Categories
Holidays Journal

Thanksgiving 2019

The time is 7:08 AM on Thanksgiving morning 2019. I had hoped to get up much earlier for a quiet, serene morning in which to write but I did’t get out of bed until 6:00 AM. As soon as I sat down to write this post my son walked into the living room and has begun to do what he normally does first thing in the morning on a free day and that is to play Fortnite. Usually I’d play with him but I really want to get my annual Thanksgiving post up before the busy day really beings. So now my ‘serene’ morning is punctuated with the sound of gunfire.

The first thing I did this morning was to make a GIF of my favorite Thanksgiving scene. It looks like it could be a setting from The Shire (Hobbit/LOTR) but it really could be from any number of wonderful fantasy stories. I posted the same picture but not animated in 2014.

My favorite Thanksgiving scene

I then wanted to post my favorite Thanksgiving recipe but couldn’t find it doing a Google search so had to turn on my computer. Not a big deal to turn on a computer but it is an old rig and I have to also sign in to Veracrypt to get to my files. Not a big deal but I’d rather just leave the computer off (I’m typing this on my tiny, Linux OS laptop which is much faster. Anyway, here is the recipe.

How to Cook a Turkey

Step 1: Buy a turkey
Step 2: Have a glass of wine
Step 3: Stuff turkey
Step 4: Have a glass of wine
Step 5: Put turkey in oven
Step 6: Relax, and have another few glasses of wine
Step 7: Turk the bastey
Step 8: Wine of glass another get
Step 9: Ponder the meat thermometer
Step 10: Glass yourself another pour of wine
Step 11: Bake the wine for 4 hours
Step 12: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 13: Floor the turkey up off the pick
Step 14: Turk the carvey
Step 15: Get yourself another wottle of bine
Step 16: Tet the sable, and pour yourself another glass of turkey
Step 17: Say grace, throw-up, and pass out.

An internet Turkey Recipe

After I had found my recipe I then made the coffee and got my meditation in. Meditation is one thing that I must do before everyone wakes up. Now I’m writing this post and can do so when it is only Kai that is awake because he’ll just play his games or watch YouTube. However, when the wife and youngest come down it is almost impossible to be able to concentrate enough to write.

The next tasks this morning are to do the turkey prep and get it in the oven by 10:00 AM so it is ready to take out at 4:00 PM. Turkeys take a long time to cook. This is my one time of the year to shine when it comes to cooking and with so many people coming over the pressure is on not to mess up! I’m not worried though because I have notes and recipes very organized in my Note program which I modify and improve every year. Last year I consolidated everything and wrote down very clear instructions so it should be very easy to follow this year. I also got a new, high quality turkey rack so I could make the gravy directly in the pan. The previous rack was on the cheaper side and the coating was coming up in the pan so we couldn’t make gravy in it as nobody wants pan coating in their gravy.

I don’t plan on drinking a lot of wine this Thanksgiving because as I’ve aged I just don’t like the feeling the next morning even if I only drink a little. I like a clear mind and alcohol will fog it up and make me somewhat depressed. So I bought myself sparkling grape juice, the kind that comes in a wine bottle. I still will have some wine but I won’t be following my recipe above this year.

Yesterday was a productive day; I realized I needed to get some things done to be prepared for Thanksgiving and the weekend. For the first time this year the house was very chilly in the morning, so much so that I wanted to turn on the heater. I didn’t want to turn on the heater as I had not yet changed the filters and didn’t want to get bombarded with extra dust. So I turned on the gas fireplace which I hadn’t one in a year or two because I didn’t want an outrageous gas bill. I also brought in the heat lamp from my office. The chill of the morning made me realize I better go get new filters so our house isn’t cold for Thanksgiving!

I also had to clean out the gutters as the “ridiculously resilient ridge” which has kept California dry for a very long time finally broke down. We had one strong storm, now have a two day pause and then will get several straight days of rain. The storm left a lot of debris around our house so in addition to cleaning the gutters I had to clean up the yard as well. Then we did one karate lesson and that was the end of our activities for the day.

Therefore, I’m feeling pretty accomplished and on top of things this morning. The wife has now come down and with two family members in the living room now the ideal conditions for writing have now ended this Thanksgiving morning of 2019.

My next chores are to attempt to fix two Nintendo Switch controllers then prep the food for the Turkey. If I have time I’ll try to write another update.


Update 12:01 PM.

It has been a busy morning. I published my Thanksgiving post and only now, 5 hours later, I have a break. The turkey prep went pretty well thanks to my instructions from last year and I only needed to add two or three modifications. The house is now filled with a wonderful aroma of cooking turkey filled with aromatics, rosemary and thyme. The wine is open and decanting and I’ve got the giblets simmering on the stove to make turkey stock.

Everyone is expected to arrive around 1:00 but there is a curious phenomenon that happens to Japanese people when they’ve lived in America for a long time. In Japan they are always extremely prompt as being late would be insulting to the hosts. However, I’ve found that our Japanese friends NEVER arrive on time here in the states. It isn’t just 10-15 minutes either but often an hour late. I told the wife we’ll just have to tell them the start time is earlier than it actually is.

Side Note: I just got done reading a few entries from Thanksgivings past. I read one from 2014 and am shocked at how quickly time passes. That Thanksgiving was 5 years ago but in my mind doesn’t seem so far in the past. This Thanksgiving I’m especially thankful for my online journal. It is really something to be able to read about my own thoughts and life from long ago.

As for the kids, they argued as usual this morning but are now sitting together on the chair. They fight, they play well, they fight, they play well, all in the same morning.

Categories
Holidays

Thanksgiving 2018

It is 9:19 on the day after Thanksgiving.  I usually like to write a post on Thanksgiving day but the fact that we had a party the night before put a damper on getting up early and writing.

I did get up relatively early but had to clean up from the night before.  Then it was on to preparation for the Thanksgiving meal.  I was much more prepared this year because I left myself notes in addition to the recipes to guide me through everything.  I’ve refined those notes this time and cooking the turkey, stuffing and gravy will be a breeze henceforth.  I also just bought a new, high quality roaster because the coating on the pan of the cheap one we had was starting to come up.  You certainly don’t want pan coating going into the gravy.  So I checked on Amazon and found that being Black Friday and the day after Thanksgiving there were deals on good roasters.

Here is how the turkey turned out.

This year we had two other families over, the Meyers’ and Fujikis’.  We had room for one more family but everyone had other plans this year.  One family went to the Grand Canyon, another to the Russian River and others to their extended families.  The kids had a lot of fun playing Super Mario Party on the Nintendo Switch and the adults also got a turn which was especially fun after sparkling wine, Cabernet, and beer!  The Switch really is a fantastic gaming console and the fact that four people can play at once really makes it special.

Today we have Mari and Ailee over as one parent is in Japan and the other had to work.  They’re busy playing games with my boys and generally enjoying a restful day.

Now that I’ve bought my roasting pan, written my traditional holiday Thanksgiving post and had my coffee I need to figure out what to do with the rest of my day.  I think I’ll do a little Black Friday shopping then maybe get a workout in, or clean the garage?  The weather outside is perfect November weather with gray clouds and finally some rain.  Ohio State is also playing Michigan today and for the first time in a long time promises to be a good game.  I’ll have to check in on it but since I’m not in Ohio -where all the excitement is – never watch the games.

Categories
Holidays Journal

Journal Entry – 11.21.2018

It is 5:22 AM on Thursday, November 21st 2018.  It is the day before Thanksgiving.

It is hard to believe we’re right in the middle of the holiday season already.  My life has been a blur with the new job and the months have flown by.  Usually I like to really absorb myself into the holidays starting with Halloween.  But aside from an adventure in Texas this year for Halloween I wasn’t able to immerse myself into it as much as I would have liked.

And so here we are with Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Thanksgiving is a holiday which makes me sit up and pay attention as I have to cook the food and a Thanksgiving meal is no joke.  Aside from the turkey we need to make sure we have everything in advance since the supermarket will be crazy today.  We are well prepared but I’d like to shoot down to the farmer’s market to get fresh celery, apple juice and some other items for my juice in the morning.

As for that feeling of fall we had the Camp Fire this year here in California and all of that smoke has been collecting in the Bay for the past two weeks.  It is the first time in my life were the outdoor air was labeled hazardous, the air quality emoji was wearing a full faced mask, and we had to stay indoors.  But it looks like the rains have finally arrived:  the wind is blowing strongly, the ground is wet, but so far I’m still waiting for a heavy shower which is long overdue.

Since it does not rain except for a brief period in winter here in California that first good shower is very welcome.  It makes the outdoors seem fresh and new, the vegetation turns a nice green and the air quality improves.  This year especially we need it to put out the Camp Fire and clean our air!  It is good that it arrived right before this holiday when we all just want to relax a little, drink some wine, gorge ourselves on food and take it easy.  These days it seems there is always one more thing to worry about and so not having noxious air outside is definitely welcome.

So here I am at 5:32 AM and everything is perfect.  I’ve got my two fake fires burning with the one on TV being the Christmas fire along with its beautiful soundtrack called “snow.”  Listening to it one pictures a the snow gently falling over a clearing in a forest on a moonlit night where the air chills your face and the world is at peace.

That just gave me an idea.  I need to find a video of softly falling snow over a clearing in a forest on a moonlit night.  That would be nice to have playing on loop on my TV.  And so it was done:  after I typed that last sentence I went on Amazon and ordered two DVDs (Blu-Ray not available).  It’s amazing how easy Amazon makes shopping.  I felt justified in this purchase since we do not have snow here in the Bay and it is sorely missed around Christmastime.  I also bought myself a Cobra Kai and Miyagi Do t-shirts which were not justified but I felt as though they were awesome.

I really enjoy my quiet morning time where I can think, write and do so in my artificial ambiance.  It helps that it the weather is currently threatening rain which gives to that feeling of autumn.

I’ve been under pressure and stress for a while now with the job and I was about to write that for the first time in a while I feel relaxed….. but nope, I still feel the pressure even with my nice ambiance here.  I have a few days of relaxation but then it is sales training and a push so that we start 2019 off on the right foot.  Perhaps I’ll get a massage today, I think I could really use one as I can feel the tension in my back.

Categories
Holidays Journal

The End of Halloween 2018

Holiday season is upon us.  Halloween came and went and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I’m just slightly late in the time frame I like to buy Christmas presents; I really enjoy getting my two boys great gifts but must get them before they sell out.

Goodbye Halloween 2018

Being busy with the new job and our hectic schedule, I did not feel as though I was able to get into the Halloween mood again this year.  We went to Dallas for the company Halloween which was absolutely incredible.  However, Kai didn’t like it too much because the campus is huge and he had to walk a lot.  He also felt as though he didn’t get enough candy.  Since it was my idea to go to Dallas for Halloween I felt bad and let him choose whatever candy he wanted from Safeway.  It was a great experience but I think the next time we visit will be when they are too old for trick or treats.

Today is voting day and I’ve made my choices.  It can be difficult to figure out which is the right choice as both sides will employ all tricks, lies and spin in order to just win.  In this election I’ve realized how dirty, messy and downright shameful the democratic process actually is.  America and morals or doing the right thing?  Ha!  Not these days.  Money, power and doing whatever necessary to win, screw everyone else, that is what America is about.

But this post isn’t about that, it is about the holidays.  I like to do my research and buy presents well in advance since it can be very difficult to get the more popular items the closer we get to Christmas.  Last year there were a lot of cool items on the ‘hot toys list’ but this year it is struggling.  It took me longer than usual to find some really great gifts but I was able to do so.

A couple of days ago Target had a one day sale where you would get one free Nintendo Switch game if you bought two.  They were the less popular games but ones that look fun anyway so I did that.  I also saw they had two Amiibos that were in stock.  I asked and the lady working didn’t think they had any but upon further research was able to find them in the back.  She simply hadn’t put them out yet and I let her know that they would go very quickly once she did.  But it was good for me because since they weren’t even out yet I was able to grab two.

My youngest likes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so I’ve got a few items of that on his list now from Amazon.  Amazon just makes it easy but you have to figure out how to tell the kids that there is nothing interesting in the delivery once it arrives and they cannot look inside.  Soon they’ll figure it out.

Next up is Thanksgiving and we’ve already watched A Charlie  Brown Thanksgiving.  It will be here soon and again I’ll do most of the cooking.  I really have to study and remember how to cook it all; nobody wants to ruin the Thanksgiving meal and it takes a lot of preparation!

I find that I enjoy the preparation, the cooking all-day to actually be more enjoyable than eating the meal.  It is an exciting day and I enjoy reflecting on it as well as writing a post during it.  Here they are:

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2014

I’ve surprised myself finding so many Thanksgiving entries and I wonder where 2017 is.  Perhaps I forgot to write one?  In any case, seeing these entries makes me realize how quickly time passes.  It makes me very thankful that I write this journal.  Life is such an incredible experience but it is as though almost everyone is sleepwalking through it.  How many people simply take a moment in the day to just ‘be,’ or just ‘exist’ and be happy for it.  Our consciousness and the fact were exist at all is the greatest of mysteries and something that all of us should be reflecting on every single day.

But without going down that rabbit hole, I love that I have this journal and am able to record my own life.  If I want to remember my past I can simply look it up!

Well, the time is 6:26 AM and it is time to start the day.

Categories
Holidays

2017 – Thanksgiving turkey