Sunday, December 01, 2013

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 1, 2013

Good morning! It's Sunday morning. You know that that means, right? It's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. Later on tonight I will get back on the topic of television with The Amazing Race blog party post. If you watch the show, c'mon back for the party as it airs!

Let's see ... what happened this week? Oh, right. Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a good holiday with family, friends, food, whatever brings contentment to your soul. I'm thankful for a lot of things, too many to name. I'm thankful for the friends I've met through the blog. You all rock!

I had a quiet holiday at home. As I have no family nearby and don't really have enough time off to travel any distance, I usually fix a small feast for myself and spend the day with the cat. Often, when people hear I'll be alone for the holiday, I'll get invites. But I'd feel out of place trying to fit in with a family I don't really know. I'm a bit of a strange duck ... I really enjoy my holiday in the comforts of my own home, eating what I want, enjoying the company of a certain cat and just doing my own thing.

This year, instead of my usual turkey breast, I made prime rib with mashed potatoes and broccoli. For dessert, I had Trader Joe's Ultra Chocolate ice cream topped with Kahlua (also bought at Trader Joe's). It's odd they have hard liquor there now. When I was in there, I swear I heard the Kahlua calling my name. I haven't had any in years and the price seemed quite reasonable. That was my little feast and I was very pleased with how it all turned out!

I made my Trader Joe's run to nearby Westfield on Monday after work, just staying on the train a few more stops and then taking the bus home. I figured I'd avoid the bad weather expected Tuesday and Wednesday and the crowds on Wednesday. Well, I avoided the bad weather. The crowds were so bad that they had someone in their parking lot directing traffic. Yipes! But, in the newly expanded store with many more registers, the wait in line wasn't bad at all. It was much shorter than the wait people had trying to get through the parking lot. Just walking across the street to the bus was so much easier, too!

The cold rain and winds started here on Tuesday. Although I had to fight through the weather on my way home from work Tuesday, I had Wednesday and Thursday off from work -- regular day off and paid holiday. I made sure there was no need for me to go out in it on Wednesday. And, no sales will ever drag me out on Thanksgiving Day even though I'm usually alone on the holiday. I know that if I need something grocery-wise in an emergency, the bodega around the corner is open every single day of the year. Since the owners also man the store, that's their decision and holidays are lucrative for the small business. But I made sure I needed nothing!

How was your holiday?

As a result of the shortened work week out and about and the bad weather for part of the week, I don't have a lot of great photos this week. Most of them, I took the day I hit Westfield after work. But, here goes ...

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Happy Hanukkah!

This is the Menorah at the Westfield Train Station. None of the lights are lit as I took the photo on Monday. 

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I'm surprised some of the mums in planters in Westfield are still hanging in there. Most around here have been taken by the cold nights (and some days!). I was going to take a shot of a dead rose on East Front Street in Plainfield, but it was all too darn sad.

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With a red bow

Watchung Avenue in Plainfield on Tuesday afternoon as I headed home from work. Despite the fact they said the rain would start in the evening, it started by noon. Grr. I edited this shot leaving only the bow in color. After the jump, I have a similar photo in actual color.


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While the roses are long past and healthy outdoor mums are getting rare, the ornamental kale thrives in the cold weather.

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More kale

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Bright tree balls

This barren tree on Elm Street in Westfield had brightly lit, brightly colored balls. Um. Okay.

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It's a cold, cold rain

Here's a second view of Watchung Avenue, not the same exact photo, but one from pretty much the same viewpoint. It was SO cold! Obviously not cold enough to snow, but just sayin' ...

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Welcome home to Westfield

Westfield's new town banner campaign is "Welcome home to Westfield." Now, if I could afford to live in Westfield, it would be home.

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More mums

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Westfield Train Station

Off the train and off to Trader Joe's!

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Plainfield at dawn

Work, work, work, work ...

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Westfield sunset

I took this from the South Avenue side platform at the Westfield Train Station on Monday.

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Vincent is thankful for catnip

He had turkey and cheese with gravy cat food as well as cat treats. I swear he thinks every day is Thanksgiving. Perhaps because he was a stray on the streets of New York City for so long and possibly even abused -- large scar on his nose and he has sometimes flinched like he thinks I'm going to hit him. I have NEVER hit him. But he's so affectionate and purrs for hours on end. He seems to be very thankful for me and his life here. And, but of course, I'm thankful to have him in my life!

No such thing as "too much" catnip!

No, he's not sticking his tongue out at you. He's sticking his tongue out WITH you!


Bernice said...

Thanks for sharing your photos and stories with us every week! (And sharing Vincent, too.)

survivor100 said...

Love the photos Jackie. Vincent is a bonus!

Delee said...

Our TJ's has no booze yet! Two supermarkets are now allowed to sell beer in 6 & 12 packs but heavens forbid if you want to buy 2---12 packs. Wonder when this state will catch up with the country in that regards!

Something crossed my yard last night in the crusted snow. Hard to tell what exactly it was, but I am thinking small bear. Was almost round and about 6" across. I will have to be careful when I take Starry out at night. Was too big to have been a dog.

Denver/Chiefs game on here at 425pm on CBS so AR will probably be late.

Hoping for a respite from the
20's this week....brrrr!

Jackie said...

Thank you! As fir Trader Joe's, I think only two in the state here sell beer and wine. My local one did and now has a teensy selection of hard liquor. I wasn't thrilled with their store brand rum, but it will make for good cookies. The Kahlua was brand name. That does sound like a bear print.

Delee said...

In the summer I make what I call a milkshake....just Kahlua and milk over ice. Also another good use...Kahlua/club soda and lime.

I took pictures of the paw prints but not defined enough, definitely 6-7 inches long and roundish. Tried to find nail prints but ice crusted snow did not reveal. My Dad said probably a bear too.

Palmaltas said...

Since we had a Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday for the inhabitants (those who wanted to eat) of the apartment complex, I, like you, preferred to spend the holiday alone in my apartment. I was most impressed with the kale photos.

lynn1 said...

Great photos. Love the Kale pix. We used to have ornamental Kale in our yard for the winter months.
Jackie , I am a strange duck too. I would love to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years Eve at home. I can't do it right now due to needing to be with my elderly Mom who lives in Alabama . Her birthday was on Thanksgiving. She really is a sweetie. She is 90 years old and has Alzheimer's. She doesn't always know I am her daughter but she tells me she loves me several times an hour.

Sharon N said...

Can't believe you can still find such lovely mums to snap!

I'm a strange duck too. But as we get older, I think maybe it's more a case of valuing our quiet time. Especially when there's not much quiet in our regular every day lives!

I have an excellent recipe for making my own Kahlua, and it doesn't take a long time to make. We double the recipe so it makes about 4 bottles for about the same price as getting 1 in the store. Enjoy having a dessert of Kahlua with milk and topped with Coffee Mate's Caramel Macciado creamer (not to be confused with some of the cheaper brands of Caramel/Vanilla).

Becky said...

Jackie, it sounds like you and Vincent had your own special Thanksgiving. Tommy and I took TG dinner our to River Ridge for Momma and her roommate. I took a tablecloth, dishes, napkins as well as the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. We ordered the meals this year from a local restaurant. The food is good and it is actually cheaper and a lot less work. I adore Momma's roommate. She looks out for Momma and keeps me posted if there is a concern. I took a small tree out for them to share and red bows with gingerbread men to hang on their bulletin boards on Saturday. Also a wreath for the door.

It was another great week of pictures. The kale pictures made me smile. Remember the year we all changed our avitars to kale pictures?

See you tonight for AR.