giving thanks and doing stuff
The holiday season…it eats up so much time! Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s just so much stuff going on that wasn’t going on the rest of the year. Which is a roundabout way of saying, sorry it’s taking me so long between blog posts!
It’s not exactly that I lead an exponentially more exciting life this time of year. But it is a fact that I am doing far more than I was doing last year at this time, for which I am supremely thankful.
Speaking of which, Thanksgiving! It was great. With my aunt staying here half the week, and actually the whole of Thanksgiving week, I got to spend the day with somebody who actually knew what day it was and enjoyed it with me. The Sunday before that was the whole family get-together at my cousin Barb’s new house packed full of in-laws, outlaws, one smol bean 😊 and assorted souls adopted for the day. Oh, and of course, more food than any family could eat in one day. Aunt and I took plates home and I didn’t have to cook the next day.
As for the day itself, the Bar-B-Cutie at the top of the hill above my house did the cooking again. Their smoked turkey breast is flavorful and moist, and their dressing is almost as good as homemade. We ate and watched the Macys Parade and the National Dog Show, which was a tradition mom and I enjoyed for years before she started to decline. She’d always pick out some dog she liked and follow them through. The final year she was able to watch and comprehend, she had an eye on a teeny white Bichon Frise, and even commented she thought she might like to have a little dog to keep her company at home while I was at work. I talked to a co-worker who had one, and even bought a book about them. it wasn’t long after that, though, that she began to have trouble getting around, and being more unsteady on her feet made having a small animal running around underfoot a no-go. I think about that when I pass the bookshelf and see that slim volume. Maybe I will put it in my next bag to go to the used bookstore.
Anyway, aunt and I noshed on that for most of the weekend, and then I started to make other things out of the turkey. Turkey sandwiches with cranberry mayo (just mayo and cranberry sauce mashed up and spread on. Tasty!). Turkey chunked up and tossed on top of a big salad. Turkey tikka masala (simmered with leftover veggies in Indian sauce and served over rice). Turkey burritos and quesadillas.
Best of all is my turkey tetrazzini casserole. I got the recipe years ago, from a friend at work, who happened to live next door to a pro wrestler and his then-wife. This was one of Mr. Rassler’s favorite recipes, and Mrs. Rassler made double batches of it. I, not being a rassler nor feeding one, halve the recipe. It is so delicious and easy though! If anybody is interested, holler and I will pull the recipe out and post it here as a bonus blog-ette (or with my next post, which I promise will be sooner than 3 more weeks! I am embarrassed). It involves two kinds of cheese, pasta, garlic and creamed spinach.
When we started to get tired of turkey this and turkey that, I sliced what little of the breast remained, laid it on a cookie sheet and stuck it in the freezer. Then I pulled it out, wrapped the slices up and put them in a bag and back in the freezer. That way when I only need a couple of slices later on, they are easy to get out. I’ll probably order another one close to Christmas, and we can chow on it for a couple more weeks.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, I got my fall decorations down and the Christmas goodies up. I have a garland of tiny knitted stockings that I usually hang down my stairs, but this year I went for the tiny kittens in scarves I told you about last post. They aren’t quite long enough to go the whole length of the staircase, but they cover the visible part, the battery pack sits neatly under the bannister (with a little help from a bit of duct tape) and they are adorable.
Gifts are made, and a few bought, so that part of prep is done. The ones staying here at home are wrapped. As usual, I bought the majority of my own; it saves everybody else from having to try to figure out what I want or need. LOL. And my gifts for aunt are here, wrapped, and under the tree. A tree, however, nicely decorated, looks bare without presents under it, to me. Oh, I did buy a new tree. You may recall (no, I doubt you do; it’s not your tree. Hehe) that at 3 am the morning after Christmas last year, mom got up, wandered through the house, and then fell into the tree and broke it. Back in September, when holiday gear first started being put out in the stores, I snagged exactly the tree I wanted, the right height, the right color lights (pre-lit. I will never go back to wrangling strings of lights, as long as I can afford otherwise!), reasonably priced, and stashed it in the loft until the time arrived. It’s now happily sparkling in its normal corner, decked with mostly handmade ornaments like this tiny hoodie I just made—it’s a model version of the full sized one I cast on a few weeks ago, the one I talked about last blog.
I finished the other two items for the charity auction, the Infinity Gauntlet fingerless gloves
And the doll for the fic writer!
Last week, I took a wreath and a small tree to Place K for mom. The wreath is one I made several years ago, and it hung on my side door until this year. The tree used to go in a small concrete planter on a stump out by my mailbox…until the stump kind of disintegrated last winter. So I cleaned it up and wrapped its little pot and decorated it and carried it to mom’s. She wasn’t in her room that day; she was in the activity room with several other residents, watching a Christmas movie, so I hung the wreath, set the tree up on her dresser, and slipped out.
She’s been very active, according to the staff; playing bingo, participating in exercise groups, attending musical performances. A couple of days before Thanksgiving, they had ‘pie night’ when families could come spend time with their loved ones without it impacting the holiday itself. I headed over and found mom hanging out in another resident’s room talking to the lady and her roommate! Mom’s always been social, and I’m glad she is able to communicate and interact happily with her neighbors. I got us pie and we sat and talked. I showed her pictures of the new young arrivals to the family (oh my, I don’t think I’ve gotten into that either! Next time, I promise!) and she was very calm and pleasant. She knew who I was, for most of the visit, and even introduced me to her friends and the nurse. Half an hour later, she wasn’t sure who I was, at least not by name and relation. She always, though, seems to know I am somebody who loves her, and somebody she loves. That’s really all I can ask for at this point, and I’m glad for it.