Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010: A Family Day

I know this is only the 2nd post for this month and realize that it's more than likely the few readers I did have are no longer checking for new posts. However I'm going to try and get back to posting on a regular basis again. No guarantees just an attempt.

Today was Thanksgiving and I must admit I've had a difficult time feeling thankful this year. There are reasons for this but they have to do with personal internal conflicts (which are more appropriate for my personal journal than this blog) and failures rather than not being grateful to God for everything I have.

With all that I've been blessed with, the places I've been and the things I've experienced over these last 2 years or so I can be nothing but thankful to God for what he's given me and where he's taken me. I truly am grateful but don't feel like I've kept up my side of the bargain with God. But there again that's another subject for another place and time.

Now having said that let me tell you about my Thanksgiving day.

The Thanksgiving holiday actually started at our house on Wednesday. Paula had the day off from work. At about 3 o'clock her sister came over and they started cooking. In preparation for the family dinner the next day. They made dressing, hash brown and broccoli casseroles, baked the frozen pies I bought on Monday. They worked rather intently and for about 4 hours.

I had to work at Shop NBC but I did pick up some turkey gravy from the grocery store and some chicken tenders from Hardee's for dinner on my way home.

After the pre-turkey day cooking was finished Theresa went home and Paula and I got relaxed for a couple of hours. At 9:30 we left to go to the movies.We went and saw the new Disney movie "Tangled". I'll give you my opinion of this long anticipated Disney take on a classic fairytale in my next post.

Thanksgiving day began at 7AM when Paula prepared our 14 pound turkey and I lifted it from the counter to the oven. Four hours later it was succulent and juicy to the point of falling off the bone. It was probably the best Thanksgiving turkey we've ever had.

The rest of our family got here about 11:30. Michael and Heather were the first to arrive soon followed by James and Brandi. Once Theresa got to the house it was time to eat out Thanksgiving dinner.

Before I said the blessing we went around the table and everyone said one thing they were thankful for. Mentioned were the blessings of family, health and electronic devices (Michael was really thankful for his Kindle e-reader).

Everyone had plenty to eat and then some. James out did us all moving on to dessert when the rest of us were so full we could hardly move.

After dinner we moved into the living room and watched the movie "Gremlins". It was fun being together. I love every time our living room in the way it was designed to be used; for family gatherings.

Once the movie was over James wanted to play cards or some kind of game. We had a bit of difficulty trying to decide what to play. We ended up playing a game dice called "Farkel" (aka "Greed"). Of course like most of the time we play games on the holidays Michael won.

We all took a break and had some more of our thanksgiving goodies for supper. Then we played a rather long game of "Apples to Apples." It was a lot of fun and a battle to keep Michael from winning yet another family day game.

We started out with the goal of playing until someone won 10 rounds. But after about an hour everyone was getting a little tired. So we decided to stop after one last. At that point the one with the most cards would be the winner. Well the last round became yet another battle to keep Michael from winning. Luckily Brandi beat him 9 cards to 8. She using her phone she even posted on Facebook about beating him.

We put the game away and everyone was getting ready to go home. The mass exodus included dividing up the leftovers and sending them home with whoever wanted them. Both the boys took home a bounty of casseroles and desserts. It was a wonderful day and we had a great time together.

I went to bed around 10:30 because I had agreed to go to Sam's Club with my sister in law at 5AM on Black Friday to help her get a really good deal on a notebook computer. More on that later.

That was my Thanksgiving day and I had a wonderful time. I'm a real "family guy" and enjoy having my son and spouses over for any holiday. As they left I told them, "Let's do this again in about a month. Only we'll do it over at Theresa's house and everyone bring presents." I can't wait until Christmas.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Original Cast Album Aquired

One of my favorite TV shows when I was 10 years old was Sesame Street. Last November I wrote 2 posts (on the 10th & 18th) about how much I enjoyed the show and Jim Henson's Muppets.

A year ago I finally managed to get an Ernie puppet just like the one I got for Christmas in 1970. It's the one of two pieces of Sesame Street memorabilia I've always wanted to own again.

Now after watching Ebay for a little over a year I finally found the 2nd. I now have a copy of the Sesame Street Original Cast record album. It really captures the essence of the early days on Sesame Street over 40 years ago. Although it's only audio it effectively conveys the relationships between the human cast and the puppets in addition to teaching some of the early curriculum.

The album (which I can now convert into a digital form thanks to the turntable I bought earlier this year) has songs on it that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. Really good songs by Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss such as: Somebody Come and Play, Nearly Missed, What Kids Are Called, and A Face, as far as I have found, are only available on this album.

Of course there are some of the show's early signature songs such as the show's theme song by the kids, "Rubber Duckie" by Ernie, "Bein Green" by Kermit the Frog, "One of These Things Is Not Like The Others" by Bob & Susan, and "People In Your Neighborhood" sung by Bob and with the help of the "Anything People".

Just like "Mary Martin and the Do-Re-Me Children Choir's "Songs From Mary Poppins", Lawrence Welk's "Merry Christmas From Our House to Your House", and the Chipmunks' Christmas Albums this Sesame Street Original Cast album is part of my personal time machine. All of these recordings take me back to those hours I spent in my bedroom listening to them on my Show N' Tell record player (see February 19, 2010 post).

I know I'm 50 years old and should have started acting like a grown up long ago. But remembering and enjoying things I did as a kid helps me keep tapped into the perspective I need to be able to make a connection with children enabling me to minister to children from a genuine perspective.

It also helps me to realize the all the blessings God has given me over the span of my entire live and not just the last few years.

Anyway I now have my copy of the Sesame Street Original Cast Album. It's music I have loved and now will be able to enjoy for years to come.