Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Most Memorable Thanksgiving to Date

I have many fond memories of Thanksgiving - one being "turkey wrangling". My mom purchased a not so huge turkey one year. She had left the bird to thaw in the kitchen sink (a no-no by today's standards!). When time came to remove the giblets and neck - the "battle" began. Have you ever tried to wrestle a featherless, wet bird that's bigger than you? Well, it may have been dead, but it hadn't given up the "ghost"! The neck to that bird was so lodged inside that it took my mom and me to remove it. Finally, after chasing it around the sink and across the counter, holding on to it for dear life and trying to keep it off the floor, we finally retrieved the stubborn thing from the slippery wet bird! No wonder we had such a struggle - that neck was long enough for TWO turkeys to share! (no, I don't mean the ones wrestling with said bird!) But amidst the uncontrolled laughter and the slimy clothes, we got that thing dressed and ready for the oven!

But. . . that isn't the most "memorable" Thanksgiving for me, although it is right up there. The clincher would come many years later!

As some of you know, my oldest daughter lives in KY. Her family was traveling home for Thanksgiving and Christmas for a while, so Bob and I decided to share the burden and go there for Thanksgivings and they would come here for Christmases.

This particular year, we were all together at Jenny's. Bob, Ben, and I. Kelly, Paul, Rease and Helena, and all of Jenny's crew - Jenny, Todd, Christian, Alicia, Sarah, Hope and Erica. Whew!

We had a wonderful day - starting. Not so much ending up. The kids made "hand turkeys", wrote down what they were thankful for, played, argued, and played some more. Todd cooked the bird in a Turkey Fryer outside. Jenny, Kelly and I did the remaining preps. Dinner is done - but someone is missing -someone sick upstairs - can't remember who. All remaining get seated. During dinner, someone else drops off - not feeling quite right. By day's end - we were in full swing with the flu.

Things were looking even bleaker on "Black Friday"! And let me tell ya - it was a black day! People were dropping like flies! The well took care of the sick -the well got sick and the sick got sicker : (Two bathrooms and twelve pukey people - not a pretty thing).

Needless to say, the drive home for most of us that weekend wasn't a cake walk, either. For some reason, Paul and Kelly had driven separately, so I drove with Kelly as far as I could go (they lived in PA at the time, we live in MD). There's not enough paper towels in the world to clean up toddler puke and nothing smells worse than sour milk. It was too cold to roll the windows down and smelled too bad to keep them up! What a quandary! Plus, Kelly had to travel the last 2-3 hours by herself. Ben went with Bob (who was fighting to keep his stomach in place) and I hooked back up with them when Kelly had to go her own way.

Everyone survived (Ben and I never did get sick - praise the Lord!). The older kids still talk about it on occasion - the adults would just as soon forget.

And . . as you can guess - there were a LOT of uneaten leftovers that year!

It will be interesting to see what future holiday gatherings bring. With such a large family, you can bet something will go awry, be hysterical, or touching, or even on occasion - just be "Plain Jane". But they will be our memories, our heartstrings, our lives. One would think that the flu would ruin it all, that all was lost in vain, to be one of those things tossed in the junk pile of life. But, unbeknownst to us, it would be that last time we would spend Thanksgiving together as a whole. Our trials as a family unit would soon follow. Individual families would be shattered apart, both physically and emotionally. So, don't just embrace all the good in life - grab the junk that comes along with it because in that junk you will find the most precious, little gems: hand turkeys, things to be thankful for, family leaning on each other because there is no one else. It may be years later that you recognize their worth -but polished they will shine for you. So mine the caves of your memories and look for the gems hidden in the junk piles of life - polish them and treasure them.

Happy Memorable Thanksgiving to all of you! ! !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Turkey Eve"

Well, tomorrow is the big "turkey day". I have my turkey breast in the crock pot and ready to roll, my pumpkin bake and green bean casserole are mixed and will be ready to pop into the oven tomorrow, and my sweet potato biscuits are done! (Rease and Helena used cookie cutters in the shapes of turkeys, pumpkins and fall leaves to cut the biscuits out for me!) So, not much left to do tomorrow but the potatoes, gravy and rolls. (double the bread, double the fun!). Since the numbers are down for dinner at my house I am only baking (crock potting) a breast. That means no giblets for stuffing -but that doesn't bother the gang - they don't care for homemade stuffing anyway. They would just as soon eat stove top - what a disgrace to Thanksgiving!

Speaking of stuffing - it reminds me of the platter that my mom used to bake her stuffing on at Thanksgiving. She gave it to me when I first got married. I don't use it -it is so old. I think it may have even been my grandmother's. I guess that's why I get bummed when no one wants homemade stuffing ;(. It's like slamming the door on tradition. And since my kids don't like homemade stuffing, wonder who will inherit my treasure? ? ?

At any rate, it feels good to have a jump start on dinner for tomorrow, especially since my dish washer has run a-muck! Wonder if they have those on special on "Black Friday"? Hmmm. . .
So . . . enjoy your day - may it be filled with love, laughter and laziness! ! ! !


I follow a blog by Marybeth Whalen - Cheaper by the Half Dozen. Yesterday she blogged about gratitude and how it was easier to focus on the negatives rather than the positives. As she was sharing this with her friend, she threw out a challenge - to list all the positives they had at the end of each day, from then until Thanksgiving.

I thought it would be nice to list the things I was grateful for at the end of the day, thru Thanksgiving as well. I will combine this past week's treasures into one day (it will be Friday's post) and update each day thru Thanksgiving as the week progresses. I will just add to this particular post - most current on top :). Won't you join me in searching for your thankful daily moments?

Wednesday - 25th
I am thankful for getting a huge jumpstart on dinner for tomorrow and for a good day today with the girls. They helped with biscuits and we made "glitter" ornaments. Even with the business it was a peaceful, relaxing day :).

Sunday - 22nd:
I am just thankful it's Sunday. The message this AM was great. The day was great. I love not having to be on such a tight ship sometimes. Eat when I want, sleep if I want, watch TV all day if it suits me. The best part is not feeling guilty about it. There is a reason God chose this day to rest! :) Oh - almost forgot - got free coffee and sweet potatoes today, too! ! !

Saturday - 21st - oops, forgot to write :(

Friday - 20th, I am thankful for:
1. an employed husband
2. a son that is crafty not only with his hands, but his mind - he's built our deck, repaired broken chairs, and is currently putting together plans for my kitchen :)
3. healthy family and friends
4. the ability to use the things around me to improve the appearance of my home - repainting and recovering the repaired chairs, and making valances
5. finding the fabric deal of the day so I can do the above - 4.75 yd of upholstery/drapery fabric for 2.99/yd! ! ! !
6. friends that take time to have dinner and shop with me :) :)
7. fabulous coupons so I can shop with friend

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Morning Sunshine!

"Good morning "sunshine", the earth says hello
You "shine" above us, we "shine" below

Good morning "sunshine", you lead us along
My "girls" and me, as we sing
Our early mornin' singin' song. . . ."

I changed some words in this little ditty to make it fit the occasion. It was so nice walking to the bus stop this morning, not having to fight the wind and upside down, inside out umbrellas, torrential rain blowing sideways and just a chill that went deep! Not to mention how much happier it made the girls (who were the ones with the umbrella problems)! I'm sure we were the neighborhood attraction! Whew, what a week last week! ! ! It was a 5 day ordeal that tests the best of spirits :).

So . . . . . Good Morning, Sunshine! ! ! !

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Victuals and Tidbits

I feel the need to share one of my favorite "meals". My grandmother used to make it when I was a little girl. My mom made it and now I make it. I'm pretty sure Granny created it and my sister, Donna, and I opted not to share it with anyone. Well, back in the 80's Campbell Soup had a recipe contest, and lo and behold - there it was - bold as could be - right on the back of the soup label! Go figure! That'll learn us! ! I know Granny didn't get it from there because I was already married and had been eating this "dish" for at least 20 years. Granny called it "hamburger goulash". I can't remember what the thieves, I mean Campbell soup, called it! Now, don't panic when you see the ingredients. I'm sure there must be a gazillion recipes for "goulash" and depending on where you're from - well, it could have almost anything in it! So, if you're willing to try it, I'm willing to share it! (This is the "victuals" part of my post.)

Hamburger Goulash
1 lb ground beef - browned and drained (you may add onions if you like)
1 can vegetable soup - ABC kind - no beef - undiluted
1 T or so of ketchup
1 t or so of mustard

Stir all ingredients together and simmer til hot

Viola - easy peasy - that's it! !

Serves 4
I serve my "goulash" on buns with chips and sliced green peppers

You may want to play around with the ketchup and mustard - start light and work your way to suit your taste :) I just squirt - but for those of you who need measurements - this might work :)

Now for the "tidbits" part:
I buy ground beef in bulk and brown all of it at once. I add onions while browning. Drain the beef (and rinse if you want to trim some fat). Divide among freezer bags (what you would use in a recipe - a cooked pound or so) and freeze. To use: remove from baggie and place in a small bowl and cover with paper towel. Microwave 2-3 minutes. You just want beef to break apart - and add to recipe calling for cooked ground beef. I discovered this trick quite by accident many years ago and wouldn't you know it - we now have "crumbles" on the market (much pricier than doing it yourself)! A girl can't win - LOL ! ! !

Well, that's my Victuals and Tidbits for the day.
Stay tuned for upcoming episodes :) ! ! !

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Signature

I am trying something a little different. I liked seeing the signatures on blogs that I have visited and thought it would be nice to add one to mine. Not sure how it will look, hmmm. . . .
What do you think?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Raining Outside, but. . . .

For some reason I am in terribly high spirits this morning. I know it's raining outside, its "dreary looking", but it's not cold. The leaves are blowing in the wind the sound of the steady rainfall is comforting. The colors of the trees are so beautiful. It seems that the rain just makes them shinier and more vibrant. We are in that middle area of fall where some trees are bare and some have a few leaves and then there are those few trees that are hanging on for dear life to their leaves, as if to say - "I am here for the duration and I will not give up without a fight!".
I like the sight of the rain hitting the deck or road a making those little "johnny jump-ups", as we used to call them. It is a visual comfort to me.

I know there are scientific explanations for all weather and seasonal changes, but I prefer to, and do, find it amazing that God has created all the details - down to the smallest snowflake, the changing colors, the hues in the sky, the shapes of the clouds, the variance of color of the sunrise and sunset of each season, the smells, the sound of the wind, rain and storms, and how much we anticipate each changing season only to realize that it has effortlessly glided into our lives without all the drama that we envision. Its hard to wrap my head around all of it. I can't even seem to color co-ordinated paper sometimes, but God has the whole universe co-ordinated. Not just in color, but in sight, smell, sound and texture. How awesome is that?

I understand only too well, the daydreamers of life! How can you look outside and not daydream? It's like reading a never ending novel. You can't put it down for fear of what happens next!

It is the most simple, complex thing around me and I truly love it! !

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yes, I will run in the rain with you!

Sometimes the coments left on my posts bring tears to my eyes. It humbles me to think I have such wonderful family and friends! My sister left a comment on "Need Washing?". I was truly touched by her openess. So Tiger - Yes, I would love to take your hand and run in the rain with you! It would be an honor!

I love you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Legalism VS Love

God really knows me - He knows I need to hear or see things more than once in order for them to "stick" in my head! (What does that tell you about me?). Well - at any rate - I have heard or seen the same "message" twice now in less than a week. I think I'm suppose to learn something here. So . . . . here goes:

1. Last week I was listening to a message on the radio about being "legalistic". Taking everything God says to the letter and not leaving a bit of wiggle room for being "human". Ouch.
2. Today's verse on my sidebar: 2 Corn. 3:6 Ouch, again.

My goal should be one of showing God's love and not judging to the inth degree things that people do wrong. I know before I was saved I took people for who they were - no more, no less. They were who they were. But it seemed after I got saved, I went so far to the other side I made not only myself miserable, but those closest to me as well. I was more worried about what others would say than what God had to say about the matter. It's been hard (and sometimes still is) to jump off the "judgemental band wagon" and look at the whole picture and leave the scrutiny up to God, to let go of things I can't control or have no business trying to fix. I don't like the person I was (and still am at times), but with God's guidance and perseverance, I aim to relearn the "acceptance" rule in life again. Love without judgement is truly unconditional love, and isn't that what God shows us? It doesn't mean He doesn't punish us when we need it, but He loves us regardless.
I love my family and my friends and pray that if you are or have been in the "wake of my judgement" that you will find it in your hearts to forgive me.
It is a humble place to be - at the mercy of God and loved ones, but a place that I cherish because I know that it is there that love and acceptance is found.

I don't deserve God's grace, but I sure am glad He's given it to me!

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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........