It has been a full and exciting couple of days.
Stopping in Charlotte to visit Sam on our way south. We had some great bbq at Mack's Body Shop where it was warm enough to eat outside. Later, back at Sam's ranch, I got to see all her spinning and weaving accoutrement and supplies. I am not in the market for another expensive hobby, but it sure was fun to check out her stuff. We talked and talked and talked, and then, talked a little more.
Seeing the 10 year old niece have her ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda in the mall on Black Friday. She was so excited, and very brave about the "ouch" factor. Afterwards, each time she passed herself in a reflective surface, you could see her push her hair back and smile at the sight of those sparkly earrings. I'm glad I got to be part of that.
Spending time with both of the nieces. They are good kids: smart, funny, VERBAL. They are also completely normal kids: they fight, resist bedtime with every fiber of their beings, and consider "No" to be just the start of negotiations. We had fun hanging out together.
Thanksgiving was great. We had the whole meal with all the fixings. I helped with the cheesecake and a few of the other dishes, but Mom and the rest of the guys did the yeoman's share. We did sit around after dinner and wonder how it is that a meal that takes ALL DAY to prepare takes only 30 minutes to consume. Not counting leftovers!
The menu this year was turkey, cornbread dressing, greenbean casserole, sprouts, mashed spuds, homemade cranberry relish, gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie, and cheesecake with cherries. The only complaint I had at all was that we did not make enough gravy. Next year we need to estimate how much we think we need, and then make four times as much. There was no gravy for the leftovers the next day, and that is just. Not. Right. Last night (Friday night) the 6 year old came racing through the living room shouting, "I just tried the cheesecake and it is the BEST THING I have ever eaten!!!! I ate TWO pieces!!! This was all delivered at volume 12, with a real sense of Amazement and Delight that there was something as delicious as cheesecake in the world. It's good to have these reminders to Stop Taking Cheesecake, and other Wonderful Things, for Granted.
It was a loverly trip, and now I am happy to be at home with my puppers, with one more day before I have to go back to work.