Monday, December 20, 2010


When she was visiting Aidan last week (with make-up)
 Lydia came for a far-too-brief vacation, but oh! how glad we were to see her.  What did we do?  Nothing much!  The highlight was the night she and I spent a fun evening just watching TV.  How stupid is that?  She went shopping with her dad and she bought us a ton of wonderful groceries!  What a darling girl - she remembered special things for everyone....Keurig cups for dad (and me), ramen for Zhen, hummus for Ilya, chips and salsa, cookies, Entemann's chocolate doughnuts for me, pop-tarts for the boys....everything she knows we like and didn't see in the cupboard at that moment.  And, she bought all the ingredients and made two pans (one with olives and one without) of the most amazing chicken enchiladas!  I wanted to take a photo of them, but wouldn't you know, the camera chose that moment to require new batteries.  And, even after I got batteries, I got no photos of Lydia because she wouldn't let me take any!  She declared her vacation a "no make-up" time, and thus asked for it to be photo-free, too. 

Lydia spent an afternoon and evening with her friends, she hung out at school the first night she got here because I had, unfortunately, to be there for parent/teacher conferences, and we went to Zhen's basketball game (I was so glad he showed her his stuff).  Far too brief a visit.

The sad part about her visit is that it proved to be a trigger for Anastasia, on top of everything else she has been through.  She did not behave very well (to put it mildly), and there was certainly no increase of sisterly closeness.  Poor Anastasia; she creates for herself the very thing she fears.  Though I suppose her greatest fear is that she is not as loved as Lydia.  Poor little thing; if only she knew! 

Yesterday morning Lydia and Ilya put up the Christmas tree.  This is when it was discovered (always on a weekend - right?) that the basement flooded.  No telling why; how I hope it is the city's issue!  But, it is our issue no matter where the blockage, because although the basement (apart from the full bath the boys use) is only partially finished, we had all of our everything (off-season clothing, keepsakes, costumes, financial records) stored down there in boxes.  Plus, the location of the worst of the flooding was where we had carefully put all the things we are saving for a spring yard sale.  Or....probably were saving....  Now I have basement reclamation on my schedule for my Christmas "break".

Several times I've wanted to make Christmas cookies, but have not had the time, energy or patience....  To my mind (for some reason) there are only a few kinds of cookies that qualify as Christmas cookies.  Pecan crescents (which my mom always made, but which I don't like all that much),  decorated sugar cookies, and spritz cookies (the cookie-press ones.)  A cookie press is something I've wanted for years, but never treated myself to, so though I did spend at least a half-hour one evening wandering around Jo-Anns, with the cookie press in my hand, in the end I was "sensible" realizing I don't need it.  So, when I say I've wanted to make Christmas cookies, what I really mean is the shaped, frosted, decorated ones.  But, I've been too lazy.  I read an article in the newspaper though, where someone was quoted as saying snickerdoodles were his favorite "Christmas cookie".  To my mind, they are not Christmas cookies!  They are regular, everyday cookies.  But, perhaps to feel as though I'd made Christmas cookies, I made snickerdoodles last night.  All that happened is that I ate way too many of them - and I still don't feel like I made Christmas cookies!


Bogaranty├║ said...

Sounds like you had a great time with Lydia! Sometimes just hanging out and doing nothing is the best thing to do.

Mmmm, Christmas cookies. Wednesday I'm off work and it will be my baking day!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Watching TV is a great way to spend your time, IMO!
Poor A, she has had a rough time lately. You're right, it seems she immediately sabotages the very things that are most important to her. Maybe she will enjoy cleaning out the basement with you- no sarcasm! When Genea is on a tear many times she will do an excellent job on some extra chores. Must be something about the change in focus and physical activity.
BTW, I just bought a Keurig with a bunch of coupons and on sale. Oh how I love this thing! I always want/need coffee in the afternoon but the leftover am coffee is gross, likewise trying to make 1-2 cups in the big machine. Overpriced k cups totally worth it!

Fioleta said...

Is a cookie press just a metal shape with which you cut out bits of dough or is it something more complicated?

Rachael said...

Wish you lived closer. I've got a sorely underused cookie press in my drawer I could loan you!

I agree about the cookie thing: spritz, gingerbread, and little mini pecan tart thingies...THOSE are Christmas cookies!

Rachael said...

Oh, and sorry about your basement! What a total bummer!!

Annie said...

Essie - Anastasia has learned that cleaning is comforting for her! You are right! I was so proud of her; she used all her strategies: she took long baths, she did her nails, she watched movies by herself, and she deep-cleaned her bedroom!

Hevel said...

I hope your basement damage is not as bad as it sounds. :(

Tina in CT said...

Sorry about the water problems in your basement and also hope it's the fault of the town.

I agree that Snickerdoodles are NOT Christmas cookies and chocolate chips are not either. I hated to go to a cookie swap and see them there when I slaved over fancy ones.

Every year I make cream cheese spritz cookies and took my press last Dec. to Moscow and unfortunately it's still there. Cecelia (Rachael's mom) lent me her press when I visited in Nov. and it's here until we see each other in March. I also eat too many of the cookies I bake for gifts.

I wish you'd had more time with Lydia. Is her husband out to sea?

Annie said...

Tina, so true about the cookies; I feel precisely the same way. Christmas cookies have to be a bit more elaborate.

Rachael, I just saw a recipe in the Lansing State Journal for the little tarts. I am quite tempted to give those a try and start a new tradition.

Christine said...

Christmas cookies can be so complicated so I made cinnamon popcorn instead! Sad to hear about Anastasia, but glad the visit went well with your other daughter.