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Thanksgiving Holiday

To say that Thanksgiving was better than expected wouldn't be properly describing my Thanksgiving Holiday. For the first time in nine years, all of my four siblings, Loretta, Sandy, Sherry and Susan, and two spouses, Mike and David, came to Thanksgiving dinner. During the last nine years, it was always touch and go about whether or not anyone would ever show up, being the cause of much disappointment between my father and myself. The Holidays have always been a time that we all celebrated together. Everyone came together, mainly, to be with my mother, let her do the celebration cooking, catching up, etc. My mother has been gone now for nine years. After she died, everyone tapered away from the Holiday meals. It caused quite a bit of heartache for not only me, but my father, as we both looked very much forward to the holiday gatherings. It was, to say the least, a very good feeling to have everyone back together again.

On top of that, not only did my four sisters come, but so did one of my nieces, Melissa, her husband, Jason, and her daughter, my great-neice, Alyssa. I had fun taking Alyssa around the farm and showing off the horses. She's five now and has grown up so fast! I've only seen her a few times, and usually only at events that my sister Sandy, her grandmother, had. The first time I ever saw Alyssa was a few days after she'd been born. Her birthday is just before Christmas. She loves animals and is very patient and even tempered, a happy child all around. I wouldn't mind getting to know her better, of all of my great-neices and nephews, of which I have 10 that I know about, soon to be 11 because Melissa informed me quite by accident, I think, that she was 3 and a half months pregnant with her second child. I am hoping they can make it down for Christmas this year too. I love spoiling the kids at Christmas time.

Thanksgiving Day Events

Thanksgiving started out with Loretta preparing the turkey. Neither of us had made a turkey and my father bought a 21 pounder, our largest turkey ever. We hadn't needed a large one until this year with skimpy guest attendance. We're used to having something like 20+ people coming with kids and grandkids and great grandkids, etc. Thankfully it was one of those turkeys that were idiot proof. You just oil it and stick it in the oven and don't even need to worry about basting it. I went to the store later in the morning in search of cheese and crackers for my signature cheese and cracker platter. I had to go to both Acme and SuperFresh to get the things I needed, and think I ended up getting too much. In fact, I know I did. I also picked up a variety cheesecake and a full regular cheesecake since I know everyone, or nearly so, in the family loves cheesecakse. Since everyone was together, I didn't mind splurging and going all out.

People began to arrive around 1ish. Dinner was supposed to be around that time, but with everyone in the kitchen "helping" cooking the rest of the stuff took an additional 2 hours, between pauses of eatting cheese and crackers and chit chatting and catching up and getting distracted. Luckily, not everything needed to be completely warm to eat. Meanwhile, Mike and Jason were on the kitchen porch roof, reshingling it for dad. Eventually, everyone sat down for dinner around 3. I think it was the largest holiday meal that we had in ages. We had turkey, yams made by Mike, devilled eggs and potato salad made by Sherry, mashed potatoes made by Susan, gravy made by David, jellied cranberry sauce, corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts made by ME, stuffing and rolls. I was a bit worried that the brussel sprouts would be cold, because everyone was rushing me to sit down and east, but they turned out pretty good, as did everything else turn out very well. We had so much food that it overflowed from the table to top of our wood stove in the dining room.

After dinner Mike and Jason went to finish the roof, then came down soon enough to partake in the dessert. Jason had brought a New Hampshire apple pie from one of his trucking trips for Thanksgiving dinner. David made sure to heat that up in the oven so we could all partake. That went over as well as the cheesecake did. There's nothing better than warm apple pie, as long as it is a good apple pie. Eventually everyone started to trickle home, and then my father, sister Loretta and I sat back to relax for the rest of the evening. It was early to bed for all of us. Dad had to work in the morning and Loretta and I decided to brave the hussel and bussel of Black Friday shopping.

Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday started with my waking up at 3 am. UGH! This I will not do next year. Never ever. The year before I thought they were crazy to get up and go shopping that early, and now I know for certain they were! I was the first to get up. Loretta was surprised I'd gotten up so early because apparently in the windstorm we had over Thanksgiving night the electric had gone out for about 20 minutes. No wonder I was so cold going to bed that night! I woke her up at about 3:15, because I wanted to make sure she was awake enough to go on the 45 minute trip to Dover with me. I was originally going to drive, but it turns out she did instead. The Jeep is not the most reliable vehicle.

We decided to go to Best Buy first. Oh gods, what a mistake that was! Best Buy's like had to have had 200 people standing in it already by the time we got there. We heard later that day that someone had been camping out in front of the store since 6pm on Thanksgving day, just so he could be the first inside. Granted, they were running some awesome sales, but UGH!

They let everyone into the store. Absolutely everyone. Against fire code. The store was so packed that you literally had to push and shove and squeeze through to get by. In the event of a fire, assuredly we would have all died because people were that packed together. Somewhere I'd lost track of Loretta and thankfully we both had our cell phones. She callled me and we met up front where she managed to get an iPod Nano and a skin for it, then we left. We were only at Best Buy for 30 minutes because the iPod section had its own secret little checkout area, rather than needing to stand in the ginormous line for those rushing to get in and get out normally.

We went to Walmart afterwards to see what sales they had, but didn't end up getting anything there. They really didn't have very many sales to speak about. That was all the way in Camden so we had to travel all the way back up to 13 again to get back to Dover so we could walk the Mall. I stopped by EB Games and managed to find Karaoke & Revolution Party -- which is the new PS2 game for Karaoke and DDR -- it combines the two games together, though you can still play each game separately if you want OR play it in a combined mode with singing and dancing. Duets are included in this game as well. It also has the demo for the new DDR Extreme2 game or some such. I haven't yet had a chance to play it though, because my PS2 has decided to be dumb and act up. I may have to get a new box, but we'll see. Mine was bought used and it wouldn't hurt to have a brand new box so I know my games would work.

After the Mall we stopped at JoAnn Fabrics and AC Moore to see what sales they had in the crafting departments. I ended up picking up some black Bernat yarn for my sister Sandy's Christmas gift I intend to make her. I managed to finish Susan's gift over the Holiday weekend, which I felt was a real accomplishment. Loretta and I then went to IHop for breakfast goodness. The reastaurant was so jam packed that they had people sharing tables so they could seat everyone in a quick and convenient fashion.

We got home around 11 am, and then crashed promptly for four hours or so, until my father got home. We then went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire later that evening. We managed to wander around a few stores, get dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, etc, before the movie, since the early showings, as I had expected they would be, were sold out. We had to wait for the 9:30 pm showing to see the movie. Dad didn't think it would be, against my earlier warnings.

The Rest of the Weekend

For me anyway, was mostly spent catching up on lost sleep and knitting Susan's gift so I could get it finished. It was my one concrete goal I had for the time I had off, though I would have liked to have gotten some TiVo'd shows copied to DVD so I could erase them and reuse that space. I didn't manage to get that task done.

All in all it was a very good, very relaxing weekend. It was nice to be able to see my original kitties, Gray and Goldie, and have them come sleep with me every evening and fall asleep to the tune of their happy purring motors running and have them snuggle close. I miss that, alot. I hope to have that someday with Flash, but I'm not holding my breath any on that count. They both compete for my attention, where Flash could care less about getting any attention at all. I was sad to go, and to leave them behind again, but eventually I had to go back to Bowie so I could catch work and everything else.

I am now recharged, for a bit at least, and very, very happy with warm and glowy holiday feelings.

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