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Thursday, December 2, 2021

My Week -- More Exhausted Than I Thought

Hi friends!

I hope you all had a good couple of weeks. I didn't post last Friday because I was simply wiped out. Thanksgiving preparations and execution did me in. I thought I'd recover by the end of the weekend. But this time, I was wrong. I'm just now getting myself back together. The foggy headedness has lifted and I'm pulling out of a funk. So, anyway, here I am with a somewhat brief post.

Our Thanksgiving

My son and daughter-in-law joined us. This was the first time we'd seen the two of them since early July. So we made the most of our time together. We were also celebrating their birthdays which were earlier in the month. The weather was just dry enough to sit around a fire outside on the patio while they opened birthday gifts, then we came inside. Still being cautious, we ate at separate tables inside. Our house is about 40 feet from the front wall to the back wall. The family room and dining room both have large doorways, separated by a hallway, and spanning the 40 feet front to back. So, I was able to set up two tables, one pushed up against the family room window and the other pushed up against the dining room window. I'd say we were about 30 feet apart the whole time we were enjoying the Thanksgiving dinner. I had two sets of serving dishes for each table instead of our usual buffet set-up. I even set up a small dessert table adjacent to each dining table. This separated dining kept us well-distanced while we were all eating and had masks off. After dinner we put our masks back on while talking together.

Our Menu

I roasted a turkey and made 5 side dishes, a relish and crudité tray, and two types of pie. Here's the whole list: roast turkey, rice pilaf, Italian mac and cheese, roasted carrots, purple potatoes and garden Brussel sprouts, a green bean casserole, a sweet potato casserole, tray of homemade watermelon pickles, cranberry sauce, celery sticks and olives, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie. No rolls or stuffing this year. Both my daughter-in-law and I are currently minimizing wheat and/or gluten. I tried to make everyone's favorites while steering clear of obvious dietary no-no's. It was all delicious and provided lots of leftovers for the rest of the weekend.

This week I've been moving more in the Christmas direction, doing some online shopping, putting up some decorations, and planning my Christmas cooking and baking.

We have a large shrub (just off the driveway in the front of the house) that we decorate every year. It's conical and looks a bit like a Christmas tree. Some of these ornaments we picked up from free piles over last spring and summer and some we bought a year ago. In between rainstorms one daughter and I got outside to put these decorations and lights on.

While decorating indoors I played free Christmas music using Spotify and made myself more peppermint mochas. Budget holidays.

Indoor Vegetable Gardening

All last month I shared with you how our radishes were doing. This week I thought I'd show you how the indoor lettuce looks. It's growing nicely and will hopefully provide part of a tossed salad on Christmas Day. I also have kale and spinach growing indoors right now, plus my tomato plant (grown indoors from a cutting) has blossoms on it!

Other Stuff

Last Friday we had our usual pizza and movie night. I made a pepperoni pizza and we watched The Bishop's Wife (1947). I found the movie on Pluto TV for free (has commercials). We really enjoyed the movie. It was highly rated as a classic Christmas movie, despite its rather lackluster title. 

I didn't record our meals this past week but I recall we had turkey leftovers, a really good turkey and pumpkin soup, a couple of yummy pasta dishes, and scrambled eggs -- all home cooked. I also made a couple of salads from indoor, home-grown veggies. Aside from the Thanksgiving meal, I didn't bake much this past week. Just too tired. I did bake 1 large loaf of French bread and a pan of cornbread, but no extra treats.

Looking forward to Christmas Day plans, we're thinking we'll do our holiday meal with our son and daughter-in-law similarly to our Thanksgiving, with separated tables for the meal and wearing masks while opening gifts. I look forward to a time when we can actually eat in the same room again. You know, everyone has different levels of what feels "safe". I'd guess that my family is on the very cautious side.I'm also doing practically all of my Christmas shopping online to be shipped or curbside pick-up. This means I miss out on a couple of stellar deals. But I also think not being in the stores prevents me from making impulse purchases.

Do you have special foods that you make for the holidays? I've been thinking through my usual list of treats and decided on caramel nut bars, gingerbread men, frosted sugar cookies (special request from one daughter), almond crèche bread (sweet bread filled with almond filling and folded to look like swaddling), chocolate dipped dried apricots, and peppermint bark. I give a selection of these goodies to my son and daughter-in-law each year so they can enjoy the holiday baking, too. For our Christmas Day meals, I think we'll go with a brunch again, as brunches feel easier to me than big dinners, and our standard homemade pizza dinner.

I know I've been mostly absent from my blog this fall. Life became exhausting for me. I continue to work on building my energy levels. The good news is I think I may be popping in here a bit more often this month. I hope you all had a wonderful couple of weeks. Are you in full-swing holiday mode yet, or is that yet to come for you?

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!


  1. Your thanksgiving sounds lovely. Glad you got to spend it with your son and daughter-in-law. We had dinner here with all the kids. We did Friday rather than Thursday so my son and dil could be at her family’s dinner on Thursday. We hadn’t done thanksgiving as a family since covid but decided to do it this year. Everyone is vaccinated and 3 of us have had our boosters so I just decided we had missed enough holiday dinners. We had all the normal thanksgiving fare, but not a bunch of extras because I just didn’t want a bunch of leftovers.

    I used the leftover thanksgiving stuff to make hot turkey sandwiches one night. Then I moved on to other foods lol. I don’t really remember everything we’ve been eating. I made tacos one night, and general tso chicken another. One night I made a really good potato soup that even my husband liked-and he doesn’t normally like potato soup. I added a couple types of cheese to it, and then tossed in the rest of a container of jalapeño cream cheese. It was delicious. I served it with Italian sub sandwiches and it was probably my favorite meal this week. Last nite I just made biscuits and gravy. My Dh is gone this weekend. He had to go to Memphis for a St Jude fundraiser so my meals the next couple nights will be simple.
    Haven’t given Christmas much thought yet. My shopping is done. I ordered a prime rib for dinner a couple months ago now. My son talked me into ordering from a rancher he knows-same guy we bought our beef from. I’m sure it will be good, and I’m also sure it’s going to be really expensive. Dh and I debated it because of the cost, but decided to do it. Sometimes ya just gotta say the heck with the price I guess. The only decorating I have done is hang a big fresh wreath I bought for $20. That might be all I do this year because we have a puppy and he’s a terror. I don’t see any way to keep him from destroying a tree, presents etc. he ate all the flowers from my Christmas cactus this week. He’s a real joy lol.

    1. Hi Diane,
      your comments about your puppy eating the Christmas cactus blossoms made me chuckle. Thanks for relating that to us!
      I agree -- sometimes a splurge is the right choice. It makes an event seem special and everyone really appreciates it. I feel that way about eating out in restaurants. If it's once in a while, the whole meal feels like an event. As a result, I'm picky about where I choose to eat out. I don't want to waste that event on just any old restaurant.
      Your meals sound delicious. Do you follow a particular recipe for Gen. Tso's chicken? I've never made it at home but love it when eating out.
      Have a wonderful day, Diane!

    2. I tell my kids all the time if you do something too often it’s not special anymore-case in point-Starbucks. I might have it once or twice a year, and when I do I really enjoy. If I had it weekly it wouldn’t be special anymore lol.
      I don’t know if I have ever made general tso from scratch. I make other things, but for general tso I usually use a marinade or seasoning packet. This time I used a partial bottle I had in the fridge. I did add some dried Chinese peppers because I like a little heat to mine, and the sauce wasn’t spicy.

    3. Thank you, Diane. I'll check the Asian foods section at the store for a Gen. Tso seasoning.

  2. Sometimes we all need a good rest. I'm still very busy with work and am exhausted at night. Fortunately, I am still working from home and that is the best thing out of this pandemic.

    We had Thanksgiving at our son's house but I made all the food and took it with us. He only made his special cheesy hash brown potatoes. There was no way I could have left all the preparations to him and he knows he couldn't do it either. So I made it all and brought it over as well as bringing my parents along for dinner. So we had 6 and we used his small dining room table and a small rectangle card table set up end to end and we all had lots of space between. Leftovers were all left with my son so he could make "freezer meals" for when he goes to work. He works 12 hour days and eats at work. That worked out well. I did take home a portion of the ham that was not spiraled and we'll use that at "pickings" though it is in the freezer for now.

    Lots of good food here this week and all home made. Pea soup, Thai curry soup, scalloped potatoes, baked chicken, Amish chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes, chicken rice, pizza, roast beef, lots of veggies. Tonight will be all the leftovers from the week.

    1. Wow, Alice! You Thanksgiving sounded like such a gift to your son. I bet he really appreciated having so much of the work done for him and then leaving the leftovers for his week's meals. What a good mom you are!
      What is Amish chicken and noodles? It sounds like a comfort food of some sort. Just what's needed this time of year.
      Wishing you a lovely afternoon and evening, Alice!

  3. Our bodies have a way of telling us they need rest. I'm glad that you are recovering. There were only four of us at our traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and each person picking a side they wanted to fix. It was all delicious. But the 16 pound turkey only lasted through the weekend. We made a big pot of soup, but other than that the carnivores enjoyed the rest of it.

    We have part of our outside lights up as well as a couple of wreaths. We hope to get the rest of the outdoor things up this weekend. The tree will wait another week or two.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I think you're right about our bodies telling us when they need rest. There was nothing I could do to force myself to be more energetic. It just wasn't there. This week is going better.
      Your Thanksgiving sounds like it was a pleasant affair and not too much work for any one person. That's a great way to do it and something I'll go back to next year, I hope. The carnivores must've loved having some meat all ready to snack on all weekend.
      I hope your weekend weather allowed you to put up other outdoor decorations. We won't do the tree until early next week. No need to rush things, right?
      Have a wonderful evening, Live and Learn!

  4. No apologies needed! I think we all can identify with varying levels of energy.

    It was the 4 of us for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. So nice to have my son home. We are hoping to go to my in-laws a few days before Christmas to see my husband's family, if the weather cooperates and we are all healthy. Waiting till the last minute is becoming second nature these days.

    We put up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. It's great having two teens around who are old enough to be helpful! This year I remembered to stock up on lights--last year I came up short and I couldn't find what I wanted in the stores.

    Sounds like everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm so glad your son could be there for Thanksgiving. My brother has a daughter on the east coast for school (he lives out here in WA). She had Thanksgiving with friends near school as traveling would eat up much of the weekend. So, I'm very happy for you that you could all be together.

      What is it with light strings recently? Every year, another string doesn't work. I'm tired of forking over the money to replace lights so often. I'm afraid that in an other couple of years, I'll have the Grinch house in the neighborhood that doesn't have any lights. Oh well, wreaths and bows never burn out.
      Wishing you a wonderful evening, Kris!


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