Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 51 - Rhode Island Christmas

I kept up the zicam on Monday morning but by noon admitted defeat. I had a cold - just what I need to the week of Christmas. I was a total snotty mess and felt so crappy by the time the day was over that I skipped knitting! It's very unusual but I didn't want to share my germs so close to Christmas. It was a good thing because by Tuesday, I had a fever. I called in (another rarity) and spent the day alternating between sweating and chills. Once I lost the sun in my back room, I retired to bed, where I streamed on my iPad all afternoon with the heated mattress pad keeping me warm.

Wednesday was cleaning lady day so despite not feeling much better, I went to work. Well, that wasn't going to fly. Mary took one look at me and told me to go home. When I explained that I needed to be away for the cleaning lady, she told me to kill my time at Starbuck's, HyVee or a thrift store. She didn't care where just not sharing my germs at work so off I went. I stopped at the market and got home at noon for another afternoon of doing nothing. My fever had broken by the time I got home too so other than snot, I was feeling better. I spent the afternoon knitting and taking it easy. I finished my last pair of Christmas socks that afternoon and had them blocking before bed.

Unfortunately my shoulder kept me from sleeping through the night so I was up doing laundry in the wee hours. I was tired but was fine at work and had lunch with Dodie. Then it was home to pack (that took 10 minutes) and go to bed early since I had to be awake at 3:00. I was in bed by 8:00 and had turned the light off by 9:00 so actually got six hours before the alarm went off. I was out the door at 3:40 (10 minutes later than I'd planned) and got to the airport before 4:30 for a 5:30 flight. But they opened a new canopy parking lot that shares the shuttle so it took 25 minutes to get to the terminal. Everyone was nice and let me cut in line but my checked bag was marked late check in so there was no guarantee it would arrive with me. I had all my clothes in my carry on so it only had Carolyn's stocking and yarn for Dottie so it wouldn't be much problem if it was late. Nothing I could do at that point so I settle in for my flight. It was all uneventful, which is the most you can hope for these days. 

John was in the terminal so I was one of those lucky people with someone waiting with a big hug at the bottom of the escalator and then my luggage was on the carousel. We went from there to The Crow's Nest for fried clams, clamcakes and chowder. Yum! John dropped me at Carolyn's and the Christmas prep began. Lists, lists, lists. Carolyn was leery of me touching food with my cold so I sat in the sun knitting while she started cooking. We had Don's spinach pies for supper. It was good to be in Rhode Island.

Saturday was Christmas Eve so I got busy first thing with Auntie Margaret's plum pudding. Otherwise Carolyn was still doing most of the cooking John came by to hang out and Carolyn had him braid the cardamon breads, which was something new for him. I had to laugh while i watched him moving the pieces back and forth before saying "I think I might need some help starting the braiding." I gave him a quick braiding tutorial and left him to it while I enjoyed some lovely knitting in the sun time. Here's a pic of his braiding efforts. Can you spot the problem? Too funny.

I left for Shelley's just after 3:00 so Christmas was on. I got to catch up with Auntie Margaret and Bette before Dottie and her family arrived. I hadn't seen them in more than a year and Andrew even longer and not at Christmas for years and years. That's better than any present. When I left ~7:30, I handed off the HUGE bag of yarn to Dottie and then struggled to clear a layer of ice off the car before heading to John's mom's. They had already eaten dinner (I used to eat with them but that was stressful and cut into my Auntie Margaret time so I now only go for a post-dinner chat, which takes the eat off) so I had half a glass of white wine and enjoyed their company for a couple of hours. The plan was I'd call Carolyn when I was leaving to see if I needed to pick her up at Tracy and Andrea's but she texted John just as I was standing up to say she did need a ride. It was just after 10:00 so still earlier than usual, which wasn't all bad.

There was no ice on the car (the freezing drizzle had stopped) but it was cold and my muscles cramped up as I waited for the car to warm up. I shrugged it off and headed to Cranston. Well, I was on the highway when I got a 3 second warning - I was going to puke! There was no shoulder and nowhere to pull off and no holding it off. I tried to cover my mouth but that did little good as I projectile vomited. I pulled off in a parking lot, puked some more and then did my best to clean things up with a stack of lotion kleenex and the gift box from Dottie's present. It was not pretty. I called Carolyn to say she needed to meet me outside (I usually go in and say hi) and she did. I felt fine as soon as I was sick, which was a good thing because I had some major clean up to do when we got home. When Carolyn went in for windex and paper towel, Aaron immediately asked if I'd thrown up in his car. Now why did he go right there? I'm 55 years old but I guess he's 16 and was thinking like a high school boy. Anyway, I spent some time outside in the cold and dark cleaning what I could then jumped in the shower before stuffing stockings and heading to bed. This was NOT how I'd planned to spend my Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day was lovely. We opened stockings first, which is my favorite thing. And yes, the bags underneath are stocking stuffers in what we call "the annex." We don't mess around with stockings. My 2 favorite things were the neck firming cream (I'd mentioned getting turkey neck to Carolyn and roared when I opened it) and the Middle Child Mints in a tin that said throw them in your pocket and forget about them. When we were done with presents, we had a low key breakfast. No elaborate blog food - just scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and cardamon bread. Delish! We were also making an easier dinner and since Aaron and I both had colds, Carolyn's parent were not coming so it was just the 4 of us and Jen, a friend who always comes for Christmas dinner. We had spiral ham (much easier than prime rib), scalloped potatoes and brussels sprouts. I was deemed healthy enough to touch food so did the potatoes and the sprouts, making me feel so much more useful. While we waited to eat, I went back out for more car clean up and it was looking unscathed by the time I was done. We left he doors open to air things out but I'd still be leaving money for detailing. Sheesh!

Dinner was delicious and the creme brulee was a nice finish. We were done with clean up by 5:00 and didn't know what to do with ourselves for the 2.5 hours we had to wait before the Call the Midwife Christmas special. It was the first down time we had in days so we retired to the front room for knitting and relaxation. All in all, it was a lovely Christmas. We had a big list for Monday morning but that was another day. We enjoyed our evening with full bellies and happy hearts. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

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