Sue and I had a wonderful time celebrating the Christmas Holidays with our families.
Because Jill was bring her Australian Shepard mix, Genesis, up with her on Christmas Eve Tuesday 12/24/19, Sue and I loaded Beau into the car just after 1:30 pm, and drove him over for a couple of days visit with Steve and Cathy as we didn't want to risk that he and Genesis would get into a brawl.
They had been so great in taking him for a couple of days. Their kids were off to their spouse's families for Christmas, and would join up with them Saturday to celebrate there. Beau was soooo excited when we pulled into their driveway. I swear, he recognizes their house, and just goes crazy when he sees where he is. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay and chat as we had to do a full court press back home.
Jill arrived around 2:30 pm after driving up from Rhode Island. Genesis seemed excited to be in a new place, and meet us. Actually, Sue and she were great friends from Sue's many visits down to see Jill. So, when Jill and Lucas headed off to Concord, NH to pick up Rachel, we kept Genesis with us. And she was just great; so much more laid back than The Beau Dog....
Genesis relaxing with us while Jill and Lucas were gone to pick up Rachel.
While they were gone, I did all of the prep work on the roast pork loin I was in charge of getting in the oven by 5:00 pm. Sue had been working on all of the things that she was making yesterday and this morning, and was far more organized than I was!
After they got back here at 4:30 and settled in, we all sat in the living room catching up. Sue had made some terrific hor dourves for us, and set those out onto the table. The best were oven baked baguette slices covered with a dripping of brie cheese and mushrooms sauteed it butter, shallots, and Worcester Sauce.
Lucas and Rachel chatting.
Colin got here after work around 6:15 pm. He was kind enough to bring some sort of check engine meter with him as 'The Tank' had thrown a 'check engine' light at me at some point. Not a big deal, but something he'll have to get the car in to smooth out....
Everyone gathered in the living room with a nice fire going in the wood stove.
Colin and me.
Me in the kitchen finishing up with the dinner cooking.
Sue finished up making what turned out to be a marvelous side of a holiday rice with celery, carrots, red pepper medley. I had also done a side of cardamom steamed broccoli to go with the pork loin. The pork loin itself had been marinated in apple slices, cumin, basil, brown sugar, tamari sauce, olive oil, and a few other spices, and then roasted in the oven for well over an hour.
Though the pork had a wonderful flavor, I had cooked it just a too little long. Pork is so hard to gauge when it's cooked in a skillet let alone in the oven. But I'd rather err on the overdone side than take the risk of under cooking it. But it was a terrific meal all around, and enhanced with a nice bottle of a 14 Hands smooth red blend that we had bought the other day when we went shopping.
Colin figured out how to get the timer on Sue's cell phone camera to work, and got this wonderful shot of us all around the dinner table: Colin, Jill, Sue, me, Rachel, and Lucas.
After dinner, we moved into the living room with the wood stove throwing a wonderful glow about the room. It had been a long day for everyone, and so after a short time, Sue brought out the desert she had made: poached pears with ginger bread bars. Wow! Was that a treat! .
But Colin had been up since 5:30, and soon headed off for home as he was beat. It wasn't long after he left that the rest of us decided it would be really nice to get some sleep before tomorrow's busy Christmas Day schedule.
Christmas Day after everyone got up, Jill took Genesis out into the back yard to throw the ball around for him. He was a scream to watch. I wish Beau would do that, but instead he runs over, grabs the ball, but only brings it back part way. Then he drops it on the ground and looks at you like you're stupid or something for yelling at him to bring it all the way to you. After seeing Genesis do it time, after time, we (er, I) decided Beau needed to be worked with on this.
When she and Genesis got back in, Sue served a terrific recipe of eggs baked over roasted veggies with coffee cake muffins. After finishing that off, we all grabbed coffee, and moved into the living room to open some presents. In sharing a few Christmas gifts with each other, we try to minimize the number of gifts. To us, the real gift is simply being together. And then I turned on the classic 1947 Frank Capra movie, It's A Wonderful Life. I was just running it sort of in the background, until I found out that Jill had never seen it. I turned the volume up a little so she could hear it. But she'll be watching the full movie at some point I'm sure.
Everyone having breakfast in the living room.
Sue with the trekking poles I had got her.
Great family picture of Lucas, Sue, and Jill!
Watching It's A Wonderful Life.
While I washed up the dishes, Sue took Lucas, Rachel, Jill, and Genesis off for a walk down the road.
Lucas, Rachel, and Jill walking Genesis.
When they returned, everyone got packed up and ready to head out. Jill took Genesis back out into the yard for another ball tossing activity to hopefully wear her down for the three and a half hour car ride back to Rhode Island.
Jill working more energy out of Genesis before the trip back home.
Jill headed off just after Lucas and Rachel left. Lucas was driving Rachel up to New London, NH to spend Christmas with her and her folks. And then Sue and I were off to Marissa and Gary's new house in Dover for Christmas with everyone there!
Sue walking Jill and Genesis out to the car.
We got to Marissa's just after 2:00 pm, and found the house packed. Marissa did such a terrific job of not only decorating and cooking just a ton of food, but they had just moved into their new home 10 days ago. Since then, she had painted several rooms, and Gary had redone the downstairs bathroom as well as installed new kitchen appliances. A lot of work in a very short period of time, and everything looked almost settled in already!
Marissa buzzing around in the kitchen.
Everyone enjoying Mia running around opening her presents in the living room.
Mia with her picture puzzle that Chuck and Denise had made and sent to her.
Mia in front of the tree with her dogs.
After the presents were all opened, Colin got Chuck on a video call. It was sort of a scattered call with everyone bustling around, and then Mia grabbed the tablet and headed off upstairs to show Uncle Chuck her room....
After the call, Chuck texted a series of pictures to us showing all of their celebration going on at Denise's parents house in Wisconson.
Chuck sent this picture of a collage made up of pictures of their Christmas connection to New Hampshire.
Chuck with his family and Denice's family at their celebration in Wisconson.
Marissa had created a wonderful Christmas atmosphere in the dining room for our gathering as the call went out to grab a plate, get some food, and sit down.
The table is set, and ready for us to gather around.
What a great picture of us all seated around the table!
We had to head out around 6:00 pm as we had told Steve and Cathy that we'd be retrieving Beau around 6:30. As we left the house and walked down the walkway toward the car, Sue stopped to take a night picture of the view of Dover through the trees from their vantage point up on the hill.
Lights from Downtown Dover shining through the trees.
Beau was so excited when we got to Steve and Cathy's that he spent the first 10 minutes airborne! We stayed and chatted for just a little while, but were really eager to get home and unwind. It had been a very busy couple of days, but so nice to have been able to share the holidays with everyone as well as that wonderful few minutes on the video call with Chuck!