The House of Flying Monkeys

… but they seemed so normal…

Archive for the ‘Holidays’


Happy 2011 Hallmark Holiday #1

or, for those of you who prefer the old skool name…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Which we did not celebrate in some big fancy way.  Well, except for the trip to Epcot for Mainstreet in Motion on Sunday.  But that’s a different post kids.  This one’s about love.  Big gooshy, smushy, love.  Topped with whipped cream.  And a Strawberry.

And wrapped in a plain jane wrapper.  Because we’re married.

And when you’re married you no longer feel some pressing need to blow it out on one low-rent holiday.  Especially when your anniversary is ten days later.  Yeah, we’re saving the big celebration for that one, now that we know officially when it is. * But even though it was low-key, it was very nice.  Just spending the day together. Hanging out at home with the dogs.  Because we don’t really have to go someplace together to be together.  And we topped off that day of togetherness with fixing dinner together.

Wait, wha? No dinner out?  I cooked?

Well, yes, I cooked dinner.  On Valentine’s Day.  Mainly because I have a rule that I don’t eat out on holidays that pack out the restaurants.  You are typically eating lots of heatlamp food, on plates that are questionably clean (if your seating is late in the evening), and you won’t get a leisurely dining experience because everyone’s focus is to turn the tables as fast as possible.

That’s why you never see me going out to eat on Mother’s Day either. Same problem.

So, yeah, I prefer to cook my own fancy meals for big dine-out holidays, because I love good food, enjoyed slowly, with good wine that I can’t find in restaurants for less than 2 arms and a leg, or a whole bag o’ cash.  And the bonus was that I didn’t have to dress up.  Yep, last night’s dress code was hoodie, Yoga pants, and slippers.  Or, translated, married woman’s sexy lingerie… right?

Anyway, here’s the details on that dinner:

Roast Shrimp Cocktail

Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Grilled Ribeye rubbed in White Truffle Oil and herbs

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Crusty 5 Grain French Bread with Basil Olive Oil, Pecorino Romano, Dukkah & Herb Dipping Sauce

Wine Pairing:

2008 Coppolla Black Label Claret

And for Dessert:

Chocolate Decadence Cake topped with Godiva White Chocolate Whipped Cream

Um, yeah, it was very good.  Like flavor explosions, all in your mouth, and they were all good!  And because I did the cooking I got to play with the recipes, which meant using my Pasolivo Lime Olive Oil on the roast Shrimp instead of the regular EVOO that the recipe called for.  You seriously need to try this updated version of that old boring recipe.  Amazing!  And, of course, with the new way I’m doing Steaks – with oil, herbs, and this seasoning – Bob no longer uses A-1 or Heinz 57 on them.  Yes, really, none at all.

But the best part of the meal? Oh that would be the boozy Whipped Cream.   Because the only thing that could make whipped cream better would be booze.  And we didn’t use just any booze – oh no – we went with Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur.

Yum.

And after that delicious repast, we piled up on the couch with the dogs and watched The Social Network.  Which now brings us up to 3 – as in how many of the Oscar contenders we’ve seen.

Sidenote: We still like The King’s Speech best, but Winter’s Bone was great too.  The three we’ve seen so far, though, are so hard to compare because they’re nothing alike.  Glad we’re not voting!

Yes, indeed, at the end of the day, it was a very satisfactory way to spend a made-up holiday that comes wrapped in so much pressure for most couples.  Apparently, though, not us.  Oh, it was very romantic, in the way we see romance.  And it was relaxed – just like you get when you’ve been doing this love/marriage thing for a while.  Yeah, we’re way past impressing each other, not that we still could.   And I can’t speak for him, but after our seventh Valentine’s celebration, I’m secretly really glad Tiffany didn’t sell him an Egg Timer**.

This is my true Eternal Circle. With him.  And I’m so glad it keeps going on.  Two lives. One heart. Today I love him.  And I always will.  And remember, when you marry, pick somebody you like talking to.  Pick somebody who makes you laugh.  Pick somebody who knows you for who you really are, and loves you in spite of that.

Pick somebody who you love, no matter what.

And mean it.

PS Dear wife of one of my Foursquare buddies who got to go to Outback for Valentines?  I’m. Sorry.  Really.  Oh, and I hope you didn’t waste makeup on that.  Or a new outfit. Consider planning your own dates would be my suggestion.

*In 2008 we planned a weekend long staycation celebration for our first anniversary, which we celebrated on February 22d.  It wasn’t until around March 1st that I was reading our Ketubah and realized that we actually got married on February 24th and we had celebrated our anniversary on the wrong date.  Yes, we still laugh about it.  And we still get confused occasionally… right Bob? Hahahahaha

**For our first Valentine’s Day, Bob had ordered my present from Tiffany’s.  Of course, the evening he placed the order we had been squabbling almost continuously over something ridiculous (maybe I was “cranky”).  After he placed the order he came into the room where I had retreated to sulk and told me that he’d ordered me a little something else (The Eternal Circle Pendant, see above link), that he felt best signified how long he hoped our relationship would last.  And my witty retort to that sweet statement?  “Gee, I didn’t know Tiffany sold Egg Timers!”  I know, it’s amazing that he married me.

And that’s our marriage summed up in one word.

Amazing.

And it is Summer…

Unofficially that is.  But if you judge it by the thermometer?  Oh we’ve been there for a month already.  Gone so quickly are the memories of open windows and sweet breezes.  Now it’s hot. 

Hot.

Like as in hot fun in the Summertime?

Nah, we’re old, so it’s just hot.  But I am finding that it is more tolerable than last year.  So there’s that.

And for our holiday weekend, what big plans do we have you ask?  Oh, none. 

Yep, not much. 

We’re staycationing this weekend, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have some fun.  Tonight it’s girlfriend night, for Sex & The City 2 (should I admit that I own the first movie but I’ve never watched it?) and I’ll be drinking a Flirtini for all my girlfriends in other places and hope they too are doing the same.  Tomorrow?  Oh it’s Errand Day – Hair, Dogs to Vet, you know, the usual.  Tomorrow night though, is big fun!  The drive-in for a double feature! Yay!  On Sunday?  Oh we’re daytrippin’ to the beach.  Umbrella and chairs in tow.  Prolly gonna’ go vegetate at Coquina. 

Ahhhhhh.   That’sa vera nice.

And then on Monday we’ll start getting ready to leave town for California.  Yep, LA.  Pinkberry, In-N-Out, swimmin’ pools, movie stars… you know the drill.  And that’s our summer kickoff!

Sometime this weekend, in between the grillin’ and the chillin’, try to remember the reason for Memorial Day and hug a soldier if you know one.  If you don’t know one then don’t go grab some stranger in a uniform unexpectedly.  They might not appreciate that.  A simple thank you will suffice.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get my flippy flops on and get up out of here! 

Time’s a’wastin!

Change is more than a jingle in your pocket

So, yeah, I’ve mentioned at least a million times I think, that this year is different.  Not bad, not good, just different.  Very different.  Okay, maybe more than different.  And I’ve spent several months fighting that different.  Hard.

Until I quit.

Until I finally accepted that I can’t make this be that.  And really I don’t want it to be.  I want it to be what it is.  But I want it to feel familiar.  Act the same.  And it can’t. Because it’s not the same. 

It’s different.

So, this week I embraced that different.  Accepted it. Even sorta kinda welcomed it maybe.  A little. Sort of like it’s accepting me. A little.  Nothing is the same. So let’s just shake the Snowglobe of Life hard… and when it comes back down, well that’s our life now.  Deal. 

It is what it is.

Ours.

The new and different version.

Ours.

With lots of differences but still great.  Still ours.  Just different.

 

And this is what happened when the snowglobe settled down.  I present to you all, our 2009 Christmas Tree…

 

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With our ornaments – new and old, our Monorail underneath, and our flipflops hung with care.  Yes, it’s a Ficus Tree.  I told you I was going to.  I did. Ain’t it great?

Yeah, I think so too.

And on that note, happy holidays from us to you. No matter what you celebrate or how you spell it.  Make this season yours, and make new memories and traditions.  It’s not as hard as you think.

Lots of love!

M & B and the whole gang!

Happy New Year (insert horn blowing here)!!!

Yay!  It’s a brand new year on the east coast! May you get the change you need.  The year you deserve.  The life you want. Meanwhile, should auld acquaintance be forgot, and all that hoo hah!  We’re in our jammies and hoping to stay awake long enough to usher in the new year out here.  Now, I know the entire frickfrack blogging world is doing some sort of recap crap, and if you thought that’s what I was doing… well, you’d be wrong.  But, because you’re whining, I’ll let JibJab do it.  Mainly because I’m really not feeling the sing and dance shiz.  Jammies and no socks, remember? So cccchhhheeeckk it out!

I think we passed Santa somewhere over the Wasatch

And we’re here, in LA, for a week, for a break from Winter and a visit with The Bob’s family in southern California.  Basically I think we pushed away from the Christmas table, hurridly threw the giftwrap scraps in the trash, and rolled our suitcases into McGhee Tyson just a very few hours later.  And now, 300 years later (or so it feels), after a brief in-out visit to The Great White North Minneapolis, we’re in the land of fruits, nuts, & flakes.  Already had an In-N-Out Burger and some potato crack fries.  And, of course, already had a fight with Hertz, and we’re now driving our usual – a black Lincoln Navigator with an inoperable Sirius Radio.  Um, yeah.  Reserved a normal car… they fracked that up… and just to make the experience complete for us, they threw in a two hour wait for free.  So we got an upgrade, and we got a $100 gift certificate.  But, at this point, I have to mention that I’m coming to the realization that our loyalty to Hertz is somewhat idiotic and more than a little misplaced?  Yes, yes it is.  Since this is the fifth time in two years that we’ve ended up with a Navigator when we booked something else.  Yes. Misguided and misplaced,  that’s us!

And as for Christmas, since we’ve flown right past that, it was a little bit of both – merry and happy.  Santa Claus be’d very very good to me, for true!  Got my Macbook… blogging from it as I type right now.  But wait, there’s more!  Because I apparently was the right mix of naughty and nice, he threw in a little lagniappe in the form of a Kindle.  As in an Amazon Kindle.  As in a sold out Amazon Kindle.  As in somebody in my family made me simultaneously the happiest and most envied person in my circle of friends.  Thanks Bob, Mom, Jim-Bob, Thi Thi, Bub & Kaylea!!!! Both my new babies came in real handy today… until I finally fell asleep an hour before we landed in LA.  And, of course, I had to laugh when I looked down our row and saw two adults, one teen, three Ipods, two Blackberries, two laptops, one RAZR, and a Kindle, all simultaneously in use.  Yep, that’s us! The Geekersons.  Coming soon to a wifi connection near you.

So, that’s the update.  I’ll post as I can.  But understand, we’re on vacation and at least semi-incommunicado, or at least as much as you can be with all our monitoring devices turned on.  Enjoy your holiday too!  Spend some time with the family, even if everybody is texting across the room to each other. M’kay? Cyabai!

Three days… THREE DAYS? three days…

And we’re nearly ready for the big time.  Not our vacation yet, unfortnately, but we are just about ready for Hanukkah.  Sadly it actually started tonight, but we aren’t doing a big to-do until tomorrow night, so I’m not suffering too much guilt over that one.  As for Christmas, I’ve rolled fours it would appear.  Because I have approx 4 things still to buy – one for Jen, two for Bob, and one for Jim-Bob, and due to disorganization, I have 4 gifts left to wrap, because I forgot about them.  And I still have to hit the Likker store for 4 bottles of something, anything, as long as it’s pretty strong, because that’s important too, right?  Right.  So three days, 4 each of the major tasks left to do, what could possibly go wrong?

 

While you make that list, because this is night one of the eight crazy nights, watch this!  And yes, Hanukkah is cool, ice cold, just like us, because it’s frickin’ 16 degrees outside!

 

Wrap, tag, clean, repeat!

Thank you Sherry, for yet another adjustment tool that I apparently need this year more than you even knew.  As I type we currently have a dead Penguin in the yard, I’m running around the house with gifts and wrappings, we’re both high-jumping the laundry piles, and we’re also trying to determine where that "unclean" smell is coming from.  In short, I’m driving both of us crazy because there’s still so much left to do, still so much left undone.  And it’s stupid.  Really stupid.  Because none of that is important, really.  Well, okay, maybe the unclean smell, but that can be fixed with a dog bath and bedding wash (oh crap, two more things to do!) 

But, I think I really need to keep in mind the message that the most important thing we take with us from Christmas/Hanukkah 2008 is memories.  The undones aren’t what we’ll remember when we look back (well, okay, yeah, I will, but that’s just me).  For all of us collectively the memories we’ll keep in our hearts will be of the funny stuff that goes wrong, and of being together.  The year the tree fell, the year Joseph went walkabout from the Manger scene, the year our stockings were stuffed with small bills, and the year the Coconut Pies were more than a little scrambled.  Memories of love.  Memories of family. Together.  Laughing.  Talking.  Remembering. 

That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.  That’s it.  So take a breath, sit down, and remember.  And know that Sherry’s right.  Almost  works, for everything but love.  That you have to do 100%… everything else is overrated.

Changing things up a bit!

ZOMG!!! NPR you rock!  I just wish you’d have done this story a month ago.  And for those of you who think I’m babbling, although you’re probably not wrong, this time there’s actually a point.  As in, did any of you know there’s a convention on Thanksgiving Weekend at the Christmas Story house in Cleveland, OH?  Um, no, neither did I.  How I missed this world class event, I do not know, but you can be sure that I won’t miss it again.  Because next Thanksgiving the Bob and I will be in Cleveland – The Mistake by the Lake- eating Chinese Turkey and hiding under the sink, just like Randy!  I’m sure we’ll also throw in a visit to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, but first I’m going to Higbee’s window.  I’ll let ya’ll know if we see any pink nightmares or anything.  And, yes, the house has a website… surprise surprise!  Next year, look for my inflatable FRA-GI-LE Leg Lamp… right between the penguins…

It’s a major Award!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sometimes wisdom comes disguised as kitchen implements

Yes.  Because this week Life she has sneaked up and whacked me with a skillet.  Yep.  A large skillet.  Thankfully not a hot skillet.  But a full skillet of life lessons nonetheless.  See?  I’ve got a scar from it now.  Right on my head.  Yesterday, in between gnashing and ranting, I actually said this, loudly, with limited success.  So much drama.  So.  Much.  Drama.  Yep, there’s so much that I said it twice.  And I’ve hit another Christmas wall… no gifts are wrapped yet.  So, because I’m hitting the wall on Christmas, repeatedly (don’t even ask about Hanukkah – that’s TEH EPIC FAIL of all time) I’m considering another route for us.  Do you remember Festivus – a holiday for the rest of us?  I think that’s what we’re celebrating this year.  However, I’m thinking that the airing of Greivances may need to start earlier than the 25th, like maybe today?  It’ll take a while I think.  Meanwhile, for those of you who are confused or uncertain as to what my new holiday is all about:

 

Spell Check? Um, no.

Found this on Craigslist tonight, thinking it would fit right in at our house.  Misspellings and all. 

 

 

Mainger scene – $30 (Knoxville, TN)


Reply to: sale-xxxxxxxxxxx@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-12-13, 7:35PM EST

this Mainger scene is a blow mold lighted figurine set includes stable animals. Missing the baby Jesus, aparently someone felt they needed ours for their set and they borrowed Him and forgot to return Him. $30.00.

 

Really, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  Don’t believe me, click this linky-doo!  I’m thinking this is way better than a Slanket!  Santa? Me wants it, no baby Jeebus and all!