Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Autumnal Adornment

There are a million things wrong with shopping at big-box stores.  They are local economy killers.  They are filled with processed food and cheaply made products and hate and vitriol and bad lighting.

I know this. But sometimes time is of the essence and a dollar only stretches so far in a single income household and I’m not making any more excuses.

I am about to tell you what the real problem is with big-box grocery stores.  One minute you are checking and double checking your grocery list.  How many pounds of butter do you need for Thanksgiving? Can you have too much?

And the next minute you have fallen in to a weird, dark place and you are grabbing a straw wreath form and some burlap ribbon.

Yesterday I wanted to make a baby.  Today I had a burning desire (no, NEED) to make a wreath.  I NEEDED AN AUTUMNAL WREATH and I needed it NOW.

I put away the perishable items quickly.  With bags of groceries still on the floor around my feet I made a wreath because I could not bear to be wreathless for one moment longer.

I picked those leaves up from my yard, y’all.  Whew.  Now I can finally breathe deeply again.  My front door is properly and seasonally adorned.  And eventually I got my groceries put away.

I will not make a baby.  But I am gonna make the shit out of some crafts.  Be warned.


You can get anything you want… at Alice’s Restaurant

Thanksgiving has always been a time of reflection for me.  Not in the “Oh, I have all of these things to be grateful for…” way as many do.  But in a Virginia Slims kind of way.

It seems I have a tendency to clean “emotional house” around this time of the year.  Perhaps it is the impending new year, or simply the realization that I do have so much to be grateful for and that there is no reason to hold on to what is long gone or to that which really doesn’t serve me.  Whatever the reason, letting go is not my thing, but in November I do my best to look forward.

In 1993 I spent Thanksgiving crying because my high school love broke my heart. But later that afternoon I dismantled the shrine to him in my room (compete with black candles and glossy 8x10s, what?  Don’t judge.)   I think it set the tone for me and many thanksgivings to come.

Years later I had a turkey sandwich in my car and I drove away from the beach to Chapel Hill.  I found an apartment that weekend.   It was harder than dismantling the boyfriend shrine.  But it was worth it.

November of 2008 I sat at table with old friends and new.  I sat across from a man I had met only a month earlier.  I hesitated to say aloud that I was grateful for him. For the future I could already see, smell, taste.

The following year was a difficult one.  I thought I had grown so much, had come so far.   When in reality I had so much further to go.  MQD gave me a push, a shove in the right direction.  And in November 2009 I pushed myself onward towards my future one more time.

Last year we gathered around that same table.  Friends, old and new, and that man I had met.

That man that was my husband this year.  And we had Thanksgiving with those friends that every couple should be lucky enough to have.  The friends that are your family.  And your neighbors.  Without whom you’d lose your mind.

There is very little from this past year I want to leave behind.  My fears, my insecurities, maybe, but even they have taught me so much about who I am in the past year.  I thought I’d try something new this year.

It’s no secret that I am a chickenshit when it comes to making goals.  To saying out loud that there is something that I want.  I have worked hard at letting go for the last decade.  2012 will be the beginning of what I hope is more than just a decade of holding on.  Of putting down roots.  Of making a home.

These are lofty goals.  But simple when you break them down in to actions instead of ideas.

This year I will make at least one new friend.  A mommy friend.  That intimidates me.  I will invite her and her kid to my house and I will not worry that she will see me use the Walmart brand of disinfectant near my children, or that she will sniff out the paper plates that hide in the back of my cabinet  (thereby proving that I am not as green as I strive to be.)

I have fantasized about a spring or summer monthly potluck of sorts for years.  This spring I will do my damnedest to make that happen.  So I can hold on to those friends that I have made here even though our lives are pulling us all in different directions, towards our own homes, our families.

I will swallow my phone phobia and pick up the phone at least once a week.  I was laughing on the phone with my grandmother the other day about how when you don’t have a glass of wine or three in the evenings it is even harder to pick up the phone.  A newborn is not conducive to wine drinking or long chats on the phone. But once a week I will pick up the phone and call.  Someone that makes me happy.

It’s easy to allow the Newborn Cave to swallow you whole.  The velour sweatsuit starts to look like dress up clothes if you put it on fresh from the dryer.  Working from home will allow me to stay engaged with people through a computer screen.  In my bathrobe, baby on the boob. But I am going to give it all I’ve got to stay connected to real live humans.  People that wear belts.  And eat at tables, not at the kitchen counter.

This is me, putting it out there.  I am going to blow dry my hair at least twice a month.  And make a Date.  With someone that is not a personal trainer or a blood relative or married to me.  I will likely show up with a baby on my boob.  But I will be out there.  Maybe even wearing a belt.  And real shoes.  Putting down roots. Making a life that is moving forward, not just away from something, but towards something.

I will reach out to the casual friends that I see at social functions organized by my more… organized friends.  The women that I am so happy to run in to.  That make me laugh until my sides hurt.   (I’m looking at you, Caroline.  This is your shout out, as well as a fair warning.  I am coming to a bottle of white wine and a table near you, Springtime, 2012, be there or be square.) And to the women that I am so lucky to already call my good friends.  Whom I see not nearly enough of.

Because holding on to what you’ve got is just as important as letting go.

Day 56 & Day 57: Decadence & Scary Foods

Thanksgiving and the few days following allowed me to crank out two more challenges.  Day 56 suggested I live the Rock n Roll lifestyle at it’s most decadent.  The book kindly recommends hookers, cocaine, prison hospitals and international travel.  Given that I had a fairly good idea I would not get around to all that, I decided I’d just consider the “decadence” that I did live to suffice and call it a day.

Thanksgiving Day decadence included, but was not limited to the following: absurd accessories (in the form of my favorite bird headband,) a truly ridiculous amount of food and wine consumed,  loudly announcing time and again that I was “having a great time!!” and many real-time shout-outs to the friends and family that were present.   While I did not exactly yell out “Thank you very much, Carrboro, and Good Night!” before I left I did announce as soon as we got home that I was going immediately to bed.  And I am fairly sure I tacked on a “Thank you very much!” as I was terribly thankful all day.

Friday morning quickly blended in to Friday afternoon which became Friday evening before I knew it.  All of a sudden it was Sunday night and a shower and some new sweatpants seemed in order.  There is little more decadent in the life of a mother than uninterrupted couch time.  I was under the weather enough to justify sitting on my ass all weekend.  Friday afternoon I was convinced I might be a wee bit hungover but when Em was feverish and intermittently sweating and then freezing I realized we might all have the “funk.”   Em and I whiled away the weekend with ABC Family’s movies and in a desperate plea for entertainment I watched 5 hours of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in one sitting Saturday evening.  Can’t imagine why MQD opted out of the evening’s entertainment?

So, while it may not have been the wild times of my youth ( a fine example seen below) it was a decadent weekend.  Good food, wine, naps and craptastic TV.

And Day 57 – it was quick and delicious!  Day 57: Try a food that scares you. I detest raisins, so I have never even considered a dried fig to be a good idea.  However, wrap that sucker in some bacon and stuff it with bleu cheese and I was game.  It was delicious!!  Seen below is our charming hostess.    (And incidentally, totally not the source of our “funk.”  Her cold and our fevers, aches, and chills do not seem to be the same set of symptoms!)

Many thanks to E&T for sharing their home, their food, their friends and their  family with us on this day!

10 Day Challenge (9) Happy Thanksgiving!!

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

This one is easy.  :) and  :)

I really couldn’t be happier.  So very much to be thankful for.  Hope you’re all with your family enjoying a day dedicated to remembering the things we need most.  Food, friends, family and wine.



Happy Thanksgiving.