Mama Vicky Says … Welcome back from the grave

Sick as a dog
Sick as a dog

“Flash, welcome back from the grave.” – Prince Barron in the movie Flash Gordon.

I may not be Flash Gordon, but I feel like I am back from the dead after getting on antibiotics for pneumonia. Ahhh, the miracle of modern medicine. I took 4 days off to enjoy Christmas with my family and grandchildren (especially the grandchildren) and on my first day off I get sick.  Yowsa! Each day I got worse and worse, but not bad enough that we didn’t enjoy gifts Christmas morning and dinner, prepared by moi, that night.

The last time I took a vacation I got really sick, too. I am going to have to stop taking time off, I guess. I know why this happens, too. It’s all part of Hans Selye’s GAS theory. (GAS as in general adaptation syndrome, not what my son just popped. I’ll tell you about this sometime. It is fascinating.) But to get back to the point at hand …

I hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and friends, that no one was sick, and the gifts were perfect, the turkey or ham turned out just right, and that you got to have a nice Christmas nap, too. Also, thank you so much for not giving up on our blog because I haven’t written in a while. We do appreciate that. All I could do was lie in bed and wish for Jamba Juice smoothies.

I do want to follow-up on my last blog post about Christmas cards and letters. First of all, I did not get my annual Christmas letter done. It’s going to be a New Year’s letter. Secondly, my friend in Alaska did some biking and 3 more of their children either got married, had another child, or graduated from college, while another friend informed me in her letter that she and her hubby (both several years older than me and in much better physical shape) explored the Amazon rain forest. My letter is going to say that I had pneumonia, gained two pounds, and I haven’t been fired yet. (It was distinctly unhelpful and cruel of my doctor when I went to see him for treatment of said death bed illness to climb all over my sick fanny about gaining two pounds. I used to like him. He did save my daughter’s life, literally, a few years ago. But, seriously, Dr. P, did you have to get on my case about my weight, needing a PAP smear and a mammogram when I just wanted antibiotics? No Christmas card from me next year. Oops! I forgot to send him one this year. Maybe that’s why he was so mean.)

Enough about that … I did finally get my Christmas cards all mailed, on Dec. 22nd, thank you very much. I’ll do better next year. Daphne kindly wrapped most of the presents since I wasn’t much up to it. I did manage to make the traditional family Halungaluska and I made my famous pumpkin pies.

I did fix Christmas dinner, too. I would like to make a suggestion to you kind readers to help prevent a holiday meal fiasco. Here’s the tip. Don’t plan to cook a fabulous meal on someone else stove or use their oven unless you have practiced on it before.  Because my father can’t climb the stairs to my condo anymore, I decided to fix dinner at his house. I have done this before but I always used my electric roaster oven for the bird, roast, etc. This time the turkey was so small and the roaster oven so big, I just decided to use my mom’s old steel roasting pan with lid that goes in the oven. No problem, right? There shouldn’t have been, but my dad’s oven had this handy timer on it and I decided to use it. I thought it was a timer you could set for 30 minutes to an hour or whatever and it would buzz telling me it was time to turn the bird.

What did I know? It turned out to not be that kind of timer. I found out 4 hours later that it was actually a timer for how long the oven would cook and then go automatically to maintain warmth till serving time. I kept looking at that dumb old turkey wonder why it still looked anemic and why the oven wasn’t hot. Silly me had set the timer for 30 minutes. So stupid old stove was at the right temp for 30 minutes and then it went into warming mode. A bit of panic set in because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the oven and I still hadn’t baked the stuffing nor warmed the candied yams. I finally figured it out and was able to finish dinner. Yes, the turkey looked anemic and undercooked. Kind of embarrassing as I am pretty good at fixing a turkey. However anemic, it was still thoroughly roasted and nobody died from Salmonella or botulism post-anemic turkey ingestion.

After writing that blog note about how to fix Brussels sprouts I fixed those, too. My dad and I like them, and I got my niece to eat one. I couldn’t get her to eat 2, but that’s okay. Of course, my darling daughter wouldn’t touch them after the death by Brussels sprouts affair at the babysitter’s years ago.

All in all, we made it through Christmas. Everyone seemed happy with their gifts. My granddaughter Katie was ecstatic to get the American Doll she had been pleading to Santa for. American Dolls are pretty and they are expensive. I was very unhappy to learn that American Dolls aren’t so American. They are made, guess where? China. Which got me thinking about how much the actual doll makers get over there and how much the company in America gets from the sale of the doll. Hmmm. I wonder if Santa and all his elves know about this? (Kind of reminded me of the breaking “story” of the trashy Kardashians running a sweat shop overseas. The seamstresses were making pennies while the Trashy Kardashies were making big bucks over here in the USA. Could we just be done with them and move onto something worthwhile?) Well, Katie was in heaven. I hadn’t seen her that happy in ages. Jakie loved his Star Wars stuff. I would bet it was made in China, too, but at least they weren’t advertising it as American Star Wars. (I don’t think America was even mentioned once in the Star Wars movies, do you?)

Anyway, I wish you the happiest, most prosperous, healthiest, and wonderful New Year! May it be a good year for all of us. Blog you later!

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