Friday, December 2, 2011

(un)controlled chaos

It's that time again when we pull the house apart, clean where no one has gone in a year, all in an attempt to ready the place for our winter tenant. Yes, we leave for Mexico in 6 days and by the look of things you would never guess we'd meet that deadline. But we will! The car is already half packed, my closet is empty and the leftovers stored in Mr. C's space (the anti-clothes horse has plenty of room). The books are packed, all the can't-live-without-it food items such as peanut butter, Dijon mustard, #40 Penne, powdered buttermilk are stuffed into big plastic boxes. I bought a new, bigger duffel bag this year and it's completely full. I swear, in the spring I'm going to leave half this stuff at the beach so I won't need to do this again. Is that an echo I hear? The house sitter comes Sunday for a final tour and to meet the neighbors. I canceled my $$$ haircut on Monday so I could get a $ haircut in Tecoman. Tuesday is a massage, Wednesday a manicure, Thursday it's too late if I've forgotten anything. I've heard from some of the beach dwellers that the weather is perfect. It has been foggy, windy and cold here in he valley so it's time to go!

Just a few more notes on our Bozeman Thanksgiving. Mr. C woke up with a bad sore throat so spent most of the day in bed. The rest of us bustled around preparing the feast; peeling, chopping, mixing, measuring, sampling (food and wine). Around 3 PM on Thursday we lost electricity. The TV went blank, the lights went off, and, most importantly, the thermostat in the oven went off, thus rendering the mighty Viking useless for the turkey. Always quick on the pick-up, Mike moved the turkey outside to spend its final three hours baking in the grill. Meanwhile, other preparations went ahead since the stove top (gas) was working fine. It was getting darker and darker so Mike pulled out his headlamp and continued to run his kitchen without a hitch.

We heard that a transformer on their street went out and Bozeman Electric (or whatever it's called) was on the job and it wouldn't be long. Cait lit many candles and the whole scene was absolutely beautiful.

The turkey was done to perfection, the dressing a delicious Sunset recipe with sausage, chopped squash and other vegetables, sautéd brussel sprouts with capers, a zingy carrot dish I made using cumin, red pepper flakes and paprika (a keeper recipe), a big mound of steaming mashed potatoes.

For dessert, you could choose a rum pumpkin pie (Mr. C's world class recipe), a cranberry walnut tart (my WC recipe) or Mike's pecan pie (his WC recipe). Oh, and don't forget the refreshing tossed greens before these indulgences.

Still no electricity. With Cait's headlamp, candles and flashlights, we got the kitchen back in order when, Presto! the electricity came back on and it was time to drag out the board games (and others). We played Taboo, Bananagram, a few rounds of Mexican Train dominoes, and Scatagories. It was an all around fine day.

Friday morning Mike made these fabulous cinnamon rolls in case we had not had enough to eat the night before. The house was filled with the delicious odors of baking.

When I looked outside I saw that it was beginning to snow. Everything that had lost its white dusting over the past couple of mild (40ºs) was once again covered in snow.

This is the front decking after a few minutes.

For a Californian who spends winters in the tropics, this was quite magical. However, for those who live with it for months, the novelty wears off fast. Mr. C was still very much under the weather and again spent the entire day in bed, sipping soup and dozing. He wanted to be as well as possible for the next day's flight home. While others went in to town or up to Big Sky, I babysat and watched a terrific movie, "Paris was a Woman", a documentary about women artists and writers in Paris between the world wars. Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, one of my favorite actresses. It's on the Flix® instant play.

Once again, our thanks to Cait and Mike, Zeke and Huck, for a memorable Thanksgiving celebration. I don't know about everybody else but I'm planning to go again next year!

We flew home Saturday faced with the prospect of getting ourselves out of town in 12 days. Little by little. Bit by bit. We're almost there. Mr. C is still coughing and snorting but I think by next week he'll be well. So far, so good for me.


ddmichel said...

that last photo is so lovely! And that is as close to snow as I want to get.....

mary ann said...

Thanks for the GREAT report. I'm getting excited about your trip to Mexico ~ got the bags of tea candles?