Well, this Christmas Eve just may go down in my memory as the most – I don’t know – none fun? No, it was fun. Not so festive? Maybe. Just plain weird? OK. That’s probably it.
The difficulty started a week ago when I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee. I’ve been hobbling around for quite some time and finally decided it was time to take care of the problem. So I decided that I would prefer to spend my two weeks vacation from school recuperating from surgery, instead of taking 2 weeks off in January because it seemed overwhelming to get a substitute, do all the prep work, and then let someone else get paid for showing up. I still think I did the right thing.
Anyway. Last Sunday, while I was still taking vast amounts of Lortab, our family discussed what we would do on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Should we stick with tradition and everyone but me do the cooking? Or should we take the easy way out and do something simple as far as meals go? We decided to stick with tradition and made these assignments: Piano Man – prime rib, gravy, au jus, sauteed asparagus, and mash the potatoes; Jazz – help with cheeseball and grapefruit slush; Fuffy – come straight from work (to be here so we could eat at 7:30) and set the table; Teeny – peel and cut the potatoes, make Chex Mix for Christmas Day, help set the table; Mom – make the peanut clusters and the salads, both of which I could do sitting down. Oh, and rolls by Rhodes. I know…but at least I realized making the rolls would be impossible this year. The plan all seemed simple enough…
Going back to my surgery for a moment…the surgery was on Thursday and my first physical therapy session was on Saturday. That hurt like heck, but by the end of the day sunday, I could get around using a walker instead of crutches for a few minutes at a time, so it seemed like progress. After therapy Monday I felt really good and started using the walker only, with the occasional attempt at one or two steps unaided. Still good. I only took two pain pills Monday night and Tuesday morning I felt great, and also bored. I had Piano Man and Jazz bring my sewing stuff upstairs so I could work on a little project because I couldn’t stand to just sit around anymore. Well, it turned out to be a little more than I bargained for because I didn’t bother to keep my foot elevated or keep ice on my knee because , well, it was too tricky and uncomfortable and I was sewing after all! The project took longer than I anticipated and by the time I went to bed I had a terrible night, even with large amounts of Lortab and Ibuprofin.
By the time Wednesday came around I didn’t want to go to therapy, but it ended up helping a lot and once I got home I felt good again. I know. You would think that I might have learned a lesson. Oh well. I did, but not until much later in the day. I ended up making the salt crust for the prime rib, which was no big deal. I helped Jazz make the cheeseball, also no big deal. I made the salads, which were incredible, by the way, but I decided it was easier to cut everything standing up instead of sitting at the table. Mistake. So, to get off my feet, I went to my bedroom and wrapped gifts. Without elevating my foot and without icing my knee. Oops again. By the time 7:00 came I felt awful and was, frankly, a tad bit cranky. Piano Man and the kids had everything under control in the kitchen, so I finally thought to put my knee up and ice it. I also, happily, thought to take some pills. Fuffy didn’t come and didn’t come and didn’t come and called to say he was trying to get away from work and would be here any minute. He finally got here around 8:00, but he was hungry, tired, cranky, and not feeling so well. So, we ate with not much conversation and when I asked anyone what memories they have of past Christmas Eve’s they all grunted at me. And, besides that, we had so much food that NO ONE EVEN TOUCHED THEIR SALAD! 😦 At 9:00 we all took a nap and got up 30 minutes later to open Christmas Eve presents and try to be nicer to each other. We sent Jazz to bed at 10:00 and he fell asleep right away, so we made Fuffy and Teeny help put the presents under the tree. We all went to bed eventually and slept peacefully until Jazz woke up at 7:30. All’s well that ends well.
Here’s the happy news: The prime rib was amazing! Yum, yum, yum. And I took a picture of the salad so I can remember it and make it again when I feel not quite so crappy. If I can get someone to help me, the picture will show up below. If not, oh well!