Here and Now: The Holidays

One of the drawbacks of living in the moment is I am not doing my holiday planning like normal. Typically I start making lots of list about mid-October: Thanksgiving menu, selecting cookies recipes to bake, Christmas shopping lists and planning out the calendar. When will we do “Christmas Story” night or look at Christmas lights? It feels weird to not be planning all this out but I am wondering if maybe this can be a good thing? Maybe this Christmas will be much simpler?

I finally made a few lists last week and started buying the non-perishable items for Thanksgiving. My heart wasn’t in it though. I wrote out the Thanksgiving menu and then a list of ten, TEN, different items I should prep ahead of time. This for a dinner for three people and when I am trying not to have many leftovers. Maybe next year I will be ready to change up the menu but for this year I am sticking with our traditional feast, just in smaller quantities. I did ask the family what they would change and the answer was “nothing”. So no help there.

Love autumn leaves!

And then I realized, yes I have ten different items to prep but smaller quantities will make a difference with quite a few of the items. And my son will make the pie. And honestly, I don’t have any overly complicated recipes so while the list seems long the time involved isn’t so bad. And by Thanksgiving week I will be excited to do the food prep. So I am giving myself permission to do the grocery shopping and then forget about Thanksgiving until I am ready for it.

I also made a Christmas shopping list and when I got to seven different stores I said “enough”. Even now I feel a little sick looking at shopping lists and menus and ideas for potlucks. Right now I am not the least bit interested in Christmas. I suspect (and hope) this changes with the arrival of December.

The big events that need to be planned ahead are done. We have our Polar Express tickets and reservations for Flagstaff, “Nutcracker” tickets as well as tickets for the New Year’s Eve Road Runner hockey game. But everything else is up in the air. Scarily I am okay with this. More than okay actually, I am excited to see how the holidays unfold with fewer expectations. And, dare I say, less work?

Kind of surprised at how happy I am with Jimmy Butler.

For now I am going back to my drawing and reading and watching Miami Heat basketball. No need to get caught up in holiday hoopla too soon.

Good Things Thursday

Just a quick post today, we have a few errands to run and then the triple digit heat will send us into the pool!

I am learning to let go of expectations (especially in regards to my son) and so many things are making me happy this week! I am, for a change, living in the moment.

I am enjoying the return of “The Good Witch” in addition to watching “Poirot” and the last few episodes of “A Place to Call Home” (but why is Olivia letting Matthew push her around?).

My son and I have just about finished re-doing his room. We painted a wall, ordered cool outlet covers and light switch plates and put up a spacious wall of cubbies. We took everything out and cleaned the carpet. His new bed is delivered and the under storage is plentiful and works great. Now we just have to clear out the closet.

A few weeks ago I got a call about the Census Bureau job but the training date was only 4 days after my surgery so I didn’t think I could go. They said they would put my name back in the pool for the second wave of hiring and I got a call this week, this time with a training date in August so I said yes!

Thanksgiving in June. I figure if you can have Christmas in July that would translate to Thanksgiving in June. I made turkey tenderloins, cranberry sauce (I always freeze a bag or two of cranberries) and a sweet potato pie that turned out quite tasty. (I tried a new recipe that had maple syrup in it and whipped egg whites to make it light.)

To help add a feeling of cool to the post!

I am a bit of a weather geek and one of my sorrows is how boring the weather tends to be here. Aside from the occasional large monsoon thunderstorm (mostly in August) there isn’t much that happens here weatherwise. But this year we had snow in February and an actual spring!

Typically we are swimming by mid-May on a regular basis and June is hot, dry, cloudless and still. This year we had vast temperature swings, wind and bits of rain, enough with all the pollen to turn our pool green. My husband spent a week trying to clear it up and we finally gave up and called in the pros. Three days later the pool was clear, just in time for the triple digit heat.

We had a thunderstorm one night, very odd this time of year, but exhilarating. And we seem to get clouds and overcast skies for part of each day, very atypical. The forecast is for a late monsoon season this year. I don’t believe it.

My local library branch has bookcases in the front of the library that display new books and recently returned books, staff picks and then some sort of themed display. (Right now it is kid’s books designed to get them to read over the summer.) I love browsing these displays and stumbling on a happy surprise. Last trip I found “The Clockmaker’s Daughter” by Kate Morton. I love books that show different periods in time and at the end find out how everyone connects! Looks like that is Morton’s theme and I am looking forward to reading more of her works.

Realizing that the only way to keep my son off the computer is to get him out of the house in the afternoons. I have several adventures planned for the next two weeks, most involving lunch and a visit to various places. Today we are going to Target to get a few items for his room, the library and finally Trader Joe’s for those tiny ice cream cones.

Happy Almost Summer!

And don’t forget Flag Day tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is what I am thankful for this week:

  • Cleaning the house as a family Sunday afternoon.

  • A big ol’ turkey.

  • My simple outdoor decorations for this holiday.


  • Cooler weather (especially for Thursday, roasting a turkey in 85° weather is not fun).

  • My son and I doing food prep together Wednesday. 

  • Watching the Macy’s parade in my Thanksgiving jammies. (I really don’t know why everybody doesn’t have a pair of Thanksgiving pj’s!) 

  • Looking forward to so many things this weekend: a hike, a bowling turkey shoot, the last U of A football game and visiting an arts and crafts festival.


I hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend!


Random Rambling: True Words

True conversation at the grocery store:

Woman:  “Oh look dear they have eggnog!  Do you want some?”

Man:  “Well, tis the season.”

Me: “No it’s not!  (Said with true horror.)  That eggnog is totally going to clash with your Halloween candy.”

Woman and man both look at me and kind of laugh, and then she reaches for the eggnog and I turn back to the eggs. Oops.

I worry about Thanksgiving.  That one day it will be totally lost as the world jumps straight from Halloween to Christmas.  If I had to pick a favorite holiday it would be Thanksgiving.  The whole weekend.  Football and food.  The Macy’s parade.  A neighborhood stroll after dinner and before dessert.  Autumn leaves and the smell of roasting turkey.  The movie “Rudy” and the traditional Territorial Cup game between      U of A and ASU.  Leftover turkey sandwiches on good bread with mayo and cranberry sauce.  The annual craft fair at Reid Park and buying my locally made calendar for next year. Playing FEAST bingo and other board games. Napping. It is my ideal weekend, a nice mix of staying home and getting out, cooking and then not having to cook.    A well-balanced weekend.


IMG_8272My hat rather turned out a “fright”, just not exactly the way I thought it would.

I went inside the Dollar store to look for some “bling” to add to my Witch hat and froze with fear when faced with aisles of Christmas items! Talk about a Halloween scare!  Luckily I found the one remaining aisle of Halloween stuff and a few items to jazz up my hat.

It’s that time of year


Madera Canyon Veteran’s Day hike

I have to confess my mind has not been on blogs, either reading them or writing this one. This time of year I always suffer from ‘monkey mind’. I am not sure if that is the scientific term or something I picked up from “Gilmore Girls” but monkey mind it is.

Each morning I sit down with my bullet journal and look at my weekly to-do list and write my daily to-do list.  And then my brain jumps to Christmas.

Christmas??  Here is the thing:  I love Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday.  What could be better than cooking a lot of food, eating a lot of food, watching a parade and football and a nice post dinner, pre-pie walk? I worry that one year people will take down their Halloween decorations and go straight to Christmas.  I have no intention of taking down autumn until 1 December.  And then I will put up some wintry items but most of Christmas will come out gradually, peaking around mid-December.  Our live tree?  Not up until Christmas week.

But here is what my brain does two weeks before Thanksgiving when I go to write the day’s to do list:

Start to write down items for the day.

Start thinking about Christmas gifts.  Check excel spreadsheet where I jot down ideas and color code items already purchased.  Delete items already given to son for birthday.

Make another list of things to be bought on-line.

Make a list of items to be purchased around town.  Make a list of stores.  Look at calendar and decide when to go to each store.

When am I going to wrap presents?  Where will I hide them?  Which presents will be from Santa and which from family?  When do I need to mail packages?

When will we do “A Christmas Story” movie night?  Don’t forget 6 December is St. Nicholaus’ birthday, make cake.

Move on.

Look at Calendar again, when are we leaving for Flagstaff?  Note: buy E some new gloves.  Add gloves to shopping list.

My hair has really been looking good lately, I hope this phase lasts awhile. Um, okay, why am I thinking about this?

Look at calendar and wonder when to deliver cookie plates to neighbors.

Look through cookbooks to figure out what types of cookies to make.  What to make for bowling potluck?  Guild luncheon is 1 December.  What dessert to bring for that?  When will I do all this baking?


Wait, have I even planned the Thanksgiving menu?  What about a shopping list for that?  When am I going to go to the commissary for the turkey?

Ack, what about dinner tonight?  Back to today’s to-do list.  By now my brain hurts and I call the hubby and ask him to bring dinner home.  A girl can only do so much during the holidays.


Sherlock:  Don’t forget to add walk the dog to the list!