Sunday, December 04, 2016

Dusting and Disappointments

It was still quite sunny when I awoke this morning. I celebrated my vacation with Banana Pancakes. Yum. They came out perfectly - not overcooked, not undercooked, just sweet enough. Best pancakes I've had in ages.

Worked on a collage for the next few hours. I know I just made one not long ago, but I've been flooded with catalogs in the past few weeks. There were too many to fit in the basket in the bathroom. Plus I had to get a 5 dollars off coupon from an older Bed Bath & Beyond flyer. Not to mention, I've never done one with a specific holiday theme before. I think it came out very well. The Vermont Country Store catalog in particular was a treasure trove of holiday memorabilia.

It took me far longer than I'd originally planned to cut out all those photos! It was past noon when I got started on dusting the dining and music areas. My living room is so big, I break it into three "areas." The dining area is where the table is. CDs, records, and the record player (along with my big chair) are in the music area. Everything else - books, DVDs, the TV, the DVD player, the CD player (which also has the radio) - are in the entertainment area. (That's where I'm typing this now.)

Before I start decorating for Christmas, I always do as much dusting as I can. I dust under everything I can move. That's why it takes me so long...and why I put it off. It was past 1:30 when I finally finished doing the dining and music areas. I decided I'd do the rest tomorrow. I pulled on a jacket and boots and headed to Dad and Jodie's house to watch the Eagles-Bengals game.

Or that was the plan. When I arrived, no one was home. I thought I'd make a trip to CVS and see if they were back later. Nope. I returned after about an hour with conditioner and Peanuts and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-themed hot chocolate packets for a friend, and they still weren't home. I was really disappointed. I was looking forward to spending time with them today.

(Maybe it's just as well. The Eagles played terribly today, losing to the not-much-better Bangles 32-14.)

Cheered myself up with writing when I got home. Snoke has taken Leia prisoner. The guards hold Rey back. The Nutcracker has vanished. Rey's hoping he went to get help. Poe's also gone; Kylo Ren turns the rest of the Candy Army into wooden statues. The real Han is dragged onto the platform and forced onto his knees. He begs for his son to come home, but Kylo refuses.

The fairy-turned-mouse warrior about to chop off his father's wings when a blue rock candy blade stops him. The Nutcracker has appeared with the sword that once belonged to Anakin of the Skywalking Fairies. He holds him back while Rey frees herself from the guards and Poe and Chewbacca get Han off the platform.

But the Nutcracker seems to be tiring...

Broke at 6 for leftovers for dinner and to make Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used my favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe. Replaced the vanilla extract with mint extract (far less than called for - peppermint extract is powerful stuff) and the chocolate chunks with the Nestle "winter" mint and dark chocolate chips. Yum. Very minty and just sweet enough.

My True Value Happy Holidays CDs and cassettes were probably the first Christmas music - and some of the first music, period - I bought for myself after I finally got my own stereo in the mid-late 90's. There was a True Value just off downtown Cape May where I bought every edition from Volume 28 through Volume 35, even after I went away to college. The Cape May True Value converted to an Ace Hardware after about 2001 (and remains so to this day), which ended my collecting. I was able to find Vol 39 at a yard sale in Audubon. (There's a tiny True Value hidden on one of the residential side streets, just over the railroad tracks from Simply Soups and Willie the Woodsman and Wife.)

Too bad I heard they ended the series in 2005. I love my True Value collections. I discovered so many wonderful songs I'd either never heard of (The Roches' lovely "Christmas Passing Through," two fun country numbers from Clint Black, "Milk and Cookies" and "Christmas For Every Boy and Girl," Perry Como's "Christmas Dream"), or had never heard in that particular version (Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby," the Boston Pops' spirited instrumental "Sleigh Ride," Dion's rollicking "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus") from my collections.

Finished out the night with Lego Star Wars. I wasn't able to get past any of the challenges I tried tonight, but the hour wasn't entirely wasted. I'd looked up how to unlock the last character I didn't have - Indiana Jones! Turns out all you need to do is watch the trailer for the first Lego Indiana Jones game in the bonus area, then buy him like the regular characters. I can't wait to see what you can do with him in the Star Wars universe, especially his whip.

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