The Reeds Do Christmas

Happy New Year, dear friends. Sorry for the radio silence.

It has been sort of an intense month. Pat's grandfather passed away December 4th. While he seemed ready to go, it was hard to lose him and see the effect on the family. It's really hard for me to talk about such things, so I will take the wimpy way out and won't even try. I will just say he was just a good soul, and I will always think of how warmly he welcomed me into the family and how when Greta was little he used to get down on the floor with her to play, which I thought was awfully sweet for a guy with Navy tattoos.

The shootings in Newtown, CT, shook me, as it shook just about everyone. Trying to explain it to my own six-year-old was just about more than I could take.

Then on Christmas Eve the shootings in Webster, NY, hit close to home. One of the volunteer firefighters was a good friend of Pat's family, and he was even at Pat's grandfather's funeral.

It seems like there is so much sadness in the world, but we do our best to find joy and do a pretty good job at that.

We went to Binghamton for Christmas, and we got spend a lot of quality time with family and saw quite a few friends.

It's sort of funny (not totally funny haha), but Greta and I were super sick the week or so before Christmas. The day we got to Binghamton I realized I was getting worse rather than better, and I ended up going to a walk-in clinic, which was a first for me. The kind doctor gave me a prescription for antibiotics (the kind you can take and still drink alcohol - score!) and told me a couple over-the-counter things to take to help me out. It was a bizarre scene at the CVS that is open 24 hours while we were waiting for my prescription. It was just one of those experiences where everything is hilarious when they probably shouldn't be. We had to wait a while, and Pat was mastering his skills using one of those grabber thingies. Here he is approaching me with it next to the adult diapers. See? Funny.

Also funny, Pat took Greta to the Roberson Museum and Science Center while in Binghamton. I was working at the time and Pat kept texting me ridiculous pictures, this one being my favorite.

On Christmas Day it snowed and Greta wanted to go sledding at the elementary school where Pat used to sled. I know it doesn't look like much, but this little hill was pretty steep.

The day after Christmas we went to Skaneateles to have Xmas festivities with the McCarthys. My dad always gets us a nice care package of wine. I love wine.

One other little gem for you: Greta's black ski mask she got from my brother last year is the gift that keeps giving.


Another post about foodstuffs and my kid

File under: CSA | holiday | recipe

This week the CSA bounty was almost as exciting as last week. In our share we got kale, fresh garlic (did you know the garlic you buy at the supermarket is cured?), red and green lettuce, broccoli, more beets, cherries, and a basil plant.

With the kale and garlic, I made greens and beans. I didn't work from a recipe, but it was just a pretty traditional recipe like this one. With the lettuce I just made a bunch o' salads. With the broccoli I made a recipe called Ziti with Broccoli and Ricotta Sauce, which I've made two dozen times from a book called Quick Vegetarian Pleasures illegally reproduced here. (Since I'm an editor and a no-plagiarism ranger, I won't reprint it here, but if I link to someone else who has that's okay enough, right?) Despite what it says in this blog, our family absolutely loves this recipe. It was even tastier than usual with such fresh broccoli. I used this recipe for the beet greens, and I will say this was the first non-winner I've made so far. I made some substitutions and changes, though, so I'll blame myself rather than the recipe.


I've been good about documenting our dinners, but I've been using my phone camera, which is super low budget, I know, but whatever.

Oh! I also found a great use for the bok choy from last week. Last Thursday night I was exhausted, and Pat read my mind and picked up some takeout. He got chicken panang, and I used this fantastic recipe from Steamy Kitchen (I love this site) to make a tasty, healthy side dish.

This weekend we went to a great baby shower for cousin Rory and his super lovely wife Jennie. You may remember them from such weddings as Rory and Jennie's wedding. We all had a wonderful time, and I regret I didn't get a picture of the expecting, but look at these cute family members of mine.

We stayed at the party later than Greta's normal bedtime and she also got more sugar than she is used to, and she sort of tweaked. Hilarity ensued. I have a bunch of short movies of her drunk-tired and hopped up on sugar. Here are two. My brother Phil is not hopped up on sugar; he is always  game for some fanny spinning.

Untitled from Fran Reed on Vimeo.

Untitled from Fran Reed on Vimeo.

Other highlights from this weekend include Pat and Greta doing some yard camping, which Greta was super excited about; picnicking and fireworks; and working slightly less than normal.


Fancy Dancer

File under: holiday | weekend update

This past weekend Greta had her big dance recital, which went off without a hitch. She did a great job and had a blast. Greta's grandparents all came to show their support.

Greta got SO many flowers. It was sort of ridiculous...ridiculously awesome. Look: the bouquet is bigger than Greta's head.

She got flowers from her dear mom and dad, both sets of grandparents, her friend Sophie's parents and her friend Sophie's grandparents. Greta just got more flowers than I've gotten in my entire life.

Right after the recital we had a late lunch, or linner, or dunch, if you will. Since it was Father's Day weekend and all my favorite dads were in attendance, I thought it would be nice to step it up a notch, and we had beef tenderloin with two kinds of butter (roasted garlic and horseradish), taders, haricot vert, macaroni and cheese (per Greta's request), and fruit salad (also per Greta's request).

We also had a big family jam session (Pat on guitar, Grandpa Reed on ukulele, Greta on harmonica, and Grandma McCarthy on mini accordion) and we looked through various fossil collections (Grandpa McCarthy's, Greta's, and mine). Do we know how to have fun or not? In case there is any question in your mind, the answer is yes.

On Sunday, when it was just the three of us, Greta and I surprised Pat with breakfast in bed, and then we went to Letchworth State Park. We hiked.

We dined on ice cream.

We hung with the hippies.

We found more fossils. (Not pictured.)

We loved it.


Tigers and Groceries and Valentines, Oh My!

File under: holiday | weekened update

Wow, I've become quite the workaholic lately. After six straight weeks of a crazy pace, working 10-11 hours a day has started feeling normal. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it has improved my disposition at least.

In nutshell form, I present to you the last couple weeks:

I have the nicest mom ever. Is there really anyone who anticipate her 30-something-year-old "child's" needs better than a mom? A week and a half ago, after visiting Greta at daycare, my mom surprised me by stopping by with a TON of groceries from Wegmans, including a variety of prepared foods and some simple things to throw together, some great staple pantry items, and some of our favorites (a bottle of red wine [for me], a six pack of a really nice microbrew [for Pat], and a giant package of blueberries [for Greta]). She knows us very well. It was just the sweetest thing, and we all appreciated it so much. That is really nice, and when you consider the fact that she doesn't live in the same city as us, it is even that much more impressive. Yeah, she's a nice lady for sure.

Last Thursday was the one year anniversary of getting laid off. Thinking about it still puts my stomach in a knot. I am definitely thankful to employed, and I am appreciative to be on a great team. But, man, damn if it's not still hard when I think about my old gig and my unsavory exit. Sigh. That is all.

On a lighter note, we had the BEST time this weekend. Saturday night was particularly fun. We went to a great event at RIT. We were invited to the number-one ranked RIT Tigers women's hockey game and a "tailgating" event before the game with lots of free food and fun. We were quite surprised that Greta wanted to have her face painted before the game like a "pink tiger." I couldn't stop looking at her and smiling.

Wow, right?

We really enjoyed the game. It was actually our first RIT hockey game, and while I was a bit of a hockey fan (go Bruins!) in high school, I've been out of the hockey loop. We were all SUPER into it, though, and it was a very, very exciting game. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost their first (and last) game of the season. It was a really disappointing loss, and I'm crazy superstitious (with an emphasis on crazy), so of course I thought maybe our presence is what jinxed them, and then I remembered we're not actually *that* important and that it doesn't work that way.

Okay, the last thing I wanted to share is that I was pleased with how or valentines came out this year. They were not only easy, but I thought they're pretty cute too. And this year they are completely original as well. I usually get ideas for crafty stuff from, but this year I was standing in stupidly long line at Christmas Tree Shop, waiting to buy a gift bag and birthday card, when I saw these super cute red straws bent into heart shapes. I thought it would be fun to do something with them. I wasn't quite sure what we could do, but I bought them sort of on a whim anyway. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I yelled, "I'm grasping at straws to be your valentine!" Pat was like, "Huh?" And I was like, "I'm awesome."

Anyway, here's the end result. Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.


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