Archive for December, 2015

Happy New Year!

A toast from Auntie B to you and everyone you love.  May all your dreams come true!

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Sweet Baby Weenies*

Oh what a wonderful Christmas I had.  I hope everyone else did too.  Even though the initial flurry of Christmas is over, I like to bask in the glow of the Christmas tree until the Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas) and reflect on the wonderful cheer that was spread in my little world.

One of the traditions in my family is that every household hosts “Christmas Cheer.”  These little gatherings are an opportunity for everyone in the family to get together to celebrate the season and to see how each household has decorated for the holiday season.  This year there was a newcomer to the mix.  My nephew Paenney has recently moved out of his parents’ house and into one of his own.  What a lovely surprise to get an invitation to his house for some holiday cheer!  He requested a heavy appetizer from the guests in attendance.  Pot luck is always a hit.

I brought some mini reuben appetizers, my mom made queso, my dad made a salami torte, Charlotte made pickle dogs and Mexican roll-ups.

Mexican roll-ups, salami torte, crackers, and pickle dogs. Yum!


Queso and chips, mini reubens with rye bread, and the coup de grace…

It was a wonderful variety of food, but the coup de grace was Paenney’s appetizer…

Sweet Baby Weenies.

Sweet, sweet baby weenies.

What could be better than mini hotdogs smothered in a sweet barbecue sauce?  Nothing fancy, everything delicious.  Paenney prepared a whole crockpot full of these delicacies and luckily had enough left over to feed himself for lunch at work the next day.

I salute Paenney for taking on a Christmas Cheer gathering for his family so soon after getting his own residence.  I also salute Paenney’s roommate for putting up with the likes of us for an afternoon.  Paenney also decorated his house to welcome Santa with a tree and plenty of other wonderful decorations throughout the house.

It’s hard to believe my little nephew is on his own, but I’m delighted to see he holds onto the traditions of our family, hosting a Christmas Cheer, and serving his guests the ever popular Sweet Baby Weenies.

Thanks Paenney!

*This is what Paenney calls this delectable treat.  He loves them nearly more than life itself.

It’s not too late to serve the Sweet Baby Weenies – New Year’s Eve will be upon us soon.  Weenies are the perfect way to ring in the New Year!

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Merry Christmas

“O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra from tom stiles on Vimeo.

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Charlotte and I had a conversation via e-mail today, like we do every day, and it reminded me how lucky I am to have a sister who is also my BFF.

Years ago this time of year we would get to play outside in the snow until after dark.  We didn’t realize dark occurred sooner in the winter than in the summer.  Mom would slide bread bags over our feet and secure them to our legs with rubber bands, then would help us into our snow suits and boots and send us out to the front yard to play.

Me and Charlotte

The street light on the corner would make the snow, which came up to our waists, shimmer like a million diamonds.  We would dig tunnels and roll around until we saw Dad coming down the street, walking home from the bus stop after work.  We’d greet him at the intersection and walk him home, where Mom had some kind of fabulous warm meal for all of us.

I was thinking today how great it is to have someone in your life who shares fifty years of life experiences with you.  Charlotte and I have that.  In the years since we frolicked in the snow after the sun set we’ve been through the usual sibling conflicts, but have grown to develop one of those sisterly relationships you see on a Hallmark movie.  Ack!  It sounds sappy, but I am eternally grateful for the gift of a sister who is also my friend.

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The Gift Of Time

I’ve been retired for two weeks now and so far I would highly recommend it.  Every day if feel incredibly lucky to have been able to retire as early as I did, but there’s one drawback – I have no job to use as an excuse for not getting things done.

For many years I’ve used the forty hours of work every week as an excuse to fall behind or completely ignore some things in my real life.  I now have those forty extra hours and I’m still falling behind.  My excuse these days is that I’m not yet used to my newfound freedom.

I haven’t been completely aimless, however.  Since the office farewell I’ve been to a holiday bazaar, a fabulous antique shop that’s so glamorous to visit during the holiday season, a European Market held at the Union Depot in St. Paul, and out to some venues for delicious things to eat like lobster bisque, crab-articoke dip, and a “Dream Burger.”  (It lived up to its name.)

Then there was the whole thing about decorating my house for Christmas.  It’s quite a task, but what a wonderful task.  Much better than the mundane dusting and vacuuming required in routine household maintenance.  I put decorations everywhere, trimmed the tree, and made plans for future holiday gatherings.

Also somewhere between all of that I went shopping with my nephew, Paenney, to Ikea.  That’s a whole ‘nother blog post.  Right now I can say it was a fabulous adventure and a learning experience for his old auntie.

All of the things I mentioned deserve their own blog posts, and perhaps I’ll start on that soon.  After all, I have forty extra hours in my week.

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