Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Weekend

One of the reasons we were so excited that Gommie could come up was so that she could help us celebrate Easter this weekend.  And celebrate we did!

The day started with our traditional visit from our non-traditional Easter Penguin, who left a treat near the fairy-door entrance to our house.  I can't even recall what he left--there were so many treats and gifts this weekend (the bunny and penguin must have felt for us.)

Then we decorated Easter eggs.  We had about 3 dozen boiled white-shelled eggs, so one for Bud and Sis separately, and one for me and Gommie to split.  Except then a few cracked in the boiling process so it was about 7 for Gommie and me.  I always read such fantastic and inventive ways to decorate eggs online, but we went with the really straightforward:  Pas colorful tab dyes in vinegar.  Sis likes to play with the colors and takes her dyeing very seriously.  I tried a food-coloring-in-rice technique that I just discovered and that looked easy, except my food colorings are gel not liquid and so it didn't quite work, but it has great promise.  And it got hard sticky rice everywhere!  And finally, we did some doodle, or Zentangle, eggs.  Bud, Gommie, and I really got into this with our colorful Sharpie collection--grids, Cadent, swirls, roses, "Zendala" flowers, spirals, starbursts, etc.  We had such fun.  Though, each of us discovered separately how hard it is to make a grid on an elliptical egg!  Luckily, we're over being egg perfectionists so that it didn't matter that the grids didn't meet well.  And they looked beautiful altogether.

Sis also made the delicious apple crumb cake, while Gommie and Mama threw together the pimiento cheese recipe to set overnight.

Otherwise, we relaxed.  I sat on the couch--I'm mobile enough to be downstairs all day (pain-wise, this is much easier than my back injury; mentally and physically, I know it is really much more serious)--with walking, sitting, and some napping in the afternoon.  We watched Penguins of Madagascar.  Sis went to ice skating.  Bud practiced kung fu.  Gommie put together her very first Lego set all by herself!!! (Really, I'm very impressed--I've never tried to make one.  And Bud was thrilled that she was interested.)  I did a little walking outside, to admire the beginning crocus, daffodil, and hyacinth blossoms. Sis even constructed Easter nests outside, with branches from the boxwood and pine tree, the only green in the yard, and put one of her yard ornament rabbits next to them. And dear Lambeth called to check in--it was great to talk to you!!!  (Then I went to the surgeon, not relaxing, but that was another post.)

At bedtime, Sis put out carrots and apparently left a survey for the Easter Bunny to complete--with questions about what the bunny's name was, what she looked like, how many there are, and if our cats were nice to her!  (Oh, and if she were a boy or girl bunny.)

Sis was up early the next morning, so ready for what she says is her favorite holiday.  They tried not to wake us up before 7, but we could hear their giggling through the walls, especially because the bunny had answered the survey and left them treats in their plastic collecting baskets (vs. their wicker gift baskets.)  We were up and downstairs looking for eggs in no time.

BTW:  Her name is Scamper Cottontail.  She is a girl bunny, specifically a white Angorra bunny, normal-sized but she has magic to manage things.  There are lots of Easter Bunnies, divided by county to get the job down.  She likes to deliver eggs, "glitter pink" being her favorite color.  And our cats were very nice to her.  She even petted Patron's tummy and Mojito purred at her.  Albus followed her about and Hermione is just so sweet!

Okay, there were dozens of plastic eggs all over the downstairs living rooms and the kids made rather short work of finding them all, mostly without fighting with each other over who found which egg (no calling, "I see it, that's mine!").  They were filled with trinkets (post its, little plastic figures) and coins.

And then we retrieved our gift baskets off the front porch.  So many wonderful gifts from the bunny!  At our house, even adults get things.  Gommie got a Zentangle book and Mama got some DS games (and a 3DS player), plus candy (caramels and jelly beans for Gommie) and salty things (something from Trader Joe's like Corn Nuts--yes, Scamper apparently shops at Trader Joe's!), plus Mojito mix!  The kids got pajamas, small Legos, lots of chocolate (the Autism Speaks-supporting Lindt bunnies only!), other treats, figurines for Infinity and Smash Brothers games, and some DVDs (Into the Woods, Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies) and a game (Just Dance 2014.)  I got scarves (one b&w infinity scarf and one pastel Easter egg-colored scarf), a little figurine of a woman holding a bunny, Speculoos cookies and chocolate bar, Prismacolor pencils, and a new sketchbook.  I think Scamper felt bad for all of us!  We were spoiled to the hilt.

By 8 a.m., we let the kids run around outside looking for the dyed eggs, which the bunny always hides outside (can't have cats eating boiled eggs . . . or have us not find one!)  They missed all the really obvious ones (on my windshield and bumper, in the pot next to the front door!) and found the more tricky ones, which was funny to watch.  Apparently, there are two missing eggs still.  I'm guessing our raccoons had a special treat.  And there was yet one more treat in their outdoor nests!  That bunny!  It was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed walking the driveway and front walk (the ground is sometimes too uneven when I don't feel sure-footed.)

Whew.  8:30 a.m. and we felt like we'd had a full day already (or at least, I did!)  We spent the whole day playing with said treats--Gommie and the kids danced "YMCA" on Just Dance.  We all watched Into the Woods, which was good even if they cut some good songs and shortened the second act too much.  It's a very nice show.  Gommie doodled with her new supplies.  Mama had the longest nap she's had in ages.

And we ate.  There was a bit of smoked ham from Nodine's, which we'd saved in the freezer.  Plus roasted potatoes, asparagus, green beans, and carrots. Plus pimiento cheese salad with crackers and dinner rolls.  There was also delicious leftover butternut squash soup, from a friend's delivery on Saturday (we've been getting awesome meals!)  And the apple cake.  It wasn't formal--we huddled around our small kitchen table without even formally setting it.  But we were all their together, which was a treat in itself.

I didn't reflect too closely on Easter themes this year--death, rebirth, renewal, etc hit a little to close to home, between my emergency surgery and Aunt Sis's death.  So we embraced family and fun and creativity and food, life-sustaining, life-affirming activities.  And we were rewarded with a wonderful day!

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