Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Do Americans Celebrate?

For the U.S. readers, do you celebrate Thanksgiving as a heartwarming time to be with friends and family? Do you take the day as an opportunity to give thanks for all you have? Or do you dread the day as one where you're forced to travel to get to family that you can't stand being with, sublimating feelings by stuffing your face with rich foods?

Anyone In The Middle?
Most folks I know either cherish this time of year, or dread it, but most don't have mediocre feelings about it.

I personally enjoy this time of year. I don't spend time with family, although that's not the reason I enjoy it so much (I actually enjoy being with both mine and Thaddeus' family). We go out to dinner with our friend Charles at a restaurant in an old stone building on the Delaware River. The main dining room has a large stone fireplace on either side of the long room, and the food is always predictably good. Other than that, we just relax at home and take long naps with the cat.

Now that's something to be thankful for.

Current Knitting/Crocheting
I started to do some more work on the alpaca herd jacket, but realized I didn't have my measuring tape with me, and I was getting close enough to the top of the back that I didn't want to risk overshooting the length before getting to the shoulder shaping.

Fortunately, I had the lace tablecloth with me, and I got a little more done on that.

With 80 stars finished and only 60 more to go (not to mention all the smaller/filler motifs), I'm feeling like I'm making good progress.

Kiwi Remnants
Marilyn mentioned on her blog that James had come bearing gifts. I don't know what possessed that boy to schlep a sack-full of New Zealand goodies, but he was extremely generous. In addition to Pineapple Lumps and other New Zealand candies, he also brought some lovely fiber all the way from his homeland.

I couldn't possibly insult him by not spinning at least some of it while he was there, so I started whipping off some singles with this beautiful colored wool.

If I end up having enough, I think this yarn would make outrageous socks to wear with jeans. We'll see how it goes, and even if I'm slightly short of fiber for socks, I could always do the toes and heals in a fuschia or phosphorescent orange. They would certainly look fine with one of the possum-fur gifts that James gave me. I will leave this gift up to the reader's imagination.

James' dad also does some very fine woodwork, and Thaddeus and I both got somethings that he made by hand.

Like I said, he was extremely generous.

New Blogs
Ravelry has exposed me to a number of interesting people and blogs, and my visit with Liza also introduced me to a blog I had never heard of, as well as an associated book.

The first blog is Tychoish. He's a knitter who has commented on this blog for a while and does some lovely stranded knitting sweaters. He also blogs about absolutely incoherent concepts in computer technology and writing that I find compellingly interesting, despite the fact that I don't understand a word.

Liza has been holding out on us, but not telling us about Jane Brocket's blog, Yarnstorm. It's about yarn, knitting, crocheting and food and the photography is spectacular. How could that be bad?

Jane also has a wonderful book that I will be getting directly from, because it's not yet available in the states. The book is called Gentle Art of Domesticity, and it's a wonderful book...even better than her blog from what I can tell by the browsing of it I got at Liza's.


Mel said...

I shall be working on Thanksgiving this year. Luck of the draw. Generally, though, it's time to be spent with loved ones. David, naturally, and family (mine) or friends. Tonight David & I will have a little early holiday dinner for two.

Kathy Merrick said...

For me it's the family overload with events nearly the whole weekend. But my kids (and friend) are coming from DC and that makes it worth having to make pies and beds and actually go to the grocery store.

Joe, Jane Brocket is terrifically talented and a terrific woman. I hope you noticed my name in the back of her book.

Jennifer said...

Yes - James was so thoughtful and generous. Not only that, but his gifts were really well-thought out. It is truly special to meet someone who takes the time to find the perfect gift. Those pineapple lumps are scrumptious.

As for Thanksgiving - it's my all-time favorite holiday of the year. I like to spend it with lots of people. I prefer to cook and have people bring their favorite Thanksgiving dish. I live far from family, so it's usually spent with friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

mimi said...

Ah, Thanksgiving. I used to sleep in and then go to the movies the rest of the day. Dinner with friends sometimes and sometimes not. When I was married we'd have a vegetarian feast. That was for more than 30 years when I lived 2,500 miles away from my family. On the rare holiday visits, I flew on Thanksgiving Day, so I could miss dinner. I just don't like "tradition," that much. I'm back east now as caretaker for an elderly relative and must chauffeur her to family holiday meals. Canned cranberry sauce and packaged stuffing is the traditional food of my family. I'll grin and bear it and concentrate on all that we still have to be thankful for in this country. Instead of movies, I have several DVDs waiting for me tomorrow evening. Hope everyone enjoys tomorrow to the max!

Kathy said...

Jane Brocket's book is great and you will love it. I think I actually enjoy her blog more for the near-daily little glimpses of beauty and craft...she has an amazing eye.

I love me some Thanksgiving. I'd prefer it if I had more family with me but I refuse to travel (which would only screw up a lovely holiday) so that's the way it is. I'm of the "count your blessings" persuasion for this holiday... Happy Thanksgiving to you!

calamity rach said...

Since my mom died, my dad, sister, and I go over to his best friend's house and have Thanksgiving dinner with their family. This lead to the most important Thanksgiving tradition. At 12 noon, we leave for his friend's house and turn on the radio. The local classic rock stations play ALL of "Alice's Restaurant". We roll down the windows and turn it up as loud as we can. We lived in a conservative part of town, and my dad's an old hippie. This year, my fiancee and I have to go to his family and announce our engagement and all that, but I said I'd put up with it (we both like my family better) as long as I can listen to "Alice's Restaurant".

anne marie in philly said...

"Do you take the day as an opportunity to give thanks for all you have? Or do you dread the day as one where you're forced to travel to get to family that you can't stand being with?"

I give thanks for my home and my cats and my ability to knit. BUT I have to go to the damn redneck ignorant in-laws (ugh!).

what is so wrong with celebrating thanksgiving with silence, knitting, salmon stuffed with crabmeat, and the cats resting nearby?

if I were given the opportunity, that's how I would do it. call me a humbug, but I despise this time of year.

but you and thaddeus and nico have a good day!

Seanna Lea said...

Thanksgiving is a cook's holiday. I love to cook, but lately have found myself running out of time to make all of my cherished favorites. This tends to make Thanksgiving less about stuffing your face and makes the entire weekend a tasty food extravaganza (so all of the best foods that are often crammed into one day are slowly spread out over four).

This year is the year of the pumpkin (most years are), so I need to make the pumpkin ice cream pie tonight.

Anonymous said...

I know about the possum fur presents; I was given some a few years ago by a dear friend who had been to visit NZ. They now live in my underwear drawer, and I giggle every time I see them!

About Thanksgiving... I celebrate it as a major food holiday, and always spend the Friday of that weekend baking my special fruitcakes for Christmas giving. I get together with my family, but I must admit I enjoyed it more with my friends when I was younger.
Nancy NeverSwept

DutchJan said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you. Must be really nice to take a nap with the cat and go out for dinner. Hope you have enjoyed it!

Deborah said...

We had a fancy meal out on Tuesday night with my husband's family. Today we were going to do a potluck Thanksgiving with some of my family, but my daughter got sick, so that came off the rails for us. I blogged today about how we pulled off a holiday anyway, with a family-of-three-scale meal for once -- and it was remarkably relaxing! I missed the family, but this was my kind of Thanksgiving.

Myfanwy said...

I find the obsession with Thanksgiving south of the 49th parallel very interesting. We "UP NORTH" folks do our thanking in October far enough from Christmas to separate the holiday, family, and lets face it it enough with the turkey already! Question: do you think Thanksgiving is more important than Christmas? Just wondering. I do know I get a months jump on Christmas knitting. One of the things that makes us different I guess. I enjoy your blog, Thank you I will be back,

angie Cox said...

I think it is well worth seeking out some of the bad reviews that Jane's book got. The one in the paper I'd be least likely to read said it best "The Daily Telegraph" . I think of her as a Martha Stewart , unless you have servants and lots of money it is not possible to live like her . An obsession with everything matching was all I ever got from her insufferable blog. I really am surprised that this kind of can be taken seriously .It's like the Emperors clothing it seems to me most people are afraid to tell the truth because she is a published author .The Kathy Bates character in "Unconditional Love" is trying to find a life outside of being a housewife ...that's why I love her character she's far from perfect but she is loving and human.