Archive

Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Friday Fun! (November: Maine Holiday and Thanksgiving)

December 4, 2013 Leave a comment
Oceanside coast of the island in Maine we stayed on.

Oceanside coast of the island in Maine we stayed on.

Hello my lovely readers!

Sorry for the delay in November’s post.  I was away for the last week of November on vacation, and I knew it would be the best part of the month to talk about, so I didn’t want to preschedule a post. 🙂

My partner and I both had the last week of November off.  He usually gets the entire week off for the holiday, and I took an extra three days off on top of the normal Thanksgiving days (day of and day after Thanksgiving).  We split our vacation between a trip to Portland, Maine and a trip to vacation to see my dad and brother and his wife and kids.

For those of you who are not from the US and don’t know, November in Maine is *cold*.  It’s officially the off-season.  This meant we got to go on the cheap but it also meant it was cold  We’re both from northern climates though (Vermont and Michigan), so we dealt well.  Portland, Maine is a happening, hip small city.  It holds 1/3 of the entire population of Maine.  We stayed on an island off the coast of Portland, which meant we had to take the ferry in and out of the city each day.  Originally our intention was to rent bicycles and bike around the island one day, but it was too cold one of the days and there was snow the other (and the bike rental place didn’t have snow-friendly bikes), so we went into Portland both days.  The cabin we stayed in had a hot tub, fire place, and one of those showers that takes up the entire bathroom.  So we got to hot tub in the snow, which was an entirely new experience to me, and I clearly loved!

While in Portland, we went to the International Cryptozoology Museum, which is a delightful museum run by the world expert on Bigfoot.  I’m more of a sea monster girl myself, but we still got our picture with Bigfoot.  We also hit up the Shipyard Brewing Company and got lots of free samples and got to see the bottling and brewing process.  I was surprised to learn that Shipyard was started by an immigrant to the US from the UK.  We also went to an official Cabot store.  Cabot is an American cooperative of New York and New England dairy farms.  They have amazing dairy products.

Vegan satay from Green Elephant

Vegan satay from Green Elephant

For food, we visited the original Otto Pizza.  The pizza at the original branch is approximately 100% more delicious than the pizza at the new branches down here in Boston.  They also had Magic Hat on tap, which floored me! We also did something special for each of our dietary preferences (I’m veg and my partner is omni).  We went to Duck Fat for my partner to get poutine made in duck fat.   I couldn’t eat anything at the restaurant because literally everything was friend in duck fat, but I did have a delicious locally brewed beer.  For me, we went to the Green Elephant, a vegetarian Thai restaurant that was positively reviewed in VegNews magazine.  Their bathrooms were literal saunas, and I for once got to have satay for an app! (Made from seitan). But our favorite place in Portland was an Irish pub named Ri Ra on the waterfront.  Their menu catered perfectly to both of our dietary needs, with a house-made white bean veggie burger for me and a perfectly cooked medium burger for my partner.  We liked them so much we went twice.  (The second night I had mac and cheese made with Irish cheddar and my bf had Maine steamers).  Incredibly reasonably priced with fireplaces and a wonderful staff, I wish it was closer to us!

After Maine, we drove up to New Hampshire to visit my family for Thanksgiving.  The day of Thanksgiving was just my dad, his dog, and my partner and I, since my brother and sister-in-law were hosting her parents for the holiday.  My bf made the turkey (under the direction of my dad), my dad made veggie stuffing and gravy, and I made 3 bean chili (for my main course and their sides).  We had untraditional alcoholic smoothies for dessert.  It was delicious!  The next day, we visited my brother and his family and gave my nephews and niece their Christmas presents.  They range in age from 2 to 6, so that was obviously a delight.

The vacation was amazing and just what we needed!  And when we got back, we immediately got our tree and set it up, because in only three weeks we’re off on a cross-country trek to visit my partner’s family for the holidays.

Happy holidays all!

 

Advertisements

Friday Fun! (Updates! Boston Organics, Halloween, and Hurricane Sandy)

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Hello my lovely readers!  I know you can all tell I’ve been very busy since there hasn’t been a Friday Fun from me in….over a month. I am pleased that I managed to at least keep a few posts trickling in, but even so I have three books waiting to be reviewed. No one thing in particular has kept me busy, it’s just….life is busy!  So, beyond my usual work, reading, exercising, cooking, general hanging out, what have I been up to?

First off, a friend told me all about Boston Organics, and I signed up for it!  Basically you get a box of fresh produce delivered to your door either every week or every other week. You can choose organic or organic and local. I chose organic and local.  So far it has been totally awesome and removed my sense of boredom I had recently acquired over choosing recipes. Getting produce chosen and sent to me challenges my cooking skills, and I’m really enjoying it!  Plus knowing that my food is coming locally, organic, and fresh makes me feel good both about what I’m feeding myself (and my boyfriend), but also makes me feel good about supporting local farmers.

Of course Halloween also happened.  Friends of mine are on the organizing committee for a Boston area scifi/fantasy group (I am so nerdy), and so boyfriend and I went to their costume party. We were Gem and Sam from Tron, and it was awesome. My friends did a great job organizing, and it was the nicest Halloween I’ve had in a while.  We also carved pumpkins! Since my current work in progress is set in the Lovecraft universe, I decided to do Cthulhu!

Cthulhu jack-o-lantern.

Ia ia Cthulhu fthagan!

Hurricane Sandy also arrived. Thankfully, it really did not affect Boston very much. Most people either didn’t have work or got sent home mid-day. The T stopped running partway through the day as well. I briefly lost power, but frankly Nstar did an amazing job maintaining power to homes in Boston during this storm.  I was a bit disturbed that my building was shaking, but truly nothing adverse happened.  My cat spent the morning trying to dive out the window to chase the wind-whipped leaves (her survival instinct is clearly amazing *eye-roll*) but by afternoon needed some serious snuggles. I actually had to wrap her up in her favorite fuzzy blanket to calm her poor little kitten nerves.  I was saddened to see that the National Park I worked at through Americorps in New Jersey suffered severe damage.  Almost every single historical building was flooded, but more importantly, the dunes that the endangered piping plovers nest on were demolished.  It’s very sad, and I can only hope that Americorps will have enough funding to send larger conservation teams than usual there in the spring.

Currently, I’m revving up for Thanksgiving this week!  Since neither boyfriend nor I can make it home to our respective home states to visit, we’ll be making our own vegetarian Thanksgiving. The planned menu is chili and pumpkin pie with vegan maple whipped cream. Nom!

Be expecting some book reviews to come up!  I’m hoping to get caught up writing them this weekend.

Happy weekends all!

Friday Fun! (Thanksgiving, Cooking)

December 2, 2011 5 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope those of you who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I had a great time with my dad.  We ordered in Thai food, which he’d never had before.  (I believe it was a hit).  I showed him one of my favorite indie bookstores.  He took me grocery shopping! (Which has been wonderful for me, I can tell you).  We spoiled my kitty rotten and went to a couple of my favorite pubs.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I hope to get to see him again very soon!

This week I got to see my friend Nina for the first time in around a month.  We went for a super long walk together in the random Indian summer weather we had at the beginning of the week and made this stir-fry out of baby bok choy, onions, pepper, garlic, parsnips, carrots, and fake steak tips (they were soy).  Oh, and sesame seeds!

Those of you book bloggers who are looking for projects and/or challenges for 2012, please be sure to check out my Diet for a New America page and my Mental Illness Advocacy 2012 page.  Even if you don’t choose to participate in them, any mentions on your blogs, facebook, and twitter are most welcome!  These types of things are always more fun the more people participate!

Also, if you missed it, I have an international giveaway currently running thanks to the author.  Be sure to check that out too!

This weekend I’ll be training in the gym, going to a tree trimming party, and editing zombies.  Also hopefully cooking something up in the slow-cooker to freeze into single servings for lunches.  Busy busy!

Happy weekends all!

Friday Fun! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

November 23, 2011 12 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  For once I’m actually writing this a couple of days ahead of time, because it is American Thanksgiving this weekend, and I’m going to be one busy lady.  My dad is coming down from Vermont to spend a few days with me in my lovely city of Boston.  I’m looking forward to the quality time.  It’s something that’s hard to come by when you live in a different state from your parent.  I’m also excited for him to see me looking far healthier than the last time he was here, which was almost a year ago!

There will probably not be anything particularly traditional about our Thanksgiving, since I’m a vegetarian, and there’s only two of us.  We may go out. We may order in. We may make tacos.  Who knows.  We will, however, definitely be drinking beer and watching the game.  We are traditional Americans in THAT regard. 😉

Once he heads back for home I’ll be doing the laundry, getting in some quality gym time, and finally getting started on editing zombies.  I’m aiming for a release date toward the end of January and am excited about this book.  Whereas the Tova Gallagher series is a just for fun romance novella lite, zombies is all about the feminist scifi and horror writer inside me.  It’s a different kind of excitement.  A more serious one.

I do want to take a moment to ask you all to seriously consider avoiding the crass consumerism that is Black Friday sales this weekend if at all possible.  I understand money is tight, trust me, I do, but all you have to do is youtube some videos of the types of mobs that happen to see how disgusting this obsession with stuff can be.  Spend your long weekend with loved ones, whether related by blood or by choice.  Get outside.  Go for a hike. Read a book. Go to the library!  Just don’t spend your precious hours off obsessed with stuff.  As Tyler Durden says, you don’t own your stuff.  Your stuff owns you.

Happy weekend all!

Friday Fun! (Fondue and Seitan)

November 26, 2010 2 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  This has been a busy week for me, although I suspect not as busy as for those of you who actually traveled for the holiday.  Last weekend I hosted my first ever fondue party.  You guys, it was awesome.  I think this is something from the 70s that we need to make have a come-back.   Anyway, I made a beer cheese fondue in my crock pot.  It was *so* delicious!  We had crostini, broccoli, veggie sausage, pretzels, and more for dipping.  Also, one of my guests brought a chocolate fondue, and it was *to die* for.

There were no classes this week because of Thanksgiving, so with the extra time I had I was able to go to a meditation lesson for the first time.  I was kind of surprised at how much easier it is to meditate for an extended length of time when you’re in a room with other people meditating instead of doing it by yourself.  It was a lot of fun and surprisingly relaxing.  I think I’ll try out a few more centers before I decide on one to go to periodically, but I definitely think periodic group meditation is gonna be sticking around my schedule now.  Albeit, not weekly.  Maybe monthly.

Since I have to work today, I didn’t go anywhere for Thanksgiving yesterday.  I spent the day hanging out at home, reading, watching tv, and cooking.  I tried making seitan for the first time ever, and you guys.  It came out so good!  It was surprisingly simple, very filling, and gave me a lot of energy.  One batch makes plenty for a week, so I suspect this is now going to be in my rotation of yummy veg foods.

My other big project this week is incorporating some dishes some friends gave me into my kitchen.  I realized this is going to mean rearranging my tiny tiny kitchen to try to fit everything in.  I think I may wind up using nails to hang various mugs and pots and pans from the walls.  I have very little cabinet space.

I hope my American readers are enjoying their holiday weekends, and I hope the rest of you enjoy your regularly-sized ones.  Cheers!