Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Daily 15

I'm sorry I haven't been around the last couple of days. When you read on, you will discover why. It was a real roller coaster of a few days.

Sunday, we did not go to church. A good friend has an annual Christmas tree cutting party. I am loath to miss church for a party but this friend has family members who can't come on the Sunday and it's really important to her that we are all there. This year, in particular, is was critical - her husband died of cancer back in the later spring and she is very fragile. I think that many of us were trying to show her that she can have a life without her husband, even if it is very different from the life she treasured before.

We started out slowly, which isn't something that we are often able to do. Pk wanted pancakes and so I made our favourite recipe. I love this one because it's whole grain but doesn't taste any less wonderful than other pancakes. Of course, Pk helped to make the batter.

The snow was really coming down but it was very wet and slushy so while the roads were messy, driving wasn't too bad and it did make it feel Christmas-y. We debated how to manage a tree and two children and finally decided that Baby Bean would go in his sled and we would take the farm wagon as much as possible. Pk was VERY excited!
This was the first tree that I loved. Dh felt it was too tall and given that he is 6 feet tall or just shy of it, once I saw him beside the tree, I realised that he was probably right. It's a pretty tree, though, don't you think?
This tree was a much better size and we agreed it would come home with us. Sadly, it's still in the garage and I am not sure how I am going to get it in. More on that later...
Baby Bean was very snug in his sled and he even slept for a while. He is such a sweetie!

After the tree cutting, we all went back to our friend's house for lunch - it's the same delicious meal every year (and the same people who come), chili, yummy bread and butter and for dessert, turtle brownies. Here's the recipe:

Turtle Brownies

1 14oz. pkg. caramels (I just buy from the bulk section of the grocery store)

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 German Chocolate Cake mix (any chocolate cake mix will do if you can't find German chocolate)

3/4 cup butter

1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)

1 12oz. pkg. chocolate chips

Combine caramels and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and heat and stir until melted (use low heat). Combine cake mix with remaining milk and softened butter. Mix until holds together. Stir in nuts. Press half cake mixture in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan and bake at 350 for 6 minutes, sprinkles chocolate chips over cake and then pour caramels over. Then crumble remaining cake mix over top (I press out little bits with greased fingers and lay the pieces on top in a thin layer) Bake 20 minutes at 350.

These freeze well but let them get to room temperature before serving.

Once we got home, things fell apart. Dh wasn't feeling well and it quickly went from bad to worse. He has these attacks sometimes that I have always suspected were gall bladder. Normally, he goes and lies down for an hour or so and starts to feel better. This time, it just got worse and worse. I suggested going to the hospital and at first, he resisted but at 8:45 p.m., he realised that it wasn't getting better and he couldn't handle the pain. It was snowing like crazy and we had to bundle both the kids into the car and drive the 20 minutes in to the hospital. It was a terrifying drive. I don't enjoy night driving and I really don't enjoy night snow driving.

Luckily, when we got there, it wasn't too busy so he got seen almost right away by a nurse. They whisked him away and I found a "family" waiting room, a little room with a couple of chairs and a table and a door that closed. Dh went on morphine and anti spasm drugs and after a couple of hours, he started to feel better. It was midnight before I got the kids to sleep (Baby Bean had done some sleeping in his stroller but Pk was wired). It was 1:45 by the time we left the hospital and we had strict orders that Dh had to return for 9 the next morning for an ultrasound. It was a scary drive home because I was terrified that I would fall asleep at the wheel.

To be continued...

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