Small Blessings

Random entryway in the neighborhood.

Years ago, after my split from he-who-shall-not-be-named, the kids and I got busy and established some new holiday traditions.  The kids (not unreasonably) hated our fancy, formal Thanksgiving, so I chucked it.  We had a sit-down family meeting – there were a lot of those at that time — and decided that for Turkey Day we’d be ordering pizza from Domino’s (I think they were the only place open, bless them) and the day would be devoted to putting up all our ridiculous Christmas gear, including the fake tree and my huge collection of vintage ornaments.  I bought a bunch of appetizers and snack-y things from Trader Joe’s, and I got some big, old-timey multicolored Christmas lights to festoon the front of the house, since the kids had always been envious of neighbors with those.

We had such a great time the tradition stuck; Thanksgiving remained the day that Christmas threw up all over our house, as the kids gleefully told their (possibly envious) friends.  I missed the traditional meal, but I can make a turkey breast and stuffing and open a can of cranberry sauce any time I want to, so it wasn’t a big deal.  The kids love pumpkin pie, as do I, so that was the only thing I made from scratch for Thanksgiving over the past few years.  In fact, we make it all winter.  Pumpkin pie — breakfast of champions!

Kids already started on their holiday decor!

The three kids in Maine will be doing their pizza-ordering and decorating their place on Thursday for the first time, on their own. I sent all the bins of Christmas decorations to Maine with them, so. I’ve slapped a small, cute wreath on the front door and on Thursday I’ll be setting up my Scandinavian whirligig-thing and my big, festive Holiday Rat that Musette gave me a few years ago, commemorating my Great Kitchen Rat Invasion and Pie Massacre (where would we be without our sense of humor?)  That’s the year I came down and discovered huge, rat-sized footprints all over the gnawed tops of the pies I’d left cooling on the stove the night before.  I will spare you the photos.

Coco’s favorite blanket, all blankets are “hers.”

Small things I am grateful for right now: my crock-pot, apparently every day is a good day for a hearty stew — breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I freeze some, eat the rest, and then make another batch of something different.  When the freezer’s full I’ll eat all of that and start over.  Hot teas are having a moment over here; Musette brought me several boxes when I whined that I was having trouble finding something like Twinings, which is good enough for me; the stores here are full of health / detox teas, and no thanks.  My fireplace which has given me the fun of re-learning how to build a small pyramid-shaped fire in a kiva and bank coals and nurture it, and allow me to mention for the 357th time how great pinon wood smells when it’s burning.  Lots and lots of books, on loan from the library and from friends.  Listening to music on the local, surprisingly good classical station.  Soon it’ll be time to bust out all my Christmas classics from the 1920s-1940s, if I can’t find a Google Play channel/playlist for that (and there probably is one, or several). I got suckered into paying for Google Play by the kids a couple of years ago (it’s like Spotify Premium, I guess, or Amazon music) and I thought it and the related Alexa-like Home device were dumb, and now I can’t imagine life without it, being able to ask it for the weather and random facts and to set a timer is awesome.  And, of course, Coco – my biggest small blessing.

What’s going on in your world?  Thanksgiving plans, if you partake?  Reading anything good?  Links to your favorite crock-pot recipes?  Should I bake a pumpkin pie and eat the whole thing myself?  I should, shouldn’t I?


  • Sariah says:

    Happy Thanksgiving March! I love that door photo. I will definitely be eating pumpkin pie tomorrow. Hugs

  • Portia says:

    You sound so happy March.
    Portia xx

  • Jennifer S says:

    What a bright, colorful, cool door. I love it! I’d be taking pics of them all too lol. I am almost to the ‘tired of making thanksgiving dinner again’ point myself but it’s just us and the grown kids so not stressful. Still…an alternative plan sounds nice! And yes. Another vote for the pumpkin pie!

    • March says:

      OK, I have all the pie ingredients haha I guess I’m making it! The weather is so beautiful here, blue all the time, just walking around is a pleasure.

  • cinnamon says:

    You definitely need to bake pumpkin pie! Oh, my, I love the idea of alternative eating on major holidays. Maybe taking the best bits (like you guys did with pie) but having something you really want. I can imagine a wonderful Xmas meal from the local Indian restaurant. Much more what I’d want to eat for ‘special’ than the same old turkey, potatoes, veg, etc, etc. I like doing roast chicken with all the bits, but when I want to do it, not when I ‘have to’.

    • March says:

      When I was a kid, my 4-person family always went out to eat the turkey meal at a restaurant — so I don’t have strong connections w some meal-around-the-household-table. And there was no “special” Christmas meal at all, just presents and playing, so maybe those meals meant less to me in the first place? I like roast turkey breast too much to leave it for one holiday lol, I cooked one last month. I think Chinese or Indian food would be perfect!

  • Tara C says:

    Unbelievably, at my very advanced age, I finally discovered that you can freeze baked pumpkin pie! SMH. So I bought one of those ginormous pumpkin pies from Costco, sliced it all up and put each slice into those little Glad plastic containers and tucked them into the freezer. Since I am the only one who likes it, I can just thaw out one slice at a time and enjoy. Voilà!!

    Love your kiva fireplace and your sweet Chloe. Need to get me some pinon wood to burn in the fireplace.

    • March says:

      That sounds like a great plan! I did something similar with a cheesecake haha. I think I probably CAN eat an entire pumpkin pie without too much effort, if I keep it in the fridge, but good to know they freeze!

  • Dina C. says:

    My family doesn’t care for pumpkin pie, so I make homemade apple and blueberry, plus a sweet potato casserole which might as well be crustless sweet potato pie it’s sooo sweet. Definitely make your pumpkin pie and eat it! I’m cooking the traditional Turkey-Day dinner, served at lunch time. Then everyone except my husband will go collapse into a food coma and take a nap! No football watching, but yes to the parade. Safe travels to those who are journeying. I’m very thankful for the friendly posse community here.

    • March says:

      I LOVE sweet potato pie, but my kids do not … which baffles me, it’s so similar to pumpkin, and even sweeter. We used to go to a craft fair with an amazing pie-baker and I always treated myself to a sweet potato pie. Love those sweet potato casseroles too. Your plans sound wonderful!

  • Musette says:

    Make the pie! Eat the pie! Tell Christmas Rat I said hi!
    Thanksgiving is also my birthday (this year) and my biggest gift is that it’s a holiday – so no drama (here’s hoping) – a sleep-in(8a – woot!) and a workout/spa day.


  • Maggiecat says:

    You should definitely make (and eat) a pumpkin pie! Pumpkin is good for you! It makes a lovely breakfast too.

  • Kenna says:

    That doorway and Adobe looks like New Mexico and yes, you should eat the whole pie!!!

    • March says:

      That doorway is SO New Mexico, there’s a bunch of fabulous ones around me which is why I keep taking photos of them lol. (The entryway to my casita is fine but nothing super-photogenic.)