This was our second Christmas at Fernley House, and Lisa worked very hard today preparing the goose that we bought a few days ago. She decided to treat it about the same way she did the duck she cooked for Thanksgiving, only bigger and thus cooking longer. But before food, there were presents!
The south end of the house isn't fully habitable during the winter until we get a replacement furnace, but it was tolerable (with sweaters) this afternoon. Also, Lisa keeps a space heater going in this area because there are plumbing pipes nearby and we want to keep the area above freezing. This part of the house was used for some time as temporary storage, but Lisa has things sorted out and has put together the entertainment center and many bookshelves, plus the smaller of the two sofas.
Although we now have a big enough house for a full-size tree, Lisa prefers a living tree, so we bought this small one, which she has kept in the south end of the house, where the colder temperatures seem to suit it.
BASFA members may recognize some of the decorations hanging on the wall, which were from a BASFA auction a while back.
travelswithkuma says, "Somes of these is for mes, right?"
Kuma Bear gets a present and gives one.
The card from Peter & Athena Jarvis included the orgami stars. At the foot of the tree, besides the little train, is a mouse ornament given to us by the Inoues (Hiroaki and Tamie). We're so glad to have the space to display things we've been accumulating for years.
Kuma Bear got new mittens, although they're a little big for him. ("Do you know how hard it is to shop for a little stuffed bear?" I said.) To his left is a blouse I gave Lisa from the Southwest Indian Foundation. To his right is a portable eating utensil set Bear gave me, and next to that a book from Lisa to me. Behind that is a 1930s book on building model trains (published by Popular Science) that pcornelius sent us.
Bear seems less than thrilled by his next present, some tins of tuna paté. "Bears don't eats puttys!" he insists.
With Christmas presents opened in the cold family room, we removed to the living room where the fireplace was making things quite comfortable. Lisa went to the trailer and worked on the Christmas feast, and I dealt with catching up on some things on the computer that I'd let slide through the long holiday weekend.
Kuma sat on the sofa in the living room and did his reindeer impersonation as I got out the folding table and got it cleaned up for serving dinner.
Lisa put two pumpkin pies to cooking in the oven in the house. Having learned our lesson from Thanksgiving, she set the temperature lower than she did then, and set me the task of keeping track of the cooking time. At the appointed time, I turned the heat down, and then later off entirely and opened the oven a crack to let the pies cool properly.
After hours of basting and baking, Lisa announced that our goose was indeed cooked and would I please carry it into the house and help set the table.
Our Christmas table setting may not be terribly fancy, but the goose, with its honey-garlic glaze, looks very appetizing. I carved the bird as best as I could and we dug in to corn, rice, biscuits, and a nice mushroom stuffing that Lisa had made from scratch. (Most pre-made stuffing mixes have yellow dye in them, and she's allergic to it. In this case, we get a much better end product, although it's more work for her.)
Unlike the duck, this goose gave us lots of leftovers. After watching me struggle with trying to get the rest of the meat off of it, Lisa eventually told me to give up and she would make a soup from the carcass later.
Although stuffing ourselves with a lovely Christmas dinner would be a good excuse to fall asleep forthwith, we bundled ourselves up and went for a walk. As we left the house, a light snow began to fall, but didn't stick. We went clear down to the Fernley Nugget, where Lisa apparently couldn't lose, walking away from three different slot machines with more money than when she started, albeit about $5 ahead on $20 buy-in.
When we returned home, my blood sugar tested at 89, so I had plenty of "room" to have pumpkin pie and eggnog. Eggnog is typically so sugary that I generally only have one container of it a year, and thus we splurge on the really good stuff: premium nog from Strauss Family Creamery. I try not to think of the expense and remind myself that if it were cheaper, I'd be tempted to buy it more often, which would be a bad thing.
Lisa had been up since the wee hours of the morning and turned in relatively early, but I wanted to get these photos posted. While I was working on that, I looked outside and saw that the light snow had turned to relatively heavy snow. Unfortunately, the broom for keeping the walk cleared was in the trailer. I rushed down there and had to work extra hard to clear the walk since everywhere I stepped had hard-packed the snow.
Unlike the light dusting of snow we've been getting every day or two the past few days, this looks like a pretty serious snowfall by local standards. There's about 5-6 cm accumulated so far, and it's still snowing. I know that's nothing to people who live in serious snow country, including places like Norden in the Sierra Nevada, but Fernley is so dry that we don't expect that much snow. We can deal with it, but keeping the walk cleared is a chore. But hey, after all that pie and eggnog, I need the exercise.