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Old 12-20-2010, 07:02 AM   #1  
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Default Maintainers Weekly Chat Dec. 20 - Dec. 26

OK, it's here, this week. The Amazon packages are arriving. One more year I might just make it.

Hoping to take some days off this week to prepare for having my two adult kids overnight Christmas eve. We usually have a blast - they insist on old traditions. We'll read A Child's Christmas in Wales and do other silly stuff. Maybe a fire in the fireplace. Then DW and I have to shoo them off to bed so Santa can come. We're no longer able to outlast them, LOL.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:54 AM   #2  
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Bill, you're way ahead of me. My project for the weekend was to write Christmas cards, but I "decided" to get the stomach flu instead. Maybe this year we'll do Arbor Day cards. Arbor Day is such an underappreciated holiday...

I had hoped to be able to get to the gym M-Th this week, since my gym closes Friday until Jan 3. Not sure if today is going to happen, though, given my recent bout with the ickies. I still feel dehydrated, but at least the fever is gone!

Those of you who celebrate X-mas, what are y'all having for dinner? It's just the three of us this year, me, DH, and The Boy. We're doing a pasture-raised ham -- I can't quite face another turkey yet -- but I never know what to serve for sides. We don't have strong family traditions about Christmas dinner. (Well, except my Mom's cranberry chiffon pie, which I won't be making because I don't really care for it. Shh, don't tell Mom.)

b. strong,
Kim
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:56 AM   #3  
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Thumbs up Good Morning all!

Christmas week . I'm all prepared - the result of having to dog sit thru Christmas all those past years. I start preparing in October and am always basically finished by Christmas week.

I relaxed last night with a big pot of "chocolate chai" tea and the "Men of the Year" issue of GQ while carols played in the background and my tree twinkled - NICE!

Bill Sounds like you have a really good relationship with your kids. Enjoy their company for the holiday!

Hope everyone else gets everything done and can have a couple of relaxing, stress-free moments this holiday season!

Dagmar
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:51 AM   #4  
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Well, DH hurt his shoulder a week ago, so we're using that excuse for not putting up a tree (says getting the tree and decorations down will be too hard). I would like to put up a few decorations, though. But the way Ringo keeps trying to climb our fake palm tree, I think no Christmas tree this year is a good idea.

I think I'm all done shopping and wrapping. We got a TV for DD and it's too big to wrap and there's nowhere we can hide it very well, so I put it under her bed. I wonder if she'll see it before Saturday morning. She usually only snoops in the obvious places and she may not think to look under her bed.

DS gets his wisdom teeth out tomorrow. I hope he'll be back to eating solid food by Saturday as I'm going to try my hand at a standing rib roast (prime rib). MIL has done it before and she'll be around to help if I need it.

DD will be home Thursday. She's up in San Francisco visiting a friend and will be driving back to Fullerton on Wednesday. With all the rain we've had, I really worry about her. The worst part will be on the Grapevine on I-5. Rain here usually means snow there and that stretch can be very treacherous.

I'm so happy that this is going to be a short week! I get most of tomorrow off for DS's surgery and of course we're closed on Friday. I think we'll go see Tron in 3D Friday (although DD went to see it already and doesn't want to see it again, I guess she was less than thrilled with it). Friday night we're going to our old neighbor's house for dinner--an annual celebration. Saturday will be quiet and relaxing. DS bought us a new family game for us to play on Christmas--something that I look forward to. I love games and normally it is only DD that wants to play and it's hard to do when she's away at school.

Everyone have a wonderful week!
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:11 PM   #5  
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Morning all,

Well, I've discovered mustard & turnip greens taste really good if you cook them in bacon fat and then crumble the bacon on top. I brought that to my "beer club" dinner Saturday night, so I could spread the baconness around and only eat one serving myself. Sunday morning I spent several hours cutting cloth tops out of holiday fabric to top my pickle & jelly jars with, and tying them with ribbon, organizing which go where, etc. They are mostly being delivered today - the next "to-do" crossed off the holiday list. I went to visit my friend who had a new baby just last week. He is so tiny! Already he seems like a happy baby, and his big brother (2 1/2) is really cute and wants to share everything with him. And last night, my BF surprised me with a visit! He is headed back to central FL today after he goes to the bank and takes care of some other business, but it was very nice to see him.

I still haven't sent any Christmas cards. Oops. I just have to wrap BF's presents, the rest are all sent off already, and I just found out I might be seeing part of his family at Christmas so I need to find something little to give them. Dave always tells them we won't exchange gifts and they buy us things anyway. I'm feeling fairly calm about getting it all done right now.

Dagmar, that sounds like a very nice, relaxing evening.

Bill, it sounds like you're about ready for the holiday and are going to enjoy it with your kids. It's great that they like to carry on the childhood traditions.

Kim, glad you're feeling better. My parents always do kind of a repeat of Thanksgiving for Christmas, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans (though we've never done the green bean casserole). BF's family usually does a beef roast or a ham, or both. They usually serve it with roasted potatoes, cut up, tossed in olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper, always a crowd pleaser. Of course a combo of any root veg roasted would be good. Maybe some roasted green beans, asparagus, or another green veg?

My family likes this green bean recipe:
"Mrs. Hausamann's Green Beans" (from my mom's friend - you guessed it - Mrs. Hausmann)
1 lb green beans, rinsed, trimmed, cut up to whatever size you like
small onion, sliced into rings
1/3 c chopped pecans (I also use walnuts and they work great)
3-4 T butter (or 1 T if you're Megan)
3 T brown sugar
3 T orange juice
1.5 T Dijon mustard
1 t salt (or to taste)

Steam green beans. In skillet, cook onions & pecans in butter until tender over medium heat. Add brown sugar, OJ, mustard, salt, stir and cook 2-3 min. longer until sauce bubbles and begins to reduce. Stir in beans and heat through.

I'm really surprised I've never posted that in the recipes thread, b/c I like the recipe so much and if you reduce the butter and brown sugar, it's not too bad health-wise. I'll copy and paste it to there right now.

How are everyone else's holiday plans coming?
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:51 PM   #6  
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Bill, that's so neat that your kids still want to have their Christmas traditions! It's been a struggle the past few years to convince my parents that they should still put the tree up. Of course I know they enjoy it in the end, too. =)

Kim, we are having a turkey dinner for Christmas this year, although sometimes we do ham. When we have ham, the sides have typically been mashed potatoes and green beans - nothing too exciting but I LOVE my mom's ham gravy. mmmm... my mouth is watering now! The day AFTER Christmas we are having our family get-together and making lasagna. Just to mix it up a little =) My mom is making her traditional lasagna and I'm making a spinach and mushroom lasagna I adapted from a cooking light recipe.

Dagmar, how do you make your chocolate chai? I used to get that at a cafe and loved it, but haven't had it since I moved. I've considered hot cocoa mix using a chai tea bag in hot water instead of just plain water but haven't gotten around to actually trying it.

Allison, our cats (so far) have not tried to climb the Christmas tree, but they did find the small wrapped package under the tree from my BF's sister and decide it was a new toy for them. Silly kitties!

Megan, that green bean recipe sounds great. =)
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:39 PM   #7  
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IRIS you should have run with my daughter in that 1/2 marathon...you would have been under 2 hours She said it was all downhill!

MEGAN those beans sound awesome!

We will have chili and sandwich stuff Christmas Eve with all the family and friends (25-30) here in and out and church. On the day after Christmas just our kids and spouses will be here for chicken cacciatore and polenta.

Christmas Day Angie and I will find ourselves alone We may even go out to dinner...a first for Christmas.

Have A MERRY ONE EVERYBODY!
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:46 PM   #8  
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DH and I are hosting our "winter holiday" dinner on Christmas (usually it's Christmakuh, but Hannukah is already over, and we're not Christian and neither are 90% of our guests, so I'm tempted to call it "Yuletide" or something random).

My family's traditional Christmas dinner must always have a rib roast and either twice-baked potatoes or oven-roasted potatoes (the potatoes are both yellow from the massive quantity of margarine my dad puts in). Everything else changes from year to year, but there are usually at least two veggie dishes, some kind of appetizers, and some kind of dessert. Plus sparkling wine. This year I think we're going to make a bunch of cookies and persimmon pudding for dessert.

Speaking of which my parents arrived two days early on their trip out to see us, so DH and I spent the weekend cleaning like maniacs. They were supposed to arrive Wednesday, but called us Saturday and said they were making faster progress than expected and would arrive Sunday night. So I lost two days I had planned for cleaning time! In any case we managed to get the house cleaned up. Plus since they're here (I'm at work) they were able to sign for a package that arrived today with DH's present. I bought him an antique Japanese woodblock print and I'm trying to decide if I have time to get it framed before Christmas.

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Old 12-20-2010, 01:54 PM   #9  
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We'll have a standing rib roast, and rather plainly cooked sides to accompany it: steamed broccoli, roasted green beans and a sweet potato apiece.

I'm an amateur at doing Christmas. I used to drive up to stay with my parents, where there was a live, rather lemony-smelling tree with all the inherited ornaments, garlands on the stair railings and the mantel and a phallic-looking amaryllis in the middle of the breakfast table.

Then my father died in 2008, just days before Thanksgiving, and we nearly ignored Christmas that year (teary midnight mass, orgy on steamed crab legs once we got home, that's all, folks). Last year, we actually exchanged gifts. This year, I put a ceramic tree with a long tall lightbulb inside it on a table in my living room. And the gift-giving resumed at its former opulent level, pretty much without notice. I was supposed to intuit this from observing my mother, and I failed. (Bad daughter.) My mother informed me that she has gotten me a horrifically expensive antique piece that she's picking up from the dealer today. And I am scrambling to reciprocate, at least in quantity, since I can't possibly afford to return the gesture, and she says there is nothing she wants anyways. I found some things for her online. Like Bill, I am cutting it close. The postman better have something for me today or I'll shriek & wail & rend my turtleneck in front of my neighbors at the mailboxes.

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Old 12-21-2010, 06:43 AM   #10  
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Megan re "spread the baconness around"

Iris The chocolate chai is an herbal blend that I picked up at the grocery. It doesn't taste at all like chocolate but it smells divine!

Gary Just the two of you going out for dinner on Christmas day - sounds lovely! DH and I did that years ago when snow prevented us from going to see family. We had the restaurant all to ourselves.

Allison Hope DH and DS heal quickly! And next year you can tie the tree to something. My cousin's cats used to shinny up the trunk of the Christmas tree. He tied it to the stairs and it was always miraculously ok. I wish I was as supple as a cat! More I guess.

saef Sounds like spending Christmas with your mom might not be so much fun. My mother used to do the "impossible to buy for" thing every year. She "didn't want anything" so we didn't get her stuff and she cried. We gave her stuff and she didn't like it but wouldn't return it. We once gave her a gift certificate and it was "thoughtless". Etc.

My dad and I just gritted our teeth and endured the humilliation in front of the rest of the family. Since I didn't drive in those days copious quantities of vodka helped deal with mom's b&*chiness as well.

Great Tuesday all!

Dagmar
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:57 AM   #11  
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"I marvel at my own sense of calm now. Events that used to leave me reeling, with my head in a bag of chips, no longer even faze me."

Oprah


That's how I want to spend the holiday - calmly. I know I will probably put my head in a bag of chips at some point but it will only be once.

Dagmar
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:24 AM   #12  
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At Maintenance 3 yrs !
For the first time in my life I have maintained my goal weight for 3 years. In the past I would lose and after about a year would slowly start regaining and keep on regaining until I had gained it all back, plus several pounds more. I learned here how to maintain. It was a revolutionary concept to me. You keep it off the same way you lost it. I still weigh daily, still count calories, still keep a food log, still exercise what I can. Thanks everybody for the wise counsel and encouragement.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:32 AM   #13  
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Congrats bargoo!!!!!
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:34 AM   #14  
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Yay bargoo!!! Well done!

Jay

Last edited by JayEll; 12-21-2010 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:40 AM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargoo View Post
At Maintenance 3 yrs !
For the first time in my life I have maintained my goal weight for 3 years. In the past I would lose and after about a year would slowly start regaining and keep on regaining until I had gained it all back, plus several pounds more. I learned here how to maintain. It was a revolutionary concept to me. You keep it off the same way you lost it. I still weigh daily, still count calories, still keep a food log, still exercise what I can. Thanks everybody for the wise counsel and encouragement.
I am pretty close to goal and I look forward to being able to keep it off just as you have! Congrats!
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