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» Saturday, November 28, 2020Thanksgiving and Christmas Changes
It wasn't the most sterling of Thanksgiving weeks. I've been experiencing some problems with my stomach and lower GI tract all week. It was at its worst last Saturday, but it has slowly improved all week. Wondering if it has been some type of stomach flu, but then I've never had anything like this last so long. Since I needed to check in with my doctor anyway to renew a prescription, I made an appointment for the next week.
Came home from the gathering at Alice's this past Sunday with a turkey carcass, so on Tuesday we had made turkey soup. Of course after that we had to play freezer Tetris to get the soup stored, except for the one container we kept out to have soup when the bottom drops out of the thermometer, which we were told was coming up. In the meantime we had low 70s for Thanksgiving and the surrounding days.
We ended up staying home for Thanksgiving after being invited to the Lucyshyns like last year. I was still having minor stomach pains. We only knew there was an invitation open recently, so we had already prepared to spend the day on our own: we'd bought two packages of turkey thighs (so we'd have leftovers), diced butternut squash, baby carrots, roasted potatoes, and stuffing. I cooked the turkey in two glass baking dishes. One baking dish was used to make the gravy, in the other dish I cooked the turkey thighs partway, then, James having already put together the stuffing mix with fresh celery and cooked it up on the stovetop, laid the stuffing under the thighs and cooked them all the rest of the way until the turkey was at the proper temp. Meanwhile, I used the lower oven to roast the potatoes, waterless cooked the carrots, and warmed up the butternut squash, which had been cooked and mashed already. Missed most of the initial broadcast of this year's socially distanced Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while cooking, but saw almost all of the National Dog Show, and then rewatched the parade (NBC apparently had nothing better to broadcast Thanksgiving afternoon) while we ate. Dessert was Hershey's dark chocolate pudding (sprinkled it with Andes peppermint bits for a "punch," but they were sticky and stale, so I threw the rest away), which is as good as it sounds.
We did some minor Black Friday shopping the next day: first we hit Staples, which had a set of 22 InkJoy gel pens on sale for $10. We then went to Target, where I went looking for a double cube storage set. I had found them online but was bewildered when we arrived at the store not to find them with the furniture (but while we were waiting for help found a nifty-looking convection oven/microwave/air fryer in appliances—not sure we want to drop the cash on it, though). Once we did find the double cube we rode it up front on the platform at the front of James' power chair, checked ourselves out, and he carried it out to the truck. Easiest Target purchase ever. Then we hopped next door to get James a new wireless keyboard, which he'd reserved at Office Max (water fell in the old one, and alas, the hair dryer did not help it recover as it did my own keyboard). When we got home, I put the double cube together. It replaced a dog's breakfast combination of a small teak table, a storage cube, and a cloth storage bin under one of the living room windows. Now two cloth storage cube boxes are stored neatly in the double cube compartments, and my CD player and my cassette player are set on top.
A surprise came in the mail as well. I believe I wrote that I found a cheap DVD player that could be hacked to play Region 2 (British) DVDs. Well, last week it quit working! I sent a letter of complaint to the manufacturer and they sent me a new one.
Saturday we had a fun visit to Hobby Lobby and then a routine Lidl excursion. The weather report was calling for torrential rain on Sunday, and the first Sunday of Advent is when I traditionally put up the outside lights and the window candles. So when we got home I put out the outdoor Christmas lights. We have multicolor net lights for the small bush right in front, and then I scatter multicolor strings on the top of the larger bushes to one side of the door. Well, the multicolor strings (I did three this year, scalloping them on the outside of the bushes as well) worked fine, but one section of the net lights burned out. After nearly ninety minutes trying to get them re-light, I tried bunching them so the gap that was out wasn't so noticeable. It looked terrible. I went rummaging in the garage and found two more strings of multicolor lights, and a shorter string of LED lights. I arranged the two larger strings on the top of the front bushes, and then scalloped the short string underneath. Looks much better.
I also had a new wrinkle on the front door wreath this year. Most of the "picks" on the wreath were faded from the Georgia sun, as was the bow. So I had gone down in the library, pulled off the old picks and the bow, and attached bright colorful new picks (three Christmas-y ones and then three woodsy ones and three holly corsages), the three green baubles from the previous decorations (the green had not faded at all, so I reused them), and a new bow. The ribbon I could find for the bow was not as wide as I wanted, so I wasn't satisfied, but the new picks look nice. Plus at Hobby Lobby I had picked up a string of multicolor battery-powered LED "seed" lights. These were nestled on top of the wreath and do look quite nice. Bet they eat batteries like crazy, though.
[On Sunday I did put up all the window candles, as well as the indoor door wreaths, so the first Sunday of Advent decorating was done.]