Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Seasonal photos

The problem I have with the change of seasons is the itch to document everything. That's what happens when you live with a camera in your pocket.

Now that winter is upon us, I've been snapping pictures of the new seasonal beauty around our house. Ready for a bunch of photos? Scroll down.

Red-shafted flicker. These are beautiful birds, but boy do they bear watching. In our last home, they tore holes in the side of the house so severely that we had to have the whole side replaced.

Sparkly grass.

Frosty leaves.

Fallen oak leaves on the snow.

Despite multiple snowfalls-and-melt-offs, the leaves of our nuclear strawberries never did turn color. It's kinda weird to see so much greenery under the snow.

Some pre-dawn color. The whole landscape was bathed in a pink glow.

One of those rare sunset "column" phenomena.

Fog at dusk.

Another fresh snowfall.

That's it so far on the transition between autumn and winter, but I'll keep snapping pictures since, after all, I live with a camera in my pocket.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

NaNoWriMo is done!

Yesterday, taking advantage of the time between snowstorms, Older Daughter and I went to town for a rare treat: to visit a coffee shop. It was already charmingly dolled up for the holidays.

Older Daughter had discovered this cozy spot shortly after moving in with us. I'd dipped my head inside it once or twice, but never took the opportunity to settle in with a hot drink. Yesterday, that's what we did.

The occasion (for me, at least) was to finish out my NaNoWroMo project, the next in my inspirational romance series. The working title is "Miriam's Story." What better place to celebrate the conclusion of the project than in a cozy coffee shop with a cup of hot chai tea?

In fact, I didn't quiiiite get the story finished yesterday. It still needed an epilogue, and I wrote that this morning. But that did it. The project is done – and a day early, no less.

I received the usual festive congratulations from the NaNoWriMo websites.


This first draft is a fairly clean. I'm rereading it now and doing some small revisions, but I'm hoping to be able to send it in to my editor tomorrow or Thursday.

This was, as always, a time-sucking project, so I'm glad to have it finished. Now it's on to plot the next book!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Our Thanksgiving

Yesterday (Sunday) was our Thanksgiving. We weren't able to have our feast on the official day since I was working Thursday (and Friday and Saturday).

Our preps began last week, when we began the lengthy process of defrosting the bird that's been living in the freezer for the last two years.

The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving, of course, is to do as much in advance as possible. Having surveyed the family about their meal preferences, on Friday night I made some blueberry pies.

Once cooled, I covered the pies and put them in our "outdoor refrigerator" (the top of the chest freezer).

On Saturday, I made two types of stuffing. My personal indulgence is wild rice stuffing, and since no one else likes it, I can add all the onions I want and no one can complain.

Don and Older Daughter prefer bread stuffing, so I made some bread ahead, then sliced it.

Since it was just the three of us for dinner, I only made one pan of bread stuffing, but was a bit flummoxed on how to divide it. That's because Don likes onions in his bread stuffing, and Older Daughter does not. What I finally did was use a bit of foil to divide the pan. I was insufferably proud of myself for this solution.

Oddly, it's times like this I desperately miss Younger Daughter, who used to snitch the uncooked bread stuffing as I would make it, since she loves the flavor. (She's coming home to visit in January, by the way.)

Older Daughter made pan rolls. Ready to bake...

...and hot out of the oven and brushed with butter:

Here's our "outdoor refrigerator" put to use.

We skipped church on Sunday morning because we foolishly believed the apocalyptic weather report that promised dire amounts of snow and wind and hazardous road conditions. Pffft, we could have gone.

The turkey was enormous, 20 lbs., so I got it in the oven early.

Ironically, as I was washing and drying the bird, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a flock of wild turkeys strolling by, in blissful ignorance to what was going on to one of their own behind these walls.

While the bird cooked, I whipped some cream for the pies...

...and Older Daughter made her fabulous green beans in oyster sauce.

The turkey came out golden and beautiful. We put it on the wood cookstove to "rest" while we got everything else ready.

Mr. Darcy, needless to say, was conspicuously underfoot all afternoon. Guess who got the (cooked) giblets for his treat?

Meanwhile the weather finally rolled in. We had sideways-blowing snow for a while, but nothing like the dire predictions the forecast promised. (We're actually getting far more snow today.)

Older Daughter set the table, folding the napkins in a fancy way.

At last the feast was ready: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, wild rice stuffing, green beans, and rolls.

We're grateful beyond belief for all the blessings God has given us.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Silly but satisfying

I was coming back from town a few days ago when I happened to notice our car's odometer:

Well, whaddaya know. I kept an eye on it as I drove. Next mile up:

I pulled over to take a celebratory photo of the Big Turnover.

Ta da! Silly but satisfying, y'know?

Thursday, November 24, 2022

No Thanksgiving for us today

We won't be celebrating Thanksgiving today, for the very simple reason that I'm working and will be too slammed to do anything else.

We'll have our feast on Sunday. Already I have the turkey defrosting in the refrigerator (it's been living in our freezer for literally two years).

We'll also spend this weekend counting our blessings, of which we have so many it's hard to know where to start.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! Check in and let us know how your celebration went.