Thanksgiving/Guinea Pig Post-Mortem

Happy day-after Thanksgiving! I am not shopping. I kind of like Black Friday for the challenge of it, and the feeling of kicking off the holiday season. When I was younger I used to go out at least at some point during the day and check out the stores. But I keep reading that the deals are in fact not really that good, and I’d rather buy used/local. So instead, the kids and I and two of their friends went to see The Penguins of Madagascar. Not a frugal activity, but I was in the mood for the movies, probably because when I was little we always went to the movies on the day after Thanksgiving. Now I’m back home and getting ready for my friend’s family’s pub crawl.

Last night I went to bed around 9 pm and slept right through til 7. That solid 10 hours of sleep was sorely needed after almost a full week of cleaning and prepping for the holiday and my son’s birthday party. In that week I cleaned out and cleaned my refrigerator; laundered several sets of curtains; mopped three rooms’ worth of hardwood floors; vacuumed and steam-cleaned two rooms’ worth of rugs; dusted nearly every inch of wood furniture, moulding and trim in the downstairs; washed almost all my wine glasses and other crystal stuff; washed the glass sconces of the chandelier; dusted my two six-shelf bookshelves, mopped and scrubbed my giant kitchen floor; and cleaned the powder room.

The night before TG, I ironed the tablecloth, set the table, and made these super-on-the-fly napkin rings with paper from brown bags and crayons:


OK, a nice marker would have been better, but all our markers have dried up. God love those crinkle-edge scissors, they come in handy in all kinds of ways.

TG morning, I decluttered the kitchen, which consisted of taking everything nonessential off the top of the microwave, the windowsill over the sink, and the freestanding cart, throwing it in brown bags, and hiding it in my daughter’s room. I figure whatever I don’t find myself needing in a week will get thrown out.

Once the kitchen was more empty (I also cleaned the microwave and hid the stand mixer under the sink), I was ready to make the green bean casserole and the mashed potatoes. My husband moved the guinea pigs upstairs and cleaned where they had been, and cleaned the upstairs bathroom. Shower, clothes, makeup, and then… more and more hours of prep and cooking, as people came over with their dishes, water was put on to boil, certain platters found, ice put out, kids tended to… By 7 pm my legs really felt like they were going to detach at the hips, like a Barbie doll. (And that was with my mom, dad, sister, and husband all helping!)

But it was worth it, to have a clean house to celebrate in. It was a really nice time and everything was delicious.


The only sad thing was that my sister-in-law was hit by a car a few days ago, and although she will recover, she has a lot of injuries. So we were all thinking of her and of my in-laws, who spent TG at the hospital with her.

And… while the guinea pigs were upstairs, my daughter apparently put one of my unopened contact lenses in the cage. One of the pigs, Nik, ate the foil, and died. My younger son was heartbroken last night, but pretty well over it today. I feel so bad for the pig, and I think we should give the other one away, since I can’t be sure my daughter won’t do something like that again. She’s 3; she has no clue.

In terms of money, it wasn’t bad. I didn’t have any last-minute freakouts over food or home repairs. I stuck to the menu. I did buy the pumpkin pie ice cream I wanted, which is heavenly. (It was on sale.) I had cupcakes leftover after my son’s Bounce U party, so I served them up again when the family sang Happy Birthday to him (thus ending the seemingly never-ending celebration of his birthday) rather than get another cake.

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and crushed Oreos -- special request

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and crushed Oreos — special request

Now to total up the November spending and see if there was a surplus (ha), and start to get a December/Christmas budget together.

P.S. My favorite dish was my sister’s sweet potato casserole, which had coconut and pecans. So good! I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner all weekend…

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