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Lisa dressed in her Christmas finery

Christmas earrings for a girl who pierced her ears at age 50

Lisa and Lori

Janet, Lisa, me and Lori

chilling on the porch

Mark and Lori

Betty and Bev

BJ. LH, Betty and Bev

Miss Yvonne, Doug and Don

The chef checking the turkeys


Lori, Mark and Miss Jessie

Yvonne, Mark and Bev

Don and Joe

Miss Jessie, Lori, Lisa and Miss Alana

Julie, Mark and Ed

Miss Jessie, Lori, Lisa, Miss Alana, and Bev

Doug, laughing and eating

John, Lori and Mark

The bag that Lisa gave Miss Jessie

Alana with her new bag and her Mama, Miss Jessie

Doug's delicious fruit salad


Time has flown by since my last entry, three months ago. Lisa returned to the island for the holidays, spending three weeks. After accepting invitations to some of our neighbours' places for Christmas dinner, over the last few years, we decided that is was our turn, and invited a few neighbours and friends to join us for a Christmas party. One of our friends, Janet, from Australia, did such a good job of describing our dinner that I decided to cut and paste the email message I received from her after the party. As usual, I was the annoying person behind the camera, so here is a glimpse into our Island Christmas, courtesy of Janet.

Hi Mel

First I would like to thank you and John so very much for inviting me to the best ever Christmas Party - you made my day and also increased my poundage!

This is the email I wrote about the party; I had not yet come over for the swim (and thank you so much) when you gave me your "secret" pie crust recipe - think you will have a chuckle when you read my comments below.

It was a delight and John is a marvelous cook (hey - did you luck out or what?!) and I still think your pies were very, very good.

Love, JW

I cannot believe I am still eating as I ate for hours at the Christmas Party across the bay at the end of the Point. Mel and John were absolutely great hosts; she cooked pumpkin, cherry, and Key Lime pies and they were excellent with perfectly flaky crusts and the filling cooked exactly right. John stuffed and roasted the turkey and it was very juicy and full of flavour; turkey is not my favourite but this one was so good I had two helpings.

Actually I had two to three helpings of everything determined to not be outdone. This was a bring a plate deal as we say in OZ - just remembered that the Yanks say "pot luck" - and there was way too much food - so I did my best. First there were TWO bowls of mashed potatoes (first thing I noticed pretending to glance only casually at the table laden beyond its designed load), a huge and delicious Caesar salad, stuffing hot and steaming and smelling buttery and herby, a HUGE jug of gravy (no lumps!), cranberries, a jalapeno quiche, crab dip, Virginia Ham and a pasta seafood salad - and fresh baked bread. Now I want to tell you it was a real challenge getting some of everything on my plate but I approached this much like hanging up a full basket of washing in a small area - it took creativity and organization but I got there in the end even managing to carry this high pile of food back to my chair with so spillage - not even a drop of the gravy which smothered everything but the salad was lost.

I sat with Betty and Joe and bite by bite worked my way from the outside in - this was so as to avoid spilling one crumb .... then we were joined by BJ and Tracy (Cap'n Ed watched the cafe) and I said: "You know; I think I could eat some more ....." so up I went for more turkey, potatoes, gravy and salad - I did hold back - I do have manners .....

Then I strolled outside for a short walk so as to be "fresh" for the deserts - we had all of Mel's pies plus my Cherry Cobbler and an enormous bowl of fruit salad and another bowl of Waldorf Salad. And I am proud to say that once again I managed to put some of everything on my plate and ate it all and then went back up to the table to tidy up some of the ragged edges that some people had so crassly left on the pies ... I mean really .... where are their manners?!

As you can imagine by this point I thought what the hell - why hold back - and went back for just one more hit of cherry pie - but some bloody woman got there before me and finished it off which kind of pissed me off so I had to settle for my own Cherry Cobbler .... whew, how boring ....

OK; now we have a big problem because the return trip to BJ's was by dinghy and getting into that little bugger was a bitch before I ate ..... well I managed to waddle down the dock and was not too proud to ask Joe and Betty to help me in ...... the same with getting out at BJ's .....

I have been back about two hours and remembered there was still some of Mike's home-made apple pie (his gift to fellow band members from yesterday) in my oven and I thought: "Oh what the hell - Tracy has been into it and left those uneven ragged edges and I do not think I can sleep without tidying it up some." Working on it as I write this .....

The plan is to drag myself to bed and make many promises about how I will never, ever indulge myself to such a degree again and also will walk twice my usual distance tomorrow. And I really need to get that pie down to the cafe and hope someone eats the very perfectly tidy slice that is left ..... cause I really do not need to finish it off in the middle of the night .... um .... on the other hand it would be so good with my morning coffee .....

Love, Janet

PS: I ate that last pie of apple pie after returning from the swim at your place - felt so justifiied after the exercise! But I really, really wish there were one more bite of cherry pie in my fridge! xo

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