Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful












We're halfway through the long Thanksgiving weekend. It's been so relaxing, even with the work of cooking a big meal. It's just the four of us and it's quiet and restful. Thursday was the main event, of course, with lots of food. The Bear and I cooked the turkey between us - every year, he cuts it into parts and gives me the breast to roast in the oven. Then he puts the rest in the outdoor smoker, with applewood chips. Both kinds are delicious. I also cooked mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing and roasted Brussels sprouts. The Bear baked our old favorite No-knead Dutch-oven bread. He made us a playlist which included Cracker, Grateful Dead, Gin Blossoms, Toby Keith and Old Crow Medicine Show, which got us working. I had made whole-berry cranberry sauce (and pumpkin pie) the day before to save time. I didn't make huge amounts of anything, but it was still a lot of food and we ate it again for lunch and dinner Friday. There's still a bit to eat for lunch today but most of it's gone now. That's how I like it, though: I like to get the leftovers eaten up quickly.

It's just nice. There have been lovely roaring fires, glasses of wine and sparkling cider, chocolate and cookies. Yesterday we put up our Christmas tree. We always do it on Thanksgiving weekend. I like having it up for the whole month of December, especially since we had our children. Our tree is artificial (please, no rotten tomatoes). Nature-lover though I am, I just don't enjoy the upkeep with a real tree. And after having a real tree with a spider infestation and a creepy fungus, I threw in the towel for good and we bought a lovely fake one. Our Christmas style is eclectic; we have lots of faux-vintage glass ornaments in a retro style, some Victorian and some mid-20th century along with many items handmade by adults and children alike. We've got plastic things from the dollar store too. It's all good: Christmas decorating shouldn't be stagey or fussy, in my opinion. Put up bright, happy things that you like, embrace a cheerful patchwork style.

I love being at home during the day with the Christmas tree. We have ours in the living room, which is at the front of the house. We spend most of our time at the back, in the kitchen and family room. The Christmas tree brings us to the living room more. I like to sit in there on winter afternoons anyway, because it has southern exposure and the sun streams in warmly. But when the tree is up, it's even cozier and I can lose myself for a good long time just staring at the tree. It's always been that way for me, since I was a small child. I used to fall asleep lying under the Christmas tree, staring up through the branches at the lights. This weekend, I've been cross-stitching. It's so incredibly relaxing. I used to cross-stitch a lot, before I mastered crochet. I've finished the LB's afghan and it looks good. It's very boyish, which is new for me from a crochet perspective, but I'm happy with it.

Today: a trip to Lowe's (I broke the plastic fitting on the shower sprayer while cleaning it this morning...I clean with vigor), a stop at the grocery store for milk, another stop at Papa Murphy's for take-and-bake pizzas to eat for dinner tonight (enough turkey already) and possibly a visit to Starbucks. You can't stay at home all the time. But I'll be glad to get back, (slipper-socked) feet up in front of the fire, needle in hand, music on the stereo (we're listening to The Nutcracker Suite this morning). I'm really far behind on blog-reading at the moment but I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, whatever you're up to.

34 comments:

  1. Oh I just love reading about your life Jennifer, it sounds just perfect and cosy too. I love the idea of Thanksgiving but because we don't celebrate it here in the UK (although there maybe some that do, so apologies) I really don't know the history behind it and am embarrassed to admit this. But hey if you don't ask you'll never know. Anyway I think it's a lovely way of showing gratitude for the things we have and the people around us. Have a wonderful weekend with your family
    Patricia x

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  2. Sounds just about perfect. We've had visitors for a long lunch today (no sport for Matt - the first term time Saturday for about 6 years!) - it's been lovely to relax, enjoy a glass of wine and know we have another day tomorrow.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

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  3. Sounds wonderful. Glad you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. We wont put our tree up for a couple of weeks yet, lots are appearing around here though!

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  4. Your holiday weekend sounds just wonderful! Your Thanksgiving table setting is so pretty. We recently made the No-knead Dutch oven bread and it was nice and crusty, and delicious. We put up our (artificial) Christmas tree as welL. I am just too allergic to the real thing. I have also strung lights (inside) around our dining and kitchen windows, and I just love them. I also love our Christmas tree, and so does Charlotte. Your tree looks very lovely, too. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and a trip to Starbucks sounds just perfect!

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  5. Hi Jennifer! It sounds like a wonderful time you've had and a delicious dinner. We had leftovers yesterday and will again today. With 6 of us here we are making good use of it. We had fresh cut trees all while the kids were growing up - going up into the hills to a tree farm to find it and cut it ourselves.. but it got so dry and dangerous that we finally went to "fake". But I totally agree with you on putting a conglomeration of ornaments on.. those trees in magazines that are all "matchy matchy" don't looks happy at all. We start decorating today. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  6. This post is like a warm, comforting blanket. Your thanksgiving sounds so, SO lovely. I wish we did something similar in the UK. We have a fake tree and we'll decorate it next weekend. Is that a winterwoods sampler I spy? I enjoyed every stitch of that one.

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  7. It all sounds just lovely to me! Perfectly relaxing and cosy :-) Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
    Hugs xx

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  8. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, such lovely cosy pics, I love Old Crow Medicine Show too and also have to confess we have a artificial tree too although I don't mind as I'd rather the tree were left to grow in the earth.
    Clare xx

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  9. Oh what a lovely cosy festive post Jennifer. I can just imagine how lovely it is at your house right now. I have that cross-stitch kit as well. I've done some, but it's been up on the shelf for a while. You might just inspire me to get it down! That bread looks utterly delicious. I could happily eat a slice with lots of butter on it... Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'll be doing the usual football thing tomorrow. I may possibly avoid it in the morning though, which will leave me some time at home with the bigger boys.

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  10. Oh Jennifer, everything is always so lovely and homely and nice at your place - can I come live there?
    All your pics are so sweet and I like the look of your cross-stitch - I've been busy with crochet again last week or so and am missing my little stitchies now - and boy does that food look good, especially the bread, my hubby would go ape for that bread! Have a wonderful week m'dear, warm hugs, Joy xo

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  11. Glad that you had a good Thanksgiving day Jennifer, I hope that you are still enjoying the rest of your weekend. We have an artificial tree as well, partly because we need to have a tall narrow tree and real ones don't come in that shape, but also because of the care that real ones need. I love to just sit and look at the tree, but I love decorating it and so I have been known to put all the ornaments on and then take them off and put them on again, just because I like doing it so much - crazy huh! xx

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  12. We had our Thanksgiving meal Friday because my oldest son-in-law had to go in to work on Thursday, but in general we are having a leisurely Thanksgiving celebration, too, Jennifer. At the moment half of our household is out purchasing some new strings of Christmas lights so that we can put up our Christmas tree tonight. When we lived in Colorado amidst the dry Rocky Mountain pines I felt guilty having a live tree so we bought our first artificial tree. I like keeping it up all of December, too, and when my husband was alive he campaigned to keep it up a lot longer :) Your beautiful stitching encourages me to get busy on some of my own!
    Gracie xx

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  13. And to think that some people give up the peace of simple family living on Thanksgiving Day for the craziness of "Brawl-Mart!" Yikes! As I read, I couldn't help but think how fortunate your children are to live amid such love and tranquility.
    I too, remember lying under the tree and gazing up at the lights. It was such magic! I still enjoy a dark, quiet house, with only the tree and fireplace for lighting. Heaven on earth!

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  14. Oh I'm behind too! It is so hard to keep up around this time of year! Let me just say that your spread looks delicious and that bread...amazing!!! And I love that the Grateful Dead was on your playlist! I so enjoy listening to them!!! Sounds like an outstanding weekend friend! A very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  15. Lovely post, I just love reading your blog, thanks for sharing bits of your life, it's inspirational :)

    Lluisa xx

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  16. Such a wonderful post- sounds a great Thanksgiving- a wonderful time for food and family- Enjoy the rest of the weekend:)

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  17. Sounds like you had a lovely Thanksgiving, just as it should be :) xx

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  18. What a great post! I have been for a bit and see I have a lot of catching up to do! Thank you for sharing your holiday!
    http://yvetteslifeandotherstuff.blogspot.com/

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  19. Your weekend sounds absolutely picture-perfect. Even though we don't put up a big tree anymore (and I'm with you on the artificial ones - not only am I allergic to pine, but I can't stand the needles all over the floor), I still do Christmas vignettes around the house. I started that yesterday. Hubby has been home this weekend (he usually works weekends) and we did enough cleaning and organizing yesterday, so we're getting out of the house today. We're taking a little day trip. :-)

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  20. What a wonderful, comforting post, my friend! Makes me smile with memories of home. I really like your Thanksgiving table runner, did you make it? And your tree style is spot-on, I love our tree decorates, a mix of Scandi red and white plus a bunch of homemade lovelies, fancy baubles and tacky animals chosen by the kids - it's all brilliant! Enjoy the rest of your cozy weekend! Chrissie xoxo

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  21. It sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We haven't put our Christmas tree up yet, but like you, we have artificial. I've got my eye on a new one this year, it's in a local garden centre, so I'm hoping it will soon be in my house.

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  22. What a lovely post Jennifer. Everything looks so relaxing, and your food looks delicious. It looks like you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your photos are always so lovely. I absolutely love stopping by your blog. I hope you have a relaxing, and peaceful upcoming week.

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  23. Looks like you had a lovely cozy family holiday! I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Christmas decoration theory, the more the merrier I say! xxx

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  24. I am with you on the decorating. And the enjoyment. And with the fun. Just perfect.

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  25. Don't you just love a relaxing, cozy holiday weekend? yours sounds perfect.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  26. Sounds like you have had a lovely holiday, such a nice time to be with your family. Lovely photos.

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  27. Looks like a perfect holiday....lovely Jennifer♥
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  28. A lovely peek into your Thanksgiving weekend, Jennifer. Your Thanksgiving day feast looks delicious; what a great idea to simultaneously cook the turkey in these two different ways. And, your tree is aglow with pretty ornaments, flickering in the light of its meaning. Like you, I've spent many afternoons, sitting and staring at the memories shaped in those pretty and delicate decorations, hanging lightly from each bough.

    Your Christmas tree may be faux, but it's fabulous!

    Poppy

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  29. Your thanksgiving sounds and look wonderful. I love your pretty table runner and I also love all your gorgeous tree decorations. Beautiful photos that really capture love and enjoyment. You have a pretty fab tree too! Enjoy your week and enjoy your stitiching xoxo

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  30. What lovely, colourful photos :0)
    I've got some great news for you Jennifer - you were lucky enough to win my Xmas giveaway. Please email me your address so that I can post your prize off to you. (knitting.needles@yahoo.co.uk).
    Congratulations. xx

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  31. Thanksgiving sounds a wonderful special family time for you, it's a shame we don't celebrate something similar. Your photos are a wonderful record of this time. I'm glad I am not the only one that as accidents when cleaning!
    Sarah x

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  32. I'm glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving, Jennifer. Over in the UK the only time most people have such a traditional meal is on Christmas Day. No decorations at our place yet. I try to keep Advent quiet and simple and decorate just before Christmas for the Twelve Days. However your busyness with the cross-stitch reminds me I have some socks to finish for DD.

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  33. I'm with you on the decorating the tree thing. I like an eclectic mix. None of that styled rubbish for me. I do draw the line at tinsel though!
    Jennifer I have really loved this post. I love how you describe the simple and everyday. I love what pleasure you get from your family, and the rituals that make it so. I have read this post three times already to just soak up the feeling I get from it.

    Leanne xx

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  34. Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving and long weekend! So did we. Even went out on Black Friday, but didn't wait in any long lines or get up in the dark to look for something we don't need....lol!

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