This time of year is always hectic, and it always seems to leave me feeling a constant level of overwhelmed.
This year, however, I've been given a gift that few people would cherish the way I do: I've been given hermit time. The Mister has taken off for some navy responsibilities over the next two weeks, and I'm using this time to really take the time to hunker down in the apartment by myself, take care of myself and make sure my charge meter is back at 100% before we take off for the holiday smorgasbord of travel.
This is not to say I don't like being around people; I really love being with friends and family (more on that in a second). When I'm with others though, it feels as if I'm a human iphone: I'm super fun and I genuinely enjoy being a part of the [candy-crush] party... but I can only go so long before I need to be left be to plug in and recharge. So that's what I'm doing. Long story short; you'll excuse me if I'm not particularly verbose today, but I have a moisturizing hand mask to apply today.* Important stuff.
Since I don't have much to share, let's just go with some pictures and call it good. :)
We hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with our Aussie friends. It was a great time, I managed to put together a proper spread using only the magic of a crock pot and a microwave oven we had: spinach artichoke dip, ham roll ups, dried apple slices, stuffing, mashed potatoes, a whole chicken, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, gravy, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. The chicken got tricky (I should have done just pieces of chicken instead of trying to time out cooking a whole bird to coincide with the rest of the meal), and the pumpkin pie wasn't as sweet as I'd have liked (Japanese pumpkins aren't as sweet as the pie pumpkins sold int he states, so my recipe was skewed), but both of those are factors of life here that I can correct for next year. In any case, the pies went over well because even if it wasn't sweet enough, it's not like you can tell from underneath a mountain of whipped cream, Mister.
I also got to use our nice table linnens (Bubba couldn't be bothered to care about the love and effort of a nicely set table), and since our Aussie friends are unfamiliar with Thanksgiving, I put together a "kiddie table" placemat to ease everyone into the holiday. Hand turkeys were weird to explain, but everyone got a big kick out of them once The Mister made an example gobbler.
Since this Thanksgiving party was also the last time that all of us were gathered together before Christmas, we also did a fun secret santa exchange. My secret santa for me a foot warmer (which I have not gone a day without using since... in fact I'm using it right now), and a pencil case shaped like a paint tube. And the Mister's secret santa (who may have been me), got him a ninja kit, complete with the samurai sword umbrella that he's been coveting for months now.
Mac's 7th birthday was this week, and we took a nice long walk with cookies and pictures to celebrate. Thanks to Facebook's recently implemented "memories" feature, I had a great time going back through the picture of him I've posted every year on that date to celebrate, and pretend that his face wasn't getting a little gray-er. Gah, he's such a good boy.
In totally unrelated news, according to the grocery store it's suddenly mango season again. So... rejoice. (none of the pictured mangoes survived the past two hours in this house... so goooooood.)
today's little language lesson
aka, hand moisturizing masks exist, and i'm about to make that happen.