Friday, November 21, 2014

What I know about 1960

JFK was president  The Cold War, it was happening.  We sent the first of our U.S. troops to Vietnam. The Sexual Revolution, it had begun.  The Flintstones cartoon premiered.  Chubby Checker introduced us to the Twist.  France developed their own atomic bomb.  We were still 41 years away from 911.  And three days before Thanksgiving, Marlin and Jeannette welcomed their first baby, a girl.
(She had 10 half-siblings already!)
People didn't do much in the way of family planning back then, obviously.  By the time this photo was taken, my mother had 6 kids, and was on husband #3. My dad had 5 kids that he knew about and another one he did not... In the foreground you can see that either he, or she, was reading the newspaper when he took the photo. In the background you see a dresser that I remember traveled with us to Galveston and lived in my room while I was in high school.  And the subject shows a determined woman of 30, neatly dressed, looking at her new baby, me, with...what expression exactly?  Not happiness. Resignation?  Maybe just the weight of the world around her.





Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Menu 2014

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK.  Cue panic.
I'm not going to panic.  I have a plan.
 Here is the menu:
Spatchcocked Turkey (that we'll brine the night before, using bourbon, orange peel, peppercorns, kosher salt, sugar, and bay leaf)
Dressing (I'm going to make in the crock pot to save oven space)
Homemade gravy
Rolls brushed with butter and fresh chopped herbs
Orange Cranberry Sauce
Green Bean Casserole (a must for The Girl)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes seasoned with brown sugar and maple bacon (a must for ME)
Corn Casserole (a must for Scout)
Watergate Salad (a must for Bubbie)
Pecan Pie 
The best Pumpkin Pie ever
Wine, sodas, beer, tea, hot cocoa
and this to snack on before dinner. 
And here is the plan:
(It's gonna take a village of helpers.  I has that.)
Saturday - put the frozen bird in the fridge
Sunday - pick up "filler" groceries - regular groceries and things we may have forgotten, clean the house, make cranberry sauce if I haven't already, change people's sheets, set up the spare bedroom, and do laundry!
Monday -  Set the table, except for plates and utensils.  Make and store Crispix Mix. Make and store brine. Chop the onion and celery for the dressing.  Thaw and dry out the crumbled cornbread.
Tuesday - Bake, peel, mash, store sweet potatoes. Cook, then store bacon. Set out serving dishes with: packaged ingredients that don't require fridge, and their recipe cards.  Assemble stuffing and put in fridge. Get the crock pot out. 
Wednesday - Bake pies and store. Put the mixer up and make a space on the counter for drinks.
Prepare Watergate Salad and store in fridge.  PM: Ice the sodas and beer, chill the wine.  Set thawed turkey in brine - we will use a small cooler for this and put in the garage away from critters! Assemble THIS for breakfast, except for the topping, before I go to bed.
Thursday - Set rolls out to rise, bake breakfast, Take Turkey Trotters downtown and greet them with hot chocolate when they are done. Cook bird, then let it rest and cook sides while I make gravy and read the paper and eat snacks and drink wine.  Take a few pics for the Christmas card.  Listen to music and enjoy the firepit and play card games on the patio....
On Friday we will have BBQ from Elgin with maybe a big dish of Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes (yum) and Saturday will be soup from the bird carcass.  Sunday will be...who knows?
******
Sidenote:  I was supposed to work this Thanksgiving - but my knee surgery put me out of commission for longer than I anticipated.  I would have loved the extra moola, but I am thankful to be healthy and at home with my peeps. Now, gotta get going!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Mealplan Monday #137 and Thanksgiving cards

Do you ever send out Thanksgiving cards?  I do it every year.  Mostly because I feel like Thanksgiving is the BEST time of the year.  How could it not be?  The weather is cooler, the food is fabulous, your dear ones are near, and the excitement of the Christmas season is just beginning.
I've been having Hubby do all of the shopping lately (SO WEIRD) and I was going to put "Thanksgiving cards" on the list, then I thought, wait...I bet Scout still has photos he printed from way back when...
I dragged out these truly tacky notecards from my stash, asked him if I could purchase some of his work, and got to craftin'.  It was a good way to spend an hour or so. (I've made cards before where I purchased plain craft cards and envelopes, but I already had these so it was more of an immediate craft!)
{I was working on the menus at the same time - this is the folder I organize recipes I want to try, menus, and grocery lists.}  Inside the card I am going to write a Thanksgiving sentiments - maybe one of these:

The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
~J.A. Shedd


 Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit


All that we behold is full of blessings. ~William Wordsworth

 O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
~William Shakespeare


I like to visit The Quote Garden for inspirational quotes. 
******
Monday -Ham and Havarti grilled sammies, sweet potato tots
Tuesday - Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops, masheds, skillet cabbage
Wednesday - Shrimp Tacos, chips and guacamole
Thursday - Stuffed Pepper Soup, garlic toast
Friday - Mom and Dad out - Happy 54th Birthday to me!
Saturday - (tentative) Mom and Dad take our new baby out for a spin:
{Because of my surgery, I have only climbed up into it once.  It's super roomy inside with a kitchen and table and the bed it makes is HUGE.  Seriously.  In this tiny thing!}
Sunday - Pork Roast, new potatoes, carrots, rolls
Dessert this week is my birthday cake.  I bought a mix, just to make it simple, but I am going to jazz up Maple Brown Sugar cake and frosting with pecans or walnuts...yum!
******
This one is still my favorite:
 After I pasted the photo on the card, I trimmed around it for an exact fit.  Small and sweet.  Such beautiful work, you've done, Scout,  Even when you were just learning!
This year is the first year since The Girl Started school that I have had ONLY ONE school pic to enclose in our Thanksgiving cards. Sweet Bubbie!
Now, time to get the menu made out for the big day...



Shared with:
http://hopestudios.blogspot.com/2014/11/tutorial-tuesday_17.html

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Little World

My little world has now expanded to include the front room and my desk.  The gravity lounger is still set up, but in the den now, not the bedroom.  In some small way, I feel like I'm making progress from Invalid to Healing Person.  Plus, I see my peeps more often from the front room.  And I can watch TV with them in the den, too!
 I was able to sit and take care of two and a half weeks of things that just magically piled up: bills, appointments to make (or cancel), Christmas shopping on-line, blog posting, menus, etc., etc.  It's being able to do all those little things that make me feel on top of life again.  And when I get tired, or it's time for my hourly PT exercises, I hobble 8 feet behind me to this:
I actually slept here the last couple of nights, too, as the couch cushions have way more support than my bed pillows and this couch is wide, looong, and so comfy.  So, that's my world now.  Getting bigger and better each week.  
Happy weekend, all - stay warm!




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I will miss this Thanksgiving...

Last year at this time I was "training" - power walking several miles a week to do the Annual Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot.  5 miles in and around downtown Austin with a few thousand other Austinites on a chilly Thanksgiving morning.
I plugged in my earbuds and kept a steady pace for the whole thing - it was mind over muscle on some of the streets - downtown Austin streets are a little more challenging than the ones in my own neighborhood!
 
 I lost The Girl right off the bat - she's a runner.  And Scout hung out with me as long as he could - but the crowds were craaazy. 
We all ended up at the same place, and they weren't all that far ahead of me the whole time!
 
 I was proud of myself - I'm no kind of athlete at all.  Just someone who was trying to stay healthy, raise money for a good cause,and spend time doing something meaningful on Thanksgiving Day.
I will be cheering them on from the sidelines this year, but I have set up fundraising pages for them so I can still be a part of something big on Turkey Day.  And God willing,I will be two weeks or more into my physical therapy and able to have a fun day with them eating, playing games, and making plans for Christmas!
And you can help, too - go donate here or here.  
Or, if you're in the Austin area, just sign up for it.  It was so much fun!
Time to get ready to trot!






Monday, November 10, 2014

Mealplan Monday #136 and less worry, hopefully

 My sincerest hope is that this week is better than last week for a number of reasons:
My knee pain hopefully will have abated somewhat and I start physical therapy, my husband will get a break from doing 99% of all the cooking, cleaning, and such, and I will stop fretting over my return to work and how I will physically function at my job.
 Meanwhile, I am trying to keep menus simple, grocery lists understandable, and express gratitude to  everyone for everything they are doing to help get me back to 100%.  I so dislike being an invalid.  It is zero fun to be stuck in this tiny world of lounge chair, computer, phone, window, cat.  It's enough to make me bonkers, even without all of the worry.  It's all happening at the wrong time of year for me, but I am working on trying to keep it all in perspective.
 ******
Monday - (freezer) Lasagna, salad
Tuesday - Chinese take out
Wednesday - Soy Peppered Salmon, sauteed squash
Thursday - One Pot Chili Mac, garlic toast
Friday - BBQ Sammies, chips (camping weekend)
Saturday - YOYO - Scout and Mom
Sunday - (freezer) Chicken Cacciatore, linguini, green beans
Desert is leftover birthday cake - red velvet with fudge frosting and m&m's - courtesy of Hubby and The Girl
******
I appreciate all the things done for me - lunches brought to me (Deb, Scout, Melissa), med schedules worked out for me (The Girl), housework and laundry kept up (Hubby, Scout, Bubbie), dinners prepared and kitchen cleaned (Hubby, with help from the boys), errands run (Hubby, Scout, The Girl), long rambling text messages from me read and responded to kindly (Dani, Hubby), furry body purring on my tummy as I snooze in a vicodin haze (Sugar), and various other people who have checked in with me or wrote me sweet notes on Facebook, or added me to prayer groups (Karen, Tanya).
There are those that have been less helpful than others - given advice that is more like preaching - so maybe its good that they are at more of a distance.  That way the dear ones that mean the most to me have room to stand just a wee bit closer...



Friday, November 7, 2014

5 thing Friday - Tech Week, Sugar, nails, graduation, Keds

I feel a little like Sally in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I've pretty much missed Tech Week at work.
"Tech Week is over and I missed it! You stupid knee! You hurt me all day and night waiting for the swelling to go down and pain relief to come, and all that came was a cat! I didn't even get a chance to go out for tricks-or-treats last Friday! And it was all your fault! I'll sue! What a fool I was! I could've had candy, wine, and pizza! And cookies and money and all sorts of things! But no! I had to prop you up. I feel like such a blockhead. What a whiner I was. Tech Week comes only once a year, and I miss it by sitting in a gravity lounger with a fat cat."
YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!
I like what I do for a living - I want to get better so I can go back to it asap!
 No offense intended to Sugar.  She has faithfully hung out no more than 5 feet from me since Day 1.  Sometimes staring at me.  Sometimes laying on me.  It's like she's a worried little old lady cat.
 Remember (I know you don't) that I ruined my nails all the way down to the nail bed by using chemicals with no gloves cause I'm slightly idiotic?
 That was May.  Wrinkly fingers aside, they are looking so much better.  I took biotin and a daily vitamin, kept them trimmed veeerrry short, rubbed Barielle into them every day a couple times a day, and stopped being dumb about not wearing gloves with anything stronger than household cleaning supplies.  And lotion is my friend.
 GET PUMPED.  
The Girl will graduate from Baylor in December - there's a nifty countdown app that reminds you how much longer she has to go...46 days!!!!  I can hardly believe it!!  So proud of my girl.  She is ambitious, smart, full of life.  The world is her oyster, people!
I ordered some Keds - been wanting some forever.  I used to live in these, then I underwent a change to Wilma Flintstone feet and they were no longer comfy.  But lo and behold, they sell them in different widths!  YAY.  I can't spend all day standing in them, but for wearing around the house and doing a few errands this Fall, they will be perfect.  I'm trying hard to look ahead with a positive outlook.
It's the little (and big) things that help remind me daily - I have much to be thankful for.  I really need to quit whining and carrying on and learn to RELAX.  Wish it were that easy...







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