I managed to go all yesterday without complaining about feeling under the weather, partly by reading all three books of Genevieve Cogman's The Invisible Library series. Good fun, not really asking me to stretch in any way. Add a dose of Sherlock Holmes to a many worlds universe where earths vary on a spectrum of chaotic and Fae controlled to ordered and Dragon controlled, sprinkle with books....
Yule preparations are minimal. I'd meant to go to meeting today and this evening. This morning was right out as I got up many hours later than usual. I suppose we will go to the candlelight (or gas lamp) Meeting tonight. [Which we did.]
Christine had an errand in Siler City, arranging care for Carrie for the 27th. Her route took her buy two stores, an outdoorsy themed store and a wonderful bakery. So i had Christine drop me off there and i did some last minute shopping, then got a cup of coffee and a sweet roll. Christine was back before i finished; Carrie will get to go play at the dog sitter's farm on Wednesday.
Christine dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's, carrying through on all the usual commitments as well as other holiday needs. Despite running a little late, i thought she had managed magnificently. We sped off on the dark country roads to the worship at Meeting. The Meeting was mostly silent and well attended. (I don't think of Quakers as having a Christmas and Easter crowd: i don't know if that was who all the folks were or if they were extended family of Meeting members....) The meetinghouse was very lovely, with candles in the windows, luminaria up the walk. Inside the gas lamps on the wall were lit, candles on the piano, lights on the tree, and the overhead lamps turned down to match the general glow. At my California Meeting, we had the folks who were staying in the Meeting house that month to feed and visit with, but there wasn't much in the way of a worshipful gathering of the community. There would have been a Christmas party earlier in the month, but i found the gatherings like that too packed and crowded to be comfortable. This was delightful.
We had a pleasant desert and gift exchange with Christine's sister, then home under the stars, quite late.
We had a reasonable amount of sleep, so we were up late. I had a sudden wave of hostesss fears at having a little Google hangout gathering, but fortunately my guests were good conversationalists. I realized i forgot to post the URL -- my regrets if anyone was looking for it. I will do this again sometime, i think!
My sister, L--, hosted the family, and when we arrived only my father was there. Mom was feeling poorly enough that she stayed home. This sort of self care is AMAZING! We didn't have much time with my nephew and niece before their cousins on their father's side showed up and the house became a bit chaotic. Her husband's sister chatted with me and, when i left, i realized how generously she asked questions of me, and i didn't return the favor. Several lessons on being sociable: i hope i put them to use today at Christine's family's gathering.
L-- baked an almond bundt cake that had a roll of marzipan in the middle: OMG!
We left L--'s to go feed her family's horse that is at my parents' and to visit with my mom. It was a comfortable visit and Mom made much of my gift to her, a necklace i'd made to match a gumcha -- a scarf -- from India. We left as mom's coughing took over: i had shared that my asthma is flaring and that i regretted having not been taking my meds regularly.
Home, where we had been too well fed to want to fix dinner.
Yesterday i found my desk under piles of papers. I didn't make as much progress as i would have liked. I ran to the grocery to get pet food and then stopped at my sister's to walk Carrie and consult over potato orders. We had a delightfully long walk, and then a little romp with Carrie and my nephew.
When i got home i started making the dinner i'd planned for Christmas day. I made baked Hasselback potatoes with seared scallops with cranberry lime sauce. I found the lime ingredient too minimal, so i used all the lime zest AND the lime juice. And, because i used the cranberry concentrate (straight cranberry nothing else), i added a little sugar. Wow, that's a rich sauce. I'm not sure what to do with the remaining heavy cream. It's almost butter, it's so thick. Anyhow, it was a wonderfully decadent meal.