Friday, December 31, 2010

The Great Christmas Adventure, Part P

Puppies!!!! Oh, puppies. Chip and Dale, the newest family members, made their great debut at christmas. They get their own christmas chapter simply because they are so freaking cute and there are way too many good pictures of them.

*Warning- If, for whatever reason, you dislike, are offended by, or otherwise object to lots of pictures of the same adorable puppies doing the same adorable things over and over, please, stop reading now.*

You have been warned.

Over the last few weeks, Kelly and I have gone through a few strange phases of dogness, from thinking about adopting her friends dog to thinking about house sitting said dog to thinking about adopting said friends other dog's puppy. Going to Christmas and getting a giant dose of puppy was really good for me. A reminder of how very little of my free time I am willing to allot to beings other than myself. Hmm, that didn't sound very good. What I mean is, I don't have a lot of free time. Especially not this coming quarter. Probably not the time for a dog in our house, but who knows?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Great Christmas Adventure, Part D

So, the other day I was here in my house talking with Kelly and Tonia about Christmas at the farm. It was interesting to me how strongly I felt about and spoke of my christmas tradition. I occurred to me only then that I have spent christmas at the farm for 26 years, minus two years, one in Idaho and one in Key West ( feel free to correct me here if i'm forgetting one, I was quite young for the first few). The farm means christmas to me, the gathering, the people, the meal, the activity. Getting there is the only christmas thing that I don't even think twice about, I am going even if I work until 6 the night before and work at noon the next day ( like last year). It really is the reason I love christmas.

This year started off quite relaxed, the eve was spent at my mom's, I drove to OH late friday eve, following peter and not far behind shannon and adam. We were all set up downstairs in our various sleeping spots. The next morning it was coffee and on the road to the farm. With lots of car packing in between. And tea, of course.  From there, christmas ensued.

Kim, the stocking queen

Angie, with full tail action

Eclipse of Peter


Father and Son

Michael Jackson for Christmas!

Peter supervises

Could I ever imagine a different christmas breakfast? Maybe, but not if I have my way. On the evolutionary charts, the mcwilliams clan are highly predisposed to digest gingerbread, cottage cheese, apple sauce, avocado, and sausage in the same meal. Give it a thousand years or so, it'll catch on. Swear.

Christmas dinner was a potluck of sorts. Cathy, I want to say ellsworth? Is that right? Anyway, she brought appetizers, Pete and I wrestled through a roast or two, Jan cooked up greens, mmm, something else, oh ya, father's assorted roast potatoes, beet apple sauce, and ciabatta bread. Top it off with pumpkin bread pudding, spiced nuts, vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, yes, christmas dinner.

The Great Christmas Adventure, Part M

Oh, Christmas! I was very lucky this year to have a lot of time to spend up north, 5 whole days of family and festivities. My holidays started even earlier, however, with a solstice celebration in Portland attended by my very own mother and brother, Matt. The trip consisted mostly of eating, in various forms, but included other super awesome activities as rock climbing and sock shopping. Let's start there.....

Finishing up presents...

Quite a mess! Notice Matt sleeping obliviously in the corner!

Decorating Shannon and Adam's tree

Sophie helping

Ghost mama

On Monday we had the solstice celebration at my house, complete with dinner and a candlelight ceremony from mom. Very fitting way to celebrate, best new tradition yet!

The Blys
Jump ahead a week or so and it's Christmas eve at my Mom's. We had Mom, Matt, Deb and Denali, Brandi and her baby  Jasper, and Peter. Yes, Peter! Live and in the flesh! Cookie decorating, lots of baby time and some presents, it was great. 


Chef de Chocolate

Easter egg dying? No! Christmas cookies!

I managed somehow to end up with not one single picture of the cookies, but I can assure you they were fantastic- especially the red ones.
Brandi, Deb, and beautiful Jasper

I'd say the little boys but, well...


Possibly the best picture I've ever taken. 
I headed down to Oak Harbor after the party, but that's a story for another time. Last event  in this chapter is dinner at Cindy's the Sunday following Christmas. She made fabulous sole en papillote and creme caramel for desert. Dinners at Cindy's have been my first experience with pairing desserts with dessert liqueurs, and it's pretty fun. It really makes dessert it's own course when it's served with it's own beverage, it was just amazing getting to have framboise liqueur to complement the creme caramel rather than just the last bit of the same glass of wine you just had with dinner. It's fancier. Anyways...

Outta my kitchen!

Cindy explains how the steam will create the sauce

I love this picture

Happy Solstice!