CHRISTMAS

Charles was here for the week, so Keely got to have both of her dad’s with her on her Christmas break. She was so happy and excited. We didn’t do a lot, the purpose of the visit was for Keely and her dad to spend some time together.

We drove up to Bishop’s Castle. Bishop’s Castle is a remarkable testament to one man’s vision and perseverance.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CDQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bishopcastle.org%2F&ei=aCLbUIGvOYaMqgHr14HADA&usg=AFQjCNEM1R-X91XiD8343oFkSnxMo268gw&sig2=xoQ3kMxvbYs1_-fvzcr0NA&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.aWc

It is one of our favorite places to take our guests, and never fails to amaze. Then we drove over to Westcliff for lunch. Penrose is flat and dry. But you can drive 45 minutes and be in a beautiful mountain meadow and feel like you are in a different world. Have I mentioned that I love Colorado?

Charles and Keely at Bishops Castle
Charles and Keely at Bishops Castle

Paula and Kurt came over for dinner one night. Keely already had a couple of friends over, so when the Peterson boys got here we had a house full. It was a fun evening with good friends.

Right after Charles got here we started getting reports of a monster storm moving through the country. Since it is a 15 hour drive from Penrose to Little Rock, Charles decided to leave the day before Christmas Eve so that he could beat the storm home.

So we woke Keely up on “Christmas Eve Eve Morning”, and she opened one of the gifts from her dad, and he opened the gifts from her. We ate some breakfast, he loaded up the car, and we stood on the front porch to wave goodbye. Nothing happened. Charles’ new Ford Escape would not start. It was really cold, around 20 degrees, and very windy. A cold and windy morning is not a fun environment to jump start a car. Steve and Charles worked for over an hour trying to get the car to start. We finally looked at the manual, and discovered that the Anti-Theft Locking System had been activated. It was Sunday, so of course there were no car dealerships or mechanics open. Charles got the car towed to the Ford Dealership in Canon City so we settled in for another day.

Christmas Eve morning, Charles was on the phone to the dealership. We didn’t find out until 10am what the problem was.
A bunny had sabotaged the car. Yep, we actually saw the culprit under the car when we drove in one day. We all talked about how cute he was hopping around under the Escape. Well he wasn’t just getting away from the wind under the car, he was chowing down on the wires. He ate right through enough wires to keep the Escape from starting.
An hour later the car was ready to be picked up. By now it was too late for Charles to get in front of the storm so he settled in for another day at the Ray/Cox Villa.

Christmas Day was pretty perfect. We had a light snow falling, Enya Holiday station playing on Pandora. Keely loved all of her gifts, and was very appreciative and loving. She disappeared for hours at a time playing and happy.

I’d put together an easy holiday menu.

Roast Prime Rib with a Dijon/rosemary /garlic crust. Horseradish sauce (made with whipped coconut milk instead of cream so we were still Paleo)
Cranberry Waldorf Salad
Savory Butternut Squash Individual Soufflés (lots of bacon!)
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Dessert was a choice of Gingerbread Squares or Mincemeat Tartlets

Yes, everything was Paleo with the exception of the Hollandaise sauce which had butter. But it was worth it.

We even had a nice Columbia Crest Merlot to drink with the meal. Wine was a big splurge for Steve and me because we have not had any alcohol since July. Well, we each had part of a glass of wine at Thanksgiving, but that’s it.

The snow stopped, and the sun came out. That afternoon, Steve and I drove to Colorado Springs to see the new Jack Reacher movie. One of the things I LOVE about Colorado is how the weather changes rapidly, and the effects of the mountain weather. It was clear and warm in Penrose when we left at 3pm. Fifteen minutes later as we started along the Front Range to the Springs the snow started falling and the temperature dropping. By the time we got to the movie theater it was 16 degrees and we were in the middle of a light snow storm. It really felt like Christmas.

It was a good week. I am so thankful that the three parents in Keely’s life get along. It’s important for Keely to see the respect and affection that the adults in her family have for each other. Kat and David love Steve. She sees that. Keely is comfortable showing affection for Steve in front of Charles, and vice versa. She is very secure and I have to give Charles a lot of credit.

Charles left early this morning, the day after Christmas. Little Rock got slammed with up to 10 inches of snow and widespread power outages. Fingers crossed he makes it home without mishap.

Who we spend Christmas with has changed every year for the last few years. And I have a feeling it will be that way for quite some time. And that’s OK.

Keely and Charles
Keely and Charles

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