Archive for the 'Holidays' Category



Birthday Dishes and Linens

My birthday was last weekend and I invited some friends over for a grownup dinner party. Really, I wanted the excuse to show off the dishes I bought and the napkins I made to go with them.

Miss P brought citronella candles and I set out the bug spray and I didn’t even get bitten (a nice b-day gift of itself). I made pototo lima bean soup and whole wheat rolls. C&D brought a quiche and P&T brought grilled veggies. Everything was so good, and I counted myself really lucky to have such great friends!

I made the birthday cake, just my usual chocolate cake from a mix, but I used some cake-decorating resources to frost it nicely (turquoise with white polka dots). It was my 36th birthday, and I didn’t have enough candles, so I made an 8-bit binary code. I also served soan papdi, a box of which I have been saving since my trip to Salt Lake. Soan Papdi is so sweet that you have to wash it down with birthday cake.

I had spent the week leading up to my birthday sewing napkins. It was surprising how many turquoise/orange/red fabrics I had, and I bought some others at the shop on my street corner (yes, I live practically next door to a quilt shop!).

Plus my old napkin rings went fabulously:

In uploading these photos, I was reminded of another dinner party almost exactly two years ago, where I also showed off new dishes, and where I OUTDID myself on food. See Indian Feast.

 

 

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Key West Pride Parade 2011

Sunday evening we went to see the pride parade down Duval street. From my vantage point on the curb, I noticed that the police horses were wearing pretty cool shoes.

I called them Vibram One-Finger shoes.

This super cool “headdress” is from Island Gym, and it is more than one lane wide.

I like this car with stamps painted on it, but I don’t know who owns it.

The cookie mobile gave us FIVE fresh chocolate chip cookies (the benefit of taking a kid to a parade).

I have to interject here that one of the great benefits of having a little kid, besides the cookies, is the ability to use a bathroom in stores that have “no public bathrooms”. I never let on that it’s not actually my kid who’s going to have an accident if we don’t get to use their restroom right now.

Here’s a float from the MCC, the only church I’ve set foot inside in years (for a Hand-and-Foot tournament). Our friend Scot sits on the corner closest to us. He taught us the game last winter…I think he was a bit surprised at how fast we caught on to that locally popular version of canasta.

The cuties from Bourbon Street Pub

In 2003 there was an 8-bar rainbow flag that stretched from one end of Duval street to the other. Now pieces of it travel the globe and we have a small section for our parade.

Although curious, I did not ask how this codpiece stays on.

Holiday Wrap Up

In our neighborhood there is a great big sand box where you can take lessons in sand sculpture. The artists who run it usually have something amazing in progress (see their Gallery here), as well as amatuer works. Just before xmas, they were working on an 8-foot tall sculpture of the ghosts of christmas, when vandals smashed the faces and left their beer bottles. A few sad days went by with just an etched notice that no more sculpting would occur. Then, one day, there appeared a life-sized sand Grinch, drumming his fingers and hating the Whos.  Very funny.

The Grinch is gone now, and last week I saw them working with a little girl who was probably 9 or 10, and I snapped a picture of their finished fantasy castle, which I think is adorable.

We ate at Pepe’s Cafe, a local institution since 1909, and look what was on the menu! My dad’s favorite. My mother likes to tell me how the military men have a less appetizing name for it.

We had tea, hot and sour soup, and green curry.

Oh yeah, here are the stockings I made for the boys. I left our felt stockings in Salt Lake City, thinking I’d be back there at xmas, so I knitted these up and let Zach and the Boogedy choose which they wanted. The little fellow chose green and orange with beads (“mine fravorite!”). They’re resting atop a beautiful “Shoo-fly” quilt made by my mom.

Auntie Marian’s present of spelling puzzle cards was a BIG hit.

As was this fun playmat from Grandma.

He bought himself a “Pyew Pyew” with his xmas money from Grandma Gipson. We had to tell him not to lick the suction cup bullets while the thing is loaded. Man, the things that make a mom cringe, that a little boy would never, ever think of. This picture shows how big he’s looking.

Tropical Xmas

The xmas lights are up! As you can imagine, there are lots of tropical themes here. My favorites:

A few nights ago was the Key West Holiday Parade. It was a local’s fest, with firetrucks, the women’s club, the Gay-Straight Alliance from the High School,  a couple of tumbling groups, bands, and choirs, as well as all different kinds of tropical santas, like this guy in a hammock under the palms.

And Pirate Santa…I don’t know why Mrs. Claus is in her civilian clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ambulance looked very festive

Lots of candy was chucked, and I got beaned at least once by a stale Dubble Bubble. But the Tootsie Rolls were fresh, and Zach caught a mini box of dots, and the Boogedy got some pirate booty, which turned out to be chocolate treasure.

Even the street sweepers were decked out! I always think of these as Zambonis, even though I know that isn’t right.

I love xmas lights.

 

Advent Calendar

I decided to get excited about xmas this year. Often we try to travel, but that’s not in the cards this year (plus I don’t want to go somewhere cold and have to replace a wardrobe that I got rid of when I left Utah).

I subscribe to the wonderful newsletter from kids craft weekly, and inside the last issue was this beautiful idea: an origami advent calendar. I made 24 cups, here’s a closeup:

And this is where they are displayed in our kitchen.

Today we met the Boogedy at school with the December 1 cup. He was SOOOO excited. Inside was a tag that said “Pick out a Christmas tree!” He carried that cup and tag all the way to the nursery and picked a fluffy little island pine in a pot.

Here are the other tags I have made, with events and crafts and fun things to do. On days when I’m just not feeling the urge to do ANY of these things, the Boogedy will get a little square of deep dark chocolate, a real treat around here. Luckily, Key West is brimming with holiday events, many of them family friendly and inexpensive.

Many of these special ideas came from the newsletter. Do you have any other easy, cheap ideas for me to include?

Sugar Skulls and Homesickness

My son received the most wonderful package in the mail yesterday! Three homemade sugar skulls made by his Auntie Noemi in Salt Lake City, along with lots of tubes of brightly colored frosting and foil strips.

(Mosca thought this package smelled delicious). The Boogedy could barely wait for his dad to get home from running an errand to work on “frostume” his sugar skulls! We set out some paper on the kitchen floor.

He frosted the top, added feathers and foil, then some glue for good measure, then more foil and feathers, then more “frostume”.

Then, he turned the whole thing over and started squeezing frosting into the bowl of the skull! Zach and I were a little more reserved.

I almost cried with homesickness, as I remembered doing this activity each year with Zach’s brothers and sisters and their kids (many of whom are teenagers now). I imagined how much fun the Boogedy would be having with his cousins, running up and down the stairs and scaring the crap out of me that he’d fall off the parts with no railings. And there would be Mexican hot chocolate, too!

Thank you so much, Noemi…I miss my family! I can’t imagine a better October present.


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