Three Days After Thanksgiving…

T’was three days after Thanksgiving when all through the house…was a giant mess!  Yes, folks, I’ve now entered the world of “Christmas Decorating Hell”!  It officially began yesterday afternoon, and there is no end in sight!

I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit yet.  All I’m feeling is overwhelmed and tired. I’m thinking after this year I may need to rethink this holiday decorating thing!  Perhaps it’s time to decorate on a smaller scale, but enough about Christmas, let me tell you about our Thanksgiving.

Brandy/Clint--hosting their 2nd Thanksgiving turkey dinner

Our family had a very nice Thanksgiving.  I didn’t quite know what to do with myself on Thursday morning because I didn’t have to get up early and bake the turkey or make the dressing.  Ed and I found ourselves sitting around watching the parade on television,  something we’ve never had time to do before!   I think I could learn to like doing that, although I felt a little bit like an “old person” for passing the responsibility to someone else.

Around noon, the family began gathering next-door at our daughter’s house.  Everyone brought food, and it’s an understatement to say that we had a feast!  We’ve never had so many cooks in the family before!  It’s wonderful.  What a great selection of desserts we had!  Jennifer baked her first egg custard pie, which  is one of my favorites!  It was delicious–right up until she dropped it in the door of her car on the way home!  Ethan, our old hound dog, ate every bit of it, so it wasn’t wasted, and he enjoyed his Thanksgiving treat!

the "ill-fated" egg custard pie

Other than eating all of the delicious food, I suppose the high point of Thanksgiving was looking at the Black Friday sales in the newspaper, and trying to take a successful family picture of all of us.  Believe it or not, the first shot turned out to be the best one out of four tries–even though Cade was eating Nerds.

Thanksgiving 2011

After lunch, almost everyone went to check out Brad and Jennifer’s new Christmas decorations.!  I thought I was the “Queen of Christmas Decorations”, but Jennifer is right there with me!  In fact, she may have surpassed me!  Every room in their house is decorated–and it’s a very big house. In fact, Jennifer even convinced Brad to decorate the outside of the house with lights–something he’s never done before.  It makes all of us very happy to see Ed’s mom’s house (where Brad and Jennifer are currently living) all decorated for the holidays.  It’s been many years since it has been decorated–and it’s NEVER been decorated like it is now!

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving Day ended with Clint and Brad going to Walmart on Thursday evening.  What were they thinking?  They thought they might get one of the trampolines that Walmart was advertising on special at 10 pm…Ha Ha After driving over 100 miles–and going to two different Walmarts,  our guys came home around midnight– empty-handed!  Our family had a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving…but getting a cheap trampoline wasn’t one of them!  First thing on Friday morning, Brandy promptly ordered one on-line.  That’s my kind of shopping–and I’m thankful for it!

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm  Comments (4)  

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving…

Well folks, Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  It’s time to get the menu planned, the grocery list completed, then go out and find that turkey!  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  While Thanksgiving may be a lot of fun, it’s also a lot of hard work!

Thanksgiving 2010

I should know how much fun it is, since I’ve been hosting for many years.  In fact, I’ve been cooking the Thanksgiving bird for so long, I can barely remember NOT doing it!

I DO remember those first few attempts at making dressing though…what a disaster!  I didn’t have a recipe, and neither set of our parents measured anything–just like me!  They could tell me what ingredients to use, but not how much!  Eventually, I found a good recipe to use, which made my life much easier–and the dressing taste much better!

In 2004, I was suffering with a herniated disc in my neck, so my daughter and her husband took over the Thanksgiving duties for me.  They did a great job, while I sat around in a chair wearing a cervical collar!  While I’d rather cook any day, than be in pain, I have to admit, it was nice to have a break.  The break was a short one though.  I had my cervical fusion on December 10, and I was back in the kitchen by Christmas!

Thanksgiving 2004 (Brad's camera shy)

This year, my daughter and her husband have graciously offered to cook the turkey/dressing, and host Thanksgiving dinner at their house once again.  I’ve decided to accept their offer.  While I don’t feel nearly as bad as I did in 2004,  I can definitely use a break.  Unfortunately, our daughter has been sick the past few days, so these plans may have to be altered if she’s not feeling better by then!

Going to our daughter’s house for Thanksgiving, will be a bit like going home again–since we raised our family in that house.  Our family shared many Thanksgiving dinners there  over the years.  This year, perhaps we’ll share one more.

Thanksgiving 2006, our last one in the "old house"

The picture above was taken during our last Thanksgiving in the old house.  This photo is the first of our “family portraits”.  We take one of these portraits twice a year now.  Ed is holding our first grandchild, Madison.  Since this photo was taken, we have added a grandson, a daughter-in-law,  and we now have another little grandson on the way.  Our little family is growing.  We have a lot to be thankful for…and we are!

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 10:33 am  Comments (6)  

Wednesday Hodgepodge/Giving Thanks Challenge…

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge, brought to us by Joyce-from this side of the pond.  Thanks for another set of great questions, Joyce!  If you haven’t joined in yet, I highly recommend it for a good time, and a chance to meet new blog friends!
1. If you had known what they knew then, would you have boarded the Mayflower?  No, most likely I wouldn’t have.  Even if I had boarded,  I probably wouldn’t have made it off the boat anyway…LOL (see # 2 for explanation).
In case you are wondering…I am sharing photos of some of my Thanksgiving decorations throughout this post–in the spirit of Thanksgiving!

Thanksgving what-nots

2. How far have you traveled on a boat and how do you feel about boats in general? I have only been a few miles out in the ocean– on a  boat, when we went on a fishing trip to some jetties once.  I got sea-sick and thought I was going to die!  After that trip, we stayed closer to land so I wouldn’t get sea-sick.  I love boats, and I miss ours sometimes.

3. What traditions have you kept, acquired thru marriage, and/or tossed? If you’re single what are some of your family’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions?   Our Thanksgivings are pretty much the same as our parents’ traditions used to be, except I decorate the house for Thanksgiving, and our parents never did.  I have all kinds of little pumpkins, Pilgrims, turkeys, scarecrows, and Indians sitting on shelves.  In addition, my “year round tree” is decorated for Thanksgiving.  Also,  I don’t make ambrosia or fruit salad like our parents did, because none of my children like it.

Year-round tree decorated for Thanksgiving

4. What time is dinner and how many will be round your table? And what is the one side dish you cannot do without on Thanksgiving day?  Dinner will be around 12 o’clock, which means I’ll be up early on Thanksgiving morning!  If all goes well, there will be ten people around my table.  Unfortunately, Jennifer has to work, and won’t be joining us like she did last Thanksgiving.  One side dish that has become a family tradition, and I can’t do without,  is really a dessert—my husband’s pecan pie.  He makes a great one! 

5. Have you ever used a fire extinguisher? Do tell….No, not in the kitchen, but we did have a fire under our car port once, when our pool chemicals accidentally got mixed together and caused a chemical fire.  Fortunately, we saw the smoke from the kitchen window, and were able to put the fire out with the water hose before too much damage was done.  It was a very scary experience! 

Scarecrows and pumpkin candy dish

6. Tell about a situation that caused you dreadful trepidation and feet dragging, only to realize later it was a true blessing.  I think I would have to say it would be getting my driver’s license.  I was a third generation of “non-drivers”.  My grandmother and my mother never learned to drive a car, so I didn’t get the normal encouragement to learn how to drive.  Once I married my husband, he tried to encourage me to learn, but things kept happening–like our car was a four-speed, and I was afraid to drive it.  We traded cars, and I did make two trips to get a learner’s permit, but never had the necessary paperwork with me.   FINALLY, after eight years of marriage, when I was 26 years old, we bought a car with an automatic transmission,  I made up my mind to learn to drive, and got my driver’s license– all within a week!  Wow, that was the best thing I ever did!!!  Talk about new-found freedom, after 26 years of depending on others for a ride!
7. Baked, sweet, mashed, hash browned or french fried…which one’s your favorite?  It used to be french fried–until I spent 15 years working at school and was served french fries nearly every day of my life!  Yuk!  How french fries are considered healthy is beyond me!  No wonder kids are over-weight.  These days I prefer my potatoes baked. (and it’s a good thing…see #8 for the reason)

Bear pilgrims and turkey candle holder

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Well, I have to share this with all of you.  On Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call from my doctor’s office, with the results of some tests I’d had a couple of weeks ago.  The nurse informed me that my cholesterol is a bit high, and the doctor wants me to go on a low-fat, low cholesterol diet!  I told his nurse that was awful news to receive  two days before Thanksgiving–and she laughed and agreed!  I’m going to forget about that bit of news until after Thanksgiving!  The nurse said she wouldn’t tell if I didn’t!  LOL 
(24) I am thankful that we don’t have to travel to be with family on the holidays.  I am so blessed to have all of our little family living all around us, which is especially nice at holiday time.  If you know me, you know how I feel about traveling anyway…Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 7:59 am  Comments (10)  

Flashback Friday…Thanksgiving Memories

Today I’m sharing Thanksgiving memories of the past for Flashback Friday.  You know, I never really thought about it, but apparently I don’t have many outstanding Thanksgiving memories from my childhood–but I do have one!

When I was probably six or seven years old, my family decided to spend Thanksgiving with a hunting club.  At least, I’m pretty sure it was some sort of hunting club.  I know it was a group of families camping together.  The men and boys went out hunting together, while the women and children stayed at camp and cooked.  We lived in Florida at the time, but it gets cold at night in November–and I remember trying to sleep, and being cold.  I also remember thinking that it was a strange way to spend Thanksgiving!  My dad was a hunter in those days, so I’ll bet it was his idea–but I only remember going once!

I suppose our family spent most Thanksgivings like other people–cooking and eating too much.  I remember watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, but I don’t remember much football watching going on at our house.  I remember watching mama make dressing–yes, we call it dressing here–and thinking what a lot of work that was for one dish!  We never had mashed potatoes with our turkey–only dressing.  We usually cooked some fresh mustard greens(from daddy’s garden), candied yams, and ambrosia–among other things.

Once I married Ed, we ate most Thanksgivings with his family, but my parents were invited, too. ( I always appreciated Ed’s parents including my parents in their holiday celebrations.)  My brother lives out-of-state, and rarely came home on actual holidays–so it was usually just my parents and me.    

Ed’s parents made dressing different from my mom and dad, but it was still good.  Both families mixed their dressing the same way, then baked it, but my in-laws didn’t put celery in theirs, and they used more boiled eggs and spices.

I remember watching some of the parade on television, and lots of football after the meal, at my in-laws house!  My mother-in-law was the mother of three boys, and she loved football.  Me?  Not so much.  My father-in-law didn’t seem to care much for it either.

As my in-laws grew older, I began to prepare several dishes at my own home for the Thanksgiving meal.  I’d transport all of the food to my in-laws house for lunch.  They still insisted on cooking the turkey and dressing, as well as a few other things–like fruit salad.  Nobody could make fruit salad like my mother-in-law!  We did the meal this way for several years. 

By the time my children were all in school, my in-laws were well into their sixties.  My husband and I decided it was time to begin our own Thanksgiving traditions at home–and take the burden off of his parents.  I began to learn to bake the turkey and make the dressing, along with all of the trimmings–and I’ve been doing it ever since!  I don’t know how tasty those first couple of Thanksgiving dinners were, but I learned over time.  Ed’s parents resisted coming for a year or so, then eventually began to come and join our family for Thanksgiving at our house.  I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for more than twenty years!

I’ll come back next week and post about those Thanksgiving memories with my husband and children at our own house…until then–I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Comments (10)