Friday, November 24, 2006

Tiggie, turkey, and tryptophan

Did you get enough turkey, Tiggie?

You did.

Well, that's good.

What do want to do now? Would you like to look at home movies, or play games or something?

You're thinking of taking a little nap.

I hear turkey is high in tryptophane, and that tends to make one sort of sleepy.

Posted by Picasa I think he's already asleep.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving for two

The real down side of living half a continent away from your family is making choices about holiday celebration travel.

Some years family comes here, some times we go there, sometimes we do neither, in light of future travel plans.

This year it is just us two, Bernie and me, and of course the two ridiculous boy cats.

If some one was to drop by, they would be welcome. Out by the front door we (OK, I) have placed a wooden turkey, dressed in rather odd attire, holding a sign confirming our welcoming attitude.

I imagine turkeys would have flooded to our doorstep, looking for amnesty, had they only known how to read.
And as much as I think wreaths on leaded glass doors look a tad odd, nevertheless a wreath adorned with a bountiful array of artificial food stuffs, such as nuts and gourds, hangs proclaiming the time of harvest.
Posted by Picasa My beloved husband is helping out with the cooking. I treated him to a Turkey Rice Crispy pop and a card with his morning cup of coffee.

Cute little treat, no?

Some day I think it would be fun to make those for grandchildren.

For now, I am thankful for the family I have, and the land that I live in.

May we all remember all that we have to be thankful for, and that we speak our thanks through out our meal, and then discover, as we lift the last forkful, that there is yet more thanks to be given.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving season,Texas style

Last week the dead holly bush in front of my office window spouted mushrooms over night.
I wondered if they were eatable.

They have mushroom picking classes around here. I like mushrooms, so I'm going to someday work that class into my life.

These mushrooms only lasted 48 hours, and then they were gone.

On the side of our driveway is a 12 foot high holly bush. It got a jump on the Christmas decorating by changing into the red version of its berries over night as well.

Maybe I should stay up with a flashlight if I want to keep up with what is going on out there during the night.

There has been frost on the lawn each morning the last few days.

I think being under double layers of down comforters is a more tempting location to spend the night.

Inside is decorated for autumn. One of the drawbacks of living "down south" is that just when the weather finally gets autumn crisp going, boom, everyone is decorating for Christmas.

Christmas Day is the best day for autumn leaf peeking, for heaven's sake.

I'm considering becoming "Catholic" in terms of decoration time table. I hear they put up Christmas decoration (in the church at least) Christmas day, and the decoration stay up until Ephiphany in mid January.

Having Christmas decorations up that long would be considered odd here in Texas, where the tradition is to tie firecrackers to your Christmas tree and blow it up on New Year's Day.

It's a different world around here.
Thanksgiving fare includes deep fat fried turkeys, and I won't even go into Turducken.

Or I could simply declare that I decorate for the climate seasons. The "Winter" decorations would go up on Dec. 23rd, and stay up until March 22nd or there about, when I would change over to "Spring".

My seasonal confusion gave a friend great merriment once, when I blithly stated that we could do something in the Spring, and flipped the calendar to Februrary. I was stunned to learn Februrary is in the dead of winter!

My only defense was that growing up in San Diego we only had two months of winter: December and January. Spring was Februrary through June, Summer was July through September, Autumn was October and November.

At least that's how it felt. Winter was the nippy time of year when you could wear a light jacket. Autumn was when a long sleeve tee shirt was needed, except for the dreaded Santa Ana winds that would whip the winds and temperatures high in mid day, and chill again at night.

The rest of the year, it was short sleeve tee shirt weather.
Not too hot, not too cold. Highs 74, lows 68.

Well, I'm enjoying a touch of nip. I've had plenty of autumns where it was warm enough to wear shorts. It may have taken a while to get here, but every where I look, I am seeing fall spendor.

PS: Not that I am looking that much. NaNoWriMo word count: 33,600, and eight days to go to hit 50,000.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"The Queen" and royalty at large.

A friend of mine, Millie, had a friend who was an adoptee, and who wondered if her birth mother was still living. The adoption took place in the late 1940's, and she did have her adoption papers listing her mother's name. The friend is computer illiterate, and the idea of using a computer for research just overwhelmed her.

Millie asked if I would be willing to do some research for her friend, and I agreed that I would enjoy the challenge. A few good leads were uncovered, and Millie asked if she could take me out for lunch to thank me for doing the work for her friend.

Posted by PicasaEarlier my mom had reported that the movie "The Queen" was fabulous, and that I should be sure not to miss seeing it.

The movie was playing downtown at an old independent theater in River Oaks, the posh old section of Houston. Since Millie had suggested we get lunch downtown (Kingwood has little to offer in terms of interesting dining), I suggested that we include a movie with lunch.

Sunday afternoon was open for us both, so off we went.

The movie proved to be fascinating on many levels: great acting (at first I wondered how they got Tony Blair to be in the movie...before realizing "Tony" was an actor), great scenery, and challenging subject. Conversation flowed in the ladies lounge following the movie as everyone debated how the Queen handled Princess Diana's death.
(My own opinion: The flag should have stayed up. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg at Diana's funeral was a self serving photo op. The Queen Mum was right. The family should have stayed in Scotland, rather than throwing themselves, and the "boys" into the London limelight just to make it a starry eyed moment. And I could go on, but I won't. Doesn't ANYONE understand private verses public anymore?)

After the movie Millie and I had a wonderful "just us girls" shopping/walking/talking time. We wandered through River Oaks, taking in an art gallery. It had wonderful pieces, and I could have spent several thousand on sculpture alone.

Then we headed over to an accessory shop where I bought a chocolate brown pashima/silk wrap. I "collect" them, as air conditioning in Houston is often chilly, and a light wrap is easier to bring along tucked into my bag than would be a sweater.

Next we tried on jewelry and jackets at Chico's. My hour glass figure type doesn't work well with Chico's designs, even though I go crazy for their fabrics and bold colors. Actually the bold colors there don't work well on me either...I treat Chico's like an art museum, for display only.

Then we rambled into the sandwich pastry shop pictured here. The berry lemonade was tangy, my hot roast beef sandwich on whole wheat roll delish, and the conversations were refreshing.

There were few others in the restaurant, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

That is, ourselves, another small group that left shortly after we arrived, and at a table by himself, and assisted by his aide, Dr. Michael DeBakey, at 98 years of age, enjoying a pastry as he looked over several piles of important looking papers.

I do believe I dined in the presence of royalty. Houston style.