Ready for Thanksgiving

We had a great pasta dinner last night using a special pasta Nancy had picked up in Eataly during her trip to Chicago. The shape was tubular rings, similar to rigatoni but shorter, wider, and with no ribbing. Excellent. It was packaged unusually for the US market – 2.2 pounds. We split that in half and the half we cooked is enough for two meals for us so even though it’s a bit expensive for pasta, on a per meal basis, well worth it.

We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving this year since it will be a family first – Joey and Mark are hosting. Usually we have it at Tom’s and occasionally at the lake. We’re going up on Wednesday so Nancy can help with the prep. I’ll probably conduct a personal wine tasting just to make sure it’s perfect for the guests. I think the head count is currently at 20 but it changes daily – a combination of friends and family. One special attendee this year is Katie Ronca – Nancy’s cousin’s daughter. She lives in Ft Lauderdale and reached out – a little push from her father no doubt. Her parents split up, probably 20 years ago and I don’t think we’ve seen Katie since she was a toddler so this is going to be fun. I hope she feels comfortable enough to visit from time to time.

I was down at the lake this morning after digging around in the garden and pitched my beetle spin towards some lily pads off the dock. Got 3 small spec’s in 6 casts. So about 4PM I decided to try seriously, trolling the same beetle spin plus my dual jig rig from the boat. I had about an hour to kill and got 6 fish; not so bad. What made me the most happy was that I caught the fish trolling in one of my original hot spots that had disappeared when the lake was lower. I’m getting psych’d that this season may turn out to be a winner with quite a bit more water in the lake than the last few years. I went back out the next morning and it was almost perfect – 75 degrees and overcast. One thing different – my eyes have deteriorated since last season. I tried to change lures out in the boat and it took almost a half hour to tie the knot. I either have to put a pair of glasses in the boat or switch my line from 6 pound test to 50 pound test so I can see it. While I was focused on the knot, the overcast turned to rain so it wasn’t a picture perfect trip.

For those of you (and me) that were concerned about the Swiss Chard crop, quit worrying. It’s finally coming on nicely. I just forget how long it takes chard seed to germinate. Switch your concern to the parsnips which have yet to pop out 10 days after planting. I do remember that from last year so we’ll hold off getting concerned for another week. None of the new, experimental greens have popped out yet but I don’t really know what to expect. I nominally plan on a week and these are not yet in the ground that long. Somewhere between arugula and parsnips is normal.

No surprise that Hagel split from DOD. I believe that means we will have had (at least) 4 Defense Secretaries in 6 years. Wonder if that’s a record? I just couldn’t see him working with Obama, Biden, Kerry and Susan Rice. I imagine the search is on for a handicapped, female Hispanic to fill the spot. All the better if the handicap came as a result of a war injury in Desert Storm.
And what do you do when a grand jury decision doesn’t go your way – burn down a neighborhood pizza place and other small businesses. No surprises.

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