Good morning and Happy Eve of Christmas Eve! I am especially excited for this glorious day because today is my last day of work until January 6th. Hurrah and also yippee. My entire office is shutting down for the holidays, so I am a very lucky ducky. I am so grateful. I have been looking forward to having some leisure time since October. Not that I will be getting much of it over the holidays either, as I seem to be booked with activities every day until New Year’s Day… But at least it’s fun festive times with family and friends.
Well, I guess that isn’t entirely true about the leisure time. Forced hibernation and therefore leisuring came unexpectedly this weekend when (HASHTAG!) icestorm2013 rolled in.
Freezing rain literally all weekend long, the worst from Saturday night through Sunday morning, but pretty icy all around. My friend Sherrie was hosting a gathering full of Christmas cheer on Friday, and I had my glitter shirt all laid out and ready…but since it’s about an hour drive Evan and I opted to stay in since the storm was starting, the roads were not the most fabulous, and they were just supposed to get worse. Flash freezing at any time. And on Saturday it was my friend Julie’s 30th birthday party, but again. Ice. And by then the roads were even worse, so that was out also. I was bummed to not be able to see everyone, but I cannot lie, I was excited to stay in my pajamas and enjoy being forced inside with my lover and a rum and Coke (I tried rum and egg nog but I am not really a fan).
At least we have had power the whole time, as a couple hundred thousand people do not. My dad and Mona were powerless for nearly 24 hours and at one point my dad called me and was all “If the power doesn’t come back on, Christmas might be CANCELLED!” (they always host Christmas on Christmas Eve, and it’s expected that some people may be without power for 72 hours, and no power = no heat, so cancelling Christmas would not be completely unwarranted). But the power is back on for them, so there will be Christmas! It’s a Christmas miracle. We only lost cable and the internet last night, but most of our neighbourhood is without power (and it’s estimated they will be until Christmas Day!) so I cannot complain. I really, really cannot complain.
I remember the last time we had a crazy ice storm like this, when I still lived in the middle of nowhere, and it was SO insanely icy that we could skate right on the streets. I figure skated over to my friend Melissa’s house, picked her and her skates up, and skated all through the streets with her all day long. Winter in the country is the best. Winter in the city…I can’t say many good things about it.
Anyway, Evan and I spent the entire day on Saturday making my Nana’s famous Christmas cookies.
And I am not exaggerating when I say all day… We finished decorating them at about 7pm. They are quite time consuming, and we also made three batches of them so we had enough to bring to our families this week for Christmas celebrations. The time is totally worth it though, they are so ridiculously good. And as they should be, as they mainly are just butter and sugar, which is one of the best combinations of all time (chocolate and peanut butter might top it).
Evan was Santa’s little helper, which was awesome. It was the first time I have ever had help making these.
He also figured out how to make the parchment triangles that I accidentally bought last year into icing bags.
So I was pretty impressed with that.
When all was said and done, and after I ate about a pound of butter during the icing process, we had 70 beautifully decorated cookies, just like my Nana used to make.
Speaking of the Nanners, we did eventually venture out on Sunday afternoon to go and visit her. It was still lightly freezing rain, but the roads were salted and not too horrible. She really needed Q-Tips, paper towels, and Werther’s Original, so we had to make it there. But maaaaan was it an adventure. Her nursing home is north of the city and most of the way there, the power was out everywhere. All the streetlights were out, and of course no one knows how to deal with a street light if it isn’t working (four way stop!!!), a lot of cars didn’t stop at all. Trees were down all over the place. Gas stations were closed. But the streets were still really busy with people. It was chaos. I felt like it was the apocalypse.
I don’t have any good pictures of all the trees down, but some of my Facebook friends sure had some crazy things happening. At least it was pretty. The trees are suffering, they’re all bent over and mangled under the weight of the ice, but they are suffering beautifully.
We eventually made it to the Nanners, and we gave her the Q-Tips and the paper towel and her Werther’s Original. And she was reunited with her Christmas cookies!
I hope they remind her of family Christmases like they do for me.
She was telling us about a certain young man in her nursing home who gave her a stuffed “dog” (it was actually a stuffed tiger, but close enough), and who is obviously trying to woo her. She said she kissed his hand to thank him, because “I wasn’t going to kiss him on the face!” It was very cute. 99 and a half years of age and she’s still got it.
And she still wears her wedding band even though my Papa passed away over 30 years ago.
I still cannot believe how great she looks and how with it she is. She definitely has her rough days, but she’s still mobile, she’s happy, and does a surprising amount for herself in that home. At that age I think that’s all we can ask for.
I left there with my heart just full to the brim and a bag of cookies she saved from meals for me. I’m so glad we braved the icepocalypse and trekked over.
I guess that’s pretty much it. I am all ready for Christmas. Our stockings are hung by the fake chimney haphazardly…
And we’re basically done all the wrapping.
So I am feeling pretty good. I’m still waiting on two online presents to be delivered, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without minor annoyances now would it?
Hope you all had a great weekend, with power and heat!