The House of Reed is deep into removing all traces of fall celebration and bringing in the Christmas cheer.
We've had Jeff's X-marks the Spot collection on heavy rotation since dawn broke Friday. While he rocks out and reminds us where he was when he found that particularly excellent tune, Alison and I have been decking the halls and walls and other empty spaces.
At one point, I was in the kitchen and she was decorating the tree.
"Oh no! I crippled a reindeer," she exclaimed.
A little Super glue got the vintage flier back on track. It wasn't and won't be the last time glue will come into play this weekend, I wager.
We had a great time at Thanksgiving at Donna's where I reigned victorious over ever euchre table I sat at. Alison's game is coming along, too.
She spent most of her time outdoors, however, including one scary episode where she and Rachael re-enacted a scene from Lassie -- a show they've never seen.
And no, we don't have a Lassie so they had to rescue themselves.
They were allegedly playing hide-and-seek with Aleasha who was happily in in the warm house. The girls thought she was outside. As she wasn't, they quickly got distracted with other fun and Rachael found herself stuck ankle deep in a stretch of mud that will one day be a pond.
Right now, it's a mud bog. "Ack!" she called. This is where Lassie would have been handy. Ali went to rescue her and promptly got stuck herself.
Their calls for help bounced right of the windows and doors and didn't have a chance against the wails and moans from my euchre victims.
After a while of sinking deeper and deeper, the girls used a stick and elbow grease to climb out of the pit. They came to the door, covered up to their knees.
I hosed them down outside and Jaime had to go home to get them new clothes.
"We were calling and calling for help, Mom," Alison said. "Where were you?"
Other excerpts from the weekend so far:
Lee Weir (euchre loser) complained long and loud that his game was off due to nefarious activity between his daughter and me.
"I'm as honest as the day is long," I protested (truthfully.)
"Have you noticed how short the days are this time of year?" he groused.
Alison at dinner with our friends Patrick and Patricia Jackson was telling them of her Thankgiving feast. While we were surrounded with mounds of ham, turkey, homemade rolls, cheesy potatoes and a counter of desserts that would put any Paris cafe to shame, what did Alison have?
"I had four bread sandwiches," she confessed.
Patricia called foul. "It's not a sandwich if you don't have something in between the bread," she said.
"Well, there was air there," said Alison.
For many years, my contribution (by demand) to any family meal was ice. Yes. My culinary skills have never been exalted by the Bickel family. I've been elevated in recent years to fruit and vegetable trays -- which is good because it's my only defense against the rest of the stuff.
Jeff and Alison made whoopie pies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and sugar. (See why I still get invited?)
Alison is all business when it comes to baking. Somehow, though, her thumb smashed into one of the sugar cookies as she was retrieving the pan from the oven.
"Dang. Guess I'll have to eat that one," she said.
With two full days of break before us, Team Reed is planning to make the most of it. Hope you are, too.