This year Thanksgiving was a two day celebration at our house. The weather decided to not cooperate and leave us without electricity for over 24 hours. The heavy wet snow started on Wednesday afternoon and continued till early Thanksgiving morning. It left us with about 9 inches that weighed down trees and power lines. In the whole state of NH about 200k people were left without power.
This is what it looked like after only a few inches. You can imagine what it looked like with about 6 more inches of snow.
Luckily my sister who lives in a city area lost power briefly so we were able to head to her house for a great turkey dinner. But we still had a 25 pound fresh turkey to cook. We woke up Friday morning to see flashing numbers on our clocks. So we got up put the turkey in the oven and celebrated Thanksgiving again.
And no Thanksgiving day feast is complete for me unless I have this yummy deliciousness – sweet potato casserole.
Despite our lack of electricity on the actual day of Thanksgiving it turned out to be a great holiday weekend. I have so much to be thankful for and I am glad I got to spend some quality time with my family.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving celebration.
I love music, always have loved it. I always had a radio around even at a young age so I could have music on all the time. My first favorite band was Duran Duran and I remember listening to the radio and waiting for a song to come on so I could tape it. I would wait to hit the record button as soon as the song began to leave out any DJ talk. The quality was awful but I still had a copy of the song to listen to when I wanted.
In high school I even took music classes so I could learn how to read and write music and I began playing guitar. At that point I started to become a music snob. I dated mostly musicians and some of my favorite bands suddenly became uncool to me. The musicianship had to be perfect for me to listen to it. Luckily that period in my life did not last long and I began to branch out again. I listened to what made me happy not what others told me was good.
Whenever someone asked me what kind of music I listen to my answer would be – I listen to a little bit of everything, except country music. I am not sure why I did not give it a chance. I remember hearing it at my aunt’s house and not particularly enjoying it. I even had a brief stint in a country cover band and still only the rare song was acceptable to me.
Fast forward to the age of 42 and my seven year old son loves country music. His father like me had never liked it either but he had just started listening to it. Everywhere I would hear it – in the car, at home – I was surrounded. It started with liking a song then two and soon …. well I am not going to say I like it all but then I don’t like all rock music either. But I am really glad I gave it a chance because I opened up a whole new world of music to myself. If you are like I was, I say give it a try.
I work for a footwear company and one day I was discussing an issue I was having with one of my accounts with my manager. As we were finishing up our conversation she asked me if I had ever read Delivering Happiness. I told her I had not and she asked if I was interested, of course I was because one of the accounts I manage is Zappos. I had already seen pieces on the company and what a great place it was to work. I didn’t know much other than, they put the happiness of their employees and customers first. I never realized what lengths they went to in order to achieve their huge success.
I will say that in dealing with Zappos on a regular basis I have never had a bad experience. The buyers I have contact with are extremely friendly and always kind. They make you feel like you are having a positive impact on their business.
While reading this book I had to wonder – why do not all companies put the happiness of their employees first. The core values they uphold should be looked at by all as the gold standard. I am not saying everyone should copy their values but there is much that can be learned by them.
This book is filled with fun and inspirational stories from Tony’s life and the mistakes he has made along the way. He shares all in the hopes that it will prevent others from making the same mistakes. He is open and honest throughout. In the end he touches on the happiness experiment in hopes that we can make the world a happier place all around.
I highly recommend this book for everyone who wants to be inspired to be happy every day and spread it around. One of the last quotes in the book is as follows -
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha
Happiness never decreases but I believe it can be increased by making those around you happy.
Thanksgiving prep for us begins in August. Why? We get our own turkeys every year and grow them nice and big for the big day. We have been doing this for several years now and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It takes work especially getting it ready the weekend before but it’s worth it. We know exactly where our food was grown and what it was fed.
Now here is the hard part –
We see them every day. They seem to love seeing us. Is it just that we supply them with food and water? Maybe. But I get a bit attached to them in the few months we have them. I try my best to keep my distance because when the day comes it is very hard for me.
The great part of it all is I know where my meal came from on that special day. I know what it ate and I know it was treated humanly. I am thankful we are able to provide that for our son, so he appreciates where our food came from and that it doesn’t just appear at a grocery store.
I hope it is a lesson he will appreciate when he is older.
The Art of Leaving by Anna Stothard is one of those books that it took me awhile to read. I liked it despite the slowness of the stories progression. Her writing style is wonderful and beautifully descriptive but the plot was lacking.
In this story we meet Eva, a romance novel editor and daughter of a pilot. As a child she moved from place to place never really putting down roots or developing relationships. When we meet Eva, she is in a relationship with Luke. She has never been with someone as long as she has been with Luke. He refuses to let her leave him despite her attempts. She loves the feeling of leaving someone much more than the thrill of the first kiss.
When Grace comes into the lives of Eva and Luke, Eva assumes she’s a random stranger who has taken a liking to her. What Grace does is make Eva realizes how little she really knows about Luke. She feels like she is living with a stranger and can no longer handle being in a relationship with him. Of course she does what she knows best and leaves, taking off to her parents home in Singapore. And that is the way the story ends.
The descriptions of places and events are beautifully written but I found that the story moved slowly and didn’t always hold my interest. I think more substance would have held my interest more than the descriptions of places and daydreams.
I give this book a 3 out of 5. It was a good book but not one I would necessarily have read if not for winning it on Goodreads.
My second favorite season is here, autumn. There are so many things I love about this season, the only thing i don’t like – it’s followed by my least favorite season winter. Before the dreaded time of bare trees and snow, is a most beautiful time of the year. Fall can be warm at first and then turn cool. The trees turn amazing colors of red, oranges and yellows. There is nothing like it in the world. Autumn also has a lot of traditions here in the northeast. It is the season of fairs and apple picking, followed by pumpkins and Halloween. Everywhere you look there is pumpkin and apple flavored items – pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin donuts, apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider and one of my favorites cider donuts.
Every year, the last weekend in September, our town hosts an agricultural fair. We get excited to take a day and head over to check out all the animals. Plus, fair food!
Our first stop is always to the school building. The students create projects every year and we always look forward to seeing our sons.
Our son Nick picks the second stop and he always wants to see the giant pumpkins first. This years winner was enormous at over 1400 pounds.
Of course the animals are the best part of the fair –
Baby cows are the cutest.
This ox seemed a little grumpy. He kept showing his teeth. Everyone was amused by him, but I don’t think he enjoyed us laughing at him.
These two seemed to be chatting. They were making lots of noise at each other.
And to top off the day, Nick loves seeing the tractor pull.
And when its over, Nick begins his countdown for next years fair, it’s like Christmas for him.
The first day of school is always exciting. You can see how excited the kids are and can definitely feel it too. Nicholas gets this excited energy that leaves him feeling a little queasy for a bit. He is just like his Mom and Dad. Every year on the first day of school I would have so much nervous energy I would be sick to my stomach. I remember the worst year was first grade. My mother had to take me into the bathroom. Yes, I threw up on my first day of first grade. Of course, as soon as you get to class it all goes away.
This morning I was reminded of those first days of school. One of Nick’s classmates was so nervous she would not let go of her Mom. I could even see tears. I remember that she was in Nick’s class previously so I talked to her and had Nick say hi to her in hopes she would feel better. I’m not sure if it worked. I asked Nick at the end of the day and he said she was fine after awhile in their new classroom.
Here is my cute little man on his first day of second grade – I would have got more picture at school drop off if my camera had not decided to act up. Looks like it’s time for an upgrade.
This is him last year and I can’t believe how much he has changed in one year.
Happy First Day!
I have fallen into a rut lately when it comes to cooking. I seem to make the same things over and over. I am trying to break free and try some new recipes. A friend gave me a great black bean and corn salad recipe which was super easy to make and very yummy. I made it for a BBQ and served it with tortilla chips and it didn’t last long. I will be posting the recipe soon.
I often see recipes on my favorite blogs and sometimes print them out or bookmark it. Usually though I forget out about it and they never get made. It is my hope that by writing this it will give me the needed kick to start making them.
I am always looking for side dishes to go with my grilled meats. The Pioneer Woman makes some amazing food. This Mexican Macaroni Salad looks awesome.
Another great food blog is Pinch of Yum – can’t wait to try this yummy recipe - Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna
And check out Simply Scratch as well, so many great recipes – including homemade sauces, dressings and spice mixtures. This Lemon Dijon Grilled Chicken sounds delicious and easy to make and who doesn’t like quick recipes.
Hope this helps you find some new recipes to try out. I am always looking and these are 3 of my favorite food blogs.
A friend of mine gave me this recipe after finding out we made our own maple syrup every winter. I would give her a real shout out but she is one of those rare people who does not have any social media accounts. I don’t think she even has a home email address.
This recipe is easy to throw together in a mason jar.
The ingredients –
1/4 cup course mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 maple syrup
1 tsp. any herb you would like
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil
Throw all the ingredients except for the oil in the mason jar.
Slowly pour in the olive oil –
Put the cap on the jar and shake well.
Super yummy and super easy to make. I even used it as a marinade for chicken.
One of my favorite household items of all time is mason jars.
Originally used for canning there are so many more ways of using them.
A few days ago I posted about mason jar salads – http://lifelovefoto.com/2014/07/21/mason-jar-salads/. You can make about any type of salad you want in these jars. I use the quart size for salads, it gives you plenty of room to stuff a lot of lettuce in there.
I also use them to make salad dressing. All you do is throw all the ingredients in and shake it up. I will be posting a yummy dressing recipe this week.
We also use them as many people do for our beverages. They are the perfect size for a cup. I use the pint size for drinks.
Another way of using mason jars is as a vase. The size you use will depend on the flowers you have or the size of the centerpiece you want to make. In our house we only have the two sizes but they both work perfectly to hold flowers.
Really you can store just about anything in these handy jars.
You can get them at just about any hardware type store and are also available on Amazon.
How do you use your mason jars?