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Monday, November 28, 2016

Winner of the spa items giveaway, and how Thanksgiving worked out for us

Good morning! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. As promised, the winner of the drawing, this morning. Linda M, the first comment on the spa items giveaway blog post, your number was selected! Send me an email with your mailing address, so I can get this package off to you quickly. (

Other topics . . .
You remember my plan to have the entire clan help with Thanksgiving, not just cooking, but all of the additional chores attached to a holiday dinner?

It all worked well. We had 7 people for dinner, and everyone had prepared a different dish to go with dinner (even our two guests).

The 5 of us in my family worked extra chores, both before and after dinner. One daughter was the game-master during dinner, and then washed the serving dishes afterwards. The other daughter filled water glasses before and during dinner, then made tea for everyone after dinner. My son set out the butter, cranberry sauce, olives and pickles before dinner, and then cleared the table after dinner. My husband set the table with plates, silverware and napkins, plus ran the dishwasher before dinner and emptied it out, so we would have room for washing all of the dinner plates. After dinner, he wiped down the counters and stovetop. And I put together the centerpiece, set out placemats and decorated the table for dinner, then put away all of the leftovers after dinner. No one person was burdened with more work than any other. And I completely believe this is how our holiday meals should work for the future.

We kept to a work schedule for preparing our dishes, too. I was very happy with the way use of the the kitchen worked out. Some of us prepared our dishes the day before, and others prepared dishes the day of Thanksgiving. My son and his girlfriend cooked together, which doubled as date-time for the two of them. Other than those two, the rest of us preferred to have the kitchen to ourselves, as we cooked.

Of course, no holiday weekend is complete without at least one disaster. Our water heater sprung a leak overnight, Friday into Saturday. At least we got the full-load of dishes through the dishwasher from Thanksgiving, before this happened.

While I just now called it a disaster, really it isn't. Inconvenient and unpleasant, but not a disaster. Our water heater is in the garage, so no damage to the house was done. And I've been putting aside money, every month, to replace the water heater. So, we are covered, financially.

We've muddled along with boiling water on the stove for washing dishes, and very shallow baths. It's all doable, and the situation will be resolved in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, there is an upside. I'm sure we are using much less water than ever. Without a functioning water heater, there is nothing keeping any of us standing under a prolonged, steady stream of water on a cold morning.

Always a silver lining, isn't there?


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend together with family.

    We went to MIL with my family of four and joined my SIL and BIL for a small party of 7. We all brought something and when the table was set, it was a perfect meal. Cleanup was easy since we all helped in some way. Some put chairs away, some cleaned up and stored food, some filled the dishwasher and together it was done.

    Friday we went to friends house and had another good different and so different from Thursday. Again, we mostly tried to help but our hostess is quite picky on how things get cleaned up and put in the dishwasher so we know to let her do all that. I pack food for the fridge and she's ok with that. We played a bunch of games which is always fun.

    Sat. we slowed down a bit to give the college kids time work on their homework since they are about 10 days away from the end of the semester and then finals. Lots of research papers and study for exams going on. I puttered around doing some laundry, vacuuming, grocery shopping and then we all went to see a movie on Sat. evening. No cooking for me since we had plenty of leftovers.

    By Sunday, almost all the leftovers were gone so I made a pork roast with scalloped potatoes and green bean casserole and applesauce. Then the kids left to go back to their college apartments and we were left alone again. Sigh. Busy but nice.

    Our only "disaster" was the toilet downstairs had the lever between the handle and the chain break. It just deteriorated away and broke. Easily replaced by hubby. I guess another disaster was daughter's computer has been having trouble booting up and this has been going on for a while. Very scary and timing is all wrong as they are entering finals. She's got a year and a half of undergrad and then grad school left so she needs a reliable computer. She's been looking for a while and has decided on a new one and actually ordered it this weekend with weekend sale discounts! I guess we're gifting her with help in buying the thing.


    1. Good morning, Alice!
      It sounds like a very full weekend for you and your family. What was the movie you saw?

      Yes, I loved the no cooking for a few days, too. By yesterday afternoon, I was down to the carcass of the turkey and made a large pot of soup for dinner last night.

      Oh goodness! I'm glad the toilet was easily repaired. but this is indeed bad timing for computer issues, with college kids. My two have one week of classes left, then finals, and one is sick with a stomach bug this morning. Really bad timing. But what can you do? I'm glad your daughter ordered her new computer, especially as she has grad school to get through, after she has her bachelor degree.

      Have a great day, Alice!

  2. Ours was very nice. The best turkey I have ever eaten was made by my step-daughter. The real downside was two grandchildren and her dh had a stomach virus on Tuesday. My whole family came down with it on Friday night and all day Saturday. Thank goodness my son and I felt a lot better on Sunday due to Adam due back to college for Monday. My poor husband could have used an extra day due to upset stomach and all over body aches but it is an eight hour round trip but took us ten due to holiday traffic and two accidents on the turnpike. Cheryl

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Oh no! Not a pleasant way to spend a holiday weekend. I hope everyone will be feeling much better after today. Just a short couple of weeks, and kids will be home on break. Ten hours driving to campus/home sounds difficult under normal circumstances, but especially so after having very recently been sick. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

      Isn't it wonderful when your kids can cook as well (and sometimes better) than you? I never imagined that stage happening. And now I just love the freedom this will give me on holidays.

      Have a wonderful day, Cheryl!

  3. Congrats to Linda!

    Lili, it sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm glad your plan went well, and you could enjoy Thanksgiving without being completely exhausted. Sorry about your water heater, that's always such an inconvenience! It is nice that you are financially prepared, and it will be resolved in a few days.

    Our Thanksgiving dinner was nice, and I enjoyed the long weekend. My youngest son got the Christmas tree out of the garage on Saturday, and set it up. He's 14, and it's the first time he's ever done that all on his own. It was nice. Then we put on Christmas carols and decorated the tree together. My husband doesn't enjoy trimming the tree so much, so he put our LED light strands up outside. I had so much fun being sentimental over ornaments with my son and decorating the tree. It also made me think about how few years of that I have left. The years have went by so quickly! It seems like only yesterday it was bedtime stories, coloring pictures together, trick-or-treating, and cookies and milk for Santa. Today, I have 1 son living on his own, working, attending college, and with a serious girlfriend, and 1 son who will be 18 in less than 4 years! Where did the time go?

    Hope you have a lovely day!

    1. Hi Angie,
      How wonderful about your son taking over the Christmas tree set-up! The years fly by. And it sounds like the two of you really enjoyed putting on the ornaments. What a lovely time you must have had.

      Have a great day, Angie!

  4. Lili,

    You will not believe this...I went home for lunch and had to go get something in the basement and my stocking foot stepped in something wet. MY HOT WATER HEATER SPRUNG A LEAK! Did you jinx us? We called the plumber right away since it appears to be small right now. He's coming within the next two hours and he'll have a replacement on the truck if that is what is needed.


    1. Oh no, Alice! That's awful. I noticed 2 plumber's trucks in the neighborhood on Saturday. Maybe this is just the time of year these things happen. I'm so sorry that now, you, too, have to deal with this. I hope you can get the basement dried out fairly easily. And I hope your issue is resolved today. Good luck with this, Alice!

  5. Our Thanksgiving was nice, too. Low key. We went to church, came home, made dinner & while the turkey was resting, we went on a short walk before eating dinner. I think my in-laws had a good time. The next day we invited my niece & her baby over for leftovers. I made a big pot of turkey soup yesterday. I packed the leftover soup for my husband's lunch today, so it's onward & upward for getting meals on the table for the rest of the week. I'm so glad you had a restful Thanksgiving, Lili--except for the water heater :( Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Your Thanksgiving weekend sounds very lovely. We're finishing our turkey soup tonight, with 2 fresh loaves of pumpkin bread, just out of the oven. I think I'm ready for something other than turkey for dinner! ha ha!

      I hope your week is off to a great start, Melissa!

  6. You had a very well organized dinner plan for everyone to do their part for. I bet your family was very happy to help out and I'm glad that you relieved some of the stress on yourself of pulling the whole dinner off.

    Too bad some of that stress relief was not realized because of the leak in your hot water heater. I hope it is fixed soon because warm showers really are wonderful when it's cold outside.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Oh yes, I'm looking forward to a long, hot soak. It could have been much worse, though. So I'm not complaining, too much.

      I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  7. Lucky Linda! Congrats!

    Glad you had a lovely, lower-stress Thanksgiving. We have all had those untimely disasters and can sympathize. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      It was a pleasant Thanksgiving for us. I hope your Thanksgiving was also a lovely one!

  8. I am glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. Best possible way for the water heater to go out(sorry) My neighbors on the
    east water heater went out over the holiday. It flooded
    both east units. Very sad one of them did not have insurance. One unit has all the wall and floors out the
    other is trying to dry it with fans. It must of been the weekend for it. We had a nice quite holiday. Kristi did most of the cooking. We streamed the parade
    and had a very chill day.

    1. Hi Patti,
      I know, we did get lucky, minimal damage and it should be replaced in the next day.
      Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful -- quiet, low-key and time with your daughter. I'm glad you had such a good weekend, Patti!

  9. weekend was a bit rough. I am still reeling from lecturing the grandkids and our children more than usual...I don't know what got into me. Certainly, I think I spoiled our time together. Anyway, nice that everything worked out as planned and everyone did their part. I think the key is good planning and coordination. Plus everyone did their part without fail.

    Congrats to the winner of your spa giveaway!!

    Have a nice evening,


    1. Hi YHF,
      I'm sorry your weekend didn't go as well as you had hoped. I think we all have those times where we just aren't our usual selves. Your kids and grandkids still love you. One less-than-perfect weekend couldn't change that. You are human and humans have bad weekends. That's just the way life is. You've been there to soften things when someone else has had the bad weekend. It will be okay, and the next time the grandkids are over, they will have forgotten all about it. In all likelihood, they already have.

      Now, instead of beating yourself up over this, what can you do for yourself? Maybe something is out of balance in your own life. Take good care of yourself.

      Sending hugs, YHF!

  10. So true, so much is not balanced in my life, has been that way all my life. I just always remind myself that I have a lot to be grateful for. I noticed I was able to calm down after telling myself that if I didn't speak up I would have regretted it later when it may be too late to say anything. I disagreed with our son about allowing our grandsons to buy app purchases (with parental control) to the tune of over $200 last month. My husband and I are shocked that our usual very frugal son allowed this. This weekend our grandsons asked me if I knew the password for the parental control, told him to call his parents, then son came on the phone to tell me go ahead and he'll give me the password, that's when I found out the extent this has been going on. I flatly refused to do it for our grandsons saying I don't think this is good use of hard earned money, overriding our son's approval. I still have to talk with him about this, my point being there should be limits. Our 8 year old grandson told us he spent about a hundred dollars buying app purchases. Then our 12 year old granddaughter who is pre-diabetic didn't have the right attitude about limits on her sugar intake. She doused her pancake with syrup and playfully said if she wants to eat her pancakes that way she will. She ended up crying when I told her being diabetic is serious, an early death sentence (her mother, our daughter is diabetic.) If this was about weight gain or pimples I wouldn't have gone on a tirade, but her playful attitude about a such a grave disease was disturbing. I think I haven't been authoritative enough with our children, compensating for my mother who had too many rules, maybe this is the result.


    1. Well, that all makes sense. I can see how you feel that maybe you didn't set limits, enough, when they were growing up. But, now, your kids are adults, and it is their responsibility to be responsible parents, whether or not you were permissive, years ago.

      What you can do with your grandkids, though, is teach them what their parents are failing to teach them, gently and over time. With your grand daughter, you can give her options with things that are sugary. Show her how to make a fruit "syrup" in the food processor that is made with whole fruit and nothing else, the next time you serve pancakes. When grocery shopping with her, point out all of the healthy foods that are delicious. Maybe you can teach her enough that she can then teach her parents. And the same with your grandsons and money. Point out that $200 is a lot of money, and what it can buy. Maybe open savings accounts for them, and partially match anything they save in a year's time, to use towards something "big" they want that is not video games or apps (like bikes or something else that you think is worth the expense). As your grandkids get older, you can help them learn to budget, so that they could provide for themselves, someday. Teens, especially, like thinking of moving out of their parents' house, but they have no clue how to pay for something like that.

      Give yourself a break, here. You were acting in your grandkids's best interest, not just being contrary. That's something to be pleased with, in yourself, acting out of love.

      Hope the rest of your day goes well, YHF!

    2. Thank you always for taking the time to hear me and respond. I know this is going very off topic. I think your ideas are great. I suggested to our daughter to count carbs as a way to learn about foods. I'm sure there must be an app that could help with this. I like the idea of partially matching the grandchildren's savings, instead of giving them money without good incentive, and may suggest this to them next time, especially to our 8 year old grandson who has the most trouble controlling spending.

      Giving this more thought, I think what's going on with our soon to be 13 year old grand daughter, is teenage growing pains. There is a big difference in her behavior from just a few months ago, when we watched her this past summer. I think I'm going to have to be more careful, especially with my choice of words. As for the grandsons, the oldest, who is 10, is very good at managing money, so I can't say they don't know the value of money (my son and DIL are very frugal) just that these apps are evil, preying on children in the midst of playing their game (more powers if you buy the pack). According to our son, their friends are worse, no parental controls, and have credit card statements over $700 in app purchases. I told our son why let them play at all, his reply was everyone is playing it. He said at the front of the school when children are being picked up, they are all on their phones playing these games. At least he hasn't bought smart phones for the children yet he said. And supposedly this is one of the better school districts on our island. I don't know the answer, these days it is very difficult to raise children.


    3. YHF, I think we all learn something by thinking these situations through. So, it doesn't matter if it goes off topic, at least not to me.

      I hope you have a good evening!

    4. Funny, like a prism I see the situation in a different light, everytime I go over it again. I now feel so much empathy for my son and daughter since it must not be easy for them either, rather than disbelief and anger that they are allowing it.

      I think finally I can move on. To get back on topic...I think frugality teaches much more than careful management of resources. It is an appreciation for what you already have, rather than just wanting more. I think we need to slow down as a society, but it doesn't seem to be going that way.


    5. Good point, YHF. Frugality does temper the desire to want more, more, more.


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