Hi! Man I’m tired on Sunday night as I’m writing this, but it’s been a fun Thanksgiving and weekend! So let’s see if I can do this in short form rather than writing a novel
First Thanksgiving: It was wonderful! So it was Middle son, daughter in law, and us. And then they were camping with friends that consisted of a family of parents, two kids and one set of grandparents. The campsite was truly in the middle of the desert. Not a campground, but a desert on public lands. All they need to camp there is offroad permits for their vehicles, so there’s no pads and hookups. We loved it, the weather was mostly perfect, slightly warm during the sunny hours and cold at night. But the winds kicked up Thanksgiving afternoon. No worries, we moved it into Middle Son’s trailer. This is a huge 5th wheel, and we were able to seat 10 people at a long table setup in the toy hauler section of the fifth wheel (which has it’s own bathroom and TV, as well as couches that can convert into queen bed) and a porch. For 10 people, we had two turkeys, a ham, tons of amazing side dishes and desserts. No one went hungry! And there were leftovers for everyone to enjoy. It was lovely, and we really enjoyed it. Another daughter in law asked me if we’d do it again — we said absolutely. But if we can get all the family together by keeping it at home, then we’d choose that first. So depending on the circumstances, YES we would.
Maggie stuff: Maggie loved camping! Because this is isolated, she was off leash and loving the freedom of camping life! At first she was a bit worried about the bigger dogs here:
That’s Charger on the left, a 160 pound Great Dane who is a sweetheart, and then Middles son’s two dogs, Jett (in the middle, he’s also big but looks smallish next to Charger) and Hazel on the right. They were all great with Maggie. And soon she was fine with them. She especially likes to run with Hazel on walks. She doesn’t play with her in a rough way like the other dogs, but trusts her enough to follow her and likes being with her. Overall she did great. Here I am at night with a roaring fire and two dogs at my feet. Jett stole Maggie’s blanket, but she found another one and made herself comfortable.
All the talking and the smoke from the fire haven’t been great for my throat, but I didn’t care Also I’m not sure you can tell, but that fire is safe. It’s a pit, with several layers of rock stacked around it. The fire was completely out when the winds came (they check the weather, and prepare — in the desert like this, conditions can turn dangerous on a dime.) By that evening, the winds were gone.
Maggie was fine at the hotel too. This is what surprised us. Far as we could tell, when we left her in the hotel room to get breakfast downstairs or run to a store, she never barked or cried. And while she was happy when we returned, she didn’t seem overly stressed. She was really interested in the elevator (we were on the third floor), especially when it beeped at each floor,making her do that funny head tilt dogs do. I don’t recall her going on an elevator in the years we’ve had her, but she goes where I go without any hesitation so she was fine. She also went potty outside in the rocks around the hotel without any problems. Other guests evidently were having trouble with that, but Maggie’s used to being outdoors on leash with me, so it probably seemed normal to her. My shy and timid dog has turned into a social butterfly, but she had pretty good manners overall, and I was very proud of her.
And the fun moments — the amazing dinner, spending time with my daughter-in-law while she cooked (I helped clean up, and I brought cookies and sourdough bread), and going in my son’s offroad vehicle with him. He went really fast, but I trust him so it doesn’t bother me. Plus I’m wearing a special helmet with communication system so I could tell him if I was scared, and I know my son upgraded and installed the harness and rollbars. Accidents do happen and those vehicles can roll, and if it happens, there are ways to keep as safe as possible. I listen carefully when they tell me. And son and daughter in law check my work every time I put on the helmet or harness. And while I’m the mom and part of me thinks this is funny, I keep my mouth shut and listen to them, because they reality is they know more than I do about their equipment and safety. But the amazing thing for me was riding along and seeing my middle son living the life he wanted so much from the time he was very small. And he works hard for it. So does my daughter in law. They have earned this dream and I love it for them. I also love that they want to share it with us (and our two other sons).
We left Friday morning, got home early enough to unload and do tons on laundry. Saturday we cleaned house and I prep cooked some things for me. Sunday I had more things to do, then we went out to see Turbo and family. That was so nice. It was a beautiful day and we took the Mustang (it’s all fixed! or we hope so anyway). We visited for a couple house, then came home and I played with a slightly creamy lemon shrimp noodle recipe I had been working on in my head. I used gluten free noodles that exceeded our expectations. Even better, I mentioned to Wizard that I didn’t have any white wine to deglaze the pan and reduce as the base for a lemon sauce and planned to use chicken broth for that. Wizard jumped up and opened a “good” bottle of white. That is not something we normally do. We guard our good wine for special occasions, but Wizard wanted to help me play with this recipe. Man that wine elevated the sauce! Once I cooked that down a bit with the seasoning I had from cooking the shrimp and tomatoes, I added lemon juice, lemon zest, a bit of coconut cream from a can of coconut milk, then added the noodles and finished with parmesan cheese. We loved it! It’s the first gluten and dairy free (aside from the parm, which I can eat as long as it’s aged) that I truly enjoyed! Plus I was making it up as I went along, something I like to do now and again. I’ve had some spectacular fails that way, LOL. And when I have recipes I like, I usually forget to write down what I did so replicating them is dicey
Okay it looks like I did write a novel! If you made it this far, I’d love to hear about your weekend and whatever else you’d like to share! Happy Monday!