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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Day Before Thanksgiving – Odds and Ends

Today was spent, probably like your family, running around.  We basically had all of the shopping done ahead of time (after all, everyone but my foreign-born friends knows that it’s woe to anyone entering a grocery store on this Wednesday, or a department store on this Black Friday-!)

Naturally, my children wondered why it’s called Black Friday.

“Everyvone goes out vhen it’s still night, and it’s black outside-?”

To which we explained the basic accounting principles of being “in the red” and being “in the black”, consumerism, and how, what’s good for the economy is not necessarily good for the average family’s finances.

Somehow, the term “pot luck” also came up today, as we received a flyer about a group’s holiday gathering.

“It is surprise, dah, Mama?  People vear masks and don’t know vhat they’re eating-!”


“The whole meal is a surprise!?”


“If you can guess the food in the closed pot, you get lucky enough to eat it?”


I love their perspectives.

So today we took care of odds and ends, starting to cook and bake, clean and tidy up.  A few days ago, I came to the conclusion that my teens might also make very good manual laborers.

When our resident handyman did not return our phone calls over several weeks (no doubt thinking, “You mean the house with the kids and the dogs-???!!!”  Gee, I wonder why he was never heard from again…), I asked Benedetto to pick up a gallon or two of paint.  The temps were expected to be semi-balmy, okay, above freezing, and the kids could knock out a bit of exterior painting if we played our cards right.

Never mind that they had not painted before.  Never mind that it was the day before a holiday.  Never mind that I was heading out to get my hair re-cut, in hope that it might look… longer… after the earlier chop job a few weeks’ previous.

Which, all of the above probably proves for once and for all, that I have indeed lost my mind since children entered our humble abode.

I decide to descend upon a hair salon at the break of dawn to avoid holiday crowds.  Naturally the hair stylist, after hearing my tale-of-woe haircut saga, thinks she is there to sell me extra services.

“And I can see you need hair color, and a deep conditioner treatment, and a manicure, and a weight-loss regime, and a house in the islands, and a new husband…” she starts her spiel.  “And a…” she barely comes up for air.

“Yes, thank you for drawing that to my attention, needy soul that I am,” I respond.  “However, today, I’m a bit pressed for time. Let’s keep it to a cut and a blow-dry.”

“And we have a holiday special on our shampoos and conditioners…” she starts again, not giving up until I walk out the door an hour later, new cut on head.

Driving home, I grab some donuts on the way:  family of six = half a dozen.  Naturally, I never get to eat mine, which is just as well.  And nothing says “holiday fun” like sugar.  I bring Benedetto a coffee.

He’s been busy setting out the annual, accordion-paper turkey, which I loved to hate, but realized, that if it comes down to “Me or the turkey”, the turkey’s staying.  He says that it makes the children happy.  I think that it makes him happy and must speak to deep-seated issues in his life.  But hey, a paper, fold-out turkey is cheaper than therapy.

My arrival at home could not have been better orchestrated.  It’s time to give them a break from painting.  Not that they’ve really started painting, but so far, so good.  It’s a side porch, where they really can’t do much damage.  They’ve all found old or too-small clothes for the occasion, which they liberally splatter with paint.  Delightful.  After five minutes, everyone needs a donut break.

The troops sufficiently cheered and bolstered, they head back out again.  Our youngest informs me as she climbs her four-foot ladder that she doesn’t like heights.  This is the one who’s sold on the idea of being a soldier, which, I imagine would translate to a foot soldier, then.  The dogs pass out, dreaming of plump, juicy turkeys.  I prepare some side dishes and desserts, and call it a day.

By doing our small part the day before, we feel we’ll be ready for what awaits on the morrow.  Are you prepared?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



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