Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It’s an opportunity to see others, dress in comfy and warm clothes, and indulge once (at dinner) then indulge again (after rolling off the couch to make sandwiches). The Thanksgivings where I grew up were wonderful – multiple generations assembled together and though there was often a kid’s table, everyone was on par with everyone else, contributing to the food, centerpieces, entertainment, and conversation.
Thanksgiving in California has never been quite as cool as it was in Oregon, but we’ve managed to start our own traditions and embrace the indulgence. I’ve also gained a cooking repertoire such that I can assemble a traditional five course meal fit for a king (featuring my mom’s Sage Stuffing), and all done with “homemade” front and center. With the dinner preceded by our annual Stroller Hikes Turkey Trek, and followed by crafts and decorations around our house, the day epitomizes the can-do attitude of self-sufficiency. Hoorah for self-propelled, homemade, and homey holidays!
We’ve already been getting crafty, making gifts for friends and family, in anticipation of the end of the year. Having only one income has motivated us to create rather than buy a lot of our gifts, but there are other motivators as well. Compelled by irritation for throwing away so many plastic bags each year, we’re sewing nylon sandwich wraps and snack pouches that can be wiped clean, and mesh vegetable bags that can go from the grocery store or farmer’s market straight into the fridge or fruit bowl. We’ve molded salt dough into animal and heart magnets, as well as pressed flower ornaments. Felt scraps found a new use in coasters. And we’ve set aside plenty of leftovers – cotton scraps, beads, wire, and bottle caps – for hot pads, aprons, wine charms, and magnets. I say “we,” because my excitement is catching – Max (5) has the crafting bug too. On his request, Max started sewing a quilt last weekend; I was impressed he could show discipline and patience in using a rotary cutter and sewing machine for the first time. The photo below showcases several of our homemade crafts, including rosemary salt scrub.
Our crafting is not just for us – we’re excited to share with our Stroller Hikes community. We’ll have a wide range of crafts for young ones at our 2nd Annual Stroller Hikes craft get-together on December 10th from 2 to 4 PM. No quilts, but we’ll have the sewing machine out, along with plenty of things to scoop, mix, glue, string, mold, and more. We won’t do cookies like we did last year (no oven), but it should be a blast just the same, and if kids or parents need a snack, Sports Basement is offering some to go with the space they are giving us and 10% off coupons for everyone as well. We are really grateful to have the wonderful, community-minded Sports Basement support us! This week and next, you can RSVP to the craft party and indicate what crafts you are interested in. Everything will be free, as usual, but you are welcome to bring a donation to support Stroller Hikes.
My friend, Sue, whose kids are now young adults, embraced “homemade” last Monday. I attended Red Rock Coffee’s weekly tribute to local music, at which Sue and her partner, Dave, were privileged to be the featured artist, Davue. You can see a photo of them hard at work, above. They fiddled up some bluegrass, crooned some blues, and belted out edgy pop songs, Sue playing some half dozen instruments over the night, and Dave playing his guitar in ways I’d never seen before. They closed with the KT Tunstall song, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” encouraging the audience to sing along. “Woo hoo!”
-Debbie (Founder and President), Max, and little Holly