Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Staycation

Yep.  I've done it again.  I've gone and planned a two-week staycation.  This time I only got a few eyerolls and a couple people actually complimented me on my decision.

I couldn't be happier to be right where I am.

It would be nice to be visiting at my Mom's in Colorado.  But, I really would rather go when the weather is nice and we can hike, raft and do some sightseeing in the fine weather that only Canon City can offer even in the heat of the summer.

But, since I'm here and not there, I've found some things to keep me occupied during my staycation.

We put lights on the house as this blurry photo will attest.  We went with the new LED lights this year.  I got a new artificial tree as can be seen in the window.  It is a white tree and I can't get over how nuclear it looks with the lights on at night.

Taken through a window screen. Ick.
One day not too long ago when the weather started to actually turn winter like, I filled my bird feeders so the little charmers wouldn't have to hunt too hard for their dinner.  By the time I got back inside and put my things away, this is what I saw.  That thing was full not 10 minutes before I took this picture.  In less than an hour, they had abandoned the hollow carcass of the bird feeder like a used up roadkill.  It was disturbing.  At times like these, I am vividly reminded of their dinosaur ancestry and ever so grateful for their diminutive stature.
There must have been 100 of them.  Sparrows mostly.  They flocked back and forth between the five feeders in my yard, the neighbor's feeders, the nearby shrubbery and the 'extra' seed I dumped on the ground for the ground feeding doves and bluejays.  If you look closely, you might be able to see a male cardinal near the arbor trying to decide where to go for a snack.  Brings new meaning to 'on the fence.'  I wonder if he felt intimidated by the number of birds?  He did eventually choose a spot and scatter the sparrows with the aid of a couple rauckus bluejays going after the stale bread I also put out. 

Yesterday was cold.  Very cold. So, I spent some time cruising on the internet. At breakfast time, I discovered three very ripe bananas on the kitchen counter so I went surfing for a banana bread recipe.  I happened across the website and found a video recipe for banana oat muffins that sounded pretty darn good and looked fairly simple.  So I decided to try them out.  They were, in a word, scrumptious.  I'm fairly certain that I will never buy another muffin mix so long as I live.  Muffins are easy peasy and now that I know, I can't think of a good reason to spend 5 minutes mixing up a muffin mix when I can spend 5 minutes mixing muffins from scratch.

This is what we had for dinner last night.  It is a Korean dish called bibimbap.  Like most Asian fare, it starts with rice and veggies with some sesame oil.  This particular batch included mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and some lovely little sweet peppers I got at the organic market.  Top it off with a fried egg and a little hot chili paste and it not only fills the void, it clears the sinuses as well.  My husband has decided that if vegetarian includes bibimbap, he might be able to do it. Some people add slices of beef.  I like it fine without meat.

This morning when I got up, I was in the mood for something different for breakfast.  I have eyed-up the scone recipes online in the past and they all seemed too difficult or complicated to me.  Since I am on vacation, I decided to take the time to try some more complicated things. 

<insert eye roll here> 

Scones are ridiculously easy.  And tasty.  This recipe came from the Farm Girl Fare weblog and she calls them Christmas Cranberry Scones.  Yes, it was the rave reviews from first time scone makers that gave me the courage to try.  There are several more recipes on her site that I'm eager to try out soon.  Good thing I took two weeks off.

So what are you making this holiday season?  Trying anything new?

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