Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Oh, four-day weekend . . . you make all my dreams come true. Well, except for the part where my husband screams at various football games on TV. And the part where his greatest contribution to our list of household chores is to lift his feet when I come through with the vacuum. But, other than that . . . it's all good.

Our Thanksgiving was basically a repeat of last year. I cooked dinner and then we went to a friend's house for dessert.  I picked out a couple of cookie recipes from a kids' cookbook and tasked my daughter with the job of making dessert - under careful supervision, of course. In anticipation of indulging in said dessert, I worked out four days in a row, including a yoga class on Thanksgiving morning. It was free if you brought a canned good. At this time of year, I keep extra cans o'food on hand for just this sort of thing. Food drives galore.

Although I don't actually prepare a turkey (I bought some roasted turkey breast for my husband from the HoneyBaked Ham place, it still took most of the day to prepare everything and to help the kid make two kinds of cookies (birds' nests and dirty snowballs, in case you wondered). I made yeast rolls from scratch, roasted a tofurky, and also made mashed potatoes, dressing (vegetarian, using my mom's recipe), green bean casserole, and a rice casserole.  I must confess I did get fairly irritable by mid-day. Because I don't like to do a lot of cleaning and laundry on the weekend, I try to get everything done on Thursday of each week. So, in addition to cooking all day on Thanksgiving, I also did a bunch of laundry and cleaning.  Now, I don't expect my family to be terribly invested in my interest in having clean bedding and whatnot, but the fact that they were still in their pajamas past noon was slightly annoying. My husband lifting his feet when I came through with the vacuum (so helpful!) gave me thoughts of dipping his pillowcase in mayonnaise and then placing it gingerly back on the bed.

Dinner turned out to be pretty darned tasty, if I do say so myself. The yeast rolls were really good. There is always that dicey moment when you don't know if the dough will rise or not, but it did its thing.  I had a nice glass of wine with dinner so that I'd stop yelling at my family. As soon as we were done, we piled in the car and headed to our friends' house for dessert. They just remodeled the lower level of their home - it now contains a bar and two flat-screen TVs. I was afraid my husband would try to move in once he spotted the same football game running simultaneously on both screens.

Anyway, my kid played with their kids while the adults drank adult beverages and five dogs milled about (my friend has three dogs and her in-laws were visiting with two more pooches). We stayed for a couple of hours and then headed home so that I could sort coupons and work on my strategery for Black Friday.  I wasn't super-enthusiastic about it because I knew that most stores were already open. There was no real reward for getting up freakishly early on Friday, so I didn't set my alarm. I worked out my game plan and went to bed.

I am not proud to say this, but I was at Walmart before 7 a.m. on Friday. Why?  Well, we decided to get the kid an iPad Mini for Christmas and Walmart was offering the best deal - a $100 gift card with the purchase.  So, I headed there first. However, they were sold out so I left. I was amazed at how many people were standing outside at the Sam's Club next door to Walmart. I am guessing that Sam's didn't open until 7:00.  You gotta love Midwesterners, though. You hear about brawls on Black Friday in some areas but those folks just stood there placidly and patiently. Oh, and the temperature at that time?  11 degrees. And that's without the wind chill factored in.

Next, I headed to Target. Target was offering a $75.00 gift card with the purchase of the iPad Mini. Fortunately, they had a few left in stock. I promptly used the gift card to buy gifts for a couple of my umpteen nephews. I won't bore you with every stop I made on Friday, but I will say that I was pretty successful. I got some great deals and, since so many people has shopped the day before, the parking and crowds weren't bad at all. I ended the day by transporting a Lab mix for a shelter. I was kicking myself for not bringing a crate because this boy turned out to be a lunatic. I mean, a nice lunatic but a nut nonetheless. He hopped into the passenger seat and then tried to put his tongue in my ear for the entire ride. My right arm is actually sore today from trying to fend off his amorous advances while I was driving.

Between nine hours of shopping and an hour of Lab-wrestling, I limped into bed at 9:30 and stayed there. Missions accomplished.


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