Man, what a weekend!

I went to a Christmas concert Friday night.  We have some neighbors who are in a gospel group, and we enjoy their music.  It was a LONG concert with lots of special guests, but I'm glad I had the chance to go, and the proceeds went to three families in our community.  So, win/win.

Saturday, my friend Jim and I went to Porter Flea.  It's a local art market that runs for a weekend shortly before the holidays.  I bought a handful of local things for Christmas gifts.  It's at a different location each year, and it's always mobbed.  But Jim and I have gone for a few years running, and we end up getting a few presents for our families.  Then we get lunch.  Yesterday was Sushi Train - it's a restaurant that serves sushi from a covered, refrigerated conveyor belt that winds its way through the place.  You can do lunch for $9 - all you can eat .  There are a few plates that cost more, base on the color of the rim, but realistically, for $25, the two of us ate more sushi than anyone should.

I got home and needed a nap.  Of course.  But then Matt and I ran some errands to get a few things to organize the kitchen.  So, one trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, one to  The Container Store.  I dropped Matt off to watch hockey and then went out to pick up dinner (and another Christmas present).

This morning, I took an early morning trip to Trader Joe's, picked up eight jars of this antipasto mix that Matt wanted (and it's seasonal, so we're hoarding).  I grabbed a few odds and ends, then went to the Kroger that is one block up from there.  It's not my Kroger.  My Kroger is two miles from my house, and it's kind of poorly stocked, cluttered and understaffed.  I try to give it business because it's still 100% better than it was when I moved here.  But today, I needed some specific things that I knew the fancy store would have.  And they did.  All of it.

So, I came home, unloaded the car and took a nap.

Here's the thing.  Last night, I had a lengthy, exhausting dream that involved elevators that moved up and down and sideways, navigating my college town, trying to find my ride in the carpool pick up, getting caught in a reunion, witnessing a parade, watching several buses flip over, and having to wrap myself up in butcher paper to avoid exposing myself to students going through sorority rush. 

If reading that paragraph wears you out... imagine how I felt this morning. 

So, after the nap, I finally - and I do mean FINALLY made my pepper jelly for the year.

Or at least, batch one.

It was easier than years past, because I have gotten better at it, and we have the new Cuisinart, and we have counterspace, and a hotter cooktop. 

And though I'd been dreading it for MONTHS, it's done.

And it appears to be setting.

Tomorrow, I leave for my final work trip for 2016.  I think it will be a piece of cake.

Mmm.  Cake.

That's that, friends.

I'm about to go to bed, and I'm hoping for something a little easier in Dream Land.