Critical Update

Yes. Oh, yes.

Do you see that?

That is a fire.

On the hearth.

Our hearth.

Let me catch you up…

First of all, I can’t believe I made it through that whole last post without including pictures of Sherman the Wonder Cat. And BABY RAR.

Allow me to rectify…

Christmas Eve. Pre-church.
Baby Rar nappin’ with Mom.
Christmas Eve. Post-church. Rar rockin’ the gift extravaganza.
Christmas Morning. The Shermanator. Burrowing.

Whew.

Now that that’s fixed…


So the way the day after Christmas went down, after the Christmas Lull where the in-laws were retrieving the thousand kilos of food, was like this:

The food arrived, along with the rest of the fan-damily. I really wasn’t kidding when I said it was a metric ton of food.

I took a picture.

It didn’t turn out so well, but you get the idea. Most of those ten-pound platters are stacked two or three deep. It was an unholy amount of deep-fried shame.

Nearly every meal since has been hacking away at that unfortunate Carside To Go order–even breakfasts–and the fridge downstairs still hasn’t been relieved of its burden. If anyone is hankerin’ for a chicken tender, give me a ring. They’re nearly straight carbon under the breading, but on a molecular level, I’m sure there’s chicken in there.

By the time the food got there it was clear that my dear hubby hadn’t just been sleeping the day away because he was avoiding family. It seemed painfully obvious by this point in the evening that Scott Who Never Gets Sick was sick. He couldn’t even partake in the buffet for ninety. ‘Twas not the greatest night ever.

But the festivities marched on…

Rar ate some more wrapping paper…

Kinda bitter, Pops.

The Christmas Crackers were cracked.

Merriment was had.

But the dark place in the corner where a fire was meant to be just sat there. Lurking. Even if no one else felt it, they were keenly aware of it, what with all my whining.

Scotty hit the sack early and I discovered that he was harboring a fever, which didn’t bode well for anyone else in the house.


Today, two days later, the in-laws have returned safely to Iowa, we’ve waded through most of the food–though not nearly enough–and the first among the walking dead is more upright and less ashen.

Another soldier has fallen, however. This one’s been on the couch since 3am:

The names of the innocent shall be protected.
I mean, the names of the ill shall be withheld, in order to protect the mother who posted flu-pics on her blog.

But there is good news. While the fireplace company has been shuffling their feet with our refractory panel cutting, Scott and I discovered a Christmas miracle in our basement this evening. Not one, but TWO, of the rear panels in question were sitting quietly on the shelves in the furnace room. Just waiting to be discovered remembered. Like we’ve played this game before…

Now, then. That’s better.

So we may yet wind up paying for a very expensive hunk of concrete that we won’t need for decades, but all is well. Because tonight there is a fire on the hearth.

With any luck we’ll all be able to enjoy it by tomorrow.

If you need me, I’ll be pulling up a mattress next to the fire. I’ve missed you, old friend…

Happy Christmas,
KJ

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