Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

So today for us is Christmas day and we will be having Christmas dinner at about 7:00 PM tonite. Cate just changed her mind about how to do the Brussels sprouts and sent me out to buy pancetta.

I am in charge of the baked potatoes and I am throwing in some sweet potatoes and some parsnips. There is nothing quite like a baked parsnip.

On Monday night I made a fabulous dish with roasted chicken, parsnips, onions and sweet potatoes. The sauce was made with maple syrup, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. It was quite one of the best things I have done.

I have hooked up my carbon monoxide monitors and have bought a 30 foot collapsible ladder so escape is possible from the top floor in case of fire. I also have smoke alarms and six fire extinguishers scattered throughout the house.

I am now prepared for all eventualities except for a large man breaking a window, coming inside and attempting to strangle me. This happened to someone in the neighborhood recently and has made me uneasy. 

I am thinking about buying a gun. I can get a Glock for $400 and a gun safe for $58. I am not going to join the NRA and I am not going to become a Republican.

So many people here say Happy Holidays. Even the Salvation Army man dressed as Santa standing outside the Marsh supermarket. I always say Merry Christmas – because that is what it is. I have been thanked for saying this.

So Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It was harder than expected

Cate is in charge of Christmas dinner and at the moment there is a turkey being soaked in something with peppercorns and oranges. I have no idea what is going and have no wish to delve into this part of the Christmas proceedings.

She is off on her 16 mile walk at the moment but before she left she asked me to polish the toaster and the kettle. I just don’t know how they get so dirty but I have this fabulous stainless steel cleaning stuff which works wonders.

Gwenyth arrives tonite but will not have time to make lamingtons and pavlovas. Because we are leaving for Alaska very early on boxing day we are having our Christmas dinner on Christmas eve.  I have loaded up my iPad with lots of Christmas music to keep Cate and Gwenyth company while they do dinner.

I finally finished culling my photos and reduced them from 29,000 to 20,000. There was lots of interesting stuff in there including 17 really bad shots of a marmot – and thousands of shots of things that were absolutely unidentifiable and could have been shot on Mars.

Anyway – they are now in order and in their right folders – which was harder to do than it should have been because we share photos with Gwenyth and she had the wrong date in her camera for 12 years. So for example we went to Finland in 2010 but Gwenyth’s photos are dated 2004.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The grittiness starts a few blocks away

I was on my front porch yesterday and a car pulled up and out jumped a man. He came towards me saying IMPD (Indiana Metro Police Department) and flashing his badge and I thought ‘this is it – I am being arrested for Atheism’ but no – he said he was going to sit outside the house for a while in the unmarked car to see if he could catch thieves who were stealing parcels off porches.

There is a lot of this around here – as well as other theft and car break ins. Our area is not particularly gritty but the grittiness starts a few blocks away and we feel the effects.

The people over the road have got a really big wreath with lights on it. This is just to shame me. I may sneak over there one night and set it alight.

I did another run to Costco yesterday because you just cannot have too much wine or kitty litter. You can buy a car from Costco now – it won’t be long and they will be selling houses. I got overexcited when I was there and bought underpants and sox. There are lots of things I could have bought but don’t need and I find it difficult to restrain my self.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's just not edible

Duck person in Vienna
There is still no sign of any decent snow here which is most disappointing as we were hoping for a white Christmas.

Anyway the Christmas tree arrived and Cate hates it. It is apparently nothing like the one I got last year - it is not big enough and its branches do not hang down enough. It looks fine to me but I am no expert on Christmas trees so I accept Cate’s judgment and will do better next year.  I have put lights on it to try to mask its awfulness and if necessary will throw a blanket over it.

My two favorite magazines to look at when I am waiting in the supermarket line are the National Enquirer and the Globe. Admittedly I only read the covers but in recent times have learned that the Obamas are divorcing because Michelle spent $150 million on her trip overseas - Camilla has been kicked out of the palace - Camilla has also been made queen - Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are divorcing – Angelina has found a new man and hordes of Hollywood personalities are cheating on each other, changing sex or dying.

I don’t believe any of that stuff – I think they make it up – but it does keep me occupied. I do worry that people may believe it but it is just part of the rich tapestry of life that gurgles along in America.

Cate is up to 14 miles per walk now and next weekend it will be 16 miles. She is also using the Vitamix to make smoothies with fruit, snap peas, cucumber and kale. Yes apparently people do eat kale. I had it once and it is exciting as taro. I have tried taro baked, fried, mashed and grilled and barbecued and it is simply not edible.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just another million to be sure

The big news is that our Christmas tree has shipped. I  don’t know where it is coming from but it will be here on Friday. I put up our fairly average wreath and have been shamed by the neighbours who have multiple wreaths with lights.

They appear to approach Christmas as they do Halloween where their house and garden is covered with ghosts and skeletons – and spiders.

The woman next door ran for election as Marion County Recorder this year and won. She beat a black woman who is a birther. That is – she is one of those people who do not believe that President Obama was born in the USA – and yes there are hordes of them - and I mean millions. 

The woman next door is lucky she does not live in one of the seven states in the USA which have a provision in their constitutions that a person must believe in God to hold public office. Maryland even requires jurors and witnesses to believe in God.

How would you test this?  

I know for sure that the woman in question is an atheist – and a Democrat – which is the doubly whammy here and she is only one step away from being burned as a witch.

I scratch my head when I read this stuff about birthers – but then I read that nearly four million Americans believe that they have been abducted by aliens. The Aliens apparently examine their genitals and return them to earth.

I really worry about the sanity of the aliens who keep abducting people who have (almost) identical genitals. What are the looking for? You would think that after the two millionth willy they would think – well they are clearly all much the same – some large –some small - so I will not bother any more.

Or do they say - I will just check another million to make sure. I think it's alien OCD. 

If I was an alien I would want to have a close look at Donald Trump’s hair.