Monday, December 27, 2010

dinner on the 25th

I was talking with my sisters on Christmas Day about what we were all preparing for dinner. At their house they had a good crowd of family along with the potential to shoo people outside and perhaps even to cook outside on the barbecue.

Meanwhile, in this house, I was making a dinner for four people and the weather forecast was for snow flurries developing into accumulating snow.

So I started with this:

a 7.5lb turkey breast that first got a basting with a herb, butter and white wine mix before going in the oven.

After a while, it turned into this:

and we enjoyed it with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, cranberry relish, green beans with almonds, assorted roasted root vegetables, pearl onions, corn muffins, and thanks to a chance remark by one of the boys as I thought I was almost ready, stuffing.

I hope you enjoyed a great dinner on December 25th also.

By the way, the snow never did eventuate.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Don't stand still too long

because you might get decorated.

While pulling out the tree decorations we came across this headgear and Rolo, ever the obliging type, became the model.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A comment on the decorating?

On Sunday Casey asked if we could put the Christmas tree up. With all that has been going on I was not yet feeling in the mood to do any Christmas decorating but here was someone willing to take the first big step.

All the boxes got hauled out and I asked Casey how he wanted to decorate the tree; he chose the raggle tag collection of old favorites so I was digging deep in the boxes to find what he needed. In my search I came across a box labeled "fish and mermaids from Melbourne". I knew instantly what was in that box and I also recalled that they had likely only been hung once; what the heck, I thought, let's get them out, I need some gaudiness to cheer me up.

So out came seven very, well, ostentatious decorations. And I suspended them from the dining room chandelier which already has a fishy theme.

The next morning as I came into the room to open the blinds I noticed that one mermaid was laying on the table. Was this a power trip? She wanted a dive from the high board? She didn't like the company?
Here she is swimming away. And she was not content with just laying where she dropped (I can see that spot as there are dings in the table top) but there she was almost 12" away heading on out of the picture. But most significantly, to Geoff's dismay, she was entirely unbroken!

She has now been restored to her place and all the hooks have been checked in case any more decide they want to swim away.

Was this a comment on the cheesiness of this spot of decorating?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

needed: three weddings

The reason for my trip to NZ was sad; my dad passed away and I was there to participate in the internment of his ashes.

Saturday, the day we chose to do this, dawned sunny and hot. Dad had spent one last night in his own home and we set off for the cemetery where we were to have what I kept referring to as a DIY funeral. My sisters kept saying "we've already had his funeral" which is true, but as I was not able to be present for that ceremony, for me, this was my funeral for Dad. There was just us, his three daughters, plus one son-in-law and one special friend. We got Dad buried, the hole filled in, the flowers carefully arranged and watered and the grave stone cleaned off. It was time to go.

We had decided we would go out for lunch afterwards. And that is when we happened upon our first wedding. Since it is sometimes better to laugh than to cry, one of us chirped that all we needed was to run across three more weddings and we would have our own version of the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral".

So here are some photos of "One Wedding and a Funeral" wherein the former distracted us from the sadness of the latter.

As we arrived at our chosen venue for lunch we noticed that parking was at a premium. We pulled in thinking we had scored a great parking space only to be asked "are you here for the wedding?" Once we replied that we were not and the car was parked in a better location we went inside. Soon we found out that a wedding was to happen and that the bride would arrive by sea. So, like the other patrons, we were quite distracted and hanging out the window waiting for the expected arrival - see the photo above.

The guests were all in place in the chairs that had been set out and decorated with red ribbons (see my earlier post). I'm guessing the colors chosen for the wedding were selected because of the striking view of the red flowers of the native Pohutukawa tree that is always in full bloom in December.

What a day for memories.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From 82 to 20 in one day

It has been a long time since I updated this blog but a recent trip has provided me with the impetus to post something new.

So about the title : that would be 82 degrees of hot sunny weather in New Zealand to 20 frigid windy degrees at the airport as I arrived back in VA after a very long day (a mere 25 1/2 hours door to door).

On Saturday, this was the scene I was enjoying in Parua Bay, Northland, NZ.

And this was the simple but delicious lunch of perfectly beer batter fried fish I was about to enjoy.

And this cold and chilly scene, shot from my computer room window as it was not at all inviting to step outside, was a view of my back garden the day I arrived back home. Yes, if you look closely, that is ice and not water in the two bird baths.

To be strictly honest, it was Saturday when I took the first photos but the temperature stayed the same if not hotter until Monday when I left. And on Saturday I got quite a sunburn. And now here we are at Wednesday and the weather is still cold and below freezing with a good chance of a first snowfall of the season tomorrow.

Welcome back to reality.