The entire week BEFORE Thanksgiving was a busy, busy, frustrating week for many reasons. We were swamped with activities for the three weekends prior to Thanksgiving, and Thad had a Cub Scout campout coming up. Everyone except Victoria took Friday off (perfect attendance for the year. . .it’s in the air!!!), so that Thursday was a busy day at school. Then I stayed until 7:00 to get ready for my sub for Friday, and I had to get camping groceries and Thanksgiving groceries on the way home because we had to go BACK to school on Monday and Tuesday, and I was going to be in the woods camping out all that weekend. Needless to say, when I arrived at my door at 9:15 on the Thursday night one week prior to Thanksgiving, I was none too happy and none too energetic.

I staggered into the house, hugged everyone, gave directions to go unload the car, then collapsed on the game room couch.

Through my exhausted haze, I heard the kids ferrying bags into the kitchen and finally unloading them and putting things away. Thad was taking out, and Victoria was putting up. At one point Thad had evidently noticed a trend in what I’d bought. Unbeknownst to him, I was making not one but TWO cheesecakes for Thanksgiving. Once he realized the sheer magnitude of a particular type of grocery item, I heard him exclaim in a mixture of shock and disgust,

“This is a RIDICULOUS amount of DAIRY PRODUCT.”

And he was correct. It was, indeed, a ridiculous amount of dairy product.

I might as well have bought an entire cow. And that ceramic cow DOES live there. Her name is Pearl--after my very own red angus heifer born on Pearl Harbor Day a LONG time ago.

It was, however, put to good use.

After sniffing them both, Thad decided the one on the left (chocolate cheesecake with Oreo crust) smelled "friendlier" than the one on the right (pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust.)

After trying his first bite of the “Friendly” cheesecake, he declared that he needed milk. Which is why I had to buy TWO MORE GALLONS of milk on my way home from my test. Egads.



One of the high points of the Thanksgiving Day festivities was making Heather laugh. I happened to catch Victoria’s medal worthy performance on film.

You are lovely but a bit too serious. What is up with that?

Oh. You just need a good dose of cousin.

We've got you covered.

That's more like it.

Someone else is enjoying this too. Probably Nana and Uncle Robert.

Okay. So this one is all about Victoria's hair. Great. Heavenly. Days.

She giggled so much she teared up.

Heather's mommy, Aunt Christy is overcome by. . .something. Chagrine? Emotion? Despair? It's a great picture none-the-less.

Sweet girl. This was Victoria's favorite of the bunch.

Heather won't remember any of this, so Victoria will remember for both of them.


So, the day after Thanksgiving, I took the GRE because I am very seriously considering getting a masters–in library science. I have wanted to do this since the spring of 1992–which was my first year to teach. Anyway–I left the house at 7:20 in cold, drizzling rain. The test was delayed for over an hour due to data base issues (it was computerized). I got out of the test at 12:50 to find lovely sunshine but some cold wind. When I finally made it home, it was time for our first fire of the season.

And a board game.

And some candles.

I wish we had another one right now. My feet are cold.

Turkey Time

I guess we’ve hosted Thanksgiving for the past three years now. It’s Tony’s favorite holiday, and I pretty much see it being at our house from now on. . .at least until Victoria or Thad’s wife decide they want to take it on. Anyway. We had fun–everyone made it but Aunt Alisa. She was feeling crummy and (thankfully) wanted to spare the rest of us from feeling crummy too. She and Tony are rivals for exactly who loves Thanksgiving more, so it was a sacrifice for her to stay home. But that meant more food for the rest of us!!!

Ready. . .

. . .Set. . .

. . .GO!!!

The centerpiece, lovely and festive as it was, had to be removed for more legitimate (and edible) fowl.

Take a gander at that gobbler. This is Husband's handiwork. He brined, cooked, fretted over, carved, plated, served, and finally enjoyed this bird. It was devine.

The Langley and Non-Langley Ukelele Trio

Uncle Robert advised Thad on some of the finer points of airplane folding.

And Victoria very sportingly let me decorate her forehead. It seemed like the right place for that sticker to rest.

We had a wonderful, wonderful day. I hope you did too.


For so very, very much. The list would be incredibly long, so I will just show you evidence of the best things.

For a daughter who brings joy and laughter every, single day and is growing up before my eyes–that part is a mixed blessing.

For a son who surprises me with his observations and who still thinks I’m the most wonderful female in his life (replete with hugs and kisses).

For a husband who brings things home in ice chests so that my children have a little taste of my own childhood. . .

. . .if not the ACTUAL flavors. (I bet these pretty, blue shell fish are wondering how they got from the ocean to a pine thicket 100 miles away.)

And teaches his son to use power tools. . .

. . .even when said offspring is more interested in being nine. . .

. . .and a boy.

And who gave me these two little reproductions of himself and some of his other family members. I am CONVINCED there is some Watts in there somewhere. . .but it’s hard to find.

On top of all the other blessings you have, like living in this country, and a loving Father who provides the changing leaves and seasons and life itself, I hope that you are warm and well fed and surrounded by those you love best.

WANTED: Missing Cat


Penny is AWOL.

This is not good. Not good at all.

I have saved you from some of the more recent, worrisome, and expensive Penny mishaps as of late. We, literally, have spent more time, money, and affection on her than the other two combined. She is the fun one. The red-head of the bunch. The affectionate one. The one that considers herself Queen of the Car (both inside and out). She had an entire 12 hours of unexplained seizures off and on back in October (which necessitated a trip to a 4th year A&M vet student named. . .I KID YOU NOT–Noah), then two weeks later she showed up for bed with unexplained swelling on the right side of her face. She also, in September, ended up on the roof. And there are not trees within twenty feet of our house. She climbed a ladder.

Anyway. . .she wasn’t with the other two yesterday afternoon when we all got home from school. And she didn’t come home last night, and we are all more than a little concerned but trying to act as if nothing is amiss because NONE of us wants to face our front porch or back porch or driveway or doors (through which she constantly darts) without her. Both children are starting to droop. Tony and I aren’t so far from droopy ourselves.

Bless her, brindled, calico, cantankerous, kitty-cat heart.

Random Act of . . .


As I am always out of the loop on all things viral, I’m sure this has made the rounds, HOWEVER, it bears hearing again. I just got it today from my friend, Carolyn. Gave me chills. I’m glad they at least warmed up the organ before hand. I was thinking if an organ began playing and 600 voices started singing at the same moment in the middle of Macy’s with no warning, I’d check the ceiling to see if it was being peeled back to reveal Jesus and his angels in the clouds. . .