Day after Advent #1: Phew.

Swanheart, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpie, from the second sketch book project

Phew! Another year done! Wrapping and boxing, list making and shopping, cooking and sorting. All done. Phew.

The amazing “feast in a box” (icebox) is the total way to go. I had the stock, gravy, stuffing mix (not the cornbread part), the cake layers, the bread all done. Turkey went in around 9 a.m. I iced the cake, tossed the stuffing and threw a salad and a veggie together so the holiday went without a hitch and the nightmare of carving and creating a mediocre gravy didn’t happen. Yay for me! Yay for kitchen schmarts. Yay for a freezer (if you dont have one, get one..but be clever about how you use it). A freezer is a not forever thing, but a hold until next week, next month thing. And you can have plates and plates of different food that you made yourself (just not concurrently). So, dinner went without a hitch. The glorious pure turkey (freerange, no antibiotics, organobird) did all the things it did to my delight at Thanksgiving. All the food happened at one time as was hot. And, we seated everyone for dinner around 4:45 p.m. to make it an early evening for all of us. It was a nice party. Quiet, but nice.

Then, after the dishes were swept away, I got right into the great boneyard roasting with leeks and onions, celery and onions (with the skins). So, this morning that whole pile of vegetables and brownness got popped into the cauldron on top of the stove to cook away all day into the next round of turkey stock. I just need to click into processing the rest of the food (soups, stews, pies) so we have a weeks worth of dinners on hand (a real vacation). Kitty is ice skating with her friends on their pond. Alex is off making music or trouble with his new friends….

I need to download “Pencil” as my Christmas present from Kitty was a tutorial in this software to make simple little animations. I had a beginner this afternoon around lunchtime, so I need to show good faith and give it a try before she gets home. I recieved some great books on soupmaking and breadmaking, a piece of glass enamelled by Emilio Santini’s wife (a spur by my hubby to get to enameling on glass), some cocktail napkins with my name on them(!), and books on illustrative topics. It was a good Christmas. Not over the top or anything. Pretty simple, but satisfying to all, I hope.

Interior of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA froToday I can also be retrospective. Tomorrow, December 27, Rob and I celebrate our 30th anniversary! Who would have guessed! In my case, I am proud of this accomplishment and cannot imagine having a better partnership with anyone other than his wonderful man. We have grown up together. We have gone over quite a few speed bumps in our journey, but bounced along problem solving and pushing each other to be the best we have the ability to be. These are things that when standing in the gold tessellated nave of my church, I could not have imagined…I just knew this was right and good and it has been. Marriage is a toss up, and really for me, it is a test of faith in that gut knowledge that the journey will be enriched and bettered by the other person on the trail with you. It is faith in yourself, your partner and trust that you will continue to have faith, trust and abide by the contract that marriage puts on your relationship. For me, the contract is the piece many do not value. If the contract is broken (the stuff about love and obey, as translated by the partners..)then the whole of the marriage cannot survive completely. Also, I believe that this contract is truly between the partners and the Greater One and if broken, then difficult to get back to a place of trust, of faith, of love. I have been blessed by so much and one of the greatest is my marriage to Rob.

On that note, I am sounding a bit preachy and I apologize. I need to go and get the pencil..and make some lines wiggle for Kitty. More later>>