I can not believe that I have to go to the mall today but my girls both need shoes. I don’t mean they need shoes as in they want shoes; I mean Phoebe’ssneakers have a hole in the toe and Karen’s don’t fit. I would love to wait but this is the only day they are both home from school. I don’t drive at night if I can help it so it’s now or after the holiday and neither kid can wait that long. I also have to go to the market. I hardly ever have to go to a supermarket but I want ( want, not need) two oranges to make an orange/cranberry chutney and I need (okay, want) come celery for my dressing. I have a lot of dried celery and it is adequate for most things but not my stuffing. At least I can go through the 12 items and under line. I do want to restock some food items but I don’t think the day before Thanksgiving is the time to do that.

I was asked about my Perogie recipe. As you can probably guess, recipe is an overstatement. I use a basic pasta recipe (1 cup flour to 1 or 2 eggs, a bit of salt and maybe a splash of oil if the dough is a bit too dry and another egg is too much) and fill it with leftover mashed potatoes. I add some grated cheddar cheese and some sautéed onions and sometimes some leftover spinach or cooked cabbage. It’s a very forgiving dish. I also keep a big bag of frozen perogies on hand. Everybody loves them, they’re cheap and filling and sometimes I can’t get any more creative than that. It beats fast food.

I’m making a side trip to Salvation Army and Goodwill today. Phoebe needs new snowpants and my supply of hats and mittens is low. When I was little, our mittens were always strung through our coat sleeves on a long string of yarn. We had one pair of mittens and they lasted all winter. I am shocked at the stuff in the lost and found box at school. Expensive jackets and gloves, very nice sweaters and sweatshirts. Often, stuff stays there all year and then gets tossed by the janitor. Phoebe has lost her best hat. I got it from a thrift store and it only cost a dollar or two but it was hand-made and beautiful. I could cry over that hat. I’ve looked everywhere and it’s just not here. I sure hope I can find another as cute and warm.

It’s been a scary week. The North Korea thing has a lot of folks freaked and most of the preparedness sites have threads on what people are doing in response. I understand that thinking but it misses the point. Preparedness means never having to make a mad dash to the store in an emergency. Rising tensions overseas are no unusual. It’s the new normal just as expensive energy and a declining standard of living are for a lot of people. My goal is to soften the descent, to find ways to live a happy, fulfilling life and continue to be of service in spite of the challenges. I read books about the depression to remind myself that ingenuity and creativity can replace money and that it’s more important to be loved and respected for my integrity than to be envied for my stuff.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. A day set aside for gratitude and family is a good thing.