Since we're starting to put some of the items together for Thanksgiving Day dinner tonight, I am reminded that over the years, I've had more than a few people ask me how we come up with the Thanksgiving menu and (perhaps more importantly) how I can bring it all together on the big day.

Prayers and luck help.

The menu is partially traditional: Items that either [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 or my families have had over the years. Some of it is a desire for experimentation on our part. I also like having dishes (especially veggies) that people like. This is the rationale behind the Baked root veggies this year. I'm not much of a squash fan, and I actively despise brussels sprouts. But, the wife likes both, so I'm making it.

Dinner prep is all about planning. What can be made ahead of time (cranberry apple ginger chutney, spiced pears), what can be made early and kept warm, (Cornbread stuffing, baked autumn veggies), and what has to be made as we go.

Two tips I can share now: If you have a toaster oven, put it somewhere nearby but out of the way and use it to keep stuff warm. The other is to put a timeline together. Figure out when you want to have dinner, and work backwards to work out when everything needs to happen.

The biggest "hint" I can give sounds corny as hell, but it's so true. Have fun and remember why we do this. Maybe more than any other holiday, it's all about family. I've said for years that the holidays are about memories made with family (whether the family you were born to or the family you have chosen) and friends. I have many fond memories of Thanksgivings in NJ and MD, and I hope that my kids have them as well.

So, as I usually do, I want to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I hope you have many fond holiday memories as well, and that you continue to have the opportunity to make more of your own.
Tasty, though I couldn't find what I would have considered to be "medium" parsnips. As a result, the larger ones we used were, I think, a bit too much and overpowered the dish.

Recipe Under Cut )
As tasty as expected. I overcooked the beans a little in the first round; may try steaming instead of boiling next time I do it.

Recipe under cut )
Well, we have set the Thanksgiving menu.
cut to prevent watering mouths )
Today, here in the US, is Veterans Day.

My family and I would like to take a moment to thank all those who have chosen duty to country and have placed their lives on the line for so that my family can live with the freedoms we enjoy in this great country.

Today, I would like to thank the following people:

Chris Barber, Barbara J. Benson, George C. Benson (dec), John V. Benson, Joseph Benson (dec), Michael Benson, Richard Benson, [livejournal.com profile] bynkii, Michael V. Decker, [livejournal.com profile] fragbert, Sean Grey, Anne Guglik, Marion F. Huminski, Richard Karpiak, [livejournal.com profile] kenalepha, Richard Kicklighter, Rob Lepre, Sean Patrick McCarron, [livejournal.com profile] madjacktech, [livejournal.com profile] nukekitty, Nicholas Priet, Shawn Priet, Michael Smyrski, Michael Stern, George Sutton, [livejournal.com profile] teeth_in_a_cave, Richard Thomas, William Thomas, [livejournal.com profile] ext_42142, [livejournal.com profile] usethe4sluke, Brian Fitzell, Joanne Walker-Fitzell, Shane Williams, Sally Wright.

I am certain there are people who belong on this list that I have forgotten. This is not a snub. Rather, I have been blessed with knowing so many people who have given of themselves that I could not possibly remember them all.

Thank you. Thank you all.

Whew

Oct. 1st, 2013 01:05 pm
Just received word that we are working as normal until further notice. Apparently, we are sufficiently essential.

::huge sigh or relief::

Hey all.

Oct. 1st, 2013 10:09 am
So, I'm gonna try not to post anything more on the subject of the shutdown, unless it either is a: actually informative or b: Makes me laugh out loud.

Meanwhile, we have not yet received definitive guidance as to our work status.

May the Lord and Lady watch over us all during this time of crisis, and grant our leaders the wisdom to do that which is right for the people of the United States.
So, regardless of our individual, personal beliefs on the Affordable Care Act, let's not forget the reason that the American government was shut down: A small group of Congresscritters have decided to subvert the democratic & Constitutional processes in order to advance their own political agenda. This agenda is not supported by a majority, nor will it benefit them.

The ACA is window dressing. Quite bluntly, these...bloated sacks of protoplasm have shown quite clearly that they are NOT interested in serving the American people as was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

They only want to serve us on a plate.
The following was originally posted by Brian Krewson.

So, Imagine that the company you work for held a poll, and asked everyone if they thought it would be a good idea to put a soda machine in the break room. The poll came back, and the majority of your colleagues said "Yes", indicating that they would like a soda machine. Some said no, but the majority said yes. So, a week later, there's a soda machine. Now imagine that Bill in accounting voted against the soda machine. He has a strong hatred for caffeinated soft drinks, thinks they are bad you you, whatever. He campaigns throughout the office to get the machine removed. Well, management decides "OK, we'll ask again" and again, the majority of people say "Yes, lets keep the soda machine." Bill continues to campaign, and management continues to ask the employees, and every time, the answer is in favor of the soda machine. This happens, lets say... 35 times. Eventually, Bill says "OK, I'M NOT PROCESSING PAYROLL ANYMORE UNTIL THE SODA MACHINE IS REMOVED", so nobody will get paid unless management removes the machine. What should we do???

Answer: Fire Bill and get someone who will do the fucking job.

Bonus: Bill tells everyone that he was willing to "Negotiate", to come to a solution where everyone got their payroll checks, but only so long as that negotiation capitulated to his demand to remove the soda machine.

Bill is a fucking jackass.
No definitive guidance yet as to whether or not I (or any of my team) will be at work past today at noon.
As I've mentioned in years past, I LOVE Autumn.

I love the smells: wood burning, cinnamon, nutmeg.

I love the colors: the golds, browns, reds & oranges.

I love the flavors: Pumpkin, apple, turkey.

I love the nice cool temperatures.

I love football; getting together with friends and family to watch games.

I love the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

I love the holiday specials.

I have so many good memories of this time of year, from childhood on through more recent years. It's the time of year, more than any other, that I treasure.

(I'll write something more substantial tonight. I'll have some time to kill while the boy is at Scouts)

12 Years

Sep. 11th, 2013 09:38 am
It’s been 12 years since the United States was rocked by the horrific attacks made by cowards who would dress up their hatred in the guise of religion. 12 years since many of our fellow Americans lost someone dear to us either directly because of the attacks or as a result of their attempts to aid those victims. We will surely see many recollections and memorials today, recalling the horror and heroism of that day.

But today, Uncle Grayhawk would like to tell a slightly different story. A story of hope. A story that shows, I hope, that even in the aftermath of the darkest of events, it is possible for people to rebuild and make a better life.

So go ahead and pull up a chair on the front porch. Go get yourself a cold beverage, whether it be lemonade, iced tea, or beer – got all 3 in the fridge. Lemme get comfy in my rocking chair and take a sip of tea. OK, everyone ready?
Long story ahead )


"O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life! "

"O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!"

To the Heroes and Victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and those who loved them.

May You Know Peace.
So, saw the doctor on Wednesday. New one for me, and I admit to a little bit of trepidation. I have little patience for any medical professional who talks down to me, or who wants to lecture. Fortunately, Dr. Marshak does none of that. I explained that my blood pressure was going to be very high due to the combination of family history, excess job stress (more on that in a separate post), and pain. Once he took it, he looked at me and said "Yep. You nailed that one". When I explained that the job strss was only going to increase for the next two weeks, he gave me a month worth of samples for the HBP, as well as prescribed another 10 days of antibiotics for the diverticulitis. We talked about my weight, and he was happy with the work I've done on it to date (down 140+ from my heaviest), but wants to try helping what I've been doing along with some medication once everything else is under control.

So far, I like this man. Plus, he looks a lot like Stephen Colbert. We'll see where it goes from here.
So, sadly, the pain in my left side hasn't gone away. I have a Dr. Appt tomorrow. Hopefully, we can learn more.

In other news, the new sysadmin that was supposed to start last week never showed for orientation at the prime contractors HQ, and no one could get ahold of him. So we're still shorthanded. And the other sysadmin is going on vacation for 2 weeks. Which means I'm gonna be here all by my lonesome.

I anticipate lots of drinking..

Peace and chicken grease!
So, Hi.

Yeah, it's been a loooooong while. And I don't have a lot of time right now.

I am alive. I am reading. And I have some things to talk about.

How am I? OK, I guess. Some health issues cropped up in the last 1.5 months, but nothing life-threatening. Just painful.

Work is work, and we're shorthanded.

Kids are good. Mon is still looking for work.

Swear that I will write more later. If you don't see anything, feel free to give me a kick in the shorts. But give me at least until the weekend, hm?

Be safe out there. And if you can't be safe, be careful.
Here we are again, almost Christmastime. Must be time for me to trot out my annual polls!

And don't be Grinchy McScrooge and complain there's no "None of the Above" - go ahead and fill it out!

[Poll #1886241]
That's right. It's time for my annual post where I refuse to promote Brunswick Games Day

Again this year, this post will not talk about Brunswick Games Day (aka I wish I was at EveCon), happening on Saturday, January 5, 2013.

There will be no additional paragraph talking about how cool it is or how much fun we've had over the years. And I'm certainly not going to thank [livejournal.com profile] kmusser for spearheading this.

So there. ::sticks out tongue::
Over the years, I've had more than a few people ask me how we come up with the Thanksgiving menu and (perhaps more importantly) how I can bring it all together on the big day.

Prayers and luck help.

The menu is partially traditional: Items that either [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 or my families have had over the years. Some of it is a desire for experimentation on our part. I also like having dishes (especially veggies) that people like. This is the rationale behind the Baked root veggies this year. I'm not much of a squash fan, and I actively despise brussels sprouts. But, the wife likes both, so I'm making it.

Dinner prep is all about planning. WHat can be made ahead of time (cranberry apple ginger chutney, spiced pears), what can be made early and kept warm, (Cornbread stuffing, baked autumn veggies), and what has to be made as we go.

Two tips I can share now: If you have a toaster oven, put it somewhere nearby but out of the way and use it to keep stuff warm. The other is to put a timeline together. Figure out when you want to have dinner, and work backwards to work out when everything needs to happen.

The biggest "hint" I can give sounds corny as hell, but it's so true. Have fun and remember why we do this. Maybe more than any other holiday, it's all about family. I've said for years that the holidays are about memories made with family (whether the family you were born to or the family you have chosen) and friends. I have many fond memories of Thanksgivings in NJ and MD, and I hope that my kids have them as well.

So, as I usually do, I want to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I hope you have many fond holiday memories as well, and that you continue to have the opportunity to make more of your own.

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