Merry ChrOMG THE BRANDY’S GONE!

Rather than sleep in today, I set my alarm in order to get up and get a good shot of our mountains in the beautiful pink dawn light.  When the alarm went off, I was insulted by the volume and shut the thing off.  That’ll teach you! I thought.  I’ll take the shot at sundown.

Two minutes later I was up, blinking in an offending brightness radiating through the window blinds .  The thought of an empty, quiet morning was too tempting to pass up.

It was an absolutely gorgeous morning as I watched the sun come up and set the mountains aglow.

San Gabriel Mountains 12-25-13

San Gabriel Mountains 12-25-13

And for the first time I understood that this section we see from home

Christmas morning mountains, once the light turned yellow

Christmas morning mountains, once the light turned yellow

is here, just west of my View Club shot:

Back to the pink.

Long ago my parents gave up putting presents under the tree because they overwhelmed the poor thing.  Instead they heaped one of the living room couches with a hoard that spilled over the furniture and crept out across the floor.  This year’s collection, however, fits nicely in a single layer spread over the cushions.

And one refurbished, TARDIS-blue side table

A refurbished, TARDIS-blue side table.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a less consumerist holiday.  I’ve been trying to steer my family in that direction for years.  But this isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity.  I know my parents would bury that couch in presents if they could.

I need a hot toddy.  Already.

I put the water on to boil and head out to the garage, where a very old bottle of brandy sits patiently waiting to offer a nip.  My people –  this branch anyway – are not drinkers, you see.  (And for all my talk I’m not much of one either, which is why it works so well.)  I don’t know why the brandy was purchased, but I remember it from my childhood.  Over the past 30 years it’s made the rounds through various cabinets and pantries until it came to reside in the garage refrigerator.

Hey!  Where's the...?

Hey! Where’s the…?

What happened to the...?

What happened to the…?

*gasp*  THE BRANDY’S GONE!  WHY IS THE BRANDY GONE???  *having a Jack Sparrow moment*

I sulk back into the house, empty a few expired envelopes of instant milk tea into a handled soup bowl, and continue to pout.

By now the rest of the house is waking up.  People shuffle into the kitchen and wonder aloud what the heck I’m looking for as I climb through kitchen cabinets.  Before they realize I’m an aspiring lush I flop down in front of my laptop and pretend I just need caffeine.  I avoid looking at the half-empty couch.

Nobody pulls off purple Christmas like my mom.

Nobody pulls off purple Christmas like my mom.

Eventually breakfast danishes are produced and everyone takes their place to open presents.

Chocomel, a Dutch chocolate milk drink, cleverly disguised as laundry soap.  And my sister making happy screechy noises.

Chocomel, a Dutch chocolate milk drink, cleverly disguised as laundry soap. And my sister making happy screechy noises.

Travis the money-hiding toilet paper.  And Drew the odd, toilet-paper-naming teenager.

Travis the money-hiding toilet paper. And Drew the odd, toilet-paper-naming teenager.

Honestly I wasn’t expecting presents for myself, but look!

Pretty artwork for my room.

A pretty thing for my wall!

And look what else!

A pretty book for my collection!

A pretty thing for my bookshelf!

J9 trivia:  I collect picture books.  (Here’s some eye candy from the first love of my life.)  Not only do I love Graeme Base as an illustrator, but Animalia is an alphabet book!  I ask you, is there a better gift for a book-loving, soon-to-be Oma?  Eeeeee!

The day is nowhere near over, but I suppoooooose I must concede that brandy hasn’t been necessary so far.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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5 thoughts on “Merry ChrOMG THE BRANDY’S GONE!

  1. You really captured the beauty of the mountains, Janine. What a nice way to start a day! Did you ever find the brandy? Oh dear. I think everyone needs a secret stash. 🙂 Your picture books were a great Christmas present, and I hope the entire day was lovely! Now…on to New Years! ox

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