Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is days away and I’m going to do my shopping tomorrow (I have been in far too much pain today to actually psych myself into it. I was also far too drained to focus on anything other than staying in my PJ’s and not going out in 22 degree temperatures. I’ve wanted a nap since a little after 9:00 this morning. I’m seriously eating dinner and going to bed as soon as humanly possible.), which is unusually late for me, but I have a list and I’m sticking to it, even though it’ll be crazy in the store no matter what.

I honestly don’t think I’ve made a Thanksgiving meal in about 6 or 7 years. It’s been long enough that I simply don’t remember the last time I did it (though I do know that my father was in the hospital at the time), but this year I decided that, despite only cooking for a few people, I’m not making ten plus pounds of turkey for anyone. It’s a lot of food, food that will absolutely go to waste because no one around here eats dark meat (Based on personal preference, nothing more. ), so I am going to re-vamp the menu slightly, but I’m still going to make stuffing because I’m craving it and it’s one of the most awesome things about Thanksgiving in terms of food.

Everyone makes stuffing differently, providing they make it at all, as everyone likes different side dishes this time of year. I don’t know anyone that makes stuffing the way I do, but I inherited the recipe from my mother and it’s good enough that I will pass it down the generational line because there is no way in the world this chick is genetically producing children that can’t cook.

I’m keeping things healthy by including a salad, even if I’m the only person that eats it. Truth be told, I like to tear up my turkey or chicken and throw it right into a salad, even on Thanksgiving. I do not feel guilty about food EVER, but I especially don’t like bringing food issues of any kind to the table during the holidays.

So, I’ve got a nice meal planned, there will be plenty of leftovers, but I’m completely sidelined and baffled by dessert. For the last couple of years I’ve ordered pies and cheesecake for the holidays from a local Italian bakery. I’m not a pie maker, I know my baking strengths and I don’t have the patience for pies, so when it comes to things of that nature, I turn to those who do it for a living. I made the mistake last year of ordering a Pumpkin Pie that was so bad, I refused to eat it. From the crust to the filling, it was one of the worst things you could ever possibly taste.

Pumpkin Pie is hard to screw up, it’s a pie I know how to make without a lot of effort, but I was exhausted last year and there would not have been pie at all if it were left up to me. I think I ordered four or five different pies between Thanksgiving and the end of last year, and the only ones worth eating were Caramel Apple Walnut & an amazing Chocolate Cream that was downright sinful (it took me two weeks to finish it, it must have weighed ten pounds!). All the others stunk, but the Caramel Apple Walnut is consistently good.

I eat fruit year round like it’s a sport, and I have an immense sweet tooth, so even though I had not previously thought about it, I am going to try to snag a Caramel Apple Walnut to cap off this year’s meal. Personally though, at least for myself, I’m thinking of making my awesome brownies. It will take me the next month and a half to eat them because they’re truly divine, and full of dark chocolately goodness and other healthy things that help reduce any issues one might have at eating a small chunk or two, but a lot will depend on how long it takes me to get the main course and the stuffing in the oven.

Fibromyalgia makes it virtually impossible for me to prepare a huge meal in a few hours like I used to, so I’m thinking I will prep the stuffing Wednesday since it’s not a long amount of prep work, and then do the main course and the salad on Thursday. Each takes less than 20 minutes, the oven does all the real work. If I have energy after that, brownies will be made. If not, I’ll settle for a tiny wedge of pie. However, I guarantee that pie will not see the light of day. It’ll come into the house tomorrow afternoon and by Thursday evening, the box will be in the trash. I have serious pie eaters here, they don’t mess around.

My only other real “plan” for Thanksgiving is to watch movies and read. I just want a nice meal and a relatively quiet day. Black Friday will be spent chasing newly acquired black kitten who is SO at home right now, it’s not even funny. Every day she learns something new and shows me a new trick. Yesterday it was the fact that, small as she is, she can open closed doors. I have to admit, I was impressed. Today she ran up and down the stairs like a mad woman, and every time I’d go to check on her, she’d go flying back up the stairs like she’d just committed a crime. If you saw the behavior on video, you’d crack up. It’s entertaining as hell. She doesn’t make a lot of noise, so when she meows, which she finally did Saturday, it is the cutest thing ever. She’s pretty possessive of me, but I don’t mind, except when she speeds after me, nearly knocking me down. She’s a little beast when it comes to following me when she wants to. She’s sound asleep, the next minute she’s right under my feet or bumping her head into my legs. She is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m thankful that I decided to come from a place of yes and bring her home. She’s already helping me feel a lot better about certain things. I’ve had less headaches/migraines since she’s come home, which cannot be a coincidence. I’m calmer and more centered, and I am not yelling nearly as much as I normally do.

I am not gifting anyone anything this year, other than my love, loyalty, and friendship, and for some people, all three. I might treat myself to something small, but I really just want to survive the remainder of this year with my head above water, and move into a New Year where I can prosper.

I feel bad that I won’t technically be doing anything for Chanukah this year, which begins Thanksgiving night, and is my favorite of all the Jewish holidays. I have such great memories of the happiness of Chanukah that it makes me sad, but it’s also not about gifts. Right now, for me, it’s about remaining focused. I’m doing my best.

This year has taken huge chunks of my soul, but others things have been given back to me, like unconditional love, loyalty, confidence, respect, new friendships that I treasure, old friendships that are the untarnished Platinum in my life, and the knowledge that the more I grow, the more content I am with who I am and where I’m going. Nothing is set in stone, and I’m learning that every time someone tries to break me, I come back stronger from the trial.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful, happy, healthy, and safe holiday.

Alive

Alive

Despite how I feel, yes, I am alive & so-so, not necessarily ‘alive & well’. I’ll get there, eventually.

I’ve got a very long blog post that I’ve been working on for all of you, something outside the norm, something that is thought provoking, for a change. Not one to bore, when I tell a story, I tell a story. If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right.

I hope everyone has a great weekend planned. Thus far mine is looking rainy and cloudy, but the temperatures will be tolerable. Everything is starting to bloom (I have a tree in my backyard and, God as my witness, it bloomed overnight during the few days of warm weather we had in Southeastern Pennsylvania), and soon it will be time to mow, trim, and make some changes to my yard as I prepare to bury my macaroon. It’s been a few months, obviously, but not only was the ground frozen in January, but I also did not have the emotional means to get out there and dig a hole (FYI: I am making my brother do it. He should earn the fact that I allow him to eat my food, and that I’m currently the only woman alive that will make him a London Broil & potatoes without charging him and expecting a tip afterwards. LOL.). When I called my vet and asked them if I had a time limit or anything, they were SO amazing to me that I got off the phone in tears. It’s one thing for you to think that your cat/dog is special, but for others to see it too, for them to tell you what a great mother you were to her, and what an amazing client you are, and that they’re here for you, well, it’s a lot more than I get from most people, so yes, it made me emotional.

In the meantime I’ve got a yard that really needs to be cleared, cleaned, and given a bit of TLC. After that, I’m pretty much done with it. In truth, I want to have stones laid along the better part of the yard, something easy to maintain and clean, because if there’s anything I detest, it’s the smell of freshly mown grass. It’s bad enough I have to smell it from now until October, I don’t need to include my own as well. Waking up with my eyes swollen shut isn’t very attractive.

So, very long post soon to come. Also, my new blog has gone up and even though I will be posting on it in drips and drabs, feel free to stop by and check it out.

lockeandkeyenovels.wordpress.com

Talk to you all soon,

Li

P.S. I have been nominated for another award thanks to Shaun @ prayingforoneday.wordpress.com. I will address this award as soon as my brain allows me to do so and of course, I thank Shaun for his kindness.

Admitting It Is The First Step

I’m not sure how it happened, or even when it happened, but I joined Pinterest and the next thing I knew I had a serious problem. I don’t think I’ve gone a single day in the last month without pinning at least 30 things. You know you have a problem when you’ve actually counted and done the math on your new obsession.

I’m not one for fads. I don’t fall for everything the rest of the world is obsessed with. It took me forever before I joined Facebook, and I only did it to help protect the lead character of my book series. No one wants to create something brilliant and have it taken from them by someone who hasn’t a clue as to what they’re doing. It’s an author’s page, but it is also a page for this character. I’ve been with MySpace for years, but couldn’t tell you when I last updated. I refuse to join Twitter. I really don’t care to read the constant brain farts of complete and total strangers and as much as I love some people, I don’t need to know their every waking thought or see photos of every single thing they are doing in a day. We don’t need to be that close, leave something to the imagination please, I beg of you. And yet, even as I stand my ground where certain things are concerned, I am 100% addicted to Pinterest. How in the world did this become my “drug of choice”?!

I’ve caught myself, multiple times mind you, catching up on shows on my DVR, only to realize I have just spent an hour, sometimes two, pinning while watching a show. Basically that means I listened to the show, but didn’t look up a whole lot. It’s like talking on the phone, or listening to the radio in the mindless way you find yourself pin-obsessed with recipes, shoes, jewelry, quotes, photos of animals, photos of places to travel, or places you may have already been, and the list is really endless. I pin recipes as if I’ve never cooked a day in my life! For the record, I’ve been cooking for so long that the only time I’m positive I didn’t cook was when I was in diapers.

The pins started with me innocently looking for “a few new recipes”. This has been the year of new recipes for me as I devoured cookbooks looking, first, for the perfect Minestrone recipe. I have yet to find it because it doesn’t exist!! I’m convinced of this, truly. Next I searched for other soup recipes, things I’d never made before, or things I absolutely adore (New England Clam Chowder for starters), but most recipes are generally too time-consuming for the world’s most impatient woman. Did I find what I was looking for? No, but I found several thousand other things that I have seen fit to pin onto a slew of obnoxious boards in an obsessive compulsive sense of organization. That same tendency should be better focused organizing my kitchen, living room, laundry room, bathrooms, sock drawer, etc. But hey, I’ve reached the point where I’m good, so long as I can find what I need when I need it, everyone else be damned! A clear sign I have lost my mind, and yet I do not have a board aptly named for it, so lost it shall remain as I obsess over Louboutins, nail polish, cats, a truly endless slew of recipes for everything from mixed drinks, coffee, baked goods, and everything in between. It’s a never-ending cycle as I take in the fact that I currently have 36 boards & 109 followers. I haven’t done the math on my pins, but we’re well into the thousands.

I will be seeking help for this addiction, as I am convinced that this time could be better spent on things I actually need to be doing. However, I have yet to delete my account or cease the pinning because I apparently have a deep-seated need to confront these issues.

I figure if Blake Shelton can tweet to his heart’s content (and come on, how hilarious is he?! I love him on The Voice!), I can have my Pinterest boards. Really, what’s the harm?