Some slightly crazy people in this family did the 4am Black Friday thing. Not me. I did finally get out at 1 or so to timidly check on a special at Kohl's. Alas, it was gone before I got there and even if they'd still had what I was looking for and were giving it away for a dime I wouldn't have waited through the nearly two-hour line to check out. No thanks, I'm doing just fine online.
Good thing I did a thorough cleaning/purging of the refrigerators before Thanksgiving because there's sure no room in there now!
Thanksgiving Postulate #6: There will always be one fewer salad/dessert fork than you need. Corollary: You will find some later on the deck. The sterling silver ones.
Another good thing: I bought my first roaster oven this fall and used it to cook one of the two turkeys for Thanksgiving. Now I'm wondering why I didn't do this years ago! I got the biggest one I could find and it claimed to hold a 24lb. turkey. Mine was 22.88 lbs and fit comfortably in the oven, which is really sort of an oversized slow-cooker. The advantages were numerous: the turkey stayed incredibly moist (and the leftovers are STILL moist); it frees up a LOT of oven space; it eliminates the spattering mess in the oven; and one that I hadn't expected: after we got most of the meat off, I poured hot water over the carcass and turned it back on and it simmered for a couple of hours to make great stock. I usually do this the next day in a stockpot and it's a messy affair, but this made it simple and can be done right away so that it doesn't just sit out at room temperature making a playground for bacteria. I know I'll find lots of uses for this appliance (chili for a crowd, etc.) but if this was its only use I'd be very happy I got it!
Also very useful was the oven in our new outdoor grill! Extra ovens are always welcome, right?
Thanksgiving Theorem #22: The deviled eggs always go first.
Tomorrow, The Papa leaves us again for a couple of weeks...we're all kind of getting tired of this but at least it's the last trip of the year so we'll grit our teeth and get through it. We'll postpone our Tree Night this year until he gets home, shortening the total time we will get to enjoy the Christmas trees but making sure he's with us for the event...
I finished Cry the Beloved Country on Friday. There's little way to describe how moving this book was to me, and I highly recommend that if you never read it or if it's been many years, that you work it in next year between some of the newer fiction on your list. Whether your interest is in history, intergenerational family relationships, Africa, race relations, children, or faith and forgiveness -- you'll find much here to savor and to appreciate.
Thanksgiving Guideline #12: It helps if the tablecloths are roughly the color of jellied cranberry sauce.
If you're like me, you'll be tempted to go see Australia. No, I probably won't be able to convince you not to, but just don't say you weren't warned. I've been waiting for this one for a year...which is about how long it seemed to last. And I could've spent the year and the ten bucks in a lot better ways. One reviewer says, "Baz Luhrmann’s Australia isn’t a history of the penal colony turned commonwealth, but Luhrmann’s absurd, cliché-ridden filmmaking ought to be a jailable offense." I concur. If you must see it, wait for the DVD. Don't be swayed by any talk of having to see it on the big screen for the cinematography...in the theater you won't be able to multi-task to dull the pain. I had hoped it was going to be a new Out of Africa. All I wanted was Out.
I'm looking over my always long list of books that are patiently waiting for me to read them...I have one month left in the year and more books than I can read in three years, with new ones popping up all the time. But as I look over my "Books Read in 2008" list, I'm quite satisfied with the amount of reading/listening I've been able to do and with the breadth of material--fiction and nonfiction, light and heavy, new and old, long and short. And just having the list and watching it grow has encouraged me to keep reading...if you haven't started keeping a visible list, make a New Year's resolution to do that in 2009!
Thanksgiving Theorem #1: The likelihood of all dishes being ready to serve at the same time is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent planning toward that goal.
Stephen Curtis Chapman, always a class act, has written a moving tribute to President Bush as he leaves office and turns over the reins to Barak Obama. Chapman has had an excruciatingly painful year, but rather than retreating from life he proves that his contributions to our lives are far from over. Go listen: Goodbye Mr. President. (hat tip: Lyric)
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a solemn time of looking back at the time of waiting for the Messiah, a joyful time of contemplating the gift of the Savior, and a hopeful time of preparing our hearts for the coming fulfillment of every future promise. So I close today with these beloved lyrics:
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.
~Lyrics by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)