Thanksgiving was nice, with all of the Usual. Mr Dearling tried something new with the turkey: he put it in its little rack on a broiler pan instead of the roaster, so the bottom would be crispy too. At the end he put it in the roaster, so there's be room for my corn pudding. He has a knack, the turkey was delicious. He made gravy from the drippings (with the gravy packet from inside the bird) and it was much better than usual. We also made the wild rice a little differently: instead of including the Scottish Fungal Sauce we usually use (that's Campbell's Cream of Mushroom to you), we made a medium white sauce with sauteed mushrooms, and it WAS much better. Fussier, but it was worth it.
The only glitch was, I left the corn pudding on the counter with a towel over it prior to putting it into the oven; Mr Dearling was out on his daily constitutional. I went to Do Something, and when I came back in, why the towel was IN the corn pudding!! Now - being Highly Psychic, I determined that someone, whose name I will not mention but whose initials are L-I-L-L-I-A-N-E, had apparently investigated the corn pudding. She didn't manage to get into it......oh no, because the TOWEL was in it. I managed to scrape off the pudding and rinse out the towel, but I still think a lot of that melted butter was absorbed into the towel. NUTS!! (It was OK in the end, delicious and rich, but still.....).
All three of my children were here (YAY) and two of my grandsons and their mom, and our two friends-now-family-after-all-these-years. My Youngest, who is having one heck of a Rough Patch (as in "can't get a break no way no how") still came up with a list of things for which he's grateful, and named the best thing of all: "Hope".
Lovely Daughter brought her capital pecan pie, and after everyone left Mr Dearling got a good start on his Annual Turkey Broth; in fact, he's already made a very fine soup from some of it, and he has the ingredients for his famous Turkey Tetrazzini. I, meantime, have already enjoyed TWO "hot roast turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce" which is what I order every time we eat at one of those friendly little eateries in small towns on our travels. That is Mighty. Fine. Eating. (OK, three. I just had another for lunch. Nevermind.)
Here's the first snowfall of the year (well, except for a piddly one that didn't last.) Satisfying, beautiful, soft -- I love it. There's something wholesome about snow, and it makes me feel cozy and nest-y and snuggly; winter's a time for repairing things and knitting and reading and snuggling kitties and knitting. And reading. (See blog title).
It IS December, so that means...let's see, today's the 2nd...that means, in 29 days I can start using my 2009 Never Not Knitting , the Yarn Harlot's daily-page calendar. I got it in June, as I recall - and I am proud to say I haven't even take off the shrink-wrap. Oh yeah, I know: "If you had, Dale-Harriet, you would already have looked at every page. Twice." To which I reply PFHAWWW! (I'd have looked at every page four or five times. Nevermind.)
But there's a bigger reason for the "FETE". A genuine accomplishment, a goal achieved, a finish line crossed:
Now - click on this to enlarge it. Ignore the feeble text; look instead at the lower left-hand corner. DO YOU SEE IT?? See where it says, and I quote: "Words: 50,000"? Remember when I said I signed up for NaNoWriMo? I joined well over 100,000 people world-wide to write a novel in thirty days. There were over 500 LOCAL NaNos. (Or WriMos....it's a personal decision.) And I wrote, almost every day of the month. I DID take a couple of days off....Mr Dearling threatened to cancel Thanksgiving and order pizza if I looked like I was going to disappear into the writing room. But I managed to keep ahead of the game, so that I wasn't really behind at any time.
Here's how I did it. No, the picture isn't out of focus. *I* was. By that time I was starting to look a little bleary around the edges. I didn't do much else, like knitting or reading or bathing. (Ha ha - I did bathe. At least once.)
The end result is that I crossed the virtual finish line. I DID write a novel, actually something over 58,000 words by the time I got to the end. At no time during the writing (at least not after the third or fourth day) did I go back and read it from the beginning; I only read as much as I needed each day to pick up and keep going. I think there's at least one place where the winter melts into...autumn. I learned early on to keep a notebook handy so I could keep track of characters' names, which I tended to forget. I had no idea what was going to happen from day to day, and until about November 28th I had no clue how it might all end.
The only thing I knew was a) it had a little girl as the sort-of-main character; b) there was a sheep in it; c) there was a cat in it. It seemed to take place in Scotland or Ireland...at least, they lived in a croft. I remember now (though I still haven't gone back and reread the whole thing) that there are places where little eyes are watching from the depths of the forest. Who they are, or what -- I still don't know, they never materialized. Let me put it this way: Philip Pullman need not be concerned about any competition from here. HOWEVER, allow me to display this (feel free to stamp, whistle and applaud):
See the guy in the front, in the horned helm? That would be me. I know, I look taller there. It's actually a very small boat.
Oh - and I will be going back over it with a red pen, crossing out the effluvia and circling the literary gems, and I mean to file and polish the remainder and see what I have. Novel? Probably not, but maybe a decent short story. Only winter will be followed by spring.
As a concession to my knitterly friends, who were offering me all sorts of enthusiastic support at the last Late-Night Knit....I feel it only fair to reveal here the last few lines of the story:
....the kingdom still continues as a paragon of tranquility, fairness, joy and love, and if I had not had the delight of visiting it myself, I would not know of all these things!
Meanwhile, back in Edinburgh………..