Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I'm sneaking in here as quick as I can before Thanksgiving, hoping you'll have a read either before, or if not, after the long weekend.  And for that weekend, I'm hoping to escape to the lake.  Playing it by ear.  

How quickly time is flying.  I'm up to speed on my work/writing, I even have short pause with the lake newspaper, publication goes on hiatus until March.   Once I know that area of my life is in check, I have time to try to get ahead on other things.  

Aren't these the most gorgeous cream colored roses?  I found the box on the porch this morning, wrapped just perfectly to keep them fresh and moist.   I thought maybe I had ordered something 'live' for the holidays and forgot.  Well, these were from Overstock.  And I mean they were a gift, a thank you from Overstock.  I guess I've been a pretty good customer over the years.  I recently rated my purchases on their website, maybe that made me worthy of a dozen roses.  Great company.

Lest you think I'm some sort of whirling dervish, I start every holiday season out like this.  I want to get ahead.  I want to feel like I can enjoy all of December without distraction and stress, you know-just really embrace the season.  If I have a lazy afternoon--make some sugar cookies, or work on a cross stitch ornament project that I started fifteen years ago.  

I've made great headway, both out and about, and online shopping as well.  It's keeping up with the wrapping that's hard.  Here I have a small start, I just have little Post It notes on each gift for now.  I need a trip to Michael's for some ribbon, jute and embellishments.  That's my favorite part of wrapping gifts.  I always find really cute gift tags in the $1 bins at Target, or should I say $3 bins?   Anyway, as long as I stay up to par wrapping, I'll be good.  It always seems UPS arrives just when I think I've wrapped the last present.

I'm excited about decorating the house as well.  I may do a little Christmas tour.  Two of my nieces, Maggie and Tricia, are coming next week to help.  I think it's a great bonding time, I sincerely miss the days so long ago that Emily and Abby worked a little magic around the house, and with our tree.  And I really love fresh ideas.  It will be fun, I'm giving them full creative license!

I've been doing a little winter clothing shopping as well.  I'm just starting to really clear all the summer stuff out of my dressers and closet, and as it always goes, I find myself lacking in decent winter clothes.  I've never really cared much for digging through the racks at Marshall's, but I'm liking that lately.  Shopping online can be a little disconcerting when it comes to clothing.  Sometimes you need to feel the fabric or see the quality.  These boots are a perfect example.  I wanted a nice pair of black boots to wear with anything from leggings to skinny jeans, to a dress with tights.  These Calvin Klein's are really cool.  Velvet in the front, leather in the back, gold details, and a small chunky heel.  However---I am embarrassingly short.  These go well over my knee in the front and pinch in the back when I sit down.  Grrrrr... I still love them.  What's a little pain if you feel marvelous?  By the way, I found these at 6pm.  If you've never been to the website, go.  Now.  Maybe measure yourself a bit first.  

I've really been in a cooking mood.  I'm still making a list of recipes to try before I grocery shop, but right now, with lists swirling in my head, I'm mostly operating on the mode of using what I have.  I happened to see a package of super thin pre-made pizza crusts at one of the stores I shop at.  I wish I could remember the brand, but you can probably find it where you see the Boboli crusts.  Despite what you think about Chicago pizza, we love both a thick and thin crust.  I personally think a thin crust just needs a little topping.  Just as I make a soup or stew with all those extra veggies in the fridge begging to be used, I did the same with the pizzas I made.  This one had a little red sauce I threw together, fresh zucchini, sliced red onion, small heirloom tomatoes, a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a little Italian seasoning.  No meat, no grease, and really quick.  The Husband gave it a thumbs up.  

I wanted to share a picture of my grandson, Brooks.  I can't believe he's going on 10 months old.  Isn't he going to be a lady killer?  He is son Jeff and Deirdre's little boy.  Busy schedules aside, we will be making up for lost time over the holidays.  If you look on my sidebar, you'll see a recent pic of him.  Oh, those blue eyes.  And now I have to have another daddy and mama give me a picture of Patsy, who is now 6 months old.  And yes, another blue eyed angel.  

Emily sent this picture of little Mad.  Look at that joyous face and sweet outfit.  Sadly, this was taken when she was on the exam table at the pediatrician just before her flu shot.  Ouch!  Not smiling too much after that, I'm sure.  I remember when my babies had their shots, I'm not sure who cried more.  I will say, they never looked this happy in the exam room before the shot either, this baby is the happiest little squirt you've ever seen.  Furthermore, who else would dare go to the doctor without wearing their tulle skirt and gold shoes?

So, I bet all of you have your Thanksgiving plans down; the turkey thawing and the bread slices drying out on the kitchen table.  I never went that route with my stuffing, as much of a traditionalist I might sound.  My late sister, Leslie, worked at Pepperidge Farm for twenty-five years, and I fear I'd be disloyal if I didn't use their mix.  In fact, I didn't see it when I was shopping the other day, and came thisclose to buying Brownberry.  Then I found it, and sighed as I looked toward the heavens.  I mean, she kept me well stocked with their cherry turnovers for years.  

I really wish I had the huge harvest table I have at the lake for holidays here.  Our table seats 4, we have an open floor plan and no dining room.  I have miraculously, or uncomfortably,  fit 8 people around this table for 4.  We have 11 for dinner this year, and I've lost count on how many for dessert.  I'll set the table and the counter peninsula and we're good to go.  I'm having the traditional turkey, stuffing (I may add a little pork sausage to it this year, shhhhh...the kids hate change) gravy, mashed potato casserole, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls and a new side dish I'm trying.  

Awhile ago I Pinned a recipe for roasted broccolini.  It's like a baby version of broccoli, a skinny version.  I was surprised to read in the description of the roasting procedure, that it's important to leave ample space around the veggies, or they will steam and not crisp up right.  Wow...I think I discovered why I've always failed with roasting vegetables.  I made Brussels sprouts tonight and spread them out really well.  Very good.  Using parchment paper is perfect to keep the vegetables from burning or sticking.  So here is the link to  Roasted Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan Cheese.

A few last tried and true tips that I want to share about making Thanksgiving dinner a hit.  Getting all of your dinnerware, bowls, platters, and serving pieces together the day before is essential.  Check your wine glasses for spots, etc.  Make sure your napkins are presentable.  Prepare and refrigerate as many dishes as you can ahead of time.  Don't have any last minute house cleaning left except a bathroom touch up.  Put the turkey in, and then spend time getting yourself ready.  Shower, makeup, hair, clothes.  Wear an apron so you don't spill all over.  I was always the last one to join my guests as I saved myself for last.  

I want to thank all of you for your prayers for Milo, as well as comforting words, here and on Instagram as well.  This is my account.   He's doing really well.  He had the usual bloodwork today and I was also concerned that he had had a ton of diarrhea since Sunday night, the last bit today with a little blood in it.  My vet had me come over right away.  That in itself had me shaking and tearing up.  I'm not being very brave about any of this.  Well, the diarrhea could be a result of anything, he needed a few meals of rice and hamburger to bulk him up--boy, he loved that--, a remedy that's been around forever.  The blood was from his straining.  The really good news is that the swelling of his lymph nodes is almost down completely.  He's a trooper though, he takes good care of me.

I hope you had time to read all of this.  With no writing ahead of me for a week, I'll get back soon.  I want to hear all about your festivities, and see some of your family pictures.  I'll share the same.

Love and blessings,

Jane x 


CJ said...

Your plans and food sound lovely, I hope you have a wonderful day. I'm glad Milo's lymph nodes aren't swollen now, that is a good thing. I hope he's over his upset tummy too. Dear little chap, you take such good care of him, he must love you very much I think. Gorgeous pictures of the babies, they're adorable. Glad your writing is under control. I have rather a lot to do at the moment. It's a good thing, but it makes me slightly stressed! Have a very happy Thanksgiving Jane. CJ xx

Karen said...

I've got my daughters old room set up as the wrapping station and I've got most of my shopping and wrapping done. Love your paper choices! Your menu sounds delish! I'm serving ten and we can all fit (tight squeeze) around my dining table.

Your thanksgiving prep advice is great - it's what I do almost to the T and it makes for a less hectic, more enjoyable day for the host as well as the guests.

Enjoy your family and lake time! Our cottage is buttoned up for the winter - not heat or water, so that's that, lol.

Debbie said...

My daughter is hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time. It took me a while to figure out all the pre-prepping is important so I hope she heeds my advice. Her Dad and I will be spending the night helping her prep. Her first time and she's hosting 25!

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Sounds like you will have a house full too and tons of good food and fun. I wish you and all your family a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. We will have all the family here, so I am a happy camper too. Love the pics of those precious grands.

Anonymous said...

you are so organized I am so jealous,, the babies are beautiful and growing so fast!!! Everything sounds just perfect! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,,

Silver in AZ said...

You are quite together for the holidays...already! Impressive! So are your beautiful grandchildren! :) Happy thanksgiving!

Preppy Empty Nester said...

After Maggie and Trisha finish helping you, could you send them over to my house? Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving, thanks to your organization skills. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Jane.

Linda said...

I love these chatty visits with you! Glad we could fit this one in before everyone arrives for Thanksgiving!
I’m sitting up in bed with lots of pillows behind me sipping my coffee as we visited. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pondside said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Jane! Your holiday will be wonderful, big table or small table. It's all about the love around it - and in that, you are blessed.

Helen said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jane!!!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jane!

Susie said...

Blondie, The babies are so adorable...can we ever get enough of snuggling them. I have read the tribute to your sister on your side good you think of her. You are a good sister. This is a busy time. To bad our gatherings can't be more often. I am thankful for you as a blog sister, or daughter. LOL. Blessings to the entire family, get some baby hugs for me. xoxo, Susie

Lisa said...

I am ready! I have my Thanksgiving groceries bought and I have 80% of my Christmas shopping done! I am going to enjoy having it all out of the way so I can enjoy the Month also!! At my age, the hassle of the crowd gets more stressful each year. I simply cant do it. Id rather stay in and bake cookies and watch Hallmark movies!
Oh and I just love that wrapping paper!
Those are the sweetest little babies!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Kathleen Grace said...

Oh those grandbabies are adorable! I haven't even begun my shopping let alone wrapping. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Jane :)

It's me said...

So glad to hear Milo is doing fine....and owww your sweet grandchildren so sweet both...happy thanksgiving darling for you and your familly love Ria ❤️

Brenda Pruitt said...

You lucky girl with those pretty roses! Happy Thanksgiving!

Vee said...

Your grandkids are so adorable. Hope you get some more photos over the holiday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope that you get time at the lake over the weekend.

Unknown said...

It sounds like you are ready for anything that comes along. Prayers for Milo. We're having Thanksgiving at my daughter's tomorrow. Her boyfriend's folks are coming. She has 5 bedrooms, so we will do the dinner there. I'm cooking tonight and tomorrow to take so she won't have so much to do. JJ (boyfriend) is smoking a turkey and ham, she will do the stuffing (dressing in the South). So we'll have more than enough food. I think there will be 16 or 17 for dinner.

I'm wanting a trip to Lake Seminole before Christmas, but doubt seriously if I'll get one. Everyone except my husband is going to LA to visit Blake and Christian after Christmas. They are here for Thanksgiving and we are enjoying them so much. I'm going to let them shop my basement tonight for Christmas decorations. They are both very frugal and I told them there was no need for them to pay for a bunch of Christmas decor when I have at least 10 bins full!! So she's really excited to get to go through things and take her pick.

Hope all the holidays are great for you and your family and those sweet, beautiful babies.

Love, Kathy

Lorrie said...

Your grand babies are so sweet, Jane. I hope there will be many opportunities to take more photos of them this holiday season.
We had our Thanksgiving back in October, so it's a regular school here tomorrow. But we'll be thinking of our American friends eating their turkey and stuffing! I'm working on Christmas plans, but not decorating yet. I like to wait until the beginning of December and that's NEXT WEEK!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your loved ones.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Hi Jane! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm happy to hear from you, and happy Milo is doing well! Yay! OMG you have the most beautiful grandchildren! Love the little sign from heaven on the bread. I actually got a few little signs myself this TGVG. We are going non-traditional, traveling, and we're in Amish country, where my mom loved visiting. There have been a few little things that are reminders she's close by.....
Enjoy your holiday feast with all those who will be coming over. Wear the killer boots. ;)

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your drop dead gorgeous family Jane!

Those boots are all out sexy girl, so who cares if they're a little uncomfortable;).

Your tips are spot on and really help to keep stress levels down, and no worries about the table size. I'm sure no one cares as there's more than enough love to go around and that's what's important.


Cheryl @ TFD said...

I'm drooling over the lovely roses. Your posts are always so interesting and I love seeing your adorable grands. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your family!

Sarah said...

Stopping by to catch up and to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. Keeping your sweet Milo in my thoughts. Enjoy your family as you all gather together.

Mereknits said...

Happy Thanksgiving my friend. So much to be thankful for in all of our lives. Great news about Milo. Enjoy your beautiful family and those roses.

podso said...

Happy Thanksgiving today! I'm amazed you have Christmas gifts wrapped!!

NancyB said...

I can't get over how much Brooks looks like Jeff! He is so precious! Can't wait to see pictures of Patsy too. And Maddie is just cute as a button! Happy Thanksgiving!

Simply At Home said...

Happy Thanksgiving my friend!! I love your writings, I hope you can to sneak off to your beautiful lake home soon. If we lived closer we could build you that harvest table. Hugs, Teresa

Kim said...

Flowers from Overstock? Wow...I should shop there more. It's always fun to catch up. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving! xo

Theresa said...

Great tips, yummy food and baby pics... nothing better:) Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Carla from The River said...

Happy Thanksgiving my friend.
It was great catching up.
Prayers and love,

Melanie said...

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Your grandkids are so darling. Glad to hear Milo is doing well.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! Love seeing those cute little ones with those happy smiles. I didn't have to host this year, so was able to thoroughly enjoy myself, but I miss my own cooking. Haha! I'm such a traditionalist and my kids love to was all very delicious, though. I've been eating way too much pie, though. So glad to hear that Milo is doing o.k. Hope your decorating goes smoothly and you have a fun day with your nieces. Sending hugs xo Karen. Oh - love those boots!

Maggie said...

Dear Jane, I always enjoy catching up with your news your writing style is so comfortable like chatting with a dear friend. I especially enjoyed hearing about your Thanksgiving prep ideas and the food you planned to serve. Loved the photos of your grandchildren, how gorgeous they both are, how wonderful it must be to have them in your life you are truly blessed.
See you again soon,
P.S. Glad to hear that Milo is still going strong and taking good care of you. Bless him,

Linda said...

HI Jane...
You have the cutest grandkids!!!(besides me, of course) and 4!!!!!!! WOW!!
That wee guy Brooks looks like a real character...
Enjoy your week...thank you for your lovely comments...
Linda :o)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Adorable grands ♥

Jen Kershner said...

Your grandkids are ridiculously adorable!

I'm the same way with wanting to get as much done as early as possible so I can enjoy December! I still seem stressed every year but I'm newly determined this year and am just not going to worry about certain things. I also do the same with you with gifts although I write an initial on the underside. This year I slapped tags on them and might just call it a day. All in the name of letting go. I love wrapping too but it's too overwhelming to think about making 30+ packages beautiful! Hope you have a joy filled, relaxing December ahead of you.

handmade by amalia said...

Looks like you have things well in hand. I enjoyed catching up on all your news and makes and seeing your adorable grands.

baili said...

sounds like you got everything ready for the event my friend!
best wishes for your thanksgiving dear Jane!
thank you for sharing the adorable faces with glorious smiles

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Unknown said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I some how missed your last 3 posts. I honestly thought something sad happened and come to find out your Milo is doing well:). A very Thankful Thanksgiving!
I can never get enough of your Grandchildren pictures, I understand now:). Kathleen in Az

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