Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Thanksgiving Celebration landed at a new location...my house in Kansas, offering the opportunity to include my husband's family as well. The guest list swelled to include my brother and his wife and his kids; my sister, and my Dad and his new friend - all traveling from St. Louis and staying for the weekend. Additionally, we pulled in my father and mother-in-law; my husband's sister and her husband, her daughter and significant other and granddaughter, her other daughter and her son along with my husband's other sister. 22 people in all.
I would be showing you pictures, but since I was already bossing them all around on when to arrive, what to bring, when to eat, who would say grace and at which table to sit, I decided to not make them pose for pictures. You'll have to take my word for it...they all looked fabulous!
I'm 44 and I've never roasted a turkey...may we just start there on the prickly nervousness hovering in my subconscious. My father-in-law came over the night before and instructed me on brining a turkey and left me with cooking instructions for the next day. Don't be believing ANY recipe that says 15 minutes per pound! You may end up 1 1/2 hours off like we were...thankfully I was checking the turkey every 3 1/2 minutes. I highly recommend brining. The turkey was tender and succulent without being salty.
My mother-in-law decorated two of the three tables. My sister made a fresh flower arrangement for the third. Lovely, inviting, festive... some things should be taken care of by others...like table decorations! Everyone contributed a edible delicacy.
My nervousness caused me to create all sorts of time-out plans for myself. A stroll around the pond, a game with one of the kids, a bottle of wine (glass, optional) in my closet... silly, silly girl. It was a wonderful day! Truly wonderful. The guests chatted animatedly, the food was divine and the day relaxing.
We decided to ask the kids to spit up between the three tables, instead of forming a pack of five wiggly, giggly goofballs. This led many of the couples to split up and the two sides of the family to mix together. I was thrilled to watch as all three tables bubbled with conversation.
My family stayed on until Saturday...hitting an interesting gallery and some off-the-beaten-path stores along with more communal cooking and... overeating. I enjoyed every minute and didn't realize how much energy I had expended until I crawled into bed at 8:30 on Saturday evening.
I hope you also had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Bart - John, best friends in college
John - Shermoe, hunting buddies
Shermoe - Big Wave, hunting buddies
Big Wave meets Bart and they become hunting buddies.
Big Wave, nicknames are a plus, has been driving from Michigan to stay with us during hunting season for many years. He usually comes on very short notice and stays anywhere from a couple of days to more than a week. Panic, you say? Inconvenience? Nope! He's the easiest houseguest you will ever have. He comes home after dark, goes to bed before the kids and leaves in the morning around 4:30 a.m. He also calls on his way to the house offering to stop for groceries, bears gifts of homemade delicacies from his garden bounty and tells great stories.
Thankfully his wife, Sherry, joined us, too. There's only so much pretending I can do that they are in the woods photographing wildlife when two or three hunters get together to tell stories with only one she-girl along.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
We spent the first half hour cracking up at all the "costumes" from Flashdance to Preppy to Madonna to High School Jocks... and lots of mullett wigs. We then danced the night away to all those unforgettable 80s tunes by the Flock of Seagulls, The Gogos, The Bengals, The Clash, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Prince... now that was a night to remember. Thanks, Rechelle and Mike for hosting!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Under the inspiration of Kim, we piled in the car and headed west. We met up with Katie in McPherson (McFearson in my spelling book), Kansas, at The Cook's Nook.
Toting our bags of pancake mix, muffin mix and syrup "for our children", we slogged on to lunch at a greek cafe... hummunahummuna...hummus, anyone? We gabbed and gabbed until the the cafe workers turned off the lights and padlocked the door...ha ha ha, so it seemed, but it turned out the workers needed to set up for a wedding reception while wondering if we would ever leave!!!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I don't know about you, but I have been consumed by the election information. I've read political commentary, reviewed polls and developed a close personal friendship with Anderson Cooper. Whether your candidate was elected or not, it sure has been interesting. Compelling, engrossing and addicting would be my personal adjectives. I've enjoyed and fretted over every minute of it! We couldn't really lose, could we? Either the first African-American president or the first female VP, which would signal progress toward a more fair and equitable future. This election, however, was even larger. We are facing the worst economic issues since the Great Depression. People are losing their jobs and their homes.
So I hope we will pull together regardless of whether or not our candidate won. We'll try to make good, responsible, personal choices, and we might even be ready to sacrifice for the good of everyone, because I have the sense that the ship carrying all of us is taking on water. When we help each other, we, in the end, help ourselves. I'm very hopeful that we will see positive change. I realize it will take a while... maybe years, but we live in an incredible country! A country of hope and renewal... one where dreams can come true.
So let's weather this storm together and know that good times will return and with them the hope of a good life for even more people worldwide.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We've inherited some commemoration of these experiences - political buttons.
Here's a sampling of my Mom's buttons. She worked on many civic projects including raising money for the library, the school district and the city pool. She also was a democrat, a yellow dog democrat! I recently learned from my cousin, Shelley, that this is a real term, studied in college political science classes, and I assume a moniker of great honor within the Democratic Party. It means even if the dems were to put up a yellow dog as a candidate, my Mom would have voted for her!
A true political button collector has the cool button from both parties. You might see Carter's face while reading Ford's name, but look from a different angle and see Ford's face while reading "Carter".
How about this cool Ford button? How could he not win with a button like this?
We have followed this election so closely for the last few months. It's hard to believe it is finally Election Day! We will know, I hope, who our next president will be before we go to sleep tonight. We are going to a Watch Event this evening... the kids, too. We've got them so excited (some might suspect brainwashed)! I hope you take the time to VOTE today, because...
Monday, November 3, 2008
It's not nice to take a picture just after the food arrives. Your subjects are...well, busy ... my Dad and Bart are on the left, and my Aunt Jean and my niece, Ellie on the right.
The catfish and buffalo (fish) were divine. Ellie prefered the fries.
We learned just a few weeks ago that Aunt Jean had become very sick and she declined rapidly. My breath catches as I think of the two family members we've lost this year, so I will turn to the positives, as they are always so many.
Table one includes her son, Jerry, my husband, Bart, our cousins, Ted and Joy on the left. On the right are two of Ted and Joy's kids, Kevin and Shelley, and Alice, Jean's husband, Walt's sister.