Sunday, November 27, 2011

Behold, the Jello

I know everyone is ten shades past Thanksgiving by now, and that's alright. Consider yourself free to leave the office early just because you're awesome if you don't care to read on. Take the night off. I understand.

True story: Back when I worked at ERAC we were having a particularly slow day in the dead of Winter. Overhead weighed heavy on the mind of my manager, Rick. (It's all about the numbers, baby.) So he held a raffle for one of us to go home early. I won. I hightailed it back to our apartment (aptly dubbed Stabbin' Cabins), made Rice-A-Roni and a can of corn, and fully believed that the day couldn't have been improved upon.

I'm a simple girl.

The End.

But back to our weekend: Our hearts were warm, our heads were hot (read: sweaty). The internets were malfunctioning, which was actually a welcomed surprise.

(On our last day in town, Dad spent a good 25 minutes chatting with some type of a Help Desk Woman on speaker phone. He famously starts every. single. phone conversation as follows, "Hello, this is Dwight Garber, from Pleasant Hill, Ohio." Homedaddy's got some fierce hometown pride. He offers lots of extra details, like "Our modem has just been sitting here on the bottom shelf of our bookshelf, behind a pile of books...." I left the room soon after, so I can't promise that he didn't proceed to list the titles of the books.)

I love my dad.

He's entertaining. And that's not even the half of it. He tapes key episodes of Antiques Road Show for me, like the one where the lady had a jade collection worth over a million dollars and reacted by eking out a flat, slightly ghetto "D**n". He tapes local news segments that involve random people from around town whom I may or may not actually know. He tapes America's Test Kitchen and swears he's going to make the recipes one day.

I love my dad. I keep trying to get him to write a guest post for me.

Yesterday was his 60th birthday, which used to sound old but eerily no longer does.

(left to right) Keisha, Dad, Claw, Shannan

Impromptu family photo (minus my SIL Shannon) on T-giving day at my Aunt Wendelin's house.

Speaking of Aunt Wendelin, she makes the meanest cranberry salad in the history of the world.

And by "meanest", I mean Best. Ever.

She gave me a little deli container full of it to bring home with me. I do believe I shall partake forthrightly.

My family reveres jello salads with much honor and counter-space.

Have you ever had carrot salad? You should.

But have you ever had my Grandpa's revolutionary celery salad?

You should(n't). (I'm still on the fence.)

We're settled back in, ready to launch a new week and Advent and December and a whole, new, triple-batch of good and glowy things.

There are big plans in the works to make Calvin a Turkey Potpie recipe he found in my Everyday Food magazine. He found it all on his own and has strategically left it open to that page at least six times since. He's relentless, that one.

I sure hope it lives up to the hype.

So, another Thanksgiving is in the books.

What was your highlight?


  1. I love carrot salad. You and your sister look a lot alike. My Thanksgiving highlight was that none of my kids had either the croup or a foreign object in his or her ear. Trust me, that was quite a pleasant surprise after 10 dr./hospital visits in 16 days.

  2. Well, since you asked...

    I walked the 10 steps between my parent's home and my brother's home five times yesterday as not to miss a single detail in the putting up of the new Christmas tree.

    My brother fought it, but the standard was raised this year. The 5 inch tree he has sported for the past 8 years does not cut it for the host of nephews that go to his pad to play video games. He decided to upgrade as to not to loose his cool status.

    He was always a sucker for peer pressure that one. The tree may as well have been in the New York Plaza. We were all on pins and needles waiting for the big moment when the lights were switched on.

    My kids will remember it forever. Me too.


    P.S.- Claw? Bahahahahaha!

  3. beautiful family!
    my mama makes a mean carrot salad. she calls it sunshine salad. nothing mean about that.

  4. Carrot salad, yes. I love that you enjoy your dad. My dad is in dementia and I miss his funny self. I love that he tapes shows for you. Too sweet. For me 60 is getting too close... does not seem old anymore. And I am glad to see claw was up front and present.

  5. Jello Salad. In retrospect that makes sense, but I must admit, I never would have thought cranberry salad = jello salad. Jello salads were never really a part of our Thanksgiving dinners growing up. Sounds downright good though.

    Claw. HA! Shannon, you make me laugh (almost) every time!

  6. Ha. You make me laugh, so I come to your blog when I need a laugh. Love your claw---it's okay, I have one too.
    I never knew about the Goodwill Outlet--Elycia has been hoarding that secret from us locals. I will be visiting soon as it is like 20 min. from my house. :)
    Thanksgiving was good all around-- minus the dishes, and a special time was when our family had a time of reflection and thanksgiving.

  7. I read your blog every day. I'm a huge fan. My husband and I are sitting in bed. He's reading. I'm blog stalking. And I read your comment about the picture,

    "(left to right) Keisha, Dad, Claw, Shannan"

    I burst into THE best belly laugh I have had in far too long. Thank you for that! :)

  8. You are so precious-normal (my kind of normal anyways) and I love that. Love all the salads lined up & the kids tugging on the ol' pump handle!

    And can't help but wonder how you got so tall.....carrot salad perhaps? ;) 'cause by the looks of it ya didn't come by it honestly.

  9. The Claw makes me laugh out loud every time. You have very cute claws. Seems like you are embracing them. : ) I'm glad you had a good Thanksgiving. I say, "Bring it, December!"

  10. i am writing my post for tomorrow and have a real live picture of my very own claw hands so i was especially glad to see yours make a showing here tonight.

  11. I love your dad! LOVE HIM!
    He sounds just like my Dad : )
    They are special men.
    And they are both 60 : )
    My daddy turned 60 in May.
    My favorite thing about Thanksgiving?
    I loved the togetherness. There is just something so great about being together with the ones I love the best. So, so great.

    I am passing on the celery jello salad, but I do thank you for offering!

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  13. Oh my goodness!!! the weirdest thing just happened- such a small world moment! I'm sitting here so excited to read your new blog post and I scroll down to see a picture of a very familiar gal with you and then read that she is your sister???? When Keisha lived here in CA, she was really active in the college group that my hubby Jeff was the pastor of (maybe 8-9 years ago or so?). I didn't know her well but remember saying hi or talking to her briefly a couple of times and am friends with her friend Kori. I just think it's so cool that I have read your blog for quite awhile now but never knew this- just heard of your blog through another blog and really love the way you write and your stories of life and adoption and what God is doing in your heart. I quote you a bit too much to my husband and read him things you say all the time ( I sound like a stalker but I promise I'm not :O)- I just feel like you are a kindred spirit in so many things you write about adoption, your letting go series etc) and we both think Ruby and our little girl Allie (her adoption was finalized in March-wahoo!) look alike. Anyway, I just thought that was so cool and a fun little surprise! Tell Keisha that Jeff and Karen say hi :O).

  14. Jellied carrot salad is the awesomest! My Granny used to make it for me when I was a little girl, but my sister liked celery and mandarins better and carrot was left behind. I believe I will make a carrot salad for our family Christmas this year, in memory of Granny.

  15. Are you really that much taller than your dad?

    Also, my youngest son got fixated on a cookie recipe once. It was very much unlike him, so I was required to pay attention. It turned out that it was a good thing I did. So... may your potpie be all Calvin hopes it will be (and more). Amen.

  16. yo still the best!!!!!

  17. My 2 1/2 year-old's Thanksgiving prayer, "Tank you God for food. AMEN!"

    As for Jello salad...I grew up on lime jello with crushed pineapple and shredded carrots. Yum!

  18. Beautiful post! Ahhh what a special Dad you have!
    Love your Thanksgiving joys!

    Deborah xo

  19. I love that your Dad says the same thing. every. single. time. It's those things that can be the most annoying and yet, could be the most cherished someday.

    Sweet story.

  20. I have to say, reading about gelatinous salads made me gag, but I love your posts so much I pressed on through! What a fun family!

  21. I add irrelevant details just like your dad. Too funny.

    And, I wished I made carrot pudding--your reference to carrot made me think of that.

    Cranberry Salad is YUM!

    You make me smile- every. time.

  22. saw the million dollar jade collection, it was exciting!

    you named claw, made me spit on my computer :)

  23. I had a sneaky suspicion that you used to work for ERAC. You mentioned once something about washing cars in suits. My husband is a die hard ERAC employee. I know all about trying to get car grease out of white dress shirts. I'm a teacher myself, and wouldn't last a day in his job.

  24. When I was a kid, my Aunt Harriet made a green jello in a fancy mold with celery, carrots, and walnuts. We HAD to eat it whenever we came for a visit to her house. My Mom made something similar, but at home I was allowed to pick out the celery and nuts!

    I'm pretty sure Betty Draper would have served it too. :)

  25. You're dad looks amazing, certainly not 66!! If I could Tivo, or whatver you call it, I'd be recording mama too- love the shows he watches! The jello- not so much...

  26. I'm digging a whole buncha things:

    1. The random ERAC story.
    2. Your dad. He sounds awesome. Dads are the very best. Happy 60th!
    3. You have an aunt named Wendelin. I love it.
    4. Calvin's sweaty head made this Thanksgiving post.
    5. Silas charging up his Lego.
    6. Ruby Girl is darling as always.
    7. Love me some cranberry salad.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. Oh my're funny. I'm a nanny and as I was waiting to pick up the little girl I nanny from dance, I was reading this post through my Google Reader on my phone. I was literally laughing out loud and trying to choke back laughing snorts at this hoighty-toighty place. So thanks....!!! hahaha!

    Have a wonderful day!

  28. That's awesome stuff Shanny. I think I want to adopt your dad.

  29. oh my word. your dad. the details.. i love/hate when people do that. it's the best/worst. ;) the jello--- aaaack - the jello. i shouldn't be allowed to live in the midwest due to my aversion for jello. and finally calvin. oh calvin. i speak the truth.. him and ari should run things round here. :)

  30. The highlight of our T-day was that my hubby got the dining room table out of storage, took it over to our house that we are restoring, set it up, with the china, crystal and everything as a surprise for me....because he said he knew how much holiday things mean to me. I.was.speechless as you can imagine. Why God blessed me with this man who tries to make every day better for me, is beyond me. So humbled. So grateful.

    Bless you Shannan.

  31. I officially can't make jello. I totally messed it up. I know. Also. My dad's side of the family eats green jello salad (with carrots) and MAYO.


    No joke. It's straight nasty, my friend.

  32. My highlight? Laying in bed with a feverish kiddo, watching old episodes of Fat Albert on Netflix. Better than turkey. And that's saying a lot. I love turkey. Especially fried.