Thanksgiving Leftovers

Oh yeah. Pull out that picked over turkey carcass, grab some congealed gravy and warm up them 3 day old rolls baby and let's munch!

But first, the Ritual Giving Thanks Moment:
This year's Thanksgiving niblet was radically different from the gorge fest of every other year of my life. Using scrawny little contrasts like night and day or even black and white would be like describing a Botticelli with stick figures. It was as if I had moved from the palatial decadence of a mansion to the cardboard box slums of a beggar. And oh how I appreciate that box - So. Much. More.

I've found since my surgery that, whether traditionally food related or not, no event is what it used to be. Because before weight loss surgery, every moment of my life was food related. There was breakfast, lunch and dinner to celebrate and all the minutes in between. Life was one big meal.

And it's not that I would eat so much, it's just that everything I did or wanted to do seemed to be centered around food. Whether growing it, cooking or eating it, food is and, I'm afraid, ever will be an enchantment for me. It is art. It is pleasure. It is a basic human need. It effects every one of the senses and moves the soul to a form of worship. Which got me to where I was 9 months, 20 sizes and 152 pounds ago...a faithful disciple of the Church of, eat and be merry. Thank you Fodder.

So here we are at the Thanksgiving holiday, one day a year held in reverence by millions of Americans. A day that we pay homage to with family gatherings, vacation, more football than should be legal and tables, stove-tops and counters loaded down with every comfort food imaginable. Even the most recognizable symbols of Thanksgiving - a very fat turkey and a cornucopia spilling over with the bountiful harvest of the season - denote indulgence.

And here I am with a stomach smaller than an egg. And the day - or rather what the day used to be - has turned the tables on to speak. I still cooked. I made ham, cornbread dressing made from scratch, roasted red & sweet potatoes, roasted butternut squash with fresh yeast rolls. I even made a sugar free apple pie with an oatmeal & pecan crumb topping - I figured I would get one treat. I ate a bite of ham (no I didn't have the glaze but with or without glaze pork now tastes horrid to me), a few bites of dressing and a bite of sweet potato. Done. (had some pie was eh.)

And there I sat while my family feasted till they absolutely hurt (which made me feel happy). We talked, told stories and laughed as we always do - we don't need a special day of the year to enjoy one another. But it took a moment for the reality of it to sink in. And it sank fast and deep.

Truthfully? At first it made me sad. But then, I began to give thanks and it wasn't for a slab of pie. And I remembered that I was full, but not from indecent mounds of food. And I rejoiced, but it was in the stripped down to the bare bones reality of it all version of what I'd known in my previous life. I imagine this is what it might be like for an alcoholic celebrating New Year's Eve or other events commonly celebrated with alcohol. Sober(ing).

And the stripped down to the bare bones version? It's far more enchanting. It is the rarest work of art. It is the sweetest pleasure. It is the most basic human need. And it effects every one of the senses and moves the soul to true worship.


And now for the feast. I was reading through last November's posts. Most of which made me laugh. Really, really hard. I am so silly. So, in the tradition of all things Thanksgiving we shall feast on leftovers.

Seems I used to do this little thing called the Art of Conversation. In November we had the Art of Conversation at the Office.

The Hopefully Some Day it Might Actually Be the Annual Take Your White Friends to the Beach Day! Sigh. That was so much fun...We didn't get to go this year. Stupid hurricane.

There were Meme's & Mande Mondays.

There were Changes, Children and Chances to Win.

There were Disasters & Delusions.

Then there were my favorites Resounding and Rejoicing.

Happy Thanksgiving to EVERY one. It's not just for the fourth Thursday of November. It's not just for Americans. It is every moment of every day and the feast is in the bounty of love and grace poured in to our hearts by the Father, the Giver of all good things.

Google Me This

As a child I could not abide in even a moment of uncertainty. I passionately hated the unknown and incessantly plagued whoever was around with my interrogation tactics. I was an unceasing dribble of why or why not and a constant drip of what for. My curiosity was the Chinese water torture to my mom's peace and quiet.

So much so, she bought me a series of books poplar in the '70's written by Arkady Leokum. With titles like Tell Me Why, More Tell Me Why, More More More Tell Me Why and Still More Tell Me Why, (Uh, yeah, I didn't write them I just read them) these mini-encyclopedic style books were meant to appease my appetite for knowledge. That, and perhaps she hoped to lighten the ever burgeoning responsibility that had been placed solely upon her shoulders as a single parent. The shaping and guiding of such a young and hungry mind had to have been quite overwhelming. That and she got tired of making up the answers.

What? No really, she did. It's not an ill-reflection of her parenting skills, I promise, that's just what parents did back then. Hello, there was no such thing as Google.

Any way, these books, I could not get enough of them. I would read them for hours and hours. They were the internet, the Wikipedia, and yes, even the Google of my time.

Now, as an adult, the tidal flow of curiosity has not ceased in the least. Constant and persistent, it has remained a part of my life. Whether the queries are my own or my children's, is not the point. The fact remains...with all those books and now the internet, answering our innumerable Tell Me Why's...we have yet to plumb the depths of the inquisitive human brain.

For instance tell me why when my hair started falling out by the handful (due to rapid weight loss after my surgery) it ONLY fell out from my head? Sweet ones, the multitude of hair that persists in growing on my upper lip did not, not even for one hopeful second, thin in the slightest. Au contraire, mon fraire, it continues to grow just as lush, dense and dark as the jungle at night. Nor did the hair anywhere else on my face or body lose it's substance, abundance, denseness, profuseness nor any other adjective I don't particularly care for when discussing hair on anything other than the glorious follicles of vanity that should be covering my near-bald head.

More tell me why my 13 year old could possibly think it wise to voice aloud to my face that I have a huge back and an extremely flat butt. (Sweetie, lets work on those complimentary skills, shall we?)

Still more, tell me why on God's green earth she is still breathing after the voicing of such a statement. Oh, and while you are at it, answer why all of a sudden the idea that my butt might actually be extremely flat kind of really bothers me.

More more more tell me why how she could possibly still be alive - proof that miracles do really happen - when just a few days later she tells me that she likes a certain shirt on me. (that's better baby you are starting to get the idea) *wait for it* because and I quote "it makes you look like you actually have boobs." Oh hon, you know I couldn't breast feed for just that reason.

Here's one for the books Mr. Arkady Leokum, why oh why oh why (oh why) has the hair that has decided to return to my lovely little head, changed not only color (to a beautiful (not!) shade of GRAY thank YOU very MUCH) but changed TEXTURE as well? Suffice it to say, it makes for bad hair days months and I will just go ahead and inform you so you won't have to Google this one, L'Oreal? Oh they doesn't cover the gray. It just covers every single hair all around the gray ones and leaves those little heralds of aging to stand out like a lighthouse on the shore. (It covers gray like a band-aid covers an elephant's butt.)

Dear Mr. Leokum,

If you would please address the oh-so-very deep, heart felt and provocative questions listed above in your next book of the Tell Me Why series (probably titled - Tell Me Why and I Promise I'll Quit Whining) I would be most appreciative.

Your adoring, and not aged in the least bit fan,

Just Nothing Revisited

In my mind's eye I see the sky, almost white, as if it's being drained of the color of summer, along with its smoke thin clouds randomly placed along the way.

In my memory I can feel the gingerbread hued leaves under my feet, crisp and brittle from having given their all to the wind and the trees they once clung to.

From afar, a breeze carries to me the scent of fireplaces burning, the heart of someone's home rekindling the great romance of life that is the redolence of families gathered in and around one another in love.

These are the places my heart travels to; like a pilgrim to his holy land I return to the season of my sentiment.

Apparently this trek is an annual one. This post, although in a slightly different vein, is from the very same heartbeat.

Act I Scene X

We left our (not so very) brave and beautiful leading lady in the clutches of the ruthless cold villain known as The Smasher, The Crusher, Ice-Ice Booby, Bruiser and Bob. More commonly referred to as "you want me to put my what where so you can do what?".

Ah, but that time has since passed, and these days our loverly heroine lavishes in the luxury of complete peace and quiet mixed with the noticeable absence of drama *cue needle dragging across a record** music, conversation and action come to an abrupt and theatrical stop*

That's what life has been lately - a needle dragging across the record of my life cuing yet another scene of the never ending drama in the One Act Play called Life. Oh of course I know that we aren't supposed to live our lives in a consummate cake walk. That would be boring. What with all the sunshine and good health, geez who could stand it? Well, I for one could stand it just a little bit more of late!

The stage darkens the curtains close and re-open on what we soon realize is a flashback. (as soon as we tell you that is) Flashback: The date, October 10th. Or 9th, no the 8th. Or something. Whatever, it's a Wednesday in October okay? Our beautimous leading lady is heading to the Dr. for her 6 month post surgery follow-up visit, only it's one month late thank you very much Ike.

She is in pain and has been for several days now. Clutching her stomach she patiently awaits her turn however, the pain has become increasingly worse over the past few days and is, at this point, almost unbearable. When she finally sees her Dr. he notices her tortured expression. He asks her a few questions, she answers, he prods her belly and then utters these exact words "blah, blah, hospital" and "something, something, surgery" and "right now" and "something, something, blah, blah, blah".

No! What? No. Wait, I have an exercise class today...I have a family...I need to go back to work...(all very lame excuses - except for the family - but like that made any sense.) Uh, hey Doc...don't you just want me to take some Gas-X and quit being such a baby? You know, this too shall pass and all that? Nope. Surgery. Surgery? Surgery. Gah! So, she obediently heads to the hospital, right after texting her husband and friends of course, and checks herself in.

Surgery happened the next morning. It seems WLS patients can easily get these little things called hernias. Which sound pretty harmless (to me) but can be extremely painful and can become life-threatening if not taken care of.

Our brave (and as some have noted, crazy) actress returned to the job she loves (eh, hem) apparently more than a few extra days off, the following Monday. *the word actress is used here rather than leading lady to denote the fact that this was indeed all an act. Who the heck returns to work that quick after surgery unless they are pretending to be insane? A leading lady would have stayed home and milked that puppy for all its worth*

Then there was the whole Crusher incident with several call backs for more pictures of you know what. Toss in a little scare due to a "questionable area" that looked like someone placed a cotton ball on my x-ray but actually turned out to be nothing. Well, not 'nothing' but nothing of importance. Whew. Rest. Breathe. Yay!


Our beloved, brave, beautimous, loverly, insane heroine then decides it's time for an eye exam. Why not? I mean it is the end o' the year. Time to take care of all the body parts.

Eye Dr. does the usual look at this and squint at that. Performs the ever arduous and grueling task where she makes you decide ONE or TWO? TWO or THREE? Dude. DUDE! So much stress...I just know I am going to somehow fail her in my answer. Uh...four? To which she calmly replies, ONE or TWO? TWO or THREE?

After I fail that obstacle course miserably, she informs me there is something wonky with one of my tests. Um...NO.

Seriously? NO MORE DRAMA. I am quitting Broadway and going back to Kansas because this yellow brick road crap ain't fun anymore Toto.

The intra-ocular pressure in my eyes is high and there is significant nerve damage in the right eye. What does it mean Vern? Possibly Glaucoma. Go see a specialist. More tests. More concern. More drama.

Sigh. A heroine's job is never done.

**For my youngER readers a record was an ancient form we primitive elderly persons used to record sound, primarily music. These antiquated relics could be found in the form of what was known as vinyl and were approximately 10 inches across and round. Grooves were formed in the vinyl which, when you placed a needle of a "record player" on the grooves the record, began to play whatever was recorded. The sound was amazing. Not at all like the CD's or MP3's of today's generation. It was as if you were listening to scratchy muffled sound coming out of a can and through a wall. Oh and the crackling, scratching and skipping was a beautiful touch.