This year we hosted it at our house for the fourth time, and we think we knocked it out of the park.
Here is a breakdown of what I did to prepare:
On Sunday and Monday I cleaned a lot.
Tuesday I made cornbread for the dressing, chopped up some pecans for
the dressing and the pecan pie, made a birthday cake, and celebrated my
Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve) I made pie crust, assembled and baked a
pecan pie, made rolls up to the point of the second rise then put them
in the freezer, assembled dressing and corn-and-wild rice casserole,
made deviled eggs, and did some things to help Josh prepare to grill the
On Thanksgiving morning I baked all the stuff I had put together, made mashed potatoes, and made gravy from the turkey drippings.
My cooking schedule stuck to the fridge.
Mom provided cranberry salad, green salad, pumpkin pie, and sweet potatoes.
Last year, we named our Thanksgiving turkey "Fowl Roker," because we got the
recipe from Al Roker's grilling cookbook. We named this year's turkey
"Fowl Jarreau," but then we sort of renamed it "Fowl Gore" at the end when the turkey's leg fell off and I said, "That's gory."
Anyway, it was a perfect day. The house looked good, I looked good, and I even had fun.
our guests left I slept for 2 hours then got up and started cleaning
again. Josh watched YouTube videos. I heard "Gangnam Style" probably 3
times as I washed dishes. Then the both of us sat around and watched
random music videos on YouTube.
I enjoyed this hour-long documentary about mid-century modern architecture in Arkansas. An interesting discussion of one of my favorite buildings to gawk at starts a little bit past the 13-minute mark.
Josh and I used to call this complex "the art deco buildings," but I now know they are art moderne.
She could use your prayers and/or new-age hippie healing thoughts.
Last week Mom and I moved her from the assisted living (which she loved) to the nursing home (not a fan), and it's been anything but a smooth transition.
She's on her last legs. Physically, mentally... it's all falling apart.
That's the way of life. But it's unpleasant to see her in distress.
Recent circumstances have reminded me that my Grandma has got to be the most stubborn determined person I know of. The trouble is... she's never been all that determined to be happy or at peace. She's been determined to survive.
My grandma was born and raised in a small farming community in Arkansas during the great depression. (Although I don't think her people noticed the depression much, as they were dirt poor to begin with.) She was the youngest of 8 children (they're all gone now), and when she was a baby (a year old maybe?) her father was murdered. (I want to say there was a dispute over corn.) So her mother was left to raise multiple children and run a farm and survive. Alone. Can you imagine?
All I can say is that there's a serious streak of female tenacity running down that line of my family tree.
What I can't say is that I really understand my grandma, or her beginnings, or her present.
I'm just musing.
As this nursing home drama unfolds, I am getting an unprecedented glimpse into the special brand of crazy that is my birthright.
My grandma has done an outstanding job of surviving.