Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Update

Ahh Thanksgiving Break has been too good. I'm not exactly looking forward to returning to Stanford... to presentations & papers.

I'm trying to keep straight what we did each day...

Friday: Woke up before the sun rose (around a quarter to 5) to take a shuttle to the airport. Very busy place, the San Jose airport the Friday before Thanksgiving. Sat there for a very long time, during which interval the alarm on a door went off. No one working there bothered to turn it off, so I moved as far away as possible from the screeching.

Short plane ride -- was in Oregon before noon, and Mum & I eventually found the car in the parking lot and headed to the mall. Wanted to stop by The Body Shop and enjoy not having a sales tax. At home, I think we took a walk along the ditch & I helped with dinner...

Saturday: Big breakfast. Mum & I hiked up in the gorge -- Horsetail Falls, Oneonta Falls, & Triple Falls. Many people with dogs that we kept running into! The highway sounded rather like the ocean from afar. The hiking justified the Jello Pudding Pie later.

Sunday: Walked along the ditch with Mum. Watched The Hours -- Mum & I enjoyed it. I especially loved tracing Mrs. Dalloway in the plotlines... This is the payoff post-quals.

Monday: Dentist appointment early. All went well, and they gave me a new pink toothbrush. Stopped by Grammy's after, chatted and stayed for a very healthy lunch (cottage cheese & pear & whole wheat bread & peanut butter & home-baked energy bars -- wasn't hungry till dinner). Then we had our Thanksgiving shopping to do... ended up at Safeway for an organic free-range turkey. Made a walnut pie with Mum & an apple dumpling. Dinner of cod.

Tuesday: At the last minute, I had reservations about going to Corvallis to meet up with Merrie and drive back during the Weds. holiday madness. After starting to pack, we called and figured things out... I went on a hike up on the old logging trails for a view of the (foggy) upper valley. I kept hoping to find an antler to give Merrie, and hoping we'd made the right decision. I explored around at the top, climbed up higher to scope things out. Saw a deer on my way down, which (unwisely) hung around to get a glimpse of me.

Weds: Much preparation before Mer arrived. Went to town for last minute things (like more chai & apple cider & spinach & Rasmussen's for squash). Rosauer's was swamped. Had to wait for parking spots amidst honking and confusion, then had to wait for someone to return a shopping cart. Met up with Shannon, who confirmed that everything was a crisis and they were out of French onions. Might have taken a walk once home again -- hard to remember now. Baked apple dumplings and a pumpkin/cheesecake. I made dinner for Mer (we had squash and lentil pilaf and spinach), and we caught up. Rainy. She had a pretty hectic drive, took around an hour and a half longer than it should have due to traffic. Watched Medium: quite exciting with the Groundhog Day-style dream repetition.

Thurs: Thanksgiving! Mom had the turkey in the oven as Mer & I were waking up. We went on a walk up on "dead elk way" (newly dubbed branch of logging trail that we had previously called "you know when you turn left at the top of the hill"). Climbed until we got to a hill we didn't want to tackle. And then Merrie led the way straight down the hill, since it's never much fun backtracking. Hit some brush on the way down and got a bit muddy. Made it home in time to help with the last minute madness. Boiling sweet potatoes, mashing potatoes, compiling stuffing, heating up green beans & cranberries, heating up rolls, making gravy, etc... We had an early dinner (2:30 pm), and then I helped de-meat the turkey. It was interesting to eat turkey, Mer and I sampled and agreed "it's good!"

A bit after 4, we headed over to Scott & Linda's to see family. We checked out Scott's latest antlers, talked around the fire, and were entertained by the kids. MacKenzie got us started on a game of telephone, and she proceeded to make up things like "Princess dancing" and "Pony in the fire" and "bubble gum." Then she recruited me for a game of hide-the-my-little-pony. Come to find out, she's pretty good at hiding things.

Back home, we had our desserts... we'd now acquired an assortment of pies & dumplings & ice cream.

Friday: Went hiking with Mum & Mer up Gilhouley in the rain. It was rainy and misty, but made for some beautiful views as the fog moved around the upper valley. Snow level was down into the hills. Mer and I were walking ahead of Mum at some point, and a deer suddenly bounded across our path. We looked at each other, and then realized Mum had missed it. At the top, ran into a recently used logging road w/ cut trees. Sat and snacked on desserts till we were too cold to sit still any longer. Going down the hill was much faster than going up it.

Thanksgiving dinner part 2.

Watched The Family Stone -- surprisingly I think we all enjoyed it (even though it meant not re-watching The Family Man on TV).

Saturday: After breakfast, we headed up into the hills till we reached snow. We made it beyond Lola Pass, but had to stop before reaching Lost Lake. We explored a side trail, which let out onto the old road that's now blocked, but leads to the other side of the lake. Mer, Andrew, & I hiked along the other end of it over the summer. We didn't make it up too far, but I climbed a hill for a bit of a better view of the mountain while Mer, Mum, & Tim investigated a little dead-ending trail. On the way down met another family which delayed us, but still made it home at a decent hour... Then Mer and I headed into Hood River. Hung out with Audrey & Jess at Andrew's Pizza & Dog River Coffee. Gingerbread lattes are perfect. Mer joined us after buying a headlight. Sat around talking high school, current romances, school, jobs, etc.

After, Mer & I took a stop by Rosauer's for cupcakes & flowers, and met up with Mum & Tim at the Mesquitery for Mum's birthday dinner. I'd never been there, but the food is great. Plenty of pesca-flexi-tarian options. But I ended up ordering the exact same thing as Mer. And exchanged bits with Mum. After dinner we made it home first... and set up gifts & flowers on the coffee table. Tim walked in and saw, and then Mum came in, and marvelled that we made it home first (even though she heard us honk at them as we passed them just getting into their car). Anyway, she wandered around the living room asking "am I missing something?" as Mer & I laughed and confirmed that indeed, she was. Of course she didn't miss it for much longer, and we then enjoyed cupcakes over a game of Yahtzee. Come to find out, I'm horrible at Yahtzee. Except for full houses. Then Mer & I watched SNL and had popcorn... I napped on the bed with Sassy cat while Mer figured out her schedule for next quarter.

Today: It snowed! Started sometime I think between 3 or 4 am and 7 am, kept piling up on the skylight in my room. Sassy cat watched from my window. Big breakfast for Mum's birthday and a "Christmas at Yellowstone" special on PBS. Then Mer left early. Sadness. Just as I was getting back to my room wondering "well what the hell now," Linda & Scott arrived for Mum's birthday. So that was good. Then Mum & I went on a short walk in the newly fallen snow, and I had the afternoon to leisurely look for stuff for my PWR class and my sample lesson plan for Weds.

Thanksgiving dinner part 3.

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