Second Verse, Same as the First…

I know, I know… I used this last year.  But it was so good, I just had to do it again!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

21 thanksgiving for writers

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Remember when I wasn’t Martha Stewart?

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll be giving you a follow-up to my post last year when I told you how I was no Martha Stewart and I shared some photos with you of previous years’ Thanksgiving name cards that I made for my guests.  I couldn’t share the ones I made in 2014 because my guests hadn’t seen them yet.

I was actually just going through my point and shoot camera the other day, and realized I still had the photos on there to show you later.  (Being as I typically use my studio camera, I tend to forget that I even have a point and shoot sometimes.)

Anyway, this is the little turkey that saved my seat at Thanksgiving.  This was the first time I ever used a pre-fab kit to make the place cards rather than making them from scratch, but I found myself running out of time as the big day approached.

Immediately following Thanksgiving dinner, Jeremy’s turkey fell to the ground, and our cat Dakota got hold of it.  By the time we rescued it, it looked almost as bad as a real Thanksgiving turkey after it had already been carved and picked down to the bones!

Let’s chat:  How early do you start planning for your holiday meals and guests?  Other than Thanksgiving and Christmas, what other large meals do you plan in advance?  Do you photograph funny things that your pets do to things around your house?  (That last question applies to everyone except my good buddy Mark Bialczak… I already know that he makes a very cool photographic anthology of his sweet dog Ellie B’s collections of things she shouldn’t have.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know most of my U.S. friends will be busy with Thanksgiving today, either enjoying food, football, friends, family, or some combination thereof.  Or perhaps they’re preparing for Black Friday shopping tomorrow.  (Or should I say tonight?)

So I’ll limit my Throwback Thursday to a photo of my plate from last year which is the exact thing I will be eating later today:

Starting at 11:00 on the plate, that’s filling (which is a homemade vegetarian version of stuffing), mashed potatoes, cheesy potato casserole, green bean casserole, and corn pudding.  (No, I don’t eat turkey or any meat except the occasional fish stick or tuna sandwich.)  The rest of my household will be enjoying these, as well as turkey, grilled herb chicken, cranberry sauce, cranberry-pecan-pineapple jello, stuffed acorn squash (we have another vegetarian in the group that likes that), pumpkin pie, chocolate lasagna (yes, I’ll have some of that!), peanut butter Oreo icebox pies (I’ll have some of that, too!), and possibly cherry cheese bars and cinnamon roasted pecans (if there’s time to make them).

So if you’re celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!  Also, if you’re participating, good luck and please be careful with Black Friday tonight and tomorrow!  And to everyone else, Happy Thursday!

Time to talk:  What are you eating today?  Will you cook it yourself or will someone else prepare it for you?  Do you do Black Friday?  If so, do you shop for yourself or for others?  Are you ready to start decorating for Christmas?

My Secret

I know many of you are getting ready for Thanksgiving this week, so I’ll make this short and sweet.  If, like me, you’re the type of person who washes your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, and if like me, you’re the person responsible for washing the dishes, you’ll want to know my secret.  (The fact that my dishwasher was manufactured sometime during the middle of The Cold War is the reason I wash the dishes before it does.)

To make cleanup easy for all those pots, pans, and casserole dishes that have baked on gunk, just add a tablespoon of fabric softener to the dish, then fill the rest with hot water and let it soak for a few minutes.  You won’t need to scrub anything at all.  If you don’t have fabric softener, hand lotion or hair conditioner work just as well, too.  It softens the gunk and helps it pull off with minimal work by you.

Talk to me:  Do you already utilize this trick when you wash dishes?  Do you wash dishes before you put them in the dishwasher?  Do you have any secrets that make cleanup easier?  How old is the oldest appliance in your house?

I’m No Martha Stewart

Have you ever watched Martha Stewart?  She can rip open a turkey and stuff it with her bare hands, then while it’s cooking, she tends to her garden, sews a new dress, and crafts some fancy place settings for her dinner party.

But I’m not her.  First of all, I refuse to touch a dead bird.  Ever.  (And in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t eat dead birds ever, either.)  I also don’t garden.  I’m allergic to just about everything outside and especially grass, so the last thing I like to do is get down in the grass to plant something.  I did take home economics in middle school, plus I lived with a grandma who sewed a lot of my clothes, so technically I do know how to sew, but I just don’t like it.  And finally, while I do enjoy doing art projects such as making crafts, drawing, painting, etc., I don’t like to keep that stuff in my house.  I think it has something to do with my Asperger’s Syndrome, but while I admire and appreciate the artistic efforts of crafts, I just don’t care for that kind of decor in my own home.

However, Thanksgiving is the one time a year when I throw caution to the wind and let my hair down.  Because in November, I start making my place settings and name cards for our Thanksgiving meal.

As many of you know, most of my family doesn’t speak to me, so besides my sister and me, we usually have one or both of my kids, their dates, and a bunch of friends.  So for years, it’s been my tradition to surprise everyone with what kind of place card they’ll get.  Then afterward, they can be thrown away and I don’t have to keep any of that craft clutter in my house.  So while this year’s place card will be a surprise, I’m going to show you some previous years’ work.

This time, everyone got a turkey pinwheel.  These were a lot of fun, and the pinwheel part was different for each guest and was made with a paper pattern that reflected their own personalities.  Almost everyone started blowing them right away, and it was funny to see who got overly zealous and broke theirs before their food was even served.

This time, everyone got a pine cone turkey.  They seemed like a good idea in my head, but making them was something else.  It wasn’t as easy as I would’ve thought to find pine cones that weren’t crushed, and I pricked my fingers a lot while I was gluing the paper feathers in them!  Plus, after I made them, I then started fearing they might have bugs in them which would get in the food.

This time, everyone got a pilgrim’s hat or bonnet.  I also made a sign for the door that said “Ye Olde Pilgrim Cookery – Didst Thou Bring Thy Appetite?  Signage By New World Printing Company,” and my sister sewed us both pilgrim dresses.  (However, we looked exceptionally dorky, so I won’t be sharing those photos!)  We tried to get my son to wear a pilgrim man outfit or even a hat, but he refused to take part in our insanity.  Also, we spoke only in Olde English which was pretty fun.  Or funny.  Or dorky, depending on who came.  But most of the guests seemed to like it, or else they were too polite to laugh at us to our face.  Either way, we had a good time.

So, while I admit I’m no Martha Stewart, she’s no Rachel Carrera either.

Let’s talk:  What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions?  White meat, dark meat, or no meat?  What was the last thing you ever made with your hands?  Would you ever speak in another accent in front of guests for an entire day?