started seeing each other again. (Another very long story for a different day)

I’ve realized a few things since I decided to take up the project.

1. As much as I love working in InDesign – I think I might want to stick to something a little less complicated.

2. I might end up wanting to print out more of these and give them to family members as presents – so I can’t gear it directly to just Brian and Lisa.

3. I think I’m learning how to delegate a little more with our handfasting coming up – so having someone help with the project is a good idea.

I found this site: http://www.blurb.com/create/book/cookbook-new?ce=google_cook&gclid=CMCrl47-2p0CFWRB5godT24xtA a while ago that helps you set up a cookbook and then you can order it through their site. Maybe that’s a good idea. I’ll have to check it out.

Have any of you made your own family cookbook before? What are some of the things (or recipes) that should be included in every cookbook (other than a good bread recipe)? I’m planning on adding little stories to go with the recipes (if there are any – not all of them will have stories).

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This week has been full of distractions. Notably so because I’m well aware we’re in a Mercury Retrograde. *Joy!*

With Beltane being only a very few short days away there is a LOT to prepare. Did I mention I’m hosting Crazy Lady Night for the first time ever TWO DAYS after I get home from camping for a long weekend? Yeah, I know, I’m insane.

In the last week I’ve given the keys back to my old apartment and did the walkthrough and to be honest, I’m still a little sad about it. I guess that place, despite that Garry lived with me, was like my autonomy. Now that we formally (names on the mailbox and everything) live together, well, I kind of miss that feeling of autonomy – even if it is only just a tiny bit.

This weekend we went to the camp/ritual site and helped put up tents, prep the area and what not. Garry and a bunch of other guys cut an INSANE amount of firewood (and paid for it – Garry’s back muscles are still not quite right again) which should last us through most of the summer. YAY for being productive.

All of our work was finished by late afternoon which left the rest of the evening to enjoy the company of everyone there. We lit a bonfire and drummed a while until it started raining and everyone with a djembe ran their instruments to their vehicle. Since I play a bodhran (and Ulric and Billy had theirs with them too) the three of us didn’t have to worry so much about the rain (actually the skin of mine needed to be a little damp to sound right) so we contined playing for a little while until it really started to rain then we all went home.

I’m still learning how to play, I mean I can kindofsortof keep a rhythm, but I can’t do anything fancy – like triplets. I’m still trying to figure out that one. Ulric is a fantastic bodhran player and he said that I’d get it in no time. Heh… sure I will!

The last few days have been spent trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to bring for food when we go camping all week. Inevitably there is always something that someone brings that looks *really* tasty and I want to eat it. I rarely bring a lot of food, but this time I’d like to bring some special things to share with everyone.

I have two whole “days” to plan for. Friday night, Saturday during the day and Sunday morning.

Unfortunately we don’t own a cast iron griddle (although I’m thinking that might be a good investment) or anything we can really cook over. Okay, I lied – we have a stick that we can skewer stuff onto and cook it over the fire. The only problem I foresee with this is cooking meat. I always get a little wary about cooking meat over a fire (I know it sounds kind of stupid when I think about it too) because I never know when it’s done in the middle. I originally thought a few chicken breasts would be good with baked potatoes (we usually wrap them in aluminum foil and throw them near the coals of our cooking fire). Here’s what I’m planning for our Beltane camping weekend!

Friday

Dinner: Honey almond chicken sausages with baked potatoes and asparagus bundles w/ sweet white wine

Snack: Fruit dipped in chocolate with cream (to share)

Saturday

Breakfast: Muffins (and some sort of breakfast protien… still working on that)

Lunch: Cold cut sandwiches

Feast: (we’re coping out on this one) Fresh baked bread and rye dip (if I can get a good deal on produce I’ll bring some chocolate dipped fruit for the feast too) 

Sunday:

Breakfast: Same as Saturday. I heart muffins!

So that’s about all we’ll be bringing. There won’t be a lot of time to do snacking or whatever in between. I also have to find someone who can braid hair really well to put mine into plaits for the day on Saturday and bind them with gold cording.

I’ll make sure to bring my camera and take pictures – honest.

Garry is passing his May King crown on and I’ll be honest, he’s a little sad about it. Last night him and two of his guy friends made a set of runes out of river rocks and a dremmel (it was awesome!) and I guess that’s what they’re using to determine the new king. They look really cool and honestly, I think I may end up making a set of runes for him in similar fashion (or maybe woodburning since my skills in that are apparently awesome) for his birthday or for Yule. I could always do something with wirewrapping… hmmm…

Oh and my dress, well I really like the pattern – however because I was distracted while making it I screwed up something majorly and since I can’t find my seam ripper anywhere – there’s no hope in going back and fixing it. So yes, the pattern is definitely a keeper, however I think when I go to make it again I’ll just take my time and do one step at a time and not try too hard to work ahead. Also, a dress form would be helpful. *hint hint*

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Vacation!

My brain still feels like it’s on vacation – no matter how hard I try I can’t manage to really focus on something completely without thinking “Gee, I’d like to be out in the sunshine now…”

But that’s the problem with Florida – I only have 1 friend that lives down there that consistantly gets to enjoy Florida (he’s a musician and plays at local hot spots on Clearwater Beach – yeah it’s such a rough life for him…) everyone else has the same ol’ work, cook, clean… etc. so I imagine it would be rather annoying having the beach and nice weather taunt you like that all the time.

Anyway, Garry and I had a great time while we were down there – and I promised pictures so here are some:

When we got to my parent’s house we were greeted by the dogs:

Becca – She’s 10 and a half. Honestly, she looks really good for her age. I’m still shocked because I always think she’s a few years younger than she is.

Gunner: He’s our old man dog – he’s 14 and a half. He’s wearing Garry’s fishing hat in this picture and isn’t too thrilled about it either. I’m glad that he was still there when I got there. For the last 2 years or so it’s always that feeling that this time will be the last time I’ll get to see him. It’s pretty heartbreaking, and one of the reasons that leaving is so hard.

Millie: She’s only 2 and just as goofy as her picture suggests. This dog wanted nothing more in the ENTIRE universe than to be cuddled and pet and loved on. Seriously. She adored Garry like they were soulmates. It was pretty funny actually…

Mom offered to send her home with us (she was trying to find her a home), but we figured that she would be too big for our little apartment… that and she might try to eat the cats.

One thing that was really nice is to see Garry bond with my dad. The only time I ever came close to having a guy that my dad felt comfortable talking with was Dave. Although take into consideration that Dave is only a few years younger than my dad… yeah. But my dad really seems to like him and that makes me happy.

 

My mom and Garry and I went to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa as well (that’ll be a separate post) and afterwards we went to Palm Pavilion restaurant on Clearwater Beach. Originally we were supposed to watch my friend Derek (we were good friends in high school and he moved to Tampa a few years ago) play, but as it was, the schedule was mixed up and he wasn’t playing there. Poo. We enjoyed the nice weather, girlie drinks and good food though.

(that’s my mom if you hadn’t guessed)

The next day dad took Garry fishing just off the shore. It was kind of cute actually – Garry was really excited about it. I’m not sure if it was more because he got to go fishing or he got to do some manly stuff while we were down there.

I think he caught more fish than my dad. Of course that was impressive for my dad I guess, in a weird tribal sense where Garry proved that he could provide or something like that (yeah but I’m the one that does the grocery shopping!) either way, I’m glad that they both had a good time.

OH! But Garry forgot to put sunscreen on his feet. For most normal people living in Florida it wouldn’t be too bad since they’re used to the sun. But we live in BINGHAMTON where we have almost as much rain as Seattle and a LOT of cloudy days. And… he’s a redhead. Needless to say – Garry couldn’t wear shoes for a few days.

Our last day in town we went to see Clash of the Titans in 3D. Before hand we stopped at the Johnny Rockets (I haven’t been to one in YEARS) and Garry and I shared a milkshake. It was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally good. It was gone in less than 2 minutes. See that big metal cup next to Garry’s arm? Yeah there was more in there too – GONE. My mom giggled and said we looked cute – so naturally I opened my eyes and looked at Garry (expecting that he was making a weird face or something like he usually does) so that’s why I look like I’m going to fight him for the milkshake…

So Clash of the Titans. I’m not going to give out any real spoilers here so don’t worry if you haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen the original with Harry Hamlin, but the trailer kind of says it all. I was really expecting great things from this movie. Not so much in the special effects department (I was pretty sure that would be awesome) but along the lines of the story. Oh… why do I build myself up like that? I should know better really.

Anyway, since I have spent quite a bit of energy studying Greek myths over the years I was REALLY looking forward to this. However, after watching the movie and looking at Garry (who also knows his fair share about Greek mythology) and saying “What’s she doing there?” “I don’t remember Scorpions in the myth?” “What does Hades have to do with any of this?!” Well… let’s put it this way: Cinematically it was very good. The story (if it wasn’t based off of a Greek myth) was good and the special effects and character design (for the most part) were done well…

HOWEVER

Whoever wrote the script essentially did the equivalent of ate the original paper the myth was written on, excreted it, sanitized and made that into paper and then wrote the “new” script on top of it. SERIOUSLY! I’m all about artistic license and all, but there was a lot that was FLAT OUT WRONG. I can deal with different interpretations (like the thought that maybe in the King Arthur ledgend that Lancelot might have been kind of a slimy jerk), but… I promised no spoilers so I’ll just keep that rant to myself.

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Our Florida vacation went really well – it was actually relaxing! I got a good week of sun and relaxation in. The weather was amazing – not too hot not too cold – and we got to visit with my mom’s side of the family (that I rarely get to see), play with the dogs, and spend some time doing some other fun stuff too.

One of which was going to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

I have a TON of pictures from the zoo – I’ll post them sometime during the week after I get a chance to crop and change the lighting and photoshop my fat in some of the pictures. Although out of all of them I have a few favorites: the baby zebra suckling, up-close giraffes and the baby manatee eating.

A bit of a side note – my sister-in-law interned last summer at the zoo and worked with the manatees and with the river otters (also very cute) and in the manatee hospital. Something that people in the Florida area are pretty familiar with (but we don’t hear about much up here in the icy tundra that is upstate NY) is the plight of the manatees. They are constantly being hurt by boat propellers, disease, or in the case of this last year the very low temperatues in the ocean has caused a lot of manatees to die or become very ill.

When you go to a zoo that houses manatees it’s rare to see one without a propeller scar. And while seeing a faint scar is not really that bad (I mean lots of us have scars on our bodies from this that or the other thing right?) seeing the manatees in the hospital with gaping fresh wounds… well… that was something that was very emotional.

I didn’t take photos of the hurt manatees, one in particular had a terribly fresh flesh wound on it’s back from a propeller. The poor animal was floating in the water to keep it from submerging so the wound and other internal injuries could heal.

At the little gift store, we bought a little gourd trinket box with wood burned manatees on it. (I particularly love wood burned items) and donated a little money to the manatee hospital they have there. At that time there were I think 6 manatees being treated in the hospital.

If you find yourself in the Tampa area I would suggest visting Lowry Park Zoo. It really is a lot of fun for people of all ages.

We also had Easter dinner with my family which was… entertaining. I found a new dish that I LOVE – it’s an Italian Easter Pie (I don’t remember what it’s called) but OMG it’s SOOOOOOOOO good! I’m drooling just thinking about it! When I can get the recipe I’ll post that too.

Hope all of you that had a vacation this week had a happy one. I know I surely needed it!

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icky poo

Of course, since I had a long weekend I had to be sick.

Garry caught, yet, another cold and gave it to me, so I was a sniffly, stuffy, miserable mess all weekend. Fun!

On top of that… well this may be TMI, but let’s just say other parts of me were not terribly happy either. *grumble*

So it was a fairly lacklustre VD. Not that I expected a day full of romantic blah blah blah, but ANY weekend is more enjoyable when you’re not sick and in pain.

No real food posts either. I know, I need to get around to them. It’s been busy at work and with the move approaching quickly I’m finding I have very little time to do much of anything other than working or getting ready to move. *sigh*

 However, I do have more apartment photos for you. (I know, you’re so excited)

 All the molding in the living room:

 

 

Now… onto the bedroom….

This is the textured wallpaper I put in my bedroom…

Closeup of the paper

One half done

And wouldn’t you know it – I only needed 2 more strips of paper to finish and I ran out. So off to Lowes I went to get the rest of the paper and paint for the dining room. Finally last night I finished papering the room and I added the joint compound to all the stupid little holes and cracks in the walls while quietly muttering to myself “What on Earth were these people thinking!” I was finding little pinprick holes near the bottom of the walls and scattered haphazardly. It made absolutely no sense.

It’s times like these I wish these people were around for me to ask them what was going through their mind, because really… I just want to know.

After all was said and done I packed up, went home, got joint compound on my pea coat (awesome) and crawled on the couch to watch the second half of the Westminster show.

For me, the show is like the Super Bowl of dog shows. For those who don’t know this about me, I grew up in a dog showing/breeding family. Since I was 8 we’ve been showing/breeding and for a while I had a little red and white beagle (Rosie) that I showed under Junior Showmanship on occasion.

Now, fast forward almost 20 years (omg, it really has been THAT long) and finally I’m in a place to have a dog of my very own to show. At first I wanted a smaller breed dog, mostly because small breed dogs = easy to show. Sometimes I do like to make things easy for myself. Garry and I hemmed and hawed about what kind of dog we wanted to get. He wanted a mammoth Bernese Mountain dog (umm… no – way too big for me to show and requires too much energy/space for what we can give it) and I wanted a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

Of course everyone thought we were nuts because my mom breeds Labrador Retrievers. Who doesn’t want a lab? They’re awesome! Apparently I am just difficult and was hell bent on spending $1,500 on a dog to show.

Well, after some research I realized the Cavaliers sometimes can have some genetic problems (okay, all breeds do, but I get a little panicky over those sorts of things) with heart murmurs and with a nervous disorder where the dog looks like it’s constantly itching. As adorable as these dogs are, if that were to happen I don’t think I could deal. Knowing that now is definitely a good thing.

So Garry decided to try to meet me somewhere in the middle and said “What about an English Bulldog?” Well yeah, they’re cute… sort of… but they require daily grooming (cleaning the skin flaps to avoid infection) and although they don’t require much in the realm of exercise, I would like something a little less… drooley.

Then for a while we compromised on the French Bulldog. They’re like an English Bulldog, only without the daily grooming and HUGE ol’ bat ears (CUTE!) but, after some thought I kind of figured they may not be the right kind of dog for us afterall.

I sat there last night watching the Westminster show, Cloud was perched on my lap actually watching (ie studying) the dogs on the television knowing that the days are numbered between now and when his beloved human would forsake him and bring yet another animal into HIS home. How dare I?

And as we were watching the Sporting Group show, I saw a slightly rotund black lab standing in the ring. I thought about my childhood and our black lab Magic that we kept from our first litter. He had a huge blocky head and a rather shiny coat. I loved that dog, he was so kind and gentle and loved to cuddle. Unfortunately, we ended up putting him in a pet home after some time when we found out he had hip displaysia. :-/ As far as I knew, Magic lived a happy life near a ski resort. I could be wrong, but in my mind I like to think that he lived a long, happy, healthy life in the mountains.

I thought more and more about the labs I’ve grown up with and how, aside from the two beagles, those are the only dogs I’ve ever owned. My brother and his wife have a 10 year old mix (some sort of birding dog I believe) and she responds poorly to my brother’s commands because he treats her like a lab, which she has emphasized that she certainly is not (plus she’s named Princess… so the name fits the dog I suppose). My mother suggested that might be the case with me so maybe a lab really is the best breed for me to have afterall.

I chatted with Garry about it last night. If we got a dog from my mother I could show it and we wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on a dog. It would be larger, but not too large and most importantly, I feel comfortable with where the dog comes from (meaning I don’t have to go in and grill a breeder and deal with that hassle). My main concern is the time element. I want a dog sooner rather than later (I’m thinking late summer/early fall) because Garry likes to go out of town to visit his friends and stay out late. I don’t like to be home by myself and having a more substantial dog would make me feel a lot safer.

So it’s been settled. We’re going to get a new puppy from my mom sometime in the fall. 😀

And now for a name….?

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This weekend didn’t start off so great. I went to football practice to help run drills (at that time our new team didn’t have coaches lined up yet) and the practice went well, I felt needed – although it makes me feel even worse about not being able to play. The ladies said they want to raise enough sponsors so I (and others who don’t have the cash flow) can play, but I’m still seeing it as doubtful.

On the way home I got an email on my blackberry that my friend Karl passed away. He had been in the hospital for a few months after who-knows-what happend. The only thing I heard is that he was attacked in his home.

For the last week or so I’ve had this gut feeling that Karl wouldn’t make it. Maybe it was just my way of preparing myself for the worst if it were to happen. Well now that it has, I am still mournful, but better equipped to deal.

There won’t be a funeral, but I never do well at those anyway. I think for my own sake, privately, I will do my own thing.

Karl was one of those people that you met that always gave good hugs. He was always very kind and sweet – even if he was hitting on me all the time. He was part of the Full Moon group I attended for a few years and the first time I went to the land where we held our community rituals I ran into Karl a few minutes after arriving. I was so excited to be there and he decided to show me around.

We walked through the woods to the different camp sites and lastly we sat on this wooden bridge that traversed a little creek.

We talked for a while, he told me how him and a few other people built that bridge a few years ago and he was very proud of it. He told me I was absolutely glowing, that I was a beautiful person and if only he was a little younger…

Karl was a good man. He always gave good hugs. I only wish I would’ve given him one last one.

I called Garry after practice to let him know, he was at a planning meeting for Beltane and let the group know of our friend’s passing. I couldn’t say much when I got there when they asked if I wanted to add anything. What could I say? I shrugged my shoulders and asked where we were with the meeting.

Saturday we got a lot done in the apartment. We put another coat of poly on the floors and finished up most of the wall painting in the bathroom. Garry still has to fix part of the wall we had to tear apart next to the shower before I can wallpaper and paint, but otherwise it’s getting there.

 

You can see that bottom part of the wall that needs to be replaced. Yeah. That’ll be fun. But the walls look awesome! I still need to sand down the cabinet next to the window and paint that, replace the shelves in there with some sturdy plywood and lastly, fix and rehang the door. Whew! There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in there, but by the end of the week I should have a “functional” bathroom. 

Next project? Getting the walls patched and painted in the living room, bedroom and kitchen. Thankfully we’ll be ordering some of our new cabinets (and dishwasher) in two weeks. That makes me a happy girl.

We should be able to move by the end of February if all goes well.

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Oh finally the day had arrived! We went to bed relatively early the night before and crawled out of bed at a nice leisurely pace. I looked at Garry and said “Let’s just savor this for a few more minutes” as we lay in bed with the only sound in our little apartment was the heater clicking on and off. (Still having a few problems there we think)

In a few years we’ll start a family – but for now this holiday is just for us and we’re going to lay here and enjoy the few moments we can steal. Those are the moments we’ll remember when we’re older – about our first little tiny apartment with the two cats.

After finally getting out from under the covers we put on a pot of coffee and lo and behold…

The cinnamon rolls were gone!

NOOOOOO!!!

My family always has cinnamon rolls on christmas morning and it’s the one thing that I really still like to do because it make me feel close to them. We looked everywhere, but no cinnamon rolls. Needless to say I was not thrilled.

Well, we still had coffee (thankfully) and after that was brewed we settled into the living room with the kitties and opened presents. We did stockings first because I slipped a little extra something for our coffee in there.

YUM!

BTW, I found those mugs at Christmas Tree Shoppe right after I moved into the little apartment. I bought one for me and one for Garry. Mine is a turquoise Leo mug and his is a beige Virgo mug. Love them. They can hold 4 cups of coffee. I’m not kidding.

Since we opened our stockings we decided to let the kitties have their presents (mostly to keep them occupied until we got all the wrapping paper out of there) that grandmama sent.

 

Cid opening his present

Cloud sniffing his present (he was a naughty cat and already partially opened his present, so he had to wait).

It’s a catnip mermaid!

It’s MY mermaid!

Ooooh I’ve waited all my life for a catnip mermaid!

Cid had enough excitement for the morning and curled up somewhere and went to sleep. Cloud decided he’d try out Cid’s hedgehog while he had the chance.

After watching them play for a while and laughing hysterically at Cloud flop around on the floor like this was the best day ever (he says Thanks Gramma!!) We started opening the presents my family sent for us. I’ll have to say – it was funny. However, it does require a little back-story.

Last year my parents moved to Florida a few months before the holidays. I was still digging myself out of a debt hole and couldn’t afford to fly down there to visit. Not to mention I hate travelling during the holidays. I mean hate… detest… abhor… you name it. So I was going to spend the holidays alone. My roommate was planning on flying back to his hometown in Michigan and my then-boyfriend, Dave, was spending it with his two children.

Garry was planning on coming into town because he felt incredibly bad that I was going to spend the holidays alone. So he stayed with me in my (then huge) apartment and we spent the holidays together. We didn’t have a lot of money for gifts for each other (I had gotten Dave a Garmin because he travels so much – which he says was still the most useful gift ever) so I made him a fleece body pillow (he’s one of those guys that has to cuddle something otherwise he can’t sleep) and he bought me a Patriots blanket.

Eventhough it’s not where I wanted to go decor-wise, that blanket is SO warm… I love it. It’s big enough for both of us to cuddle underneath it and we do, a lot.

So back to this holiday.

We opened presents from my brother first.

It’s a sexy cookbook! Needless to say, Garry got pretty excited about it. There are some tasty looking recipes in there too! I can’t wait to try some of them.

And then…

Another Patriots blanket!

LOL I was laughing pretty hard under there. It’s not as heavy or as big as the one Garry gave me last year, but it was still nice. I said we could use it during the spring and fall when it’s not quite so cold out.

For a while I’ve known what my grandparents and parents were sending – mostly because they were getting Garry and I kitchen things (you know, stuff that lasts a while that you normally find on a wedding registry or something) and wanted to make sure they got exactly what we wanted.

My grandparents were very generous and sent us this:

YAY a blender! I’m thinking of all the wonderful soups, spreads and smoothies I can make with this (when I get a bigger kitchen that has the electric capacity to run it). We were quite thrilled.

So we opened presents from my mom and dad next.

Now, my mother tends to find gifts that are a little odd. This year I think she conspired with Brian and Lisa…

Another blanket!!! LOL!!!!!

Garry and I both were laughing so hard. I mean really hard. It was lighter weight than the one my brother sent, so now I have three Patriots blankets of different weights. I just find that funny.

My mother also likes to use weird boxes for things. When I opened this it was in a fish filter box. I was a little confused because I don’t have a fish tank. Duh…

But it was hair dye. The good kind. The Redken Shades EQ kind that only my aunt can get for me since she’s a licensed beautician.

I have enough hair dye to last me a whole year! YAY! (This was to keep me from doing anything weird with my hair as my mom puts it – I think she’s tired of pictures with my weird that-used-to-be-bright-pink streak in my hair) Yeah… I should do that tonight huh?

Then… time for the present that Garry and I were both waiting so patiently to open…

At this point I had finished my Irish coffee. Can you tell?

But YAY! New stainless steel pots and pans!!! I was so happy!!! YAY!!!! We jumped up and down and ran around the house with them on our heads. Why? Well because we could. Who was going to tell us we couldn’t? The cats? Ha! They were both in a catnip haze in the kitchen anyway.

See… pots and pans. I’m sure in about 10 years I will have a picture of a small child doing the same thing…

With all the presents from family opened we decided to open the ones from each other. Garry had painstakingly wrapped a huge box with pages from his video game magazine.

Yeah… I’m just glad it wasn’t wrapped in duct tape. Because ya know… he would do that.

What’s in the box? And my three blankets behind me LOL!

MY DRUM!!!!

Oh my beautiful drum!!! I spent about an hour at Imagicka (my friend Rob’s store) hugging it to my chest.

The bodhran is an Irish drum (we can just say Celtic though, because  I’m sure most people of the British isles had drums similar to this) that is circular and played with a two-headed beater stick. I’ve been wanting to learn how to play one for a while now and was planning on purchasing this very drum after the first of the year. Due to finances and moving, I was very sad to learn that I wouldn’t be able to afford it until summer.

I plan on painting the head and burning a knotwork design into the the wood rim. As of right now I have part of the design drawn on the head and am planning on inking it soon. I’m very excited about it!

So now on to Garry’s present!

I spent a good 60 hours working on his present. It was a labor of love however and for me, the process was a bit of a journey for me too.

Unfortunately he pretty much figured out what I was making for him after the first week of me working on it at Rob’s store. He had no idea where I was going or what I was doing, only that I had to go somewhere and spend a lot of time to work on it. To throw him off the trail a bit, I bought a little leather keychain (that was a monkey – the animal totem for drummers) and put my key to Rob’s store on it. Now, he had NO idea what the key went to – only that it went to where his present was.

So I blindfolded him (the store is just down the street from the apartment and if I just drove there he’d know where we were) and drove about 15 minutes out, then turned around and drove back finally arriving at the store.

I love the look on his face. And yes we were still in our pj’s.

Rob was supposed to leave the drum in the front of the store so when we walked in and he took off his blindfold (he’d know we were there from the smell of the store – it smells like Nag Champa) there was the drum.

Well… we walked in and the drum wasn’t there. I had a mild panic attack and Garry, still blindfolded, said Hey! We’re in Rob’s store! Why did it take so long to get here?

All the while I’m having a total freak-out thinking that someone took the drum. Finally I found it behind the counter and a wave of relief rushed over me.

When Garry took off the blindfold he was nearly brought to tears. He had been wanting a drum for some time (as he was just learning to play now) and he knew how much time and work I put into the thing.

The head of the drum. 🙂

So it was a lovely holiday. We went back to the apartment to make some breakfast – which will be another post entirely featuring – new stainless steel cookware!

The aftermath….

While this photo shows a lot of “stuff” I know that each gift given between my family and Garry and I was given from the heart, not the wallet. Albeit some with more humor than others, it still was a lovely holiday.

One of the greatest gifts I received this year was the look on Garry’s face (and of course the hug afterwards) when he saw his drum for the first time. (I mean all the other ones were great too… but this was special)

And of course…

Snuggling with Cloud.

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