2014-12-15

Your 2014 Holiday Letter. Plug and Print. Or Email.

I used to love to include a letter with our Christmas cards, tell people what we're up to, what we've achieved, my son is still alive. See, Dad? I CAN parent. That kind of thing.

The last few years, I have not been....inspired. For several reasons. Lack of sleep, busy days, lack of sleep, Also you forget things when you don't get enough sleep. I've also heard people can repeat themselves when they're not well rested. Where did I hear that before? I dunno. 

Besides, there isn't much to be said about the daily or even annual accomplishments of small children that people couldn't guess. They ate, they pooped, they made messes. Wow.

I figured to save us all time, there should be a Form Letter you can fill in and print out when you print your address labels if you must, (you're not still HAND writing them are you, Wilma Flintstone?! Oh honey, you can print at the library if you don't want to spend the money for ink for your printer.) 

Better yet, pretend you're on an Earth-Saving mission and copy and past the following into a mass group email!

Feel free to update one of the following letters. Fill in specifics and delete any sections you don't need. 

HOLIDAY LETTERS 2014

1. I sent this out last year:

Happy Holidays! 

We're alive and well and hope you are, too. 

For more information, see Facebook.

Love,
Us 

2. I haven't been updating Fakebook, d'oh! So I had to get creative this year.


Hello Special Person,

We would like to wish you a happy and peaceful season.

2014 was a year for  us. How about that crazy thing in the news? Crazy. 

We have had a year, we learned and did a lot of stuff. And also things. Hope you did, too.

Spawn Update 
(delete or change to 'Dog' or 'Cat' etc.)

The little ones are getting bigger. It's like they're growing every day. One minute they're doing this and the next day they're doing that. Am I right?

The middles ones are learning and excelling in their sport or extra curricular activity, and doing what they're supposed to be doing, except when they're not. 

Those scamps. It's a good thing we're Santa has a short memory.

The teenager(s). Well, we're supposed to love them no matter what. 

They'll be adults soon and then they're society's problem. 



Have a wonderful holiday and and a happy and healthy 2015!





2014-12-13

Breaking Cake & I Got BOMBED: TToT

This was an interesting week. I had to write something serious, which is usually a bummer for me, but necessary for whatever reason. The lovely Lizzi THANKFULLY encouraged, inspired, helped, full-on edited my ramblings and allowed me to post my thoughts on some of the worst things in the news here in the U.S. 

I'm thankful to Sisterwives Speak blog for allowing me to post there and have more than my 13 readers have access to that. Click >>here<< to read about that  if you're interested

I'm deeply thankful to Lizzi for her support, encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone in Alice's Wonderland of madness into more serious subjects. It may not seem like much, but my taking the time to put troubling thoughts into coherent sentences, and form a complete post on the subject, is very cathartic. I doubt I was able to give anyone much to think about, but it was nice to be able to get it out there in whatever way possible. 


Thankfully, the comments were all polite, even those that disagreed. I have seen some of these subjects not well received, and that is part of why I-- why we ALL need to voice our opinions. 

Open dialogue in a safe place between people of all kinds, from all different areas and different experiences, is the best way we can understand each other and all feel part of the SAME TEAM. The Sisterwives Speak blog of course has intelligent lovely followers. Of course they do.

We're getting ready for the holidays, and thankfully remaining comfy. We try not take on more than we can handle, as is our way. We don't go crazy at holiday time, that gets to be too much. I'm thankful we know our limits. We take a family picture to send in some cards, we put up a tree and some inside decorations and lights. Thankfully our children are happy with that.

We're going to make some Christmas-ey cookies this year, not a huge batch from scratch that takes all day, just a few different ideas for holiday treats. We always do some kind of craft for whatever season, I'm thankful my Lola loves to do crafts. She's always so proud of making something. 

We do minimal presents, and thankfully my husband reminds me to keep it small so we don't feel we have to out-do the year before. My children are still young, we're trying to keep the season from turning into just PRESENTS. At least for as long as we can. We figure maybe one more year ? :)

After focusing on the bad news I had written about, I'm thankful to announce a fantastically GREAT package came in the mail from none other than the beautiful, world famous published author Lizzi Rogers! Very exciting! International air mail, for little old US. 
Of course it was filled with fun, *sparkly-twinkley-goodness* (I'm not nearly as good as that as Lizzi is) and fun, happy things. 
My kids played in the glitter, and made little bracelets for their stuffed animals with it!
My Lola said "I love this stuff!" We played, wore mustaches, well the 2 yr old wanted no part of that because: 2. 
T-Rex arms & selfies don't go well together
She did, however, love the cake erasers and we all had a cake eraser tea party, here we are doing "Cake Cheers!"
Fun! They're STILL playing with the glitter 40 minutes later!

I'm thankful for having met Lizzi, and looking forward to one day really having cake WITH Lizzi! Not just Skype cake, though that sounds pretty fun, too, but sometime next year when she graces our land with her presence, we shall break cake together.  By that I mean eat cake, not just break cakes. That's senseless cruelty to cakes.
NNOOOOOOOO! Save the innocent cakes! from eatingrecipe.com
I'm so grateful for Lizzi's glitterbombs, the world needs more of these lovely bombs. Her post today is full of goodbombs and it's making me listen to The Smiths "Louder Than Bombs" which someone thankfully uploaded the whole album to YouTube. Thank you, lovely people who do this! We challenged people enjoy having free things to listen to while we try to get exercise. Here is the WHOLE ALBUM.
I'm also thankful for my family, who helped me when I was younger and who always help me and long story short have again, and to celebrate we're going out to dinner at a grown-up restaurant that doesn't even have crayons. (I always have some in my bag, no worries!) That is worth more than 10, and the Book of Secret Rules BoSR/SBoR clearly states the sum of the parts are worth more than the numbers, or something like that. I don't speak fluent Guard-Virginian. 

This post was much more fun than last week and part of the best blog community yet invented, the Ten Things of Thankful.






2014-12-09

I Can't Breathe. Thoughts I wrote in support of #BlackLivesMatter

I hate when I have to write anything of a serious nature. I occasionally write about stories in the news, but I like to put a funny spin on whatever the subject is, add my own flavor in a way (ridiculous or not) that no one else could.

Whenever I feel I have to write a serious piece, it's usually something very upsetting. If I can't even put any humor into a piece, I know it's serious. I had to write this piece, on the items in the news lately that revolve around the riots in Ferguson and protests nationwide, and the reaction to all of that. 

The Sisterwives Speak group were kind enough to publish my thoughts on that, and thanks to Lizzi for this piece even getting finished. I have a very hard time editing my writing, my original submission was 10 pages long and I needed help getting it digestible. Lizzi made it happen. 

Please click the link >> HERE << to read my thoughts. 

Because it's true #BlackLivesMatter and they need as much support and as many voices as we possibly can muster.

Please know that I support Law Enforcement and reading this article, and having any opinion you have on any one case, does not mean you don't support Law Enforcement. 

Everyone makes mistakes. A few bad apples do not spoil the whole bunch, and all of that. I address this in my piece. But we cannot continue to pretend these things don't matter. They do.


2014-12-08

The WolfChild The Book And The Burn! A Guest Story

It's Monday, but it's the best Monday in a long time. It's the third Monday for the rest of your life, and it's also the Monday where I post a fantastic tale from a guest writer. World-famous published author Lizzi Rogers and I are doing a cookie exchange but with words.

Lizzi and I both agreed to go a little outside of our comfort zone to mix things up. She wrote a satirical piece, funny and shiny-magazine worthy, and I made an attempt to write about something real and non-ridiculous. It was hard, yo. That's coming up this week, I will post a link in a separate post.


You are the winner in this whole experiment, because you get rewarded with a story from a real writer for once. 


Just don't get used to this level of writing around here.


Without further ado, for once, here is a true tale that will be told 'round the hair-dryer for generations to come from the master of fiction, Lizzi Rogers of Considerings blog.



The WolfChild, the Book and the BURN!

My mother once told me that when I was born, in addition to a head full of thick, jet-black hair, I had a fine rim of (what can only be described as) fur on each ear. Having closely examined my genetic heritage, I can only assume that I’m a bit of a WolfChild. Which hasn’t been a problem for years, until recently, like tonight. And then it was really Frankenstein’s fault…let me explain.

I don’t know whether it’s the cold weather, the fact that I’ve been exercising quite a bit lately (and something distasteful about muscle mass increasing testosterone levels (!)), or that my inherent WolfChildiness just decided to make a bit of a resurgence, but in the last couple of months I’ve noticed a fine, but long, layer of what can only be described as FLUFF, coating my upper arms.


And EW! Because seriously, who wants that?


I hoped that I could ignore it and it would go away, but as with each occurrence of that time-honoured go-to response, it didn’t work. And I AM (just about) enough of a girl to know that shaving said fluff would leave nasty stubble and ugly regrowth.


My options seemed limited, and I began to contemplate getting a waxing kit (not my favourite – I’ve tried it once. I pulled faces and teared up. It hurt. And I’m pretty sure I did it wrong, because my legs seemed to have more wax on them after I’d finished pulling the little paper things off, and the level of hair was more ‘moth eaten mink’ than ‘smooth and lovely’) but then to my utter joy, a bargain on the shelf at my local supermarket seemed to provide The Answer.


Hair removal cream. Of course! How could I go wrong?!


I felt so proud of myself for figuring it out and Being A Girl without needing prior instruction, hand-holding throughout, and correction afterwards. For once!

But of course, pride always comes before a fall, though in this case I think I can circumvent pride entirely and implicate Frankenstein and Mandi, holding them both utterly accountable for What Happened Later…

SO!


A while ago in a conversation about books, my lovely friend Mandi shared that she’s a huge fan of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, and I admitted that it was one of those classics you feel you really *should* read, but somehow I’d never gotten around to. She rolled her eyes and pouted and stamped her feet (adorably) and told me that I really, really, simply must read it, because it’s wonderful and she loves it. So I told her I would, and promptly forgot all about it.


Then a while later I was at my Dad’s, and saw that he HAD a copy of Frankenstein, and remembering Mandi’s passion for the story, I asked him if I could borrow it. He allowed me, and I took it back home with me, whereupon I put it down Some-whar* and promptly forgot all about it.


Today (several months later) Husby and I were having a pre-Christmas tidy-up of the flat, and under a chair, several layers of old-no-longer-fits-me clothes, two bags full of things I thought I’d lost forever, a camping blanket, some shoes, and an assortment of cranefly carcasses, I FOUND THE BOOK! I was so happy, I brushed it off, added it to the top of the book-tower in the hallway, and took a photo on Instagram to show to Mandi, who told me that she squealed with delight to see it, and asked if I’d read it yet. Guiltily, I told her no, but that I WOULD.


Fast-forward beyond the end of the cleaning, the tidying, the laundry and dinner, to the point where I decided that I would have a shower to wash all the dust off, and while I was at it, why not try that hair removal cream, after all, no time like the present?


I got undressed and then realised that I wouldn’t be able to see the backs of my arms well enough to apply the cream. We have a mirror, but seriously, who has the TIME to be standing backwards, butt-naked in December, in front of a mirror, trying to wrangle themselves into an even layer of anti-fluff cream!? Clearly the task of Being A Girl is one I’m not yet up to, so I called Husby to come and help me, and through his giggles, he understood what he was meant to do, and started layering on the little sachet of slightly pink, verycold cream.


Eventually it was on, in an almost, kindasorta even layer, all around the tops of my arms (shoulder to elbow, for good measure) and the back of the sachet told me I could leave it for five minutes, or 10 if the hair seemed stubborn, but DEFINITELY NO LONGER THAN 15 MINUTES! Which, as it was kind of stinging and uncomfortable, I figured was fair enough.


I told myself that this was the price of beauty, that there’s no gain without pain, and to GIRL UP – though I did a difficult job of convincing myself, standing there in the middle of the freezing, in the nip, bored, and in a stance like a gorilla so that the cream didn’t smear from my arms onto any of the rest of me and do something unexpectedly awful like dissolve a boob off…

…and at that point a genius idea hit me. Mandi! Frankenstein! BOOK! I could make a start!

I checked the time on my phone and calculated that I should have enough time to safely get at least a FEW pages in before I needed to take the cream off. So I opened the book and promptly forgot all about it.


Fie, fie on me. I shoulda stayed bored. Before I knew it, I’d gone well over my 15 minutes, had a Sudden Realisation, and whizzed the shower on in a panic, because I knew by the level of ‘ouch!’ that I should definitely hurry up and wash the cream off.


It. Was. Awful.


If I were the type to cry with pain, I would have! Even horrible, awful sunburn isn’t that bad.

The warm water on my skin felt like burning needles. And the gentlest strokes of my fingertips to get rid of the cream (which had kind of hardened on) felt like I was abrading myself with sandpaper gloves. And because I was so terrified of splashing any of this awful ointment into my eyes, I was working with my eyes shut, and as I felt the amassing under my fingertips of little sloughings of what I desperately hoped was only the hair, I couldn’t help but worry as visions of the shower water turning pink as my arms oozed blood, having melted down to the muscle layer, shot through my imagination.

Fortunately when I tentatively opened my eyes, though my arms were blotchy and pale, there was no blood. Even though there should have been, given the level of pain!


UNfortunately, when I got out and dried off, I realised why it hurt so much: there were scatterings of tiny holes all over the surface of my upper arms! The cream had eaten away my skin!!! Holyfuck!

BUT (and this is the important bit) not even a SHRED of fluff was left, and my upper arms were every inch the twin paragons of smooth, glossy baldness I’d desired.

And yeah, there might have been a mild case of chemical burns, and later, blisters to go with the lacework which was my epithelium, but I had some soothing, lavender-scented baby-bum-cream to slather on, and really I was just psyched at my success, because I’ve done it: I’ve finally WON at BEING A GIRL!


I just wonder how long it’s going to be before I get to be my glorious, feminine self without wincing in agony.


P.S. Just FYI –sometimes even the computer notices when you fail at life; later in the evening I got a spam email from Bloglovin, promising me smoother, perfect skin. HAH! #Can’tMakeThatShitUp



*Some-whar: that Place, where you put things you intend to come back to, and somehow never do, and then can’t remember where the Place was…




Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth Teller and Seeker of Good. She works a normal job and has a secret life as the writer at Considerings. Wife to Husby and Mother to two Neverborns (and now dealing with the challenge of primary infertility) she is a frequent instigator of silliness and loves to entertain with words.


2014-12-05

The Weirdest Summing Up You'll See All Week. Probably.

I'm turning my e-frown upside e-down and looking at things the Thankful Way.

Instead of:
"I hate being broke at Christmastime"
I'm thankful for:
Stuff that 'really matters' meaning it's FREE.

Stuff like:
We're healthy, for the most part. I mean if you don't count stuff like cholesterol levels and BMI. Screw you BMI. You don't know my life, bunch of weird numbers invented before Doritos.
from fatgirlchangingherworld.com

Not all people have full health, not even all people I know. 

At least we live in a place where we have a lot of options for treatment. I'm thankful for that.

Thankful we have time to do things like cookie decorating with Grandma Ready, that's how my 2 yr old says it. They had a blast & made a big mess. And ate a lot of cookies, BMI be damned.

Speaking of messes, we made a big one following a post left on my FB wall about Play Snow.

It's 1/3 cup hair conditioner and 3 cups baking soda. I didn't even have enough baking soda and all the kids that were here LOVED IT. 

We also do things that don't go over as well, like "Hot Cocoa Picnic In The Park." Good idea at the time, but with a 2-,4-, and 5-yr old it was a messy, spilling, staining and complaining festival. Meh, I tried.

Goodwill Industries.
Chock full of old, cheap, FANTASTIC treasures like toys, clothes, decorations and LAMPS! I picked up a couple lamps for $2/each and a ton of puzzles for the kids. Can't beat that.

Perspective.
It helps me a lot. I haven't lived a charmed life or anything, you'll be shocked to know with my level of charm, but I've met a lot of different kinds of people and done a lot of different kinds of things and it's really helped for me to see other people's opinions. 

I've worked for very rich (very not nice) people, and volunteered with very monetarily-challenged, and completely wonderful gifts from the universe, people. Unlike the racists sheltered opinionated people in my FB newsfeed, I don't feel the need to add insult to injury about the reaction to certain news items. I've said it before, but if you just really, truly cannot understand that level of anger, frustration and rage, just thank your lucky stars.

I'm all for NON-VIOLENT protests of people who don't think they're being treated fairly. If you live in a place where you're treated fairly, and have basic freedom and civil rights, chances are someone, at some time, may have had to fight for that. We should be thankful that they did. 

I wanted to write about it, but I couldn't make time. Probably for the best, I doubt it would have done much. The people who read my blog are good, intelligent people. Yet they read it anyway, nyuk nyuk. I'm thankful they do! They don't need my advice. I don't even know what advice there is, what call to action can be brought forth. When something happens where *I* live, I will go to congress.org and look for someone to e-mail. Usually I get a cookie cutter response, but I feel like I did SOMETHING. I don't even know here. I feel I'm not in a position to be helpful right now. I am currently overwhelmed by other things that need my full attention. 

I'm thankful I can opt out of things. Not everyone can.

I'm thankful I have choices. Not everyone does.

I'm thankful I live in a place where I don't fear for my life on a regular basis. Or the lives of my children. Even if they make mistakes. And they will make mistakes. Because they're human. That's what humans do. It's actually kind of our thing. Everyone makes mistakes, the young, the old, the rich, the educated, the religious, oh gods yes the religious, the professionally trained.

But my children will most likely have the luxury of learning from their mistakes. They will have the opportunity to make amends, to apologize. Because they won't have an immediate trial by firing squad for the way they look.

I just wish everyone could say that.

I really wish EVERYONE could say that. 

Just some thoughts. 

I want to put something funny here, but I can't seem to.

How about a suit made of Ugly Sweater material??
This post is part of the Ten Things of Thankful, and really it's not supposed to be this much of a bummer. And it almost never is.



2014-11-30

Must Be The Season Of The Binch

Every holiday season I go from excitement to nostalgia, to the feeling of wanting to help everyone and reach out because the holidays are HARD on a lot of people, to being barraged by messages of everyone looking for help and donations and prayers for SO MANY things and people, to becoming overwhelmed and eventually just shutting down and hating everything again, from the stress of ALL THE holiday THINGS.

That usually doesn't happen until about mid-Decemberish, but here I am before even December 1st singing "You're a mean one, Mrs. Binch" to myself.
My spirit animal. Bitch + grinch = Binch.
It's not surprising. I haven't been handling my stress well. Add holiday stuff and a few other truly depressing Life-ings, and it was bound to happen. I just didn't think it would be this soon.

I am trying. I'm doing the work. This year we got our family photo out of the way in November, as we intend to every year but usually don't. The teenager has been working for cash (I know, I tried to tell him) on some side job that's keeping him really busy. He came right out and said he doesn't want to try to be in the photo. Which sucks, but also? That means we can strap on some Christmas Nikes and just do it. It's done. The 2 yr old is literally holding a bag of freaking cereal in the picture, and she wouldn't sit WITH us so there is a separate picture of the girls and of us, but whatever, it's done. Maybe some day we'll laugh about that. Next thing.
We should have just used THIS picture and been done.
I always make them kiss, it's the ONLY WAY to make them
hold still long enough to take a picture that isn't blurry.
Thankfully we had the foresight to get our Christmas tree up early. The youngest has said about 55 times, "Thanks for my Christmas tree, Mom and Dad!" Totally worth the effort. 


So REAL-looking isn't it? Real plastic.
The Charlie Brown tree of fake Xmas trees
2 years ago we waited and procrastinated so long we never put up more than a tiny tabletop tree. Lame. Last year we were scrambling and it was stressful instead of fun. And it immediately fell over, but our old tree has been through a lot. 

I've had it for at least 15 years and my dad had fished it out of the garbage, so it already had a full life of it's own before entering mine. Like so many of my housewares. 

Here is one of my favorite Daddy-Dumpster-Dive decorations, a decades old light-up Santa. Hideous yes, but I just had to plug in and hang it on the window. This year I plugged it and discovered it doesn't work *sad trumpet music* 
This looks a LOT like Stinky Pete the Prospector from Toy Story 2
Yes, I could probably just check each bulb and replace whichever one doesn't work and maybe then they would all work. That's about as likely as Santa coming down our chimney. Our chimney is no doubt cemented shut since we have a furnace. I assume Santa sends a small elf in through a drain pipe. Or if he's smart uses actual magic, like "Accio present" to poof presents where they need to be. Wouldn't that be more environmentally friendly and less animal cruelty for reindeer?

I'm thankful we were able to get out and finally meet up with a friend I've been trying to see since SUMMER.
Thankfully, we got to see the Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo. That was lovely, and we could not have asked for a better day weather-wise in Chicago. It was just over 50 degrees! For almost December, that's practically surfing weather. 
More Zoo Lights pictures on my Instagram if you like that kind of thing
We were also at the zoo in the dark, which is really cool if you've never been. We got to see gorillas sleeping. It was very odd, they looked comatose on their beds of hay. With all the noise and kids tapping on glass, and even a few jerks taking FLASH photos, they didn't wake up. Just laid there with their giant arms, legs and sausage fingers laying about. 
No, just thought I would look and this was funny. from funny-pics.co
One youngin even had his or her legs folded up under it's arms. It looked cool, but the photo didn't turn out without flash and I didn't want to use the flash and start a Planet of the Apes situation.

I'm beyond thankful Thanksgiving is over. Ironically. For me, the day AFTER Thanksgiving is the real holiday: Cooking is over, we have tons of leftovers and paper plates, which my budget and American waste-producing guilt won't usually let me use. 
Nice try. I use PAPER. That burns right up and kills zero birds and fish. Probably.
But the day after a big party? You bet your giblets I'm using them. It's kind of glorious, the leftover pie for breakfast on a plate I don't have to wash. It's the closest I'll ever get to that feeling of holiday magic we used to have as kids, but as parents, specifically the COOKING parent, you never get again. 

I'm thankful we didn't drink the wine I bought for Thanksgiving until today. It's pairing nicely with my crabby mood and today's turkey soup, which thankfully marks the last of the turkey leftovers. 

If you're not a gravy fan, that dry meat is hard enough to choke down the day you cook it and each day it just gets worse. 

I usually make turkey pot pie but my son hasn't been around so other than a few sammiches with tomatoes, it's all rice and veggie soup.  Done.

I'm trying to focus on the thankfuls. That's the key to this season. Don't do more than you need to, or you'll make yourself a grinch.

This post was part of the Ten Things of Thankful experience. 

A reminder about holiday stress and suggestions for coping:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544

2014-11-21

Fat Pants, Poxes and Four Finger Spatchcock

An unexpected, but much appreciated break in my crazy schedule, giving me time to think, and to some small extent write, again at last.

Also time to start reading, an actual BOOK! Not just any book, Jessica! A book our own Lizzi Rogers, of Considerings fame, is featured in. Look, there's her name ON THE COVER.

RIGHT ^ THERE, her name is there
This is a great book so far. I haven't gotten very far, as I have life-induced reading narcolepsy. I read half a page and my head falls, through no fault of the greatness of the book. I can't make it through movies, TV shows, visits with friends, you name it. 

I'm really enjoying reading an actual paper book again, I miss it! I love having a really GOOD book. It's like the beginning of a great relationship, you can't wait to escape to that special, magical place and leave the REAL (boring) world far behind. This one is fantastic. It's on amazon.com [click that link and get an extra as a Christmas present] for $6.99 and the Kindle version is $2.99 It's a steal at thrice the price.

Hopefully I'll get some more time to read next week, during my unplanned, just got confirmed WEEK OFF! No extra kids next week, only my own. This means no paycheck, but the universe must know how badly I need a break. It's as close to a vacation as I'll get for quite awhile. 

Next week is the day we Americans celebrate the popular story of our forefathers coming this land, being unable to handle farming and...enlisting, let's say, the help of the native people of the land. In exchange, the English settlers (who would not be called 'pilgrims' for at least 200 more years) introduced them to tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera and various poxes. Thus starting the tradition of Thanksgiving. Some 400 years later. 

The plague that wiped out 90-96% of the native inhabitants of New England also spear-headed (sorry) another American tradition you won't find in textbooks: 
The religious tradition of using "God's will" to defend human atrocities, and explain away anything we fear. I don't want to tell you how that story ends, I hate spoilers. 

The moral of the story? We get a holiday on Thursday, where we traditionally overeat in stretchy fat pants (or as I call them: Pants) and take the entire next day to recover. The more ambitious of us can choose to rise early on Friday, and hunt and destroy each other looking for Doorbuster sales in stores nationwide. 
I'll be taking a walk on the wild side and trying spatchcocking, because I like my holiday food like I like my women: Fast and easy. 
Fowl, fowl porn  oshawaogre.wordpress.com
I want to pretend that's something super exotic and kinky, especially after that picture, but it's a way of cooking turkey or chicken quickly. Allegedly. My Diane-in-Law told me about, she's my go-to for domestic questions. 
This is how you baste turkey, right?
I'm extremely thankful we don't have to do any Black Friday madness. Ever again if I have my way. 

Years and years ago my now husband somehow talked me into Friday morning madness (2 or 3am, I believe) in line at Best Buy. That is some of the coldest I've ever been and I was born in Chicago. I wound up going back to my truck and falling asleep with the heat on, until the air was as wavy as gravy. 

Luckily we weren't in a bad neighborhood, I could have wound up in a Chop Shop being broken down for parts to sell on the black market. My heart is black, liver's shot, lungs have always been junk, but I think my spleen and kidneys might get a few bucks. 


Watching footage of Black Friday madness on the news is oddly fascinating. It's like the running of the bulls, where bulls are bargain shoppers with nothing to lose. I'll pass. Now stores are open on Thursday. Going out in the cold to spend money with lunatics goes against just about everything I consider a holiday. 

I'm also thankful my volunteer friends started their annual tradition of handling a balloon in the parade AFTER I was super pregnant, and unable to join them. It also sounds like torture, being under a giant balloon in the freezing Chicago wind and cold...during a parade. It may just be my Sudden Onset Elderly Syndrome talking, but NO PART of that sounds good to me.

Okay, as usual my train of thought derailed and ran into an ocean of tangents. 
Link up here to join in, and give us some things you're thankful for.