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Today in My History

2000: The Dreaded Christmas Letter
2001: The Free Ride's Over
2002: Typhoid Mary
2003:  Caroling, Caroling, Caroling
2004:  All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
Reality Sucks
2006At the Mercy of the Elements, 2
2007: A Bunch of Rocks
2008:  The Best for Last
2009:  The Pitter Patter of Little Feet
2010:  The Christmas Train
Accomplishing Absolutely Nothing
2012: Seven Deadly Sins

Bitter Hack
Updated: 1
Santaland Diaries

Books Read in 2013
"Things Overheard While Talking
to Myself"

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2013 Christmas Letter

mail to Walt


17 December 2013

GiftTrain.jpg (92265 bytes)It looked like a gift train down the front hall this morning.  Today was the day to deliver the gifts we'd collected for the family we adopted.

The Davis Crisis Nursery put out a call for sponsors for their clients for Christmas.  I always figure that we don't have Dave and Paul to buy gifts for any more and we could put the money we would have spent on them to make the holiday a bit happier for someone else.

The Crisis Nursery is a very private place.  They don't let you know the address until you are signed up to become a sponsor.  And of course, you don't have a clue about your family.  You just get names and genders and ages and likes.

Our family, the Elf Family, consisted of a mother, a daughter 18, a daughter 14 and a son 2.  It was fun shopping for them.  I got a lot for the kids, especially the little guy, at the Dollar store and then did a "big shopping" at Target, picking up odds and ends in other places (like the 18 year old wanted a gift certificate to Jamba Juice, which I bought yesterday.  She is also a reader and so I filled a box with books from Logos).  The 14 year old is into crafts and cosmetology.  I left a big MasterCard bill at Michael's, but got some cute stuff I think she'll like, and a SwapBot partner, who is a cosmetologist, gave me some suggestions for things I could get for her and I managed to put together a cosmetology package for her.

Today was delivery day.  Walt helped me load up the car and I knew vaguely where the street was, but forgot the specific directions he had given me.   Fortunately, it's easy to find streets in Davis if you know the area where they are located, and I managed to find the nursery, a nondescript home in a nondescript neighborhood with no hint whatsoever what it really is.

It felt good to drop off all the gifts and I hope that we helped the kids and mom have a happier Christmas.  The two year old didn't have it on his list, but I included a teddy bear.  All 2 year olds should have a teddy bear!

I stopped off at Atria for a quick visit with my mother, but this was one of her negative days.  I didn't want to hear about all the crap in her apartment or how glad she'll be when all that Christmas crap was taken down, the stuff my cousin so lovingly brought to her and decorated for her.  I swear she'll only be really happy if she is in a room with two chairs, a TV and a separate bedroom where she can sleep.  Bare shelves.  No photos.  But I'm sure she would find some "crap" to complain about even then.

Instead I went to the store and bought the rest of the ingredients to make biscotti this afternoon.  I've had it all my life, of course (having grown up in the shadow of North Beach in San Francisco and working for an Italian woman who made it every Christmas), but I'd never made it myself.  i was inspired by Giada deLorentis giving a demonstration of how to make it on The Today Show a couple of days ago.   It's amazingly simple.

By the time I got home, my no-sleep night had caught up with me and I needed a nap, which I took.  I didn't exactly get around to the biscotti until about 6 p.m.. It's a time consuming task because you make kind of a loaf, which bakes for 40 minutes, then you cool it, then slice it, then put the slices back into the oven for a second bake to dry them out.  Giada made hers festive for the holidays.  The ingredients added to the basic stuff were pistachios and cranberries (red and green) and when they were finished, she dipped them in white chocolate and then dusted with red sugar.  I was very happy when they were all finished.

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I'm having lunch with a friend tomorrow and I want to bring her a bag of cookies, so I was glad I was able to get these all finished in time to include.   And BTW, Walt asked about that biscotti which has frosting all over it.  He wondered if it was like catching the brass ring on a merry-go-round.  But I had to admit that all it meant was that I dropped the biscotti into the melted chocolate when I was trying to just dip it.

I have to admit the little buggers are kinda tasty.

I had wonderful news from Compassion Int'l today.  I finally wrote to see if there was any news of Fred and they reported that though several of the projects they oversee in the area had hurricane damage, Fred and his family (and presumably their house) were OK.  I am SO relieved and thank everybody who reads this journal for their prayers and good wishes.

It was fun playing Santa today, but the best part of the day was getting the wonderful news of Fred's safety. I was afraid I was going to have to wait a few more months before I knew if he was still alive.


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