Sunday, December 30, 2018

Beautiful Christmas Pictures

I meant to put this up with FFF and didn't think about it.  But these pictures from Christmas are too pretty not to share.
My niece made this beautiful Christmas salad.  Kale, pomegranate seeds,
feta cheese, nuts, and a  homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

The ladies of the family

My sister is into making macarons.  They are especially pretty in this dish.

Table setting

Table setting

Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday's Fave Five 12-28-18

LINK to Friday's Fave Five Host Blog

1. On Christmas Eve I finally got to meet this special little boy.  He is the son of my own son's best friend and his wife.  He is precious, very cuddly, and loves attention.  And I loved finally getting to meet him.

2. Several great Christmas celebrations - three were on the 23rd and 24th, and the last one was on the 26th.  (Christmas Day itself was relatively quiet.)  Here is the spread from one of the  celebrations - we have really eaten well this week.

 3. Today I finally got my china cabinet set up again - everything has been in boxes for 20 months due to our long-term home renovation.  I'm so glad to have it all out again, and it was a little like seeing old friends.  :-)

4. Today I put all the Christmas stuff away, including this nativity scene.  It was originally made by my great-uncle for my grandmother, so it is a treasure to have.  

5. And finally - we finally have our new bed set up.  This is its own saga in the middle of the saga of home renovation.  The bed came in two weeks ago - and it was NOT the bed we ordered three months ago.  Turns out the furniture store's website was outdated and the bed we ordered was no longer available - yet the number was assigned to a different bed!  The headboard is the same, so we decided to live with it.  

However, when the foundation and mattress were delivered, they were too tall for the new bed.  So, for ten days I had to use a step stool to get into bed.  And I am tall.  Finally, yesterday, the lower foundation was delivered.  We got a spread yesterday, and maybe we are finally on our way to being done!!  

Oh, that's without including the fact that we started to buy two lamps yesterday that match perfectly.  And right before saying "Yes, we'll take them"--we discovered that one of the shades had a bird poop stain on it.  I am not kidding.  So, if we want them, we'll have to order a new set (can't get the shade alone) and it will take 10-14 days.  That seems to be the story of every step of this renovation.  So I am so glad that it is almost done!!
Our new bed.  First king-size bed we've ever had.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas at Grandma's House

(as posted on our EJK family page)

The last two days were crazy, and tomorrow will be busy also (going to Atlanta for family Christmas), but today has been quiet. And I’ve been fondly remembering Christmas days from the late ‘60s at Grandma K’s house, now the homestead of Perry and Carol Klopfenstein
Our specific family would always leave P-ville fairly early in the morning (having had Christmas the night before with Grandma Hemmer and the aunts) in order to arrive in Gridley in time for church. I remember that all the ladies would sit together, and I remember Aunt Ruth's strong and lovely soprano voice singing in church. Church had an air of excitement about it because of the holiday. 
The whole K family would descend on Grandma’s house afterward, and the pre-meal activities would commence. We five who were about the same age (David, Cathy, Larry, Mark, and I) – maybe Mary and Rhoda also – would play on the stairs while the men sat talking in the living room, and the women chatted and got the meal together. From time to time, Uncle Perry would come out and tell us we were too loud. I'm sure he was right.  
I don’t remember much about the standard meal, but do remember specifically the sponge cake dessert, and the sweets plates – Caramels, chow mein clusters, fudge, chocolate cookies with white icing. There were more, but those are what stand out to me. Oh, those caramels were good!! I’m so glad that several K’s continue the tradition of those. 
The time it took to get the kitchen cleaned up seemed like forever, but no presents could be opened until everything was done. 
People packed into the living room for the gift exchange. Chairs lined the walls, and some of the smaller children sat on the floor. The large tree was loaded with wrapped boxes underneath. It seems like maybe we drew names among the younger generation, but all gave to Grandma, and Grandma gave something to everyone. Her gifts were not large – maybe nice socks or something like that -- but everyone was remembered. 
Some of the younger children passed out all the presents. The gift opening was different from more organized Christmases at other places. Everyone got all their presents at once, and everyone ripped into them all at once. It was glorious Christmas chaos! What a great memory!
Afterward, the unwrapped presents were placed on the dining room table (covered with a lace tablecloth) so that they would not get lost in the shuffle, and so that all could admire what each other received. Then sometimes we would have a “program” in the living room for different ones to perform with piano playing, singing, or saying a piece. Things would wind down a little after that, with people getting leftovers from the kitchen or sneaking just one more caramel or sweet. Children played with new toys, and people talked among themselves.
Our family was always the first to leave, which I always hated. Even though we were going 60 miles to have Christmas with our Uncle Chuck’s family, and it would be fine once we arrived there, I was always saddened to leave the atmosphere of Grandma’s house on Christmas day. We would pile our gifts in the station wagon, back out of the driveway, and head up the highway. I was always in the back end, looking out the windows. (I first saw the belt of Orion in the night sky every year on those trips to Peoria, not knowing what those three stars in a row were, that they are most obvious around Christmas, or that I would teach about Orion in 8th grade science classes for 30+ years—always remembering that yearly drive as I taught those stars.)
We would discuss the wonderful events of the day while riding, and I would silently think about everything as well. I loved the Christmas memories from Grandma’s house.