Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very Hat Christmas

I hope my readers had a good Christmas. Mine was good, but very busy. Christmas Eve Travalon and I ran errands in the morning, then we went to his family’s Christmas lunch, where we had turducken, which I had heard of but had never tried. It is a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. It was really good and had spicy Cajun cornbread stuffing. People brought a lot of vegetable dishes, which made me happy, but we were bad and brought cheesecake. Then Travalon and I had to rush back to town for “midnight Mass” at 5:00 pm, and the carol sing beforehand. Afterwards we went home and I made the cassata, then I brought it to Rich’s and managed to get chocolate everywhere, including on my hat, my gloves, my coat, and Rich’s front door. Rich was having a tree decorating party, and several people were there decorating the tree, including Catzookz and Twins Fan. Rich had gotten a very large tree in this way: he went to buy a tree the day before, but the guy who was selling them had already packed up. However, there was one very tall tree left behind, so Rich got a free tree that was too tall for his living room. He set it up in the solarium area, which I found enchanting because when he first got his house, I imagined a tree in the solarium and little kids peeking at it from the loft. I looked down at it from the loft, and it was as wonderful as I’d hoped, except that there were no little kids, and no presents around the bottom of the tree. Also, Travalon and I exchanged gifts that evening after Mass; I gave him the genetics test Rich gave me a couple of years ago, a special Smithsonian issue about the Civil War, and a book about Downton Abbey, and he gave me the Rap Yearbook, a hat kind of like Famous Hat but more for spring than summer, an Ahman Green jersey, and stuff to learn Welsh: a dictionary and a CD course. Why not, now that I have almost mastered Irish? Might as well throw another Celtic language into the mix!

Christmas Day Travalon and I got in the car and drove to the Dells, where we used part of the Starbucks gift card that Handy Woman had given me for Christmas. We continued on to Ma and Pa Hat’s house and arrived not long before Christmas dinner, which was lasagna. (Same as at Rich’s.) My brother made these amazing chocolate raspberry individual cakes which he said were based on the cassata, although they weren’t that similar. My nephews, who are 21 and 19, were there too, and they are delightful young men and very good conversationalists. Travalon and I brought raspberry beer from New Glarus to enjoy with dessert, and we didn’t even know it was going to be raspberry flavored! It was just a lucky coincidence. The funniest part of the gift exchange was when Ma and Pa Hat gave my brother jalapeno spam and chorizo spam and a spam cutting board, all from the Spam Museum gift shop. Travalon and I left in the early evening and stopped to get something to eat in La Crosse, but Jerkins was the only thing open in town so it was packed. We ended up getting all the way to Mauston and finding a Denny’s there for quite a late bite to eat.

Saturday Travalon had to work in the morning, so I met Rich and another woman for coffee, then Rich and I went to Mo Girl’s house to see what she had left from the religious art store she is shutting down. To our surprise, she, the married B-Boy, and her college friend gave us lunch before we saw the art, then Rich and I picked out a few things, and she gave them to us for Christmas and my birthday. She even insisted on giving something to Travalon for his birthday – a statue of St. Anthony that he says will watch over the stuff in his Man Cave. In the evening I had the Immediate Family Christmas Dinner with Rich and Kathbert, and Travalon joined us for dessert. There had been quite a crowd the day before, but Rich did manage to save us some cassata and pie. He also cracked out the cookies Anna Banana II had sent, but we were too full after his lasagna and the cassata and pie to try any. Hopefully he doesn’t eat them all before we get back there…

Yesterday Travalon and I had a quiet day, then in the afternoon we went to a young couple’s house with some others to choose our characters for a game we are going to play. I watched the first three quarters of that disastrous Packer game quite intently but gave up on the fourth quarter to create my character. Her name is Iconostasia – my big decision was whether to spell that with a C or a K, but I was advised to go with a C. Mostly this seemed to be an excuse to eat homemade pizza, spinach salad, and the cookies from my cookie exchange. Travalon and I got home at a decent hour, so we watched some more Downton Abbey. We should finish up the last season tonight, so we’ll be all ready for the season premiere on Sunday! Of course, now they have changed the time of the Packers game, and they are playing the Vikings, so we will have to make some tough decisions. I hate having to make decisions, and it will be my birthday, so extra yucky. Luckily we can record one or the other…     

Famous Hat

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