So, everyone knows, or can guess, that this Christmas will be different for me.  Well, different can be bad or good, I say. (this is a recent development, the ability to see change as good or bad)  So far, this Christmas has been different, but good.  Tonight was the party in Petergof with the teachers out there.  They are great, guys.  Both Oksanas made salads (not like lettuce salads, but like potato or vegetable salads, its Russia people.)  The other teacher, Jana brought the desserts and the native English speakers (plus one German) brought the alcohol.  It was wonderful to just sit and relax with everyone and talk.

I made the Oksanas a card (it took me WAY too long, something that you couldn’t really tell by the way it turned out.  So I am perfectionist.  Shoot me.)  But, the card got me two kisses and hugs from them and it got put on the whiteboard with magnets.  I tried this bread with mayo, cucumber and fish…. I don’t know what kind of fish, and… they still looked like fish, but without heads or bones.  But, after 3 glasses of champagne, I thought I was ready.  I had to try it, I mean, I am in Russia, when else will I try traditional things?  It didn’t taste that bad, but, I don’t remember exactly tasting it at all, truthfully.  We almost stayed too late (the busses and Metro don’t run all night), and had to scramble out the door.  I didn’t have time to change my shoes back into my boots, so I just grabbed them and ran down the stairs…. and…. on the marshrutka…I realized I didn’t have my winter boots anymore.  I think I left them at the bus stop.  Unfortunately Oksana was already home when I called her and she had put her son to bed, so she couldn’t go back.  She said she will check in the morning, but… I have made my peace with my winter boots.  They were good to me, but…so long!

Tomorrow’s Christmas!  Technically, TODAY is Christmas, but not to me.  Not until I wake up in the morning and begin all that cooking!  Merry Christmas to you all, and I love you, miss you, and think about you all the time!