Archive | November 2013

Turkey Day Prep

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We have had two days of nonstop rain and there may be a snow flurry heading our way. While this has not been my favorite forecast the chilly,wet weather is the perfect incentive to stay inside and prep for Thanksgiving. With 9 family members from California in town, we’ll be having Thanksgiving with 13 people. Thankfully my brother-in-law and his wife live just down the street and we are sharing kitchen duties. That means two turkeys — they are going the traditional route and we are deep frying ours — tons of sides, a few pies and a whole lot of wine (thankfully we don’t have to make that).

Along with the turkey we are making our usual stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with shallots, cranberry relish, and dessert. This morning I took care of the pies — we’ve got an apple crumble and good ‘ol pumpkin ready to go. Next up, putting together the stuffing so tomorrow we can just slide it in the oven and be done with it, allowing us to focus on the truly important things like deep fried turkey. And family, of course.

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

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Mini Monday: We Have Walls!

The renovation to our house is starting to take shape. We have moved from just a drawing on paper and a vision in our mind to four complete walls for our basement level storage room! Despite not being terribly interested one way or the other about incorporating bricks from our original pillars into the new structure during the planning stages, I love the way it breaks up the dull cinder blocks and ties back to the rest of the house.

Today, despite very chilly temps (which I am able to experience thanks to an open main level door… brrr…), the guys are hard at work on building the first floor. I am loving watching everything come together, I just need to find my gloves!

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Thankful Thursday

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Yes, it’s Thankful Thursday on Friday! I swear I started this post yesterday but things just got away from me, so without further ado:

I can’t believe it is only a week until Thanksgiving —  where did 2013 go? As the year winds down and the holiday season swiftly approaches, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on some of the many things I am grateful this year.

The opportunity to sing. On Sunday I will be able to share my voice with others during the Capitol Hill Group Ministries Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. This is just one of the unique chances I have had this year to get back to singing. During the summer I connected with a violinist and pianist to perform “To Love You More” at a house concert. It was so much fun to sing was the two of them, as well as a drummer and a cellist.

• Our big, crazy families. While my immediate family is pretty small on both sides, my husband’s family is quite large and this year we are getting an extra does of togetherness as his mom’s side is in the process of descending upon DC for Thanksgiving. We’ll have a week and a half of big (delicious) dinners, our favorite California wines, trips to museums and monuments, chilly winter walks and lots of time for talking (too bad we don’t have a fire place to gather around)! And in just a few weeks we will get to do it all over again (with my family included this time) in California.

The many chances to travel near and far in 2013 — from Turkey to Tampa I have seen beautiful sunsets, had incredible meals, and spent time cultivating relationships new and old. I can’t imagine what life would be like without airplanes that can get me to California in 6 hours or to Istanbul in 10.

• Work that I love. It’s been four years since I went out on a limb and began to work as a freelancer. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. I love the projects I get to work on, my handful of colleagues, my clients and my freedom — who else can take a mid-day wake-up shower? Each year I learn more about running my own business, meeting the needs of a wide range of clients and the blessings of being able to grocery shop on Tuesday’s at 10 am.
What are you thankful for in 2013?

Mini Monday: Random Thoughts

Living in DC, I have to admit that Veteran’s Day seems much more real than when we lived in California — the monuments, the military presence, and the connections that we have formed with so many people who have chosen to serve. Today as a nation we honor the contributions of the many generations of men and women who have unselfishly sacrificed for this country.

On this crisp fall holiday, I am thankfully reflecting on the sacrifices of our veterans. I am also grateful for the extra day to spend more time with my husband, more time trying to get over the world’s slowest progressing cold, and more time getting caught up on things around the house.

Thanks to the previously mentioned cold, I’ve been slacking off around the house since late October, so despite not being back to 100% I started cooking and baking up a storm on Friday. I even made dinner on Friday — quite impressive, I know — and when my hubby got home from work we enjoyed some fresh baked bread and chicken roasted with carrots, potatoes, and onions in brandy. It was pretty delicious if I do say so myself. I also whipped up two batches up mini corn and green chili muffins for a potluck and yesterday we kicked off the gorgeous fall day enjoying a toasty applesauce coffee cake with crumbly topping. Yum. Of course, it was all so tasty that I didn’t snap any pictures before the devouring began…

Apart from all the kitchen time, I’ve been doing my best to capture each phase of the work on our new addition (often by stealthy stalking the guys from the dining room — hey, it got cold last week!). The foundation has been poured and we will have our wall check this week. Hopefully next week there will be some really clear developments as the basement level storage room begins to take shape! Here are a few pictures of the progress:

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Mini Monday: November?!

I cannot believe that it is already November! Where has 2013 gone? After a gorgeous fall weekend full of sunshine and bright blue skies, the weather seems to have decided it is winter today. Just in advance of the cold shift, I managed to harvest a bowl full of cherry tomatoes and seven or eight small green bell peppers from the garden yesterday. There were also a few larger tomatoes, a cucumber, a handful of green beans and some cayenne peppers. We may get a couple more cherry tomatoes in the next few days, but I think that the garden season is pretty much over here in DC.

Front and center on my radar this week is our home renovation project (guessing it will be front and center for quite some time…). We are in the fifth day of active work and our back porches are gone! It has been (mostly) neat to be home while the crew is working so I can take pictures and see the house at all stages of disrepair. Sometimes it has been loud, but so far, I’ve been able to plug away on my own projects while they are tearing the house apart. Here’s the back of our house sans porches — we certainly will not be using those doors for awhile! Also we have never had so much natural light in the dining room — it’s amazing, albeit a bit chilly. It will be wonderful when these windows and the pair in the office above get replaced. They are the final four original windows in the house and single-pane glass from 1937 isn’t exactly the most efficient…

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