A Hustle and Bustle Holiday

Okay, so it’s Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, and yours truly has yet to write her blog post. I have a ton of excuses, most of which are legitimate. Now don’t get me wrong; I won’t burden you with them.

But, realizing time is running short in 2022 (in fact, it’s just 6 hours till 2023), I’m posting a recap of the holiday and its accompanying hustle and bustle. I suppose you know by now I won’t be out celebrating tonight. So here goes:

It always starts (except during the height of Covid) with my tree decorating party/dinner. This year there were 10 of us who gathered at my home to eat, drink and be merry while I had them decorate my tree. Clever, huh? And may I say they did an excellent job, as I only had to hang one ornament.

When we all get together (unfortunately minus Kim and Joan this year), we have a lot to gab about since we’ve been friends for 50 years. And when sisters Patty and Karen arrive, the decibel level increases exponentially. Coming from a humongous family, they’re quite adept at voice projection. And we love it.

After the Christmas party, it was time for me to bake for our 40+ volunteers and the veterinarians and shelter staff who help us with ferals we house at Marin Humane. Let’s just say I don’t care if I ever see cranberry pumpkin bread again.

Some of the 52 breads

Or, now that I mention it, I won’t miss making any of the 225 Ritz crackers I filled with peanut butter and then dipped in chocolate, or the 166 Annie’s crispy cookies, or 3 large batches of English toffee. I didn’t see my kitchen counter for a solid week. Then there’s the 5-layer Red Velvet cake I’ll never make again. Talk about time consuming. I’m positive I’ve gained 5 pounds this month. Oh well, it was worth it.

Since my brother was on the East coast visiting family and my sister wasn’t feeling well, Christmas morning I spent with my second family, my friends Dave and Sue, and their kids and grand-kids. I’m in charge of the fruit salad, so I get off easy. We start off with gin fizzes before breakfast, just like my family did when I was young. A great tradition to carry on.

Sue’s present to me was apropos, especially after being locked in my shed without my iPhone while decorating for Christmas (posted in My Near Death Experience.) She bought me the perfect gift — an Apple watch. If only I’d had one that dreadful day…

Then, the two of us were asked to open our present together from their kids, Maureen, Tim and wife Katie, and my godson, Eric. The gift was a 32-piece puzzle of the world. Huh? My first thought was, how dumb do they think we are? We can put this together in 2 minutes. And my second thought was, what an unusual gift.

Anyway, once we finished, they had us tape it together and flip it over to read a poem they wrote on the back. And to our complete surprise, they’re treating us both on a trip ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! My reaction was shock and confusion while Sue immediately teared up. What an unbelievably generous gift, right? And to think I only got them gift cards.

Afterward, I went to beautiful Sonoma to feed some feral cats at an organic farm where I’d recently re-homed them, then took a short nap before heading back to Dave and Sue’s for our traditional Christmas dinner.

It was a wonderful, hustle and bustle holiday with great friends and family. I hope you were as fortunate as I to spend it with the people you love.

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