Chrismoose eve was, well, I hesitate to call it "unseasonably" warm because it seems like December in NC is generally a rollercoaster of seasonality...but it was warm.
It was so warm that I took off my leggings and used them for a scarf while we were hiking! We had a lazy-ish day and prepared for our festivities.
After the hike we ate way too much Indian food for dinner and it was marvelous.
Chrismoose/Christmas 2016 was a good one!
We were lucky enough to celebrate with this little elf and his parents. This time next year we'll look at this photo and marvel at how wee he was. He's a very good baby.
We made fish stew again this year and it didn't rain for once! We had bread, stew and Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings with ice cream. I made a double batch and we ate the entire pan! They are that good. We tried to decide how this recipe came into being, "Well, wrap an apple in a whomp biscuit and then soak the whole thing in sugar and butter....then...hmm...this needs something...cinnamon, vanilla...still needs just a kick of some...OH I KNOW... MOUNTAIN DEW."
One of my favorite presents is the rejuvenation of the front porch. Sugar and I are porch sittin' gals and we've braved the precarious dry rot and carnivorous skeeters for too long. The porch had so many secret holes that were covered with junk for "safety" that I would joke that we were trying to catch the UPS guy using the old tried and true Bugs Bunny rug over an open trap door technique.
I've been "helping" with this project but B is truly hustling on it. We're going to screen it in and put a hammock out there!
I've been reading! Books! For fun! Over break and Pommy has been making sure that stay warm while I read. I love how snuggly the kitties get in the winter.
For my work Secret Santa this year I purchased a "redneck plunger" which is basically a plunger that makes gun noises and looks like a gun. It was a hit with everyone who did not receive it.
The gift I picked was in a huge box that had to be brought in on a dolly. I figured that I had a non-zero chance of getting a pony, so I went ahead and went for that one even though my co-workers were wary of the size of the package and the glee with which it was delivered. For my efforts I was awarded with Maxine:
I have no idea what she is or what her primary purpose was in her earlier life but she is simply fabulous. LOOK AT HER. BEHOLD THE SASS. I don't know what I will do with her and for now she is guarding my lab from ne'er do wells. (When do well? Ne'er.)
In the win some/lose some column this year was our tree. We borrowed it from a nearby powerline cut and when we first brought it into the house it was dendritically frondiferferous in both girth and festivity.
Sadly, over time, and with all of the pets enjoying cedar sangria from their new water bowl, it started to dry out and became a harbinger of splinters and swears. Each tiny verdant razor blade was enough to bring a tear to a grown man's eye. In order to take it down I armed myself with gloves and my winter coat and I still ended up getting involuntary acupuncture. (Heavy on the puncture and light on the accuracy.)
For all the faults of this tree it did have us invoking Christ's name and thus, remembering the reason for the season. Next year we will get our tree from the Food Dog.
B finnnnnaaaallllly installed the wood stove that we bought last year. After searching for, ordering and destroying a custom chimney pipe we made the decision to undo the slack work around that the previous owners installed and do it the right way. This involved B inside of the chimney with a hammer. We evicted the bats.
It is delightful and I'm so happy that we bought it! Things are actually starting to come together over here.