Monday, November 26, 2012


christmas, santa claus, children, magic, presents, gifts,

Santa got a visit from Lily today. He was soooo glad to see her! We avoided all the crowds by going to the mall first thing on a Monday morning after the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone else was back at work or in school, but not us! We were watching Lily sit on Santa's lap, telling him her heart's deepest desires.

Lily's mom and dad had rehearsed with her so she would know what to say when Santa asked her what she most wanted for Christmas. She practiced a little while we were waiting for Santa to open shop (yeah, we got there early!). Lily was nervous about talking to Santa. She's just that kind of kid - dislikes the unknown, emotionally sensitive, over-thinks things at the tender young age of four. She even said her stomach hurt. Her sensitivity makes her all the more precious to me. I hope she never loses it, but I hope it doesn't make her life too difficult. I asked her if she was nervous and she admitted that she was, but then she loosened up when Santa finally sat on his throne and started ho-ho-ho'ing. 

Happy here-we-go! It's Christmastime!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Prep Countdown

It's the Sunday before Thanksgiving in America. My husband and I will have our family over on Thursday: sons, daughters, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, nephew, grandniece, and anyone else who cares to join us. 

My husband is in charge of roasting and stuffing the 22 pound turkey (thank God!). I help peel, slice and fry up sweet potatoes and yams that then bathe in an orange juice, brown sugar and butter sauce as the dish bakes just before we eat. Various side dishes and desserts are supplied by the rest of the gang. We've turned Thanksgiving dinner into more of a pot luck than a hosted dinner. Everyone tends to bring whatever their signature dish has become over the years, although people can bring whatever they like. I try to keep track of what people are bringing so we won't end up with all desserts and no side dishes, but it's a pretty loose arrangement.
So by now we have the menu figured out and I've grabbed the "company" tablecloths out of storage. The turkey is ordered and will be picked up Wednesday morning. My husband and I also figured out where the furniture should go in the living room to make the most of the space we have and create places for the appetizers to live other than the top of our huge, ridiculously-expensive upholstered ottoman (which was a splurge and by definition, impractical).

On the To Do list:

- Put clean sheets on the twin bed and the trundle since we'll have overnight guests
- Shop for groceries
- Prepare the groceries (Weds. and Thursday morning)
- Make sure the portable tables are clean and ready for prime time
- Clean bathrooms
- Make sure I take time to think about everything I'm thankful for (this exercise tends to get lost in all the busyness at Thanksgiving, but will be easy this year as I have a lot on my list!)

That's for starters.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Obama or Romney: Election Day in America

election day, american flag, voting

Watching election results trickling in at 4pm California time, the talking heads so excited that I just heard one of them referring to Mitt Romney as Mitt Ryan, I too am caught up in the race. Projections and exit polls are really all we've got at this early moment in time. Real statewide results won't be available for some time.

It's been a long, ugly campaign, not one that evokes a lot of pride in the process. The ugliness isn't a requirement even if it is somewhat traditional. I've been morbidly comforted by stories of nasty campaigns dating back to the days of our Founding Fathers, including the race for president between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

Right now, the Country and the Congress are so polarized I can't help but wonder what will bring us together and break the gridlock in our Country's capital. Even within my own family we are at odds about who we want to be the next president. We politely avoid talk about politics. We are a very non-confrontational family so this isn't surprising. Fortunately, my husband and I agree politically which means we are preaching to the choir when we voice our opinions, but it still feels good to know that somebody agrees with your point of view.

Now to wait it out, TV tuned to my local public broadcasting station, frozen dinner waiting in the wings ready to be zapped at a moment's notice. Anything is possible.
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