Five pounds later...
Made Giada's stuffing and it was excellent! I give it five stars. Make it for Christmas. The family loved it, or at least that's the impression they gave since there wasn't any left over.
It was a pleasant Thanksgiving. My sons drove out together and didn't kill each other, or even punch one another. They might have even said a few words between themselves, although they were likely not completely positive. My father was his sweet self and actually did not take even one nap during the day. My dad has been taking cat naps since I was a little girl (probably why he's been able to work twelve + days all of his life). My mother had a few aches and pains this year due to a recent leg injury but still refused to give up all the control to me (although I did my best to prepare the dinner at home and transport it as my goal was for her to actually have her put her feet up this year--never, ever gonna happen I now realize--can anyone relate here?). My husband did his job of carving the big bird (and a fine job he does at this), and he also did a good job watching football with my dad, uncle, sons, and our friend Joe. Joe's wife Gillian is one of my closest friends. She's really like a sister to me and we had a lot of fun in the kitchen together and a nice visit. My uncle who I love dearly tends to believe EVERYTHING he reads off the Internet. He actually told Gillian that the original rock the pilgrims landed on was not Plymouth Rock. Gillian is a fifth grade school teacher. I stirred green beans.= during this conversation.
The food was delicious--(the stuffing of course), green beans with Meyer lemon peel, pine nuts, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes and bacon (everything tastes good with bacon in it) Blackberry Jell-O tasty treat (secret recipe), spinach salad, mashed and sweet potatoes, and cornbread with sharp cheddar and jalapeno (my cute husband makes these and they are yummy), and the turkey (brined in sea salt and juices). Mhhmm--I want more.
My lovely aunt washed and cleaned up after everyone, and wouldn't accept a lot of help from the rest of us. And my little girl, well she does what little girls do best--play, be silly, and have fun.
There is a point (albeit small) to this story. I promise.
We wound up staying the night (as always on a holiday) and over breakfast the following morning I had a very nice talk with my dad. I am blessed to be close with both of my parents. They are hugely supportive of my family and me. They are generous, kind and loving. My dad is one of my confidantes and mentors. He and my mother built a business from a small back room in the house I grew up in. I talk to my dad about my career a lot because I know he understands and has been there.
As Jessica mentioned in a post the other day that the publishing business right now is (hmmmm, I believe her words were pukeworthy) is not so easy. Not like it ever is, but these days not being under a contract for a writer who has made her living at it for the past few years is frightening. As you may have guessed I am no longer under a contract. Cat is out of the bag. After A Toast to Murder, there will be no more Nikki Sands (unless the fans revolt, and I'm praying for that, but...) and there may be another Michaela Bancroft mystery as the horse lovers do want more, but it won't come out from my original publisher. I am pursuing a few things these days including some YA and middle grade kids' avenues. I have a commercial adult fiction (El Patron) coming out that I will be posting chapters on in the next few days. I have a gazillion ideas for more books, and no matter what the publishing climate, or if I don't wind up with a contract again, I will keep writing. But I have to admit that it is difficult, scary, and at times depressing. The Writing Dream has been one that I have had since I was a little girl and I still have it. It's in my soul and it is my passion (besides being a mom and my horses).
I explained all of these feelings and thoughts to my dad yesterday morning, and I while talking with him, I remembered why he is my mentor and confidante. He said to me that the reason for the success of their business (and even during these difficult times when their company feels the hardships my dad perserveres http://www.americashorsedaily.com/professionals-choice/) is due to faith, hard work, and tenacity. He told me that giving up is never an option. He's right. Although I know in my heart that 'not' writing is never an option because I will always write, my dad reminded me that 'not' pursuing my dream of building a career as a writer is also in the non-option clause. It's my dream to be a career novelist, to see my name on the bestseller lists, to make people smile, cry, laugh, think, FEEL. It's my dream to entertain readers and it is my dream to connect with those readers. These days I'm not feeling as if I have been doing that. Maybe I am wrong--paranoia is a writer's disease.
This Thanksgiving I was grateful for a lot of things, but I think today I am most grateful for my Dad who reminds me that dreams are important and good. Dreams make us tick and keep our passions alive.
It's funny as I had no clue where I was going to go with this entry. My initial plan was to touch on some of this and then ask readers what they would like to read. But it turned out how it did--reminding me, yet again, that it's okay for me to continue on full speed ahead.
How about you? Tell JP and me your dreams, your T-Day events, thoughts, insights. Anyone out there with a confidante, mentor--someone who has helped you and made you grateful for your dreams?
Have a great Sunday.