I am thinking of you, really I am. You have all been so kind with your encouragement, but where is the time going? Every day I mean to post and then I don't even get a chance to turn on the computer. There is the House from Hell to clean out as well as getting myself and my own home ready for the holidays. My parents were here for four days before leaving for Arizona Wednesday.There is cooking to do (and you know that is my favorite part), presents to wrap and I have to get ready for my "baby" to come home from Seattle on Tuesday AM. The house is not really decorated but Mother Nature helped yesterday by covering the outside in a fluffy white coat...it looks beautiful and oh so festive. On that note I wish you all a Very Happy Holiday and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Read below to lighten your spirits...it will not lighten the rest of you, lol.
HOLIDAY EATING TIPS 1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can - And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me ...Have two! It's later than you think. It's Christmas! 3. if something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 4. as for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. 8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each . Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards! 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO!! What a ride!"
Thank you each and every one of you for your kind words, thoughts, phone calls etc during this time. I am so grateful that Mary ( I never even knew she was called Mary Ann by friends) seemed to have only suffered terribly for the last day and the Doctors thought she may have had a stroke of some sort. I saw her late Tuesday afternoon and I prayed she would die overnight and fortunately my wish was granted. Even though I am almost 58 I have never actually seen a person so soon before death and it was so sad and shocking to me. But enough about sadness; Mary would want us to buck up and go shopping.
Do you have the Marshalls ads where they declare you to be Shamelessly Shoportunistic? Well, those ads were meant to describe Mary. I always knew she liked to shop, but I was never fully aware of the consequences until we started on the house. Closets are jammed full and the more you pull out of them the fuller they become...it is like something from Fantasia. Each room has rolling racks for clothes and there is 24 feet of hanging space in the basement. In the last year or so she has just been keeping clothes folded on the spare beds and the couch in the Parlor. You know those sweatshirts that "mature women" ( OK, Old Lady Sweatshirts!!) wear, the one with Peter Pan collars and embroidered birds/flowers on the front? We have given away more than 100 of them, over 100 purses, over 40 coats and jackets and the killer ( no pun intended) so far we have donated 34 new curling irons. All in all I have bagged over 100 bags of clothes that have been donated to Good Will/Salvation Army/ St Vincent DePaul and Planet Aid. There is a bedroom 2/3 full of yarn...floor to ceiling...that is my next mission. The goal is to have the house cleaned out by February 1 so we can paint, rip out carpet and generally spiff the place up for a March 1 Market Debut. Keep your fingers crossed, the clothes were just the easiest place to start. So this is how we grieve. I brought a couple of purses home and a couple coats and I have already put them in a bag to donate; I am scared to bring in more stuff and have it accumulate. On the up side I now have 8 King Tom Turkey Plates...look them up on Google, I am honestly too tired and lazy to provide you with the link. I also have a set of Mountain Woodland by Nasco...very autumnal. Did I need more dishes..ummm..no, but she would have wanted me to have them because I am the one that has cooked for holidays since I became part of the family 17 years ago.
Gotta run, but thanks again for everything and now I really have to think seriously about Christmas.
Edited to add: I found enough energy to get you this picture. I have 8 plates, the platter and the gravy boat (cracked and badly repaired). This means I now have 3 kinds of turkey plates and can feed 24 people as long as they don't mind sitting "Native American " style on the floor.
Sorry to be gone so long. Thanksgiving was lovely and we are going to eat the last of the delicious free range, organic bird tonight. There is a cute Irish Pub in Coronado CA where the Trolley Tour stops ( do you know it, Susie Q?) that serves a sandwich called the Irish Dip. In reality it is a turkey sandwich with a little cup of gravy for dipping. Tonight we will have my version along with Mama Janet Fries (oven baked Russets). We sent all the desserts home with the kids. I made Apple Crisp and also a Pumpkin Gooey Cake from Paula Deen. Let me tell you, you Southerners sure like your sweets...a pound of confectioners sugar...wow...cloying hardly begins to describe it, but the kids seemed to like it.
In other news, Bob's Mom is in the hospital. She has had cancer for almost a year , but she wouldn't admit it or let anyone talk about it. Less than a month ago I was thinking I would get her a wheelchair ( she "slips" a lot) and try to get her out for a brief shopping and lunch trip, but she decided that was "too much". We have been walking a fine line between carrying out her wishes and worrying about her safety. I have been trying to go over and heat up some food and make sure she eats at least once a day. The final straw was when she told me on Wednesday that she wouldn't be coming over for the T'giving meal, could we please bring it to her? On Friday she went to the hospital. Apparently the cancer is much further along than we knew and she won't be coming home. We should be having a family meeting with her caregivers within a couple of days and we will see where she goes from here. She is on some morphine ( because Tylenol is bad for her liver, doncha know?) and is already having the "drug dreams". She has accused Bob of selling her house already..if only it were that easy in this market.
So, if I am sporadic about posting and not leaving you comments on your posts this is why. Hopefully it will be quick and without pain.