Tomorrow I'm going to Kentucky to hang out with my mom for a few days while she goes through her final round of chemo. She's so ready to be done! There's high hope that the cancer is in remission, but even if she needs more chemotherapy, she'll get any further doses in pill form and won't have to be in the hospital.
I'm driving to Kentucky, mostly because I dislike flying, and when you add all the hours it takes to get to the airport, get through airport security, wait for the flight, wait for the connecting flight in Charlotte or Atlanta, then pick up my luggage when I finally reach the Louisville airport, it turns out that it only takes two hours longer to drive. Driving, I can listen to audiobooks, eat yummy snacks that don't include tiny packs of stale pretzles, talk to myself, sing, and look at the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and West Virginia.
In other words, hand me my keys, Myrtle, I'm a-driving to Kentuck'!
Last week was Halloween, and guess which Halloween birthday boy got sick on his big day? Yep, poor old Will woke up Halloween morning with a fever and a sore throat. Back to bed he went, where he stayed for the next two days (okay, he didn't really stay in bed--my children never stay in bed when they're sick--it's more like he spent forty-eight hours wandering around the house looking pale and feverish and asking for popsicles).
Will's Halloween pumpkin on October 30th ...
So no trick-or-treating for poor Will. Fortunately, we have kind neighbors who brought him candy, and I bought an extra bag on Friday at Target, so that not only would Will have a sufficient candy supply, but Jack would get his big brother percentage (Jack now being too old to trick-or-treat). I felt sort of goofy standing in line to buy candy the day after the biggest candy bonanza of the year and had to stop myself from explaining the situation to the cashier, who I'm sure a) didn't give it a second thought; or b) could not have cared less.
Will's pumpkin on November 3rd, on its way out to the compost bin.
Of course, we all got Will's bug and so I'm a little behind on my Grand Christmas Scheme. However, I'm proud to report that I have purchased gifts for my niece and nephew in Chicago and have come up with several new ideas for things Will and Jack might like. Will continues to mock me for my efforts, but when I'm serene and carefree all through December, he'll see the method to my madness.
Today I ordered a turkey breast for Thanksgiving. Whole Foods sells fresh turkey breasts that they swear come from turkeys who lived happy, uncaged lives on a kosher farm in Pennsylvania. These aren't organic or heirloom turkey breasts, but since I can't afford organic or heirloom turkey breasts, cheerful birds who spent most of their lives strolling around a field making gobble gobble noises will have to do. I'll pick it up the day before Thanksgiving, along with the fabulous Whole Foods gravy, and be a very happy camper myself.
Amanda asked in a recent comment about what Advent books I read (Advent begins on December 1st this year, by the way). My two favorites are Watch for the Light, which contains daily readings from writers such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Kathleen Norris and Philip Yancey, and God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas, with writings by Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Eugene Peterson, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris and Luci Shaw. It's probably my favorite of the two, but both have a lot of wonderful things to offer.
And Gretchen asked what kind of cookie dough I made for my Christmas cookies. It's a simple butter cookie recipe-- a half pound of butter, 4 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Easy-peasy. When the time comes, we'll roll it out, cut out lots of stars and Christmas trees, sprinkle them with colored sugar, and be very merry indeed.
As always, keep my mom in your prayers, if you'd be so kind, and I'd appreciate prayers for traveling mercies. I'll be back Wednesday. See you soon!