Thanksgiving — 2018

It’s Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 2018 and the sun is shining here on the Left Coast, the land of fruits and nuts. Today’s temperature will be in the mid-60s and no rain. (We got some in the early hours this morning–maybe, up to half an inch.)

Charlie woke up about 6:30 am and I helped her to the bathroom and then to her sunroom, including her pills and a cup of tea.

Fixed myself a cup of coffee and read the newspapers with the CBS Morning News on in the background. Then, into the spare bedroom and some time on the exercise bike; it was about 90 minutes while re-reading a Recluce novel, The Mongrel Mage.

Realized I’d forgotten the onions for stuffing so I walked a half mile to the market; busy but all of the registers had checkers and there was no waiting. Passed a Polly’s Pies which had a large number of people getting their Thanksgiving desserts.

The Target parking lot across the street had cars which, I assume, were those of workers getting ready for their 5:00 pm opening. Quite thankful I’m not one of them and even more thankful I’m not one of those shopping there today, or tomorrow.

The combination of arthritis, neuropathy and Parkinson’s has made it impossible for Charlie to cook any more and, therefore, I will do the honors. Of course, under her direction and input, I’ll make her version of stuffing — yes, she insists on the stuffing being cooked in the turkey and not in a separate dish.

We have a 15 lb Butterball that’s been thawing in the fridge since Saturday. Since it’s only the two of us dinner will be: turkey, stuffing, potatoes and peas. And, an adult beverage.

Well, it’s after noon and time to get busy.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

– – – – –

Well, it turns out I made just the right amount of stuffing to put under the skin and in the bird — with the cavities fully stuffed and nothing left over. Put the thermometer in, oil and crushed rosemary all over the skin and into the oven. Left the skin uncovered for the first hour to crisp the skin.

Cleaned the kitchen and showered. A glass of wine and an hour of football and then on to the potatoes. Found a new roast potato recipe the other day and will put them in our lower oven. Will also make some mashed potatoes in case the roasted ones turn out less than stellar.

It’s nice that we like re-heated potatoes with turkey leftovers — nothing wasted. Charlie’s peas won’t take long; hmmmm, maybe I’ll make some lima beans for myself.

The turkey should be ready between six and six-thirty; so, we should eat before seven.

Ahhh, now for another sip of wine.

Hope your Thanksgiving Day is going as well.

– – – – –

The turkey was as close to perfect as I’ve ever done. Di’s stuffing was excellent. The roast potatoes were good enough that the uncooked mashed potatoes will remain uncooked until Saturday and tomorrow we (or at least Charlie) will have re-heated leftover potatoes — and there aren’t enough for the two of us, at least, with my appetite.

I had lima beans and Di had peas, and added gravy and red currant jelly to her plate. A delicious meal.

Smoke and Mist enjoyed their usual repast while our dinner was finishing in the ovens. They don’t generally bother with our food and tonight was no different with one small exception. When I went back for seconds, Smoke had a piece of turkey skin on the floor and was munching. Into the trash it went. Otherwise, the turkey was untouched by the cats. (And, I don’t know if I’d dropped the skin on the floor or if Smoke “stole” it.)

I’ll finish my glass of wine and then to the kitchen for clean-up and leftover storage.

Thanksgiving — 2018

Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts on a Monday morning . . .

Charles Manson

Charles Manson is dead at the age of 83. He died some forty-eight years after those he is responsible for killing. 48 years.

How much money did we spend on his incarceration? How many school teachers could we have paid for; how many children could we have given better foster care; how many potholes could we have filled; how many . . . ? And all we needed was a single 9mm bullet (and maybe one for each of his cronies) to put him (them) out of our misery.

Jim Mora

Jim Mora was fired as UCLA’s football coach.

According to the LA Times, UCLA will pay some $12,000,000.00 to buy out the last four years of his contract.

$3,000,000.00 a year for a football coach? I thought the purpose of a university was to educate — not to act as a minor league team for a professional sports league.

Maybe I’m behind the times, but I would much rather my tax money go to provide scholarships for the next generation of doctors, scientists, engineers and teachers than to would-be future millionaire quarterbacks, pitchers and one-and-done NBA guards.

“I should have left them in jail.”

Can someone we have elected to high public office really believe that it was better to have left three young men in danger of being jailed for years in a foreign country, rather than to have helped gain their release, just because a boy’s father was publicly ungrateful to him?

A case of punishing the child for the words of a father?

Justice League

Justice League, from Warner Brothers, took in some $96,000,000 this weekend. That was about as much as the next five movies combined. Yet, it was a disappointment.

A $96,000,000 disappointment — aw . . . breaks my heart. C’mon, guys (and gals) how about something new and entertaining that’s not just for teenagers.


Is it just me (again) or is there more attention being given to “Black Friday” and the buying and selling of billions of dollars of goods imported from East Asia than there is to giving thanks for what we have?

Oh, yeah, and what about those who are forced to work on Thanksgiving Thursday?

I wonder how many of them are among our lowest paid workers, some working more than one job, and are giving thanks to have a job and are happy to have the additional hours to provide for themselves and their families — especially here in expensive OC SoCal?

Well, perhaps some of these thoughts aren’t so random after all.

Another gratuitous cat picture.

Smoke and Mist on Di's robe and British flag blanket.
Smoke and Mist on Di’s robe and British flag blanket.

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving Week – Nine Days

My wife, Diana or Di, to her English family and Charlie to the rest of us is still teaching. This year she had the whole of Thanksgiving Week off. A good week to relax and veg-out.

Saturday – relax, watch college football, and fix spaghetti for dinner.

Sunday – as above, but pro football and took Charlie to have a mani-pedi.

Monday – relax, we went to MNF dinner at Mike and Sandy’s (nice tradition as Mike and I have been doing this for somewhere around thirty years).

Tuesday – took Charlie to her “pain management” doctor and had one of her “heavy” meds dosage reduced—less med in the same number of pills for the same cost.

Wednesday – one of Charlie’s good, retired friends came over to visit for several hours and I then took Charlie to another doctor’s appointment.

Thursday – the two of us had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner together: turkey, mashed potatoes and peas. Her brother called and was quite chuffed that he had prepared a good batch of roast potatoes. I’ve found that a 16-pound turkey has plenty of meat for the two of us for dinner and several days of leftovers—oh, yes, gave the cats a bit of turkey, too.

Friday – quiet day with leftovers and football and Charlie grading English class essays (7th & 8th grade). When I see her doing this I give quiet thanks that I was able to retire when I did.

Saturday – basically a copy of Friday except I started out watching Premier League “football”—Go Arsenal!

Sunday – should be a copy of Saturday except for the angst of Charlie having to go back to work tomorrow and the Grey Cup is on this afternoon.

The above list is not an exhaustive one. There was grocery shopping to do, including the purchase of cat and bird food. Clothes washing, dishes, general cleaning, etc. that needed to be done. The gardener came by yesterday and the front yard and backyard gardens are beautiful, if lacking in summer flowers.

Charlie finished reading the latest Aloysius Pendergast book, Blue Labyrinth, by Preston and Child. She is now on the patio reading Relic and drinking her second cup of tea. We actually have dark clouds overhead so, maybe, we’ll get some of that promised rain this week. (Maybe, even today.)

I’m a half-dozen chapters into Heritage of Cyador by Modesitt and it promises to be a good read.

I’ve written the first eight chapters of my book, two more full chapters and two partial chapters farther on in the story. My goal is a hundred thousand words but I’ve got more story than that in my head and will have to do a “bit” of trimming.

Downloaded Annie Lennox’s new album, Nostalgia, marvelous. I’ve got 18,000+ songs and tunes on iTunes and have music playing in the house most of the time—on Apple TV and playing through our stereo. (Still waiting for Diana Krall’s Wallflower.)

The OC Register is again a no-show today—haven’t had a copy delivered since Thursday a week ago, but I still get their emails. The LA Times hasn’t missed a day or been late. (This really bugs me as the Times does not cover Orange County high school football. It’s playoff season now.)

School Teacher Alert

—and anyone else who has ever had a “pointy-haired” principal or boss: Today’s Dilbert (with apologies to Scott Adams).

Principal: Would you like some feedback on your (teaching) performance?

Teacher: No.

P: You’re supposed to appreciate feedback because it makes you feel valued.

T: How does listening to you belittle me about things you don’t understand make me feel valued?

P: Well, I don’t know. It must be an indirect thing.

P: Maybe we should just try it and see how it feels.

T: Whatever.

P: I don’t actually watch you (teach) work, so I’m mostly guessing about the things you do wrong.

P: I accuse you of being slow and disorganized!

P: Is it working yet?

T: Yes. If that makes you go away.

I don’t know if this accurate for your current situation, but, if you’ve been a teacher long enough, you’ve had at least one, and maybe several “pointy-haired” principals. (I know I have. I, of course, won’t mention any names, but, if you’ve taught with me, you will probably name the same ones.)


Charlie’s sister, Tricia, has confirmed that she’ll be here for Christmas. (She lives in England.)

Sunday Morning Company
Sunday Morning Company

The cats are keeping me company: one on the back of my chair, from which position he sometimes washes my hair, and the other atop her castle.

And, as I look around at all I possess and think on all I am thankful for one thing stands out: Charlie, without whom nothing else seems to matter.

And, one more note, Charlie reports that it is now raining.