Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Simple Things I Am Thankful For…

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, where I was born and spent the first eight years of my life.  We are not celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada today (we had it last month), but with all the disturbing things going on in the world right now, it makes me think of the things in my life I am thankful for.  Here they are, in the order I’ve thought of them:

1. A Healthy Love Relationship.  I am thankful to have found a man who loves me, works hard, is an amazing father, and would rather cut off his right arm than hurt me or our children.

2. A Loving Family.  We definitely argue, but I don’t know what we would do without each other. 

3. Clean Water.  We can turn on a tap and have an almost unlimited amount of clean water!

4. Clean Air.  The air that we breathe is very clean, and smells good most of the time.   

5. Plentiful, Fresh Food.  We can go to a store and buy nearly anything we need, or grow it ourselves in uncontaminated soil.  We have a refrigerator and a freezer to help keep the food preserved.  We have a stove and a microwave to cook the food. 

6. A Roof Over Our Heads.  I can’t imagine not having a warm, clean place to come home to.

7. Freedom of Movement.  I can go where I want, when I want to, without being afraid. 

8. Freedom of Speech.  I have the right to say, write, read, or listen to almost anything without fear of repercussion (within libel/slander laws).

9. The Right to Vote.  Thanks to some outspoken women who came before me, women in Canada have had the right to vote in federal elections since 1919. 

10. The Ability to Read and Write.  I could not live without books, and writing keeps me sane.  The ability to read allows me to learn new things every day.

11. Government-Sponsored Health Care.  If my child is ill, I can take her to the doctor without worrying about how to afford the treatment.

12. Music.  Good music makes me feel a huge range of emotions…there are so many talented musicians in our world.

Please take a moment to think about all the simple things you are thankful for…

I hope that all my family and friends have a wonderful holiday!  Thank you for taking time from your busy day to visit me in Hammond River!


Filed under books, family, food, friends, music

Two Thanksgivings, A Quarantine, A Helicopter Attack, and A Giant Pumpkin…

So, this was our Thanksgiving weekend…it was a busy one.  On Sunday night, we went to Jim’s parents for a combination Thanksgiving/birthday dinner for Jim’s son, Devin.  He turned 17 on October 4th.

The Birthday Boy...

We had a lovely meal: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans, gravy, cucumber/tomato slices, and a delicious turnip puff that Jim’s sister, Kim, made.  I had two helpings!

Unfortunately, Jim’s dad only joined us for a few minutes, sitting way over in the corner by himself…he was suffering from a bad cold, and didn’t want to give it to anyone.  He had spent the past few days in the basement.  Kim’s husband, Chris, pointed out that Gordon couldn’t have been suffering too much…he had the big screen TV, computer, and a fridge nearby.  Gordon came up to watch Devin open his presents: he got some clothes, lots of money, and a remote control helicopter that Jim bought for him.  It was fun watching it fly around, although it didn’t fly very high on the first night…it wasn’t fully charged.

Dessert was yummy…my blueberry pie, Jim’s mom’s pumpkin cheesecake, and purchased carrot cake for the birthday boy, who doesn’t like chocolate.   Jim’s sister, Tracy, had to wait for a minute to bring Devin’s cake out…Jim wasn’t ready with his camera…

Kim invited us to her Halloween party: “Everybody has to wear a costume!”  I have no idea what I’m going to be.  Halloween isn’t my favourite holiday…Jim the smartass suggested I go as a “party pooper.”

We got home just in time for Amazing Race.  I was so happy it turned out to be a non-elimination leg…I like Kevin and his dad!

I woke up Monday morning feeling like a dump truck had driven over me several times…my cold was back!  Jim didn’t feel much better.  I dragged my butt out of bed, made a bagel and tea for breakfast, and started getting the stuffing made for the turkey.  Kaylee, Scott and Elise were coming over for Thanksgiving dinner.

I got the turkey into the oven by noon…then I went out to the garden to harvest some vegetables for dinner.  I got a couple of Red Kuri squash, some beets, three rutabagas, and some mutant-looking carrots (average 4″ long, but fat little things).

Carrots, Rutabagas, Squash, Beets from the Garden...

I took a little break and sat down at my computer to check e-mail and Facebook.  Jim and the kids were playing with Devin’s birthday present again.  It went really high – almost up to the ceiling!  I was sitting there minding my own business when I felt a breeze over my head…a couple of seconds later, there was a helicopter entangled in my hair!

The Killer Helicopter...

Jim swears it was an accident: “It just lost power!”   I think he was secretly getting revenge for the times I injured him earlier in the week…an elbow to the nose (“It hurt for two days!”), and a whack to the temple with a snow brush handle (we were cleaning out the car, and he asked me to hand it to him so he could put it in the trunk).   I apologized profusely, both times, but warned Jim that there probably would be a third time…these things always happen in threes!

It took a few minutes to free my hair from the vehicle nesting in it.  It was at that point I decided it would be a good idea to have a shower.

Devin and Brianna went to their mom’s house for their second Thanksgiving dinner of the weekend.

Kaylee and family arrived about 4.  Elise is now taking a few steps on her own, and asking what everything is.  I didn’t have much time to spend with her though, because I was busy cooking (and also didn’t want to reinfect her with another cold). 

Kaylee wanted some pictures of Elise with a pumpkin, so everybody trooped outside, leaving me in the kitchen with the food.  Jim took the photos below:

Elise and the Pumpkin...

"Let's see how it tastes..."


Apparently, Elise couldn’t wait for supper.  She also sampled some fall leaves…I let her take the pumpkin home, since she’d already licked it!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was also delicious, if I do say so myself!  In addition to the turkey, stuffing, and vegetables from the garden, we had whipped potatoes, broccoli, and corn.  Jim made his Grammy’s dressing (which Hope loves), gravy, and a sauce for the beets.

Elise was falling asleep, so Kaylee and Scott left before dessert…I sent them home with a blueberry pie.  The rest of us ate pumpkin pie…it was yummy!  Devin and Brianna made it home just in time!

Jim and I packed the leftover food into lunch containers…Jim is planning a turkey stew for his night to cook…looking forward to it!


Filed under cooking, family, food, gardening

Little Wendy Pie-Maker…

On Friday, I was home waiting for the carpenter to come to finish installing the new drywall and tub surround in the bathroom.  I decided that since it was our Thanksgiving weekend, that I would make pies for the occasion.  The first step was the pumpkin…I went out the the garden and chose the smallest one (the only one that would fit into the microwave)…it was about 10″ tall and 8″ in diameter.

The Pumpkin...

I put it into the microwave to soften it up so I could cut it in half and scoop out the seeds…then I put it in the oven and baked it.

Cooked pumpkin...

The carpenters commented on the wonderful smell…I told them I was making pumpkin pie from scratch, and they were suitably impressed.  I also got a couple of bags each of blueberries (from our bushes) and blackberries (picked in my secret patch on the West Side) out of the freezer.  I scooped the meat out of the pumpkin…four cups of fresh pumpkin!

Unfortunately, the carpenters took about four hours to finish the bathroom…procrastination kicked in…I didn’t think it would be a good idea to make piecrust near where so much drywall dust was flying around, so I decided to wait until Saturday to make the actual pies.  I had also promised to make “West Side Wendy’s Brownies” for a reunion of my old call center workers on Saturday night.

The bathroom looked 100 times better when they were done (and they cleaned up pretty well after themselves too!).

New shower stall...yay!

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early.  After a quick breakfast, I started baking right away.  The brownies were first…two pans of deliciousness which everyone who tastes them raves about.


Then I started the pies.  I found a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for a pumpkin pie that used 16 oz. of pumpkin (it said it made one single crust pie)…I figured that if I doubled it, that would use all of my four cups of pumpkin, and I’d have two pies.  Wrong!  I ended up with enough filling for three big pies and one small pie!

Pumpkin pie...


There were also way more berries than I thought…once I had them in the bowls with the sugar and flour, I realized I’d overestimated in taking out two bags of each kind.

Blackberry pie before top crust put on...

Blueberry/Blackberry pie before top crust...

I sent Jim to the Co-Op for more lard.  Another recipe of piecrust was necessary.

Finished blueberry pie...

Finished blackberry pie...yes, that's my poor rendition of blackberries carved in the top...

Finished blueberry/blackberry pie...those are two "B"'s in the top...

So, after eight hours of baking, I ended up with two pans of brownies and eight pies: four pumpkin, two blueberry, one blackberry, and one blueberry/blackberry.  We’ll take a blueberry one to Jim’s mom’s today for our combo Thanksgiving/Devin’s birthday dinner (he turned 17 on October 4th).  On Monday, we’ll have the other blueberry one and a pumpkin one for our own Thanksgiving dinner with Kaylee, Scott and Elise.

Jim and I had fun at the reunion last night.  Not many people made it because of the holiday weekend, but the food was great (anybody who knows me knows how much I love to eat!).  It was nice to see my old co-workers, many of whom I hadn’t seen for a year.  We talked about having another gathering in February…looking forward to it!


Filed under cooking, family, food