What is the largest group you have ever catered for, as the principal hostess? For me it was around 17 or so. It is not-so-fondly referred to as the Christmas from hell. My sister-in law, her husband and my brother in law, plus assorted relatives nearby and not so nearby came for the holiday. My sister-in-law brought another visitor too -- the awfullest virus, and one by one we succumbed. DS was teasing his sister because she got sick on Christmas eve; so of course, he got sick on Christmas day. I got sick the day after everyone left, which was the best I could hope for. The entire episode made fixing meals a nightmare. I had people who weren't sick (yet) and ate regular food; people who were getting over the worst and wanted soup and jello; and those in the midst of the whole mess who didn't want anything. Oh yeah, and we had to call a plumber out on Christmas eve. It was the only time the whole family was together, and we got some good visiting done even at the worst. But that was the last time everyone came, and it wasn't even my fault! I spent half my time going around with clorox wipers trying to stem the spread, but if it helped I didn't see it. Now we have just the 4 of us, and I am sad when I think of all those who have passed away. Now there is only sister- and brother-in-law, one aunt and uncle who can't make the trip as she is house-bound, of the original list. I would do it all again if it meant I'd get to see them all again.
We shopped yesterday for the Thanksgiving menu, nothing very elaborate, but the mobs at the store! The only good thing was that they had all the registers open. I hope we didn't forget anything, because for sure I'm not going back.
The mail hasn't come yet today, but I know we will have mail - Christmas catalogs! I don't know how I end up on so many mailing lists, but whatever the cause, there are a lot of them. Hammacher and Schlemmer is one of my favorites. They advertise an authentic London taxi cab, including leather upholstery, tinted glass, extra front seat, mahogany trim, chrome fenders and air conditioning. All for a mere $40,000. Levenger is another catalog, for leather goods and writing instruments; for example, they have desk sets, with desk pad, letter tray, pen cup, etc. in leather for $495. Or a leather tote for $329. Heck, send me two. And of course there is all the schlocky stuff in Oriental Trading Company, or Harriet Carter, Miles Kimball, and Collections. Some of them send me emails as well; a typical list of emails for the day will include 50 or 60, of which 4 or so I will open and read. That doesn't count the ones caught by my spam filter.
This cold weather has brought the birds flocking back to the feeders. For a few weeks, it seemed that the season was over for the migratory birds, but today there were quite a few of them as well as the ones (like cardinals) that don't migrate. It is funny to watch them kicking out the seeds they don't want to get to the ones they do like, while the birds on the ground have what must seem like manna falling from the sky, to pick up among the grass. Either way, it all gets eaten.
Bumper Sticker for the day: "When you stop believing in Santa you get underwear."