Monday, December 29, 2008

Overly full

Sorry for the infrequent posting here, which seems to be afflicting all my favorite blogs much like a virus making the holiday rounds. Of course, it is that most wonderful time of year, when we have so much to do, so many obligations to fill, and the kids are out of school.

Also, it's about this time of the holiday week when I start to feel that malaise - after all the happy anticipation of the Christmas programs, parties, visits from relatives that I truly enjoy having around, happily planning and preparing the feasts of the day, suddenly I am faced with a mountain of new toys and clothes that need to find places to live, packing material to sort and recycle, and all these decorations that I love to pack away. It's like crashing down from a Christmas sugar high. Meh.

I do have one more celebration to look forward to: New Year's Eve. We'll be making a beef tenderloin with more tasty sides, and I think there will be another batch of shortbread tarts with lemon curd.

Also, my Italian friend wrote to me today and told me about the Christmas dinner she made for her extended family: "Panettone gastronomico with fish, insalata russa all made at home, terrina di pollo, fish ravioli hand made at home, fried fish (fritto misto), mix of vongole, cozze, fasolari, tartufi di mare, cowliflour with capperi, anchiovies, peppers salad and finally a nice decorated panettone with mascarpone cream!" Wow! I know the Italiani traditionally eat fish at Natale, wonder if I could convince Anthony? (not a chance! I'm lucky he graciously tries my lamb)

Friday, December 26, 2008

It was a great Christmas here

We had real German bratwurst on Christmas eve, eggs benedict on Christmas morning, then traditional English Christmas dinner - roast leg of lamb, mint sauce, roast potatoes, green beans, broccoli from the garden, shortbread tarts with lemon curd, etc. We were pleased to have both sets of Grandparents and Anthony's niece and nephew to celebrate with us - a full house, indeed.

If you read my dad's blog, I'm sorry but you may have already seen this. I am so glad that he caught this moment. Anna has been really interested in "The Little Drummer Boy," this year, and we practiced it a lot (like at bathtime). After our big Christmas dinner, she performed it (with spontaneous backup harmony):

I am also glad she and Colin did not ruin the moment by changing it to "...I played my BUM for him, Pah Rum Pah Pam BUM!" a substitution that always reduced them to mirthful glee!

Other great holiday Colinisms:

"Daddy, is Oma in charge of you?"

"Mommy, did you know fish have no necks?"

"Daddy, my teacher says Daddies DO, too, fart!"

Happy Holidays from Vetmommy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Images of the Season

We have so many good images already this holiday season. Here are just a few at my fingertips.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cookie Time

Since we didn't have ballet practice yesterday (yea!) we made some Christmas cookies. I made all kinds of suggestions, but the kids wanted archetypal cookies they could cut out with cookie cutters. They turned out great.

These were shortbread cookies from my favorite baking website, Joy of Baking. (I added 1/2 tsp almond extract, because almondy cookies taste like Christmas to me.) I like to cook, not bake, but this site brings out my sweet tooth. The woman who runs it has an English heritage like me, so I love her shortbreads (an entire section!), scones, muffins, etc.

Anth was inspired, too, and made us a batch of his precisely perfect chocolate chip cookies. He has gotten this recipe down to an engineering masterpiece, timed to make consistently yummy, moist cookies. One of my favorite things on earth, especially since they appear without any effort from me! Click the pic in my side bar for the recipe.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Little Ladies Dancing

Anna had her ballet Christmas recital today. I couldn't wait for it - I was excited about rehearsals being over, but also, I couldn't wait to see the show, which did not dissappoint.
Anna had three parts: a gingerbread cookie (above), a bead (below), and...

..a skater.
She's just to the left of the snowman. I loved this beautiful costume, with its faux fur trim and muff.

Curtain call (Anna is dead center).

She was thrilled to have so many fans in the audience: Nana and Grandad, Cinda and Beverly, Regina, her teacher...

Even Patches.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When it's cold in Texas

you break out all your winter gear!

Last night we were treated to some sleet, and the kids were thrilled to see it this morning. Anna said, "Colin, maybe if we both pile it all together, we can make a snowman." Poor baby. Hopefully we'll see real snow when we go to Colorado in February.

Here, Anna and Colin point out the accumulated frozen precipitate, in case you missed it.

We also caught a big opossum last night right before the cold front blew in. Anthony moved him into the shed, gave him a few dog food kibbles, and covered him with a towel when the sleet started. I drove him to the lake at midday to let him go. I intended to jog afterwards, but with the wind it was way too cold. So I sat in the car and watched the poor possum wander around for about 15 minutes while I listened to my "This American Life" podcast and Francesca whined. While I didn't feel sorry for him last month when I was beating his bottom with a bamboo stick for hurting my hen, I did feel sorry for him today. Eventually he did find a low laying area with brush and seemed to settle down. This is actually the third possum we've gotten. There was also a cat and a squirrel (oops).

Friday, December 05, 2008

Maybe NaBloPoMo isn't such a good idea if it makes you not want to post for a week...

Anna and I at Steph's Christmas Tea

Fancy hairdo a la Stephanie

Nothing makes sleepy school kids smile like hot chocolate for breakfast!

My patients today - exhausted mom with her nursing puppy after caesarian section.