My Christmas today could’ve been a cut-scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

That’s probably my fave part of the film. Still don’t think I’ve seen the whole thing. Anyhoo–

My plans were a bit boring. I didn’t get to bed til about 1:30, and with only the furry kids in the house today, I took my time waking up. I gave ’em hugs for puppy kisses, fed the fish, scooped out a dead one (I really need to stop getting guppies–they’re the only ones dumb enough to get stuck against the filter intake, freak out, and die). And it was a helluva morning outside with the dogs.

I knew it was gonna be a flip-flops and shorts Christmas, though I’d hoped more for a fireplace and cuddle-with-cocoa Christmas.

But I had a cleaning list to take care of while I had the TV on for noise (sick of Christmas movies, so had The Hunt For Red October and the Lt. Kenda: Homicide Hunter marathon on). So, I figured that finally hanging the last jigsaw puzzle on my dining room wall would be a good start.

I set it all up and was about to hang  it up in the top-right spot on the wall (I had a stepladder, no chance of falling over). I’d just set it on the hanger hardware when the thin frame’s top left corner split apart.

The glass and frame spilled out, knocked it’s top-middle neighbor over and dragged the bottom middle picture off the wall with it’s weight (and they all missed my 10 gallon fish tank somehow). I heard a lot of crashing as a couple of decorative bottles got knocked off the hutch, one of which shattered, the other tumbled over. It rolled under the table without so much as a crack.

My poor dogs were on the couch, frozen at the noise. I was still on the stepladder, holding onto the half a frame I was trying to hang up and looking at the mess a few feet away.

I couldn’t help it–I just started laughing.

Somehow I knew something, some force of nature (because Murphy is really a bitch and the law is on her side) was going to derail my already not-impressive plans. I couldn’t believe the mess and eventually the dogs got off the couch to come over and I had to wave them back so I could get the broom and dustpan before they cut themselves.

So, I picked it all up best I could, and swept and swept for a good 15 minutes, and I had to try and salvage what I could. The glass was kaput on one, the frame bad on another, and in the case of the middle bottom picture, it was just the backing that needed replacement (and a hole to patch in the wall where the hardware got dragged down half an inch–ugh). I had to spend about an hour doing some serious mixing and matching to get puzzles in new setups. At least I finally found a use for that one frame that was just too thick and didn’t match any other in my house.

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It managed to work out. I just find it funny that I was gonna spend the day cleaning and cooking–I ended up at less than square one after all that breakage on the cleaning part. I said, “screw it” and was pretty much done with the cleaning bit.

Except for the kitchen. I had to clean the kitchen, only to make it crazy dirty again through new recipes and meat prep. Ugh.

I was determined to fire up the barbecue pit today after having meat sitting down in the fridge waiting for me to cook it up. I figured I got the timing just right, and could make this vegetarian chili mac I found while the charcoal was getting it’s burn on. I think I had a little too much charcoal to start with because it took forever, but at least I got the meat seasoned and ready to go. I put it in the fridge and started on the chili mac.

My blue heeler ran into me and I splashed a bunch of dishwater right on the counter, which almost soaked into my favorite cookbook. I had to move everything in a hurry to avoid the mess and ended up knocking one of the carrots INTO the dish water.

At least I bought an extra one, just in case.

So, two mishaps with dish water. I drained the damned sink and decided to refill it later. The hard part was keeping the dogs out of the way while I was carrying items from the cutting counter to the cooking pot. I almost dropped some onions on my other dog’s head because he decided to take a nap right behind my ankles.

Moral of the story: look both ways before crossing to the stove (and up and down while you’re at it) when there are inside dogs around. You can tell I’ve forgotten this rule because I haven’t cooked much in the past.

So while that finished simmering–dishwater-free–I went out to the pit with the pans of meat.

Alas, that’s where the trouble started.

Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad…

I had my meat thermometer handy and put the beef on there first. They were REALLY thin cuts (forgot what it was called) and was cooking nicely. I was making sure the pork chops were good to go–needed a little more seasoning–and when I finished adding them to the grill, the flames were licking away really well.

In essence, I went backwards. Should’ve put the pork on first because it was thicker, because I kinda killed the beef twice. I flipped them over as fast as I could and then after a bit moved them to the cooler side to stay warm but stop cooking. Whew! Amazing how fast a thin cut can go from sizzle to char.

Was still passable, though, so I don’t mind.

The pit was still hot, it wasn’t cold out yet, so I got the dogs to come out with me and play while I sat at the prep table by the grill and ate. It all turned out pretty good (including the veggie chili mac I’d never made before–more garlic next time, though). It was enjoyable to just eat outside and enjoy perfect weather (and to get off my feet for a bit) while the dogs played.

So, it was a crazy day, and I haven’t even finished the dishes yet.

Dishes marge simpson episode 3 GIF - Find on GIFER

Yeah, that’s definitely not me, Marge. I hate doing the dishes.

Aw, crap.

At least I have food to bring with me tomorrow. I’ll need it, because I have to cover two other co-workers last-minute and won’t be able to leave to get anything to eat.

Weird how things turn out.

Anyhoo, hope the day went well, or was at least memorable in a fun, odd way where nobody got hurt. I’ve gotta get my energy back and go clean the kitchen. Funny that that’s where I was starting my journey today, and I’m right back at it.

But it’s late enough I can enjoy some Texas raspberry wine while I work.

Just gotta keep it FAR from the dishwater.

And the dogs.

And the picture frames.

Okay, maybe I should find my old Camelback or squeeze bottle and put it in there, just in case.

Besides, with enough wine, MST3K’s taking on Santa Claus Conquers the Martians might be freaking hilarious.

Enjoy what’s left of Christmas, folks, in your own bizarre or sober ways.

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