Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Day 2007

From left to right; Chris, Scott, and Danielle Christmas Morning
(Click on any of the pictures for a larger version in a new window)

I banged it in Christmas Day sleeping later than I ever had on Christmas morning! In the past it has always been opening presents around 7:30AM but this year we started a new tradition...we had decided not to meet up at the X's house until 9:30. I arose shortly after 8AM and immediately set to work on the getting the sauce for dinner going. I coated the bottom of a large pit with imported olive oil (thanks Steve!) and sauteed a large chopped white onion, fresh basil and oregano, and some other spices before adding several cans of tomato puree, and 10 small sticks of Hormel pepperoni. I also added some tomato paste thinned with a bit of water to increase the thickness of the sauce.

I released Tails and for her first Christmas feeding gave her some of the Sheba shredded chicken she loves so much. Danielle arose and had her Cinnamon bun I had bought at the bakery of Forest Hills Food in yesterday's mad shopping frenzy, and Scott soon around and had his; I enjoyed a rare treat, a blueberry muffin from the same source. At 9:30 the phone rang, it was the X wondering where we were, we headed out with Scott remarking it was OK for his Mom to be late constantly picking them up and such, but is someone else was a minute late...well!

We arrived at the X's house to find Christopher, up and alert very unexpected as he has been keeping very late hours, often staying up most of the night and getting up an hour or two before work, or after lunch if he has the day off. Jeff, the X's new roommate (used to be her business partner) was there too and the kids began the frenzy of opening the gifts. The X was pleased with what I and the kids had bought her and I received on DVD the Muppet Show Season 2 and The Original Christmas Classics (which includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer/Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town/Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns/Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol/Little Drummer Boy/Cricket on the Hearth). From Chris (The first year he had bought anyone Christmas presents without parental help or funding!) I got a Nesco Jerky Xpress, which he and I will use together for the first time. I can't wait!

The present opening festivities over I exchanged hugs with the X and kids, and headed back home; there was much to be done before guests arrived for dinner!

I began by slicing imported Soppresata and Swiss and Cheddar cheeses. These were then placed in zip lock baggies and returned to the fridge but not before Tails and I had each sampled a piece of the cheeses and the Soppresata which was excellent!

I took the ends of the Soppresata and put them in the pot of simmering sauce which was being stirred every 30 minutes. You have to be careful when you make a thick red sauce like I make even on the lowest flames it can burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.

I vacuumed the main level of the house and, after filling out gift tags and affixing bows I placed all the presents for the afternoon under my tiny Christmas trees. I added to 3 gift bags gift cards from my brother and Camille (his wife) plus $25 each from my dad. These were for Christopher, Scott, and Danielle. These were placed by the tree as well; below is a comparison of the tree and the X's house and my house. I let her keep the tree when we were divorced, at the time I just did not give a damn, and realistically there is just no place in my living room that tree could fit without severe room rearranging.

The tree at X's house

The Tree at my house

I got cleaned up and around 12:30 I began putting out snacks; I had mixed nuts, three kinds of crackers, cheddar cheese 'nippy' spread, the sliced Soppresata and cheeses, fresh salsa and tortilla chips, and sliced pepperoni. The X and the kids arrived adding a tray of baklava.

Mom and Dad arrived there was conversation and snacking (the Soppresata was the star of the snacks!) I began the Chicken Parmesan preparation. I made a coating of Italian breadcrumbs, some spices, and some grated Romano cheese. A dip of egg beaters, 2% milk, a dash of olive oil and some dried spices preceded each boneless chicken breasts drag through the dry ingredients. I then sauteed these over a medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side in a blend of two types of olive oil. (again, thanks Steve for last years present of olive oil!) and then these were placed single layer into Pyrex glass baking dishes which were coated with olive oil PAM type spray. They were baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The X saw them going into the oven and asked about sauce and cheese. I explained that this step is necessary to crisp up the coating.

While the chicken baked presents were exchanged and opened. Dad seemed to like the bottle of wine I had selected for him and his Texas Roadhouse gift card. They game me a box of assorted spices and a covered serving dish Mom had decorated herself. Both were awesome! I also got a $25 gift card to GameStop.

I had fiendishly wrapped a preset for the X, it was about 8 layers of wrapping, bubble pack strapped tightly with packing tape, and tissue paper in ribbon, all inside a nicely wrapped box; it took her about 15 minutes to open it and it was most amusing; everyone enjoyed it as she finally arrived at the Texas Roadhouse gift card inside.

I had picked up a six pack of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale for Jeff but did not want him to know what it was. So, I took a long thin HP box I had, and wrapped bubble pack around the bottles which were laid flat in a single layer with the flattened out six pack placed underneath. I then wrapped it upside down so when unwrapped it would look like a factory sealed HP box. He was faked out but very pleased with the gift! He gave me a Celebration Cinema gift card and popcorn bucket to use with the kids. I was most pleased!

Dinner was soon served and we all enjoyed an excellent meal if I d say so myself! We then watched some TV, breaking into several groups, the boys playing video games, Dad, Jeff, and I watching TV, and Danielle, the X, and Mom playing "Are you smarted than a 5th Grader", which was one of the gifts Danielle had asked for.

Around 5 PM we had dessert which was Chocolate Torte, baklava, and home made chocolate cherry cookies Mom had baked.

After dessert, the X left to run Jeff back to her house, she returned, they finished their game, and every departed around 7:30 PM. Tails and I spent the rest of the evening watching Christmas themed shows off the PVR. I think this was the best Christmas I have had since the divorce. Perhaps someday Christmas will return to it's former place of my favorite holiday.

Christmas Eve 2007

After arriving home from Forest Hills Foods slightly battered and numb from the experience of being in the store with such crowds, I put away the perishable items and relaxed for a few before continuing with house cleaning and last minute gift wrapping. Around 5PM UPS dropped off a preset for the X's mom that we thought was going to be delayed until after Christmas. Murphy's law; I had already spent an hour making a nice certificate sowing a picture and description of what was coming!

The X dropped off the kids shortly after 6PM and departed. The kids and I spent a very enjoyable evening watching Christmas shows and them occasionally playing on the computers. I made them Nestles Chocolate Chip cookies and mixed up the garlic butter for tomorrow's dinner (no, I did not slather any of the cookies with this!)

Danielle wrapped the Christmas present that had just been delivered, and finally all the wrapping was done and the dinning room table which for days had sported has sported scissors, rolls of paper and tape, bows, ribbons, and bubble pack could finally be cleaned up!

We watched holiday episodes of Sabrina The Teenage witch, Monk, and more, finishing up the evening later (around 10:30PM) with A Muppet Christmas Carol which we all love. I bid the kids Merry Christmas at midnight and let them stay up until 1AM. I hope they had pleasant dreams anticipating Christmas morning. It was a most enjoyable evening!

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Charlie Brown Christmas

From our house to yours
Merry Christmas to all!

Never in my humble opinion has there been such a timeless Christmas Special as A Charlie Brown Christmas! Released in 1965 I was 9 years old the first time I saw it. While living with my family my brother and I watched it together every year. After he moved out we still managed on occasion to do this, more so as the years went on. Now, with me living out of state, we have been unable to do this which saddens us both.

I brought my children up seeing this each year...though now they are at that age where they feel they are too old...though my daughter may watch it with me on Christmas Eve. I hope as they mature, they will see the worth of this and of the message it contains.

With all that is gong on in the world, now more than ever, is the message conveyed in this classic more poignant; Christmas is not about getting presents. It is not about wining decorating contests. It is the Celebration of the birth of Christ and a time when more so than ever, we should be kind, loving, and considerate to our fellows on this earth. It imparts the lesson that giving truly is more important than receiving! This is something most people seem to have lost sight of.

Who can forget the following scene where this dialog passes between a frustrated Charlie Brown and Linus:

Charlie Brown: "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? "

Linus Van Pelt: "Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about."

[Linus moves toward the center of the stage]

Linus Van Pelt: "Lights, please. "

[a spotlight shines on Linus]

Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

[Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]

Linus Van Pelt: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

So, look at the Wikipedia article, and then watch it again, and truly believe in the miracle that is Christmas!

From Me and Mine, to you and yours, Have a very Merry Christmas!

All Our Love to you!

The Falco Family

Monday, that's my fun day

I arose this morning to about 6 inches of snow with assorted drifts. I released Tails from her room, gave her some quick cuddling and scratching, fed her, and journeyed outside to clear the snow. With People coming for dinner tomorrow I did not want to follow my usual drive over the snow to get to work and then clean the driveway later. That always makes ice where the car compresses the snow down so this morning's mission was to clear the driveway before departing.

I fed Tails, suited up, and went into the garage hoping I would not have another incident with the snow blower. It started on the first pull and I began clearing the driveway. I was pleased as it appeared I was not going to have another incident with the snow blower......or so I thought.

It had been very windy last night but it was not until I was outside that I saw just how windy; there was not a single snowflake on my roof! Not a one!! I had also heard on the news this morning before heading outside that there will still over 20,000 homes in the viewing area without power, some of them would not have it restored until after Christmas!

I was about 90% with the driveway and the sidewalk still needed to be cleared when the snow blower made a THUNK noise and died. I had been pushing it into some heavily packed snow and I thought it had stalled on that or perhaps torn the shear pins. I pulled it back and started it. Again it started on the first pull, I engaged the bladed and THUNK again it died.

I rolled it over to where I could see inside the chute by the light of the garage and wedged tightly inside and caught into the impeller was the local free garden newspaper which I had asked them to stop last year. For some reason they started delivering it again this year. I was most displeased the more I worked, I could not get the paper out, even with giant industrial sized lockjaw pliers. I uttered some phrases against this paper that were certainly not Christmasy!

Finality in desperation I got the pair of manual hedge clippers and chomped halfway down on the paper. Then I slowly began twisting as if I were twirling spaghetti. I saw the impeller move a bit and then the whole mess popped free!

One pull and the snow blower started again and I finished up and headed into work.

They say that bad things come in threes. I think I will have to get someone else to start the snow blower next time I need to use it!

I departed work around 1 PM and stopped at Forest Hills Food on the way home to pickup bread, chicken, and spices for tomorrow's dinner. IT WAS A MADHOUSE. Note a single space anywhere, even at the fringes of the lot or around back where no one ever parks. On the second circuit I found an outlying space and snagged it. Navigation through the store was like some insane video game, carts, old ladies, kids, skid movers everywhere! I lucked out at the crowded butcher counter by going all the way down by the far end where on of the clerks coming out took my order, I gathered the rest of my purchases, paid, and got the heck out of dodge!

Sunday's Storm

I arose Sunday Morning around 7AM. By the time I fed tails and such and departed it was 8AM and the temperature was 45 degrees. We had snow on the ground the past week and frozen ice underneath but Wednesday started warming trend and as of this morning almost all the snow and ice was gone.

I went to Forest Hills Foods and did the remainder of the Christmas dinner shopping save the last minutes items I will pickup today. This is Italian bread, boneless Chicken breasts, and fresh herbs as I will be making Chicken Parmesan with butter and garlic bread. The garlic bread of course will be my infamous homemade garlic butter spread on the bread.

It was noticeably colder and windier when I exited the store. the bag boy and I loaded the Mustang, exchanged Christmas pleasantries and I was on my way. After putting away the groceries I noticed it was a little after 10 and the temperature had dropped to 32 degrees and snow had started. They had been predicting a big blow for several days now and it looked like they were going to be right this time.

I spent the day cleaning, doing some decorating, and wrapping the remainder of the Christmas gifts. The storm built and the winds increased. Tails and I stayed inside, her mostly snuggled up on my chest or darting around the windows to look out every time the wind howled outside. I also learned it is a fools errand to wrap presents with Tails around:

Click for a much larger picture in a new window

As the say wore on the weather got worse and worse outside; It was incredibly windy and near whiteout conditions as darkness came on. I heard on the news that 74,000 customers were without power.

I went to bed around midnight wondering what the morning would I had to go to work.

Friday and Wing Heaven

Friday my son Chris and I got together; I picked him up at 2 PM and we braved the holiday crowds and went to the Woodland Mall for Chicken wings at Wing Heaven. This place has some excellent wings and they do a 12 piece sampler where you can choose 4 different sauces. So far I have sampled the following of their 17 sauces:


After finishing our lunch/dinner we hung at my house watching TV together alternating with us each playing games on our computers. Around 11PM I took him home, this was the longest time we have spent together in one day and I greatly enjoyed having his company.

Friday, December 21, 2007


It was bound to happened, yesterday the kids and I were malled in Grand Rapids! Hmmm, I may have spelled it wrong on the title! I have done virtual all my Christmas shopping from the comfort of the computer this year. But, Scott and Danielle needed to get gifts for their Mom and each other so I took them to the mall yesterday. We went right when they came home from school and I let Scott drive; he did pretty well though he still needs a bit of work on corning.

The mall and parking lot was very crowded, we parked near the end of a row and hiked in. We hit Clair's so Danielle could get some gifts for her Mom and Scott and I chatted outside while he stretched out on the base of one of the ugly looking kinetic-type sculptures that malls seem to buy for some reason.....

We headed down by Paylees so Scott could get slippers for his Mom and while He and his sister did that I went into Walden books to pick up a gift card from Scott to his sister so she would not see it. I also snagged a half price teddy bear gift card holder.

The kids had to head into Sears as Payless did not have suitable footwear. Danielle bought herself two pairs of holiday novelty socks and Scott got the slippers. We headed to the food court when they had Chinese food and I tried a 12 wing sampler from a place called Wing Heaven. You get 3 x 4 wings with four different sauces so I got Caribbean Jerk, Spicy Garlic, Mango Habbenero, and Scorching. They were all very good with the first two being the best and the Scorching ones being mildly spicy but tasty. We headed home stopping at Forest Hills Foods for a few items.

Total time out about two hours which was excellent considering how crowded the mall and the grocery store were.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Screen Savers

For those who do not know I make free screen savers in my spare time. I just got a query from an old friend in New Jersey wondering if I made one for this holiday season. No, I did not, but, below are the links for most of my popular screen savers. Like McDonald's, millions served! So, if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind Christmas screen saver for your Windows PC, try one of the Happy Holidays screen savers below.

Starships in Flight

Scooby Doo 2001

Happy Holidays 2000

Happy Holidays 2002

2003 Happy Holidays

2005 Happy Holidays

Halloween 2003

Halloween 2001

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Wallmart Moment! and this past weekend

Danielle came home from school sick Friday with a nasty cough, sneezing, headache, etc. I medicated her her with OTC medicine and by Sunday she was feeling much better.

We awoke yesterday morning to half a foot of snow, the first real snow of the season. As Scott's girlfriend was picking him up at noon, I went out to start the snow blower. That sucker just did not want to start, and it has never given me a bit of trouble before, even the first start of previous 2 winters has just been "add gas, prime, pull starter maximum of two times". After the third yank of the cord with nary a sound of engine catching at all, I got my long extension cord out and plugged in the electric starter. It took many primes and many applications of the starter before the snow blower roared into life, and it ran very smoothly after a few seconds. HOWEVER the drive refused to engage and the wheels would not turn at all as they normal do if you have not engaged the drive. Engaging the drive caused the engine to rev down a bit as it normally did but no wheels moving. After fidgeting around for a few minutes and doing nothing to really remedy the problem it started working and I was able to do the whole property without a mishap! Go figure!

I am having a rare good Monday as I have it off under GE's vacation "USE IT OR LOSE IT" policy. In the past before we were bought by GE at Smiths, you could roll unused vacation days over for a year, but not with GE. So, I have today off, half a day Thursday PM, and Friday off this week, though I have to work Christmas eve on Monday since too many of my people took it off already. As I had today off, I drove Scott and Danielle to school which they really enjoy. I plan on doing that Friday as well. After I dropped them off I headed to Walmart figuring to beat the holiday crowds which I did.

I had a really good Walmart moment! To me shopping at Walmart is a bit on the trailer park type shopping, there's always lots of stuff, and good deals, yet it all seems to be very disorganized and the folks int he store don't seem to waste time on any pleasantries with you. They are not rude, but they do not go out of their way being overly friendly, at least not at the Walmart by me. The cashier this morning though was a delightful exception, being very pleasant and giving me a very nice smile. I digress though....

My brother and I grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas ever since I was released. When we moved out of our parents house we then got into the habit of watching it together. This of course stopped when I moved my family to Michigan. I misplaced my DVD of this classic and really wanted to get a replacement.

Well, on Amazon, the DVD 23 bucks, and the collection of the three holiday episodes is 45! Imagine my surprise when I found the 3 DVD collection at Walmart brand new for 19 bucks! Needless to say I snagged it right up! I also picked up some Christmas wrapping paper, bows, boxes, etc. I stopped at Forest Hills Foods on the way home for a few necessary supplies, such as more food for Tails.

So, that was the high point of my day. I came home, did some work email, rode the exercise bike, got cleaned up, and after lunch I think I will head to Lowes and get one of those plastic sheet things for the bathroom window which is the oldest window in my house, you can literally feel the cold air coming in many places around it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dragon Picture

I've done the majority of my Christmas shopping on-line. While ordering a framed picture for someone I saw the following image and ordered a framed version (poster size) for myself.

Alchemy Sagnov
Alchemy Sagnov

Monday, December 10, 2007

Quiet and Sad Weekend

A somewhat quiet weekend, marred by news of two health issues in the family, Sigh! After all he went through with the surgery for his back my Father's emphysema is getting worse and basically there is nothing that can be done. He will be seeing doctors and specialists starting this week for second opinions but the outlook is not good. I am, quite distressed by this and the other news I heard this weekend.

Friday with Chris

It was a nice Friday evening with my son Chris as he stopped over for dinner and TV watching. I ordered Domino's Pizza (one of his favorites) and we watched about 5 hours of TV together. He left shortly before midnight to hang out with his friends.

We watched Episodes of Scrubs, That 70's Show, and the current episode of Star Gate Atlantis. We also watched the Futurama DVD Movie Bender's Big Score which he really enjoyed, as did I for my second viewing. Chris also enjoyed spending time with Tails kitty!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Scott's Birthday

Thursday was Scott's 16th Birthday. I know from talking to the X that his girlfriend Emma surprised him at the house that morning so she could go to school with him; wish I could have seen his face when that happened!

I left work early to pick him up at school. When he got in the car I surprised him with a pack of Peanut M&M's, his favorite candy snack and wished him a happy birthday. I could tell he was pleased by my small but thoughtful gesture, and we headed over to pickup his sister from her school which is int he same complex as the high school. Scott informed me that he was wearing the shirt and scarf Emma had gotten him, and they were both quite nice. I teased him a bit and asked if he complained to her about getting clothes as a present, as he has all through the years, as most kids do, when this happens.

We headed home, Scott getting first dibs on Tails as it was his birthday! After greeting her we all did a quick cleanup of the messy house common areas and our bedrooms, and then spent some time watching TV including the new Shrek the Halls Christmas special which we all thought was excellent!

A bit before 6 PM we headed out, stopping at the 5/3 drive through so I could stoke up the wallet with some Yankee Dollars, and we arrived at Outback where Scott wanted to have dinner. having just witnessed his brother Chris being embarrassed to no end at Texas Road house on his birthday, he opted for outback. At Texas Roadhouse, they can really embarrass the heck out of you on your birthday like no place I have ever seen.

Mom and Dad were already there and had a table setup and the X along with Chris and Emma arrived. We had an excellent dinner and at the end Scott was presented, quietly, a small bowl of ice cream and topping with a candle in it. Around this time the X's cell phone rang, it was Uncle Kevin (and family) who called t wish Scott a happy birthday. once this had wound down a bit the bill was settled and I headed out with Scott, Emma, and Danielle as Emma had to get back home. The X and Chris headed off to get Scott Chris' birthday present.

Arriving at Emma's house I dropped her off and we headed back to the X's house where I watched Scott open his last present. This was a Legends of Zelda jacket and shirt which Scott had been wanting. He was most pleased with it. After he disappeared to play his Wii I got ready to leave, and, after recalling them, hugging the kids I then headed home. Thus ends post 3 of 3 and below is a picture taken of Scott with Tails. Needless t say, though obviously I am saying it, you can click on this to open a new window with a much larger version.

I know from IM'ing with the X this morning that Scott and his friends had a good elebration having Pizza, snacks, and Cake and were up until at least 1AM. As of noon, they were still sleeping. I was pleased to hear this!

Things that go bump in the night......

Last night Chris and I had dinner and he came over to spend the night. It was, I think, a mixture of wanting to spend time with his Dad and not wanting to be at his Mom's house where Scott was having a birthday gathering and sleepover. I am happy to spend time with him no matter what the reason though!

I took Chris to Pizza Hut where we enjoyed some good conversions about school, games, computers, work, and family issues. Since Pizza Hut frowns on people coming in, sitting down, and just chatting we also had some pizza and their new chicken wings made with Frank's Red Hot Sauce. They were very good and actually had a bit of a bite to them, something never realized in eating Pizza Hut chicken wings since the kids were very, very young. Paying the bill, we departed and stopped at Forest Hills Foods on the way home to pickup beverages and snacks.

Surprisingly Chris watched much TV with me including four episodes of Scrubs, one Futurama, an Iron Chef America, and finally Stargate Atlantis for which I made us some hot chocolate. He also spent a bit of time on the computer. Around 11:30 PM his Mom called as some of his friends were not able to reach him on his cell. He headed out with his friends who picked him up and I reminded him to be quiet when he came in.

I stayed up until 2AM, spending time with Tails, the TV, and the computer. Around 5:20 AM I was jolted awake with the usual sound of the metal storm door slamming shut and then the inside door shutting. I got back to sleep only to awaken and hear more bumping and thumping around 6AM.

At 7:15 or so I heard "Thump! Thump!! Thump!!! Thump!!!!" coming from the door in my bathroom. I opened it and in came Tails...sigh....Chris must have let her out of her room for whatever reason. She was playful but I managed to calm her down and I spent a couple of hours fitfully napping (I was tired!) with Tails first under the covers with me (her purring resonating through the bed and covers like a small earth quake!) and then on top of the covers. She and I got up around 7:30AM. After feeding her I began blogging. This is post 2 of 3 I wanted to get done this AM. Work has had me so rattled I have not felt like posting regularly in several weeks.

I can see why his mom complains of his nocturnal habits while he is living at her house; as I did not have to rise for work this AM it was no big deal, though I certainly would have enjoyed a better nights sleep. On work nights this would not be acceptable!

It is now just after 11 AM and the thing that went bump in the night sleeps below me now.... The fun side of me feels like making things go bump in the day, because, undisturbed it will slumber late until the day until hunger gnaws at its belly driving it back to will rise, seeking sustenance! Probably on my dime no less!! The horror! The HORROR!!!

Turkey Part 2

I am just getting around to writing this now; we had a quiet but enjoyable Thanksgiving. I arose around 8:15 AM, later than I have in previous years, but I was only cooking for five; Scott, Danielle, myself, and Mon and Dad (The X's folks). The X elected to go out of town for the holiday and Chris had to work.

I prepared the following meal with Danielle acting as assistant chef ,(a role formerly held by my brother Rick who, along with his wife, my Dad, and Julie his girlfriend were sorely missed!) for much of the preparations.
  • A 15 Pound Butterball turkey
  • Sausage and cornbread stuffing with onions using chicken broth, seasoned with assorted spices including hot Chili
  • Onions roasted in with the Turkey
  • Fresh button mushrooms sauteed with a bit of the sausage drippings
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
  • Gelled Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce (one of Scott's favorites)
  • Corn Bread
  • Biscuits
  • Niblets corn with butter sauce
  • Gravy made from pan drippings, milk, chicken broth, and assorted spices. Thickened just a bit with a small amount of corn starch. Also a dash of hot chili powder here and fresh ground pepper.
For Dessert (Many thanks to Mom)

  • Brownies with icing and half topped with marshmallows (Danielle likes this Scott does not)
  • A Mrs. Smith's Blueberry pie
  • Vanilla Ice Cream (went great with the slightly warmed pie)

I had the stuffed Turkey in the oven by 9:45AM. All my life I have feasted on Turkeys prepared the way my mom had made them; cooked in a covered roasting pan and over the years I have used the same method. This year I followed the Butterball method and used a 325 degree oven and had the bird uncovered. I had also rubbed the bird down with some of the sausage drippings.

Mom and Dad arrived around 2PM and after some frenzied last minute finishing up of the dinner, such as cornbread, biscuits, gravy and mashed potato creation, we sat down to eat.

Tails instantly became a royal pain jumping up on the table and everyone's laps so she was banished to the basement until we we were nearly done. She then received a bowl of sliced turkey, a dollop of stuffing making sure there was sausage in it, a bit of cranberry sauce, and a few nibblets of corn. She ate it all.

After dinner we watched thanksgiving episodes from Dharma and Greg, Everybody Loves Raymond, and the Cosby Show, plus a thanksgiving episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

We then sat down to dessert which was very good. Mom and Dad left around 7PM. It was a very enjoyable day.

I always like to give thanks for something special on Thanksgiving. This year I give thanks to Mom and Dad, my former in laws, who, are still like family to me. I love them very much and I am so pleased to have them as grandparents for my kids.

Oh! Below is a picture of me getting ready to enjoy a small portion of Turkey, followed by one of Tails enjoying an appetizer before dinner. You may click on either for a much larger version in a new window.

It may look like I am licking the bird but I am not! I swear!!

A note about Tails; when I started this post I had to stop twice to get her out of the kitchen sink, then out of the planter by the stairs. She then found her way on the couch playing and biting at my arm, then onto the back of the of the couch sitting by my head. Purring now she has ended up on my chest where she demands petting, stroking, and scratching under the chin!