Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving and stuff

1968 Thanksgiving at Grandma Hammett's

Thanksgiving is almost here.  I have the turkey in the frig thawing (I hope it's thawed by Thursday) and, of course, there's always last minute items I need to run out to the store to get.  Thanksgiving isn't what it used to be.  When I was a child I used to go to my grandmother's for Thanksgiving with family, but most all of my family has passed away now.  But it was so exciting to go to grandma's to see how she decorated her table.  Grandma would make the best egg noodles.  After she would get done rolling out the dough and cutting it into noodles she would let them sit out on the counter to dry.  However, I couldn't help but to sneak a few raw noodles to eat and grandma would tell me if I ate all the raw noodles there wouldn't be any to cook. 

Me with the turkey

Sometimes, though we didn't have Thanksgiving at grandmas...I think it was after my aunt moved to Florida  it became my mom's job to cook the turkey.  Mom's kitchen wasn't very big and I know it was a great stress for her to do all that by herself.  But I think she pulled it off nicely and even decorated the table, just as her mom did.

Mom and her Thanksgiving turkey

So where did all the tradition go?  I miss it.  I miss having a big family around me, smelling all the different foods cooking in the kitchen; waiting in anticipation of eating so much you'd feel as if you'd bust open!  And the leftovers....homemade dressing...yum.  If my grandma made the best noodles ever, than mom made the best stuffing.  Hours after the big feast. I would reach into the refrigerator and grab a handful of leftover homemade dressing and eat it cold.  Then a few more hours later I would heat up leftover noodles and eat a big bowl full.  And the pumpkin pie with more whip cream than the pie...oh so good!  My children have never really had a huge family to have traditions with.  Their grandparents passed away when they were small so they have missed out on the excitment of family gatherings for holidays.  I have tried to do the best I can to make them feel excited about holidays, but in the back of my heart I know what they have missed. 

Last Sunday:
My daughter called up and asked if her dad would take her for a motorcycle ride.  She gets a hankering for a ride every once in awhile when she wants to clear her head or go somewhere for a little while.  I suggested they go to the beach, Beverly Beach. The husband and I used to go fishing in a little pond at Beverly Beach when were dating.  Of course when I told daughter that little bit of info, she was like 'oh yuk.'  Hahaha.  From the pictures they took, though, it looks like they enjoyed themselves.

Beverly Beach used to be the place to go back in the day.  Everybody went there...it was the beach.  Now it is privately owned and no one is allowed on the beach.  Shhh..don't tell anybody these two trespassed.  Husband's family took their kids to the beach there and so did my parents.  I often wonder if husband and I were at the beach at the same time.  How cool would that be knowing we were little kids at the beach at the same time? 

Daughter decided she wanted to go to black Friday.  I have never been, so it should be interesting.  I hate to shop and I hate crowds so I'm gonna have to be on my best behavior!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Time sure does fly by.  Sometimes the days just seem to run together.  Considering I'm a night owl and don't usual get to bed until 4 in the morning I suppose my days do run together.  I'm up when the rest of the world seems to be asleep and I'm asleep when the world is up. 

Anyway, at the end of September I decided that I would get a part time job.  Who can't use the money?  I haven't worked in over 30 years so it was a challenge for me to pick the right job.  I went on snagajob online and found one I thought I could do.  The job description had to do with tagging clothes and putting them on the floor.  The job was with the fancy department store that sponsors the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I applied online, got an interview time, went for my interview, got hired, but never heard back from them until today.  And guess what?  They have decided they didn't need my 'field of expertise' at this time.  Can you believe that?  Why would you tell someone they are hired and two months later tell them they are unhired?  During this waiting period (this is a seasonal position so I wasn't going to start work until the middle of Nov), my car's engine blew up; another huge expense.  And I was worried this department store was going to call me to come in and I didn't have a car.  Yesterday I got my car back and today I find out I don't have a job.  This is how my life has been all my life.  It's hard to hope for anything because I know there is only disappointment at the end of the line.  It's true.  I've always said if something's going to happen, it'll happen to me.  My dad used to say if he didn't have bad luck, he wouldn't have any luck at all.  I must really take after my dad!

I have filled up the last week or so painting my bedroom.  Only thing I need to finish now is painting the closet and getting my clothes hung up in it.  Painting is not my favorite project.  I hate the clean up. 

So I will continue to push onward.  What other choice do I have?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Most of my life I have not been one of those wonderful, great cooks.  I make food just to get by.  I've prepare my share of Hamburger Helper, boxed mac and cheese, etc.  It's almost shameful because I remember mom making scalloped potatoes from scratch and delicious macroni and cheese right out of the oven. And my grandmother made homemade egg noodles (oh, so good!).   I never really learned how to do that kind of cooking, but I sure do miss it.  I have a shelf full of cookbooks.  From time to time I take them down and look through them.  I vow to make this and make that, but it never happens.  One of this year's resolutions was to make a weekly menu plan, but that never got started either.  I have a drawer full of recipes, too.  What to do with them all I kept asking myself.  I thought about typing them all into one of those online recipes sites where you can eventually publish your own cookbook.  So I googled some sites and found this one:  http://www.tastebook.com/.  This is not just a regular 'type in your own recipe then print them off' book.  For about $20 you can order your own recipe book on glossy paper, in a spiral book that opens so you can add more recipes.  Not only that, you can import recipes from other food sites.  You can also design the front cover of your book and title it with whatever you want it to say.  And, you can download pictures of whatever you want...either the dishes you've made or your family or whatever.  I've never seen anything like it before and I was thrilled to find this.  I have already download a couple of recipes.  Finding this site has kinda kick started me into cooking because I want to try out recipes before I download them into my cookbook.  This has also prompted me to want to watch that movie Julia and Juliet.  Maybe I will plan to watch it this weekend.

Another site I have been looking at is this one: http://www.newdressaday.com/.  This lady is something else.  After watching the movie Julia and Juliet, she came out of the movie wondering what kind of impact on people she could have.  So she decided that since she is creative with sewing she would give herself a $1 a day allowance to buy a dress and re-create it.  Well, they aren't dresses that she would wear, she buys things people have given away and turns them into cute outfits.  It's amazing what she had done with discarded clothes.  All her outfits that she buys she gets at the thrift store in the $1 pile.  She is day 340 and has only $28 left to spend.  She's amazing.

Some people find their niches and can share it with the world.  Others have something worthy to give but seem stuck as to how to share it.   I guess some people are suppose to be an inspiration to others to get them out of their cocoon and find what they are good at.

Off to the kitchen I go to make meatloaf.  I'm gonna carefully measure my ingredients so I can put it in my cookbook!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of our daughter and sister.  Anniversary is a word that sounds as though it's something to celebrate, but it's not.  Katrina was twelve years old when she lost her battle to cystic fibrosis.  That's when my family's lives changed; we felt the pain of broken hearts.  It's when five became four.  Parents lost their firstborn daughter, siblings lost their older sister.  Nothing to celebrate about that, for sure.  We felt as if we had been thrown into the sea and had to learn to keep our heads above water or we'd all drown.  Swimming against the current is the best way to describe it.  I had to learn to take four dinner plates out of the cabinet instead of five.  I had to look at the place at the table where Katrina used to sit.  Awful.  Whoever said time heals all wounds never experienced the death of a child.  It's certainly one wound that never, ever heals.  It's not something to get over, either.  It's always there, that knot in my stomach, the hole in my heart.  Dreams, goals and future is gone.  Furture grandchildren, gone.  It's all gone with the death of a child.  Katrina was a tropper, though as most cf kids are.  She never complained and always had a smile on her face.  Oh, if she was here I would grab her up in my arms and plant kisses on her face and tell her how much I love her.  Instead, I have to wait to be reunited with her.  It will happen someday.  I have missed her for eighteen years now.  I can't believe it's been so long.  Where has time gone?  Katrina, if you can somehow hear me, I love you; I miss you and I can't wait to see you again.

I try to keep myself busy during this time, so I don't have to remember (but it doesn't work).  Husband and I went to the mall last weekend.  They had a pumpkin contest (different stores make a pumpkin to enter it in a contest).  Here's some of those pumpkins:

My daughter and her friends dressed up for Halloween and went out on the town.  She went as a dead bride.  The above picture was how I thought she'd look and it wasn't far from it.  Below is a picture of my daughter:
Why she chose this as her costume, I don't know.  After the mall we stopped by a farm down the street that has a corn maze and other activities, but since it was 10pm we didn't do much except look through the country store.  Then later that night I carved my pumpkin:

Honestly, it isn't as fun without my kids.  I know they are grown, but still, it was always a tradition and now it's kinda gone.  How I miss the giggles, the 'oh gross' when the kids would reach their hands inside the pumpkin to pull out all the guts and seeds.  Holidays = kids and laughs.    Those two just go together.  Now, it's time to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas.   A friend in Ohio had said that their forecast has mentioned snow for this Friday.  Please tell me it can't be..already.