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Friday, December 27, 2019

New Year’s Eve

Here's an early toast for New Year's Eve for all my readers and blog pallies:
May the new year bring you much health, happiness, positive new experiences and many opportunities for growth...both personally and financially.
Happy New Year!
This is a re-post from 2008. Why? Because I lead a really dull life and this is proof positive that wasn't always the case.
I think the most memorable New Year’s Eve was back in the ‘80’s. I was 19 or 20 years old. (The legal drinking age back then was 18.) I had arranged to bar hop with friends by bus. Each of us took a bus to our first stop, which was Wendt’s Bar in Milwaukee. Even though the idea was to bar hop, we stayed there most of the night.

Lei’s, party hats, streamers and horns were aplenty. So much so, that my friends and I wore multiple hats and Lei’s. After ringing in the New Year at Wendt’s, we walked about 2 blocks to another bar. At some point my friend Cindy's mother picked us up and was going to give me a ride home, but there was some arguing going on between Cindy and her Mother. I ended up asking to be dropped off at an intersection about 3 miles from my parent’s house. (Yes, I still lived with my parents.) Taking the bus at that point wasn’t an option because the end of the bus line was less than a mile ahead.

I began walking and stopped at the next bar just to warm up, or so I thought. Apparently wearing 2 Tieras (one forwards, one backwards) a Fez type Happy New Years hat in between them, about 8 lei’s, and more streamers and confetti than I’ve ever seen since, makes you the life of the party. Having never been the life of the party before, I rather enjoyed the attention. Every single patron (and there were still a heck of a lot of people out at the bar at that hour) had to buy me a drink and wish me a Happy New Year. After a very short while I had to switch to plain soda because I could not possibly drink any more alcohol. Around 5:30am I decided I was close to being sober enough to walk the 2 miles home.

So picture this (and I am so glad that I didn’t know anyone at that bar and that no one had a camera.) Picture this, I am walking home (more like stumbling), it’s nearly 6am, the sun has already come up, and I am still wearing the 3 party hats and I still have about 4 Lei’s and streamers and confetti all over me.
I am a freakin'
New Year’s Eve party!
Somehow I managed to walk down 3 streets in our subdivision without being seen by anyone. I also managed to get in the house and into my room, without my parents seeing me come in. The issue here isn’t underage drinking, I was of drinking age. The issue is not having my parents see me looking like a New Year’s Eve Party threw up all over me. My friends thought it was cool, after all, they had just as many party hats, leis, streamers and confetti as I did. Somehow I don’t think my parents would have been impressed.
As you contemplate your New Year's Eve celebration, please:
Use public transportation (some cities offer very reduced rates certain hours on NYE/Day or
Designate a driver or use Uber or Lyft or 
Have a house party and let your guests sleep over.
Be safe!
I want to see you all back to blogging bright and early New Year's Day.
(Ok, maybe after you sleep a little late and have a couple aspirin.)
What was your most memorable New Year's Eve?
Please post it in my comments section.
(If you don't have one yet, please don't try to imitate my exploits.
The hangover for the next day and a half was excruciating.)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Day...not the best of days

I was really in pain from Christmas Eve’s failed tamales and gift wrapping. I woke up late, barely able to walk. 

Note to self:  I don’t care how much the kids complain, breakfast is FIRST. ALWAYS. Why? Because gift unwrapping takes much, much longer than you would expect. One person, one gift at a time, everyone needs to see each gift, some photos taken. It’s a big production here. never know when unexpected guests will show up derailing the gift wrapping and delaying breakfast, or any eating until 3pm. No joke! I was very jittery, anxious, bad headache, all because my blood sugar was too low. That is way too long to wait to eat anything for a person who doesn’t have diabetes. It’s 5:30pm as I write this and I’m just now feeling close to what normal is for me, except for the intense back pain. My back is screaming. I’m icing it, but feel like the ice pack is melting from the heat of the pain. Probably doesn’t make sense, but that’s what it feels like. I wish I had one of those ice tubs football players use. I saw it in a movie once, not sure if they still use them.

So who were the unexpected guests? My sister-in-law and my ex bff. It seems they had time to kill between family visits. It would have been nice if they would have called yesterday to let us know, then we could have planned accordingly. Or at least tried to plan accordingly. I thought they were never going to leave.

Usually I make a frittata on Christmas Eve to reheat by the slice, but because of the tamale fiasco that never happened. 

We had breakfast sandwiches which went together surprisingly quickly. The roast beast is in the oven, dinner will be late, but that’s ok since we ate breakfast at 3pm.

Need to plan better for NYE and New Year’s Day.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2019

‘‘Twas the night before Christmas

Yes, I invoked the “No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby...” 

It was not pretty. Tree went up around noon. My spouse had to MacGyver it. It’s about 3 years old, I don’t get why things weren’t assembling properly and I am smart enough not to ask. My back is bad, so I did not join in any reindeer fun. My spouse’s back is bad too. Spouse is supposed to go for injections on Friday, first time, but rescheduled so we can visit her Dad’s on Saturday. I am not at all looking forward to the date she rescheduled the shot(s) for. Myself, and everyone I know who had had them were incapacitated and in pain meds for days.

Again, my Mom’s ornaments could not be found. It seems the attic was rearranged. We haven’t been leaving my son home alone long enough to reek that havoc so it’s my theory that we have poltergeists. Part of his illness makes him “get into everything and not put things back anywhere near where he found them. His dad did this too. It’s maddening. I’m chalking it up to poltergeists, that’s my final word. 

Stopped at Walgreens to get a box of Whitman Chocolates. Left empty handed. Went home to prep the veggie tray. An entire bag of celery and 3 cucumbers are missing. Seriously. I checked my receipt, I paid for them. So my spouse went to pick up my daughter early to shop. It was a scavenger hunt for the celery. They moved it to the refrigerated cases. No Whitman’s. But they did have my Cape Line Sparkling hard seltzer that saved the night later. My spouse stopped at a different Walgreens after picking up my daughter from work. She scored the elusive candy and came home my hero! I haven’t managed to get the kids cookie baking for a couple years, so that Whitman’s Sampler was important! 

Not so rookie tip...if you are going to make tamales for Christmas Eve, even if you cooked the meat ahead...DO NOT use a new recipe for the masa dough. I’ve made them 3 times before, twice with lard, once with canola oil. The lard makes it easier to assemble. The canola oil was pretty easy, but this year’s recipe did not have enough oil so that dough was sticking all over my hands and everywhere except on the corn husks. I had to quit at 4 tamales cuz I was losing my mind. (They were delish!) We decided to freeze the dough and use part of the meat for tacos. Here’s another rookie matter how many recipes on Pinterest or blogs tell you that it’s super easy to shred your meat in your Kitchenaid Mixer, DON’T! You will have meat flying EVERYWHERE and it won’t even be shredded finely enough. I’ve seen the after videos (cuz they aren’t gonna show the meat flying everywhere and the mess) and the meat is shredded finely, not for realz.

I started gift wrapping earlier in the week, a little each night because it causes so much pain. I still had quite a few left to do Christmas Eve. I didn’t go crazy with gifts, but I did try to replace as much clothing as I could that was destroyed in the flood. I was up until 4am because I had to take a lot of breaks. Christmas Day I really hurt and walk like Quasimodo, only more unsteady.

My spouse has cooking duty Christmas Day, thank goodness! She will be preparing the roast beast and I may prepare a side or 2. I feel remiss because I have not yet made Potato Latkes for Chanukah. The kid’s dad was Jewish, so I have excellent Jewish holiday cooking skills. And I’ve been asked more than once for Latkes. I’ve also been asked to make Kishka. I suppose I could make that and put it in the roast beast to cook if I have the ingredients for Mock Kishka. 

Here’s hoping your holiday has less drama. Merry Christmas to you and your’s!

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2019

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