I’ll start with the best news first. We finally got rain!!! I’ve never been so happy to see rain. We had a tiny bit of rain in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning. Then we had a little rain Monday night.
We’ve had lots of rain today, and it has been wonderful.
The smoke got really bad last week. Because of the way the wind was blowing we were actually getting smoke from two different fires. There was a haze of smoke inside at work last week, and at home it smelled like a bonfire. I was convinced we would be evacuating. Once again, Nick was the voice of reason, and was right, no evacuation for us.
I ended up going to the doctor to get medications for smoke-related breathing issues. I’ve had a terrible cough that just won’t go away. It turns out that it’s due to inflammation caused from the smoke and all of the coughing. I’m two days into the medicine, and already feel so much better. Being able to breathe is a wonderful thing!
Our cat, Joey, has asthma, and our vet has had us increase all of his medications, and even added in a few more. Hopefully now that we’ve had some rain, and the smoke seems to finally be clearing, we’ll be able to taper him back down to his normal dose.
We celebrated my parents’ 42nd anniversary with them the weekend before Thanksgiving. We brought a cake, and Nick made calzones, which were incredibly delicious. It was a little weird, because we had to check on the status of three different fires burning near us before we felt comfortable leaving to go that far from home. Fortunately everything was fine, and we had a good time with my parents.
Thanksgiving went really well. I got the food to the hospice house on time. I was really worried about running behind. I told them I’d have it there between 12:30 and 1:00, and made it about 12:50, so I’m counting that as a win. Bonus win, I had very minimal spilling on the drive there; just a little green bean juice spilled in the trunk. Considering the amount of food I took there, I’m counting that as success. I’m fairly proud of myself for packing it up efficiently. I saved shipping boxes for a while, so I’d have boxes to put the pans in. I put everything in disposable pans so there would be no worrying about getting dishes back, and labeled everything to make it easier in dealing with leftovers. We even remembered to buy paper plates, etc. to take.
I ended up bringing turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes (made to stand alone, so they wouldn’t necessarily need gravy, and could be a vegetarian option, per Victoria’s suggestion), sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, green beans, rolls, jellied cranberry sauce, whole berry cranberry sauce, two pumpkin pies, a cherry crunch, and a chocolate cake. I ended up scaling the menu back a little bit, just to make sure I got everything there on time, but I think there was still plenty of food.
The staff was so nice, and kept thanking me over and over again. They made me cry (in a good way, just by being so nice). I told them they had just been so kind when GrandMommy was there, and that we really appreciated them. I cannot imagine doing their job. They kept saying they’re happy to do it, especially when people appreciate it. I didn’t stick around very long. I didn’t want to intrude on anyone’s grief, or get in the way of people trying to work, or eat so they could get back to work. And I wanted to get out of there before I turned into a total crying mess. I called Nick’s mom on the way home, and cried to her instead, Like, I said, it was mostly a good cry, though.
Once I got home from hospice, I started cooking smaller batches of Thanksgiving food for us for when Nick got home from work. I started the desserts on Wednesday afternoon. I have pictures of the desserts, but somehow managed not to take a single picture of the food before I left with it on Thursday. We figured out that out of about a 30 hour period I cooked or baked for all but about eight hours of it. It was fun, but I totally crashed on Friday.
On Friday, the most ambitious thing I did was a little online Black Friday shopping. I’ll admit, I never even got out of my pajamas. We ate leftovers, watched a few movies, and did a little online shopping. It was nice to have such a low-key day.
We put the tree up on Saturday, and had a friend, Cathey, over for some apple cake. She had gone out of town for Thanksgiving, and we started talking about how everyone had spent Thanksgiving. We told her about taking food to hospice, and she loved the idea. Her first husband was sick off an on for years before he died, and she has ended up taking care of a lot of different people over the years. She has spent pretty much every major holiday in a hospital or similar place at some point. She said one Christmas when her husband was in the hospital someone had brought in some Christmas goodies, and it just made such a difference to her that someone did that. So she came up with the idea for us to take Christmas goodies to the hospice house. We won’t be able to go on Christmas, but we’re planning to go a few days before and leave some Christmas foods. Cathey makes a lot of the traditional candies and fudge, so will do that. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to make yet. I’m open to suggestions.
The tree looks good, and so far Frankie is the only cat really messing with it much. One of the presents is in a fairly large box, and he’s using the box to stand on to access some of the higher branches (where we put the ornaments we really don’t want the cats messing with), so I think that box is going to end up being moved away from the tree.
We’ve finished most of our Christmas shopping. I think we have about four more things to buy, and then we’ll be completely finished. I’ve also finished shopping for Nick’s birthday (he’s a Christmas Eve baby), and am just waiting for a few more online orders to come in. I’m hoping to finish up all, or at least most, of the wrapping this weekend. I enjoy wrapping presents, but it seems to take me forever.
I can’t go into details because most of the people I shop for read my blog at least occasionally, but I’m really excited about a few of the presents. I also know what some people we’ll be celebrating with have gotten for each other, and I think everyone is really going to love their gifts.
So what about you? How was your Thanksgiving? How are your Christmas preparations going? I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you aren’t dealing with smoke!