Weekend in Suburbia

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So Christmas was spent at work. It was a very long, mind numbingly boring day that did not resemble Christmas in the slightest…except of course the endless Christmas music on the radio. Throughout the entire day, I just kept reminding myself that the next day I would be heading home to visit my family and it would be good. And well, that helped me get through the day.

But Thursday morning dawned bright and snowy. Yes. Despite the fact that there was no snow in the forecast, snow beat down causing a huge mess on the roads. And, as is Hubby’s habit…the end of my 48 hour shift came and he was nowhere to be found. Or well. He hadn’t left home yet…and it’s a 30 minute ride in good weather. So an hour and a half after my shift ended, he finally arrived. But were we able to hit the road to try to get to Suburbia at a decent hour? Nope. We still had to stop off to pick up some venison jerky at our friend’s house (luckily it’s right on the way) and then we had to go home to get our stuff…then stop to say goodbye to my MIL then home, once again, to make sure the door was locked because Hubby had this suspicion he forgot to do something…

But finally we got on the road and slowly made our way to the highway, where thankfully it was clear of snow. And by the time we traveled an hour, there was no snow to be seen. So smugly we relaxed a little, confident that our drive would be stress free. And well, it was…up until we reached the Turnpike and found that traffic was at a standstill (the picture up top was one of four shots I took of the sunset in the same exact place). Then, as if we were not frustrated enough, my brother calls to find out where we were as him and his wife were planning on skipping the so called family dinner to go to a movie.

But finally we make it off the Turnpike and about an hour later, pull into the driveway. We sit down for a delicious meal and lounge about watching television until I decide that I’d really like to change into PJ’s. So I go out to the car for the luggage and to my complete dismay find that my hubby’s bag is in the car. The cooler chockful of venison steaks and beer (my brother’s gift) is there but my suitcase, with MY stuff is NOT present. So I stormed inside and as angrily as I could while whispering (my niece had just gone to bed for the night) confronted Hubby as to how the hell he managed to forget my luggage! Of course he did not have an explanation other than he misheard me when I told him that I had the Christmas presents and he was in charge of the suitcases as I was NOT going down a flight of snow covered steps.

*sigh*

So I was not happy, but it worked out okay. I managed to borrow some stuff that my sister left behind and my Mom had an extra toothbrush and Santa had the foresight to bring me a very generous giftcard to Boscov’s so I was able to go shopping the next day.

The rest of the visit was fairly low key. Friday night was a downer, for obvious reasons…but the rest of the day was good. I went shopping and picked up some new clothes and I treated myself to a dvd that I wanted. We went out to dinner to Buffalo Wild Wings and them came home and relaxed.

Saturday we had a lazy morning, then went to visit one of my sisters after she got finished work. It was fun and stress free, then I stayed up until midnight to say goodbye to my brother and his family who were driving back home to GA.

Sunday we headed home, and of course the weather was terrible. Pouring rain the entire time we drove home. We decided to forgo to major highways to avoid traffic but the backroads take forever. Still, not being stressed out is worth it. We stopped for a late dinner and finally were about fifteen minutes from home when a pair of deer bounding across the road. We managed to avoid the first deer but struck the second. Thankfully though, we were in the process of stopping and although we did make contact, the deer bounded off and there was no damage to my car.

By the time we reached home, I was literally shaking though. That was NOT a fun trip at all.

Finally Home

This has been a very trying weekend. I’m thankful that I was able to visit with my family at Christmas time but I’m thinking that it’ll be the last trip down, at least until Springtime. A lot went on during the weekend, mostly stuff that I really could have done without. I’m still mourning the loss of Laura, I’m exhausted and my nerves from the drive back to the Catskills are shattered. Oh yeah, and I’m freezing.

I really need some rest. Tomorrow before work I will blog about my trip. Promise. For now though, it’s time to read a few blogs and go to bed.

Sad News

About an hour ago I was checking my Facebook feed on my phone and received news that one of my favorite bloggers, Laura, from What Fresh Hell Is This?! passed away suddenly yesterday morning.

I am in complete shock right now. We had commented on each other blogs for years, as well as chatted on Twitter and Facebook and I am trying to work my mind around the fact that I will never read another blog post, or get another comment or see another tweet from Laura.

White Christmas

This past weekend was warm. No coat warm…and rainy. Needless to say, all the snow from the back to back storms disappeared. Usually nothing to complain except that it looked like it was going to be a green Christmas (or a submerged one).

I’m not sure whether snow was forecasted. Last time I checked the weather, there was no snow in the forecast until after Christmas…but about 2pm it started to snow and now there is just a light coating on the ground. Not enough to effect travel or anything like that…just enough to have a white Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve! I’m currently at work, though technically off duty until 6am which comes much too quickly so I must be off to catch some shut eye.

Christmas Weekend

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Hubby and I celebrated Christmas this weekend as I will be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and will not have an opportunity to partake in any family celebrations. 

My envisioned Christmas would have had us spend all of Saturday together, opening gifts in the morning. sipping hot cocoa while watching various Christmas movies and then a nice leisurely dinner. On Sunday we were going to get together with Hubby’s family to hang out with them. 

But like most of my ideas…things did not work out quite as planned. Saturday Hubby went to help butcher another deer for our freezer…a process that took all day. We did manage to get ourselves a tree so that went up Saturday night. We exchanged gifts only to realize that the gift I picked for hubby was not what he wanted/needed. So at 10pm we went back to Walmart to take back the gift (and I ordered the right thing on Amazon). We got home late, so instead of anymore celebration we went straight to bed.

The next day I was grouchy and disappointed that my Christmas had not turned out and I coped by taking a three hour nap. We then went to the inlaws and didn’t leave there until late. But hubby made the dinner we had envisioned and then we put on Love Actually. It was another late night, and now I’m ready for another nap…but instead I’m heading into work soon for what is thankfully a short shift (I’m done at 8pm). We watched The Muppet Christmas Carol earlier today and hubby is taking over the fudge making while I go into work.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

It’s not Christmas, or at least not for a few days…but Hubby and I decided to celebrate the holiday this weekend as I am working both Christmas Eve and Day and won’t be home at all to enjoy the festivities (oh the joy of working a job that requires staff 24/7/365), and we will be driving to NJ to visit my folks for a belated Christmas next weekend.

We have actually never celebrated Christmas together. Even last year, I was working night shifts and slept through most of the holiday…and hubby was sick with food poisoning (I told him that the chicken soup was no good!). So needless to say, last year was a bust.

So this year, I really really wanted to try to have a traditional Christmas celebration. Even if it wasn’t on Christmas. I envisioned having a Christmas tree (that fell through), having a clean apartment (well it was clean…last weekend), and spend the day lounging about having delicious food, watching Christmas movies and maybe even driving around to look at Christmas lights. You know, all those little traditions that make Christmas, Christmas.

I’m not sure how it’s going to play out. The house is a mess and as I’m just starting to feel okay after coming home sick early on Wednesday…I’m not sure how much cleaner I’m going to be able to make things. We don’t have any decorations and as I’m not creative I have no hope of Martha Stewarting the place up. I have no menu planned (though Hubby promised to pick something up tonight). We do have Christmas movies…I treated myself to The Muppet Christmas Carol this year and of course there’s the classic Love Actually that has been a personal Christmas staple for me for years now.

So I’m going to just try to stop beating myself (and my hubby) up about the state of the house. Decorations aren’t all important (plus, no mess or putting stuff away come January 2nd). We can go out for dinner or order in. All that’s important is that we’ll be spending time together, enjoying the holiday as best as we can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIoSga7tZPg

First Illness of the Season

Yesterday we got hit by another snowstorm. Of course with my luck I had a busy day at work, which required several treks out into the cold.

And while I had been feeling fine when I went into work that day, by midday I had that unmistakable feeling that I was not feeling 100%. And after an almost completely sleepless night at work I was barely able to function. 

So I did the smart thing. I came home and crashed. I spent a good part of the day sleeping and while right now I’m trying to catch up on some tv while I have the house to myself I don’t think I’m going to last very long. I am still tired.

I’m trying to make blog rounds but we’ll see how it goes. Between feeling like crap, still having to finish up Christmas shopping and celebrating Christmas this weekend (as I’m working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). 

But I will do my best to visit you and to keep this page updated.

Cooking on Sunday: Part One

In the snowstorm’s aftermath, today was the perfect kind of day to stay inside where it was warm. I started watching the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black and I decided that it was the perfect day to venture into the kitchen.

When I first moved up here, before I started working…I cooked at least a few times a week. Now, I never really considered myself a cook before moving up here but I discovered that I kind of enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. Nothing fancy, mind you, but I discovered that it was something I enjoyed and something that my husband enjoyed.

But then I started working…first doing ten hour night shifts and then to a schedule that literally takes me away from home three days out of the week. And I stopped cooking for the most part. When I was working nights, I was just too damn tired all the time to cook and with the next job…well, I have no excuse other than laziness and my insistence that my husband start doing more around the house…and he’s a much better cook than housekeeper. LOL

But I missed cooking so today I decided to do about it.

Last Christmas I got it into my head to bake up a couple types of cookies to make cookie trays for people…but that didn’t really work out how I planned. As it was when I was doing overnights at the time, I was miserable, I made my husband miserable and the Christmas cookies weren’t exactly Christmas cookies. Just easy types of cookies that I knew I couldn’t screw up. 

Still, people loved them. But I was disappointed.

This year I decided to forgo the cookie baking. Yes, I had more time but with two cats and limited space to store cookies…I opted to seek out other options. Than I remembered the beauty of fudge. Everyone loves fudge. And well, I had an ex boyfriend that made it for me once and I figured if HE was able to make it, then I sure as hell could master it.

So anytime I have the urge to bake something other than chocolate chip cookies I called up my Mom who swiftly emailed me her recipe for Fantasy Fudge. 

First off, this was probably one of the easiest things I’ve ever attempted to “bake”. As my mother is probably related to Betty Crocker and would never dream of using a box mix for anything…I always felt a little intimidated by baking anything more complicated than the simplest type of cookie…but this fudge? So so easy! As long as you remember to keep stirring and add all the ingredients when it’s time…you cannot screw this up.

I was also delighted to discover that once you are finished, all you need to do is put your pot and spoon aside (after you do a through job of licking up the leftovers of course!) and after everything hardens it’s the easiest thing to clean up off of non stick cookware. 

Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1-12 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

1-7oz jar of marshmallow creame

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, butter and milk in a 21/2 quart saucepan; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat: stir in chocolate chips until melted, add marshmallow creme, nuts and vanilla until well blending. Pour into a greased 9 inch pan (may use smaller pans) cool at room temperature. Makes 3 pounds.

 

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Snowzilla

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So The Catskills survived Snowzilla. In true upstate fashion, yesterday one of our buddy’s picked us up in his four wheel drive and we headed over to a beer bottling party. Unfortunately, as it was a last minute decision to go I forgot to bring both my camera or my phone. So unfortunately I have no physical documentations so I will spare you the excitement of blogging about how to bottle your own home brew…especially as I am almost positive no one here has a batch of home brew sitting in their kitchen with nowhere to go.

Anyway, it was a good time. The actual bottling process is fairly quick…maybe half hour or so depending on how many hands you have working. Yesterday we had five people so we cranked out the beer in fairly short order and in about two weeks or so we’ll be trying the finished product. The rest of the time was spent eating, drinking, keeping warm from the snow blowing outside and having a grand old time.

Then we carefully made our way home and Sam and I managed to watch Emmet Otter again, with no distractions.

This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. Perhaps later I will venture out a little to take pictures of the town covered in snow…

Christmas Cards, Jim Henson and Mulled Wine

Tonight I broke open the box of Christmas cards that I had bought over Thanksgiving weekend. I had not bothered with them last year as I was still writing iut Thank You cards from the wedding, but I thought it would be a nice tradition to start.

While I wrote out cards, we cued up Jim Henson’s classic Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas and hubby made our first batch of mulled wine and we settled in for a nice peaceful evening…

Or at least 20 minutes
so. Then hubby wandered in to his man cave. *sigh*

Too bad he finished off the wine…