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Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Top 5 Don't Do's For Thanksgiving

Some of these things – like the pies and tablecloth - I admit to doing. Others – like the gross stuff - I was on the receiving end.

5. Don’t try to pass off a bakery pie as one of your own. Just fess up as you’ll be found out.
4. Don’t offer to make pies that you’ve never made before. I pride myself on being a pretty good cook and baker -- now. But when I was in college I offered to bring pecan pie – something I’d never made before. I forked the crust before putting the filling in and baking. The filling oozed under the crust making a soggy mess.
3. Don’t go off and leave a stick of butter defrosting in the microwave and then be surprised when you come back that it has melted all over the bottom of the microwave. Especially don’t try to use a pastry brush to sop it up to put on the bread anyway. Eeewwww.
2. Don’t drop off your tablecloth Wednesday afternoon – the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. You’ll find yourself at Kohl’s late Wednesday evening purchasing a new one and then asking your mom to iron it Thanksgiving morning when she gets to your house.
1. Don’t clean your oven the morning of Thanksgiving. One year my mom got up extra early to do just that. Never having cleaned that oven before, she was surprised when after 3 hours she still couldn’t get the oven door unlocked. I think for the first time in her life a meal wasn’t done on time.

Bonus: If you are having overnight guests and having them stay in the neighbor’s camper trailer, don’t forget to check the bed for dead mice.

Here's wishing you a safe, enjoyable, and uneventful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's My Mom's Fault

I know that I am obsessed with being crisp and clean. I also know how I ended up this way. It’s my mom’s fault. It’s okay that I put this in writing as she will quickly admit to it. In fact, I once heard her apologize to my husband for making me this way.

It all happened very innocently. My parents were rather young when they had me. I was the first born, and my mom stayed at home. The bottom line is that she just never let me get dirty. I’d get something on me, and she’d immediately clean me up and change my clothes. Every night before my dad got home from work, she’d again clean me up, put a cute little dress on me, and sit me at the kitchen table to wait as she served dinner.

The thing is I’m happy to always be crisp and clean. I like the fact that I can ride in the car for 3 hours in a pair of khakis and still look freshly pressed. It makes me perfectly suited for a job in the dry cleaning industry. I like that my 9 year old Honda Accord looks almost new. That makes my husband happy. I like that the walls in my house always look like they’ve just been painted. It gives me personal satisfaction and visitors are impressed by it!

I could continue on but I think you get the idea. I spend lots of time keeping things just so, but there’s some kind of benefit to each aspect. So thank you mom for instilling this crazy behavior in me. It’s now a dream of mine to make my son the same way. His wife will someday thank me. I think I have a good start on him – after all he already knows about OxyClean.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Bit of Nostalgia

The older I get, the more nostalgic I become about things of the past. I find myself, now that I have a son, thinking about my grandparents – especially when I watch him interact with his. My how times have changed! He has terrific grandparents, and they are teaching him about working and enjoying simple things but still there’s the whole technology thing that we didn’t have at age 5 that often interferes.

My dad’s parents were farmers, and my sister and I would on occasion go stay with them for a few days. Compared to most homes in the late 70’s and early 80’s, their farm house was quite primitive. They did have a television but no air-conditioning and really no modern appliances. I still remember being fascinated with one particular item – the wringer washer.

My grandparents kept it in the cellar (in that type of environment a basement was a cellar), and when my sister and I were there, and if it were laundry day, we’d help. Given that was 30 years ago, I have trouble recalling many of the details but here’s what I recall – it was hard work!

So while I miss some of the simpler times, I am really thankful for the advances made in the appliance department. My husband has said this to me many times and it’s completely true – “You’d make a terrible pioneer.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gray's New Coat

The week that Give A Kid A Coat kicked off, we had a patch of what I would call cold weather. There were three days in a row when the highs didn’t get out of the 50’s. Gray’s winter coat from last year was too small, so I had to breakdown and get him one that actually fit.

We were fortunate in that he was able to wear his last winter coat for 2 seasons. So when we hit the stores, I was shocked at the prices -- $50 for a coat that he will probably only wear for a few months?! And I wasn’t shopping at a place known for outlandish prices.

But then I caught myself. You know how in just a moment a thousand thoughts can run through your mind? And after all those thoughts ran through my head, I scolded myself. I scolded myself because I came to the realization – I could afford to buy my child a coat, I was just annoyed because it was more money than I wanted to spend. I’m sure there are lots of folks out there that wish they had my predicament.

Needless to say, we got Gray a coat. He will be warm this winter. We donated his coat from last year, so another little boy will also be warm this winter. And my attitude has been adjusted.

Picture of Gray in his new coat
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