Down-Home Christmas

Keep it simple this holiday season. We are in year two of this pandemic and it is so wearying. Some of our visits to family or friends might have to be postponed. When I feel stressed about this, I remember that all four of my grandparents lived through the WWI, WWII and the Spanish Flu pandemic! I bet they had many years when they wondered if life would ever get back to normal and what would that look like? My father in law spent at least four Christmas’s in a POW camp in East Germany, working in a salt mine.

Our trip to our favorite town of Tomball snapped us back to reality. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. We will be alone this year and it will be fun. Pajamas and Netflix are on the menu. A friend gifted me some fresh chestnuts last week. I haven’t seen any for a decade. After boiling them, Teddy and I stood laboriously taking the double skins off. The internet advice about how to make this task easier was POPPYCOCK!! I cut myself, broke my nail down to the quick and ate half of what I was peeling. They tasted amazing.

Teddy hates nutcrackers in the same way that others hate clowns. It was very kind of him to sit in front of them – nervous but tentatively smiling. It is an historic Texas German town so there has to be nutcrackers, eh? I was amazed by the ingenuity of the various store owners. The white painted bike below is my favorite. The simple town tree in the last photograph is accompanied by a decorative oil derrick because most of Texas is sitting on oil or gas. Very little is drilled in our area anymore but we still have capped oil wells in our peaceful forest.

We passed a church food pantry with a line of cars as we walked through the town center and that gave me pause to be grateful. I am making a simple vegetable stir fry with the aforementioned dratted chestnuts on the 25th. As long as it is made with love, it will taste amazing.

On a final funny note, I ‘allowed’ Teddy to come to the supermarket with me yesterday. He skipped to the car for this special treat. He can go alone to the store but MUST NOT call me on the cell phone like the other dimwit husbands. Teddy has two degrees – figure it out! I parked the car and as we were walking to the door I noticed he was futtering with the buttons of his fleece. Not once but twice had he buttoned them in the wrong order. I rolled my eyes and gave him the withering stare that says, ‘Euthanasia is not off the table’. (Is it Euthanasia if Teddy isn’t willing??) Then I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. Remember to enjoy the little things.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, FELIZ NAVIDAD

Was Toffee on the naughty list?

Sorry it’s blurry – it’s an action shot…

Toffee is our elderly Egyptian street cat who hardly ever spoke until the other two alphas died.  Now she won’t shut up.  I have no idea where she gets it from (says the girl whose Nana exclaimed most nights, “The child has not stopped talking all day”).  I am a little annoyed with Toffee because Dad was in Europe for almost three weeks and she stopped saying thank you (a deep strange noise).  As soon as he returned, so did the thank yous…

We always get her a Christmas present, usually her favorite knitted toys filled with catnip.  As the Youtube video below shows, some one wasn’t entirely happy with her present.  I don’t know what’s funnier – her talking or me and what Dad is breaking in the background.  The video is also blurry (mom takes medication) but it is the sound that matters.

Given her human age is about 70 (15 next year), she got tuna for breakfast anyway, as did Miss Katniss.  Katniss is our feral outside cat who is about 3 years old.  She refuses to be trapped but is coming around for food 2 or 3 times a day.  Her fur is glossy and she is a little rounded but I don’t think she is pregnant.  Sometimes she runs towards me and then hisses when she remembers I am not her mom.

Katniss and her shadow

Doesn’t she look incredibly healthy?  She talks nonstop as well – no idea why…😸  Below is a shot of Dad in his enticing nightwear feeding her on Christmas morning.  She is pretending to be Greta Garbo because she sees me photographing her through the window.

Katniss hiding from Mommy Paparazzi