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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simply Having

A wonderful Christmas time.

Well, it’s been a while.  Like two months.  Sorry about that.  I won’t bore you with why.  The holidays were wonderful but stressful and my focus just hasn’t been on blogging.  BUT/AND, they were great.  So this and a couple of other posts this week will provide December/January wrap ups – because I have notes and pictures and want to remember it.  Hopefully you can find some entertainment and humor and love in them too.

December was good.  After our less than conventional Thanksgiving, we started gearing up for the holidays because that meant visitors to our home.  I was so excited.  We all were.  Bryan’s mother came in December for a week and my parents arrived on Christmas night and stayed a week too.  Twas wonderful to have family around.

Something important to me every year since I’ve had my own home is the ritual of decorating the Christmas tree using the same ornaments from my childhood and those collected over the last 10 years.  I still have the cheap Wal-mart glass balls from my first year that I lived in Laramie.  This year, we had to start from scratch since we didn’t ship any Christmas d├ęcor over.  We took off for the “Centro de Lima” (Lima Center) where they have what seemed like 5,000 vendors all selling Christmas lights that play a horrible rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  This is near downtown Lima and it was so crowded; you walk through the streets and stores and it kind of feels like when you’re leaving a stadium and everyone is headed for the same exits.  All the time.  Christmas crap everywhere.  It’s where many of the city vendors buy their wares for selling all over the city.  Kinda like the Peruvian version of Sams Club.  Davis, Bryan and I found a small tree and handful of ornaments and some lights.  Just enough to get us started.  I also bought some glitter and popsicle sticks and we decided to make as many ornaments as we could.  I later found an Artisan handicraft market in Kennedy Park which was awesome.  There we bought real Peruvian ornaments made from artisans.   So – our tree had potential.

We also purchased a nativity scene in the Centro de Lima.  It's pretty cool; and one of the wise men
looks like King Friday.  
We popped some popcorn and threaded it to make a popcorn garland.  I also used the wreath I was given in Nunoa to wrap the tree.  I had come across, for 5 soles, a bag of tiny Peruvian flags so we covered the tree in those too.  We built a makeshift tree topper using a – wait for it – homemade bat skeleton and popsicle snowflake covered in glitter.  Bryan’s grandmother made him the skeleton thingy 30 years ago and Davis and I made the popsicle snowflake that very day. 


Peru flags and Peruvian snowman

The wreath from Nunoa
This is one of the artisan pieces I found at the handicraft fair.  Isn't this country fascinating?  I never thought I'd have two skeletons to decorate my home for Christmas....
(side note:  Every guest that visited our home was completely fascinated, or maybe just confused, about our use of the popcorn garland.  They had never seen anything like it before.  Is this just a southern poor people’s thing?  Don’t lots of folks make a popcorn garland?  Whatever.  What I don’t understand, is why they didn’t look twice at the bat skeleton on top.)

I’m happy to say that our tree was freakin’ beautiful.  And we have lots of funky ornaments to take home with us and open next year.
Isn't it pretty?  Bat skeleton thing and all.
Another major event in December:  My 31st birthday.   Not quite the fuss as 30.  31 just came and went like all other birthdays without an 0 on the end of it.  But I had a nice day.  BC took me to see the new James Bond, which was awesome.  The movie and the experience.  I hadn't been to a movie since moving here.  And they had servers in the theater.  That served full meals.  And wine.  With uniforms and trays.  OMG.  What a treat!

THEN, my coworkers bought me a cake and sang happy birthday in Spanish and English and later we partied hard at the restaurant Boliviana.  I got totally wasted on Pisco, salsa danced all night, dropped it like its hot with my girlfriends and met a few new folks that I think will be lifelong friends.  If the image below is blurry, just know that it is indicative of the entire night.  And I have no idea who took this picture.

It is small on purpose because I don't want you to see it too clearly.  
My mother-in-law was in town during this time and she was a gem because she totally didn't judge me the next day when I had the biggest hangover of my adult life so far.  Every symptom.  I wore my sunglasses in the house.  I kept apologizing and repeatedly told her that "I promise this isn't something I normally do.  I'm so sorry."  At one point she said, “just stick your finger down your throat and get it over with.” 
That’s my girl.
  
Christmas morning was divine.  My mother-in-law brought us cool stuff from the USA like blackberry jelly and coconut oil for my skin.   Stuff I’d never imagine would make me so happy, but it did.  Santa was good to Davis too – lots of soccer gear and race car sets and other knick knacks.  BC bought me a lovely, hand-painted Peruvian jewelry box and a silver necklace with Wayruro seeds.  Google it. 

Everyone was happy.  Then on Christmas night, my parents arrived from the USA.  Their first time to step foot in another country (except for Canada but that doesn't count) and while they looked only a tiny bit shell-shocked when they came out of customs at 11:45 pm, they were smiling.  Davis greeted them with a giant hug and lots of love and Merry Christmas each and every one.

So now you’re caught up through December 25th.  The next post will be about my parent's visit – I have lots of great pictures and observations.  Look for it.  J 

Oh, and  my Christmas tree is still in my living room fully decorated.  Oh the shame!  I'll get to it eventually.  I'm a procrastinator in most aspects of my life, but I'll show you some greatness....just you wait and see.  
    
This random shot of cooked beets is important because of no reason whatsoever.  BC makes the best beets in the world.  People who don't like beets even like them.  He even won a cooking beet-off back in Little Rock.
(I needed an excuse to use the term beet-off in my blog.)

We also had this chicken - which is also randomly placed in this blog post only because it was so freakin' delicious and a lovely photo.
And this one is just pretty.