And once again, my universe rights itself…

Smooth Sailing by Nancy Dunne
Smooth Sailing, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

I worked a LOT in November. A LOT. Many, many hours. As a result…


I’m sort of chuffed, in case you couldn’t tell? All of my angst and depression goes away when I think that I’ll be with my Mister (and my MeiMei) in just about 22 days. Ho Ho Ho Happy Christmas to me!

Mind you, the flight could have been cheaper, but it wasn’t to be…nor did it matter. See above working a LOT in November. See me grinning like an idiot.

Yeah, so, that’s good news. Yeah. Apologies for the Nancy you’ve come to hate over the past few months. She’s MUCH better now.

Shrove Tuesday Meal Attempt

I know that I’m not the best cook in the world. Well aware of that fact, acutally…just consider my other culinary disasters, including but not limited to the time I put french onion soup powder into spaghetti with meat sauce or my famous Nancy’s Noodle Nightmares where I can’t STOP adding ingredients to the skillet…but this time I think it might NOT have been my fault.

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras/The Day Before Ash Wednesday and it is traditional in some parts of the world to eat pancakes on this day.

Shrove Tuesday is the term used in the United Kingdom,[1] Australia,[2] and Canada to refer to the day after Shrove Monday (or the more old fashioned Collop Monday) and before Ash Wednesday (the liturgical season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday). In Ireland, the UK, and amongst Anglicans, Lutherans and possibly other Protestant denominations in Canada including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, this day is also known as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday, because it is customary to eat pancakes on this day.[3][4][5] In other parts of the world—for example, in historically Catholic and French-speaking parts of the United States and elsewhere—this day is called Mardi Gras. In areas with large Polish-immigrant populations (for example, Chicago) it is known as Tłusty Czwartek and celebrated on the Tuesday before Lent. And in areas with large German-immigrant populations (for example, Pennsylvania Dutch Country) it is known as Fasnacht Day (also spelled Fausnacht Day and Fauschnaut Day). [from Wikipedia]

After hearing Simon and Liz talk about their pancakes, I became inspired to try to make some myself. After all, the recipe that Liz gave me in IM didn’t seem that difficult and I had all the ingredients…sorta.

2 cups flour
2 cups milk
pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter

I assembled the ingredients:

Mixed up a fairly runny batter:

And poured it in the pan, tilting it to spread the batter, and waiting for the bubbles before I flipped it.

Problem is, my skillet isn’t even close to flat and they were burning (we’re talking smoke!) in the middle. So I ended up with gloppy and gross pancakes.

I’m so sad that I used the last of my strawberry jam on the one on the right. Neither was edible. So for the last one I stopped trying to pretend I was English and ate it the old fashioned American way…slathered with “Tastes Like Butter!” and drowned in “Light Lowfat Maple Syrup.”

Note to Self: Ask Santa for proper electric skillet for Christmas this year.

Red Stockings and Scripture Readings

Here’s my holiday advice, free of charge. If you buy a smashing new jumper (the American meaning, a short dress…not the English meaning/a sweater) that’s all pretty and Christmasy plaid and looks outstanding with your new favorite red Old Navy turtleneck, and you’re slated to read a lesson during the “Lessons and Carols” Christmas Eve service at your Dad’s church, don’t wear red tights. Seriously. I caught sight of myself in the window at the chinese restaurant where we ate after church (the only place in town open) and let’s just say Santa’s Elves have got NOTHING on me.

Further, should you try on said jumper and think “Oh, it’s a bit tight here and there but that will just hold all of me in nicely and the plaid will hide my Michelin Man physique…” You are wrong, my friend, wrong wrong wrong.

Imagine my joy when, in my short plaid too tight jumper and BLINDING red turtleneck and tights (just say a small prayer of thanks that I took off the red shoes in favor of black ones, since the red shoes have a tendency to slip off at the wrong moment…oh, and they’re RED), the decision was made that those doing readings would sit in the choir loft…facing the congregation.

Well. At least I didn’t mispronounce anything in my reading and didn’t fall off the stage or onto the poor, now blinded people I was sitting next to on the pew. Happy Christmas, y’all. I think I need another cuppa tea.

How NOT to take a Christmas Photo

You’re gonna jump in here with us, right Mommy? (Jeany and Daisy hang their heads in shame….)

Happy Headless Holidays!

Wrestlin’ around the Christmas Tree…

(that one was so not funny at the time, I was trying to swing Daisy’s butt around and at the same time she dug her nails in Hunky ran away…but looking at it now Jeany’s face is like “Oh, Mommy that is SO not going to work!!” :lol)

Okay, this is…wait, are we in frame?…CRAP!

You guys got a BETTER way to do this?

Yeah…photoshop the dogs in later. Merry Christmas, y’all!

A Holiday Meme…a HoMe? MeHo?

(because Liz told me to…)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags. My parents used to have to help me cover my books with grocery bags in high school so if you think I’m able to wrap a gift alone you’re insane. Oh yeah, and they’re green too…

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. The dogs are less likely to wee on it.

3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after my birthday…and Mary Catherine’s birthday.

4. When do you take the tree down? Generally just after New Year’s but this year it will be up until 8th January or longer because I’ll be in the UK till the 7th.

5. Do you like egg nog? No. You shouldn’t drink eggs and what on earth is nog? Relegated to the fruitcake category.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably Lady, a brittany spaniel that I got instead of the parrot I’d asked Santa to bring. Interestingly enough, Santa replied to my note in my Daddy’s handwriting explaining why I didn’t need a parrot. He is magical, I tell ya…

7. Do you have a nativity scene? My parents have one. It’s a tradition for my sister (the minister, mind you) to put Baby Jesus on top of the stable. She’s not right, that one…

8. Hardest person to buy for? Dave and Sooz.

9. Easiest person to buy for? The dogs, because they would love an old shoe!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Thank you for reminding me! They will make it by Easter at least…

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? That’s a hard one to answer…

12. Favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. “Pass me some of them potatoes, Clark, they are gooooooooo-ooooood!”

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? After my second paycheck in December.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes indeedy.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Those little white mints with the green and red sprinkles on them that my mother always has in abundance all over the kitchen…

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored but it was an accident.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Wizards of Winter by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the moment. But I think for traditional ones O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a favorite.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Well, they aren’t going to come to me, so…

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star, compliments of Mom, Daddy, and Target.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning, of course…Santa hasn’t brought anything Christmas Eve, silly.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Not being able to spend Christmas with my furry family. I miss them so much when I travel. But when everyone I’m visiting is either allergic or doesn’t allow animals in the house (or both), I’m stuck.

23. Favorite dessert after Christmas dinner? Coconut cake. No kidding.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? To see everyone that I love.

25. Old fashioned lights or icicle lights on your house? I would have just white lights around the columns and in the bushes (with some garland around the columns) but I ran out of Decorate The House Money.


T shirts!
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen

So today I need to clean my house, get out my Christmas decorations, and get the guest accommodations ready because I have guests coming in a FEW HOURS. I haven’t done a thing yet, save put T-shirts on the dogs and be amazed that Hunky can now wear one of the Old Navy shirts in the same size as the girls! It’s really amusing, Jeany’s is too big and Hunky’s is just…well, he kinda looks like the guy that struts around on the beach that wears the muscle shirt that came from the boys’ section…and Daisy’s is just right.

So I’m still not cleaning. I’m still not getting out my tree or my wreath. I’m still not vacuuming or mopping or cleaning the toilet. All I can seem to do is run back to the computer to upload “just one more picture” or turn on the dishwasher.

Ugh! Enough stalling! Time to make the donuts…well, actually that’s the one thing I DON’T have to do! If you’re looking to stall today, check out my slideshow of my pictures from Thanksgiving at my parents’ house yesterday. Cleveland Georgia is part of America’s most beautiful country, the Appalachian Mountains, and I never tire of taking pictures of those mountains. It’s like they are big arms that surround me and keep me safe and let me know I am home. Enjoy.