27 November 2010

The Holiday Whirl

It was a busy Thanksgiving-before-and-after and it's good to be able to sit down and write about it.

Wednesday involved Willow's type of "hunting," for food, that is! I was off to get elements of the feast.

Note to self: Food Depot does not sell Oven Fry (needed for the top of James' corn casserole), nor newspapers any longer. So i wouldn't try there tomorrow. I did find Oven Fry and some useful twofers at Publix.

Next came a pleasant interlude at Harry's Farmer's Market. I love going here between Thanksgiving and Christmas! The place is full of holiday specialties: pannettone, nuts, cookies of all sorts, clementines, and more, spotted with decorations, and filled with rushing shoppers (some of them rushing too much; I was bumped into and cut off several times), plus Christmas trees and wreaths. I stocked up on cashews and white wine for cooking, bought some supper for tonight (ginger teriyaki chicken thighs), and some chicken noodle soup for lunch. I was looking for an apple pie, but the ones Harry's had were drowned in sugar. Ugh.

It was a long while before I got to eat the soup. I went out to Trader Joe's and did find a more sensible pie, and some other items for dinners and dessert, and also stopped at Borders, since there was a 50 percent off coupon for today only. They had the only copy of The Crocodile's Last Embrace in the area. While I was wandering around I noticed there was a new collection of Valdemar short stories out. (Ah, that's Borders; I checked to see if it was out at another store, and it told me it wasn't released yet.) There were also three additional Christmas-themed magazines out!

I did finally get home to eat the luscious soup, and watch The Thanksgiving Treasure, because I just couldn't wait anymore. I was teary-eyed listening to Grandma talk about getting past the death of her husband. I love the ship analogy. After that, I watched more of Ellery Queen until James got home. The chicken was delicious, but tasted more smoked than ginger teriyaki. For dessert we each had a chocolate mousse tartlet that I had picked up at the bakery at Harry's. Then James wanted to take advantage of the 50 off coupon himself, so we went to the Borders at Town Center since we hadn't been there in a bit. Came home through the park, glimpsing homes with early Christmas decorations.

Thanksgiving morning I was up at 8:30 in a not-so-frustrating search for a paper; the second place I went had one. I sat and watched the Macy's Parade while reading the stories proper and giving the ads the once-over. I'm mainly looking for some thumb drives to replace the ones I seem to have lost. Trying to pick up a Christmas gift as well.

Halfway through the morning James put together the corn casserole and also assembled the key lime pie. It was made from a key lime cheeseball mix, with juice, pulp, and zest of a lime and some lemon-lime syrup added. We left the house a little after one with an apple pie, the key lime pie, the corn casserole, and thai ginger carrots to add to the feast at the Lucyshyns along with the Butlers, the Kiernans, and the Boroses.

Not much to say about the afternoon: we chatted, ate a great dinner (two turkeys and some roast beef, "with all the trimmings"), watched some of Neil's videos, talked some more, saw a spectacular sunset, just enjoyed being "family by choice." We were there past dark, collected our turkey carcass for soup, and drove home, stopping only to check out the extraordinary light display in the development across the street from Alex and Pat's neighborhood. Good God. There were trees, Santas, reindeer, candy canes, a manger, light strings...it can probably be seen from orbit.

We got home to relax, but couldn't stay up late, as I was going out shopping the next day and James had to go to work. Still, we were up too late for my tastes, wanting to get up at six! So I got about six hours sleep, creeping out of the house about 6:30.

For some stupid reason I went to the Brookwood Office Max instead of the Parkway Pointe. They had the best price on thumb drives, brand name ones to boot—and wasn't opening until seven. So I joined the line, casting a speculative eye up to the cloudy sky (it was supposed to start raining at 3 a.m.), and walked in almost directly at seven, going right to the back where the thumb drives were. There was one guy there (everyone else was surrounding the cameras and the phones) looking at the wall with disbelief; all they had were 4GB thumb drives (8's and 16's were on sale, too; I wanted one of each). I got a 4GB, and the clerk told me the others were at customer service, but the customer service lady said no. I paid for the 4, but by that time I was fuming, kicked Twilight into gear, and drove to Parkway Pointe. They still had 8GB drives left out, and 16GB drives in the back.

At Bed, Bath and Beyond, bought James a zester. A bit late, since we needed it yesterday, but we have it now. :-)

Then I drove up to East Cobb (again). There had been a 50 percent off Borders coupon in the paper and I wanted the Valdemar book I saw on Wednesday. I was also starving, since I'd only had a cup of yogurt and a little bag of trail mix since six o'clock and it was past nine by the time I got there. I had a coupon for a free coffee, but they let me substitute a Cocoa Trio, so I sat at Borders for a bit sipping it gingerly (it was very hot) and reading some of the book.

By the time I left Borders, it was raining in earnest. I put up my hood and went on to the Bed, Bath and Beyond at the end of the parking lot. I'd decided to get the micro-cloth memory foam bath mats that I have been looking at. We have been using towel bath mats for years, and they just slip on the floors. These are softer, more stable, but still machine-washable.

Next I stopped at Michaels (25 percent off on everything including sale items), since I needed a new silver garland for the winter decorations for the porch. Got a few minor other things to complete some Christmas gifts.

At this point I think I was a bit punch-drunk and thought I might see if a couple of things I'd seen in the Target flyer were still there. This was sheer folly since Target had been open since 4 a.m. Sure enough, neither were there, but I did have a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup at their cafè, then went on to Town Center. Stopped at Barnes & Noble and found a collection of steampunk short stories, then decided to see if I could get to the Yankee Candle store.

Now last year I went to Town Center Mall on Black Friday. It sounded crazy, but there was plenty of parking in the back where the Yankee Candle store is.

Not this year; it was full to the very edge of the parking lot. They were "parking in the galleries" as I always describe it. It was even full near Sears. So I hope all this shopping is stimulating the economy.

I really was running out of gas by this time, so I just went on to BJs, picked up a couple of things, and bought a Christmas gift, and the first season of The Flying Nun (for only $10). As I trudged the length of the store and back, my legs felt like they weighed a ton. It was time to get home.

It was after two when I got in, intending to eat and take a nap. But after I put a few things up, I couldn't settle, so I had the rest of the demi-baguette and watched The Thanksgiving Treasure again. I finally ended up napping just before James got home.

I was ravenous by this time and got so disappointed. James stopped at Wendys and ordered me my usual, a plain junior hamburger and a baked potato, butter only. When I opened it, it turned out to be a junior cheeseburger (ugh) and the baked potato had been drenched in cheese! What is so difficult to understand about "junior hamburger plain" and "baked potato, butter only"? "Cheese" doesn't even sound like "butter." Bleah. So Willow ate the burger, I grimaced through the potato, and ate the rest of my leftover fried rice.

We finished up the evening watching something called 30 Funniest Holiday Television Moments, sponsored by the Paley Center (the old Museum of Television and Radio, I believe). No offense, but most of it sucked. Half of the "funniest" moments were merely stupid. And since they did include Thanksgiving moments amongst the holiday designation, where the dickens was the turkey drop from WKRP in Cincinnati???? That was funny, not this craptacular junk from Two and a Half Men or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Yuck. Surprisingly, the Thanksgiving "tofurkey" clip from Everybody Loves Raymond was actually funny. I usually find Raymond deadly—everyone does not love him. :-)

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