strange thanksgiving

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This Thanksgiving, I’m staying home, while my husband spends the holiday with his family in Ohio. Originally I was going to be heading to Ohio, too, but a combination of me not really feeling up to traveling (I’ve been having lots of flareups of nerve pain, and especially tender spots on my, uh, derrière, which makes sitting in the car for 6+ hours an unappealing thing to do) and having approximately 1 million things to do before the end of the semester and thus needing a nice quiet weekend in which to work on them led us to decide this was the best way to handle things this year. It was probably the best decision, but I am feeling a little off…the times we’ve been apart, since we became a couple, were all because I was going somewhere (conferences, grad school interviews, etc), so I’m not used to being the one left at home. I hope he has a wonderful, wonderful time with his family, and that everyone else drives safely (since I know he will, but I don’t trust everyone else on the roads to do the same!).

I won’t be all by myself tomorrow though, no worries…a motley crew of folks from my department will be getting together for dinner, and those delicious goodies at the top of this post (along with a batch of rosemary and roasted-garlic mashed potatoes) will be my contribution. They were supposed to be Pumpkin Muffins, but our muffin pan (a silicone one, given to us at our wedding) has had holes chewed in it by one of our cats. So I used the same recipe to make pumpkin scone-ish things. They’re very tasty, so I consider them a success!

Hmm, I need a bit of a distraction, so how about a meme? Conveniently, Jen tagged me for a “5 random things” meme (and no, I promise, I won’t start to hate you!). Not-so-conveniently, I just did the “8 random things” meme not too long ago, so we’ll see if I can come up with 5 new things:

Thing the first: I have an inordinate fondness for groundhogs. I had never seen a groundhog in my life until we moved here to Rochester, where they are everywhere. To me they look like giant gophers. I think they are adorable. I like to count them, when we are out running errands (the highest I ever got on one errand was 12). I call them “my friends”, and if my husband goes out by himself, he always tells me how many of “my friends” he saw. They’re not around so much anymore, now that it’s winter, which brings me to…

Thing the second: I am even more fond of groundhogs and other such critters when they get really fat just before winter. I am delighted by their fatness. It makes me laugh and laugh and laugh, watching the fat little creatures this time of year. We have a few squirrels who hang out in our backyard and they are so hilariously plump right now. I have no idea why I derive so much pleasure from watching chubby creatures go about their daily business, but I do.

Thing the third: I get teased a little bit around the office about how early in the year I start wearing my mittens. But I can’t help it, you see. No, it’s not that I can’t resist showing off the handknits (well, at least, it’s not just that!). Almost a decade ago now, after getting sick of me showing up to my lessons with cold fingers, my violin teacher wrote in my assignment notebook: “buy mittens!”, along with a rule stating that I had to wear them any time it was under 55 degrees. I have not broken this rule, even though it’s been 6.5 years since I’ve taken violin lessons. It’s just a thing. But now I knit my mittens, instead of buying them! (although, the Winona Knits mittens I used to use were pretty nice…they were made from sweater remnants, and had a wool layer on the outside, and a cotton layer on the inside. Nifty, no?)

Thing the fourth: I love watching Alton Brown. In fact, I am entertaining myself by watching recorded episodes of Good Eats as I write this post. I just love what a geek he is about food. I love the cheesy visual aids, I love the corny jokes. Even though, as a vegetarian, I wouldn’t eat most of what he prepares on the show (in fact, the episode I’m watching right now is about roasts!), I love learning what makes food do what it does.

Thing the fifth: I have a hyphenated last-name, but neither half of it is my husband’s. It is the last name I’ve had my entire life, and I decided not to change it when we got married. This causes a whole lot of confusion for people, when they meet my husband and find out his last name, because they expect it to be either the first half of mine, or the second half. There just really isn’t a good way to do the hyphenation thing, so far as I can tell…it seems to just pass the “what do we do with our last name?” and “which name do we give the kid?” questions down a generation!

Hmm, now we get to the awkward part, where I am supposed to tag 5 people. Except…I am going to be a very bad girl, and break the chain (gasp! the horrors!). I just…don’t tag people. I am way too neurotic about it…I figure either everyone I don’t tag will be offended, or everyone I do tag will wish they weren’t, or something like that. Plus, I have just overly taxed my brain trying to come up with five random things that are shareable on the blog that have not already been shared that aren’t totally boring. And Countdown is on now, and I want to give Keith my undivided attention!

I hope everyone has a wonderful tomorrow, whether they’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not!

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7 thoughts on “strange thanksgiving

  1. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m kinda envious of a your nice quiet weekend… it always seems this holiday weekend gets totally crazy!

    Hope you have a great day, get lots of stuff done, and eat lots of yummy food! Those scones look delish ;)

  2. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I love Alton Brown, too — even though, like you, I wouldn’t eat most of what he makes (of course, I do eat fish and chicken…but no other meat).

    I also have a hyphenated-from-birth last name. I’m not married, but I think now that I’m of an age when I could be, it confuses people a lot. Also, Safeway employees. Ugh. What is with that “Thank you, Ms. ____” that they’re required to do?

    Hope your holiday rocks! Maybe it’s nice to have the house to yourself for a day or few?

  3. Where can I get some Winona Knits mittens? I live in South Bend, Indiana and was given them as a gift five plus years ago. I would love to replace them. I have looked on the internet with no luck. Your mention of them is the closest I have come. Please e-mail with a response. Happy holidays.

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