Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day Recap

I am up and awake for several reasons, the first being that my niece Rye Bread slept over my parent's house with me last night and the poor little thing has a cough. The 2nd reason is because I'm heading out to go shopping in a few minutes. Today I'm going to hit Target, Kohls and The Avenue. Later today we have a family portrait being done and then I'm going down to IKEA to see if I can get some good deals on dining room chairs. It should be a busy and fun day.

Yesterday was really great. My mom and I prepped the meal-minus the turkey-the night before and I made my gravy base, the pies and the stuffing that night too. So on Thanksgiving day, all I had to do it pop the turkey in the oven and mash the various foods we had cooking. It was very relaxing!

This year I tried a new technique I've read about. I soaked a cheesecloth in melted butter and then draped it over the turkey the entire time it was roasting. Every hour I basted it through the buttery cloth. The result was fantastic. The coloring on the turkey was a deep caramel and it was even and crispy but not too crispy. And the meat-oh my goodness-SO MOIST. I was secretly nervous that it wouldn't work...I mean, it was the turkey. But I watched it for the first couple of hours and once I saw it browning under the cloth I felt better.

I also switched some things-I added sausage and apples to the stuffing. This may not sound like a big deal, but my mom makes stuffing a certain way b/c her mom did etc., etc. I was worried they would hate it because in my family the stuffing is the favorite food item-including the turkey and pie. Everyone loved it and I think everyone had 2nds. I also did not make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Instead I made a brown sugar streusel topping. It was delightful. I added MUCH less orange juice than usual to the actual potatoes too, so the contrast was really good and the little crunch of buttery brown sugar was so good.

The only thing I was not happy with was my pecan pie. While the flavor was really good and the crust fantastic, the pie plate was a bit too big, so the filling did not fill the entire shell. It is not a big deal, but to me, it was.

After dinner was all watched the parade-which my father recorded because we were cooking and my sisters were sleeping. It was fun, but after a while it was getting old. To get over our boredom we played a very inventive board game that my sister and niece made up and then continued what seems to be a tradition of playing charades. It's also so fun to play that with my family. They're a bunch of nut jobs!!

So my holiday was a success! How about yours?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Randomivity

Today is my Dad's birthday. It amazes me how much he has changed since I was little and I'm so grateful that we are able to have a relationship now.

The Dean is letting us leave at noon today! Which is good because I am driving down to CT for a birthday dinner and I also have to bake.

The Dean was told that the team in the office now is the smoothest team they've ever seen in that office. Which is nice to hear. Because, you know, I'm new.

Today I got an email from a meeting coordinator who wants me to tell her when The Dean is NOT available for a call. From January to May. Seriously? He's a very busy man. That list will take me a day to compile! I told her she is crazy. I'm waiting for her reply.

January to May. Really...

Hedwig is a great show.

Being friends in elementary school and junior high does not mean we've been friends for 24 years.

I do not respond well to people who try to guilt me into things. Especially when it comes to friendship.

My dad asked for a Harley Davidson Hog for his birthday. So I bought him one...


The university is swarming with the hog flu. They've modified the sick leave policy so that people don't come to work and lots of kids are in quarantine. Yesterday I thought I had a fever and for the first time I worried about having the flu. I've been in contact with a lot of students over the last couple of weeks...

I didn't have a fever.

Living in the moment is helping. But I'll miss having "our" holiday time.

Frank and Marie still love each other. I know this, because I could hear them getting busy on Friday night through the wall. Incidentally, they are probably in their late 60's or early 70's. And he does NOT sound sexy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spew

I've been a bad, bad blog friend. You've all been so great coming by and commenting pretty much without any reciprocation and for that, I thank you. I've said it before, but after Thanksgiving, I am really going to start visiting and commenting again. Things are settling down here and though my schedule is busy and I'm often tired, I miss interacting with you all. So, please forgive me.

I'm trying my best to live in the moment. For the most part it works and I feel good but every now and then memories creep back in and I realize that things aren't the way they used to be. I'm trying to get myself out of it faster though. We'll see. I used to spend time with him around Thanksgiving and also Christmas, so I'm sure that this season will be a little sad but I have a ton to be thankful for and I am certain that I will snap out of it.

Sunday I got most of my things unpacked. I only have about 10 boxes left to unpack and while not everything is put away where I want them to stay forever, things are coming along. I put the table in the kitchen together and placed all of my kitchen items away. I am AMAZED at how much room I have here! The cabinets are gigantic and with the built in china cabinet and large closet, I'm just swimming in extra room. It's fantastic. I really love this apartment. I do need to do a few things to make it nicer though. For instance, I am definitely painting the bathroom. The tiles are pink which is hideous, but what makes it worse is the color of the walls. Every wall is painted tan in here and I'm grateful that it's not white, but in the bathroom it just looks gross. So I am painting it a gray color, painting the ugly old medicine cabinet black (with the shiny paint I used for my furniture) and I added a silver towel rack. I'm also pretty sure that I am going to paint the wood trim. The painters kind of messed it up in places and while it probably was nice at one time, it just isn't perfect and it drives me nuts. Painting it white will make the entire apartment uniform (1/2 is painted white already) and also make it look more fresh. The kitchen will be painted (maybe a bright blue? green again?) and the dining room will also be painted. Depending on how the trim looks with the color of the walls, I'll keep the living room tan. My bedroom is too small to really worry about painting and the office is even smaller so those will remain tan as well.

So-I have a lot of work to do before my holiday housewarming party on the 18th. 8 of my new friends from the university are coming along with a bunch of my friends I've had here for a while. I'm excited-it's been so long since I've been a hostess. Any suggestions about what drinks I should serve? Wine for sure but I want a couple of drinks too. What would you want at a holiday party?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

5th Anniversary of Me

Today is the 5th Anniversary of Me. For those of you who just started reading, you might be interested in visiting my past posts for a background. (First, second, third, fourth.) If you had to choose one to read, please pick the first one.

Five years ago today I took my life back. Five years ago today, I left the house that I owned with nothing but the clothes on my back and I vowed not to go back until he was gone. I said "no" to being put down on a daily basis, to being blackmailed, told not to laugh when things were funny, being told I was fat and ugly and not worthy of love and most of all, I said no to being beat up. I did not know whether or not he would chase me or kill me and I lived in fear for quite a while after he was gone. But even that fear was less than what I felt everyday he was in my life.

This year was one of the hardest years of my life. My confidence was shot, I was humbled and humiliated. There were times when I felt like I had nothing to get me through the day. But I was safe and I was free. And even five years later, it feels good to be able to say that.

I can't get those years back. But I can thank God that I got through it, that I am strong enough to have taken control and that I had good people who gave me shelter when I needed to hide.

As I look around my new apartment, tired from a night out with new friends, I am so very grateful for the woman asked me if I felt safe at home. It seemed so random-especially because that was the day I decided I was not going to go back home. I'm not certain that I would have had enough courage to really go through with it had she not told me that I need to get away from him. I like to think I would have-but really, I'm not sure.

My life is so enriched now with family and friends who love me, a craft that keeps me centered and a job that I think I'm really going to love. Today is the 5th Anniversary of Me and today, more than any day, I am grateful to be alive.