December 26, 2010


Christmas at our house yesterday was pretty uneventful - ok, very uneventful - but still nice!

Since Todd took the week of Thanksgiving off he has to be around to work over Christmas and New Year's Eve.  So, no traveling for us.

We started the morning with Denver omelets, something my dad always makes, and a coffee cake Todd's mom makes.  

While I was getting breakfast ready, Rigby was about as anxious as a kid to open his presents. We put his bag of rawhide chews in a Christmas bag under the tree, but simply laid the stuffed pheasant and bouncy ball under the tree thinking he wouldn't mess with anything.  Were we wrong!  I caught him with the pheasant three times and his bouncy ball once!  After the first time with his pheasant I put it in the Christmas bag thinking he wouldn't dare get in there.  But he did.  And he even tried to be all sneaky...going over to nonchalantly sniff the tree branches then evvvvver sooooo sloooowly lowering his little sniffer toward the bag... then nip! nip! he tried to pull the pheasant out! 

When he finally got to have his presents he hardly knew what to do with himself!  Rigby pulling the pheasant out when we gave him the go ahead...

He loves this pheasant...

Todd took the bouncy ball out to remove the cardboard around it and Rigby snatched it and did NOT want to give it back...

Any more presents for me in here...?

With all his presents...  the purple and yellow ball and rope are from last year.  He was overwhelmed!  We're pretty sure he never had a toy before he came to live with us.  He didn't know how to play!  We had to teach him.  So, he gets a little protective of his things...

Todd with his first gift - a book called The Cold Dish by Wyoming author Craig Johnson.  I got Todd the first in the series.  According to a couple girlfriends this author is really wonderful.  One friend, who worked at the State Library, called him "magical" and said he's hilarious and super nice in person.  As I understand it, Johnson used to be a cop in Philadelphia and moved to Wyoming a little while ago and started putting out Wild West murder mystery stories about Sheriff Walt Longmire.  Another friend told me I'd be reading him too.  When I do, I'll report back...

Me with my first present - a bouquet of nice serving ware, which I've really wanted.  All I have right now are some old black plastic things, which are fine if it's just us, but for entertaining I wanted something a little nicer...

Todd's second gift: a fossilized fish from the Green River Formation that I found at the Rock Shop in Torrington, Wyo.  Elly told me I simply must check that store out because they have cool jewelry, vases, name it.  It was a Todd paradise!  But, he of course wasn't there when I found this.  Todd loves fish - he studied them in school; he loves fishing; and he loves rocks and geology stuff.  I'd say this was a perfect find!

He really liked it...

Doggie lovin' break...

Todd got me a gift certificate to Sin City Tattoo downtown! HAHAHA!  He did...but it's not for a tattoo.  It's to get my ears re-pierced.  I had them done once before but had a serious reaction - I'll spare the details, but it wasn't pretty and was VERY painful.  I like earrings on me though and I've had a hankerin' for a while to get my ears redone...

Todd was very sweet - he had ordered a pair of turquoise earrings to go along with the certificate, but said he was very disappointed in them when they arrived.  So, he included these tacks, which he colored blue on the heads to be the "earrings."  Obviously, he doesn't expect me to wear them, but I liked the creativity...!

Another gift - a really beautiful necklace we had seen the day before walking around downtown...

It's a Buffalo Nickel that's been laser cut so the only thing remaining is the buffalo suspended in the ring.  I love buffalo...I love Western jewelry...I love that the buffalo is on the Wyoming state flag...and I love that the Buffalo Nickel is one of Todd's favorite coins.  He's a coin collector...

Which is a good segue into Todd's next gift - his big one that I'd been DYING to give him...!!

...a signed gold line speech from my old boss, Wyoming U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, given on the Senate floor encouraging Sacajawea be included on the dollar coin.  The story: A long time ago, when Todd was first showing me his extensive and expensive coin collection, he pointed out the Sacajawea dollar coin.  I said, "Did you know Senator Enzi was instrumental in helping to get her on the coin?"  He said no!  And maybe one day the senator would sign something for him - or something.  Of course, that got me to thinking...

Still having a good relationship with the senator and some good friends in his office...maybe they could help me brainstorm something neat for Todd for Christmas?  Elly came through again (same Elly with the Rock Shop suggestion) and ordered up a gold line, which is a speech from the Congressional Record on really nice, formal paper with a gold trim, had the senator sign it, and sent it to me!  I about died because I KNEW Todd was going to absolutely DIE!  I got it framed downtown Casper - and didn't they do a beautiful job??  Refer to Todd's face two photos up to confirm that he loved it.

One last present from Todd!

Cash...and a pair of "jeans" Todd fashioned from some old denim...  I am to go pick out a couple nice pairs of jeans to replace the super holey messes my everyday pairs have become.  Every time we have to go someplace I complain about my jeans - either the holes, or the fact that my nice pair that I'm comfortable in aren't long enough for heels.  This is typically not a problem because I don't wear a ton of heels anymore.  But every now and then you just want jeans and heels - and most of my heels are pretty high.  So, since he can't pick them out for me, he gave me the cashola to go do it myself.  I loved it!  Especially the cut out jeans he made with smiley faces on the butt cheeks...

And Christmas dinner!  A spiral cut ham and The Pioneer Woman's Turnip Gratin.

The gratin is absolutely delicious!  I didn't use Gruyere as she did, I substituted Gouda for it.  It was cheaper at the store, quite frankly.  I also didn't use the extra shake of salt she gave each layer.  No need for it.  The cheese is salty enough and the extra salt doesn't do anything for it.

I would definitely make her recipe sometime if I were you.  It's a keeper for me now!

I also made The Pioneer Woman's Pear Crisp, thinking Todd would love it, but we were both a little disappointed.  The topping needs to be cut in half.  It overwhelmed the fruit. I scraped most of it off and it's a lot better now.  

We also went for a walk yesterday in the Edness State Park, but that was it!  Our second Christmas together, but our first without other family around.  It was pretty quiet, but a nice time!  

I hope everyone else had as great of a day!


  1. You guys are too funny! I LOVE how creative your gifts to each other are. Those little jeans are adorable.

    Also, I love, love, love the tattoo shop gift. I'm going to imagine that you do not have any tattoos. Also, this reminds me of that time when your aunt (?) babysat us when your parents went away and she told us all about her homemade tattoos and explained how she made them with a needle and ink. Believe it or not, this conversation was completely formative for me and I've thought about it so many times throughout the years. I've never actually given myself a homemade tattoo... but I still think that she's the baddest of the bad-asses.

  2. OMG! Anna - that is HILARIOUS!! That HAD to be my cousin Gerri. I can't think of a single aunt who has a tattoo and Gerri babysat us once and is totally the tat girl.

    I don't have any tattoos. I went through a phase where I thought I'd like one, but never did it and now am glad.

    I think it's so funny how that conversation stayed with you!

  3. THAT'S HER!!!!

    Shockingly, she had a very deep effect on me and I can remember exactly what she looked like. I think that I even know what she was wearing. Lol. And we ate Chinese Food from a can... which I thought was awesome.

    You don't seem like a tattoo person. Jay doesn't have any either and it's so rare nowadays to find someone without any. I have a few small tattoos that aren't visible to anyone unless I'm in a bikini (read NEVER). I have always thought that I wanted a half sleeve, but in my heart I know that I'll really regret it someday. When I had dreads I loved them but I felt like I couldn't put on a fancy dress and have my nails done and look like I fit in on a nice night out or at a company party for Jay. I think that a half sleeve would bring the same problem.

  4. I am so glad I could be of help this year for your Christmas! I love Todd's face when he opened the gold lined speech! Also, A&E is going to start a TV series based on Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire character. It should be AWESOME! I just finished The Cold Dish and it is really good. He has quite a different style than CJ Box but both of them are good and they are all about Wyoming which I love.


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