Friday, December 29, 2017

A look back at Christmas past (a true Friday Smile)

I had planned to share a different post today.  I thought Seth Apter would have us share our ARTifacts wrap-up some time in December, but that didn't happen.  So I'll share it sometime in the new year.

Because I didn't have a post for today and frankly haven't had time to create one, since I'm trying to get my Christmas decorations put away, I decided to share a post I created a few years ago of Christmas day.    I  hope it puts a smile on your face.  And because it truly should make you smile, I'm foregoing the jokes, quotes, and photos of the History Museum today to bring you this post I'm sharing with Annie and her Friday Smiles.   You can find Annie at A Stitch in Time.  So sit back and enjoy a look at Christmas past.

I called it "Christmas Joys and Woes."

I'd like to begin by explaining how I created this spread I call "Homemade Christmas."  I concocted this idea one night while preparing to invite a few of my dear friends who do NOT have children or family close by to share Christmas at my house.  I sent individual invitations that read:

Dear __________,
You are invited to a unique Christmas.  My home will be open any time after Sunday, December 22, so feel free to arrive any time.  Please let me know the approximate time you plan to arrive, so I have adequate sleeping arrangements for you.

I will provide Christmas breakfast, and will provide a ham for the carnivores, but I ask that each person bring or make at least two dishes they would not normally prepare for Christmas.  In addition, these dishes must be homemade only.  By that, I mean no canned food, no mixes, no boxes that contain ingredients none of us can pronounce.  Keep food choices as fresh as possible, and please let me know what you plan to bring.

Now smart people would stay home.  After all, we had just had a huge snow storm that blanketed the midwest.  And I was asking that friends bring only items that had to be made from scratch.  What can I say, other than they appeared to be adventurous and willing to accept the challenge.
I planned to show photos. but when I turned my camera on, the battery was dead.  I knew it would be at least three hours before it was charged, so I decided there would be no photos of breakfast.

I personally thought I prepared a modest breakfast, hoping it would fill everyone up enough to last till dinner could be served.

After I plugged the camera into the battery, I noticed the little light was not coming on, which meant it was NOT charging.  I scrambled to find the old camera that has no settings.  It's more or less a point and shoot camera with no corrections whatsoever, not even a flash.  Since it has no card, I knew I had to have fresh batteries.  But the only ones I had were rechargeable, and the instructions warned to NOT use rechargeable ones.  Still, I had to try.  It was all I had!

To take my mind off the camera problem, I started the dishes.  This is the first house I've owned that has no dishwasher, so every dish, pan, etc., is cleaned by hand.  As I was washing dishes,
Sherry (who does not like to be photographed) yelled that Scott was here.  I quickly dried my hands, found the camera, and proceeded to take the very first photos of the day.
Scott had brought a ton of food.  And some people think men don't cook!

After greeting Scott, I went back to washing dishes, and that was when I realized my sink wasn't draining properly.  What else could go wrong? After all, I had just had a plumber in to unclog the sink about a month before.  But this time, I had Scott.

And Scott had tools.  It didn't take him long to fix the problem with his handy vice grips. But, that was the last photo I got because the camera started beeping, which meant I had to get the photos off the camera or else they would die with the batteries.

So off I went before these few photos became history.  Then, try as I might, none of my AAA batteries were charged enough for the camera.  It refused to turn on, even though I put fresh (rechargeable) batteries in the camera three different times.

(ED note for Chris: See the mailbox behind Scott.  He is 6'5", so you can see how large the mailbox is.)
So even though I have only a few photos of the day, I created a spread in my altered book of Christmas and our over-the-top meal we all prepared in my kitchen.
I will leave you to drool over this meal.  I'm still drooling over it.  It's a vegetarian's dream meal (other than the ham, of course).  There were appetizers and dips to die for, along with homemade kale chips (which topped my list of favorites).  There were soups and salads and potatoes and cooked veggies.  There were main dishes and pies for dessert.

And other than a few traditional favorites, like pumpkin pie, deviled eggs, and mashed potatoes, these were not traditional Christmas fare.  And no carnivore went hungry or complained about the lack of more meat.

As for my camera?  I have no idea what my options are.  ED: I took the camera back to the place I purchased it, and they replaced it with a new one exactly the same as the one you see in the photo above.  The same thing happened with it.  I'd had it less than a month when the second camera wouldn't charge.   When I took it back, they didn't have any more of the same model, and since it was right after Christmas, their supply of cameras was nearly non-existent.  However, they had one they thought I wouldn't like.  It used REAL AA batteries, and I was over the moon with happiness.  That's my "NEW" camera I love so much.  It will always be called my NEW camera (also a Nikon) after the lousy ones I had in the past.  Even though it cost $110.00 (USD) more, they gave me 100% credit for the defective Nikon.
As for my book spread, I started with gesso, then I scrunched white tissue that I had dotted with white pearl paint that doesn't show in the scan.  I added computer generated text that I tore and colored the edges using my new ink pens I got for Christmas.  I added some green holographic ribbon and confetti snowflakes for decorations, along with a tree I sewed and dotted with paint from a previous project.

Thank you for joining me as I looked back at a homemade Christmas past.  Now let's visit Annie because it never hurts to start the weekend with a smile.

20 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

And a good time was had by all....sounds like fun. I have always been lucky with my cameras, not had any problems up till now! Have a lovely day, Valerie

chrissie said...

You have such wonderful and fun ideas Elizabeth. I am sure they would dig through snow to get there and enjoy the festivities

Love Chrissie xx

Meggymay said...

That was a lovely idea to bring folk together and enjoy themselves.
I;m sure you have great memories of the gathering.
Your journal pages looked fantastic.
Yvonne xx

Helen said...

thanks for sharing your memories of this Christmas past. Your book spread looks fab!! it's not the kind of food I like to eat, but what a feast was provided, too.

Annie said...

What lovely shared memories and what a wonderful idea to bring folk together like that.....and yes I’m smiling.
Thanks for all the love and support over the last year. Here’s to many more shared smiles in 2018.
Annie x

CJ Kennedy said...

What a fun day your created. The menu certainly had enough to please everyone. You also seemed to keep your cool when things went awry. I would have been in a panic. Love the pages you created especially the Christmas tree.

RO said...

Dear Elizabeth, this is one of those days that should have been on television because every piece of it looks fun, creative and tasty. Despite no cheeseburgers, I would have enjoyed so much of the food, and enjoyed the day with laughter and chatting. Dang it, I wish I could have been there. A 6'5 tall man sounds very romantic by the way. (lol) Thanks for sharing such kindness and beauty. Bookmarking so I can come back to peek at this periodically. Hugs...RO Happy Friday in Wichita!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

WHat a great party this must have been! SUPER! And the spread you made is great as well- I would have enjoyed all those fabulous meals - sound a bit crazy for Christmas but YUMMIE YUMMIE YUMMIE -
I am lucky never to have problems with my cameras. How glad you can be to have such a superhero friend to fix all such household problems - he seems to be a bit like my hubby - Willi is also a superhero to fix problems of all sorts!
The story brought lovely memories to me as well. As I was 16 and celebrated with my grandma alone at home my father was on holidays in Australia -
I cooked for her an exquisite Christmas dinner-
fryed fish with almonds and as dessert a special coconut-pudding - but even though she seemed to be happy with the meal - today I know for sure that she wasn't - it was not after her taste at all, but she loved me too much to say it!
Happy day my friend-

Divers and Sundry said...

What a brilliant idea! And the food options are amazing! That black bean soup sounds like a real warming treat. I know that's a fond memory of a Christmas past. I love the page you created. Even without a lot of photos you have created a beautiful reminder of such a wonderful day with friends :)

You know I'm focused on that snow, wondering if we'll see a single flake this year.

Gibby Frogett said...

Thanks for sharing those lovely memories Elizabeth and it sounds that despite a few hiccups that a wonderful and specia time had by all. And wahta wonderful kind thing you arranged :)
Sorry to hear of that camera saga. Technology can be so hit and miss - brilliant until it all goes wrong.
Have a lovely weekend Elizabeth and wishing you a happy and healthy 2018 and lots of creative fun!
Gill xx

mamapez5 said...

I love that idea. I am so glad friends came to share Christmas with you, and I am sure you will have plenty memories to look back on, even without the photos. I am glad the camera issue was eventually sorted. I do love my camera, and would be sad to lose it. Wishing you all the best for 2018. Kate xx

Cindy McMath said...

First off - Scott to the rescue again! Sounds like a very fun time. If you had a tablet or smart phone you would always have a backup camera. :) Your idea of getting everyone to bring a non-traditional dish reminds me of fun potluck dinner parties my aunt used to have just before Christmas every year - every year had a theme and it was usually a different type of ethnic food. It was always fun to see what everyone brought and always worked out well with something for everyone.

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a time you had - glad it all turned out for the good! (Oh! I am here BTW because I HAVE completed the challenge!!) The food all sounds delicious - I might have had a problem with the kale salad although the addition of orange, cranberry and pecan would probably make it palatable! As a country girl in the UK in the 50's I associate kale with cattle fodder, although I do eat it when pressed! Is the mail box to the right of Scott behind your glass door-I am going to request here and now that you take a photograph of your mail box all on it's own please!!! Going for a well earned rest now having been to town and back on the bus to see Jumanji!
Hugs, Chrisx

Incipient Wings said...

now I'm very hungry!
your book spread look great, I thought those were little beads all over the tree.I love how the tissue paper looks on there!
yay about the new camera:)

Jeanie said...

I never saw this post before so it is a complete delight! It sounds like a good time -- sometimes those unexpected ones are the best. (But I know what you mean about camera issues -- they get to me more than anything!).

And it all turned out well -- can't beat that! Love how you recorded the menu and the pages too -- loads of fun and a wonderful memory!

Angela Radford said...

So kind of you Elizabeth to share those lovely memories. Sending hugs and wishes for a lovely New Year, Angela xXx

Lowcarb team member said...

I enjoyed this post, I thought your memories of this Christmas past were brilliant!

Have a Happy New Year.

All the best Jan

My name is Erika. said...

That's quite a Christmas story. The food sounds delicious and sounds like you know how to throw a party with some clever friends. Luckily clever friends who can fix those house problems. Too bad they weren't camera repair people either, but now you have a better one. That is the good news. Glad you shared this. Hugs-Erika

Sandra Cox said...

Dear Elizabeth,
Your post certainly did put a smile on my face.
Hope this year's Christmas was as much fun.

Rita said...

I hope this camera is magical! Your Christmas certainly sounded like it was. :) Happy New Year. :)