I tried to convince people that I had been caught in a snow flurry, but since it's 75 degrees here, nobody believed me.
That's the down side of living in California!
The real story, of course, is that this is what happens when you wear a navy blue sweatshirt with a snowman on it...and then try to bake pies.
Sadly, I have no tales of pie baking this year. Two years ago, I couldn't find cinnamon and Jeri and I spent time grinding cinnamon sticks for the pumpkin...only to discover later that Joe and Alice were having an ant problem, cinnamon is good for discouraging ants, and so their HUGE bottle of cinnamon was in the bathroom. Funny, that was about the only place I didn't think to look.
Last year, I brought all the ingredients and the machines to make the pies, and then could not find a can opener to open the pumpkin. I ended up using a bottle opener and risking life and limb trying to scrape the pumpkin out of the can, avoiding those sharp teeth trying to bite me (they actually had two can openers).
This year--no problem. I brought pumpkin pie spice, so didn't even try to find the spices. I found the can opener right away and except for not realizing that the new oven had a knob to turn it on (and turning it off three times using button controls I couldn't read when trying to set the timer), there was no weeping and/or gnashing of teeth...and all came out just fine.
After dinner tonight, Alice Nan hauled out some special shell ornaments.
These shells were made/decorated by a friend from Hawaii and sent to Walt's mother after the family (who lived in Hawaii for seven years in the 1950s) moved back to the mainland. Walt and Alice Nan decorated the shell tree to use as a decoration.
Then there were the last few packages to be wrapped
and while that was going on, Tom sent a picture of Brianna putting out cookies and beer for Santa (which was what Tom put out for Santa when he was a kid. By the time Santa got to our house, he was full of milk and needed something a bit stronger.
So Bri is following a long family tradition. I asked Tom if he would like his Dad to come and help with the beer, but he said that "the mantle had passed."