Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving

Endlessly Thankful

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Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2019 at 7:00 am

Savoring Days

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It’s hard for me to do, savoring time. The minutes tend to blend, one into another, and days seem to keep passing faster than ones before. It’s a luxury problem to have, I expect. In the face of suffering, perception of time is entirely different.

The U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving 2018 is now history. A perceived few minutes ago, I was looking forward to the extra day off from the day-job and gathering with family in the presence of unending food choices.

In my quest to tightly manage my sugar intake, the day of feasting becomes an extra challenge. This year, circumstance worked in my favor to give me an assist on controlling temptation to over-indulge. I was in charge of taking care of our animals at home, while the Thanksgiving feast was being held an hour away in Edina, MN., at Cyndie’s parents’ house.

The hardest part of the whole adventure for me was, making the choice to slip out surreptitiously while most everyone was still at the table(s), finishing first and second servings, and boisterously sharing stories of various adventures.

It went against my every sensibility to not say goodbye, but I didn’t want to cause a fuss and disturb the best part of the day for everyone else. I enjoyed every delectable bite of my sensibly chosen portions of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, giblet gravy, sweet potato, vegetables, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, and Cyndie’s masterful version of my mom’s home-baked buns.

A glance at the time brought me to the fateful moment of planned departure. I had an hour-long drive to factor in, and a time of sunset that was firmly determining the end of my equation. I got up from the table with my plate, just as several others before me had done on their quest for seconds, and I disappeared to the bathroom near the front door.

Amid the sound of many conversations and occasional laughter, I decided to rely on Cyndie to explain my absence, and I stepped out the front door without a word. In my effort to avoid interrupting the festivities for everyone else, I totally disrupted my sensibilities.

Cyndie knew I was leaving as soon as I finished eating, but I had neglected to say anything to others, including my own children. It was a very disconcerting feeling for me to so abruptly depart, but it did save me from facing the decision of how I would avoid eating too much pie for dessert.

Happily, the drive was efficient, despite a surprisingly heavy amount of traffic on the interstate, and the animals were all safe and content when I arrived home. One of the horses was lounging on its side in the paddock while the other two stood watch right beside.

I counted the chickens as soon as I could, because Cyndie reported seeing a badger walking toward their direction from the corn field north of us on Wednesday, as she was leaving to spend the night in Edina. She said it turned around when she stopped and opened her door.

It’s a privilege to have these animals to care for and I want to savor the pleasure they bring, despite the complications of added responsibility. I’m framing the way they altered my Thanksgiving holiday as a feature, not a flaw, since it helped to limit my calorie intake to a lower level than I imagined possible.

It’s certainly not something I would have accomplished left to my own control, if I’d been given a full day’s access to all the flavors available to savor.

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Written by johnwhays

November 23, 2018 at 7:42 am

Happy Thanksgiving

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Written by johnwhays

November 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

Happy Thanks

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Written by johnwhays

November 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

Countdown Begins

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Prepare for blast off. Make sure your seatbelts are fastened, seat backs forward, and tray tables are in the upright position.

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all through the house… Airports are busy and homes are gaining inhabitants. It’s a short week of work in front of a long weekend of gathering with loved ones.

Oh, and food. We are under a dangerous consumption advisory, after all. I’m ready to commence snacking.

Cyndie and I will be spending Thanksgiving with her family at her parent’s house this year, but we are traveling in shifts. She heads over there this afternoon to begin preparations, and will spend the night with her mom and dad.

I will tend to things at Wintervale tonight, then in the morning, after animals are all fed, I will head west to join the Friswold clan for turkey-day festivities. There is a Vikings/Lions game that will be a great compliment for large portions of Chex-mix munching. The Thanksgiving feast will follow the football.

As if I’ll have room in my stomach.

Then I race back to the ranch to show some Thanksgiving love to our horses, chickens, dog and cat. Pequenita has been practicing for her post-Thanksgiving lounging on my legs in the new recliner. She seems to know the drill.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Hays relatives whom I won’t be seeing tomorrow, and also to all of my readers here and abroad.

It’s just the beginning of the grand holiday season, so prepare for the long haul. Consume in moderation and take good care of yourself so you will be fit and inspired to share love and happiness with everyone in your circle of influence.

If need be, your seat cushion is available for use as a floatation device.

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Written by johnwhays

November 22, 2017 at 7:00 am

Cereal Torture

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With our Thanksgiving holiday less than a week away, the inevitable overindulgence of delectable foodstuffs is close enough to taste. Yesterday, Cyndie unleashed the first assault with one of my all-time favorites: Chex mix.

The most difficult healthy change I made in my diet when I decided to monitor my daily sugar consumption was to control how much cereal I ate. Sure, I love ice cream as the absolutely best treat around, but I even garnish some of the best scoops with Grape-Nuts cereal to take it over the top in extravagance.

Admittedly, one of my big reasons for loving cereal so much is the fact it is ready-to-eat without cooking. Can you say instant gratification?

Unfortunately, most cereals are also high in sugar, among any number of other less than ideal potential additives. While I used to avail myself of unfettered bowlfuls, my servings now are precisely measured to keep portions at or below 10 grams of sugar per meal.

It’s torture.

I have one other persistent craving. I like snacking almost more than a meal. Appetizers are better than dinner. Finger foods are the best!

Yesterday, the house smelled amazing. There was a fire in the fireplace and Chex mix baking in the oven. Butter and salty spices slathered all over the cereal, pretzels, garlic chips, and nuts, slowly roasting.

This morning the giant oval roasting pan filled with gold sits atop the stove and I am desperately trying to pretend it isn’t there.

I already snitched a double-dose beyond my ration yesterday, so I would like to demonstrate a little more restraint today.

Cyndie is gone for the day, so I had a very respectable serving of some banana nut crunch flakes for breakfast. Two bowls of a half-cup each. Ten grams.

I closed the box and put it away. Washed my bowl.

Then I lifted the lid on the roasting pan, just to see if the treasure was still there.

Yep.

I told Cyndie yesterday that I noticed she forgot to include any Cheerios.

As if that will make it any easier for me to resist.

Oh for the love of cereal.

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Written by johnwhays

November 18, 2017 at 11:19 am

Picture Story

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Three shots that tell part of the story.

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It deserves to be pointed out that 3 (pi)es were presented for dessert.

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Written by johnwhays

November 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

Happy Thanksgiving

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Written by johnwhays

November 24, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Day Later

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DSCN4163eIt took us the better part of the day to clean up and disassemble our Thanksgiving feast paraphernalia yesterday.

Extra leaves came out of the table, chairs were moved back to all the corners of the house from which they had been activated for duty, and serving bowls, plates, pots, pans, silverware, and utensils were washed, dried, stacked, and ultimately returned to their usual storage location.

Full disclosure: the baking sheets and casserole dish that Cyndie had stashed behind the curtain in the bathtub during the pinnacle of heroic meal preparations Thursday were not overlooked.

In addition to cleaning up after the holiday celebration, we had a frozen waterer that needed attention. My previous under-thought attempts to work around the problem had all proved insufficient. Luckily, Cyndie had provided an alternative bucket of water from the hydrant in the barn that the horses were using whenever the automatic waterer became a solid block.

DSCN4145eIn the crisp aftermath of Thursday’s burst of snow, it became evident that the heaters on the waterer were not getting any power. It was time for me to quit fooling around. I reassigned a non-GFI circuit breaker from unused outlets in the barn and made certain there was voltage to the heater.

We reached a brisk 13° F overnight last night and this morning the water is not frozen. The horses were a little frosty, but the water was good.

Our snowscape bears a lot of evidence of frolicking fun from the visiting kids who took advantage of Cyndie’s stash of boots and snow pants to do some sledding.

DSCN4150eDelilah showed some extra excitement with the conditions yesterday, racing to and fro in the snow outside each end of the barn, sprinting through the doors to get to the other side and looping around for another lap. She had us laughing in concert with her actions, which fueled all of our energies and bolstered her momentum with each subsequent pass.

As evening settled in, we decided to give her a chance to stay on her own in the house while we stepped out on a date to St. Paul. Cyndie’s parents had given us tickets to see Leo Kottke in concert at the Fitzgerald Theater.

We had a grand time. It made our day after Thanksgiving feel as festive as the one before. Thanks, Fred and Marie!

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Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2015 at 10:12 am

Family Feast

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Our Thanksgiving holiday was blessed with family graciously agreeing to travel the distance to our home, despite the onset of our first measurable snowfall of the season. We feasted and visited with full Thanksgiving spirit.

In the morning, our favorite neighbor, George Walker, brought some of his family by, enriching our holiday more than ever. The wet morning drizzle transitioned to snow and the day became a blur of kids, boots, sleds, food, and food, and more food.

I have no idea how many calories I consumed, but due to the fact that I found myself snacking non-stop from early on, up to the main event dinner, and beyond, I expect it was well past normal. That’s part of what makes a holiday feast event special. It is definitely not normal.DSCN4135e

I captured a shot of 7 precious people working on preparations in the kitchen, with Delilah lingering close to keep the floor clean in case of spills.

We had all 5 leaves extending the table to full-size and then added a card table at the end, which serves to really make it seem like a holiday feast.

Food was superb, family supreme, and a grand time was had by all.

DSCN4140eIt was a fine day of thanks. We have much for which to be thankful.

Above it all, family and friends.

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Written by johnwhays

November 27, 2015 at 10:15 am

Posted in Chronicle

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