Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Miscellania

I know, I know. You are sick of all things Christmas. Out with the old, in with the new, that sort of thing. Well, toughsies. I was busy all December and didn't get to post a few things, so I am going to do it now.

I have mentioned our unseasonably warm and mild weather. I never thought I'd see a brown Christmas in Montana/North Dakota, but we had one this year. The warm weather has only continued. We've had days in the high 50's this past week. For those of you who wondered, that's in JANUARY! I'm sure the weather will shift at some point, but it's been nice while it lasted.

Westby, Montana on Christmas Eve!

Another cherished memory of the season was Tiggy's foray into Christmas responsibility. See, Tiggy has friends. Tiggy wanted to give her friends Christmas goodies this year. Noni is working. Noni felt that Tiggy was old enough to help out if she wanted to have something to give. Noni had Tiggy make sugar cookies.

The whole process was fraught with charming moments of mirth (for the adults, that is), but one of my favorites was when, having overcome the obstacles of salt chunks in her already mixed dough---a dough that resembled a crumb topping more than anything else--she was at last ready to roll out the cookies and put them on the sheet.

Noni and I were busy with our own cookie baking and didn't notice anything amiss until Tiggy started struggling to pry the cookies off the counter. Now, I hate making sugar cookies because I have a hard time making it all work...the dough chilled just right, a workable consistency, the counter properly floured--not too much, not too little.

"You mean I have to put flour on the counter?"

Yes, Tiggy, you do. Smirk. That's OK. I can laugh because I had my own cooking disasters when I first learned. My nemesis was oil. I didn't make cakes, I made oil spills. The Exxon Valdez had nothing on ME!

Tiggy flees rather than have her picture taken.

Our Christmas Eve was lovely. It was on Saturday, so we spent the morning and afternoon in church having a Christmas program and then a wonderful Hawaiian themed potluck. After church, the kdis and I spent a little while passing out cookie bags to people we thought might enjoy a surprise pick-me-up, then after sunset, it was time for presents. A more complete account of those festivities is available on my sister's blog. It was a wonderful evening, but little did Caleb and I know that the most memorable part of our evening was still ahead.

We arrived home late---having the rest of the family one hour behind us tend to keep our evenings long---and let the dogs run for their evening private time. It was almost midnight for us, and Finley was just not showing back up. Anika was already inside and had "gone to bed" in the other room, but on a hunch, I called her to me. She came very reluctantly, because rather than going to bed like a good girl, she'd been hiding so I wouldn't see the 3 porcupine quills in her snout. Oh dear. This did not bode well for the missing Finley. Well, perhaps he was staying far enough back to avoid trouble. After all, last time he'd only gotten a couple.

Caleb and I threw on our coats and walked across the cold and icy field, following the sound of one very excited poochy. When we reached him at last, lo, what a sight to our wondering eyes did appear. One prickly pooch, from his head to his rear. Actually, I only said that to make a rhyme. It wasn't that bad, but plenty bad enough for a dog not gifted with...ahem...spartan qualities.

We hurried back across the fields and into the car. Caleb kept Finley from pawing at his mouth, and I prayed that it wouldn't be as bad as last time with Anika. Why do my pets only have health problems on weekends and holidays. Or holidays ON weekends?

Jack came over, and he, my mom, and Caleb, held down Finley while I pulled his quills. Thankfully, due to Caleb's success at keeping him from pawing at them, they weren't in deep and I was able to pull many at a time. When all was said and done, we'd pulled 52 quills from his protesting lips. Whew!

We arrived home for the second time around 1:30, but we'd had a Christmas Eve that we'll never forget! I hope each of you had a blessed, wonderful, crazy, MEMORABLE Christmas as well.

Finley's nemesis.

And Mom, if you're wondering why I'm getting in late this morning, the blog is taking longer than usual to write.

FOR SOME REASON!!!!!!!!!!!

\| (kitty typing---I managed to catch and delete all the rest)


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