Monday, November 30, 2015

Green bean casserole of your dreams!

First things first: Did you SEE the google doodle today? It's L.M. Montgomery's birthday and it's all Anne!  I was packing up my books on Saturday - some are coming with me and some are going into storage, which is horrible, right? But I must have stood and stared at my L.M. Montgomery books for many minutes trying to convince myself that they didn't all need to come with me. Except that they do. So they are. And not just the Anne books but the Emily books and both Story Girl books and A Tangled Web and Kilmeny of the Orchard even though I would say it is her weakest, and all of her short story collections. I may not even read any of them. I just feel better with them around. You understand, I'm sure.

Next, Thanksgiving. We had a monster of a gathering. 60 people. Which isn't even everyone who could have been there. It was a delightful day.

Because we turned my mom and her siblings into reindeer

And my super talented cousin Kaylee made this gorgeous family tree

And Levi and Addie spent the whole day chasing after each other

And then the next day we all went to the beach and froze to death but still managed to have a great time because bonfires are great no matter the temperature.

And how cute is Addie roasting a hot dog? "Very," is what you're looking for.

The sad fact about Thanksgiving is that I try so hard to not be uncomfortably full that I end up not feeling like I really had a great meal. Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me and I want large portions of everything but really, in order to not feel like a stuffed turkey and to save room for the requisite 3 slices of pie I have to only take a few bites of each side. And then I end up with the niggling feeling that I did not get enough mash potatoes. And no one should feel slighted out of mashed potatoes. But hey, leftovers, right? This got me thinking how singular Thanksgiving food is. Like, I never eat candied yams on any day but Thanksgiving. Even though I love them. Same with stuffing and green bean casserole. Or roasted turkey, for that matter. What if I through a Thanksgiving feast in April, just for fun. 

I would like to note that I totally killed it on the green bean casserole this year. It was delicious. I know, I know! You think that anything made with Cream of Whatever canned soup is an abomination. Except that you can't deny the warm comfort of a creamy casserole. Here's my tip: use half of the soup that the recipe calls for and also think that you have enough milk but actually don't and instead have to use half and half. Bam! Perfect green bean casserole and Thanksgiving is saved!

Maybe you're feeling like you can't make it through this Monday, now that all of your pie leftovers are gone. So here's a picture of Candy Graham to cheer you up.

Oh geez, this kid!

Let's get this Christmas season started!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Boils and Stuff

1. I just texted Cynde, "Remember that one time we got caught in a hail storm with a bunch of German tourists overlooking Circus Maximus? Let's go back to Rome!" We were on our way to stick our hands in the Bocca della Verita when suddenly the skies opened and rain and hail poured down and the only cover we had was a cypress tree that we had to share with like 20 other people, which is silly considering that cypress trees give about zero coverage. But we all had shifted to one side of it to at least block the hail from pelting us.We just kept laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was. It's one of my favorite memories from the trip.

2. Who wants to come light all of my stuff on fire? Or at the very least move it out to the dumpster for me. Because I really don't want to pack any of it. Did I tell you I'm moving to Chino? Katie and I are taking care of Mom and Dad's house while they're on their mission. I'm sure you'll hear me whine about how much I hate moving over the next month so I won't bore you now. But really, come and throw everything away for me, will you.

3. Here's a free tip: while preparing your seminary lesson about the plagues of Egypt don't look up pictures of them. Some are fine, like flies and hail. Frogs are comical. Lice makes you itchy. Locusts are disturbing. I mean, sweet land of liberty, can you imagine? Any large, winged bug is a nightmare. But you're really getting into horror territory when you look up boils and dead cattle. I couldn't stop looking at the pictures of boils. And they just kept getting worse the more I scrolled. And then I came across one of a butt covered in boils and I nearly died because a.) it was gross, and b.) I kept hearing Ouiser screaming, "He is a boil on the butt of humanity."

4. If you can believe it, I finished Graham Master Flash's stocking before his first Christmas. I've made all of my nieces and nephews stockings and most have had to wait several years. But because I have to pack up the World's Largest Felt Collection I thought I'd just buckle down and do it. So I watched many episodes of the Great British Baking Show (who else is watching this and don't you LOVE it?! Do you think we should stage an intervention for Ruby before she throws herself off a cliff because she didn't have a good bake?) and stitched my heart out.  I am amazed at how neat my stitched writing looks compared to my actual handwriting. It's my one true Lady of Elegant Leisure skill.

5. I snapped this picture the other morning of this palm tree, the moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars, which you cannot see but is there, I promise.  Everyone should start their day out with a little cosmic viewing.