Tag Archives: family thingies

Tomorrow Will Be Easy

Since my mom and sister are the Hardest Working People on the Planet, tomorrow will be easy for me.  Also too, I only have to make potatoes and gravy, and we have the afternoon shift.

My brother ordered turkey and some such, even though I offered to cook one for us this year in plenty of time.  Mom says it’s because she should be painting instead of cooking. *rolls eyes*  For people who have most of the year off since they cater to holiday sales, you would think that the rest of my family would get it, but they don’t.

Back to the potatoes.  I plan to try to make them as creamy as the best fried chicken places.  I will whip them in the Magimix and add milk, butter, cream cheese and sour cream.  YUM.

After years of trying, I will NOT make gravy at my mom’s house.  I cannot cook on an electric stove.  PERIOD.  Since I won’t have the store bought turkey to use for starters, I bought some turkey bacon to start the rue.  I’ll make the gravy her with that grease and some vegetable broth.   I’ll add the boiled eggs and some turkey bits when I reheat it tomorrow.  Not ideal, I know, but the gravy will be gravy without all of the “that’s never gonna get thick” I have heard the past few years.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Allen Wrench

I know how to use one.  My sister struggled with the TV stand until I got there.  After I did, she was slow and almost useless.

I have learned a few things living out here in the wild that she hasn’t, having lived with the parents all these years.

Of course, I set myself back by losing my phone and having to meet them half way.

Tammy got out again and Murphy didn’t.  I think Tammy’s cancer may have made her wild again.  There is no other reason.   I can’t figure out how she gets out.

My Niece is One Smart Cookie

There was a birthday party today.  It was the last of the family oriented parties clearly.  My youngest niece now has age group appropriate friends and it’s not just all of us old people giving her gifts and her posing with them for the camera.  She has school friends now, and lots of cousins who are here local.  My poor mom and sister are not taking it well.

The youngest niece ran and played at the gymnasium where the party was held, totally ignoring mom completely and my sister for the most part.  These public parties have their own rhythm.  The young adults who lead them are mostly ok, some even good.  Today there was one manic guy who almost planted his foot in my middle niece’s face and then complain later when she did a cartwheel and her feet came far less close to planting him than hers had earlier.

But never fear.  That little girl is very strong and he did not get the best of her.  It seems that when I thought she was just get some air she was actually reading.  And then my little 9 year old niece had the chutzpah to ask one of the grown men a question.   She read, “Life Guards on Duty” and she asked the nitwit who had chastised her about her cartwheel and his face a simple question:  was this a pool?

She swims competitively and knows her way around a pool.  She knew.  The simpleton said “yeah” at first, then said “I’m kidding.”

She told me all of this while the party was winding down.  All of them were tired — flushed long before the crying about get a cone from the cake — another story in and of itself.

I had asked her about her birthday and she was sad that even thought her birthday was in the summer, her class had not recognized it and wouldn’t either in the fall.  I told her that when she was a teenager, she would not regret it.  Then the oldest niece came over and said she had a test on her birthday, and I took the advantage to say that look having a birthday in summer is a good thing looking forward.  We then talked a bit about how summer school in the early years is different from college, which lead me to ask her what she wanted to do.

This is so critical.

This one.  This girl has imagination.  I want to nurture it.  She loves the Diary of a Whimpy Kid stuff, and I have encouraged her to write.  She is very funny.  While shopping for the little one at the bookstore, I was thinking of the middle one.  I asked if she would like a book with only lines.  She said it would be  ok. And then she said she was writing a story.  I asked her if she would like a book with lines and a lock with a key.  EYES LIGHT UP.  YES is the answer.  When I say ok, that’s your birthday, she complains that she has lost her train of thought.

I suggest the story she is writing.  Then it all flows.  She tells me the plot and the characters.  I ask if she will be illustrating it, then tell her how to do the by-line.  She’s not sure about the dad’s name, and I give her suggestions.

This girl is a writer.

I will do everything I can to encourage her.

She had imagination.  She has an idea.  She’s always had ideas.  My mom and sister and everyone else thinks she is a liar because of the stories she tells.

She’s not.  She notices things and is not afraid to say something.

The place we were at had a lot of deep places filled with spongy things for kids to bounce or fall into.  The same perceptive niece felt something buckle underneath her.  The ahh moment came when she told me and Granny about her conversation with the adults running the show.  She had figured it out.

And now the gift I will give this beautiful mind is blank paper with a key.  And more blank paper so perhaps she and I cane make her own book.  I will show her Roberto’s book and then it starts.


It’s what I wished for when I blew out the candle.  My sister and nieces did an end run around me and celebrated my birthday early on this Easter Sunday.

We had the second shift this year — meaning that the girls and their parents had lunch with the in-laws.  I missed the making of the deviled eggs, but came along soon enough to suggest a little bit of dill pickle juice.

I cleaned out the carrot bed and picked some lettuce.    I also picked the lonely radishes.  My brother claims to have a squash, I have none.  I did make beets and a salad solely from the garden.  Talk doesn’t walk this Easter.

There is always too much food and too many eggs.

It was a very good Easter.

In a Shift

They used to make fun of my cooking, but now, I’m the one doing most of it.

Perhaps it’s because cooking is less important.  I tried to keep everything warm, but everyone but me and mom was diddling at something other than eating.

The turkey was good, but didn’t get the ooooo-aaaah that I had hoped for, so next year is a straight turkey.  No fancy British crap.

My brother pulled off the Santa thing in a big way this year — he put together a trampoline and hid it from my nieces until morning — fighting wind and cold rain.  He’s a great dad.

The long trial of whether I could come through with the book my middle niece (and kindred spirit) came to an end today.  I and her sister insured her worry over whether I had secured it for weeks.  Today she opened it first.  I have to admit that the books she likes encourage her to write, and I think that she has the imagination to do it.  She was also the only one to get skates — her dad told me she is the only one co-ordinated enough to handle them.  I told her the secret to skating — I had thought I might donate my skates, but I might keep them to skate with her.

Little one got a baby that eats and drinks and poops and pees.  I guess this is a step forward for all of us.  At four she knows how to take care of a baby.  Sort of.  That damn doll is sure to give me nightmares.

And while my Christmas was good, I know that there are people out there whose Christmas was not so happy.  There are people in hospitals, people without much to eat, people braving the freezing temps tonight.  My thoughts and hope go out to them.  It sucks.  At some point Christmas may not be so happy for me, but not this year.  And when it isn’t, I won’t be whining about it.  I will just tell it like it is.

This year was a good year and I don’t mind saying it.

Does that make me a conservative?

Happy Christmas!

I’m a non-believer, except for Santa, whom I have been following on NORAD.  (As I post this link, he’s in a city I have visited.  I hope to do more traveling in the future — I don’t want to wait until I’m a little old lady like my mom.)

ANYWAYS:  The electricity went out briefly and after the refrigerator scare of Wednesday, I worried over the little fridge which now holds the freaking bird I roasted today.  I even watched a freaking Jamie Oliver video, hoping for help about carving this damn bird he vaguely told me how to make to little avail.

I wanted the greatest Christmas turkey ever.  Perhaps I should have googled Ramsey.

I’m ok with vague while cooking and Oliver is that.  BUT how do I carve this bird with stuffing under the skin?  And will it kill my family if I do?

ANSWERS I demand!!!1!11!1!!1!

There are none.

So.  Tomorrow will either be a nice dinner or an unintentional mass suicide.

Pre-emptably, I leave the outside kittens to Michael Berry, Dora to Roberto, and let Tammy and Murphy roam free in the neighborhood.  Cisco and Caroline will eat what is left.

I hate Christmas.

It’s all about money and who gives who what crap.  Last year, I gave my sister a computer.  It took her almost a year to even plug it in.  Seriously.  At least the bitching about email stopped.  She had the solution in front of her.

Tomorrow will be yet another day that I gratefully play my part:  the worst person in the world to my sister, alternately the hero or clown depending on the turkey, and some time funny person to my nieces.  My brother and sister-in-law, as well as my mom, just try to dodge the hate coming from my sister.  I’m ok with this.

Sunday, I’m back in the garden and front yard, working hard and planting cabbage and lettuce.   Monday, I start the fruit tree beds.

Live through tomorrow.

Happy Christmas!

I’m Doing the Turkey

In the past, my mom has bought a turkey for Christmas dinner.

We only had to reheat it.

This year I am making this roast turkey.  I’m not going to go all Jamie Julia, but I do want to chronicle it.  I’ve made a Thanksgiving turkey before, but have never had my whole family counting on me for the bird.

At the moment, I am dehydrating the bread for the handful of crumbs I’ll need in the morning, along with some tomatoes.  It’s Mrs. Baird’s bread.  I’ve got a big plastic zip lock ready to put it in.

I chopped the pork already.

The rest will wait until the morning.

As well pictures.