Posts Tagged With: pies

CHRISTMAS FUN

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Christmas every year looks almost the same at my house. Endless cards and games between gnoshing.  Theo, Cedric (hidden) Kristanne and Doug play 13, the national card game of Viet Nam while…

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…while Mason and Virginia play cribbage at the other end of the table. People change places, step in and out of games and in general have a good time.

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We chose a Mexican theme for this Christmas. Christmas Eve dinner was home-made chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice and pinto beans with a romaine salad. As the family members grow, it’s tough to fit everyone in with one picture.

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After dinner we took a walk into the night to look back at the lights and found our selves in awe of the starry, starry night. Stars so close we could see the constellations and Milky Way as though touchable. Virginia started a carol and we stood in the street and sang and gave thanks that light pollution has not blocked ancestral skies on our tiny portion of the planet.

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Grandson, Stewart, home from Japan for Christmas, brought this sample of Japanese foods. He taught us how easy Japanese is to learn because the characters are so consistent. If a character means house, or rock or walk, it will always mean that no matter how many characters in a sentence.  His brother, Mason, easily picked up some Japanese words. Leave it to the young.

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Christmas day was more of the same. My brother, Bill, left, joined us for the afternoon. We are playing elevator with Stewart, Virginia, Mason, Owen, Ken and myself. At the opposite end of the table, Theo, Doug, Kristanne and Laurie play RummiKub.

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We played around with hats and I thought of some artists paintings as I looked at what the camera did to Mason’s arm. One giant appendage and one shrunken.

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I rarely wear this hat, but I love it.

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It has seven watches glued on it, plus other fascinating pins, buttons, beads and junk.

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I bought a Playboy jacket at a second hand store just for the buttons. (I’m a collector.)  We had great fun with it. I liked this picture of Owen, though a bit blurry and in a distracting background.

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It’s tough to get Owen to stand still for a picture, but I love this smile.

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And Dad, too. I liked this one though the light wasn’t quite right.

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But he liked a different one. I think he was trying not to laugh.

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Stewart said, no way. The hat was too small and he couldn’t get the jacket on his second arm.

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None of these pictures are in the correct order. I didn’t remember to take a picture of our Christmas Day dinner, which was chili rellenos with an apple and cabbage pomegranate coleslaw, and home made-by Doug and Virginia- Chicken, Pork and chili cheese tamales. Goodt stuff.

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Before we finished Christmas dinner, the desert table was almost bare.

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We had our anonymous book trade, only three to open. And, all too soon, it was bedtime for me,  the picture taker. My ears picked up hushed conversation sliding under my bedroom door as I succumbed to sleep.

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The next morning, everyone was up bright and early. Ken and Laurie’s family drove back to Reno in time to put Stewart, Mason and Kristanne on an Airplane for Las Vegas. Home for Mace and Stan; Stewart will reconnect with his girlfriend before returning to Japan.

My cup runneth over.

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INCLINE VILLAGE, MT. ROSE SKIING.

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Incline Village, Nevada sits on the north side of Lake Tahoe. Living in the Sierra Nevadas we have a choice of what route to take over the passes. Laurie drove Ken, Doug and I up over Highway 88, which she considers the most scenic. Normally at this time of year, snow covered 88 would require chains and could have closures. Lakes were covered with thin ice, and dabs of snow looked painted on the mountain fissures.

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Kris came up from Las Vegas. Virginia and Cedric took Highway 80 which is a fast four lane thoroughfare and serves the bigger populations from the Bay Area.

Highway 4 and 108 are my other two favs, but 88 is prettiest.

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The first night, we played and noshed.

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A little wine, games, and plenty of snacks.DSC02589 (Copy)

Kris made the observation that Ken has lived at one time or another with all of his siblings. He is currently sharing an apartment with his youngest sister. Both are away from their respective homes for their jobs. Ken is extremely neat and Virginia likes to leave dishes in the sink and clothes hanging over the backs of chairs-til later.  Hmmm!

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Virginia taught us this loud, raucous game she learned from her Italian brother-in-law. Fast moving, arms waving, card auctioning, gambling card game, a matter of luck, so the kids of any age have an equal chance of winning one of four pots. Everyone could put in a dollar, two dollars, a per-determined equal amount.  Kris, Theo, Myself, and Austin each won a pot. But the laughter was wonderful.

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Laurie brought a pot of chili from home so we had and easy dinner and lots of time to catch up with each other. This was our family Christmas since we couldn’t all get together this past December.

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On Saturday morning, everyone geared up for skiing, except Doug, Kristanne, Laurie and I. Kristanne is “Lodge Fluff.” I’m the photographer and Doug and Laurie stayed behind and played cards and rested. Ken hadn’t skiied in 13 years and all but Virginia and Ced had lesson packages that give a price break for skiing.

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Laurie and I were thinking we might  do cross country, or maybe snowshoe since neither of us like downhill. There really wasn’t enough snow.

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Owen gets fitted for his boots.

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Virginia, Cedric, Theo and Owen all go at their own pace on different runs. Owen is boarding. Theo is skiing. Skis are shorter and rounder than any I’d ever seen.

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Austin, who had never skiied wanted to snowboard because he likes his skate boarding.

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The kids lessons were at station one. That bit about falling?

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The instructor just came up to him and knocked him over numerous times. Taught him HOW to fall so he wouldn’t put his hands out and break a wrist. He had a two-hour morning lesson and a one hour afternoon private lesson. The instructor said Austin was the best student he ever worked with at that age. Kudos!

 

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The “bunny hill” of station one has a tramway up the hill where everyone, kids and adults can practice their newly learned skills.

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Ken decided he didn’t want to go back to work with a broken anything and Virginia went with him on the bunny slope.DSC02618 (Copy)

She coached him for a few runs on cutting and stopping and turning before they headed for the lifts.

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We all met around lunch time and then everyone went all out on the slopes. Kris and I kept track of spare gear as everyone shed jackets or pants, or whatever. Virginia referred to us as the “mules.”  The weather was amazingly warm.

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Back at our condo, which sleeps 16 people, Cedric made the pies.

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Laurie made a beautiful salad. She said she was always salad queen as a child at home.

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Ken made kabobs.

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I roasted a turkey breast and we toasted our good fortune and grand gathering.

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Kris surprised Doug with a basket of goodies, as in Ben Gay, Anti Diarrheal meds, vitamin container, gas relief, all that over-the-hill stuff because his next birthday will be his 50th.

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And we all decided Cedric should give up his science PHD and become a pie chef. I didn’t get a picture of his apple pie. Life is not only good but delicious.

 

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