Posts Tagged ‘grateful’

What a stressful week. Whew. Night before last I got in bed after dinner, pulled the covers over my head, and hibernated. I switched the phone to silent, turned the TV off, and went to sleep. Yesterday was just a whirlwind, but today, I feel I am finally rising up above the haze. Most of the day yesterday was spent prepping vegetables for our big turkey dinner this afternoon. For me, though we are having turkey, the big bird is not really the main event, nor the vegetables, rolls or decadent desserts. On my plate, hands down, the stuffing is the star. From what I’ve observed, most of us prefer the stuffing (or dressing if that is how you say it) we grew up with. Some cooks toss in the gizzards (I simply toss them), others add cornbread, some include sausage, and the list goes on. My grandmother used to buy loaves of bread ahead of the big day and allow them to get slightly stale. I can still see her cutting the loaves into cubes in her kitchen in Nova Scotia. The kitchen would be in full production mode before the chickens opened their eyes. Uncooked pie crusts would be resting over glistening glass pie dishes waiting to be filled, and the cavity of the big bird would be cleaned and seasoned and waiting to receive the perfectly seasoned stuffing before going into the oven. Yum and double yum.

Back then, the stuffing was most likely cooked inside the bird. I haven’t done it that way in many years because they (whoever they are) determined this method to be more likely to make you sick. I don’t remember as a child ever being sick after eating a holiday meal, unless it was from eating that last piece of pumpkin pie when my stomach was already filled to capacity. Also turkeys, chickens, pork chops, or whatever, were taken out of the freezer and left in a dish in the sink to thaw. Now, of course, you wouldn’t do that. How did we survive before we had all this information? I can’t imagine.

Though I am not the head chef this year, nor is dinner being produced in my kitchen, I am a contributing partner. My portion of the meal is salad and vegetable side dishes. On paper, this sounds fairly foolproof, but with my strange behavior over the past few weeks, I hesitate to declare a solid win. Yesterday, for example, I had to go to several stores to pick up some last minute items. At the first store, I had a chat with the clerk while she was ringing up my items. This is a Dale residual effect. Dale talked to everyone, as I’ve said, and knew their name and they knew his by the time he left a store. Having lingered longer than I expected, I was rushing so I could get home and get on with the long to-do list waiting for me on the dining room table. Hopping in my car, I headed to the second store I needed to visit. Picking up what I wanted, I took my place in the already long line and finally got up to the cashier. Reaching in my purse, I realized my wallet wasn’t inside. Have you ever had your stomach drop so fast it actually hit the ground and rebounded back up? Happened to me, right there, and right then. I had a fair amount of money for Christmas shopping in my wallet, all my credit cards, and I just got my license with my new California ID. Panicked, I asked the clerk to hold my items and ran back to the car and backed out. Retracing my steps, I flew with gossamer wings back into the first store I visited. As soon as I entered the door, I could see the friendly clerk waving her arms at me. In one hand, I could see she held my wallet. Thank you God. This, I believe, was a Susie wake up call from the universe. The message was clear as a bell ringing in my frazzled brain. “Slow down, take a breath once and a while, pace yourself, and remember you are dealing with a fair amount right now. Last we looked YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN! If something does not get done the earth will not stop turning, you will not be in trouble, and life will continue to go on. Remember, be kind to yourself”. Message received and noted. Whew. I felt like I’d just run the Preakness. Back to the store where they were holding my packages, I again got in line behind a number of other shoppers. The clerk, catching my eye, waved me to the front of the line. The lady in the very front looked like she was going to whack me over the head with her stuffed reindeer as I passed her up. I would have stopped and explained, but to be honest, I didn’t like her attitude. Had I been less irritated, I would have told her one of her reindeer’s feet was missing a hoof. Ah well. I’ll do better next time. I’m still stirring my pot of holiday good cheer, and it’s not quite done yet.

So, I came home and began methodically going down my list of things I had to get done. Veggies, as I said, were a big part of my day yesterday. Cooking them is never particularly complicated, it’s the peeling and chopping that takes the time. I decided with so much to do I’d have my groceries delivered. It’s a little more expensive, but less crazy in the store time, and frankly I didn’t know when I’d have had time to do it. If you’ve every done this, your “personal shopper” texts you back and forth as they are shopping with your list to ask questions or suggest replacements, etc. With so many things not being available this year, predictably my phone began to blow up once my shopper began pushing her cart through the aisles. Because half my clan are vegan, the other half carnivores, cooking becomes a bit more of a minefield. I tried to stay true to the vegan portion of the program by asking for organic products. She texted me the four bags of chopped rommaine were not to be found in organic packaging. “Okay”, I told her, “let’s do two bags of organic rommaine hearts”. Good to go. I can chop. I have the technology. Sooooo, when the bags arrived I waved at my lovely elf through the window, and gathered the spoils of her activities. Yay. Done and done. While unloading my food, I realized I had four bags of chopped rommaine plus six bundles of rommaine hearts. Wowser. Apparently I’m expecting ten extra people. I may have to set up a salad bar out by the curb.

So, I am salad rich over here, and feeling thankful. Thankful that I have too much salad, unlike some who don’t have enough. Thankful for my dear friends who have been there to prop me up as I’ve made my way through the crazy past three years. Thankful for my family who I love so fiercely, and that my dear little mama will be present at our table for yet another remarkable dinner. Thankful for the roof over my head and that I’m blessed with good health and a beloved kitty, who is obviously enjoying her Thanksgiving treats by the crunching I hear in the background. Oh and thanks to all of you who stop by and read my meanderings week after week.

Have a blessed day. Enjoy each minute with those you love. They are the most precious moments we have in our lives.

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