Friday, December 30, 2011

First sentences

Most years, I do a post of the first sentence of the first post for every month throughout the past year. Here they are for 2011.
  • January:
    This year, my resolutions are to send my son to school with a packed lunch at least 3 times a week, and to be a better house-keeper.
    I wasn't perfect on this front, but I did pretty well. Keeping these as my resolutions for 2012.

  • February:
    Here's the birthday boy, playing Epic Mickey (one of his birthday presents)
    Muffin Man's birthday is on the first of February, so the first post tends to be about that.

  • March:
    Over ten inches off!
    Mystery Mommy gets a haircut, a story in pictures.

  • April:
    I'm wearing this in aubergine.
    Still one of my favorite things to wear.

  • May:
    Muffin Man's science class is talking about habitats, the environment, the food chain, and all that kind of stuff.
    I should have posted the picture myself. Mr. Spock's blog is gone.

  • June:
    This jacket from Nordstrom, it's by Halogen and it breaks my rule about pockets near the rack of doom.
    Outfit blogging, with pictures.

  • July:
    Please keep my Grandma in your thoughts.
    She's recovered well and is back home. Celebrated her 93rd birthday the other day!

  • August:
    We've switched things around at Chez Mystere.
    A picture and description of my bedroom.

  • September:
    So, 11 days ago, I got a Droid X2 to replace my Droid Eris, which died an ignoble death (dropped from a height onto uneven pavement. Smash).
    I still don't know how to plug ICE phone numbers into an iPhone. Do you?

  • October:
    Yesterday morning, after breakfast, I hauled out of the fridge several pounds of beef cubes, a sheaf of golden beets, a bunch of young carrots, a bag of red potatoes, a package of chopped crimini mushrooms, a leek, a large onion, and a quarter of a stick of butter.
    And now I'm hungry.

  • November:
    We didn't know when Muffin Man asked to be the Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies this year that it would be so topical!
    I'm pretty proud of that costume.

  • December: There are no words on that first post. It's just a video of The Roches singing "Star of Wonder" as the first song of 25 for the December Holidays. Here they are again.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas memory

The first Christmas after my parents separated, my sister and I spent Christmas Eve at my Dad's place, a rail-road apartment on 11th? 12th? Street in Park Slope.

We shared a bedroom there, and my dad had painted a bright and cheerful rainbow on the wall above my bed. My sister's side of the room had this magical built-in cupboard, with drawers underneath.

So, it's the night before Christmas. The first Christmas we weren't a whole family. I couldn't sleep. BigSister couldn't sleep. We were whispering and speculating and wondering if Santa knew where we would be. Did we remember to give him this address? Would it confuse him that we were going to be switching houses? We just. couldn't. sleep.

So BigSister said, "you know, when EldestCousin babysat for me a while ago, I asked him to tuck me in and he didn't know how. Here! Let me show you what he did!"

And she bounced up out of bed, and came over to my side of the room and pulled the covers up to my chin and then went "TUCK!TUCK!TUCK!" and tucked the blankets in around my body like you would tuck a flat sheet under a mattress.

And then she went back to her bed. And I bounced up (after detangling myself) and I went over to HER side of the room and I pulled the covers up to her chin and went "TUCK!TUCK!TUCK!" and tucked the blankets in around her body like you would tuck a flat sheet under a mattress.

And then I went back to my bed and she bounced up (after detangling herself) and....well, lather, rinse, repeat about seven times. We were HOWLING with laughter. And it became a Christmas tradition that we continued for years.

The moral of the story is that even the most difficult holidays can bring fun memories, and build new traditions. I don't remember what I got for Christmas that year, but I remember that night with my sister.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - part 25: Finale

'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime, when all the birds had fled...

Yes, that's Muffin Man singing the first verse. I couldn't be more proud.

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - a brief detour

My intended twenty-fifth song is still on the camera, so here is a bonus song: Julia Murney singing about what happens to the gifts AFTER Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Muffin Man did the lion's share of trimming the trees this year.

I participated by stringing the lights and topping the taller of the two trees with the star with his hand print angel from '03. His hands were so tiny!

Also in this picture, but hard to see, are Spottie and Runner.

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - part 20

You knew I had to, right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - parts 18 and 19

Because I missed yesterday, here are two! First, Tom Lehrer makes his second appearance on my list with "A Christmas Carol" (lipsynched by Benjamin M. W. in a red & black Santa hat)

Next, we have Brenda Lee singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". Static picture, alas.

Tune in tomorrow for another Hanukkah entry!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate Dropkins

Chocolate Dropkins are a tradition in my family. My earliest Christmas memories include making bread dough figures for the tree, and these chocolates for treats.

The chocolates are dead simple to make, you take one box of unsweetened chocolate and melt it in a double-boiler. When it's all melted, you cool it slightly and mix in one can of sweetened condensed milk. Let it cool to rolling temperature (should not be liquidy, should feel like play doh.)

This is almost to the right temperature, but was still a little goopy.

Once the consistency is right, you roll the chocolate into small balls, and coat in colored sugar, nuts, powdered cocoa, or coconut. This year I used white and gold sugar. The gold looked better than the white.
Ooh! Pretty!
What looked best, though, was a mixture of gold and white, which really made the chocolates look Christmas-y. The hardest part of making these chocolates is waiting for the mixture to reach the right temperature.

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - part 14

Here's a great gift idea!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011