Thanksgiving is supposed to be the holiday on which we give thanks—hence its name—to that which makes our lives better. In that sense, I can get a heck of a lot more into Thanksgiving than I can into Christmas, or most any
other holiday. I like the idea of celebrating people's birthdays, as a sign of respect, but that's not really large-scale holiday fodder. The only other days I could see celebrating would be Labor Day and Independence Day, but the former implies "relaxing" which means no working on party-type things, and the latter I can't really
dig, 'cause while I love the ideals upon which my nation were founded, I have a hard time appreciating the current incarnation of those visions. It's a damn sight better than most, to be sure, but I still think we could do a lot better. A grass-is-greener problem, maybe.

Right now, I have a lot for which to be thankful. ObTrannie, I'm thankful that the surgery is now well and truly behind me and that I can enjoy the results. I'm thankful to have such a loving and supporting mate who was willing to keep zir paws to zirself while I was still healing but who is now more than willing to put zir paws all over me. I'm thankful to still be employed after the economic meltdown. I'm thankful to still be in sufficient possession of my faculties as to not need to wear the Happy Coat more than once a week, so long as I take my pills like a good girl. I'm thankful to have family and friends with whom to spend the holidays. All in all, my life's pretty good
right now.

To be sure, there are a few dark clouds. I almost had to work last Friday, which would've sucked because it would've cut into my four-day weekend right down the middle. Fortunately, for some definition of fortunate, I had worked four hours a day over the weekend prior and managed to get everything that had to be done for today finished, so nobody complained when I said I would be back on Monday and not Friday. Most of upper management was out of the office as well, so nothing really happened on Friday anyway.

Thanksgiving itself went off remarkably well. A friend of mine from Virginia visited, and my sister Joanne made it all the way from Ohio for the four-day weekend. Tanya came down from Jersey, and Randy and her girlfriend put in an appearance on Thursday. Thanks to a slight communication goof, Tanya and I both bought turkeys, so we ended up with over thirty pounds of roast bird for the occasion, plus a ham, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls and egg nog.

Here I must digress briefly and discuss egg nog. I have a great fondness for this concoction, and I have since my youth, but it is horribly unhealthy in its standard form, and with me being on a low-carb diet it's even worse for
me. However, having found a recipe online with which I can work, I did some tweaking and adjustments, and I devised an Atkins-compliant Egg Nog:

  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 1 qt half-and-half
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C Splenda
  • 1.25 C brandy
  • 0.5 t nutmeg
  • 0.5 t cinnamon
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine yolks with Splenda, whip until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add brandy and half-and-half, whip until evenly mixed.
  3. In a blender, combine egg whites with cream, blend on high until well-aerated.
  4. Fold heavy cream mixture into half-and-half mixture, stir well
  5. Blend in spices

The total "bad carb" count is thirty-two grams for over two quarts of egg nog, which is a hell of a lot less than most traditional varieties. There's carbs in the brandy, to be sure, but sugar alcohol doesn't get converted into fat, or so goes the theory, so it's "safe". Next I'm going to replace the half-and-half with more heavy cream, but that may make the result too thick, if such a thing is possible.

Anyway, the gathering itself I think went very well. I make a very poor hostess, in my opinion: I love to have people over, but I have no idea how to keep that many people entertained. I can barely keep myself and my mate
occupied most evenings, unless we've gotten a new video game, so having eight people just magnified the problem. I think most nights passed in front of Metroid Prime or Super Smash Brothers Melee, much to my embarrassment. Still, nobody complained too heavily about anything, so I hope people weren't too bored and just not telling me.

All in all, I think Thanksgiving went well. This means I have a year to plan for how to do it better.

The other major issue on my mind right now is housing. I decided some time ago that I wanted out of the rent trap, and I'm now in an area of the country in which I could easily see myself settling, at least until retirement, and
so I've started the long and arduous task of finding a house. Of course, with the economy in this slump, interest rates are down, and so everyone else is also looking for a house, and most of them have their finances directly in
order to buy the instant they find something.

So far, I've had four houses sniped out from under me. By that, I mean I see some place that looks nice, tell the realtor with whom I've been working that I'd like to schedule a viewing, and then find out that it's not available in
the time that it takes her to get something scheduled. The fifth place at which I wanted to look turned out to be in such poor shape that it didn't have active power or other utilities, so right now I'm kind of bummed. I know I
have some strict requirements, like a second full bathroom, but there can't be that many people looking at the same thing, can there?

At least my down payment is growing nicely. I got my vacation pay from my old job, very unexpectedly, which added to the stocks I sold very nicely and made up about $2500. December is a three-check month, so I'll be able to add another $700 to that in two weeks, and then my 401K from my old job will cash itself out soon, which should be another good chunk of change. Hopefully by the time the bank tells me I can get prequalified, I'll have enough dosh to pass their tests.

After that, I just have to find a house.

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