It’s no secret I’ve had a
terrible difficult year; I mean really, come on. Selling my home of 22 tears, moving twice, daughter with cancer, building a house, my dad’s passing. You know those tests they have for how life events affect you physically? That I am alive should be cause for celebration! All kidding aside it was just a year I would like to forget now that Lauren is in remission, I’m in my new home and my dad is in a better place. I might seem tough but I’ve shed enough tears for a lifetime and though happy to be in my home, my body is dead beat tired and I hope to soon finish this unpacking business and ONLY have to deal with everyday, mundane life. I am living for mundane. And well, a Super Bowl victory would be nice; a sweet boost that I would absolutely love. Can that be arranged please?
There were sweet moments though and I do want to focus on those. My living arrangements for months were less than ideal but without them I would have never met the family who lived down the street from me that I had never met before. I so appreciate Nate and Priscilla for having me over for moments of laughter and stress relief. I can’t begin to tell you how happy little Lena makes me; whenever she sees me and squeals, ‘Barb!’ I’m transported to someplace else and I just adore her; how can you NOT adore someone who wears a crown to dinner?
I have such gratitude for friends who knew I needed a break and we would just simply meet for a meal; nothing fancy but just the girls getting together to chat; blogging has brought me in touch with several like minded souls in Denver and I count several among them as dear friends…thank you Karen, Sara, Ansh, Holly and Jane for your friendship, for help with packing and you Holly for knowing just when I needed a special delivery of one of your sweet treats!
I have to single out my sweet friend Ansh; just when I felt I would break from the stress she invited me to come stay with her family for a couple of days; the simplicity of our time together was exactly what I needed and her AMAZING Indian food sure didn’t hurt. I realized I do have some catching up to do if I’m going to be playing video games with a teen though. Super Mario skills just didn’t cut it! :)
My oldest daughter Emily moved the first week of December to North Carolina and while I was so happy for her that she landed on her feet after deciding not to transfer to Tennessee with her company; it was not great timing for our family. She was so instrumental in helping me get so much done, heck she even noticed the neighborhood that I eventually moved to and told me I should check it out; I simply would not be here if not for her. Her physical labors to help me move were beyond the pale and if not for space at her place to cook and take photos I’m not sure what I would have done so I was sad that she didn’t get to see all that effort come to fruition and spend some time here with me in my new home. I also knew I would miss her beautiful voice singing ‘O Holy Night’ for Christmas Eve services so that was sort of that last straw and Christmas sort of loomed as something I just wanted to avoid.
I was a homebody without a home. Nothing seemed normal. I love to decorate my home and make holiday gifts (I even used real cookies to decorate my village one year; those are meringue cookies!) but without any of that tradition I preferred to stick my head in the sand; avoiding it at all costs. Still as the day loomed before me; I knew that staying home in a space that was not mine was going to be depressing. I could not stick my head in the sand far down enough to avoid the one day that says family, hearth and home and have none of that without being sad so I decided to make something happen. Luckily it was easy. I simply asked my friend Abbe what she and her hubs were doing. Abbe is Jewish so I figured there would be no big Christmas event and that was fine with me; I wasn’t in need of an event as much as I was in need of company for lack of said event.
We got together in the afternoon; I know I brought something but I can’t even remember what it was. It was hardly necessary as Abbe is an amazing cook and she had more little dibs and dabs of stuff she had made over the holidays that I got to enjoy. As it turns out, Abbe’s hubs was brought up Catholic but converted to Judaism and so there was even some Christmas music playing. You know it was sort of perfect; festive with some reminders of my holiday but not a big tree and presents and all the jazz that I really, seriously wanted to avoid. We sat in a charming room near the front of the house with the most amazing big fireplace (I sort of regretted not having one put in at that moment but gas could not have compared!). We had cocktails and in front of me was this big, colorful bowl of a Chex cereal mix snack. It was trouble from the get-go. Some sweet, some heat, lots of crunch…it was sort of my perfect nibble. Thanks for being so very gracious Abbe and well, thanks for introducing me to this mix. Love, love, LOVE it!
Abbe had recently attended a local event sponsored by the folks with Chex Mix and came away with some new ideas and this was her version of the traditional mix we all know. I’ve added a couple of things of my own but didn’t stray too far. Who would have EVER thought of Sugar Corn Pops with Chex but they are so perfect with the peanut butter sauce that includes Sriracha, Worcestershire and garlic. But I really think it’s those little Sriracha Peas and Wasabi Peas that just make it; little morsels of heat that make this so ‘not your mother’s Chex mix!’
The mix is made; the drinks are planned (one is this Tom Collins with a splash of ORANGE and another orange one you’ll love that I’ll post for this coming Friday Cocktail). My home is open for Super Bowl viewing; I even bought a new TV…amazing how little the one I had became with 9′ ceilings plus I decided I really did need a TV in my bedroom; my waking at 2am has not yet subsided!
I know I’ve already asked and maybe some of you will comply but now I’m begging you…please yell and cheer and shout for my Broncos, OK? No, wait…I’m serious. PRETTY PLEASE? Thanks…I needed that!
More good news? I actually made this dish, took photos, processed them and scheduled the post to publish at it’s normal time. I haven’t found my gray card for white balance and actually need a curtain for the kitchen doors because the light is SO bright but I’m getting there; this is a first this year though so I’m feeling a ‘whoo hoo’ is in order!! Thank you all for being so patient. For letting me rehash some old things and for missing other days entirely; it’s appreciated more than you know.