1. The Deke and I climbed into the Sube and floated over to the Diazes where David and Olivia had hot coals under their feet waiting to open their Christmas gifts. We settled in with an apple pancake and coffee and impressively orderly ripping and tearing began. When David opened one of his Lego sets and Olivia opened her American Girl doll, they both were done opening gifts for a while and immediately played with their new presents. I enjoyed it as they alternated between opening gifts and playing with what they opened. It was a totally giddy Christmas for them. Ana watched. Ha! I don't think all her siblings' excitement quite computed with her.
2. The Corgis were back at our apartment home alone and I took a break from Legos, the Batman robot, American Girl, the awesome microscope, and so on and spent a couple of hours sitting with the dogs and did a little freshening up of the bedroom. I also took a refreshing Christmas nap.
3. The Deke's birthday last Monday got screwed up because I was sick and then Molly got sick. Today Molly, the Deke, and I teamed up in the kitchen to make a most delicious shepherd's pie, the dish the Deke had requested for her birthday. I was very happy with my contribution. Soon after the gifts were open, I salted, peppered, and garlic powdered a small shank of lamb and some London broil and put them in about an inch of water and red wine in Molly's slow cooker. By late afternoon, the meat had cooked through and was moist and tender and had fully absorbed the seasonings and the wine. It provided the perfect backbone for the shepherd's pie itself, making dinner a warming and happy success.