I’m a list maker. I like to see my tasks and goals in writing–and even more I like the satisfaction of checking those tasks and goals off when complete. In fact, if another tasks pops up and gets done that wasn’t listed, I’ll just add it to the list with its check.
My lists are plentiful this time of years. Gifts to buy, gifts bought, seasonal clothes to switch out, the standard weekend domestic chores. Holiday baking, present wrapping, organizing wrapping station again post-wrapping session, holiday decorating, Christmas card writing and so on.
Without lists, I’d be lost–and miss that satisfying checkmark.
This past week my list included one full day of writing–thank God!–then a trip to the dentist, who may start charging me rent, for a filling replacement. And then, preparation for the Thanksgiving feast.
Pies first. Wednesday BW sits at the kitchen counter peeling pounds of apples while I make pie crust. I bake two apple, two pumpkin, so that’s a lot of pie crusts. Apples peeled, he helps me add the leaves to the table. Then he’s off to the gym and the bookstore while I stir and fill and bake. I add buying those silicone crust shields to my list because I am DONE fiddling with making them out of aluminum foil.
While the apple pies bake, I make the pumpkin, then make the dough for sour dough pretzel rolls and set it aside to rise. Still have apples left, so quarter some up to simmer for apple sauce–my mother’s crowd favorite, so when I cook then down, mill them, add the sugar and cinnamon, that scent brings here right there into the kitchen with me.
I make cranberry sauce, letting the berries simmer while I roll those pretzel balls, set them aside to rise. Make the deviled eggs Logan specifically requested.
Then it’s the fun part of the pretzel rolls, boiling them in baking soda water, watching them plump up. Score, bake, add some sea salt and poppy seeds. Done!
I clean off the work counter countless times, watch the woodpeckers at my suet feeder, accept this is all taking more time than I’d budgeted so I’ll have to skip my workout. Still I get a decent amount of steps in as a lot of my few-times-a-year kitchen tools are stored on shelves in the laundry room, and some of the serving dishes I want are stored on shelves upstairs in The One More Room.
Why not go ahead and set the table–cross that off the list?
A long day in the kitchen–some seven hours–deserves the reward of a glass of wine. Or two.
Thursday is Turkey Day, so it’s me and the bird in the morning. My family enjoys the sausage stuffing I’ve been making for years, so it’s cook, stir, season, stuff. Slather that bird with butter, give him a nice massage, drizzle on spices, cover and into the oven he goes. Plenty of time for me to tidy up, the house and myself, before it’s back to the kitchen.
BW is once more on peeling duty–carrots for roasting, potatoes for mashing. Our rhythm is, as always, me cleaning up the potatoes for spots he’s missed.
Things are well underway before–oh boy, oh boy, here come Jason, Kat and Griffin! At last I get that baby back. He’s so ridiculously handsome, so warm and snuggly. And that enchanting baby scent. He’s one month old on Thanksgiving.
And now Nana’s got the boy. I do share him with Grandda briefly, but he wants a change, and he’s hungry. The dogs are fascinated, delighted–new human! They sniff, wag, and love shines from their eyes.
As Kat’s pumped, I get to sit with him, give him a bottle. He’s wonderfully alert and aware, just looking at everything. Like: Huh, new place, new colors. Interesting.
While the rocking chair where I rocked my own babies is no more, I get to rock him to sleep in the same chair where I rocked Kayla to sleep sixteen years before. There is nothing more relaxing than rocking a baby.
He naps in his bouncer while it’s back to the matter of cooking. Potatoes to rice, turkey to baste, more sides to make. Jason–our roving IT guy–and BW deal with some WiFi issue, and when Griffin wakes, Kat handles the vegetables and I get the baby. Very good deal for me.
Turkey out, time to make the gravy, put it all together.
Clean up and baby time–as Griffin wakes from his mama’s milk coma–are group efforts. Which means it’s time to make some fresh whipped cream for pie.
At the end of the day, Mama and Griffin go up to bed, Jason and BW go down for the football game, and I unwind, and conk.
I’m up early, as is habit, fiddle around. Before long I hear the baby. When Kat brings him down, I get my morning Griffin fix–and so do the dogs. Sniff, sniff, wag, wag–a quick lick if they can manage it. And they take to guarding him whenever someone sits down with him.
While my youngest is getting many diaper changes–as soon as he’s wet, he kicks his feet like get this thing off me–my oldest is preparing to travel to New York for her first cross-country Nationals. A great opportunity for her. She and her mom come here first to meet Griffin, then they’re off with Kayla driving (!) the first leg of the trip. Some pumpkin pie (Kayla’s favorite) to take with them.
Logan’s coming here for Thanksgiving Redux, so I have my oldest and youngest grandsons together for the first time.
Deviled eggs for Logan to ward off starvation, more baby-rocking time for me–and I get baby smiles to bank in the memory book.
Heat it all up, dish it all out, and we have our second feast. (And a text from Kayla to let us know they arrived safe.)
Clean up–pie!–tub up leftovers for the young family to take with them. Baby snuggles and smiles, a hug from Logan who has to bend over to hug me now. More hugs all around, and then my house is quiet.
I’m so grateful for the noise and movement that was.
Saturday, finally a workout. Then a wrapping marathon with cheesy Christmas movies for company. Organize that mess again, finish up other chores while keeping an ear out for a text from my running girl.
She’s finished her race–had a great experience–and will text again when they get home. It’s raining now, and Nana worries. Hopefully, if she’s not worn out, she’ll be up today to wrap. Saves me hours, gives her some spending money. Logan comes up twice a month to do chores. It’s great having teenage grandkids close by who want spending money!
Also great is having a brand new light in my life, who’ll shine for me in just a couple weeks over signing weekend.
Meanwhile I have my annual holiday trip with great girl pals coming up at the end of the week. I’ll come home, hit my list and do the tree trimming, the holiday decorating. Cookie baking’s on that list, hopefully with grandkids if their schedule allows.
Today it’s workout and making potato and ham soup as we’re tired of turkey.
There’s a lot on the list for December. It’s work, but it’s happy. Here’s hoping whatever’s on your list is just as happy–and gives you satisfaction as you check things off.