Thanksgiving is over, it was absolutely wonderful and I'm exhausted. Since I've been absent from here for a while, I figured I'd better update so you all know we survived Turkey Day, even though we eschewed turkey for beef. Rebels, yes we are.
My dad and his wife Pam came to spend the week in Pennsylvania, and we had a great time. They worked hard to tire out their granddaughter, and she responded with lots of squeals and a few new words. She sort of learned "gobble gobble" (though I'm pretty sure it was Gabba gabbba), and added "Happy!" to her vocab. When asked to say "Happy Thanksgiving", we got "Happy! Thank you!" Close enough. Though the hotel pool was too cold for swimming, we found plenty to do, and had a lot of fun.
We spent Thanksgiving playing Wii (Dr. B's self-purchased early Xmas gift), setting the table with the fancy dishes and cooking. Friends joined us and helped with the meal, and we all rolled away from the table stuffed with my Mom's Norwegian meatballs and gravy, rare roast beef with au jus (I hate writing that. With "with juice". Argh!), lefse (which turned out beautifully this year), cream cheese garlic mashed potatoes with extra garlic, green beans with almonds and garlic (well, we figured we already would have stinky breath due to the spuds), spinach soufflée-ish thing, salad with clementines, red onions, dried cranberries candied walnuts and lemon vinaigrette, brown sugar/vanilla cranberry sauce, dill pickles, gherkins, 2 kinds of chow chow, pumpkin cheesecake and shoefly pie. Bring out the fat pants.
We took Dad on a tour of Happy Valley, Big Valley and Stone Valley yesterday. Pam was feeling kind of yucky, so she decided to avoid the possible car sickness and rest up. We enjoyed the drive, and shared the sights of central PA, including the Allegheny Mountains (also known as biggish hills), the Susquehanna River, Amish buggies and purple dresses flapping on the clothesline*, and even a black bear that ran across the highway and up the hill. During a particularly curvy part of the road, I started to feel a bit ooky myself. I focused on the horizon, leaned to the center of the car, and gripped the door handle. Just then, Rowan looked at me, reached out, and grabbed my hand. She held it until we were on straighter roads and I relaxed. Her dad says she is an old soul. I think he's right. (I rewarded her thoughtfulness with banana Teddy Grahams, which rock, by the way.)
After a gargantuan Mexican lunch at Mad Mex, we spent some time watching her play at the library before driving them to the airport for their flight. It is hard to watch them go, knowing it will be a while before we see them again.
Today was spent napping (her), doing laundry, and running errands. Dr. B took care of Rowan while I ran out, and essentially ran in circles. Without a plan and a need for speed, I didn't quite know what to do. Not a Christmas gift was purchased, and I came home with something for me and a bunch of food, and forgot the thing I really needed, a folder for my choir music. Though the stores were full of supposedly great and amazing deals, it still looked like a bunch of stuff I didn't need or didn't want to give, so except for a cute vest I found for about half price that I knew I had at least 10 things in my closet to wear with, I came up empty. That's OK. My wallet stayed fuller that way.
So that's what's up around here. We're planning on staying at home for Christmas, and I'm looking forward to a relaxing holiday. I've got a lot of things on my list to do before then, including more gift-buying (I started during the sales in January, but I'm not done yet), gift making, holiday cards, baking, and even a few concerts. I know this month will fly by, but I'm hoping to enjoy the ride.
*along with striped towels. I didn't know they were allowed stripes!