Monday, January 5, 2009

Toasting in The New Year?

Cheery Couple toasting in The New Year in Style!

A couple of other New Year's toasts,
Toasty warm slippers and tasty warm French Toast

The weather in Wisconsin was warming up into the teens so it seemed only right to head off to a more favorable clime, Minnesota, to welcome in the New Year. We packed the car with a majority of the contents of Southwestern Wisconsin and headed north to celebrate both New Year's Eve and a belated Christmas with Sally and Uncas. The extremely frigid temperatures have frozen up most of the Mississippi so eagle sightings were few and far between. We were greeted in Minnesota by a smiling Sally and a tail wagging Sammy. (Uncas was either working all day or lying about work and off ice fishing somewhere but I'm sure his tail was wagging also) After dinner we took care of the belated Christmas part of our visit. Ribbons and wrapping paper flew much to Sammy's delight. He seemed more involved with the present opening than the actual openers were. A lot of ohs followed by an equal amount of ahs preceded an occasional wow! The surprise gift of the evening also proved to be the most for useful to toast in the New Year . . . a real live toast maker? This could be the spark needed to ignite more New Year's toasts. The bright red toaster becomes still another part of our future kitchen redo. It joins the red mixer, red tea kettle, red trash can and red dish drainer and awaits the actual face lift that's been in the planning stage for a couple of years. The remainder of the "Eve" was spent in a rousing Wiii bowling match (I guess I should mention that Uncas emerged as family champ) and, at the stroke of midnight, everyone ran outside to light up the neighborhood with a bunch of leftover fireworks (2 sparklers and a fountain). The below zero temperatures cut the outdoor celebration short and the revelers retreated into the warmth of Nimz Manor to lift glasses of a fruity, sparkling beverage hailing the arrival of the New Year. Then off to bed to rest up before our assault on 2009. What better way to start a new year than by joining 50 or 60 thousand close friends at . . . The Mall of America? While the rest of our little troupe handled returns, exchanges and sales extravaganzas I entertained myself watching the passersby. This is more fascinating than my eagle watching pastime. There are a lot of similarities between the two activities. The stalking, the sighting of the prey and the swoop in for the kill. All done with the utmost of grace and skill. While observing the constant flow of subjects I saw the fat, the slim, the tall and short, the good looking and the "Oklahoma two-baggers". Now Minneapolis has an overwhelming number of great looking blond haired, blue eyed natives but one really stood out. It seemed like everywhere I looked I encountered Paris Hilton. She was all over the place and somehow constantly changed into a different, although very similar, outfits. At one point I think I even saw her with another famous shopper. (It seems like we have an entire generation of little Paris' inhabiting the malls of America.) Finally the shopping portion of the family finished doing their part in boasting the economy so it was back to the security of the Nimz Estate with arms loaded with bargain priced treasures. I think next year's Christmas shopping should be almost complete. Uncas and Sally upgraded some of the gifts they had received for a "Guitar Hero" package. Once back home it didn't take long for the riffs to take flight. (These guys are really good) Even JoAnne took a few licks with some heavy metal bass strumming. Uncas and Sally performed duet after duet for hours and hours. Not being at all musical, I reverted to my basic talent, chocolate cake eating. Sally had made a beautiful chocolate layer cake which, although being very photogenic, didn't last long enough to photograph. I might add that, thanks to Sally's culinary expertise, the weekend full of a lot of good eating. There was the "cake", pecan rolls, pork tenderloin surprises and homemade Italian beef all made-from-scratch. We even managed a trip to Red Lobster for "The Seafood Lovers" in the family. As a matter of fact the eatin' was so good that I had to put the drivers seat back a notch in order to fit behind the wheel on the way home. We headed home on Saturday just in time to honker down before the icy weather arrived and cuddle up in front of the TV Sunday to watch for Sally and Uncas at the Viking's playoff game. I'm sure we did see them. (they were wearing purple outfits) Here are a few pics of some of the weekend's activity.

Sammy was either very bored with the whole holiday thing
or just tired out from being kept awake by dueling guitars

Guitar Uncas and Sally groovin' on their electrical axes

The Mama and Papa, "Sixties" style

I'm fairly sure that I saw Uncas and Sally at the game.
But then again, I thought that the Vikings were going to win.