After the Turkey is Done

Well, another Turkey Day has come and gone.

Families, for many, get together, eat too much, drink with gusto, watch Parades or Games, family disputes are started up once again… Because you seem to have forgotten something thirty years ago and someone’s panties are still wadded up….Or you did something that offended a family member…yeah, that’s a given, and it is your nature….and these people knew you either since you were born, or they were, and somehow they feel that they are entitled to something….They also seem to forget what an ass they have been about that little nugget for decades…possibly as they are a little princess and completely ignore all the things you have done for them before and after, and heaven forbid you bring up all the stupid ass things they have done that have buggered your world before and after, they are special, you’re a jerk…apparently…..That seems to about cover family gatherings from what I remember…been ages since I have dealt with that for obvious reasons … Everyone has gone home and now you have twenty pounds of that twenty-six pound bird you pulled out of the arms of the market freezer…Then, preceded to buy more potatoes, yams. cranberries, boxes of stuffing mix and more than any small army could consume ….. You offered to have folks take food home, but, of course, they either had no room in their fridge or they had to make more stops before home, or they were in hotels, motels etc so it just wouldn’t work out for them…..

You stare at a sink full of dishes….a counter full of dishes…… two tables weighted down with platters and deep dishes of food…and there are only two of you….Now it is time to break out the wine and dish clothes…It is going to be a long evening..

Black Friday starts long before any crack of dawn and you have family already calling, asking why you are not in the parking lot with them… there is, after all, only 100 of those flat screen TVs up for 80% off….The fact that you are happy with your TV and don’t really feel like buying someone else a bigger TV than yours…..and also.. they are all already in the damn parking lot calling you after you just got to bed from cleaning the place up some four hours ago….

Glaring at the phone… if it really WAS a smart phone, it would have known better than to wake your sleepy ass up at this hour…You jerk on your pants, somehow getting them on wrong. Swearing you start over again, your leg catching just below the crotch of the pants, sending you into a nose dive, fortunately into the side of your bed and not the cedar chest inches away.

The phone starts ringing again, you slowly reach over and slide the phone under your pillow.

Staring out the window at your car as it warms, you hear the phone going off…again..Looking to the clock , you can see why they are getting impatient….The stores will open in only two more hours and it is, after all, a twenty minute drive to the lot.

Looking into your reflection in your coffee, you consider the bottle of Irish Whiskey still on the counter from the night before, sigh and walk out to the car.

Twenty minutes later; you pull up next to the other family rigs….and an otherwise empty parking lot. A dozen glaring faces peek out at you from frosting car windows and you snort into your coffee mug. Rolling down your window you greet, what could easily be a lynch mob…scanning the vehicles for torches, you say,

” Well good morning. Been here long?”

Apparently , no one in your family has a sense of humor….

You wave with the tip of your finger as you roll the window back up, ratchet the seat back and close your eyes….

Waking to hammering on your window, you wipe the gathering fog from the glass to see yet another glaring visage…

” Crap.” you mumble, and, once gain, slowly roll your window down.. a crack…

” What?” You ask as you pop open the thermos to refill your mug. Tensing, you wait for the verbal diarrhea that you know is coming.

” You’re late!”

” I’ve been here for…”, you glance at the clock on your not-so-smart phone….” fifteen minutes.”

” You were suppose to be here when we got here.”

” Ahh, well, yes, and you were suppose to help with the dishes and take home food…soooooo…”

You smile, waving with, this time, an appropriate finger tip as you roll the window back up, lean back and close your eyes.


The window rattles as it is banged on , yet again. Cautiously, you barely open one eye a crack….Ahhh… Not the princess..

Window, slowly rolling down, you ask, “Sup?”

” They’ll be opening in a couple minutes. Let’s get in line.”

You glance over to the store, windows black and the only line is your family.

” Ahhhh…Rrrright…” Downing the last of the ice cold coffee, you climb out, slip on a jacket…your hat…..a pair of gloves…look around the inside of your rig…grinning as you hear the tapping foot behind you. The two of you walk up to the “Line” and with mock surprise you state… ” Oh crap, I forgot my wallet.”

” In your car?”

” Ahhh…sadly, no.. at home..Rats…Can’t shop with no money… guess I’ll have to head back home.”

” Call your better half and have her bring it down.”

” My better half is smart enough to NOT answer the phone at this time of morning..”

” Even if it’s you?”

” Well, considering she knows where I am, yes..”….You wave to the lynch mob, again, scanning for torches..and odd pitch forks…then……….back away slowly…showing no fear, and puffing out your chest.. they hate that.. makes you look bigger…..then turn and run to the car.

Making exaggerated motions, you show them that you are turning off your phone, Waving, you start the engine and drive away.. The day just got a whole lot better. You watch as a multitude of cars star pulling into the parking lot….ten minutes before the store opens…

Slipping out of the car, you step back into the house, your spouse grinning, holds up your wallet, swinging it between her fingers.

“Forget something?”

” Oh Hell No…It’s called strategy.”


Turkey Time on Zen

So, as I say, we don’t need to deal with those Reindeer Games anymore . Somehow, we both became Black Sheep of the families… Probably due to the fact of missing so many gatherings… We are such jerks…as we were working at the time. How DARE we want to keep our jobs rather than hours long drive to deal with ..”The above”

This Turkey day was the very first we had off together in..crap..decades? and we made the most of it.

Ma starting prepping the day before, taking her time and simply enjoying not rushing.

Myself, on the other hand, pulled the turkey from the shop fridge the night before and had it in the utility sink , in water, finishing it’s defrosting, so , basically, I was a bum .

Turkey Day, Ma; my better half, started working on things throughout the morning while I pulled the bird, cleaned it up and set it up for her to stuff, then into the roaster and my job was done. * Insert stock bulb drop * Peace out….

Early afternoon, we kicked things in again, Ma cooking while I sharpened knives…

By mid afternoon we were stuffed and things were already cleaned up. Now it was my time to get back to work.

Whole birds; chickens and turkeys alike end up making stock to last us through the year.

Legs, wings and carcass all went back into the roaster to make said stock. The next day, I pulled meat and bones and let the stock run one more day .

Saturday found me canning stock. I spaced and didn’t add water after pulling bones and such so I only got 11 quarts, but they are very clean and a beautiful amber.

Stock canned, I cleaned up all my messes, including the roaster, course. We got a call from our cabinet guy saying he would be a week late coming in, so instead of tomorrow, it’d be next Monday when everything will get turned upside down in the kitchen area……sssssoooooooo… I went out to the freezer to grab a bunch of my chicken carcasses to make more stock before the winter storm hits..more or less….

Out in the shop, I dug through the big deep freeze only to find a TON of chicken ready for stock…wow, ok… I brought in a third of the birds and filled the roaster back up again. Two more runs to go, but I only have enough jars for two of the thirds…oops… Well, what’s a little longer in the freezer, after all Last time I made stock was probably last Fall , other than whenever I need just some for a meal, which then I grab a bag and make new stock rather than breaking open a jar any time I can.

I threw the frozen carcasses into the roaster and filled it with water to get everyone happy…By evening, even I could smell the chicken stock every so often. This morning, I pulled the remanence of the little cluckers out of the roaster and, as she did with the stock meat from the turkey; Ma bagged the chicky meat up to freeze for later use in chicken and dumplings or chicken salad..etc….. We don’t waste what can be tastes better than store bought and sure as heck is better for you…

I added water, thank you very much, to the simmering stock and, once again, tomorrow, I will be canning stock again.

We brought in the Christmas tree and it’s decos… as I am horribly allergic to live.. well dying evergreen trees so that hasn’t been an option since I was a kid…

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

I put the tree up this morning along with other chores so that we could work on refluffing the little beastie before putting on Ma’s home made decos…The other box we brought in were our Santas….I love the jolly ole elves….especially the old world styles which are all but impossible to find anymore , and every year I kick myself for not picking up several I had seen here ages ago now, thinking that they would be around when I could…

Snow is suppose to come in this afternoon, no idea how much… Normally when the sites say 1-2 inches, it turns into 1-3 feet for us…but, it could just as easily miss us. We are having some bitterly cold winds coming through today so they might bring the snow or they could speed it right past us.

Are we ready? Well, yes and no… No tractor, so that is pretty bad… Jeep is mostly up now. The Samurai is suppose to be ready, but the new wipers wont go on it, so now I have to track some down that will.. no easy task in the middle of no where and as it is a 1987… Both trucks are ready, though Ma’s truck normally relaxes during the winter, me being the driver and all.

Snow shovels are in the shop… Always seems that as soon as I bring them into the snows…besides, too early for too much snow…maybe…

We have just enough wood that we will probably be fine.. Like our cabinet guys..hopefully they’ll be able to get in, our wood guy is a little behind on the last cords…and then I need to get at least one more cord into the wood room.

We STILL have more apples to can up…yup.. big harvest. I can’t make anymore juice until I know I am done with stock and see what I have for quart jars.

We still have our pasta sauce to make as well, then can. Only bad part about that and any snow is, winds tend to pile snow against the container where I keep the jars so I have to dig and chip my way in plus the ice from the house to there and back with me; the klutz, and armloads of jars…what could go wrong?

Gardens are all closed down, though the apple trees still are full of happy green leaves… concerns me with the talk of low teens up here at night coming in

So, yup, pretty much we have things ready.. but.. Are we ready? Not really. If I didn’t have to hit the stores , no matter stocking, every few weeks and have to hit the Post Office, in the opposite direction and every bit as far at least once a week with the fact that I have no way to dig us out if/ when it gets bad…Umm.. no…

The Shawl Sales

Well this is the end of the sales and very quiet…as we both figured… It is most definitely an ” I told you so” moment. For years people have asked about Ma making stuff for them and we put them off because Ma doesn’t do cheap crap.

Who knows, maybe someone will come in at the last moment, but I don’t think so. * shrug * as we expected.

Needless to say first/last time. IT would have been bitter if Ma would have gone to the trouble to spin and knit for the event. I don’t think we will worry about baubles either, they would have been $35 plus shipping and that does Not cover Ma’s cost to make them.


Final Thoughts

It is definitely brisk out there today, but then, I have been running around in shorts and T so, yeah.. brrrrr today.

For the last many months, I haven’t been able to hardly touch my guitars due to my hands giving me grief , so as the last few days, my hands not killing me when I play has been awesome..While I still can, I’ll be obsessing over that , best I can.. Going for weeks and months at a time before I could play for an hour tops made for a lot of trying to remember crap, but, still fun for me even if I am just playing old 70s makes me happy.

We still have our bucks hanging around, beings our girls hang around. It is always fun to see the big boys for a few weeks. All too soon, the rut will be over and snow will come in and it gets quiet up here.

Our hummies are in and out, mostly here about the house, Hopefully they’ll run to town for the few cold days, but I doubt it. Lass is stubborn, and Hummie keeps coming back up to coax her back to town…We have up to three of them up here flitting about again..goofs… we just keep changing out water for them and in a pinch, Ma’s side of the porch is closed up, they can get out of the weather there or in the giant juniper bush.

For today though. we are just hangin’ around the homestead, working on all our small chores, and getting ready for all the above…

It is, after all,

Just another day on Zen Mountain


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