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Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at
chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas

Pop's and Aunt Judy's tree
*decorated byTori*

Christmas blessings were abundant this year. In a year where health, finances and time left me giving a little less in some areas than I usually like to, I still seemed to receive a lot. I think what hurt the most was that we didn’t do Christmas cards this year. We always put the kids on our cards. If not having Kaline on them didn’t hurt enough, we knew Carla was sick at the time I would’ve been making the cards and I couldn’t bear to even think of whether not to put her on the card. I’ve also been in constant back-and-forth arguments with the insurance company about how much money out of pocket I’ve spent on my healthcare this year since the end of September.

But onto the happy stuff! David and I woke up at 5 AM yesterday to forage north to Pop’s House for Christmas. It had snowed a little and it was very cold but our drive was relatively uneventful. The main road off the freeway and the dirt road to Pop‘s house was our biggest snow challenge. The last of my cold still lingers, so I couldn’t smell Pop and Aunt Judy’s citrus pine, but I sure could smell the bacon cooking! Tori was busy at the stove with a couple packs of bacon cooking and cooking. “Papa said ‘just cook at all.’ I have a small stack of wimpy bacon for Uncle David t oo.” My love of crispy bacon is a family trait.

Then it was present opening time. It was Rina's and Tori‘s suggestion a few years ago that we draw names instead of buying for everybody. It gives you the opportunity to really shop for thoughtful gifts for one person instead of trying to spread the budget around two gifts for everyone. It worked out great. I know in the past few years I’ve given and received some wonderful gifts. This year was no different.

Rina's boy, Basil, sitting next to his great-uncle.
Ya know how cats are drawn to non-cat people?
David is not a dog person, but this started 
with a nap together before breakfast.

In drawing names it was strange this year that fathers and first daughters traded gifts. Pop and I had each other as did Dave and Rina. It was Star Wars for Dave and Red Wings for Rina and their Exchange and mostly food stuff between Pop and me. Keeping in mind that this is the 52nd Christmas Pop and I have celebrated together, choosing gifts wasn’t difficult, but it seemed that knowing when to stop was for both of us! Pop gave me a wonderful vibrating kitty neck wrap that I’m looking forward to trying tonight, As well as some warm slippers and a beautiful bracelet. And the food, wow! I got 4 solid large persimmons and some ambrosia apples to help them ripen, an only raisins panettone, lemon pizzele and some other tasty treats including two packages of my favorite breadsticks that can only be found, that I know of, and his Italian store. Among the things I found for him, to go with the stories and recipes from American immigrants cookbook, were an 18-pack of Pocket Coffee (dark chocolates with a liquid espresso center) chestnuts in a 1 pound block of aged 3 years Parmesan Reggiano cheese. We had a fun and yummy exchange! Tori was beyond happy, Especially about 2 poetry books from Ucle David. Between Rina, David and me for the information and finding the books, we did really well with that one!

It had been snowing a little bit while we were opening presents and there was already a thin coating of snow on our van when the Indianapolis family headed back home A little before noon. We made sure to have them call when they got home. I guess the worst of the snow was in Michigan for their ride.

Our annual Christmas 3-shot
Rina, Nana, Tori

Around 3 o’clock my cousin, Lisa, and family arrived for dinner. The snow was falling in heavier squalls by then and when Lisa’s bff, Annelie, and her kids got there they were commenting about the roads being pretty nasty.

All. Freaking. Day.

David and I have usually seen Lisa‘s kids a few times during the year between Christmases. I usually see Lisa’s kids more than we see Lisa! This year we hadn’t seen the kids all year and in a year her oldest, Owen, looks like quite the young man and as completely sweet and giving as he’s always been. Her twins don’t look like kids anymore either. At 13, they are definitely teenagers. Audrey is a beautiful young woman who looks more like her mom every day. Ethan is 100% teenager, showing off his new smart watch, but he made a point of engaging everybody, making you feel like his favorite person when he was talking with you. (What a magical gift!)

My awesome cousins

At the end of the evening when we were all packing up to go, Annelie sent home half of her homemade apple pie with us, we tried that apple pie for the first time at Thanksgiving and OMG it is wonderful! Before they were ready to leave Lisa‘s husband, Tory, shoveled off the ramp so we wouldn’t have to do that to leave. I’ve always said and I’m always proven right; my family chooses and breeds the best!


More Christmas to come...



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1 comment:

Edna B said...

Oh Nani girl, what an awesome Christmas Day you had! I love the photos, and that Basil is just sooooo handsome! I think your relationship with your Dad is simply wonderful. Gosh, haven't the girls grown so. It seems like I've watched them growing up now for quite a while. Isn't the internet simply awesome??

I'm off now to head for the kitchen to make some breakfast for my boy and me. I can't wait to read about "More Christmas To Come." You have an awesome day my friend, hugs, Edna B.