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» Sunday, January 04, 2015Partyland
The party's over...
Our post-new year's actions are divided into two parts, before party and after party. "Before party" consists of cleaning, so that's what I did on Friday. The hall bath was scrubbed and the floor washed, the master bath floor was washed, the preliminary vacuuming happened, and a lot of other dull cleanup downstairs in case the young'uns wanted to go downstairs and play a game. I washed and dried the chair covers and the master bathroom mats. I listened to the BBC and played Christmas music as I worked. I did go out to Publix to get some soup for supper. $65 later, because there were so many good twofers, I got home with a load of groceries to put away.
So we had the soup, good thick chicken noodle with carrots and onions, and James commenced to cleaning the kitchen, while I polished the coffee table and did other pickup.
Saturday we then had little to do but go to Costco shopping for the goodies (although the "little to do" lasted all afternoon). Unfortunately they no longer sell the big box of mini-egg rolls nor did they have the delicious beef puffs we had last year. We got chicken wings, chicken pineapple teriyaki meatballs, a box of spring rolls, and a box of teeny potstickers, plus some chicken-and-nacho-cheese triangles and Tostitos for dipping. We already had potato chips. On the way home we bought some salsa and nacho cheese (bagged a couple of steaks for supper later in the week, too, and enough yogurt for this week and next), and at home we had olives, chocolate chip cookies, Hershey's kisses, M&Ms, and cheese and crackers. James made maple bacon dip.
Tucker did not like my moving the table at all! We put it closer to the china cabinet and set it up as a cold buffet; the cooked stuff is in the kitchen with the drinks. The chairs we just scatter around, but because they weren't under the table anymore, he couldn't creep into his "cave." I gave the downstairs bathroom floor a quick mop; otherwise it was spick and span down there. Swept the foyer and shook out the rug, then vacuumed the stairs thoroughly. Finally I could do the final vacuum upstairs and then take the final few things off the coffee table. I set "Christmas tree" and "gingerbread" candles burning so the house would smell festive when people arrived. James started cooking everything about four, and I took Tucker out in an annoying drizzle about 4:30, and by the time the first guests arrived at five, the food was ready.
We had a smaller crowd than expected, sadly. Two couples were not feeling well. But Juanita, David, and Jessie flabbergasted us, but made us feel happy, by driving down from Red Top Mountain where they have been camping with the Lawsons since New Year's Eve. Juanita wanted to come because she was still in the hospital last year at this time and in a week has to go in for surgery to correct the "fix" on her shattered heel.
We were worried about Tucker's first party, but we needn't have. He got overexcited twice and started to "lead with his teeth," but I told everyone if he started that, to stop playing with him and not put up with that type of behavior. He mainly just tried to mooch food (he only got a few dropped items) or sit in people's laps, starting out by charming Neil (or maybe Neil charmed him, because animals seem to naturally gravitate to Neil—he went to take a photo of Snowy and Snowy was still chirping and chattering as he did; usually he shuts up for anyone else) and just making conquests as the night went on. He didn't bark at anyone the way Willow used to, but then she was very shy and it made her defensive until she determined people weren't a threat.
James said the nacho cheese triangles weren't very good, and I wasn't happy with the honey barbecue wings at all. They had Perdue this year instead of Tyson and they were dry-looking and not as flavorful. Still, everyone ate and had a good time, and we watched the tail end of one football game (with the sound off) and the beginning of another. Juanita and David left early to go back to Red Top, just as the heavy rain was starting, but we got a message from them that they had gotten back safely and that the Lawsons had secured their trailer before the storm hit.
Folks headed out about ten, and we put away the food—we have enough goodies to take over to Alice and Ken's next Saturday for a game night. Alice is going to make more chicken and rice in the pressure cooker like she did for Bill and Caran's party—and tossed the trash. Part of the dishes went into the dishwasher; the rest got rinsed in the sink, and we gratefully retreated to bed.
Somewhere in the middle of the night it really started to pour, and about midway through we had thunder. At least the weather radio didn't go off, but both us got rotten sleep and James had to go off to work this morning. I tried to sleep late, but it was too warm (it was in the low 60s outside) and I didn't care to go back to the dream I'd been having. I promised myself I could have a nap during the day, but it never happened.
Got a break in the rain to walk the dog, then had breakfast, then went to Kroger to get bread for my work lunches and a newspaper. I went to the Battle Ridge store because the baker at Smyrna can't make decent sandwich rolls for beans; the last batch were like sandpaper. I also bought turkey thighs and a small jar of gravy for supper so James wouldn't have to cook anything. After bringing that home, I decided I would go on a short errand and see if I felt well enough to go on a longer one.
We had two Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons expiring today, and we badly need a new space heater for inside the master bath. The previous burned out last month, and since the temp is supposed to go down to 16 on Thursday, it was time. I got a nice little one, plus two potential gifts and a storage container (I put all our card games into it). I also stopped at Barnes & Noble to check out the clearance tables. Found two swell gifts and also a cool book that will also serve as a gift.
I decided I felt well enough to drive up to Books-a-Million, so I did. Disappointed by their "sale" though, but did find two games, plus a book I picked up "just because": Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory, about the writing of the book and the media followups (did you know there was a Charlie opera?). I was starving by then (it was 2:30) so I had a bowl of chicken soup at Panera, then briefly stopped at Michael's to buy a couple of crafty things and some Christmas clearance.
Before I went home I stopped at Kroger to fill up my gas tank. I did a fill up for under $25! I don't think I've done that for years! Sadly, coming home on Windy Hill Road, I had to slow down to get past an accident. It looks like a car had to stop short to keep from hitting a dog, but the dog was at the side of the road covered up with a blanket. No way to tell if it were alive or not. The person in the car needed an ambulance.
Put everything up when I got home, got things ready for work, then vacuumed up all the crumbs, put the table and chairs back where they belonged (Tucker immediately disappeared into the "cave"), put things back on the coffee table, and generally tidied up, at which point it was time to start cooking the turkey. It was only then I could sit down and read the paper. Four packets of coupons! I hope there's something decent in them! I'm tired of finding coupons for processed foods and overly-salted stuff.
By the time we ate, it was time for The Librarians (very imaginative show tonight about fairy tales invading a town named Bremen—yeah, I got the joke) and then Alaska: The Last Frontier.