Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving is here, which means another year is rapidly coming to an end.  I'll be sharing Thanksgiving dinner with friends on the island (Thea and Rich), which means a relaxing day at home and a great meal and evening with friends.

I've been doing fine since my mother's passing.  Again, I think so much of her had already gone and her last few weeks were so difficult that there has been some consolation in knowing that she is no longer going through that.  I did want to relate one of our last real conversations some months before she died.  One evening at dinner, she said out of the blue, "I'm proud of my clothes".  I told her that she had lots of nice clothes and always looked good in them.  Then, for some reason, I thought about Easter during my childhood and I said, "Do you remember when we used to get all dressed up for Easter.....crinolines, matching gloves, hats, shoes and purse?"  As I rattled off all those things of a time gone by, she began to smile.  When I ended the list with "corsages", we both had a belly laugh and she said, "We looked plum tacky!"  We laughed again and I said, "and we didn't even care!" We continued to recall several other things that we could both relate to and remember, to the point of someone actually commenting on how much fun we were having.  That is a lovely memory which I will cherish forever.

Friends have been great about getting me out and about.  
  • I have put down wine with two friends, Chris and Camille, so I will have a whole batch (30 bottles).  I hope to come up with a creative, holiday label and be generous with it as Christmas gifts, hostess gives,etc. 
  • Elaine and I went to Port Royal to see "The Great American Trailer Park Musical", which was set in the '80s and was as funny and irreverent as the name implies.  It was something totally different and thoroughly enjoyable.
  • Attended the First Progressive Issues Forum at the Unitarian Church.  Speakers were from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Imam from the Mosque in Savannah, and the Director of Public Affairs from Planned Parenthood.  Needless to say, for a political junkie, it was very informative.......especially after having just read Just Mercy, which I highly recommend. I also ran into many friends whom I hadn't see in a while so that part was fun, too.
  • Chris and I went to Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry, where the speaker was Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer, who had just put together a coffee table book called South: What it means to be here in heart and spirit.  I went in intending to NOT buy the book, but when she shared some of the stories and contributors, as well as the beautiful photographs, I caved quickly.  No doubt, it is the best of the South, not the darker side, but it is a lovely book.
  • And then there have been the usual things - feeding ferals, Precious Rosie and Puppy Class, Living Liberally, zentangle with Ana, and wonderful down time at home.

While Thanksgiving will be celebrated tomorrow, Christmas has come and gone in the Morris household.  Rosie has gotten her very own car seat!  She has adjusted well and seems to like it.  As you can see, she is secured into it, which makes it much safer.  Before the seat, she always wanted to be in my lap AND looking out the window.  Now, when we go someplace, she runs to the garage door, jumps up and down, and when I open the door she runs around to the passenger side of the car.  It didn't take her long to figure out that!  She is at her cutest when she puts her two front legs on the top of the basket and looks out.  

My gift to myself is the Instant Pot!  It is a 7 in 1 product:  it's a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice and multi-grain cooker.  It steams, sautees and makes yogurt.  It seems perfect for a vegetarian.  I bought the Power Cooker but returned it - vague directions and unable to make adjustments.  I then checked Amazon for the Instant Pot (recommended by Camille), which was already on sale.  I emailed them and asked if they would give me a Black Friday discount so that I didn't have to wait to order the produce.  Not only did they give me a 20% discount, but I ordered it on Friday and it was here on Monday. Merry Christmas!  So, I've been experimenting.- steaming leftover veggies in fridge, sauteeing cabbage, cooking brown rice, making 3-bean chili, baking potatoes, etc. Today I made my Southwestern Quinoa Salad to take for dinner tomorrow.  The quinoa was done on the multi-grain setting in 8 minutes.  I then used the same pot to sautee the carrots, red pepper, garlic and spices.  There was only one pot to clean!  I think this is going to be very useful, especially in the summer.  It is quiet, quick and doesn't heat up the kitchen. My mother had a stove-top pressure cooker that she used frequently, and I was terrified of it.  This is several generations removed from that.  There are many layers of safety features and it is virtually silent.  I will get rid of  my slow cooker, which I seldom used, but I can see using this frequently.  However, I'm to the point that I can't play with it any more until I eat all the food that I've already cooked in it!!

I can't end without giving you an update on Rosie.  This video shows you why she is the perfect dog for me, one who does not do mornings!  Wait for the end and listen for the ears!!
(Disclaimer: I had been awake since 7:30, having coffee and playing with my iPad! Rosie was the one sleeping in!)

With that I'll wish my Stateside friends a very Happy Thanksgiving.  If you aren't celebrating, I'll wish you a Thursday and weekend of many blessings and good fortune.