Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The New Year Starts Off with a Bang! (And a whimper)

Okay... so here's what we've been up to since my post for Music Monday. Starting fifteen years ago, when I was pregnant with C, D and I have hosted an annual "family" New Year's Eve party. Originally, we had international foods, played games, etc., but over time we mostly have good food and good friends yacking away upstairs, with the kids taking over the downstairs for games, movies, their version of good food (ie. cookies, chips, etc.). It's a lovely tradition, and we enjoy it. We wanted to have a setting where families could celebrate together and not worry about people having too much alcohol, etc., and where it was okay for kids to be tired, and for families to leave early if they wanted/needed to.

One problem is that during our many homeschooling years, we made lots of friends who live quite a distance away. As it so happened, this year the main folks who were coming all lived over an hour away. And despite the casual nature of the event, it still takes several days to prep. So we'd done the prepping Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday (minus my New York Times orgy on Sunday afternoon), and here's how our day went Monday: we were at the store at 7:00 a.m., I had chili cooking by 10 a.m., and then a friend called at 10:30 and said, "What about the storm?"

And I said,"What storm?"



So the storm was supposed to start at 7:00 p.m. (same time as our party) and get progressively worse over the evening, and drop 8 - 12 inches. Not. Good.

So with much calling back and forth with the traveling players, we reluctantly canceled the party with the thought that we might reschedule for this weekend, since we had so much food ready to go. And since one of the families who were coming were our new Italian neighbors, we called them up, explained the situation and invited them for a real dinner that night instead. They were delighted and so were we.

We had great conversation and a fabulous combined menu - I put out my cheeses and nut mixes for hors d'oeuvres, which I served with Kir Royales (and sparkling juice with raspberries in champagne glasses for the kids), and for dinner we had my friend C's wonderful ravioli gratinee, my white chicken chili with beer cheese bread and salad, and C's tiramisu, with our cookies and clementines for dessert. The kids had a great time together and even A's mama, who doesn't speak any English, enjoyed the evening. (I brushed off my few Italian phrases and it all worked fine).

At the end of the evening, we put a load of dishes in the dishwasher, decided to do all the rest of the clean-up in the morning, and trundled off to watch the ball drop. The ball dropped, and we dropped off to dreamland.

The next thing I knew, I heard C's (DS, this time, not my friend) voice saying, "Mom?"

I woke up to check the time, but my clock's numerals weren't visible, ie. we had no power. Which would be fine, but... that meant we had no heat and no water. And a house filled with dishes and dreck from the night before. And three guinea pigs, who can't tolerate cold temperatures.

So, at the risk of this blog entry becoming way too long, I'll speak of the next set of adventures tomorrow. But suffice it to say, we finally have our power back.

Happy New Year!


Mariposa said...

Wow...such a challenge.

Happy 2008 to you and your family!

Alex Elliot said...

What a way to start the New Year! I'm glad you said that you got your power back though. Last week we didn't have heat, but that's because we needed get more oil (yes our house is on oil) and between our calling later than we should have and the oil company coming two days later than they should have, we were out of oil for about 12 hours.

anno said...

There you go, with that amazing adaptability & resilience! Sounds like everyone enjoyed wonderful food and an excellent welcome into the new year, if the hours afterwards were a little difficult. Glad to hear you have your power back --Happy New Year!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Okay now that is some New Year's Eve.

Of course I am very hungry now.

Goofball said...

oooh my house cooling down party had to be cancelled last year because of a storm (see my posts about moving). That sucks so much since you've done so much anticipation and preparation etc...
Glad you were in good company after all...glad that you are not all bundled up with the guinea pigs under a big blanket anymore.

happy new year!

thailandchani said...

Wow... I actually kept reading and reading! I'll be waiting for the next installment.

The thought of all that food going to waste was unnerving. :)

jennifer said...

Maybe that's the same storm that hit so hard here just before the New Year... a beautiful crazy blizzard that forced many people to sleep in shelters! Your house was surely better.

Jan said...

What a nice way to adapt to a change in plans. Sounds terrific. I'm glad you got your power on. I hate to be cold and the poor little piggies ! (((HUGS))

Wholly Burble said...

Burrrrr, not fun. We were without power for two and a half days last year--NOT fun. We had to take our warm water fish out of the fifty gallon tank and put them in make-shift containers, taken into our one "warm" room--the bathroom downstairs where we had Coleman lanterns trying to keep parakeet, fish, and the toilet bowl warm LOL.

Each of us grabbed a dog and stuck him/her under the covers with us, and we all stayed warm enough.

Glad you got through to the other side, and I'm going to read the second part now so I know what else happened.

Anonymous said...

Ugh! It's so hard to cancel a party like that. Sounds like you made the best of it, though! What a wonderful evening, you know, minus the power outage and all.