Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

As the five-day holiday break draws to a close, I have to admit it is ending pretty much where I thought it would. A few things achieved that I had not thought would be done (very few) and a whole list of tasks not accomplished. Ugh, why do I do this to myself? Eh, honestly though, no regrets. It was a time of rest and respite, and I feel charged to march (arm-in-arm with Julius Caesar) through the next fifteen days (school days, but sounds better than 19 days, no?).

On Wednesday, Cameron and I grabbed breakfast, did a couple of errands and drove out of town to a "real" Verizon store to tackle our phone issues- namely his phone issue, or more precisely, lack of a working phone issue. Cell phones are such a... scam. Less than one year ago on Black Friday, after spending hours upon hours in lines to buy phones for the boys, I was told that you didn't have to wait out contracts any more- that you could just upgrade your phone whenever you wanted, but without the super-crazy cheap  deals though. Wednesday though? I get hit with the "not due for a new phone" until November- of NEXT year. So, I had planned to upgrade the whole family to smart phones but sales chick was proposing that I would have to pay $500 - $800 per phone, walking out of the store having spent over $1500 for new phones and upgraded plans. It wouldn't be inaccurate to say I "went off." I did say something to the effect of "So you mean to tell me after 12 years of being a customer, this is the best service you can give me... when the phones I stood in here and bought less than a year ago are already trashed" (noticed they weren't even on display anymore although they were the "new" phone last year). Basically I said I was coming from a place of confusion and just didn't know how to wrap my head around all this... sales clerk disappeared for a while... came back and told me "The Manager" said she could upgrade all our phones... at the current promotions rates... and left paying less than even a quarter of what she first proposed. The moral of the lesson boys and girls? Never walk out of a cell phone store without some kind of deal or spiff?

Thursday could be summed up by my quote that Jason apparently found amusing: "I'm going to cook my ass off all day and not cook again until Sunday." For the first year, for as long as I can remember, our family didn't participate in the local YMCA 5K on Thanksgiving morning. I also did not subject myself to the Macy's Parade. Every year, I force myself through the greater part of the televised event. However, each year it is less and less parade and more and more commentary, so I didn't even put on the charade of pretending that was a tradition this year.

The turkey I made was absolutely gorgeous. I really toyed with the idea of taking a picture of it, then told myself that was a little too promote-myself-on-Facebook'ish... but now I wish I had, because it really was gorgeous, like greeting card gorgeous. Like Hollywood movie dinner table gorgeous - and not one with a dysfunctional family cast. Benjamin asked me if I "painted it." From the mouths of babes, eh? I stuffed the inside with lemons and rosemary sprigs, which I didn't actually taste in the turkey. I guess it depends on what part of the bird you ate. I think I will try the same combination next year but also work some on top and maybe under the skin.

Other recipes delivered with equal success (culinary bragging is a rarity for me, deal with it) were:
Trisha Yearwood Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese
Candied Sweet Potato Casserole
Baked (Sweet) Corn Pudding

On Friday, Cameron and I headed back out of town for some casual Black Friday shopping. We didn't peel ourselves out of bed and stand in long lines. We didn't check out sales or even have an agenda before we headed out of town. By the time I got to Chesapeake and checked some specials online, the deals I would have wanted had already ended at noon. So, I did a little shopping - nothing ambitious.

Saturday and Sunday kicked the Housework &Home work agenda into gear. We got a lot of picking up here & there done, then pretty much desecrated all that work when we pulled all the Christmas stuff from storage (that would be the "unplanned" event of the weekend). Along with lesson plans, and benchmarks, and grading other assignments, I also read through a hefty amount of Titanic research papers (default research project because the librarian is on maternity leave). (Can I tell you how sick I am of that ship?) Oh and lest we not forget that I let Cameron twist my arm into watching "Grumpy Cat's Worse Christmas Ever." Apropos because it was the. worse. movie. ever. I mean PAINFUL to watch... but when Cameron fell asleep only an hour into it... I just had to see how it ended, and watched the next hour. (Already confessed multiple times my obsession with trash television, no further explanation needed.)

Tomorrow marks December on the calendar and I am trying to carve out my Holiday Spirit... beginning with getting ready (or not) for the arrival of this stress-inducing pesky critter tomorrow morning (The Elf, not Benjamin).