Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

I always take glee because I get this frozen turkey cheap along with the purchase of x-amount of groceries. I buy way too many pillsbury crescent rolls because my love goes Mrs Cubbins stuffing, jellied cranberry sauce, crescent rolls, turkey, everything else.

Thanksgiving morning I get up and see that the pies are made. I peek at the TV to see who's beating the Detroit Lions and then I chop two cups of celery and two cups of onions. I saute' them in two cups of butter and then dump that onto two boxes of Mrs Cubbins stuffing mix. I add at least one can of chicken broth and voila'.

I'm a basic stuffing kinda guy. No dates or raisins or nuts or oysters or fruit or M&M's for me. When the pies are done I stuff the bird and toss it in. Now I'm off duty for the next 4-5 hours.

Zoom forward to me yelling "THE TURKEY'S READY!!"

Now this is our annual panic mode time. Magaly peals and chops potatoes and puts them to boil. I put the rest of the stuffing in the oven and grab two cookie sheets. I grab the crescent rolls and start popping them in the oven. While they're baking I'm in and out of the closest room holding a TV to watch whatever football game or movie is on. We all have a tradition of yelling, "WATCH THE BREADS!" ever since I stayed to long in front of the TV and the breads burned. Literally. I took them out and half of them were on fire. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen on Thanksgiving. The crescent rolls had burst into flames.

So every year we go into panic mode and every year I get angry but tell myself to calm down because this is our ritual every year and the turkey waits patiently under a double blanket of aluminum foil. Magaly does the potatoes, yams, corn, peas, one of the kids slices the cranberry sauce and one sets the table. I finish the breads and butcher the bird. We get it all to the table and attack.

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed taters, yams, 2 breads, gravy over everything, a glass of milk and I'm set. All this work and I have my reward.

Then it happens.

Half way to 3/4's through the plate and I've hit the wall. Every year I feel this great disappointment. I'm full. I'm like, "this is IT? I'm FULL??" Maybe it's a marathon type thing and I've collapsed after crossing the line. Maybe it's the pound of uncooked stuffing I've eaten during the day? It's my Thanksgiving, big deal moment. I finish my plate and stagger back to a TV to recover. After about an hour I need a coke and two hours beyond that I'll have some pie with my plate of whipped cream.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

SNOWqualmie Pass, Washington

SNOWqualmie Pass, Washington, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

I walked into the lobby of the hotel in Bellingham after 14 hours on the road. I asked the man if he had a room with two queen beds. I pulled out my wallet, showed him my creds, and asked if they had a government rate. They do. (most do) Sometimes it's cheaper, sometimes it's not. I didin't even ask what the rate was, I just gave him my card and signed the paper he gave me to sign.

We left the house at about 10 AM which is incredibly late for me. I like to be on the road early. This change was somewhat of a relief though because I'm usually trying to get everyone moving faster than they normally do when we travel as a group. Northern Utah and into Idaho was the normal drive with some high clouds and wind but DRY roads. The sun went down on us in the rolling hills of Eastern Oregon.

Since we had eaten fast food lunch, I decided that we would do the restaurant thing for dinner and Pendleton, Oregon was the candidate. I took the last of three exits and it looped me around onto city streets that guided me back to the second exit area. The roads were torn up but I spied a Mexican restaurant and pulled in through the traffic cones. No parking spaces. I pulled back out onto another torn up road in an attempt to get over to another Mexican reastaurant but with no street lights I was unable to see any access so we drove around trying to find a different route to the restaurant.

Downtown Pendleton is full of seemingly redneck hangouts and haunts and my son opined that it should be called DUMPleton. We stumbled on a Taco Bell and ate there.

Back on the road and into Washington as a big red 3/4 moon rose over the Columbia River. Again, dry roads in through Yakima and my daughter and son texting me and Robert that they had met at the Vancouver airport and how far away were we? As we climbed into the mountains towards the Snoqualmie Pass I pointed out the exit that leads to Roslyn, Washington to Magaly. Roslyn is where the TV series Northern Exposure. As we climbed a light rain started to fall. Then I saw the first flurries and soon mother nature would be putting the snow in SNOWqualmie.


Had and fast and vehicles behind me with missed aimed headlights and those "I'm a fairy" running lights under the headlights and the odd 18-wheeler and me hoping that I would not see tail lights racing headlights as I passed and slowed for the next curve. Over the pass we went and down out of the snow and into the rain which is also a delight. Crusing at 65 and trying to stay out of those 1/2 to 1 inch ruts in the asphault that when filled with water suddenly make it feel like you're driving on flat tires.

But we made it, and we're in Bellingham and I had my normal session of illusions after driving so long. Mind you that I could have driven 6 more hours easily because I become a machine when I drive. But once I stop and let my self coast down.... Last night I was "chatting" to no one in particular. Little windows of conversation would pop up. First mine, and then a response from someone I knew, but now, cannot remember.

Soon I will get Maggie and Robert up and moving. Then Fred Meyers for some groceries and wine for Matt and then into Vancouver.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Bahbah and Bina

Bahbah and Bina, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

Yesterday was Sabrina's 3rd birthday

Pukin Punkin

Pukin Punkin, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

So Halloween has come and gone and we had about 250 trick of treaters come by the house. They started well before the sun went down since our neighborhood is full of young Mormon families. I had one group at the door that took 5 minutes to clear out. As darkness fell the older kids came out to play. I answered the door one time to see one kids stumbling up the steps while his nurse costumed mother watched. To my glee she, along with her screaming cleavage decided to give the boy a hand. Magaly busted me checking that out and not being quite able to get the candy in the kid's bag.

I closed the door, turned to my annoyed wife, shrugged, and said, "I thought everybody in the neighborhood were members". That didn't help much.

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