Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day...and the Second Day.

Christmas Eve dinner: We had our traditional tamales repast at our son's house. The tamales, all sorts, are picked up from a Mexican restaurant around 3 in the afternoon to be enjoyed before going to church.

I didn't even take a single picture of the amazing spread.

I was sadly still feeling pretty wimpy and only enjoyed a couple of bites.  Going to church was out of the question.

 Next year...or maybe sooner, I want a do over on that meal.

The next morning, Christmas morning, Bernie made me breakfast per my request.

One soft cooked egg, and a small glass of sparkling apple cider.

It was just the perfect amount of food this year.
As I ate a recalled Christmas breakfasts with fresh baked cinnamon rolls and our sweet pajama clad children eating off these same plates.

I used to love our "just us four" Christmas morning breakfasts.

My Santa chef...thank you for cooking breakfast this year.

...and back to sleep it was for me right after breakfast.
Frenchie guarded my slumber.

Tate hinted as hard as he could that it was time to open presents already.

So around time!  Bernie got me a cool camera back pack and tripod.  Thank you honey!

Tate: This is what I've been talking about!

Presents, after all, are meant to be opened, and then the real fun begins!

Ribbons are fun for everyone!
Bags and boxes, wrapping and ribbons.  A feline fantasy come true.

Lots and lots of fun....and then...starting to wind down. is nap time....
Bitsy our watcher watches everything from safely beneath the dining table.

Short nap and back to enjoying the post gift opening clutter.
And yes Tate did get the ribbon from that big red package.
Don't know why Bitsy just doesn't want to join in the fun.
Those blue eyes.
So pretty.

Christmas night we had dinner at our son's house. 

He and his wife had cooked:

Beef tenderloin
Rustic rosemary yeast rolls
Salad with pomegranate seeds served with home made dressing
Morel mushroom sauce
Ruth Chris Steak house recipe for sweet potato casserole topped with pecan praline. 

Bernie had made a butternut squash risotto with Parmesan cheese.

Dessert was Jeff's home made Dutch Apple Pie.

These folks are serious cooks.  I mean VERY serious.

Which brings us to Monday.
Now what?  Oh, let me want us to light the Hanukkah candles, right?
Sorry Tate.  Not until after Sundown. 

Be patient.

Monday night, night seven of Hanukkah.  Each night I have so enjoyed the quiet moments when Bernie would read a Bible passage about light, and then we would sit and enjoy the watching the candle's glowing lights.

He even mad latkes the first night. I only ate a few bites but they turned out perfect.
I think he will be taking over the latke making for us.
At last some thing drew Bitsy out from under the dining table.

In fact, every night either she or Tate have sat and watched the candles twinkle in the window.

(Don't you love the shallow dept of field effect that creates bokeh light that are seen behind her? I also got a new "prime" lens for Christmas and it just rocks for focus and bokeh!)

From the front window we watched the candles reflections combine with in the Christmas lights outside, while the other end of the room framed a view of the Christmas tree glowing outside on the deck.

Each evening presented a colorful feast for the eyes wherever we looked.
And to finish up: One funny story:

Bernie decided to make a batch of sugar cookies after I mentioned how much I missed having Christmas cookies in the house.

I napped while he baked, and when I went in to see the cookies, I was surprised to see that only a few had sprinkles.

I asked if he hadn't known where all the sprinkles were kept.

Turns out...he knew where the sprinkles were kept alright.
It just turns out that he doesn't like sprinkles on his cookies.

I, on the other hand, like my cookies so heavily sprinkled that not a bit of cookie can be seen peeking out from beneath all the  sugary color.

Thirty five years of Christmases...with heavily sprinkled sugar cookies each and every year and at last he finally got to have Christmas cookies the way he likes them!


Saturday was my final day of fever; I haven't felt very strong, and haven't been able to eat much BUT...I am feeling better, with chest pain only occuring when I breath deeply.
Being fever free now for two day, I am returning to work tomorrow.
Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes. It has been almost a full month of feeling awful; I am hoping from now on out I will be getting stronger with every passing day.

Thank you everyone who shared your Christmas on your blog; it was surprising how happy it made me feel to read about how Christmas was spent in the homes of people whose lives I enjoy following via blogdom.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How much longer till present opening???

Tate:  This waiting until Christmas is starting to get to me.
They keep saying to check the Advent calendar...don't they know cats don't know what a calendar is for?

All these boxes with ribbons and things...just sitting on the table for days now.

I've been told I has to be be good and wait until Christmas morning to open the boxes.

That big red one...wonder what's in that one?
I really am being good.  Just sitting next to the boxes, looking at all the pretty ribbons and sparkly papers.

Just a little while longer...I can keep being really good...

OH who are we kidding here?
I am bored out of my mind!
What is the big deal about waiting until later anyway?

Jill:  Tate, did I hear you say something?

Tate: No...I was just yawning loudly before I take my nap.  Go back to sleep.

Jill:  Umphhh...ugh...I feel lousy any way....zZzzzzzzz

Tate: That was close.  I think as long as she is asleep I will just do a bit of pre-Christmas snooping.
This bag smells interesting...

The ribbons....the ribbons! 

The ribbons and the tissue paper both make the best crinkly sound!

Oh my.  No wonder Christmas presents are so popular.  Who wouldn't want stuff with ribbons?

Wonder if different colored ribbons taste differently?
One way to find out for sure....


That actually didn't taste all that great...phooey!

Oh hi Bernie.  No I was just keeping an eye on the Christmas presents for you.   They all look just great!

Can't wait until Christmas morning!

Yes, I am keeping an especially close watch on that big red gift.
Is it for me?

Bernie: No, I am afraid it isn't.  

Tate:  Oh.  Well maybe who ever gets it will let me have the ribbon after it is opened?

Bernie:  We'll see what we can do about that...

Tate:  I just wish I knew how many more hours it is until we open presents around here. 
Sometimes not being able to tell human time can be a really big drag.

Update:  The Wednesday visit to the doctor left me no new answers aside from reconfirming that there is a bit of fluid on the heart, and some inflammation around the heart sack which gets brushed with each breath of lung expansion. 
Random coughing spells serve to open up the lungs that I hesitate to fully inflate.
The "guess" is that these two elements are the reason for the on going fever which unhappily continues up to today.

Flu is ruled out; as I am allergic to flu shot preservatives I was glad that was that case.

I am on an antibiotics and seven other heart procedure related meds; all of which should be finished up in the next week or so.
I have read that sometimes meds can cause fevers too.

I am so thankful that this year did not include travel plans, either to other places or people coming to visit us.

I would really like to be fever free and able to return to work (and a real life outside of fever/fever break sweats/ fever rebuilding with aches etc etc!) on Tuesday.

And I would like for food to taste normal and tummy friendly again as well.

Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas with health, family and love abounding here on earth is it does in heaven above.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Ho Ho.

I know I will forget what we have been doing unless I post about it. 
On  Tuesday Dec. 13th  we attended Bernie's professional organization's Christmas party.
It was held at a Fine Art museum.

A nice jazz trio played...
The food was good, the people not particularly friendly. 

After we dined, we wandered about the galleries enjoying the art. 
Not a bad way to spend a very cold Monday evening in December.
Not bad at all...

Wednesday afternoon was the staff Christmas party at work, a potluck held over lunch time.
Not quite as glam as the party the night before, but the people were a lot more friendly.

The guys even wore festive ties and such.

A few games were played; we visited and laughed together. 
Not a bad way to spend an hour.

Not bad at all.
This year Bernie has taken on the holiday chores; he has both shopped for gifts and decorated the tree and the house.

The tree...he decided to drape the deck railing with garland and lights and place the Christmas tree outside where it could well be seen from our kitchen, dining and living room, a scene framed through the garland and light trimmed sliding door.

At various times the tree has had snow on the branches and even some ice cycles.
Colorful birds have stopped by to enjoy the festive scene.
The flicker was an especially impressive visitor.

At one point all four cats held a meeting on the stairs. 
Trust me...the four of them rarely are seen this close together.

I'm not sure what the meeting was all about, but shortly afterward, there was a complete re-arrangement in the feline sleeping accommodations.
Who knows.
A grey icy fog has covered our area for a couple of weeks, trapping pollutions and making the world look uninviting.
Each morning new hoarfrost designs are to be seen outside on metal and glass surfaces.

I wonder how it works that a long streamer of frost designs will sometimes form while other frost remain in rounded clumps.

Fascinating stuff...or at least it is to me.

So after our staff Christmas party last Wednesday we went back to work and then I went home as usual.
The next morning, last Thursday, I woke up with a 101 temp.
Since I have no sick leave (new job/had to take time off without pay for cardiac procedure) I decided to just pop some Tylenol and tough it out.
When I got home my temp was 103.2

Next morning the temp was 102...but off to work again.
Around 10 am I noticed it kind of hurt to breath.
Decided I should at least let the cardio group know what was going on.
(They have shown absolutely no interested in a week of fever and chest pain earlier so I didn't think they would care this time either but just to be safe...)
This time I was ordered in for eight hours of tests.
Urine tests

All of which confirmed that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me.
(This bit of excellent news was delivered to me as I displayed a 102 temp.)
I was sent home with an anti inflammatory and percoset...oh how blissful those "percs" are when they kick in!

Anyway, that pretty much took care of all of Friday.
Saturday: More fever
Sunday: Our Anniversary.  More bed time with fever.
Monday: Same
Tuesday: Same

You know what is really bugging me?

Is that while the doctors were running all manner of amazing tests to discover why I was feeling so cruddy, NO ONE did a swab to see if maybe, just maybe I could have the flu?

I know...why didn't I ask?
It is such folly to assume doctors can think of these things on their own, right?

So I have been basically burning up, drenching in fever break sweat, sleeping, sleeping, sleeping, worry about what this is if it isn't the flu, worrying about how lame I must seem to my coworkers, worrying about what isn't being done for Christmas (Bernie really has handled all the needful things, and I keep telling myself that I can make Valentine day treats to give to the neighbors and coworkers later...)

This morning I didn't have a temperature.
Still feel yukky, but hopeful that maybe things are on the mend.

So for ho ho ho here.
I think I am ready to go back to bed.