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» Sunday, December 12, 2010The Birthday Whirl
We've been birthday-ing quite wildly this weekend...well, wildly for us, anyway. LOL.
Friday night, as I recounted in Holiday Harbour, James got a few friends together to celebrate my birthday one day early. We went to Old Ephraim's, a barbecue/general restaurant on Marietta Square. (It's one of the more reasonably priced restaurants on the Square, too; we considered having lunch at Shilling's one day until we gasped at the menu.) It was a nice, warm, happy night—the Butler boys were both home from college, so we had the pleasure of their company as well.
Plus before we left the mail came and we had a nice photo of Jen in her uniform!
James took me out for ice cream at Bruster's afterwards and we had a nice drive home hunting down Christmas lights.
Were up a little after eight on Saturday morning to get dressed, wrap a very late Hanukkah gift, and head over to the Butlers for Hair Day. Juanita was roasting a turkey for the lunch centerpiece, so we just picked out something that would go with a turkey dinner: corn and cranberry sauce. We also brought breakfast nibbles: apple and raspberry mini-pastries and mini-cinnamon rolls.
There was a small, lively crowd. We chatted, ate one delicious meal (other sides were mashed potatoes and artichoke dip, with apple and pumpkin pie), and the piece de resistance, a birthday cake for Neil Butler, who turned 21 five days ago.
Yes, of course there was a trick candle on the cake. :-)
We left about 1:30 so James could go to his club meeting. I went to Lowes to get more birdseed, since we're about to have a deep freeze starting on Sunday. While I was there I got more clear blue C7 bulbs for the window candles and an LED timer candle.
I stopped at Borders for a few moments and noticed that the latest Monk book is out in paperback. The promo for the next novel says it is going to take place after the series end; that should be different! I found three magazines: the new "Shop Smart," the December British "Country Living," and the winter "Vermont Life" ( if nothing else for the beautiful picture on page 30-31).
I went through the Connector to the Best Buy on Cobb Parkway, blanched, and went to Office Depot instead to recycle the two laser printer cartridges I had. But I didn't want to keep the television that was still in my trunk, so I did go to Best Buy and recycle it. Wow, what a zoo! Now I know why I don't shop there, especially at Christmas.
I was looking for a DVD, but didn't see it there, so I whipped out my handy-dandy Droid and checked to see if it was at Borders. It was, and I got it with a coupon (using my phone, by the way, which I approve of, since it cuts down on waste paper).
I was out so long that James was home when I got there. I tried to lie down a little, but a piece of mail had bothered me, so I couldn't settle. So we went out about six, stopped at Fresh2Order, where I had a birthday coupon for buy one, get one, and had supper. From there we drove out to Avondale to the Academy Theatre to watch this year's ARTC Christmas show.
The performance seemed a bit uneven, but they did all the favorites, and the Academy people also did two Christmas sketches, and a very funny lady named Jennifer Teeter sang and strummed along on the ukelele, with songs like "Present Face" (when you get a gift you don't like, you put on your "present face"), a funny song about what she wants for Christmas (peace, harmony...and a pony), and others. James bought her CD at the end of the show, and we stood talking to the Kiernans for a few minutes before driving home.
A nice night on chat, although Jen didn't show up. She had liberty and went to the symphony with some crewmates.
This morning we slept in. It had rained last night, but when we got up it was very cold and brown. I looked out the window after we had finished getting dressed and it looked like it was a fine mist outside. No! It was very fine snow which turned into fine sleet by the time we were halfway to Publix. We did all our shopping there today and only stopped at Kroger for gasoline. The wind was quite sharp and blew the sleet (later snow again) and leaves in swirls, and sent the flags and banners snapping.
When we got home James began putting together the turkey soup ingredients; we had received three turkey carcasses from Juanita. He took them out so they would not be so cold to peel the meat off them, and we had some of last year's soup with elbow noodles for lunch while watching This Old House. Then I did some tidying up while he peeled most of the meat off the bones, and put it in the big stock pot with carrots, onions, celery, a little salt, a bay leaf, parsley flakes, even some mint. This completely filled the stock pot, and it is BIG. After an hour or two James had to "bleed" some soup off the top because the pot was threatening to overflow.
We had listened to some of last week's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on the way to the ARTC performance, and after the soup was going we listened to the rest, and then this week's episode. Now we are listening to an episode of "Travel With Rick Steves" about Christmas in Europe: Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Portugal, western Ireland so far.
[Note: If my dad was still alive he would have been 97 today...]