Happy Thanksgiving – ’06 Edition

I hope every­one has had a won­der­ful Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day. My mom has been vis­it­ing with us since Tues­day and we’ve had a great time. I haven’t had a lot of time to blog, so I’ve just been adding a lit­tle here and there. Here’s the past few days in one post.

Thursday

We met up with our next-door neigh­bor, Ter­ri, to go to the annu­al Turkey Trot 10k at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Rich­mond. Mom had been look­ing for­ward to this one since last year, but unfor­tu­nate­ly the weath­er was near­ly as favor­able this time. It was about 40° F and rainy, mak­ing run­ning seem just a bit more sil­ly than usu­al. The weath­er only added to the abun­dant med­ical issues: mom has had knee pain, Angela has a recov­er­ing ham­string and stitch­es in her knee, Ter­ri has pain in the bot­tom of her feet, and I am now con­vinced I have a stress frac­ture on the top of my right foot. Nasty weath­er, run­ning with injuries, and a very hilly cam­pus were tough on all of us, though. Any­way, we all did our best and cer­tain­ly earned some turkey for that evening.

When we all got back home, we cleaned up and Angela start­ed mak­ing a huge brunch. Our friend (and Ange­la’s co-worked) Ross came over to play some Wii games and join us for brunch. We had mimosas with waf­fles, sausage, and eggs, all of which were deli­cious.

After Ross left to go to his Dad’s, we all took short naps before begin­ning cook­ing some more. Angela had a great spread for din­ner this year: turkey (of course)1, mashed pota­toes, sweet pota­to casse­role, green beans (in olive oil), home­made dress­ing, and pump­kin creme brulée for desert. Ter­ri joined us for din­ner that evening (just as the turkey set off the smoke alarm, which it seems to do every time we make one). It was real­ly nice get­ting to hang out with our newest neigh­bor.

Terri Made Us A Pie

Ter­ri even brought us a great look­ing and even bet­ter tast­ing pie. It was cher­ry filled with a choco­late crust and all home­made.

Black Friday

We did­n’t try and brave any of the large crowds ear­ly in the morn­ing this year. I had had my fill of wait­ing in line the pre­vi­ous week­end. Also, there just did­n’t seem to be any killer deals on any­thing we want­ed to get for any­one this year (or even our­selves, real­ly). Angela worked Fri­day, but mom and I did get out some to got to a few stores. The shop­ping is lim­it­ed in Jamestown, or even when she dri­ves to Cookeville, so it’s a nice chance for her to find some clothes and such. I was look­ing for a cheap router for her birth­day present since she is get­ting DSL next week, but the price on Ama­zon is just too good to pass up. So much for “Black Fri­day” and all the great deals (although Sta­ples did have real­ly cheap SD cards, but still no cheap­er than Ama­zon).

Mom and hung out most of the whole day until Angela got off work. That evening, we made apple-chick­en sausage in spaghet­ti for din­ner. Angela played Ray­man on the Wii until late in the evening. She’s get­ting real­ly good at whomp­ing bun­nies.

Wii Time

Mom and Angela work togeth­er to drown some bad bun­nies in Ray­man. This is one of the games where you can actu­al­ly sit down, although you def­i­nite­ly can’t sit still. This par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge almost made my left arm fal out of its sock­et!

Saturday

After a short stop at the mall to pick up some works shoes for Mom, we head­ed up to North­ern Vir­ginia to vis­it Mom’s cousin Bar­bara and her fam­i­ly. We rarely get to see that branch of the fam­i­ly so it was good to get to spend the after­noon with Bar­bara, Jacque, and three of their five chil­dren. Greg, the old­est son, is a mem­ber of the Army Spe­cial Forces (just like his dad was) and after serv­ing in Koso­vo, Afghanistan, and four trips to Iraq, was home for a cou­ple of months (he had been home sev­er­al times in between). He had come up to Vir­ginia for the hol­i­day and we were glad to get to see him, as well as his sis­ter Chantel (their broth­er Michael could­n’t stay for long). Sean­tel is a chemist, so she and Angela had all sorts of things to talk about that I can’t real­ly fol­low along with. After a real­ly nice din­ner, Greg showed us a lot of the pho­tos he’s tak­en while on trips to var­i­ous places in Iraq. He and his out­fit have got­ten a chance to seen almost the whole coun­try, tak­ing in both the beau­ti­ful and the ugly. While some of his pho­tos make it look won­der­ful, I know I don’t have the guts to vis­it any­time soon. Well, any­way, peo­ple like Greg are smart and pro­fes­sion­al and it’s good to know that there are men and women like him through­out the armed forces, even though they nev­er seem to be the ones get­ting the press (for bet­ter or for worse). It was great to spend some time with them and we did our best to con­vince them all to come to Rich­mond some­time so we can return the hos­pi­tal­i­ty they showed us.

Greg Shows Us Iraq Photos

Greg gave us a slideshow of some of his favorite pho­tos from four trips to Iraq with the Army SF team he is a mem­ber of. Chantel then showed us all her dog’s Hal­loween cos­tume, since Greg had­n’t had a chance to see it yet, either.

One Last Thing

We all give thanks for many things this year, and I should be first in line since it seems like I have every­thing I need and some­times more than I could ever even want. How­ev­er, I think this year I have to say I’m most thank­ful for my aunt Martha, who has done such as won­der­ful job of tak­ing care of my grand­ma in Birm­ing­ham. Grand­ma Edith is still with us and has been in good hands thanks in no small part to my aunt.

  1. The turkey here is always pre­pared by our stan­dard high-heat-oven-roast method, which is from The Joy of Cook­ing. []