Thanksgiving and After

On Thursday I had planned to wish all my USA readers a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! but I was so busy preparing our meal that I never got around to it. Oops. Sorry. But I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

EJ helped me prepared our Thanksgiving dinner. He’s good like that. He always cooks the turkey, and this year he cooked the pumpkin, which we ate as squash. Our roaster oven died, so we had to cook the turkey in the oven. Once it was done, we quickly put other items in the oven to bake. I made homemade rolls big enough that we could use them for turkey sandwiches later. We had stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, a relish tray, and pumpkin, mincemeat, and cherry pie. Yum.

It was just the three of us. My family is emotionally abusive and is no longer in our lives, and most of EJ’s family is similar. Some of EJ’s family tried to pressure (bully, insult) us a couple of years ago into allowing a very toxic brother–whom every abuse expert we talked with said had definitely, without doubt, been victim-grooming our son–unlimited contact into our lives. They defended him and insulted us when we refused to put ourselves at risk. This is completely unacceptable to us so they will not be a part of our lives until they can acknowledge that they violated our boundaries and promise to respect them in the future. We firmly believe that individuals and families have the right to make decisions for their own selves, but they don’t have the right to make decisions for others. (By family, we mean parents make decisions for their own family unit. We don’t mean that relatives get to dictate what everyone does.) EJ doesn’t expect his family to ever apologize so…except for a couple siblings, we basically have no family. However, after years and years of struggling with abuse, we are so done with putting up with toxic people who bully, who try to control others, who violate personal boundaries, and who refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing. Enough is enough and we will tolerate no more.

Many survivors of abusive families find the holidays very difficult because of all the posts, articles, photos, etc. about people enjoying their wonderful loving families. The support groups are filled with struggle, pain, and heartbreak during this season. I used to really struggle during the holidays but not so much anymore. I still feel an occasional stab of grief/loss for the loving family that we don’t have but mostly I accept what is instead of longing for what isn’t. It’s not like our families have really ever been there for us through the years anyway. Instead, we have grown to deeply value spending a quiet, peaceable day with each other. We very much enjoy the lack of tension, discomfort, and the hectic busyness. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. The day included EJ chatting with his friend on the phone and me chatting with mine. We consider these loving friends to be our “adopted” families.

JJ didn’t have to work on Thursday or Friday. He’s back at work today working a 12-hour shift at the mall. EJ also had Thursday and Friday off from work. He doesn’t have to return to work until Monday.

The beautiful bay

We never, ever participate in the madness of Black Friday shopping. There is nothing we ever want badly enough to motivate us to get up in the middle of the night to battle the hordes of nasty shoppers that fill the stores after Thanksgiving. However, we did go to a few stores later in the day after all the crowds of people were gone. EJ needed to stop at the auto parts store and there were good sales at TSC where I bought poultry feed, suet cakes, wild bird seed, and canned cat food.

I always love our drives–even just to the stores. We drove by the bay yesterday and it was a beautiful green color. The color and look of the bay changes from day to day–or even from moment to moment.

Unbaked turkey pies.

I love to make homemade pot pies with leftover Thanksgiving turkey so on Friday afternoon I made the filling for pies. I didn’t make the pie dough until this morning. I ended up making two pot pies. I made a turkey design in the center with a cookie cutter. I baked one pie for lunch and put the other in the chest freezer for another day. I didn’t have enough pie dough for another pie so I made some little cupcake-sized pies instead with the remaining dough. I found it difficult to put a top crust on, so I just cut little stars with a cookie cutter and put them on the filling. The cupcake pies turned out quite well. I still have a lot of leftover turkey so I might make more pies to freeze tomorrow. It’s nice to be able to just get out a frozen pie to bake when I need a quick meal.

EJ and I also cleaned the house this morning. We wanted it to look nice for our guests. EJ met a guy on FB a while back, and they had so much in common that they went fishing together last summer. The guy and his wife came to visit today. They are very nice people and we really enjoyed visiting with them. I hope there are more visits in the future.

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