Proof that God has a sense of humor:

1. A few weeks ago as everyone was starting to think about Thanksgiving, those of us attending the local gathering got to talking about dishes to include. “So and so should bring her cranberry salad. “I’ve got mashed potatoes covered!” “Who will bring rolls?”

In the course of the conversation, someone innocently said, “Maybe Elizabeth could bring olives.” In reality, there were probably two reasons for this: first of all, I’ve been pretty busy and had to drive a little way, so trying to make something too elaborate would be tough, and they were trying to be nice. Secondly, my side of the family has a track record of taking olives at Thanksgiving very, very seriously. There MUST be olives, preferably both green and black, or you might as well not have turkey, either, because it just can’t be a real Thanksgiving dinner.

But me, with my aggravating tendency to be thin-skinned, partly took it as “you probably can’t be depended on to bring anything more.” And I felt all huffy about it, even though I knew it was silly and not real. I decided I was gonna knock everyone’s socks off, make at LEAST two things, and at least one fairly involved dish: pumpkin cheesecake, and not a simple recipe, either.

Fast forward to this week. Work has been wearing me out, so I get home and hole up. Which meant I procrastinated on getting cheesecake ingredients until it was really too late, especially since I lost most of my baking pans in the move, and would have had to go in search of those as well as ingredients, and I didn’t want to face the crowds.

So instead, I decided I was going to make individual pecan tarts: I found a recipe for which I had all ingredients, and which used a muffin tin–one of the only pans I still had on hand. It did involve using my new food processor, which a friend gave me as a house warming gift and which I’ve stared at nervously for a month without quite daring to use. I stalled until Thanksgiving morning before I actually dug it out.

Well, folks, I could not get the darned thing to turn on. I took it off the base. I put it back on. I took the lid off. I put it back on. I tried different electrical outlets. No dice. And since the tart ingredients were too thick for a blender and impossible to smooth out by hand since it included dried fruit, I had to give it up.

Guess who brought nothing but olives to the Thanksgiving feast after all?

2. I have a tendency to slide into bad Internet habits. I’ll sit at the computer with about three sites up (social media and news, mostly), and just keep cycling between them hitting refresh, even though not much changes and even though I would be much better off just checking a few times a day and spending more spare time reading and writing and, you know, cleaning the house.

Saturday I did a little journal writing in the morning, goal setting. I told myself that, especially during Advent, I’m going to spend less time staring at screens, more time reading and thinking. And then I set my journal down and went right back to it.

But then friends picked me up to return the food processor* and to do some Christmas shopping and then play some music. As I was leaving the house with my instruments, I set the phone down to shift some things around, and then forgot it. So I spent the whole day without Internet access.

Cold turkey.

Very funny, God.

*In case anyone cares, the food processor is fine. It was…ahem…user error. That said, three users made the same error, including one user who owns the same model, so at least there’s that.


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