Well, it’s been months and months since I’ve written any blog posts.
I started a new job in August as the Secretary at our local elementary school. My commute is easy, but lengthy, and my job is busier than my previous job, which means overall, I have much less free time! Also, I spend pretty much my whole day at work staring at a computer screen, and I don’t really want to add more screen time when I get home. So, motivating myself to blog has been tough! But, as always, I’ve come back around because I do miss the outlet of writing.
I thought I’d start with a simple post. My idea was to post the last five photos I took on my phone, and write a bit about them. Here goes!
Above is a photo from a run I went on with Abby and Harvey. I’m not training for anything specific these days, but still getting out for short runs of 3-4 miles. The dogs always love to go!
The angle of this photo is kind of weird, but this was our Thanksgiving feast!
We hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, who were visiting from Iowa. They were here for about a week, and it while it was a pretty low-key visit, it was nice to catch up and spend time together. I don’t see my family very often, since I live in Montana and they live in Iowa.
Jeff and I cooked the Thanksgiving meal. We were pretty traditional for the most part, but we spatchcocked and grilled our turkey with southwest seasoning and wood chips. It took some time, but it was DELICIOUS! We used THIS RECIPE for Smokey Spatchcocked Turkey from Cooking Light. Actually, the November Issue of CL was more or less our Thanksgiving Bible/Menu. We also served mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries and walnuts, homemade stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce, and crusty bread. I was really excited about cooking the meal. Everything was from scratch, except for the bread. I probably should be embarrassed to admit that I have never actually made mashed potatoes, gravy, or stuffing before, so that was all new to me and I was really happy with how they turned out!
We also had (unpictured) pumpkin pie, which I also made from scratch. So satisfying to bake a pie from scratch! I use THIS CLASSIC PUMPKIN PIE recipe from Bon Appetit, and a standby crust recipe that I use a lot. Seriously, if you’ve never made a pie, start with pumpkin because it is truly very easy. You can purchase a ready-made crust if you’re not confident in your abilities to make one from scratch, or if you don’t have time.
We went for a run on Thanksgiving morning, too! It was me, all three dogs, and Jeff. You can see in this and the earlier photo that I got to sport my blaze orange vest… During hunting season, I wear one every time I run. There are enough extra people around that it just feels safer to wear one even if I’m not hunting.
Ok, so I didn’t take this photo… I downloaded it from a friend’s facebook post. I’ve been thinking a
lot lately about the diversity of the town I grew up in, Ames, IA. You wouldn’t think of central Iowa
as being a very diverse place, but as a university town, there were people from all over the world
living in Ames. The university family housing was within my elementary school district, too, so I had
many classmates of a wide variety of ethnicities and religions in my classes. I feel tremendously
lucky for the perspective on world cultures and people that having such diversity in my school gave
When I was in Elementary School, our school district decided that the break from school that
happened in the winter between the Christian holiday of Christmas and New Years would no longer
be called “Christmas Break,” but would be renamed “Winter Break.” I distinctly remember one of my
friends, who was Jewish, saying that she felt happier and more included at school just because of a
simple name change.
When I saw this post on my friend’s FB feed, I remembered that time in Elementary school when a
simple name change made a lot of people feel more welcome at school. I couldn’t agree more with
the bottom line, referring to the thought that, while I believe in and celebrate Christmas, I recognize
that there are a great many people in the world who celebrate other holidays in the winter, or none at
all, and I respect them, too, and wish them warm greetings regardless of their religion.
Finally, this photo is from the day the Bobcats beat the Grizzlies in football. Many of you know that
my Montana family are big Bobcat fans. The Cats were definitely the underdogs in this game, so it
was a big surprise to all of us that they won. A few of my family members decided to drive the flag
around town in celebration. All in good fun!
If I’m being honest, this is my least favorite game of the entire football season. I just don’t like how
people can become so antagonistic, on both sides. To me, even as a football fan and a Bobcat fan, the
best part is just spending time with family. Nevertheless, I’m glad that the Bobcats, who have had
dismal season, will have something positive to take into the off season and hang their hats on.
How have the rest of you been? Hopefully you’re all in good health and happiness!