‘Round the Turkey We Go

… and I heard a little voice inside my head.  It said, “Smoke a turkey, and they will come.”  Or, something to that effect.  Then my sister heard a similar voice.  It said, “Honey, bake a ham, and go forth to your sister’s house.”  My parents heard a voice also.  It said, “Drive due east for a Thanksgiving Feast.”  … and all of us did those very things, and it was good.

So, sixteen people from near and far gathered with love and gave thanks.   Thanks for having the good fortune to be in this family, thanks for the multitude of blessings we enjoy every day, and thanks for being able to meet in the same place at the same time which hasn’t happened in a long, long time.

It was truly an awesome moment in time to look around the circle and see everyone holding hands.  We had a new family member, too.

 This is sweet little Aniston, and her upside down cheerleader doll.  Her upside down funny little cheerleader doll that said, “Howdy Doo, we are here to cheer for you! Yee Haw! Whoo Hoo!”  It was hysterical!  However, if I was her mom and lived daily with said little cheerleader doll, I think I might just run out of batteries for long periods of time …

Speaking of funny voices, my voice decided to be funny and take a vacation.  The first time I have seen all of these people together in one place in years, and I’m croaking out my hello’s and how are you’s.  I suppose some might have seen my inability to talk as a blessing, a little something extra to be thankful for, but don’t even go there, family members … I was not amused!

A little dining action below.

Johnny & Alex with Mom …

My sister’s kids, Robin & Ryan …

Robin is Aniston’s grandmother, which makes Ryan Aniston’s great uncle.  Of course, I remember these two when they were just little squirts, and now they are somebody’s grandmother and great uncle.  How did this happen?  Ok, I know how it happened, but you know what I mean.

Below, Aniston with her mom, Chelsea.  Chelsea is Robin’s daughter.  There’s Grandpa Don in the background, although he is actually Aniston’s great grandpa … and he would probably say that there’s not a greater grandpa than he.  He and my dad might have to work that one out.   

Great picture of my dad and my sister Pam …

Below Daddy is sharing some manly secret with Joshua (Robin’s son, Chelsea’s brother).  Josh’s girlfriend Lindsey also came (in a group picture above), but I didn’t get the chance to visit with her in all the feasting and catching up.  I do hope she had a good time, though.    

Robin also brought her friend, Randy.  Randy is a cool guy and seemed to fit right in.  They are planning to get married, so guess that makes them more than just friends.  At any rate, we should be getting to know Randy even better in the future.  That is, if we didn’t scare the hell out of him!

My sister, Pam, and her husband, Don.

… and of course, Johnny and me.

& our kids … and our own grandpuppy, Bear.  (Aunt Zoe & Uncle Fritz had other obligations and just couldn’t make it to the photo shoot.)

Turns out Bear is a lucky little fella.  Last Tuesday he ran into the street and was hit by a truck.  He had to have minor surgery, but all he lost were a couple of toenails.  Poor little guy is hobbling around now, and he was quite the pampered pooch over Thanksgiving.  He didn’t get to slobber over turkey, but he’s just thankful he can slobber at all!  (and so are we!)

That’s all  she wrote.


Thanks, and more thanks, and thanks again

Thanks.  This week is all about the thanks.  I’m a lucky person, and have much to be thankful for.  Every day I read about others’ hardships and know that my blessings are so many.  For starters, I’m thankful for my husband, my children, our families and friends, the health of those that I love, my puppies (and all the puppies I’ve ever loved!), my home, my job (sort of …) ok yes, my job,  too.

I’m thankful for freedom, the wonderful country we live in, and for those who have in the past or who are currently securing our freedom, and the sacrifices they make in doing so.  With all of it’s flaws, I’m still thankful to be in the U.S. of A.   I’m thankful for the beauty that surrounds us all every day, and which I fail to see most of the time.  It’s times like this that make me stop and take notice.

I’m thankful for the turkey that will feed my family this Thanksgiving.  I’m thankful for Red, Hot & Blue and the employees that will dutifully smoke said sacrificial turkey to perfection so that I don’t have to pretend I know how to cook such a big bird.   I cannot dwell on the poor turkey’s demise, for I do not feel good about that, but I must move forward with my turkey plan lest we all be forced to eat tofurkey for Thanksgiving.  In case you’re wondering, tofurkey is real … sort of.  Real pretend turkey. 


Yeah, don’t forget the gravy.  … and don’t be looking for those giblets!

Another thing I am thankful for – I’m thankful I will not be eating tofurkey this Thanksgiving!

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The Magic Number

18.  When you turn 18, you are an adult.  According to the U.S. Department of State, when you turn 18, you “can join the military, receive medical care, get married, and receive a number of other adult privileges and responsibilities without parental consent.”  It amazes me that when the clock strikes midnight on your 18th birthday you can make all manner of life-changing decisions that you couldn’t make the day before.  At least in this state you can get married, register to vote, sign a lease, join the military and fight a war.  Just don’t try to buy a beer.  Not that I want my kids to drink at 18, but it does seem a little off-kilter to me.

… we won’t get into what I was doing when I was 18!  Of course, it was legal then!

That brings me to Alex’s birthday.  Alex just turned 18 a little while ago.  His birthday was on a Saturday this year.  Unable to join us later in the day, Alex’s girlfriend came over reeeeeeally early in the morning and decorated his car and brought him breakfast.  Wow, pretty nice girlfriend, huh? 

Alex b-day 2009  056 (7) (Small)Later that afternoon, he opened his presents. 

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 Uh … thank you for my guitar, Daniel.  Isn’t it already my guitar?  Yes, it is.  But you’re mighty thoughtful to give it to me again. 

We’re strange like that.  Giving the birthday celebratee (new word alert) things that already belong to him or her, or maybe instead a can of cheez whiz, you know, something really useful.

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Don’t remember the joke here, but it must have been good.  Let’s move on to dinner …

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I say, these are not my siblings.  The big guy on my right, definitely not my sister.  Just where is my curly-headed brother???  

The straight-haired one is the new and different Daniel, or some kid that looks a lot like Daniel save the straight hair and the devilish eyes.  Sara couldn’t make it in for Alex’s birthday dinner, but Alex’s friend Tyler was happy to fill in.

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We went to a place called Asahi’s, a Japanese establishment in our little town.  We had calamari and edamame to start.  Well, most of us had calamari, only two of us had edameme (the soybeans … I ate them but had to ask Johnny what they were).  Actually yummy, a little salty and soybean-y, if you like that sort of thing.  Turns out teenage boys don’t.  What a surprise.  Alex b-day 2009  056 (14) (Small)

The fun thing about these kinds of restaurants is the atmosphere and the preparation of the food.   The term, and I just looked this up, is Teppenyaki.  We sat at a Teppenyaki table while a knife-wielding flame-throwing chef prepared our food right before us.  Above, the fried rice.  Below, our chef, cooking up a little shrimp & chicken …

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Turns out teenage boys do like shrimp and chicken and steak and lobster – you know – MEAT.  Which we had plenty of.  So much lobster in fact, well, for Daniel’s sake I won’t go there …

… and speaking of sake (teehee), Johnny & I had some of that, too … but not Alex nor Tyler, our 18-year olds in tow.  Though, I think they would think it icky anyway. 

Happy Birthday, my little Alex! 

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No sake for you, but here’s your birthday song …











Happii baasudei tu yu
Happii baasudei tu yu
Happii baasudei tu A-wex
Happii baasudei tu yu

This according to WikiAnswers, the expert on Japanese English.

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Smile, Johnny!  He has that oh she’s taking pictures again look.

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Birthdays always seem to last several days.   You just can’t get it done all in the same day.  Because we were too full, we had to continue the party the next day so we could eat the birthday cake so artfully prepared by moi.

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One more time now …

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Happy 18th birthday to our sweet wittle Awex!