It's been a long, somewhat difficult year for us. Well, or else a short, difficult year for us; I can't really decide which. I feel as though I am in a healing period and coming from a darker place than I like to normally inhabit. This has all made me all the more aware of the many, many good things in my life, and how lucky we are. Yes, we're broke and worried about it, but we're getting by, and good LORD, we are so lucky to love each other so. I'm always a bit of a Christmas person, but this year I somehow want to celebrate it more than ever. And so, we set of last night to get our Christmas tree. Owen worked until 7:00 at his internship so he drove over in Cyril and met us there. My beloved Kathleen Jones had given me a Prairie Gardens gift certificate for our anniversary….she is another that is devoted to old fashioned balsam trees! It was incredibly cold but the trees were GOOD this year (it hadn't been sheared to death in a perfect triangle) and I laughed through the whole thing. I was outvoted on my first choice because it was too tall, and I must admit, they probably were right. We looked at two others and made our choice. We always seem to pick our trees quickly whether it's cold or not. We went inside and I bought some paper white bulbs. Ernie made me swear I would actually plant them, unlike some years. There are certain things I like to buy and then let them go to waste (see: pomegranates). I swore I would.
Ernie and I wanted to put the tree on top of Cyril so we could take a picture, à la our surprise present from last year, but Owen demurred, saying it could scratch his baby. Oh well. The tree was so tall we barely got it the Honda. Usually they pop right in but….TALL! They got it in as far as they could and then tied the hatch door down while the trunk popped out. Owen and Leo followed behind us as we drove home–with the open door we could hear Cyril's putter in all its glory. The guys got the tree in a bucket of water and then we all scattered.
Ernie and I had splurged and bought a grass fed skirt steak from the Co-op. I'm eating mostly ground beef and turkey (other than fish) these days, as they recommended it for easier digestion. And, I gotta say, it gets a bit old. The steak was pricy (although understandably so), from Central Lean, I believe, and I smoked up the kitchen when I did it in the cast iron pan (my family would tell you that I do this all the time, and honestly, you shouldn't doubt them). GOOD GOD was the flavor incredible. It was probably a bit too rare, but I prefer that to the opposite, but the FLAVOR blew us away. Nothing but Himalayan pink salt and black pepper on it. We had sweet potato and spinach on the side. There was supposed to be sort of chimichurri cilantro sauce for it, but well, it didn't go well, and got mistakenly dumped. Anyway…a delicious, albeit very late, dinner. Owen had decided he wanted chicken instead so when I was done I helped him cook his vegetables and chicken. He really did all of it, I just stood there, but it was lovely. He also asked to borrow a few cookbooks to look over so we can plan some other cooking sessions. Then he requested one of the flow blue plates for his dinner, and damn, my heart was full.
When we got inside, I said, "ohhhh, I meant to get a picture of our tree with our gift card from Kathleen." All three of them sighed, and Owen grabbed it and said, "here, take a picture." Ok.