Cookie Central

It’s Cookie Central at our house this week. We started with the fussy ones: Frosted Sugar and Shortbread Cookie Sticks – to get them out of the way.  They require frosting and sprinkles so take more time than others.  Twelve more kinds to go.  I even got YA onboard today!

When do you start your holiday baking (if you indulge)?

Black Friday / Tree Friday

While America now knows the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, for the last couple of decades at our house it’s been Tree Friday. For many years this was the day that Child and I headed out to chop down a tree for the holidays.  These days I head down to Bachmans (they have a 25% off fresh trees on Black Friday and they are really close by).

In fact, it was 7 years ago on Tree Friday that I got my nickname from Jacque. Dale had written that day a great bit about Black Friday and used some Shakespearean language to get us going.  My bit was:

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the north and Hansen Tree Farm is the sun.

Open up, fair Tree Farm and await the crowds
Who, already stuffed and sleepy from yesterday
Swing saws and other implements of destruction.

https://trailbaboon.com/2010/11/26/deeds-good-and-otherwise/

Jacque came up with Verily Sherrilee that day.

So what about you? Taking part in Black Friday shopping?  Online purchasing?  Just taking it easy?

Grateful

It seems to me that Thanksgiving has more expectations attached to it than any other day of the year. I like to read advice columns in the morning (makes me feel like I have a good handle on things); for a couple of weeks the columns have been filled with angst about Thanksgiving.

Grandma doesn’t want to host dinner and two of the daughters are throwing a fit because it will spoil the day. Uncle Joey always drinks too much and everyone is worried about whether he will spoil the day.  Cousin Mary has a new boyfriend who is a vegetarian and everyone is worried his dietary needs will spoil the day.  Grandpa won’t come because he has a new puppy that isn’t welcome and it will spoil the day.  For so many people Thanksgiving seems to be encased in amber; it must be exactly as it’s always been and it can’t be spoiled.

As a person who moved away from home at an early age, got divorced and then became a single parent, I have never had a chance to cement a list of requirements to make Thanksgiving Day overly static. There is however, one thing that I have been in charge of for many years – the thankful project. I’ve done a paper Mayflower w/ little scrolls that people wrote on, I’ve done a large cut out turkey whose feathers became lists of what we’ve thankful for, I’ve done a large tree with leaves for the thankful thoughts.  This year I’m doing a big poster board covered with square of different papers and have a handful of markers for everybody to write with.  I love doing the thankful project as it really brings it home to me where my focus should be, rather than on whether the potatoes are the way I like them.

One of the things that I’ve written down for the last couple of years on the thankful project is “baboons” (which I then have to explain).  I am beyond grateful that I’ve found a community of folks who are thoughtful, caring, sincere, well-read, funny… all these things and more.  I’m thankful for this past year with you all on the Trail and looking forward to the year coming up.

No question today – just heartfelt thanks for all of you!

Learning Curve

Yesterday I had to stop while a small flock of turkeys took their time crossing the road. Then today it was a fairly large gaggle of geese that slowed me up; I’ll admit I gave my horn a couple of quick toots to hurry them along.

It made me think about the animal crossing system that they have in Canada along Banff National Park. All along the Trans Canada Highway through the park, they built overpasses and underpasses for the animals to use.  According to Parks Canada, they have documented hundreds of thousands of animal crossings and saved thousands of animals from becoming roadkill.

Apparently coyotes, cougars and black bears figured out the crossings the fastest. Grizzly bears and wolves took the longest.  But no one answers my question.  Did they just open them up and wait for the animals to give them a try or did they try to “train” wildlife, perhaps using bait? Maybe it was it just a “build it and they will come” kind of thing?

It occurs to me that I’ve had animals in my life that would learn something like this quickly, like the black bears and I’ve also had animals that would be trailing behind the grizzlies.

Have you had a particularly smart (or not) animal in your life?

Thirty Percent

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

In class the other day, the teacher said, “Thirty percent of your life is doing things you don’t want to do. If you’re lucky.”

What do you think? I think it’s probably high for me in general. I know I am very fortunate to do what I love and have my own schedule. I’ve managed to cut a lot of the stuff I don’t like out of my life.

You may recall I’ve talked about the week of Christmas concerts in December and it all just makes me grumpy. That would be a time where 80% of my life is not what I want. But wait! There are changes afoot! New (temp) music teacher. Concert completely revamped! Not exactly sure what’s going on yet… the secretary compares it to herding chickens. But at least it will be different! (We keep reminding ourselves Change is Good!)

Is 30% high or low in your life?

The Best Laid Plans

I have written before about a friend of mine at work who is delightfully  goofy and funny. She loves to play practical jokes on people, and she recently told me about one that didn’t go quite the way she had planned.  She has a bit of guilt about this one.

Several year ago, my friend somehow obtained a  realtor’s sign advertising an open house.  In the dark of the night, she planted the sign in the front yard of a couple with whom she was friends. The next morning, the wife of the couple was awakened by people wanting to view the home for the open house.  She was, understandably, perplexed.  My friend was not aware that the couple was having serious marital problems. When the woman  saw the sign, she immediately jumped to the conclusion that her bastard of a husband was trying to sell the house out from underneath her.   No amount of denial on his part would satisfy her outrage.  When she vented to my friend about the incident, my friend confessed all, but the woman wouldn’t believe her.  The couple eventually divorced.

When have your plans not worked out?

 

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