What a spectacle

I survived Thanksgiving day (that hasn’t always been the case), avoided Black Friday like the Black Plague (except now, apparently, it isn’t just BF, it’s BF weekend), managed to divert most of my father-in-law’s minutiae-loaded stories to his son and daughter while I pretended to be busy elsewhere, and even baked a fifth pumpkin pie yesterday morning, because we were “running out.”

The said father-in-law and his dear wife, my husband’s mother, who is long-suffering in the extreme, left today. How she has put up with his long-winded tales that are always punctuated with “to make a long story short”, and his OCD about the way things are done, and his inability to EVER let her finish a sentence for the last twenty-one years since he retired, I have no clue. I would have either killed him or divorced him by now. But he is a wonderful man in many, many ways, and I love him dearly. I’m just glad that I don’t have to live with him. I suppose if I do at some point, then I will have to develop calluses on my ears, or wear ear plugs. Or maybe my hearing will be shot by then. For sure, my eyes are.

Or maybe it’s just my glasses. Everyone says “oh, I love your glasses, where did you get them?” JC Penney, if you must know. They always have that two-for-one deal and I needed prescription sunglasses as well as the regular ones, and I was at the mall, so. I love the look of them, too. The pearly white sides with the silver filigree pieces really complement the silvery-white hair that surrounds my face, and they kind of disguise the enormous bags under my eyes that seem to have developed in the last couple of years. They’re progressive lenses, which means I’m old and can’t see pretty much any distance without them. Far distance has been shot since I was 21, but about ten years ago I had to go with the reading and computer distances, and it’s a wonderful thing to not have to stretch your arms like that rubbery-armed super hero (can’t think of his name—another sign of old age), or not have to hold the laptop up to your face and type at the same time. But now they’re no longer doing two-thirds of their job. The middle and close up areas of the lenses aren’t working as well, and I’m having to remove them to read books and the newspaper, and hold them just so to see the computer screen clearly. So, I guess I’ll have to get new glasses.

I would like to be able to wear contacts, but I can’t get the danged things on my eyeballs without major effort and lots of tearing up, which makes me look like I’ve just been on a crying jag and also plays havoc with the makeup. The best option, I think, would be Lasik surgery, but I think I’m too chicken and would end up like Carrie Heffernan on ‘King of Queens’. You know, the episode where Doug decides to give her Lasik surgery for her birthday, and something goes wrong and her vision ends up being all blurry? That would be my luck.

The worst thing about wearing glasses is not being able to keep them clean. I think I clean mine at least a dozen times a day, because five seconds after you’ve done it, they’re smeary again. It drives me nuts. I don’t think I was cut out to be a glasses wearer. If you have good vision without correction, thank your lucky stars.

We finished up the leftovers today, and I sent the leftover leftovers home with my in-laws who will warm them up until they’re gone, because five times in a row is never too much. We had pizza yesterday, creating a little buffer zone between the two meals. I stuffed my face again today, but the plan is to have a big salad for supper. I put on my skinniest jeans this morning for a reality check, and let me tell you reality bites.

See you soon,



T’was a week before Thanksgiving…

I’m making Kroger rich. Seriously. It takes a truckload of food to feed this hungry horde of seven people in any given month, but Thanksgiving, lordy, do I need to say more? Probably not, but I will anyway, because otherwise there would be no point to this post. Kroger had a BIG sale last week on Land of Lakes butter, Carnation evaporated milk, and all things Thanksgiving related. It took me three tries to find those needed items in stock. Apparently everyone in our town and the surrounding area had the same notion that I did. I bought six pounds of butter, thinking that it would get me through the Christmas season as well. Ha! I’ve already used two pounds. We had a birthday yesterday (Kaitlyn turned nine), and I had to use up some peanut butter that had been shoved to the back of the pantry, so I made a double batch of peanut butter cookies, half of which went into the freezer. Then I made peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge. I normally don’t do that until Christmas, but some of the family who visits on Thanksgiving aren’t here for Christmas, and I decided to gift them with some for their journey home. They’ll thank me later, when they step on the scale.

I bought the turkey yesterday. The fresh ones were put out on Monday, and I wanted to get mine before they were picked over. I usually buy the biggest one I can find. I was hoping for a twenty-pounder, at least. The largest I could get was about nineteen pounds, so I also bought a turkey breast (for which I paid as much as the whole turkey.) My favorite brand is Honeysuckle White. They have a new offering in the fresh market this year—an all natural turkey raised by independent farmers. I don’t know how much stock you can put in that statement, but the packaging is pretty, and I’ve always had very good results with their turkeys. They’re always moist and flavorful without the hassle of brining.

I don’t go in for fancy-schmancy cooking methods for the most part. I’m old school most of the time. But I do love roasted Brussels sprouts. That will be one of my side dishes. I bought those on the stalk at Trader Joe’s last week. I love the ease of roasting them. Cut the big ones in half, leave the smaller ones whole, toss them all with some olive oil, grated orange rind and the juice of the orange, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and some chopped fresh sage (or crumbled dried). The amounts don’t have to be precise. It’s all good.

I gave my daughter a list of things to buy and forgot that I assigned cranberries to her, so I also bought some yesterday. I have five packages of cranberries in the fridge now. Lots of cranberry dishes this year. Well, I’ve been wanting to try some Christmas jam, so if you’re on my Christmas list…

Speaking of duplicating, I also forgot that I told her to buy pecans for the pecan pies and bought two packages myself. Also forgetting about all the hickory nuts waiting to be shelled for the hickory nut pie (very similar to pecan pie.) David shelled them out this morning while I went for a haircut, and there are enough to make one good sized pie. If you accused me of having senior moments,I’m afraid you would be correct. In my own defense, I would blame it on having too many things to remember, and not enough brain to contain it all. I rest my case.

In case you’re interested, here is my Thanksgiving menu, which never varies, except for the vegetable choices from year to year.

Roast turkey (duh)

Savory turkey gravy

Dressing made with a variety of breads, including biscuits

Oyster dressing (because my father-in-law adores it)

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Steamed broccoli (because the kids won’t eat the sprouts)

Mashed potatoes (ten pounds, and they eat every scrap)

Candied sweet potatoes with maple syrup and marshmallows on top

Cranberry salad with apples, nuts, and oranges

Cranberry sauce made with fresh ginger, orange peel, and orange juice

Cranberry jelly from the can (because, again, the FIL likes it that way)

Homemade dinner rolls 

Pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies

Yep, it’s a sleep-inducing carb fest extraordinaire, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

See you soon,