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Today in My History

2000:  A Day with Grandma
2001:  Happy PC Holiday to You
2002:  Faded Photographs
2003:  15 Minutes at a Time
2004:  It's the Night Before Christmas
2005 A Lump of Coal
2006 With a Song in Our Hearts
2007:  An Excess of Everything
2008:  100 More Things
2009:  The Night Before the Night Before

2010:  The First Celebration
Rest Stop
2012: That Long Ride Again
2013:  It's Not "Just" Football
2014: Headin' Home
2015  A Broken Bottle
2016: The Lights of Davis
2017: Cookies and Candy and Presents...oh My
2018: Sarcastic ghosts

Theater Reviews
Updated 12/17
The Wizard of Oz

Books Read in 2019
 Updated 11/9
"The Elephant in my Kitchen"

Our Christmas Letter

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


December 24, 2019

I thought I would make it all the way to Christmas without going to a single store for Christmas gifts.

The delivery people -- mailmen, UPS guys, etc. -- have been showering this house with boxes, mostly because Marta has done all of her shopping on line too.  As of this writing, we are missing only one gift, which was supposed to be delivered today, and which may still be, as it is not 5 p.m. yet.  But boxes have been delivered at all hours of the day and night, from 6 am. (this morning) to 8 p.m.

Next year, we will put out a snack box for the delivery guys, which I have never done before, but given how this year has gone, I will definitely do that next year.  cookies or chips or some other "goody" for a delivery person to pick up to snack on during his/her rounds, along with a thank you for their efficiency.

But today I did go shopping.  In a store.


The plan was to buy a little something to take to my mother, even though I knew she would not understand what it was for.  But then I decided to get something for the folks who work at Eldervilla too.  then Ned had a couple of suggestions and I decided to get another gift or two.

I never had to make a shopping list for See's before!

But by the end of all my shopping, I had a $100.67 bag full of See's chocolates.

Then I drove out to Eldervilla.  Sandy was happy with the box I brought for the facility itself and my mother, who was awake, actually seemed to like the small box of chocolate I gave her, though she didn't know what it was for.

She's in a new room now and I like it much better.  It's brighter than her old room, and she always liked bright rooms.  Sandy says she has been doing better too, and even found her way to the bathroom the other day, peed by herself and was able to pull her pants back up.  I never thought I'd be pleased to hear that my mother remembered how to go to the bathroom.

She was more or less chatty (for her) but made no sense.  She kept telling me how beautiful something was that she could see from her window, but each time it was called something different, and none of the words were actual words.  But I was trying to take Jeri's advice about "improvisation" and just went with what ever she said, however nonsensical it was and the "visit" went well.

I tried to show her a video that Jeri had sent, thinking she would like to see a movie of Jeri, but she covered her face with her blanket until I stopped it.  Not sure what THAT was about.

I may or may not visit her on Christmas.  It seems like I should, since we aren't doing anything Christmassy until the 28th, but she won't understand anyway, so it probably depends on the weather.

Before I left the house, I had made a batch of shortbread. I had read a new way to make it to be sure all the pieces are the same thickness.  I followed the recipe faithfully, but it never came together.  I even added more butter at the end. 

What you do with this is to put it in a gallon bag and roll the dough out to fill the thing, then refrigerate for a bit before cutting it and baking.

Well, I tried several things to get the dough to come together, but eventually I put it in the bag and rolled it out.  It rolled just great and I got what I wanted--a square that was the same thickness throughout.

I put it in the refrigerator and then went off to Eldervilla.  When I got home, it all seemed to look right and I just had to cut it into squares, but the dough was still too dry and as I cut, it crumbled into pieces.  I cooked a few of them to see what baking would do, and it baked fine, so I cut the rest of the dough, which broke into chunks as I cut it.  But I baked it all and got a sheet full of ugly looking chunks.  it also didn't have the right flavor for shortbread, which I don't understand at all because I followed the recipe exactly.

Anyway, after all the cooked chunks cooked, I stuck it in the blender and made crumbs out of it.  Some time after Christmas, I will make cheesecake and use the crumbs as the crust for the cheesecake.  I think that will turn out well and I'll mix the crumbs with melted butter to make it hold together.

That pretty much ends my "holiday baking."  Nobody here is really a dessert eater (except me) so there's no point in making a bunch more cookies...and I'm disappointed after what I thought was going to be perfect shortbread!


Night Before Christmas, 1994

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