Our Thanksgiving was fairly small and quiet — as quiet as it can be when all the sisters and brothers (minus the one who is on yet another tour to Afghanistan) get together around the table. There was talk of health and religion, of course. Football — which teams, I have no clue — were on the TV (I tried switching the station to “Godfather,” but that was a no-go). There were the regular selfies with the nieces and nephew. And trips outside to the sneak neighborhood cats pieces of leftover turkey … shhh.
I left in a turkey coma and a to-go Tupperware of slices of apple and pumpkin pies.
They are deep in conversation.
Joseph said, “Let’s make a flower.” So that’s what we’re doing. This kid.Lounging after the turkey.Feeding the neighborhood cat.
And now, it’s time to share the five senses of Five Senses Monday:
Tasting: My mom’s homemade sourdough stuffing, served with a roasted turkey and my other favorite, lime green Jell-O salad. Thanksgiving-eve pizza with a new favorite red wine. Artichoke hummus and red grapes.
Hearing: Not-so-baby Emmelia chattering to herself. An old dog howling at squirrels that are prancing around over her head. Old episodes of “Mad Men” over humming bathtub jets.
Seeing: A fire burning for hours; an art I mastered in one weekend after 30 years of never having started my own fireplace fire. Excited? Yes.
Feeling: The warmth from that fire. My nephew Joseph’s tight embrace; he’s been so loving lately. Relief in a met deadline. Disappointment and sadness over rejected gestures. A comforting peace that comes when you allow yourself to get over it. Relaxed after four days of staying (mostly) indoors and bundled up. Layers of blankets on a cool morning.
Smelling: Sugar cookies in the oven. Apple and pumpkin pies, too.
Oh, birthday week!
The amazingness all started several years ago when Maggie showered me with gifts and birthday fun every day. And so, a birthday week tradition began. The best tradition, ever.
Last week, we celebrated Maggie’s birthday week (a month before her actual birthday because she’s a Christmastime baby and is always at home in Missouri for her actual birthday week … we improvise).
Here’s how it went down:
Day 1We met for 7 a.m. birthday mochas at our favorite Starbucks and then opened presents in the backseat of the car. She’s mustache-obsessed, so naturally, I made her a burlap mustache pillow. She’s also an editor, which is why I could geek out and give her a grammar style book. Day 2
On Tuesday, Maggie came to my office for lunch and we picnicked on homemade salads (chicken, blueberries, marinated feta and candied pecans — oh, my). We continued the facial hair theme: A “beards, they grow on you” beer glass, “I mustache you for another glass” cocktail napkins, a mustache necklace and a “Duck Dynasty” car freshner. We’re random people, people. Because she was having a hard day and had to work late, I dropped off a half-caf mocha when I got off.
A busy day for us both, so we met for lunch at Bon Appetit. It was a hospitality/dining under the influence themed day: Amy Sedaris’s “I like you” hosting book, new tights (cus classy hostesses wear tights), cupcake tea towels and a cupcake apron.
This day was so much fun. We dined at Crush Kitchen with our friend Sara and Maggie’s beau, Ryan. We had cocktails and edamame pita and gnochi (well, I did) and dessert, too. Ryan MADE her the most adorable penguin cookie cutter (she loves penguins as much as she does mustaches). On day No. 4, I gave her a wood-carved mustache jewelry box, “I heart mustache” locket and “Marcel the Shell” children’s book based on our favorite YouTube shell (watch it here!).Day 5
This might have been my favorite day. It included live theater (“Les Mis”) and a sleepover at my aunt Jo’s house, complete with a fruity cream cake she made for us. Maggie opened a framed mustache earring holder that matches the burlap pillow from Day 1. She also unwrapped the Gangsta Rap coloring book that I’ve been dying to give her for months … and a few other little things, too. She was pretty excited.Day 6
Day 5 officially concluded the birthday week festivities, but we kept it going through Day 6. We went to our usual breakfast spot with Aunt Jo and our friend Paul, who gave Maggie one of the most hilarious gifts, ever: We spent the day scouring thrift stores and then ended with a nice dinner and movie.
We went back home, and with all of my dogs excited to have Aunt Maggie over for a visit, we called it a week. A very good week.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.
Family time. Puppy greetings. Whipped-cream topped crepes. Movies-in-bed afternoons. Morning roadtrips. Chocolate covered espresso beans. That’s life in a very abbreviated nutshell. What about you? How are you? What’s going on in your world?
And now, let’s do Five Senses Monday. Let’s reflect. Please share your reflections, too.
A breakfast crepe during breakfast with my niece, Sophia. A double mocha, too. Savory and sweet cheeses during an impromptu morning drive to the cheese store in the foothills. One even tasted like coconut. Chinese takeout with the grandparents.
The crackling fire burning in our new fire pit made from a washing machine drum. Grandma asking if we can sneak away to the thrift store; um, of course. Girl talk over homemade chicken salads sweetened up with raspberries and candied pecans.
Still in that mood to curl up with a book as soon as the sun sets (so flipping early!). Sometimes vulnerable, which I think is refreshing and honest in its own way.
LeeLoo, my sister’s new super cute poodle go cray-cray. The leaves turning shades of fluorescent fall. Sophia sitting across from me, so grown up for her age and now feeling more like a friend than ever as she gives ME advice on life.
Curry, curry, curry! And garlic Naan bread. Yep. And mushroom, white bean and tomato soup from “Kinfolk Table.”