No, I didn't disappear. But it seems like it, at least to me. The last couple of weeks have been a little hectic -- "good hectic," but hectic nonetheless. Let's catch up a little . . .
Patti and Debbie were on vacation through the holidays. They are the ladies you talk with most often when you call the mail center. Calling them "ladies" makes them sound old -- makes ME sound old. We went to school together -- Patti and Debbie have been permanently joined at the hip since seventh grade. When they started working here, I called a friend we went to school with and said "What would you say if I told you Debbie started working with us?" He didn't miss a beat -- "Tell Patti I said hi . . ."
In their absence, Zoe and I answered the phones, greeted the occasional customer, and filled orders. She came to work with me every day for two weeks, and went through withdrawal when she finally had to stay home this week.
This was her highlight of the working holiday -- my brother Blake and his two boys came by. Three scratches at the same time -- that's as good as it gets.
We have one major Christmas tradition in my family. When Blake and I were young, we had so many family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas that we made our holiday the day before and called it "Christmas Eve Eve". We decorated Christmas cookies and each of us opened one gift. We always looked forward to it. Years have passed, but Christmas Eve Eve lives on -- we still get together at my parents' place to make cookies.
We thought the boys would get tired of it, but they look forward to it more than we do. Left to right: Blake's sons Tyler and Conner, and my son Ryan.
If you liked the Chocolate Mint Cookies, Tyler gets the credit -- I got the recipe from him.
Then it's time to decorate them. Some of us like to actually decorate -- Ryan likes to dump a lot of icing on them . . .
This is mine. Another family tradition is the wreath I make every year. Usually, someone uses a biscuit cutter to make me a small circle. This year, Tyler made a huge circle (it almost filled a plate) and gave me a new challenge.
This is one of the things Zoe likes most about winter in Ohio. Our house faces south, so she likes to nap in the sunshine by the front door. When the sunlight moves, Zoe moves . . .
And you can probably guess what I think of this -- I took these when I was loading the truck for the show in Grapevine, Texas this weekend. Then we drove 1,000 miles -- and gained eight degrees in temperature. This morning, it's 10 degrees at home, and 18 here with zero windchills. I'm not sure who is more disappointed -- me or the locals.
The show this weekend is 10 to 5 Saturday and 11 to 4 Sunday at the Grapevine Convention Center. Come out and see us if you're in the area!