Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm Stressing Too Much....Again.

Yes, Thanksgiving is fast approaching.

 Thanksgiving is the time of year when you don't give just join together and give thanks for all you have in your life.
I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving for 3 years when I first got over here in England. They don't celebrate it- and why would they? I missed celebrating it with my family and friends. So when I met Julia who was a "Mercan" too- she hadn't celebrated Thanksgiving in 10 years,since moving away from the states, so we decided to get together and celebrate Thanksgiving together.
It was wonderful being with someone who knew the traditions behind the holiday, and we spent the day together cooking and chatting and making a few new memories. It was lovely.

So we decided to do it again this year as well. But somethings changed.  This time it seems like walking thru treacle(Molasses) the entire way.

I've scouted out new holiday dishes(China no less so it's usable on different holidays). I found(and then LOST AGAIN) my special linen tablecloths from my mama's linen closet she gave me. I've bought battery operated candles to use on the table so we don't set of the fire alarms with REAL ones. I bought silk maple leaves and a couple of other decorations on the Internet so the table will be lovely. If I can find my tablecloths I'm going to make napkins out of the smaller one and fit the linen one to the size table we have.

I've bought specialty foods from a company that imports from the states.

Dinner parties don't just happen- there's a LOT of thought and work and love goes into these events.
 You have to take every ones tastes and allergies into consideration. You have to think of every ones favorite dishes and try to have that one thing that makes it special for everyone who is invited. You have to make sure you have  dishes and chairs and table space for everyone who shows up. You have to think about overnight guests sometimes. You have to think about how much food is needed- and how much don't want too little- but at the same time you don't want to have an overabundance of it either.  You have to think about cleaning- and cooking- both the day before and the day OF the dinner. You have to think about storing leftovers. You have to think about music- or entertainment- you decorate the Christmas tree? Do you put on a crackling fire video? or do you watch a Movie or play board games. Or do you just talk...or any combination of the above. If you play music- you have to consider your guests taste in music.......You have to decide the degree of formality the dinner party will be. Black Tie? Sunday Best? or Comfy Casual?

Everthing has to be timed so (hopefully) everything that's hot comes to the table hot- and everything cold stays cold til it's ready to be served.
It's all about timing.

And This year I've come to a decision.......I'm not doing Thanksgiving every year anymore. Maybe every other year Julia and I can get together and celebrate it together- but Not every year. As the words of the great Danny Glover once said- "I'm getting too old for this" It's taking too much out of me. Instead of it being calm and relaxing holiday- I get stressed out to the max because the Southern Hostess in me wants everything to be just PERFECT. Not "close enough"- I want perfection.

Julia told me today she doesn't know what she's in cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.  I about had a panic attack at my desk. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. We've known we were doing this since last year- and been talking about it and planning (for my part) for the past three months!  This year Thanksgiving should be interesting to say the least.

Next year- I'm doing a small Christmas Drop in Mid December for the holidays instead of a big Formal Thanksgiving Dinner. A couple of hours in the evening with Finger foods galore.....and no alcohol. Except a bit of Brandy in the eggnog.

Quiet, simple & low-key. Much better for my blood pressure.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

In Progress...

Well, Preparations for The Holidays are in full swing now.

I'm looking for my linen tablecloths I found a couple of months ago. I have a lovely cream linen one my mama gave me and also a sage green one that she gave me that matches the design in the cream one. I'm planning on making  the smaller green one into linen napkins. I'm also going to take the excess off each end of the tablecloth(it's SUPER extra long) and make linen napkins out of those too.
I bought new dishes I found at a charity shop here in town for a SONG!! The set has dinner plates(5 settings), breakfast plates(6 settings), dessert plates(6 settings), bowls(6 settings), and cups&saucers(4 place settings). So basically what's missing is 1 dinner plate and 2 cup&saucer sets....An odd mix, but it will work. The girls at the shop even gave me a couple of etched wine goblets I was admiring since they had been there so long and no one took them....

 I bought some silk autum leaves to scatter on the table...a blown glitter wicker ball, and three remote control cream colored candles. I figure I only need a platter for the turkey and I'm good for the Thanksgiving table settings.

 Here are a few photos of elements I'm going to combine for the tablescape....


I will have my snow/christmas village done in time for Thanksgiving Dinner. I've been working on it most of today. I finally got around to getting all except one the houses off the wooden bases. I'm still trying to decide if I want to keep them in color or if I want to paint them all white. I'm leaning towards the all white look with some green  and red trim.

I got a blanket of snow and LED tealights to put inside the houses, but then I realised that to do that I'm going to have to drill some holes in the  "windowpanes" of the houses.....

I'm also planning on cutting out a circular grove in the middle of the bases, painting them black, then adding a thin layer of cork to the insides of the grooves to make some posh coasters. I like upcycling things if at all possible and there is RARELY anything I CAN'T find another use for.

I love this time of year......

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thoughts for pondering....

Okay, so it's been a crazxy couple weeks.

I could give the details but I'll spare you- it's depressing enough to me without bringing YALL down too. Okay?

I have a couple of things to talk about tho.

First of all, Thank goodness Halloweeen is over. Everyone's trying to rush me into Christmas because they know I love it so much, but I sayno... one holiday at a time, please.

There's a progression....First, you have the run up to Halloween. I dont really decorate much for Halloween, in the states it's really big, but not so much over here. Over here it seems just an excuse for women to dress like sluts and I'm not big on slutty women. I'd go so far as to say I'd just as soon throat punch them as look at em. Yeah- that's my redneck coming out, I reckon. but it is what it is.

Paul and I went shopping the week before Halloween- and I got really pissed off. The big shops were already decorated for Christmas. - Now yall know me- I'm probably one of the biggest fans of Christmas ever- but having it shoved in your face for a third of the year is just riddiculous. It takes away the specialness of it, dont you think?
First Halloween...then Thanksgiving(if you're an American). For me as soon as I see Santa arrive in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade-& ONLY then is it "The Holidays!!!!!".

My weight has been yo-yoing in the past couple months. I cant figure out what the problem is other than eating bread again and a couple of family issues I can do nothing about but am worrying about constantly.  Hubby even commented on my health recently. He asked when was the last time I used my eliptical machine and I told him it was Saturday. I use it about 4 days out of the week- try to use it every other day generally. He said I was sounding out of breath when we was walking back from lunch. I also said quite honestly that since I bought the elliptical I had gained about 12 pounds. He laughed and asked if I was blaming the machine for me gaining the weight. I told him certainly not- but in a way- I think it puts me in a different mind-set. Before getting it- I would easily turn down sweets and bread when offered it. But having that machine in my house makes me think- well, if I HAVE this- I can just work out a bit longer next session. But we all know me and two hours later if I've completely forgotten about the extra calories I've just scarfed we honestly think I'm going to remember them at 5AM the following morning when I climb onj that machine to do a workout? The answer is HELL no. The only reason I workout first thing in the morning to begin with is because I'm still 3/4 asleep and wont even remember most of it after I'm finished.
Yeah- I hate excersise like that. ....Put me outside with  a lazer tag gun in my hand and I'm effing GI Jane, but inside, on a piece of equipment- it's BORING as hell and I detest it. Even with music blasting in my ears- it's just bareable. I do love to dance tho...if only I could get my husband to go with me I'd be over the moon. I just gotta buckle down again and as the Nike advert says- JUST DO IT...or as the PSA advert says- JUST SAY NO.

Anyway. Haing my bezzie and her sugah over for Thanksgiving. We also have invited Pauls Buddy to come. He lives in Northern Ireland, so I hope he makes it. Our little party is getting bigger every year! Maybe the year we buy a house we can host a proper Thanksgiving Dinner with ALL our friends invited. 

I'm buying a few more Holiday Decorations......I say Holiday because the biggest part of the few things I've bought has been for Thanksgiving. I bought a cute brown glittery orb.....and some silk fall foliage for the table
. And some cream color, vanilla scented remote control LED candles!
 I know right? Remote control candles!! But no worries about setting off the smoke alarm with those!! 

Then I also bought a blanket of snow and some led tealights for my snow village houses. again- no worries about anything getting hot enought to catch anything on fire!

I also bought another Set of four Santa Hat Chair covers.
 Only I'm not gonna use them all for that. I think I'm gonna use two of them as window decorations. That way I have 6 chair covers, and two for other uses. :)

Anyway, so thats where I am and what I've been up to lately.