Talking Turkey: One Sorry Not Sorry, One Grumble Avoided

Late afternoon sunlight as seen through trees with leaves turned golden in autumn.

Today is Tuesday. 🗓

This means that if you live in the United States [and if you celebrate Turkey Day] then tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day Eve followed by Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.

I’m not sure if I could’ve made the previous paragraph more convoluted, but probably.  I was trying to be clear and informative, logical even.

Just talking turkey, you know. 😉

It’ll be the two of us celebrating Thanksgiving together this year, most years actually.  We’ve a turkey breast currently in the freezer that I’ll start thawing in the refrigerator soon.  And we’ve the ingredients to make some of the fixings that traditionally go with a turkey dinner.

The usual suspects waiting to be part of Thanksgiving dinner.

YEP to mashed potatoes and stuffing and cranberry sauce and gravy, but NOPE to green bean casserole and yams with little marshmallows.  You may consider those last two sides part of the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, but I don’t like them so we’re not gonna have ’em.

Sorry not sorry, don’t even try to convince me otherwise. 🤨

All that’s left for me to do is to go to the bakery to pick up some pies, cherry and pumpkin this year, then get home safely.  Starting today and for the next few days I try to stay away from grocery stores, parking lots around said, and people within.

I’ve learned that Thanksgiving week is one doozy of a chaotic shopping experience in grocery stores.  Generally speaking the shoppers be frenzied, with long lists in hand.  The best thing I can do is stay far away, giving everyone the space they need to shop, while I go home not grumbling about people.

Well, at least not grumbling about the ones in the stores. 🛒

Blue sky with rusty orange leaves, the epitome of an autumn palette.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What don’t you like about the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner? What do you like?

Do you have a sorry not sorry about Thanksgiving, or this week in general?

Tell all in the comments below. 

My 1,000th Post: With Grit, Grins, & Gratitude

Image of Snoopy, originally drawn by Charles Schultz, courtesy of pngimg.com. Click HERE for a wonderful biography about Snoopy.

• • •

It was a dark and stormy night. 

Literally.

I was sitting in our home office in front of my desktop computer, writing a blog post when there was a dramatic crack of thunder and a flash of lightning outside.

It startled me.

I jumped about 17 gazillion feet into the air and in the process my hand on the mouse moved erratically in such a way as to inadvertently hit DELETE, meaning that faster than you can say “waiter, waiter, percolator” I lost my blog post.

Then the electricity went out in the house.

For hours.

Because of course it did.

• • •

This morning the electricity is back on, but I’ve lost my train of thought about how I was going to say what I wanted to say.

So instead of my nonexistent elegant heartfelt essay about how much blogging has meant to me, showing me a kinder way to live my life, allowing me a glimpse into the lives of other people, I’ll be straightforward and say the following with gratitude.

• • •

THIS IS MY 1,000TH POST ON THIS BLOG.

THANKS TO ALL THE COOL KIDS WHO READ, COMMENT, AND LIKE MY POSTS. I’D NEVER HAVE GOTTEN THIS FAR WITHOUT YOUR CONTINUING SUPPORT.

YOU’RE THE BEST AND I LOVE YOU ALL.

• • •

[Here is my first blog post, Hello World! I wrote it 10 years + 10 months to this very day. It makes reference to a guiding principle that I believed then and still do. Case in point, how this post came to be.]

In Which I Punctuate, Doodle, Get Out Of My Head, Then Laugh

As you know this is a personal blog.

While I strive to write about things that happen in my daily life, I don’t always have much to tell you, my little moonbeams.

Yet I said I’d be here so I am here.

I didn’t go looking for these unique things to do + 1 funny YouTube video but stumbled over them while doing research for other projects. 

Enjoy!   

• • •

✅ I stumbled over this website, just the punctuation, and decided to try it.

All you do is cut and paste a sample of your writing, input it on the screen, then ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner’ the algorithm generates an image showing only the punctuation in your writing sample.

For the life of me I don’t know what this proves but here are 6 paragraphs of my blog writing reduced to punctuation.

This is a line of punctuation, somehow symbolizing something.

✅ I stumbled over this website, Right-Angle Doodling Machine, and decided to try it.

All you do is use your arrow keys to create an original doodle.  It’s easy– and reminds me of 6th grade when I was bored out of my gourd with “new math” so I started making doodles like these using pencil and paper to pass the time.

I’m not sure why, but making this doodle was relaxing and made me feel youthful and creative, in a linear way.

This is a darned dandy doodle, if’n I do say so myself.

✅ I stumbled over these 20 Journaling Prompts I Swear By to Get You Out of Your Head and decided to try them.

All you do is find yourself a comfy spot to ponder and write, then set about answering each prompt, for your own personal enlightenment.

While I appreciate the concept of writing prompts, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m reluctant to use them.  That being explained, overall these did get me thinking about my life in a new way– and that is good.

This is a sprig of catmint and two late-season roses with perfectly pinkish petals.

• • •

Below is The Theory and Practice of Editing New Yorker Articles by Wolcott Gibbs as read by Bill Murray. If you’re a wordsmith, it’s a hoot.

Adding Value To Chez Bean: Every Tom, Nate, & Marty

Just jawing here. Another day, another post about plans gone sideways.

As you probably know adding value to your home is a slow deliberate process that takes planning, chutzpah, dinero, and faith.  In my experience to make anything happen, one must have the patience of Job, sometimes more than his.

When it comes to this house my motto is IMPROVE DON’T MOVE.  We love Chez Bean and after a pandemic-related 20 month delay in our home improvement schedule, we’re back to fixing her up*.

Or at least starting to do so, supply chain be damned.

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

Last week we had TOM, the landscaper, extend a stacked stone retaining wall so that next spring we’ll be able to plant some bushes or perennials in our new, dare I say classy, planting bed that frames the front yard.

Look for photos next spring, nothing interesting to see yet.

We’ve talked with NATE about a new concrete sidewalk that’ll lead to our front stoop.  Our current sidewalk is 20+ years old.  It’s cracked and crumbling, with many an unwanted, albeit cute, chipmunk living underneath portions of it.

The question now is: do we replace it with what is there, standard brushed concrete, or for a price do we upgrade to stamped concrete?

Opinions or observations vis-à-vis concrete, anyone? 

And then, because we’re finally ready to have our shabby dated powder room and guest bathroom remodeled, we talked with MARTY our previous remodeler** who done us proud.

We hope to bring the bathrooms into this century, thereby making them more usable, with modern amenities like toilets that flush consistently and drains that like to drain.

And wouldn’t that be nice?

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

Anyway that’s what’s up here. Anything new, home-related or otherwise, with you, my little chickadees? Chirp away in the comments below.  

* Fun fact: 2020 was to be the year we completed our home improvement projects, projects that started with remodeling the kitchen in 2009.  We’d hoped to begin traveling in 2021, comfortable in the knowledge that our home, our nest, was up-to-date and ready to nurture us upon our return home. BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

** Happy fact: Completed inside home improvement projects include the aforementioned kitchen + the primary bathroom + the laundry room + the upgraded fireplace surround. LIKE CHRISTMAS, WE’RE GETTING THERE.

Of Genealogy & Graveyards: Talking About The First Person I *Met* Online

Every fall I think of this story. It happened 20+ years ago, and while it seems quaint and only slightly spooky now, I’ll admit that in the moment it gave me pause. 

LONG BEFORE THERE WERE BLOGS, the first person I *met* online was Darlie Ann.

I was doing genealogical research in the time before Ancestry.com.  Back then to find someone with knowledge about your ancestors you needed to leave inquiries on message boards that were on cemetery websites or historical society websites or county genealogical websites.

It was hit or miss.

On one of those boards I left an inquiry about my great uncle, trying to see if anyone knew anything about his early days as a lawyer in a small Ohio town that is north of where I lived then.

Darlie Ann, who lived in Texas, saw my inquiry and contacted me via email to say that her father had been my great uncle’s law partner– and that she had a few sheets of stationery from their law practice.

We communicated back and forth via email, and she offered to send me a sheet of the stationery to add to my file.  I reciprocated by sending her a copy of a group family reunion photo that showed my uncle as an older man.

• • •

DARLIE ANN AND I STAYED IN TOUCH FOR YEARS, like penpals, writing about our lives, exchanging Christmas cards, updating each other about any genealogical research we did.

In fact, in one email Darlie Ann mentioned that recently she’d been to Ohio visiting our small town and had gone to the cemetery where my parents are buried.  She’d taken the opportunity to find their graves, snapped 2 photos of their tombstones, and sent them to me.

So that I’d have the photos for my records.

• • •

CHRISTMAS ROLLED AROUND THAT YEAR, but I didn’t get a card from Darlie Ann.  It seemed odd, but she was older, born around the time my mother was, so perhaps she forgot me?

In the following months I emailed her a few times but got no reply.  I wasn’t entirely surprised because I knew she was selling her house and moving into an apartment.  I figured she was busy.

Welp, one beautiful fall day I opened my desk drawer and saw Darlie Ann’s photos of my parents’ tombstones.  I hadn’t been to the cemetery in years, and it kind of tugged at me that I should go visit.  So I decided that the next day I’d take a mental health day and drive 3 hours each way to go visit them.

And I did.

• • •

I GOT TO THE CEMETERY and parked my car by the oak tree that I use as a guidepost for getting to my parents’ graves in this older part of the cemetery.  But when I walked across the grass to where I thought they were buried I realized I’d parked about an acre north of where they were.

Wrong oak tree.

So I started to walk south casually glancing at the tombstones as I went.  Almost immediately I found myself looking at a new grave with a shiny new tombstone.

This was unusual in this older part of the cemetery.  These lots had been owned, and filled, by families from generations back.  But what was most fascinating about this discovery, and slightly unnerving, was the name I saw on the new tombstone.

Whose grave was I visiting on this glorious autumn day?  It was Darlie Ann, my first internet friend, who’d died a few weeks before and had come back home to be buried in this cemetery in the small town of her birth.

Now how trippy is that?