Tuesday, November 27, 2012

North Pole Scents

I'm having a little technical difficulty with the blog. I seem to have used up all my free photo space. I have technical support on it (SP is in charge of fixing this issue) but in the meantime, I am unable to post photos of the wonderful Thanksgiving meal that SP's sister made for us.

This year, we decided to go visit SP's sister for Thanksgiving. She and her family used to live in eastern PA, but now they live in western MA. Sadly, it is now a longer drive to visit MAS and her family. We left Tuesday night after SP got home from work, drove halfway, stayed overnight, and then drove the other half on Wednesday. The hope was to avoid what everyone assured us would most likely be horrific traffic near Hartford. Fortunately, our strategy paid off and we zipped right on by Hartford.

Thanksgiving is about being thankful and eating. So what did we eat?

We helped MAS make mushroom turnovers Wednesday afternoon. We enjoyed them and some shrimp cocktail for lunch/afternoon snacking on Thanksgiving.

MAS made her deliciously moist meatballs for dinner on Wednesday. I especially like that she serves the meatballs and sauce with penne instead of spaghetti or angel hair as I don't enjoy slurping up long noodles and having sauce spray all around and make a mess.

Thanksgiving dinner was a maple glazed turkey, cornbread stuffing (with mushrooms & sausage), green beans with shallots and bacon, cranberry sauce (with vanilla, orange, and spice), crescent rolls, mashed potatoes, and gravy. And of course, her husband's mom's pumpkin pie recipe. It uses lots of cinnamon and only cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger).

Friday for lunch they served us New England Clam Chowder. Yum! I forget where they got it, but they said it was the tastiest one they have found and we have to agree. SP was especially happy because, well, it was soup and he loves soup.

Dinner was leftover Thanksgiving food - I again ate too much of the delicious stuffing!

And then early on Saturday we were on our way home, through the snow flurries, past the wreck on I80 East, home to a very chilly Saturday evening. After SP ran out to buy some food for the week, we ordered a chicken-bacon-spinach pizza from Pizza Milano and watched TV.

And then Thanksgiving Break was over.

It was a great, if short, visit to MA and we're looking forward to seeing them at the end of December.

We didn't do any Black Friday shopping (other than going to Costco for the yearly cookbook and then Target for emergency slippers for me), but we did go to Yankee Candle Village in S. Deerfield, MA. It's huge! So many different scents - my nose was getting confused! Some of the more interesting scents:  Riding Mower, Schnitzel & Noodles, Brown Paper Packages, Bright Copper Kettles, Man Town, Warm Woolen Mittens, and Kitten Whiskers - !!!!!! I wonder how they come up with these scents?!

We debated between 2 candle scents for the holiday, and in the end, North Pole won. The living room now smells like 'icy cool mint and sugary rich vanilla cream.'

The combination of snow flurries & suddenly cold temperatures (making it feel like the North Pole!), turkey & stuffing, and holiday candle smells has finally propelled me into the Christmas mood. I'm still a little behind in my usual holiday 'cheer' - I haven't finalized the Christmas Cookie list (much to my mother's horror) but that's because we have a very, very busy December coming up. My mind is racing in a million different directions.

Finally, the last 2 stages of the basement project will commence and hopefully, finish (ripping off the stupid carpet on the basement stairway walls and drywalling/painting plus a few other basement things followed by new basement carpet and new carpet for SP's office). So we have a lot of stuff to pack and move around and throw out in preparation for that work (SP's office is a disaster zone of piled papers, magazines, and who knows what else, I rarely venture in, but I'll have to in order to help get stuff moved out so new carpet can go in), plus we have to get ready for guests, plus decorate for Christmas, buy each other and the nieces/nephews gifts, there's several holiday parties on the calendar, and most importantly, bake all those cookies! Plus there are several doctor appointments! And hair appointments!

I really didn't want any of this basement stuff going on in December, I wanted it all done by the end of November, but sometimes things are beyond your control. Like the basement guy being off by 2+ months on his estimate of when he'd be able to start the work. It's not like we really had time to find and line up someone else. So we will manage the best we can, and if the house is a little messy from all this work, if only 4 kinds of cookies get baked, if I lose my mind, well, that's the way it goes. I am thankful that my mom planned to come in mid-December, so she will be here to help us clean up/organize after everything is finished. My mom knows how to get stuff done. She'll probably have everything whipped into shape before we even know what's happening!!!

Happy Holidays!

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