Better late than never….

The wonderful thing about being sick at Christmas is that I got an extra week until our annual gift exchange party with friends. And since the husband had been sick the week before me, I really needed the extra time.

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Because we all know the man cold is far more severe than anything women experience. When he got sick? I cooked and cleaned and took care of him. When I got sick? I cooked and cleaned and took care of myself..  funny how that works.

So we’re having our gift exchange party tonight and I just finished wrapping. And damn, if there’s anyone who can make a bigger mess putting paper and ribbons on boxes, I don’t want to meet them.

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When I wrap? I spread…

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And it floats from table to chair to floor to counter to stove and out into the hall.  Naturally, everything  (including me)  is covered in glitter. We’ll be picking that crap out of our pork chops for months to come….

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Most of the presents turned out well.

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(Yes, those are wine bottles… on a tray… on top of my album collection… in my office. Don’t judge. There’s not a liquor cabinet built that can hold my ever expanding stash.)

And now, a word.

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Or to be more exact, a lot of very colorful words every time I tried to peel that little paper backing to reveal the sticky part of a bow.

May I just say… WTF?

It’s like my Band Aid nightmare all over again…. except there’s no blood, and I’m not doing it one handed. Okay, it’s nothing like the Band Aids… but it’s still annoying as hell and the people that produce those things without leaving a pull tab or a flipped corner to grab onto need to suffer some serious consequences.

Drawn and quartered? Maybe…

Flayed alive? Perhaps…

Locked in an elevator with a non stop loop of Justin Bieber’s greatest hits blasting through the speakers? Now we’re talking!

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A quiet Christmas – 2018.

 

Okay, so I was sick and hacking up a lung and it wasn’t all that quiet.

But it was peaceful.

And full of prime rib….

 

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Which I manged to cook to rare and juicy perfection… even with a splitting sinus headache that was making my ears pop.

For the first time in years we stayed home for the holiday, so I did a little outside decorating….. and along with wreaths and candles in the front windows there were snowflakes running down the side.

 

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Which looked rather disembodied in the dark.

 

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It’s the first time I’ve tried these battery operated, on a timer things.

Pro? They come on and off  by themselves. Con? They only stay lit for 6 hours.

 

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I also did up the barn.

 

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Trees on the porch…

 

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Holly lights in the windows.

 

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I love those things. Have had them for over 20 years and they still work… kind of like my husband.

(I need two more for the front so if you ever find any? Let me know… because I can’t.)

 

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The trees look white from far away, but have a little color as well.

Anyway, we looked slightly festive… at least from the outside.

Inside? All I managed was some Xmas place mats and a Charlie Brown tree…. which my sweet husband put a present under.

 

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Even though we agreed not to exchange.

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He did well, with a lovely handmade gold and silver bracelet….

 

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Which I had to chuckle at …. because 2 years ago, he gave me this lovely handmade gold and silver bracelet.

 

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Same designer, similar style. He’s nothing if not consistent!

But hey, worn together?

 

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Ooh la la!

I love it.

Hope your Christmas was filled with wonderful things as well…..

 

 

 

 

A visitor.

I love to bird watch.

They’re such delightful little creatures….

And every once in a while a really special feathered friend shows up at our feeders.

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Of course this visitor….

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A Cooper’s Hawk….

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Shows up to eat the other delightful little creatures…. which is not at all delightful.

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But he’s beautiful all the same.

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Oh, you really shouldn’t have.

 

Really.

I think I’ve mentioned that the husband and I have dramatically scaled back our Christmas celebrations over the past few years. It used to be all about presents and parties and consumption on a massive scale. Stress about gift giving, stress about cooking dinners for people who never appreciated it, stress about getting it all done in time so everyone would have a wonderful time.

Except us.

And mainly me… who did all the work.

So the last 4 years? We’ve traveled. No decorations, very little gift giving (none between us) and no hosting parties that just gave the family another excuse to fight.

It was great!

This year since we’re going to Arizona in January, we’re staying home. I did a little decorating, a little baking and a little gift giving… though still none between us. Which was fine… until my husband gave me a present I really didn’t want.

It wasn’t jewelry….

Though I think I could totally rock a tiara.

 

 

It wasn’t a new car with a big red bow….

 

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(Does anyone really do that? The only new car I ever received as a gift was a Matchbox. I was 8…. and I think it’s time to try again.)

No, my thoughtful husband gave me a gift I never expected.

 

 

The horrible cold I’ve been nursing him through all week. Splitting sinus headache, sore throat, congestion… I’ve got it all.

Which is odd because I’m usually like this –

 

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And never catch anything.

Never say never.

So while all of you are enjoying your holiday celebrations, I’ll be hacking up half a lung and hoping Santa gets his fat butt stuck coming down our chimney.

How’s that for festive?

Finally….

 

An Advent calendar I can get behind.

Brought to you by the New Hampshire State Liquor Outlet. (No tax!)

 

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A little whiskey bottle for (almost) every day of the month. I should have bought it.

Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve… you know how it goes. But my cart was already pretty full.

 

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Hey, you celebrate your way… I’ll celebrate mine. ( Black raspberry, orange and grapefruit. Don’t judge, I’m getting my vitamin C! )

The husband and I had to take a trip down to Massachusetts and never pass up the opportunity of cheaper, tax free booze.

On the way back we stopped for lunch.

 

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An old restaurant where we used to eat had been lovingly redone.

 

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And turned into The York River Landing.

 

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It’s on the river, in York… hence the creative name.

 

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I loved their little tabletop arrangements….

 

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Which smelled wonderfully fresh and made me want to stuff the cute container in my purse.

 

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The beer selection was huge, the cocktail list small.

 

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But the Blue Kiss Martini was seconds worthy.

 

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Salad and soups were fresh and tasty. Sorry, but I forgot to photograph the rest of the meal.

Blame the Blueberry Moonshine.

I will.

 

 

 

 

I don’t do this often…

 

Matter of fact, I do this never.

But some things have to be shared.

In my original WordPress wanderings, while I was actively searching for a tribe… (Btw,  that’s you bunch  sorry though you may be   of kindred souls.)  I stumbled on this –

Drinking With Chickens

A humorous blog featuring cocktails and chickens.

If there was ever a more perfect combination for me, I’m sure I don’t know what it is.

 

 

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The author is clever, snarky and surrounded by alcohol and chickens.

 

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What more could a girl want?

 

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Her photos are a hoot!

 

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Her home is lovely….

 

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And filled with chickens.

 

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They’re literally everywhere.

 

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Her cocktail recipes are fabulous and artfully presented.

 

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Hibiscus Pomegranate Margaritas?

Yes, please!

She wears chickens on her head.

 

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Without spilling a drop.

 

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She even holds boozy tea parties for faithful chicken loving readers.

 

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Her chickens are social…

 

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Well dressed…

 

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And erudite.

 

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She.  Has.  A.  Chicken.  Bar!

 

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The woman is living my perfect life!

(And hopefully won’t mind me stealing her pictures.)

So if you need a chuckle and some fantastic drink ideas… check it out.

Tell the chickens I said hello.

We had dinner in a treehouse…

 

 

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No, not that kind.

This kind…

 

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It was magical…

 

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A hidden gem tucked away on the second floor of a nondescript building.

 

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If a friend of mine hadn’t raved about it, I would have driven right by.

 

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I started here with the Starbuck…

 

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Which was pretty, pink and potent. Everything a girl wants in a drink.

I had 4. (They were small, don’t judge.)

 

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The home baked rye bread was wonderful.

 

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But my ravioli crisp appetizer? OMG… to die for! With sauteed shallots, garlic, toasted walnuts tossed with spinach, creme fraiche and lemon. Ooh La La!

 

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The husband and my girlfriend had the mussels, sauteed with pancetta, plum tomatoes, garlic, basil, lemon and white wine. They didn’t last long.

 

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The entree menu was small, but the husband chose the Marsala pear chicken…

 

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While I had the special….sea scallops baked in a phylo bowl with some sort of heavenly citrus sauce. Light, flaky and utterly and fabulous.

 

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Naturally we had dessert.

 

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Lavender creme brulee for our friend, chocolate stout cake for me.

We rolled out of there with full bellies and empty wallets.

Smiling, and already anticipating our next visit.

Life is good.