We started taking down Christmas, today. It was 2°F outside – absolutely no reason to step outside and do anything.

I have to admit that I just don’t get the concept of always having to be out and about. I just can’t think of anything worse than always being in the car, running into this store and that, standing in line for coffee, for mediocre service, hurrying here and there…

I think I’m getting old.

Because I think that once upon a time that was me. Now?!? I leave the house to go to work and go grocery shopping. I brew my own coffee and if I can’t buy something online, I don’t buy it. Life has gotten a lot less complex. And I love it.

Our big decision, today, was whether to take down the tree or leave it up for one more night and take it down tomorrow. We packed away everything else. The tree stayed.

We have a pretty good system. The linens all get collected to be washed, and then we start loading the table with Santas. Lots and lots of Santas.

The bins come back up from the basement and I start wrapping and packing while Victor disassembles the smaller trees, wreaths, and garlands, and brings things into the kitchen. It’s a great system.

We stop for sustenance – today was coffee and Kolaches – and then carry on until we’re done.

And then there’s dinner.

Tonight, it was a jambalaya of sorts. Of sorts, because I didn’t use any shrimp.

I did use chunks of chicken and andouille sausage – and thyme and hot pepper sauce – so it had a great kick. It just wasn’t New Orleans authentic.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken, cubed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 cups broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Tabasco sauce (I used our homemade hot sauce)
  • Salt & pepper

Saute onion and pepper. Add garlic and saute. Add chicken and cook. Add andouille and brown.

Add rice, tomatoes, broth, thyme, a few healthy shots of Tabasco, and a pinch of S&P. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer about 15 minutes.

Stir everything well. Cover, again, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Add a few more healthy shots of Tabasco and enjoy.

It’s pretty no-brainer easy and it doesn’t take a lot of watching. And on a freezing day, it warms the old body right up. I was going to make cornbread to go along with it, but completely forgot. We ended up watching a PBS/Broadway special of Holiday Inn after taking the last of the bins downstairs and it completely slipped my mind until we were sitting down to eat.

Oh well… we really didn’t need it!