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Twist on Thanksgiving

Had an interesting Thanksgiving dinner this last week. Not that anything unusual happened, only the way it happened. My family and I drove south this year to spend the holidays with his side of the family. My husband’s sisters and parents live within miles of each other in South Florida and we thought it would be fun to go “tropical.” However, since we didn’t give a whole heck of a lot of notice on our decision (my husband can be very spur of the moment), they didn’t plan on centering their focus on us.

One sister was celebrating with friends, one sister was celebrating with her son’s girlfriend’s family, the nieces (sisters) were working and celebrating together with a fried version of the bird and his parents? Well, let’s just say they bowed out of all invitations for a quiet day at home alone together. They’re eighty-three. Big dinners take a lot of work. Hmph. Now what?

mashed sweets

How about bring the dinner with you? And while you’re at it, add a few chairs, a table–heck, we have a lot of bodies heading into their small home with no place to put them! So that’s what we did. Packed up a turkey and all the fixins’ — including all the ingredients to prepare the entire dinner and dessert — grab a table and chairs and throw them back into the Suburban. We’re going on a road trip!

Not my favorite time of year to be on the roads, mind you, but turns out, our traffic wasn’t bad. Wednesday night we didn’t hit any trouble and for the return, we only hit a couple of snafus. I think the secret is to leave late. By the time we hit the road, everyone was already well on their way home, headed back up north. So all in all, not a bad drive. And what a great dinner! I put the turkey in the oven the night we arrived and it was ready to eat come three o’clock. Easy. Whipped up a few mashed potatoes, plate of stuffing, cranberry, gravy, rolls and poof. Thanksgiving dinner! It was our version of “Meals on Wheels.” For those of you not familiar with the group, Meals on Wheels is an organization dedicated to feeding our seniors by bringing the nutrition straight to the door of those with limited mobility.

All in all it was a great weekend. Good food, good company and even a spot of fishing and tennis. Definitely counting our blessings in the Venetta household!


In Defense of Marriage

My mom, sister, and I recently went on a girl’s trip to Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend. Over our three-day adventure, our routine became this: we’d get up, eat breakfast, and head out on foot to explore. We hit all the stores, the outdoor market, and the beautiful mansions along the water. I bought fun gifts for my family, myself, and even a few birthday gifts for friends. We had a wonderful time together.

Me and my sister, Kim. (I'm on the right)

My Sister, Kim, and Me in Charleston

Most afternoons we’d poop out around three and head back to the hotel to rest before venturing out for dinner. During those few vegging hours, we usually had the TV on my mom and sister’s favorite channel, HGTV. I have to admit I don’t watch much TV, however they were very well versed in the shows that aired.

During some sort of marathon of shows that involved couples looking for a new home in their price range, I noticed a trend I found very disturbing. Every couple—every one—was not married. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a traditional and conservative person, but that doesn’t mean I’m naïve to the fact that many people live together. Heck, my husband and I (then boyfriend) practically lived together in college.

What I found so astounding was that these couples were willing to share finances, children, pets, furniture, and mortgages with one another, but not marriage. And it begs the question, why?

It seems to me if you’re going to tangle your lives so completely with someone that you’re buying a home together, then why not get married? If the person you’re going to sign mortgage papers with isn’t someone you want to sign a marriage license with, then what’s the point?

As a mother, I’d be very disappointed with my children if they told me they were buying a home with their boyfriend/girlfriend and yet they had no plans to marry. Am I being too old fashioned? I’m a romance writer and my stories end with couples getting married. For them, marriage is the golden pot at the end of the rainbow.

Maybe, in light of this trend, I should have my characters walk into a bank to sign mortgage papers instead of walking down the aisle.

Somehow that doesn’t sound as romantic…

Monday, Monday…

It is a rainy Sunday night here in Georgia and I will wake in the morning to a very rainy Monday. I’m feeling a little blah with the weather and a cold that just won’t go away, so I’m taking a lazy approach to this blog by answering 18 random questions I found online under “Getting To Know You Questions.” Yes, I am that brain dead.

We’ve all gotten these emails and rolled our eyes because they feel like a giant waste of time, but they never fail to entertain. And, really folks, who doesn’t want to know more about me??

Even though I hear crickets chirping, I’m going to go ahead and post my answers below. Enjoy!

1. Do you love the last boy/girl you were talking to?

Yes, although my daughter is complaining again! 

Here’s a random picture of my daughter’s hamster, Chewy!

2. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

Yes, I still love my husband.

3. Have you ever milked a cow or goat?

No, although we visited a dairy farm where we got to watch many cows getting milked. Very interesting!

4. Have you ever won a prize in a contest?

I won my parents a trip to Japan when I was in high school and was too young to enter the contest. Yes, they went without me.

5. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

Trying to figure out what to make for dinner. (Hubby’s out of town, so it’s leftovers, again. See question #1)

6. Honestly, who was the last person to tell you that they love you?

My son. We say it often. Hearing my children say it is one of the purest joys in my life.

7. Last restaurant you went to?

Shane’s BBQ after a 7th grade football game.

8. What do you spend most of your money on?


9. What’s something that can always make you feel better?

Ice cream and doggy kisses.

10. If you had to eat 1 thing for the rest of your life, what?

Toss up between pizza and cereal.

11. Do you eat junk food everyday?

Yes. Every. Single. Day.

12. When is the last time you took a nap?

When I had a stomach bug two weeks ago. I never nap otherwise.

13. Last movie you watched?

We Bought A Zoo. Surprisingly good.

14. Do you like where you live?

Yes, but don’t want to live here forever.

15. Ever had a drunken night in Mexico?

Seriously? Who hasn’t?

16. What’s something you’re scared of?

Losing someone I love.

17. What was your favorite game as a kid?

Tennis ball baseball and hide and seek in the dark. All were done on Flushing Court in Virginia. Best Years Ever!

18. What is the last song to make you cry?

Blessings by Laura Story. It’s a Christian song, so I won’t post a link, but I just listened to it again and cried. Seriously, folks, grab a tissue and Google.

Okay, wasn’t that fun?? Now, if I haven’t totally lost you, do me a favor and pick at least one of the above questions and give me your answer. Come on…you know you want to!

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