For the most part, Mrs. Dr. Phil and I don't go out on New Year's Eve. I don't trust other drivers on the road when the roads are dry and the sun is out, I'm not much for challenging drunks after midnight on January the First. But New Year's Eve Eve? Well, that's a different matter. Especially as the other day some friends posted on Facebook that their kids were all away and did anyone want to come over and play. We do! We do! And so plans were made afoot.
My mother used to make stuffed dates at Christmastime and while we were in Greensboro, Mrs. Dr. Phil went into a new Middle Eastern grocery store and found some lovely pitted dried dates. She found a fondant stuffed date recipe on the Internet -- not quite the same as I remember, but with the almond and orange flavoring, pretty damned good. Sweet, though. You're not going to pop these like bonbons. (grin)
Mrs. Dr. Phil's stuffed dates. (Click on photo for larger.)
Sam got to come upstairs during the day, which he promptly used to find a suitably comfy spot.
That's one relaxed cat, seeing as Mrs. Dr. Phil was in the kitchen and not using her chair... (Click on photo for larger.)
Mary and Ed made a grilled chicken and pasta with alfredo sauce pizza, which was quite swell. We'd also brought some cheesy salsa dip and grabbed some Fritos at the Shell station at 68th Avenue and I-96 on the way over. They didn't have the Fritos Scoops -- we've been ruined by having large Fritos with a decent dip scooping area. The regular ones, which were fine for half my life, just aren't the same anymore. (grin) And in spite of their quirky TV ads, the delicious pistachios are fun to shell and, well, delicious. Taking time to work on your snacks is definitely a plus. Maybe next year we'll buy some mixed nuts-in-shells and break out a nutcracker or two during the holidays. I remember when I was little there was always a bowl of nuts and a nutcracker to while away part of Christmas vacation.
But going out did not mean we were bereft of having kitty entertainment. Mrs. Dr. Phil got a decent orange boy kitty fix with Tasselhoff, who came and went as he pleased.
Mary wondered if she looked like a Bond villain with a cat in her lap -- why yes. "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die."
Sit on Mary's lap? Sure. What about Ed? Not quite the same...
Who are you? Well, if you're giving out scratches, I could acknowledge you, minion.
More "seriously", we spent a number of hours playing a German board game called Ticket to Ride (Europe). We just don't go out to friends all that much, but it is so great that some of our friends are looking for people to play really well made and inventive board games. Anyway, after doing a practice round, we ended up playing two games. 30-60 minutes a game? Pshaw! We spent hours, though of course I suppose professional board game players don't have complicated stories and conversations and refills of Vernors or other drinks of choice. (party grin)
Despite my completing my longer route tasks, I (BLACK) had drawn some new routes, two of which I couldn't complete. Ed (BLUE) had the longest route and ended up skunking us.
In the second game, I stormed across Europe and later added some side trips which I completed. This time Dr. Phil, train nut, won. Yay!
We'd also brought over one of our Christmas presents, a gorgeous Periodic Table of the Elements 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle (Thanks, Dave!), but while it was admired, we didn't play jigsaw over at Mary & Ed's. Now we're going to have to find a 34"×16" or larger clear horizontal space -- which in our house is just impossible. (sigh)
Anyway, thanks everyone, it was a wonderful evening. We should get together next year.