This night is a particularly good one … it’s a Wednesday that feels like a Friday. As we are wont to do on nights when we don’t have to get up early for work in the morning, my husband (or I) brew a pot of coffee and we sit in front of our computers, catching up on emails (me), playing computer games (him), chattering about things – usually picking on each other about one thing or another. Our lives are very peaceful in these moments. And it is just wonderful to enjoy the simple things.
This will be a rambling blog post because I have started and abandoned about a dozen blog posts lately because I keep getting distracted by other things. (Silly me thinking that life would slow down in the fall …). So here are the things I’ve wanted to tell you about:
1) I’m an aunt again. This time I finally have a niece to boast about (I have four nephews) … even though this kid finally has a name, my husband and I still call her Sweet Pea when we refer to her. This is the first grandkid/niece on my husband’s side of the family, so it is fun to see them react to this new experience. Which brings me to my second thought …
2) The first nephew that was born to me turned 15 years old on the 23rd. He’s going to kill me for saying this, but when I look up at his 6-foot-two-inch self, I can still see him as a two-year-old smiling up at me. At one time, he thought I hung the moon – now I’m just vaguely embarrassing, but I remember the day he arrived as vividly as the recent day that my niece was born.
3) I hope that both of these kids are smarter than money that I am/was.
4) I’ve recently secured some gigs as a freelance writer – one doing ad copy for a local non-profit and an article for one of my community’s local magazines. I am particularly excited for the magazine article – before I moved down to Rochester, I worked in newspapers and haven’t been a reporter in three years. As I’ve been interviewing a couple of sources for the piece that I’m writing, I am reminded of what I really loved about being a journalist – the license to ask total strangers a ton of questions and to get the privilege of telling their stories to other people.
5) Although this is extraordinarly exciting – this has been one of the busiest weeks of my life. Achieving balance between my real job, my side gigs and my home life is a challenge. Some days I’m great at it, other days I suck at it.
6) Another thing that I’ve really wanted to tell you is that now is a good time to start stocking up on some pantry basics. One of the things that I love about holidays is that groceries like flour, sugar, butter, cooking spray, canned goods and – very obviously – turkey (and ham) are on sale now. I bought a couple of pounds of butter at Target the other night for under $1.75 a pound. Butter has been running above $3 a pound lately, so I’ve been stocking up. Perishables like butter, cheese and turkeys may be frozen to be used later. Just because you cannot imagine eating another turkey after tomorrow’s feast doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy them. Keep it in the deep freeze and pull it out in January to roast … it’s a cheap source of and abundance of meat.
7) You know what a turkey carcass is good for? Homemade stock. This recipe is for homemade chicken stock, but it can be easily adapted for a turkey carcass.
8 ) You know what is really good with canned pumpkin (which is really cheap right now …)? Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce by Rachael Ray. Trust me … pumpkin puree is not just for pumpkin pies.
9) Finally – this blog post prompted tonight’s conversation between my husband and I over coffee. I think that 2011 is going to be my year to figure out how I can incorporate more minimalism into my life (getting rid of the 90% of my wardrobe that I don’t even wear, weeding out books and CDs that are no longer of interest to me).
In the meantime … I wish everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving a very happy and bountiful one. I am looking forward to some family time with relatives I do not get to see very often, my aunt Robin’s homemade potato rolls and a nice little break in the middle of my work week. Blessings to all of you!
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