Monday, after we got a kid on the bus, and made sure the other up and awake, we ran to our car to hit the road. Like really...we probably looked like we had just robbed a bank and landed in our get-a-way car. I'm sure the black burn out marks in the driveway will fade pretty fast...
We headed to the city to do some Christmas shopping, but we had few errands to run first.
This first part may cause me to lose some readers, but we stopped at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. You see, Tristen has a pet corn snake, and if you know anything about snakes, you know they are not vegetarians. I was grossed completely out at having to BUY dead frozen mice, until we had the idea of using baby rabbits. (Baby bunnies are MUCH better than dead mice, right??) Now, before you all start crying and running away, these babies are ones that were born dead, got out of the nest and died, things like that. ALL natural deaths and they would have other wise just been disposed of. Tristen's snake thinks they are the best thing ever, I am happy I no longer have to buy icky mice, and they are free. However, after a recent inventory, Tristen discovered we had over 40 of them from the last 2 breeding seasons, which was way more than Slytherin would eat in a year. So, we called Tanganyika and they were THRILLED to take them off our hands. Tristen did want me to ask what they would be feeding with them, and the zookeeper was more than happy to chat with us and told us they would be feeding what we brought to the snakes and some of the leopards. T thought it was really cool that something born here would be feeding something at a zoo he has gone on field trips to!
*I realize this is a very sensitive subject, but the truth is is that animals need to eat. Not all of them eat food that comes from a cute little bag from the grocery store.*
The next thing we had to do was hard. We went to visit Jamie's grave. I had not been back since the funeral. I have been to the area several times, but always found a way to talk my self out of going, for what ever reason. My husband knew exactly what was going on, and he wasn't going to let me keep doing it. I was scared to go, have been missing her fiercely, and going there, well, it really does mean shes gone. Knowing he would be with me helped a lot, and I made up some Christmas things to take out there. It WAS sad, but I felt so much better after going. Danny let me do my thing, which involved a few tears, and pointed out how beautiful it looked. Her family had mulched and planted things that were just so very Jamie. Sad, yet pretty and peaceful.
While we were pulling into the cemetery, a HORRIBLE noise starting coming from under the hood of our car. Dan and I just looked at each other with our mouths hanging open, and I believe a few explicit words came flying out of his. We had come to Christmas shop and hadn't even started yet. We couldn't decide if we should just throw in the towel and head home or try our luck. We decided to go the places we didn't have access to close to home and then head home so if we DID have to have someone come and get us, it wouldn't be in the dark.
Long story short, we didn't get ALL our shopping done, but got the things we needed too, and the car was acting fine, just sounded horrible at times, and we made it home. Danny thinks its some sort of belt. So we DO have to go out of town again this weekend, but just for a few things.
AND..while we were in the big city, I talked Danny into eating at Chipotle for lunch. Oh my! It was wonderful! I'm pretty sure I could live on just their guacamole and chips! If you've never eaten there, you should try it! I became interested after seeing them on Food, Inc. And then my friends started talking about it, and you KNOW if your friends are talking about it, you HAVE to try it. =) So go try it! And don't forget to get a side of chips and guac!!
All in all, nothing went the way we thought it would be, but it was still a good day. I refused to let anything ruin our Christmas spirit, and we laughed. A lot. We are not city people. Nor our we the best shoppers. I like shopping, and I do like looking at things and window shopping a bit, but am mostly a get what we need and move on type of shopper. My husband, well, he is a "grab the first thing that looks good, why are there so many people here, its a Monday, don't these people WORK?" type of shopper. In fact he had me laughing so hard in Bath and Body. "I feel like a nun in a strip club...I don't know where to look." HAHA! I looked over and his eyes are bugging out of his head, while trying to be patient and follow me around while I lovingly sniffed and admired all the little bottles of sensory heaven. He also got to experience Hollister. We both agreed that while we don't ever feel old very often, THAT store makes us feel ancient!
I'm going to close this post with a recipe! A RECIPE! I NEVER share recipes, so you all know it HAS to be good if I thought it was good enough to share! My guys love eggnog, and we can devour a cheesecake like a pack of hungry lions, so when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, I KNEW I had to make it! I did double this, because a 9inch pan of ANYTHING at this house is a joke. The only variation I did was I only added half the brandy. Because my kids would be eating it, and I really just don't like it, but my hubs thought it needed SOME in it!
- Vegetable oil cooking spray, for pan
- 12 graham crackers, finely ground (1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup eggnog
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brandy
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Stir together graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter. Press into bottom of pan. Bake until crust is just brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the eggs, yolk, eggnog, flour, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt; beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust. Set pan in a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of baking pan. Bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove baking pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Cut into 1 1/2-by-3-inch bars. Lightly dust tops of bars with freshly grated nutmeg just before serving.