Last Friday Ted and I drove to Conroe to see one of those houses all decorated with light shows set to music. It was fantastic! We stayed for at least a half hour, heard a dozen or more songs, all with light shows set to that specific music, and it never got back to where we came in. We hope the kids arrive in time for us to take them to see it before they turn it off on 12/27.
Saturday was one more party - a Christmas luau out around the pool of our friends. There was a live band, dinner and enough imbibing that we were rocking to a little Proud Mary followed by a conga line where no one ended up in the pool! It was a fun time.
Our last engagement was an open house at the home of Richard and Caroline on Sunday. Richard outdid himself on his many enticing eats. I even tried a piece of venison and it was really good. We saw some people we hadn't seen in awhile and met some new ones. That always makes for a nice evening.
Monday was my day to get busy for Christmas Day dinner. I had the table all set.
And the bar too. However, except for a few beers and some wine, nothing else was touched. We just don't run with a big drinking crowd.
We went to eat at Texas Roadhouse Christmas Eve and had no trouble getting a table, we were seated promptly. We had intended to go to Mass at 9 pm but it was a little before 6 o'clock when we left the restaurant so we thought we would drive by church and see how bad the parking lot was for the 6:30 service. There were parking spots and we found seats in church easily so we stayed. The children's pageant was so cute. Fr. Tom passed by and shook Ted's hand and congratulated us on finding a "couple of good seats." It is only the second time we have been at our church for Christmas services in the 12 years we have lived here.
Christmas morning was more hustle and bustle as we prepared for our guests to arrive. Of course I had three things to go into the oven, all with different temperatures, and my oven still is not heating to the proper temperature and shuts itself off at times. I am going to have it looked at as soon as I can. But the ham was baked and Ted wrapped it in foil and put it in a cooler so I could turn the heat up to finish the sweet potatoes and pineapple casserole. I also had green beans and made ambrosia salad. Corn pudding and a green salad were brought by our guests along with a carrot cake, pecan pie and snacks! We were not going to go hungry.
Here we are with our Santa Hats brought by Peg. It is cranberry apple juice and champagne in glasses ringed with coconut. Cute!
The meal turned out great if I do say so myself. We delayed dessert until after we played cards so I made quick work of clearing the table and loading the dishwasher while Irene put all the cards out. We played a game of Shang Hai and I Shang Hai'd and won at our table! Great Christmas gift to myself.
I served the pecan pie and carrot cake while encouraging folks to take some cookies or candy from a large plate full that Irene had also brought. Of course no one would take anything home because they wanted me to keep it for the house full of company I have coming.
For being "alone, without family" it was one heck of a nice Christmas Day. We have such wonderful friends here. The saying "a friend close by is better than a brother far away" rings true. It was dark, cold and windy when everyone went home. My Santa had taken a header into the sprinkler, one tree was over, and the basket of poinsettias had taken flight. I decided to wait until this morning to set things right but the wind still hasn't died down. We went from 73 degrees to 35 in just a few hours. The next week is not predicted to get above 70. Bummer for the kids coming.
Kristin and her fiance Larry arrive this afternoon from Florida. I am concerned about Kara and the kids getting out of Michigan tomorrow because they are getting snow all day today. But they are used to that and people just go about their business in all that mess. I remember when we moved there in 1981 I was to go somewhere with some ladies and it snowed about 8 inches over night. I called the next morning to see if we were still going and the response was "sure, why not?"
So I will expect them all here on time. Sure, why not?