Monday, 14 December 2015

Holiday Spirit, Competitive Spirit!

For years and years we have been decorating a gingerbread house as part of our Christmas holiday tradition. I can't remember exactly when we started but it definitely goes as far back as when our nephew Zak turned 13 (and he is now in his 30's). After we decorated our masterpiece that year, Zak thought it would be fun if we stood on our balcony and chucked big rocks at it. We thought that was an odd way to celebrate but we placed the house on the grass in the backyard, gathered some rocks and headed upstairs. It made a spectacular crash!

Fast forward to the past few years and we have gotten better with a piping bag and more creative with our building materials. 2011 was the introduction of water elements, see HERE. 

2014 was all about the Grinch (by Andrew and Melissa) and using sugar cones for trees and dancers (our idea):

2015 showcased Hometown USA with a doghouse made of candy bones (made by us) and Aliens and a spaceship that crashed into a house in the desert (by Andrew and Melissa):

Clearly if this was a competition, our house would LOSE each and every year, both on lack of original theme and sketchy technique (although we were quite proud of our river in 2011 and this year's working chimney, made from a marshmallow and torched for heightened realism).

This year's festivities ended with lively banter and considerable trash talk as we felt our dog bone - dog house warranted extra points.

Bottom line, we eventually and grudgingly bowed to the creativity of the Alien house.

And when I say grudgingly, I mean we texted photos to relatives in TWO different states to vote on BEST HOUSE and they both confirmed that we placed 2nd.

Regardless, the four of us have stepped up our game over the past four years that we have frosted together and I don't know if it was the rush of sampling too many gum drops or the bottle of wine with dinner but we think we are ready to enter an actual contest next year.

To that end, we checked out the local gingerbread house contest on display at the LaCosta Resort to see what competition looks like beyond our kitchen table.

 Hmmmm, are we ready for 2016?

You be the judge.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Wednesday Night Tree Shopping

Generally we pick out our tree on the weekend. But we may have stumbled upon a new tradition.

Last night we drove to Evergreen Nursery at 7 pm.

One family was leaving and one couple was wandering the aisles so we had our pick of parking spots.

Yes, it was dark out but the lot was sufficiently lit so you could see if a tree had a big ole bald spot.

Plus we got to chat it up with Mr. Christmas, the only tree bagger/loader attendant on duty.

At least that is what the earnest little kid, who was leaving as we were parking, called out to him, "Thank you Mr. Christmas, thank you." 

Because it was a slow weeknight, I got to have a conversation with Mr.Christmas. He said, "I recognized you guys as soon as the Bronco came around the corner. Your husband always brings his gloves and you never need me to do anything but bag and help toss the tree in the truck." 

Yep, that's us.

But kinda hysterical that he would remember a couple he sees only once a year.

As I went up to the counter to pay, I asked the gal how many trees they sold on Saturday and she said, "Three hundred and eight-two."

I wonder if Mr. Christmas remembered all the folks that bought them.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Collection of Aprons

One more apron and I would be a 50's housewife!

Rivalling June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver.

Are you old enough to remember that show?  Black and white.
Wally and Beaver and Eddie ran around saying 'golly gee' and gave each other 'the business'. It was broadcast before I was born but I do remember the reruns.

If I wanted to, I could get from Monday through Saturday without wearing the same one twice.

But like clothes and shoes, each one has a different personality.

Like the French girl…

Or the pastel one that ushers in Spring.

And this one that gets unpacked, along with ornaments, every year and screams, "LET'S BAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES!"

So I do….

Happy Holiday Baking to you and a shout out to June!