Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Ever

First, the bad news: this is going to be a photo-less place for a while. My camera is, well, not playing nice. Grr. I hope to do something about this soon, as without photos this space seems way more diary-like, which make me itchy.

Now that I have that off of my chest...

Asheville got 17 inches of snow this weekend! This is a big stinkin' deal, the most either of us have ever seen here is a wimpy inch or two that is gone by noon. The snow started Friday morning, and it just did not stop. Huge, fat, wet flakes, it just kept coming until before we knew it we were completely snowed in. That morning I managed to scoot out to the post office to mail Christmas packages and to the grocery store for food, and then B and I tucked in like we have never tucked in before. All through the end of this semester we had promised ourselves a day that we just spent entirely in bed. Or at least in our pajamas. Every time the alarm clock went off too early, we'd think of this day we were promising ourselves, and the deal was: lots of reading, lounging, eating, movies, ahem, etc., you get the idea. Well it turns out we got a few of those. Seriously just what two overworked people needed. Complete rest, and quiet. The power went out sometime Friday evening, and so for a good 24 hours we were treated to the loveliest peace from it all, ever. The phone went out, the cell phones died, the fridge made no noise, the oven still worked so the food was fine. True, it was 46 degrees in our house on Saturday, but we just bundled up under the covers and read to each other (we are killing Harry Potter over here). It was so great.

I feel like I had 900 other things to say, but now I am too relaxed to remember what they were. Oh wait, not true, B made these latkes and they were so durn good. He tinkered with the recipe, adding more egg and some flour, and holy moly, yum. He also made the best pizza ever. And he also made an amazing pot of red beans and rice, which I really will post the recipe for soon. I think he had some pent up culinary energy. Fine by me.

Oh, and I made some stockings. They are frickin' awesome, my girl Diets gave me the push I needed to hack up a gorgeous vintage circle skirt and although at one point the husband actually offered to leave the house so that I could curse with complete abandon (me: "I am actually cursing to impress you."), now that they are finished I am very happy. Seriously, I had to line them, make a fancy hook, and trim them, and I am a fucking sewing moron so it was pretty colorful around here, I think there might have been some head whacking onto the sewing machine. Right. When my camera stops acting like a twit I will show them to you, even if it's February.

Also, we went Christmas caroling last night with our awesome friend Jenni who seriously gets us to carol in four part harmony for hours. Try staying dry eyed when a motley crew of people stand on your porch and sing Oh Little Town of Bethlehem in the snow!

Also. Happy holidays out there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Decorations

So. We have a Christmas tree. It's the most beautiful, ever, just like years past and the years to come. It was $20 because it was a 'second' and it is kind of awkward like a teenager and we love it. B does the lights, just simple white lights, and he's the kind of guy who has to really get the lights in there so that you can't see any wires. I love this. No ornaments. In years to come, but not yet, just a tall green tree with tiny white lights. We don't have any other Christmas decorations, and for the first time this year I really wanted some. I emailed my best friend and said "What is going on? I feel like I need a wreath. Help." She was helpful and told me to get a wreath, she's so good like that.

We did not end up with a wreath, but I did buy our first Christmas decorations last week. These are on par with the things I remember from my childhood, the things that I would begin dreaming about beginning in, oh, September. Magical special things that encourage inventive narrative and lots of gazing. These are little elf houses. There are six of them, all different sizes. They are so lovingly made, tiny, tiny pieces of paper cut and glued. I think their base is toilet paper rolls, awesome. They came with tiny flickering led candles to place inside, and at night they are so completely magical that B and I have eaten in the living room with just the tree and the elf houses for days now. I love illuminated things that don't have wires, and the light shines warmly out of the intricate windows. They are so cool. I wrote the sweet girl who made them an absolute love letter when they arrived. She replied that she is always relieved when people who make up elf stories end up with the houses, and thus the deal was even sweeter.

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Pie

Hoo-boy. There is a lot of craziness going on here. My man is in finals this week. I can honestly say that this semester sort of leapt up and bit us both in the ass. After two years of cruising through grad school on a big brain that can memorize stuff in a snap and take tests while half asleep, this third year roared in with a literal shit-ton of projects and papers and real clinic hours, not just scattershot obligations to follow some cool third or fourth year around for observation. It surprised us both to have this be hard and really f-ing busy-making. Intricate dinner making screeched to a halt, we haven't been on a hike in months, and it's not longer true that we play music every night after dinner. I am really, really proud of him for doing something hard. Grad school was shockingly underwhelming for me, and when I was finished I had this general feeling of "Really? That's it?" Which, I can tell you, is not how my husband is going to feel when he finishes. I think that's great. I think he will be glad that this has been hard, even while he might be wishing in the moment that things were easier. Easy for me to say!

With all that said, we will be celebrating something fierce this Wednesday when he turns in the last things and takes the last exams. I got started early and baked another butternut pie with a gingersnap/pecan crust. Holy shit, it is a tasty pie. The one at Thanksgiving was good, but we ate it before it had cooled completely so it was more like pumpkin (butternut) pudding in the center. Yummy, but not right. This pie is quite right and this time we do not have to share. Plus pie is just more exciting when you haven't just eaten two plates the size of your head filled with turkey and stuffing and salad and cranberry and mashed potatoes and... The recipe I use was stolen from a really fancy restaurant and it's for something like six pies at once so everything is like .83 cups and .2 teaspoons but nonetheless it seems to work out every time.

Anyway out there. Hope you are all warm and that the weekends were great.

P.S. Ruby is now a flock hen again. She is so fine out there, and after a tense ten minutes of all the Hench Hens giving her a little chase and psych out, the peace seems to be pretty normal out there. No more chicken in the basement, and I for one am pretty glad about that.