I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. It’s been a rough few weeks for everyone (at least everyone I know) and I’m looking forward to an afternoon and evening of seeing family and sharing food. Being the good foodie that I am, I’m putting together a lot of dishes (hint: understatement of the year). My mother-in-law asked if I could cook up some delicata squash, which is a new variety. You don’t have to peel it and it can be cut into rings. Since I have squash and more squash from my farmshare, I’ve decided to make another squash dish, one that combines a number of different varieties. Since winter squash bakes down to a mash, they’re easy to combine and then season. Butter, salt, pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon and – my favorite touch – a healthy sprinkling of fresh sage. Perfect!
I’ll also be bringing some appetizers, including one that takes a day to prepare. It’s a layered creation and needs time to take to the mold and present. Other than that, it’ll be cheese and crackers. But the culmination of my literary endeavors will be the Indian pudding. Anyway you make it, it’s a pain in the ass but really, really delicious. It’s made primarily with corn meal and molasses. I’ve usually prepared it with a double-boiler, but recently found a New York Times recipe that skips that step. I can’t wait.
I got a free pumpkin pie as a benefit of my membership in my local CSA (i.e., farmshare). My sister-in-law is bringing one, though, along with an apple pie so I’ll save mine for Christmas.
Eating, watching snow, visiting friends, drinking hot beverages and Christmas present-making or shopping, depending on the contents of my wallet. I can’t wait!
It’s finally cold outside. I need my winter coat. No snow yet, but the local shops are putting up their displays and the Town is getting ready for a holiday blow out this weekend: tree lightings, caroling, special promotions at shops and restaurants. White lights are draped over trees in Arlington Center and trees are on sale, ready for ornaments all all that.
We’ll probably pick out a tree this weekend, just in time to kick off Hanukkah! I’ll have to dig out my husband’s menorah and remind him to get candles so we can light the thing. My travel arrangements for Buffalo are set and I’m starting to look around for presents to purchase or make.
Okay, so this is feeling cool. I’m getting into it. It’s been a little hard to get into the spirit since my mom passed, but enough time has transpired so that I can feel that holiday joy in my heart.
Finally, after yet another bout with an unexpected and unwelcome virus I’ve managed to get myself both outside and active as well as inside and working. At this point, this foolishness has been going on for about two months and I’m not out of the woods yet. So far I’ve had visits from two different viruses, one of which may have been some version of mono. At least that’s what the tests might indicate. I came down with a run-of-the-mill cold about two weeks ago and am still stuffy and more tired than I should be.
And no one, no one, knows why or how I got those hallucinations in November. At this point I’ve had three separate blood tests, a CT scan, an MRI, visits with a psychiatrist, neurologist and a neuro-opthalmalogist. I’ve had my central and peripheral vision tested, my blood drawn and my head examined – literally. So far we’ve determined that I’m not psychotic, don’t have a tumor, don’t have Charles Bonnet Syndrome or anything in my blood that would suggest a source of the visions. The first blood test took place in the emergency room while I was actively hallucinating, so they really started at the beginning. I have an EEG scheduled for January and after that I am done with this crap.
I haven’t had any hallucinations since that one day but am going crazy trying to figure out what the hell happened. Did I eat something? Touch something? Smell something? My doctors don’t think so, based on the sequence of events and the fact that this thing only lasted one day. So, what is it, damn it? Tell me!
I just don’t want that to happen again. It was like going on a bad LSD trip, or so I’d imagine. Whirling things, snakes and bugs, all coming at me. Yuck.
Anyway, I’m back to work and am slowly starting to dig my way out of my backlog. Fortunately, it’s a quiet time of year so I can get away with a lighter task load. I’m leaving for Western New York and Christmas on Sunday. The hubby will be driving out later, after his classes get out. I’m not planning on bringing my laptop along!
Anyway, Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate the occasion!
Well, it’s that time of year again. Perhaps it’s the fact of my mother’s death last year, but I’ve been having difficulty getting into “the spirit” of things. A few months ago I was really looking forward to Christmas, with much more enthusiasm than I normally muster. As the time came closer, though, I felt more and more down about it. I had decided to mix things up a bit, with new Christmas tree ornaments and garland. I was also going to chuck a lot of my other decorations that I didn’t really like, but kept anyway.
I found myself extremely reluctant to do anything related to Christmas, though. I really had to force myself to go out and look for new Christmas tree bulbs and other holiday stuff. There was a weight on my chest the whole time. I talked to the hubby about it and he offered to do what he could to make this holiday cheerful for me. We got a different type of tree – big and bushy. Normally, I get two small trees and put them on top of the tall speaker cabinets in my living room. But, if I wanted to do something different, that was fine with him. He even agreed to go out in stinking, rainy weather to get the tree and drive it home on the top of the car. It was an awful day to do it, but I wanted the weekend to get it all together. He even helped me string the lights, since I’m short enough so that reaching the top of the tree is impossible without a ladder.
My husband is Jewish. It’s not his holiday but he did it for me. I feel both guilty as well as grateful. We strung up the lights the next day, after the tree had dried off and relaxed its branches a little bit. I had already purchased some new ornaments and put older, worn out ones in the trash. I have some “heirloom” ornaments, stuff that I grew up with and took along with me to Boston. Those stayed but the rest were pretty much gone. I wonder how I’ll feel about that next year. My sister bought a holiday village luminary for me last Christmas. It’s a ceramic scene of two houses, a snowman and evergreen trees. There are places inside for candles, so you can see flickering light through the little windows. It’s very sweet and has absolutely no association with any Christmas tradition I have. Perfect! I perched it onto one of the speaker cabinets to the right of the tree and added three battery-operated flickering candles. Then I laid back on the couch with a comfy blanket and looked at the tree and the luminary. It feels really peaceful and I think I did the right thing by forcing myself through the motions to get it started. Nothing fancy, just a nice view and a quiet heart.
I’m cold but comfy in Boston, but my family in Buffalo is watching a major snow storm rage by. Buffalo, for those who know it, is no stranger to snow but this is a real record-buster. My family lives a bit north of what’s called the snow belt in the south towns. Kenmore is okay. Orchard Park? Forget it. My dad is staying with my sister, even though he lives only one block away, in Kenmore. My brother also has limited snow since he also lives nearby. However, one of his buddies lives directly in the path of Brother Storm and sent over these pictures:
No, not the one I’m writing. I’m in airline delay limbo and they’ve just handed out meal vouchers. Of course, I had dinner during the last one hour delay, so I’m full. At this point I might spring for a brewski, only because I can’t think of anything else to do.
First, they boarded the plane and we sat there for an entire hour while the airline tried to decide to repair or replace a part. Then they kicked us off and we got stuck in line waiting for an update. Then another delay, at which time I had dinner. Then they started boarding the plane and halfway through stopped again. Now they had to wait for an inspector to drive in from the next town over to inspect the part.
I’m still at the airport, four hours after my brother dropped me off. I’m texting them back and forth just to stay sane. I want to go home!
My dad is 500 miles away, so the hubby and I celebrated at his dad’s house. Had almost the whole clan there and had a wonderful time with great food and gifts. Just goes to show you: love fills in the cracks to make you whole.