Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Bill and I were looking at spending Thanksgiving on our own this year.  Tom would be celebrating with friends in Wichita and Chris had to work.  Cindy and Jim decided not to celebrate with family this year so I invited them to have dinner with us.  They have included us in a lot of family and holiday celebrations the last few years so we were more than happy to reciprocate this year.  It was also the first time that they were going to be seeing the new kitchen since they have had to miss a couple invitations in the last couple of months.

I got started with my preparations the day before.  I always try to get my baking out of the way the day before to leave the oven available for the turkey and sides that need to go in.  Bill wanted to start his day with a 25 mile hike in Forest Park so that he could eat guilt-free.  We got up about 0330 in the morning to head over to Portland and get to the trail head.  When we got there, it felt kind of spooky with it being so dark and a little foggy.  I felt like I was stepping into an episode of "Grimm".  When I told Bill that, he came back with "they probably filmed it here".  I know that they certainly would have done some filming in the park itself.

I got home at 0500 and got straight to work cooking and cleaning and didn't have a chance to sit down and take a break until noon.  Bill was ready for his pickup at about 1430 and literally just got done showering when our guests arrived.

We had a lovely meal and enjoyed the company.  Definitely beat celebrating the day by ourselves.

Christopher came down from Bellingham after work on Friday so he got here in the wee hours Saturday morning.  When I asked him how he wanted to celebrate the holiday (reminding him that I had a lot of leftovers), he wanted to make Leftover Turkey Curry to use some of our leftovers.  That is so him!  He has never really liked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner anyway and he had already had five turkey dinners at the mission this week so he wasn't up to having another one.  I got the ingredients together and bought some naan and Indian Thanksgiving is what we had.  He also wanted Turkey Cranberry Quesadillas on Sunday before he headed back home.

We hadn't seen Chris since before his birthday three months ago so I was really happy to see him.  We didn't do anything too exciting.  Walking at Salmon Creek Park Sunday morning was about as exciting as it got.  Enjoyed our visit and will look forward to seeing him again for New Years Weekend.

We definitely have a lot to be thankful for.  I didn't do a 30 Days of Gratitude project but I did devote a week of my journal this year to what I am grateful for.  

Hoping all my family and friends had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a joyful holiday season.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Veterans Day Celebrations

I am proud to be a veteran and come from a family with many veterans.  Our son, Tom, is currently serving and it is a great source of pride for us.

I braved the cold and the rain yesterday to go to the Veterans Day ceremony and parade.  The ceremony was at The Academy which was a new venue for this year.  In the past it has been outside the Marshall House on Officers Row.  It was nice to be warm during that portion of the celebration anyway.  The weather elements could not be avoided for the parade but at least it wasn't pouring.  More like a heavy drizzle.  Always interesting to see all the different veterans organizations and all the Boy and Girl Scouts.  I think there were 45 different scouting groups in the parade.

In the evening, Bill and I joined our friends Jeff and Julie who host a Veterans Day dinner every year.  Our numbers have dwindled over the past several years.  This year it was just 8 of us all together.  Jeff's mom and dad live in an assisted living community on the Willamette River so we had dinner at the restaurant there this year.  It was actually quite lovely and the food was really good.  So it was an evening with good food and good company.  It was a great way to celebrate "our day".

What a Difference a Year Makes

This is the second year that Bill was a Pink Brigade guy for the Girlfriends Run for a Cure race to raise money for breast cancer causes.  Last year he walked the half marathon with Jim West.  This year he ran the quarter marathon.

The real story is Bill's successful weight loss this past year.  When you look at the photos from last year, it really is a "wow" moment.  He has lost 90 pounds since the end of January and he looks and feels great.  He has taken his health seriously and really stuck to his diet through the hospital's Weight Loss for Life program which is part of the HMR program.  I also had put on several pounds and needed to lose weight so while I didn't join the program officially, I also stopped drinking alcohol, started having the shakes for breakfast and at the same entrees as he did in the evening.  I have lost nearly 25 pounds which I have been thrilled with as well.

We have entered more of a maintenance phase so I have started cooking more meals but trying to emphasize few carbs, less meat and lot of veggies.  I am hoping that we can maintain our weight now that we have worked so hard to get it off.  Time shall tell but for now-we are very happy with our new selves.