Today was Christmas Day for me. I spent the vast majority of this week staying up late baking cupcakes for a cupcake tree.
For those of you who don’t know, a cupcake tree looks like this;
It’s a simple concept. Bake cupcakes. Decorate them with frosting and candies. Stick them on sticks and those sticks go into a foam tree shape.
It’s not actually as simple as it seems, however. Ours was made with mini cupcakes and was about a foot tall. We baked some six dozen or more mini cupcakes and it took all week to get this thing done. Then we stabbed it with candies on toothpicks and stuck it on the table.
But for any moment when we can make mom happy we do our best. Our mother means a lot to us. It is from her that each of my siblings gained their strong respect for nature and life, their desire to improve the world around them, their common sense and passionate drive… It all comes from her. She can be abrasive at times, and suffers from depression and severe pessimism but she is loved. Unfortunately she is also sick. Two years ago we were convinced she was on her death bed with cancer. Today she is doing well, but is still terminal. How long she has left depends on her motivation to live. Chemotherapy and surgeries are hard on her already aging and arthritic body and medications only do so much.
So we made a cupcake tree. And when she walked down the steps and glanced in the dining room only to exclaim “Oh, how PRETTY!” it made those long nights worth while. She was so happy with it, and that made me happy. My christmas goal was filled. Everyone else would get their slightly-less-thoughtful presents and I’d be content whether they were or not (although everyone seemed happy).
Christmas dinner was a quieter affair. Just six of us as opposed to the typical 10-15 we have on holidays. Myself, my parents, my youngest-older-sister, her husband and my sister from out-of-town who normally resides in Wisconsin. There was ham, and our tradition of kielbasa and sauerkraut on the holidays. My out-of-town sister is a vegetarian so there was a large noodle, veggie and mushroom dish for her. There were also more normal veggies such as green beans and mashed potatoes (made by yours truly), plus cranberry sauce and apple cider.
Afterwards we played a bit of paper telephone. It was entertaining and light enjoyment for while we ate desert. However, I should have known better to pass the sentence “eggs and sausages in parallel” onto my electrical engineer father. He drew them in parallel on a circuit. My sister wants to see my blog… I am not actually sure if that’s for the best, her being a vegetarian and this being primarily a blog about raising animals for meat right now. But maybe she can skip the episodes about delicious rabbits.
After all was said and done I went home with some great cooking supplies I still lacked (like nice baking sheets or soft spatulas), and a pressure canner. Next year I will be ready for making some apple butter! WOO!
And, in fact, every animal got a present too. Between my six rabbits I got two toys, eight honey seed treats and a bag of yogurt drops. My dogs got some toys and some organic blueberry biscuits. All the animals also enjoyed a christmas dinner. Part of my belief in respect to animals is that they can also celebrate holidays. Celebrating holidays even just a little brings enrichment to their lives. Each of the outdoor bunnies received extra hay and a quarter carrot immediately. Momma Purina also got a honey treat stick, which is something all the bunnies will get in due time. Both indoor bunnies received four hefty carrot slices. And both dogs had a Merrick brand sausage chopped into their dog food with water. All around the animals were delighted today.
My fish is still a zombie and a fish, however, and was simply fed. What do you do with a zombie fish on christmas anyhow? Give him a water change?
I also did my second check on the litter. And as I pulled them out… I counted seven. And couldn’t find the rabbit with the blue mark on it’s head, though one was a smidge larger than the rest. Well. At this point the best way to tell the NZW/Californian cross will be timing. It should be the first to have it’s eyes open by a few days. I will check back more often from now on. Luckily, Purina still seems OK with me disturbing her nest occasionally. The babies are all well-fed and vibrantly healthy as they had round bellies and were full of kick and life when I removed them to count them. They cheep quite loudly now when disturbed and I have secured some spare deer netting around the dog crate to help keep them in when they start to hop out as the gaps in the crate are very large.
And now, at long last my chores and holiday is done. I have one more day alone, and that will be spent cleaning the house and baking some last-minute cookies. For now, I relax in bed and know that soon Greg will be home, just in time for my birthday. All my animals seem warm, full and content… Even the spare seventh baby.
Seems like a merry christmas to me.