Sunday, December 24, 2006

in which vivi feverishly rambles about the weekend before christmas

I can't believe it but I think we've got everything under control for Christmas this year, and I'm not stressing out at all. This may be, of course, because I'm still feeling under the weather. The worst of the head cold is gone but now I've got something of a wet cough, which is always very attractive.

Yesterday we found all the oysters we need at our local grocery store, which was a relief as the alternative was driving all the way to Troyes to fight the madness of last minute shopping at one of the large grande surface shopping malls. Our local crowd was crazy enough. I should have known that we wouldn't have a problem finding oysters here, as they are a traditional appetizer for Christmas Eve in France, although they are traditionally served on the half shell instead of fried up in the southern style we're going to attempt tonight. The oysters came conveniently packed in baskets of 48, so two baskets are currently chilling out in the fridge. I'm trying to put myself in the mindset that we're going to attempt a wacky experiment that hopefully will go over well and not to take it personally if they're not well received. I can always blame Steph for that. (heh)

For lunch yesterday, we decided to try one of the two brasseries here in our town. The brasserie we chose offered a surprisingly wide array of choices, but I guess because I'm still a bit sick absolutely nothing sounding good to me (believe me, I never have a problem finding something good on a menu!). Steph opted for the menu of the day, which started with a salad with duck gizzards followed by kangaroo steak. I wasn't feeling very adventurous so I went with a large salad with escargots. Meanwhile, there was some kind of mixup with the waitress who came in late and the very gregarious owner/chef/head honcho that took our order. Steph's main dish was delivered to the table behind us, so both Steph and the other person at the table behind us were stuck waiting for their meals. I plugged away at my salad as best I could - it was alright but I really wasn't very hungry - and we waited for a good forty-five minutes for Steph's order to come out. Meanwhile, the man behind us read the waitress the riot act - how they didn't have time for this nonsense and he'd never seen such terrible service. Then there was some kind of confrontation about their paying with vacation vouchers (kind of like travelers cheques for restaurants and hotels) which damn near came to blows. At least we had dinner and a show! Well, they did give us free coffee at the end, so that was nice.

I spent the greater part of Friday and yesterday afternoon wrapping presents. The only reason it took so long is that I made my own bows for the presents which involved staples and glue as well as some well-placed clothespins to keep them all together. Since I only have so many clothespins and the bows needed to set overnight, I could only do about half at a time. The worst part is that I purposefully left the books until last so I could photograph them. There are a couple that I am especially proud of. I even charged the batteries Friday afternoon so I'd be ready. Wouldn't you know that it wasn't until I was halfway through wrapping them that I realized I'd forgotten to photograph them? Ugh, I'm so annoyed with myself, but that's the sort of scatter-brained dingbat I am these days. I still have two books to wrap for nieces we won't see until the New Year, so I'll get photos of those next week before I wrap them. I hope. I'm going to bring my camera tonight, but heaven knows if I'll remember to actually take it out of my purse.

To all of you who start your Christmas celebrations today, I hope you all have a wonderful time surrounded by friends and family (for me, that's the reason for the season!) and the same goes to those who will gather tomorrow. Tomorrow I hope to update on our Christmas Eve celebration, but if I don't make it, may you have a beautiful Christmas filled with love and laughter!

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