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Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Somehow, I volunteered to host Thanksgiving.
You know those conversations. You walk away squinting wondering if you just volunteered for something or if you were elected (elected without actually running for anything). Either way, sick excited and nervous butterflies fluttered in my belly at the stress anticipation of the big day.

Thanksgiving was beautiful no matter how it came about that we were hosting it at our house. From the beginning of the break from school on Wednesday to Saturday afternoon when we were still washing dishes, it was beautiful. And to be honest, as the hosts our job was rather limited compared to the actions and help of others. Chairs, tables, and other outdoor furniture made its way to our backyard with the efforts of loved ones. Beautifully starched table cloths made their way to the tables through no effort of mine. Pretty borrowed place settings didn't magically appear on the tables on their own, each was placed with care (although we did break two expensive butter dishes! Seems like an oxymoron, I know). Loved ones prepared food that overflowed the counters, tables, and refrigerator. Then in the aftermath after glow of the meal, dishes were washed by smiley faces chatting,  filling the air with overstuffed wallowing glowing spirit.

It was a beautiful day even if I was elected.
It was a beautiful day filled with the people we love most.

Tables, outdoor couches, settees...Thanks Mom, Big Chris, Armon, and Andy.

 Susanna ironed every table cloth.

Candace set the tables. 

 It was Andy's idea to try lining up all the tables to see if they'd actually fit. It worked! Dream set up!
Beautifully done.
The 'ideal' Thanksgiving wish for me has always been to have the tables lined up with everyone sitting at the same table. You know, the kind of set up you only see on tv or in the movies but nobody in real life has that kind of space to make it happen. 27 people is a lot of people to fit in any house. Thankfully, the southwest affords us the luxury of Thanksgiving outside.

The only thing that would have made my day better would have been warm food and more than a fleeting moment to sit down and relax and really be with my family. Either way, it went off without any major catastrophes. And besides, I have it planned out for next year if I'm elected I volunteer again. 

Do you have a vision of what an 'ideal' gathering would look like if you hosted it? Be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or ? What do you envision? How will you make it happen?

I owe my niece Candace, a gargantuan THANK YOU for all the work she put into helping prepare for the family Thanksgiving. She chopped, she stirred, she mixed, she sprinkled, she boiled, she baked, and she did it all while smiling, laughing, and chatting away the day. Several times, she said, "I can't wait for tomorrow!" For me, it had become something to prepare for then clean up after. But after spending all day Wednesday (seriously all day, sun-up to long after sun-down) with her, I was feeling excited too. Not to mention, she kept me from wandering aimlessly into the street as we made our way to the store with our final 'list'...tired but accomplished.  We made a good team.  We made wonderful memories. Thank you Candace. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Adventures in Balance

Spent quality time with my BFF

My sister found 2 FREE chairs and foot stools for my back patio. 
Only one problem (if you could call it that)...
No cushions!
So I made problem!
Overcast days never turned me on (Prince) or took good pictures (me).

Refinished a desk for my lil man-cub. A left handed desk for my lefty!
Before...institutional beige

After...eye catching RED...
with chalkboard painted top!
Made upcycled lanterns
Started container gardening...

Flowers up top, garlic down below

Chives up top, ornamental gourds below

Green beans...
not shown...romaine lettuce, cilantro, strawberries and flowers.