This & That ; End of November

Whether you partied,  found time to relax and have a nap, or played a bit,  I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday ( for those in the USA) has been going well.

My son took the funny one of their cat, and Brent was captured by my DIL at a friends’ house. 

A bit of this & that around here… it is hard to believe that it is the end of November already! I think that some of this is due to the seasons not being so predictable anymore in the way of the weather.

Our Thanksgiving was held on Friday, so that Brent and Kate could be there. It works nicely that way for other reasons as well. My oldest son who came home from St. Louis could have dinner with his dads’ family one day and with us the next. The same for many people. The gathering seems to grow each year, with a rather large core group for dinner, and then many friends coming later on, early evening. So we progress from the regular dinner to friends coming later with wine or beer and snacks such as spinich dips, cheese balls and so on.

At one point, during the transition time, I was at the sink doing some dishes, having worked on putting some food away for leftovers, and one of my sons’ friends dragged me away and into the dining room where about 40 people were singing “Happy Birthday” and bringing out a cake for Kate and I.  Her birthday is the 22nd and mine is the 29th.

Every year, one of us lines up the family kids on the porch and gets a photo. My DILs’ twin sister had the best one this year. Last year little Gracie, held by her ‘pap-pap’ was the baby. Now there’s a new one, in Kates’ arms. The DIL has a big family and it continues to grow :)

When the young friends show up, with all of THEIR children in tow, it gets to be a bit of a madhouse, but a happy one at that.

Saturday morning was one where I’d have loved to sleep in, but my oldest wanted to leave early for his trip back to St. Louis.

He came down here for a hearty breakfast around 7:30. We did enjoy the most glorious sunrise, though. Deep vivid reds and oranges permeated the skies. No photos ( or I’d have burned the breakfast :) but later on I took a few shots of the encroaching sunset.

There’s been quite a bit of ‘babysitting’ / days off / early dismissals / son takes wife on a date…so not much sewing going on. I did complete a bit of applique on a block but it is not done, and no photo.  I made a bit more progress in regards to quilting on the Botanical, and hope to finish this block soon.

Finally, on Saturday, after some Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch, I made some zucchini boats for dinner.  I just wanted something different, and I’d not had these since summer. Yes they are cheaper to make in the summer with free zucchini :)

I am sure that most of you have made these before but if not :

  • Cut the zucchini in halves, lengthwise.   Hollow out the middle with a spoon. Dice up what you have hollowed out.
  • Then, this is your preference :  Use ground beef, turkey, Italian sausage ( I used the sausage) and cook that up in a skillet with the diced zucchini, peppers ( I used sweet peppers ) and onion. From there you can add whatever you want, in regards to seasoning. Or go vegetarian and meatless…
  • If this was summer, I’d add chopped up fresh tomatoes from the garden. In this season, after I’d cooked all of this up, I added some tomato sauce.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375, and put your plain boats that you have hollowed out into a baking dish with a bit of water in the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes or so. Remove from the oven, take the boats out, and drain the water.
  • Add some sauce to bottom of that dish, put the boats back, fill them with your mixture that you cooked in the skillet, and bake for 20 more minutes. At the end, add some mozzarella, and put the dish back into the oven for a few minutes until it is melted. I served these with a side of rice.

I do have the beginnings of a turkey-carcass based soup but wanted a break from turkey and this hit the spot :)

IF YOU ARE GEARING UP FOR CHRISTMAS  You might also enjoy: Gingerbread & a Christmas Puppy

I’ll get some quilting in on Sunday and join up with other Slow Stitchers at Kathys Quilts

Christmas randoms

I hope that you enjoyed your Christmas, in whatever way that you celebrate. I caught a picture of the Full Moon on Christmas Eve but just in case that wasn’t official I wanted one in the morning as well. We had clouds…I finally caught a bit of it ….

Christmas Moon

In my previous post  I told the story of how the children were surprised by their Christmas puppy ( the day before Christmas Eve. )

When he first arrived he was a frightened little thing. By the next day he was very snuggly and a bit more adventurous. By Christmas morning when they brought him down for our Christmas breakfast get-together here, he was a bundle of excited energy when he encountered my two dogs for the first time.  I have Lily and Jugsy….little Merle went after Jugsy ! Is it because Jugs is half-Rottweiler as is little Merle? I think so. I think that Jugsy reminded Merle of his mother and siblings…it was nigh on impossible to capture the cuteness going on….they were moving too fast in a small space…

Little Merle’s tail was wagging; he was bounding around; he sort of prances when he runs and I’ll have to try to capture that with some outdoor photos soon…

pup and jugs collage

DSC_0131

I WISH that I’d had my camera down at my son’s later on. I’d taken Merle outside hoping that he would do his business before we had dinner. Walking along the side of the house…BOING!

He ran into a stray dandelion with the fuzzy top.  Now this was very exciting to him, since he was just the same height as the dandelion. He played with this dandelion and another one close by for a good five minutes and I had such a laugh! I think that I’ve laughed more about this puppy in the last two days than I have in the last few months :)

We had plenty of food for Christmas dinner which was good, since they had plenty of relatives and friends stopping by, in and out, throughout the evening. Rather than a sit down quiet dinner, we made a buffet and shared.

I will tell you about my middle son and his gravy on Christmas Day.

We’d had breakfast here. Once that was all cleaned up I started on my casseroles.  I took one down…the weather was mild; they are two blocks away, so I walked it.  I stayed awhile and tasted the spiral ham and returned for the other casserole.  He opened the door, telling me how the turkey gravy wasn’t thickening….I brought my casserole into the kitchen to set it down only to see him in great consternation exclaiming “how did THIS happen in a minute!”

He’d gotten impatient and kept adding more cornstarch and now he had wallpaper paste cooking on the stove. How I managed to not bust out laughing who knows. You see, he didn’t want help with this, this year.  Well, we scooped most of the cornstarch blobs out and he started over but I don’t think that I’ll ever forget this Christmas’s FIRST batch of gravy :)

My youngest son brought his Koopa, now a bit over a year old, and little Merle the puppy was not so interested in him as he’d been with Jugsy.  Someone brought Koopa a bone-gift later on in the evening, and while Koopa was outside, Merle landed on it..dragging it around ; the bone was probably bigger than him.

My oldest son was to fly in from St. Louis on Sunday for four days but his plans changed. He’d been here for Thanksgiving, and then had to travel quite a bit for work, and when it came down to it, he decided to stay home as he felt exhausted. That was dissapointing but understandable. He’ll make it here some other time. I still went ahead and made a large pot of ham, vegetable and bean soup for the rest of us today.

While we’ve had extremely mild temperatures here in the Northeast around Christmas, it’s been cloudy and rainy for the most part. I did catch a few photos when the sun was out one afternoon. I love when the clouds look like huge puffy cottonballs.

pretty skies collage late december

There was a pretty sunrise this Sunday morning before the drearies moved back in / rain for the rest of the day:

dec 27 sunrise

I usually wait until New Year’s Day or the day after to start to take down the Christmas decor, leaving some of the snowmen out, but with the oldest one not coming home after all, and 66 degrees this morning and it feeling more like Easter, I started to put things away and will probably finish up tomorrow.

Did you have a nice Christmas ? I hope so :)

Thoughts and prayers for those in the southern states who are having so much devastating weather this El Nino Christmas season :(

You might also enjoy :  Frisky Dogs in the Fall   or  A Leaf Never Dies   or  Sewing Storage : Vintage Baskets & Thrift Store Finds  or  I Highly Recommend “The Hundred Foot Journey” Movie

Sharing at : Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style