Diary of a Metal Mommy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The thing I love most about Christmas is the endless celebrating. I guess in this the Mommy out-does the Metal, as my celebrating these days consists of pleasant days or evenings with friends instead of heading out the door to some rocker party armed with black eyeliner and a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Wine. And Hallelujah to that, is what I say. Can't say I miss much about those days...well, except maybe being able to get away with that black eyeliner.

Some of the best celebrating comes at impromptu times, like hanging out with Steph and John as Nathan and Vivian hung downstairs and watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, newly acquired on DVD. A jug of wine, (decent wine that is, not Boone's Farm...) Marcona almonds and thou--it rocks.

And of course it wouldn't be the holidays without the church Christmas Play. No matter what they do with it each year, it always brings to mind the Peanuts and A Charlie Brown Christmas. (especially when you have a narrator that sounds very much like Linus, which we actually do) And it never fails to bring a tear to a parent's eye, I can tell you that. What is it about adorable kids in these hokey costumes up there picking their noses and belting out about the Baby Jesus so horribly out of tune that itjust warms the heart?? Then in true Minnesotan-style it's time for the church buffet. Plenty of meatballs and ambrosia salad for everyone.
Speaking of buffet, I'm still trying to plan out what I'll do for the Christmas meal around here. I don't know exactly how many I'll have yet, but I guess that's kind of the fun. How many of you do turkey for Christmas? Or ham? Or neither? Inquiring minds want to know. I have a hankerin' for some deviled eggs, I think I'll have to make some of those. Deviled Eggs on the Lord's birthday. Now that's metal.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Let's Get Gourmet!

Oh yeah, Gourmet Night in the new house! Love it. And with a recipe from my lovely gourmand friend Stephanie, it was definitely a hit. It was so good, in fact, that I might just pull a Steph and add the recipe in my comments below!

Our gourmet group has been getting together for about 10 years now--isn't that crazy?! The eight of us are actually the second incarnation, Pastor Tim asked us to join after I accidentally blurted out "damn" in our new members class at church. There I was thinking I was surely going to hell and instead I got into a gourmet dinner group. (my love and appreciation for Pastor Tim started right then and there.) Only about a year after The Coreman and I joined, one of the couples left. (I've often wondered about that one..!) Being the newest of the group, we got to pick the replacement couple--which were Mark and Dawn. So here we are, basically in our 10 Year Anniversary...The Coreman and I, Mark and Dawn, Rosemarie and Greg, and Tim and Nancy. I could not be with a better group of people, I am so blessed to have them in my life! They are the sort of folk that even though our meetings sometimes don't go beyond our monthly dinners or a weekly 'hello' at church, there is an unspoken bond there that we all feel with each other. I know I could go to any one of these people with anything. That's pretty cool. After 10 years of trying to think of new recipes, we may not be very gourmet, but it's a sure thing that there will always be a hearty helping of laughter and fun.

I just love it when our turn to host the group falls around the holidays. The house definitely feels festive just with all of the holiday stuff out. Light a few candles and voila! Instant Glamour. Our table looks especially nice these days, last year The Coreman had a moment of insanity and told me to go to Pier One and buy some nice dishware. I was a little afraid but ran out the door without question before he could change his mind. The result is a plethora of beautiful golden plates and "crystal" glasses--sorry, we're not talking Waterford here--very nice. For this occassion I added some Christmas crackers which housed bad jokes and plastic charms--the best part of these things was the gunpowder smell that emitted from them upon cracking--and a mirrored trivet I purchased at World Market (my new favorite tchotchke place!) on every other plate, as a 'take-home gift' for each couple. I wanted to get a photo of my table all set up, but alas, I became too busy in preparation and forgot. Hate it when that happens!

Hosting the group around Christmas means you must have the White Elephant gift giveaway--to me, the highlight of the evening. I also affectionately call this 'Wrap Your Crap'. To those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, basically you hunt around your house for things that you have no use for and have no idea why they are still around, wrap them up disquised in wrong-sized boxes and/or pretty paper and then take turns opening them up. Some people play with dice--we just have each person select a number (in this case, 1-8 since there were 8 of us) and take turns picking out the gift. I believe something can be stolen twice, but on the third time around it stays with it's owner. I was sad to lose a beautiful holiday candle only to be given The Claw Award in it's place. Yes, even though Greg was the person who first opened this hideous thing, it was I that ended up with it. Luckily The Coreman has taken it to work for his own employee White Elephant exchange. What I really love about our gourmet version is the fact that Rosemarie never plays by the rules and actually runs out and gets really CUTE things from Target (everybody picks her gifts first, we are no fools) and Pastor Tim never steals anyone's gift. I guess you can take the Pastor out of the church, but...well, you know the rest. I actually did end up with a very cool 60's/70's glass vase from Dawn--I guess my threat to karate chop anyone who tried to steal it actually worked. This White Elephant thing is a true example of "One man's junk is another one's treasure"!

What a fun evening--fun that is, until it's time to clean up. Ah well, I guess we all take turns with this as the host/hostess of the month. That's the time I find myself cursing our big idea of fancy golden plates from Pier One, as they need to be hand washed. Who's idea was that anyway?!

Happy Holidays! (and don't forget to check out that recipe!)

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Poof! It's Christmas.

Add tinsle, it's Christmas. OK, add a Christmas tree, an endless sea of ornaments, Rudolph figurines, (can't have Christmas without Rudolph!!) blinky lights, various holiday tchotchkes, Christmas music and gifts for under the tree that my Mother sent in July, and THEN it's Christmas. I'm totally into it, I love the holidays. And here's our living room in all of it's holiday glory, for the continuation of the New Home Photo Tour.

I LOVE our living room. One thing I really didn't want to give up from our old home was the fact that our living and dining room were one big open room--luckily we did indeed get the same thing here. The openess is even more expansive since we have this vaulted ceiling, complete with wooden beams. Love it! Coreman especially has a warm spot for it--I think between that and the woodsy lot, he really feels like he's back home in his childhood house.

We have a very interesting floor plan--it's sort of like a split entry that only goes up, and not down when you enter the door. I guess that is a positive concept...things can only go up around here! I love being high up above the street in our living room, the view out of our many windows is so lovely. The previous owners had the wood floors redone as well, and they are gleaming and beautiful. They are sort of a reddish color, very warm.

Check out our big fireplace and mantle! Now THAT'S a fireplace Santa can come down. In fact, I hope he picks the right chimney--we have two! One that leads to the fireplace up here, and one for the downstairs fireplace. It's interesting, we had a fireplace in our old house but we rarely used it and eventually got an electric insert to go in it. We've already had about 5 fires in this house since we've moved in. I feel like I should be baking bread in this thing or something.

The dining room isn't especially grand, but it's a nice size and of course has the great view into our back yard. We're still trying to decide what kind of window coverings to do--of course privacy is a good thing, but we don't want to give up our view or make the room seem smaller as bulky treatments can so often do. Guess we'll live naked for a while and see how it feels...or not live naked, with the open windows. !

The green color out here is actually do-able. I was SO over green in our other house--when we first moved in practically everything was some shade of green. I'm not kidding. The kitchen was entirely green--counters, walls, floor...our bedroom was dark green, the carpet on the screened porch was green, and so was the floor and pipes in the basement. whew! This green is sort of a nice spring green though, and it works with the reddish wood. Me like. (whew, there's one big room we dont have to paint!)

I hope you all are enjoying the hustle-bustle of the holiday. I have to say, it doesn't bother me. I do have a bit of my Mother in me and although I don't do my Christmas shopping in July I do get things done early so when this time comes I'm not crazy. I rather enjoy the hunt and gather, the grocery shopping with all of the festive stuff out. It really helps that we have snow--we got a good amount on December 1st and today we are getting some more! Beautiful! Let it Snow!