Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holidays, Part One

As most people, I enjoy the holiday season. Thanksgiving is my favorite, though, because it's mostly about family...well, food too, of course...but for me, I enjoy the family aspect most of all. Christmas creates a lot of pressure, but I've already delved into that subject in Christmases past (and probably will again, sigh).

We have always spent Thanksgiving Day with "my" family, but several years ago I decided that we needed to celebrate this holiday with Ted's family, and thus began our new tradition of gathering together the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

We've hosted the festivities here, but this year, because I'd spent so much of the previous four weeks or so SICK, I bowed out. Fortunately, and unbeknownst to me, Ted's sister, Peg, was planning on hosting this year's gathering. Peg and Mac just recently moved into their beautiful new home right next door to us, so at least we didn't have to travel far.

(note to self: Peg really needs to look at her end table situation, hehehe)

Mac makes a wonderful, tasty turkey!

And Peg sets a very nice table. Heck, I don't bother getting out the china...maybe because I don't have any?

Holly, our niece, Patty and Tim, our sister-in-law and Ted's brother, are ready for dinner!

Peg is like me...after eating, I just can't deal with clearing off the table, so we just sit there and talk for a while.

We had a wonderful meal and an even more wonderful time.

Our niece Kelly and her son Michael "share" a piece of pie. I think Kelly got about 2 bites and that was it!

Our niece Holly lives and works in the Cleveland area, but was able to make it down to help us celebrate the holiday.

See this GORGEOUS cabinet??? Isn't Christmas coming up soon? you see this Ted??? (hint, hint)

We all spent the day together, but one of our family was absent... Alex was away at college. We missed him, but still had a great time.

Michael is two and a half, and definitely provided the entertainment for the day! He has more energy in his little finger than I have altogether!

On Thanksgiving Day, my family was here. We had a nice time, although I really seemed to struggle in the cooking department.

Most years I'm totally "ON" with my cooking, but this year, I was definitely "OFF." I couldn't get the dressing to taste quite right, and ended up adding too much liquid. Then I added too much salt to soak up the broth and butter. It was okay, but definitely not fantastic.

Then I struggled with trying to get a pot of chicken broth to come to a boil, so that I could cook the noodles. After 20 minutes of frustration and repeatedly saying "a watched pot never boils," I gave up. Everything else was ready to be served and the broth hadn't even come to a boil yet, and then we would have to wait an additional 20 minutes while the noodles cooked. I had simply had enough and made the executive decision to cross noodles off the menu.

Everything else went pretty well. The mashed potatoes always seem to be a hit (for which I am very grateful) and they consist of only three ingredients: potatoes, butter, and whipping cream. There were NO leftover mashed potatoes, so I take that as a good sign.

My Aunt D, the world traveler, was there.

Aunt D was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer and, due to that, had to cancel a three week long trip to Argentina. Fortunately she had trip insurance and will be able to get her money back.

She has been through her first chemo treatment and has another one coming up next week. She will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6, then a month or so off to build her strength back up, then surgery to remove the tumor, followed by more chemo.

Aunt D is trying to get her point across in a discussion. I think she succeeded!

She is absolutely AMAZING! She has a fabulous attitude, and is taking this all in stride. She has had minor side effects to the chemo so far, and is really doing well.

Aunt D and my mom are sisters, but I don't think they look at all alike.

My cousin Damon and his fiancee Cathy make such a darling couple. Damon has an ornery streak though, so don't be charmed by his good looks. During dinner he kept refilling my mom's glass with Asti Spumante when she wasn't looking...and she just kept drinking it. But that's okay, in addition to celebrating Thanksgiving, we were also celebrating my parents' 54th wedding anniversary.

Aren't they adorable? And Cathy has the most beautiful eyes.

My cousin Davene and her husband Rick were also here. Rick and I trade barbs back and forth all the time, but I really do like him. I guess. Since he's part of the family, I don't have much of a choice, but to get along with him. He's just lucky that Davene puts up with him, hahaha!

Hey Rick...looks like a little Grecian Formula may be in your near future.

Just as my parents were getting ready to leave, I told them I wanted to take a picture. My father, the impatient man that he can be, basically said that if I was going to take a picture, I'd better hurry up because he was heading out the door. I had Joe and Alex get in the shot with him and my mom. Alex always has to add a little something to the mix when he's in a photo, as you can see by his facial expression. Apparently my dad and Joe didn't get the memo about smiling for the camera. My dad has gloves on....and not because he was cold. He'd been playing with Pepina and didn't want his hands to get all scratched up, so he wore protective gear...I still get a chuckle out of that.

Sure wish I could get everyone to smile at the same time.

All in all, it was a great beginning to the holiday season. Family and food...does it get much better?


Monica said...

My favorite holiday is also Thanksgiving. And for the same reasons, none of the pressure and all of the family and food.

I am a bit jealous as you got to spend your holiday with family. Mine was all spread out everywhere.

Good to see you having a good time.

PERBS said...

I am glad you had such a nice celebration!