Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve ~ Saturday 12/24/16


Christmas Eve is here... eeek!

Greg went to be feeling sick last night, after taking a Tylenol.  He had warned me that if he couldn't sleep, he would come down to try and sleep in his lounger because sometimes he's more comfortable there than in bed, so I decided to sleep in my bedroom and leave him the living room.

The thing is,  the kittens all came up with me.  Sigh. And so cute!  But they were making a ton of noise, playing around and chewing on things. I kept on having to turn on the light to see what they were destroying now.  Also, I moved their litter box, food and water bowls out of the bedroom and put them in the hall and both Greg and I keep our doors open so they can come in and out and not cry behind the door.  They are so freaking spoiled!

Finally they settled down. I think Tabby Kitty went to sleep with Greg, as I could only feel Princess and Explorer on the bed with me when I went to the bathroom. I have to say, they found spots that allowed me to sleep pretty comfortably and if it hadn't been for several bathroom trips that I had to take, I would have had a really good night!

Finally, at 6:30ish or not, they couldn't take it anymore and started jumping on the bed and play fighting and trying to bite my toes through the duvet, and that's how I realized that Tabby Kitty had rejoined the other two in tormenting me.  I gave them more food, but they were wide awake at that point, so at 7 a.m. I just gave up and went downstairs. They all followed me and were playing downstairs but on two occasions I had to go get Princess from the landing upstairs as she was crying in distraught, wanting to be let into Greg's bedroom (he had closed the door by then).  She was so pitiful!  To distract her, I opened the windows downstairs, and this seems to have worked. All the cats are enjoying the smells of the outdoors and the kittens are chasing one another, still, at 9:00 a.m.


I hope Greg doesn't feel too bad today. I feel much better. My throat is a little swollen, I think, but I don't feel bad. He tends to get very sick whenever he's sick, though. He's the one who wanted the buffet and tonight, not tomorrow, so I'm going to be a little annoyed if I spend a lot of time baking and cooking and he can't taste and even worse... eat.  So I'm waiting for him to get up to decide what the plan is.  I'm kind of wanting to wait to do the buffet until tomorrow since my daughter will be here and hopefully he'll feel better then.


I'm  just going to type  "stream of consciousness" posts through the end of the year and will resume the regular format after the New Year.


I'm grateful that we don't need to dash to the stores today to do any last minute shopping! We all wrapped/finished wrapping our presents yesterday too so the boys can just relax today while... I cook and get everything ready. Not really my choice but if I don't do it, no one else will, especially when they're sick.

So I baked Chocolate Chunk Magic Cookie Bars (but I used walnuts instead of pecans) last night. First time I baked those, I hope they're good!



I also prepped a double batch of dough for making peanut butter blossoms and a batch of dough for making Cherry Chocolate Buried Treasures.  I might also make more chocolate covered pretzel sticks.

For the "buffet", if we have it, I need to:

  • Bake the cookies
  • Make sweet potato casserole
  • Warm up the ham (use the electric roaster so I can use the oven for other things)
  • Bake pigs in a blanket
  • Bake the pizza sticks - decided to keep those for tomorrow night
  • Make mac'n cheese
  • Make caviar toasts
  • Make smoked salmon toasts
  • Prep cheese platter
  • Prep charcuterie platter
  • Prep veggie/dip platter (include blue cheese stuffed olives)
  • Prep fruit platter
  • Get cream puffs and mini eclairs out of fridge
  • Put out the Hawaiian rolls
Only it can't be a buffet in the kitchen, where it usually is, because of the kittens, and Greg does NOT want to set up a buffet in the living room so we can keep an eye on it, and I have no room in the fridge to store platters of food (his suggestion: since the food is all in the fridge right now (stuffed everywhere I could find room), he doesn't understand when I tell him there is no room for it to be in the fridge when it's put on serving platters.  I think I'm going to override him and we'll have a table in the living room if he insists on wanting a buffet, darn it.  I hate it when people who don't do one iota of anything (decorating, cooking, cleaning, taking decorations down) then want to make up the rules of what we'll do or not... /rant over.


It's sunny right now and our high is supposed to be 81F/27C today. The weather app shows that it might rain tomorrow (Christmas), which means that... it probably won't!

My daughter is working tonight and her shift ended up being longer than she anticipated so I'm not sure what that means for her celebrating Christmas with her dad and brothers tonight, as they had planned.  She's going back there after her shift and spending the night, works early tomorrow morning and will be coming back here after that shift, which is when we'll open our presents. 

I should do some cleaning but just looking at the list of what I need to cook/prep for tonight tires me, so I think we'll have a dusty/messy Christmas.

I never did hear back from Middle Son about when he can meet for our Christmas lunch next week and also I know that he has to move out of his apartment, if he hasn't already, and back into his dad's house, so I don't know if he'll have time to meet? He's working today and tomorrow.

I sent presents for Oldest Son and his GF with my daughter, who spent the day with them yesterday, going to Walt Disney World, but no word from them. I had told his GF to send the presents she got for Greg and me and our son via my daughter.


I earned my Microsoft Rewards credits for the day (it's double credit weekend again!) and a couple of Swagbucks. I only need 1 more Collector's Bill to get the 20 SB bonus, and getting those is at random so there's nothing I can do, short of doing as many searches on SB as I can. Yeah, well, I'm going to be busy with other things!


So I stocked up on Snowflakes & Spruce scented candles from Bath & Body Works this year, so I would have enough at holiday time and I just realized that it's 12/24 and I never even lit ONE candle!  Oh well, I guess I'll keep them for next year? Or maybe when it's actually cold in February.


Greg got up at 9:45 a.m., feeling less feverish (he said he sweated all out overnight) but his throat is sore. I fixed him a cup of black tea with some raw honey in it.

I'm also washing his bedding and airing out his room. Hmm, this is starting to feel like a Domestic Saturday to me...

I brought a bag of Hershey's chocolate kisses to the couch with me but it's not what you think!  I'm actually going to unwrap them so I can bake my peanut butter blossoms.  What a waste of time!  A few years back you could find already unwrapped kisses but I didn't see any this year.  I despise having to unwrap every single kiss, arrgh.  Oops, I need to get some holiday spirit back, lol.  Our son is still sleeping or I'd enroll him to do this for me, as I usually do.

We watched an episode of "Antiques RoadShow" while I unwrapped the chocolate kisses, and then I went to bake some cookies.

I made peanut butter blossoms and I wanted to make my cherry chocolate buried treasures but I realized at the last minute that I didn't have any condensed sweetened milk (I can make my own but I really didn't feel like it) and worse, that I didn't have any maraschino cherries!  So I ended up just rolling the dough in sugar and sprinkling some mint chocolate chips on top.



I picked the rest of the chicken meat from last night's carcass, but I didn't keep the carcass. I have a lot of chicken bones already in the freezer and I've really enjoyed using Better Than Bouillon because it's tastier than my homemade stock (and much less work!).  Greg had that meat for his lunch.

I had the rest of the butternut squash soup and some chicken nuggets. I also warmed up chicken nuggets for our son, who had finally gotten up.

We ate our lunch while watching an episode of Bob's Burgers on Netflix "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl!".

I'd been in the mood to watch a Christmas movie but not a sappy one so I decided that I wanted to watch "Die Hard".  It's sad to say but I find it very à propos these days and I can fantasize that yes, we are winning against the terrorists.

I thought we owned it but we have "Live Free or Die Hard". Well, dang. So we agreed to splurge on buying the HD version of it on Google Play since I had a 50% off any movie offer saved in my account.  So we paid $7.49 and we'll definitely watch it again because we like watching "old" movies from the 80's :). Greg and I are eating Christmas cookies while watching the movie.  He's feeling dizzy again so taking another decongestant and ibuprofen.  I wonder if he's getting an ear infection.

We had to turn the AC on at 2:45 p.m.  It was 77F/25C in the living room but it felt fine to me. However Greg felt very hot.

Two of my fingers on my right hand are throbbing with what feels like arthritis or rheumatism.  It's not humid or cold so I'm not sure why that is! It's painful and it comes and goes. I might take an ibuprofen in a bit.

My Christmas cookies turned out very dry. Uh.  I really don't feel like cooking any food for tonight. I want to open the presents and then call Christmas officially o-v-e-r.

Told you this was turning out to be Domestic Saturday!  I scrubbed the downstairs toilet and squirted some Clorox toilet bowl cleaner in it, scrubbed the sink, cleaned the mirror, cleaned the hair trap at the bottom of the shower... I should sweep or mop the bathroom too but that'll have to wait until next week. Oh and I brought more toilet paper rolls into the bathroom too.
I don't remember if I reported that Ibotta had denied me the 2% rebate on our Best Buy purchase because I was supposed to show an Ibotta-generated QR code at the Best Buy checkout counter in order to get the rebate instead of submitting my receipt after the fact, you know, like 99.99% of all the other rebates that they offer. I understand that this was my fault and I should have checked on that first, but as I told them in the follow-up survey that they sent me today and to which I assigned a "no, I'm not satisfied with the level of service you provided" rating, being less intransigent and more flexible for loyal customers who clearly purchased the merchandise (I mean, I paid with a credit card so my name is store-printed on the receipt!) would be great customer service. Their current policy of not empowering their customer service reps to make things right for customers stinks. We're talking 2% of $59.99, which comes to $1.20. In contrast, the CVS Customer Service rep who replied to my inquiry as to why I was getting surveys for stores where I don't shop sent me $10 in ECBs to apologize for their mistake.  Yeah, I'll let the $1.20 go but that doesn't mean that I have to be happy about it and tell them, when they survey me about it, that I think that their customer service is aces.

Kellogg's Family Rewards emailed a 100 KFR Points bonus code. However, it's one letter too long and isn't accepted in the "Enter Code" field on their website. I emailed Customer Service.


I spent a couple of hours getting the food ready for our buffet: I set up the electric roaster out on the patio and heated up the ham in it for a couple of hours, baked the sweet potato casserole and pigs in a blanket indoors, made mac'n cheese, buttered crackers for lumpfish egg toasts and sourdough bread for smoked salmon toasts, prepped the cheese, veggie and fruit platter, etc, etc. I did most of it while playing episodes of "Frasier" on my Kindle Fire to keep me entertained.

In the meantime, the kittens were "helping"... it was like a real life "Ratatouille" movie, but they started to annoy me.  When I asked Greg what we were going to do about the kittens and suggested we put them in his bedroom and block the door with a piece of wood so they wouldn't get out, he just took a second from playing video games and said "whatever you want to do". At that point, I kind of snapped at him that I was already taking care of all the food, so I'd really appreciate it if he could handle the cat situation.  A little bit later, I sent my son to help him and suggested they also put the litter box, food and water bowls in the bedroom with the kittens.  What a relief not to have to worry about them getting on the table and licking/eating everything!

Look at huge they are now!  They were just tiny little things 4 months ago!
Finally, everything was ready. Remember how I said we weren't having a buffet?  Well, we had a buffet. There's way too much food for just 3 people!  I have no idea how I'm going to fit all of this back into the fridge tonight!  Also, my sink is full of dirty dishes again. Oh well, I'll deal with that tomorrow morning.


We decided to eat our dinner while watching "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever"... because we own the movie. Whaaaat?  Well, our son wanted to watch it last year and Amazon had it on sale for just $0.99 so we bought it. Greg and he actually really liked it. I watched part of it tonight before getting distracted by something else and it was OK. Greg really laughs a lot and I look at him like I don't know who he is. It's really not that funny :)



Then we decided to buy "Elf" and add it to our online movie library because we like the movie (we used to have it on VHS, I think?).  However, I messed up something and we ended up renting it for $0.99 with promotional code MOVIE99.  We're watching it right now. Can't you tell?!

I realized that I was only 6 SB away from meeting my 1st Swagbucks goal so I played several rounds of Swagasaurus to reach it.


I succeeded in putting most of the food away!  I left the fruit platter on the table, covered in plastic wrap.  If the kittens eat the fruit, oh well.  My son went to release the beasts. They'd been sleeping on Greg's bed so they smelled like fresh laundry :)