PSALM 104:34

May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ponderings of a lone, first time turkey chef...

Allen got off work at 4:00 on Thanksgiving and I planned to have a special turkey dinner around 5'ish

So....I planned to start my attack at 2:00.  But, when I looked in the fridge, this is what I found.

Seriously!  I put the silly thing in the fridge on Monday night!  Tuesday night I was worried that it wasn't de-thawing, so I put it in a bowl of water...and at 1:45PM on Thanksgiving, that water had a layer of ice!  "Whose refrigerator freezes water?  And why am I learning this on Thanksgiving?"

Next there was a frantic call to the woman who has made most of the turkeys I have previously eaten: "Gramma, I've got a problem.  My turkey is still half frozen and its time for it to be in the oven."

She assured me that it would be ok and that I might just have to cook it a little longer.  "Just check the temperature and go by that."

Ok, onward and upward...peeling the ice and wrapper off the bird revealed a new puzzle.

"What in the world is that?!" and "What in the WORLD do I do with it!?!?"

Oh, Sidenote:
Around noon I took rolls out of the freezer and placed them in a baking pan to thaw and rise.

Looks yummy right?  So, I'm really kitchen savvy and knew that placing these rolls in a warm place would make them rise and become nice and fluffy....and what place is warmer than the oven?   Oh yes, I was smart and put them in the oven.  However, when I turned the oven on to preheat it for turkey...I didn't take the half-risen rolls out.  Fail numero uno.  Half-risen rolls, half baked...means start over on the rolls...

Back to the turkey.  
I'm considering what should be done about the complex wiring around the feet and tail end section of the bird.  Will it melt?  Don't I have to remove some stuff?  Where is the stuff and why did they tie it up so tightly????

I messed around with the turkey's tetherings and opened up the hole where I presumed the extraneous nonessentials were located.  Inside was what appeared to be the (half frozen) intestines.  Yuck.  However, no heart, liver, kidneys, things I was expecting to find.  Oh, no, those were located in the front tucked under the neck.  Why?  Who knows?  

Second to Gramma:
"What do I do with all these plastic ties around the legs, will it melt?"
She assured me it was Ok to leave the plastic in place and also coached me on salt, pepper, butter, those types of things.

By this time it was almost 2:30 and the turkey was not even near the oven. The good thing about the delay was that it was helping the thawing problem.
Next: the butter injection that Allen specifically requested.

This is Tony's injectable butter.  Its DELICIOUS.  Highly recommended and very fun.  I felt like a nurse.  It was probably the most fun and exciting thing I did all day.  You just fill up the syringe, insert, and plump that turkey up with all the buttery goodness it can hold.
Finally at 2:45 the poor, violated, mostly thawed, injected bird, went in the oven.  The pan advertised that the ridges in its bottom would act as a built in tray.  My thoughts:  "Built in tray, my foot!"  It immediately smashed as soon as I put the heavy turkey in it...but it was in the oven and on its way to juicy perfection.

This is everything I cut/dug out of the carcass.  Blech and what a waste...couldn't that take this stuff and use it for dog food or something?  
Pepsi thinks that would be a wonderful idea.  She sat on my foot during the entire turkey preparation.

While I waited on the turkey and on Allen, I made a chocolate pie.  I was going to resist the urge this year.  I bought a pumpkin and didn't think we could possibly need two between only the two of us...but I talked to both Anna and my mom and they were making pies.  I love making pies and wanted my own Thanksgiving pie experience.  So, after checking my possible ingredients list, chocolate pie it was:

It turned out yummy.

We also had green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and of course, the second batch of rolls.

The turkey turned out tasting good and dinner was a success.  Next year, I really hope we get to be home with our families, but I'm definitely getting pretty independent on this whole cooking long as Gramma is on speed dial ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Allen got started researching our family trees a little over a week ago.  He's using which allows him (and me) to search census records, birth and death certificates, and marriage licenses, among many other documents.  It is exciting putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and if we are correct, we can trace parts of our tree back to ships coming from Ireland, England, and the Netherlands.  It becomes rather mind-boggling how quickly a tree branches and includes hundreds of ancestors within several generations.  

....Hubert S. Sullivan & Ruth Agnes Street; Joseph Floyd Doss & Emma Lou Patton; Alfred Y. Martindale & Katherine O. Strozier; Isaac Therman Lynch & Gladys Potts; Richard B. Richardson & Rena Gertrude Lassiter; Thomas J. Keefe & Grace Genevieve Healy; Alvie Dee Moore & Madie Ellen Pollard; Charles T. Friddle & Mabel Thomelson...

A list of names.  Some I remember, some I never met.  All now passed on to a different place, but all contributed to the life that Allen and I call our own.  These are our great-grandparents, and we are their legacy.

Recently, a loved member of the Lynch family suddenly left this life and made the journey to Heaven.  Susan Lynch's death, along with our research into ancestry reminded me of what an impact great grandparents, grandparents, and parents have on their children.  My second cousin, and Susan's nephew wrote the following to our family.

To All of My Family, 

I've always known all of this, but it's all even more prominent right now, so I am seizing an opportunity. I just want to say how lucky I feel to have the family I have. I've noticed there isn't a single post by one of my aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, great aunts, moms, dad, or siblings on Facebook without someone outside of the family commenting something about how close and loving our family is, how special we are, or how much they love us. 

Besides the comforting aspect of knowing we all have friends, families of our significant other, etc that care so much about each of us individually, it makes me so proud of our family to see people comment on how special we are. I know it makes papa smile down on us and now aunt Susan too. This is the foundation nannie and papa built. Actually, it is deeper than's my great grandparents Lynch and Hadley, who I never even knew, that started the foundation and we have constructed a strong building on that foundation. I don't mean to sound conceited about who we are, but I feel like there is something so extraordinarily special about our family that unfortunately most people are only able to dream of having. I am so thankful for that. I am also so thankful each of you are in my life and that I am able to proudly call you family. 

I love each of you more than I can ever express. And even though we may not see each other as often as we should, I hope you all know that. And always know, as well as I do, that we each have a family that always has been and always will be there for one another. It is something that just makes my heart overfilled with joy. 

I realize how sappy this letter may seem to some of you, but it is the honest truth coming straight from my heart. 
This has all been in my heart for a long time, and right now its so much of an overwhelming feeling that I wanted to make sure to say it to everyone.

Isn't it so awesome to know that you have a group of people in your corner no matter what.... and a group of people that love you for who you are no matter what?? 


I can barely read it without tears coming to my eyes...I know 
its true. And the thing is, Jeremy was talking about the Lynch family, but I have a legacy and foundation from the Doss and Lynch family...and Allen has a legacy from the Sullivan and Martindale family. So, this Thanksgiving, even though we are much further than we wish to be from our beloved families, I thank the Lord for a legacy of laughter, cooking, fun and games, and song. But most of all I am thankful that mine and Allen's families are Christians and have given us a strong foundation of love for Jesus Christ, our Lord. The only question that remains is whether we will carry this beautiful tradition of love and prayer forward. Will our great-grandchildren remember us lovingly with appreciation for our prayers and support? 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;

In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,

For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,

The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove

My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Dad (Jeff), Ben, Mary Catherine, Anna, John Isaac, & Mom (Anita) at Gramma Lynch's house in Berryville, Arkansas

Doss cousins (starting top left): Ben, Isaac, John Isaac, Lilly, Mary Catherine,  Eden, Robin, Anna, Nathan, Cassie, Jeff, and Clare

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Thoughts

"A tingling, misty marvel 

  Blew hither in the night, 
And now the little peach-trees 
  Are clasped in frozen light. 

Upon the apple-branches 

  An icy film is caught, 
With trailing threads of gossamer 
  In pearly patterns wrought. 

The autumn sun, in wonder, 

  Is gayly peering through 
This silver-tissued network 
  Across the frosty blue. 

The weather-vane is fire-tipped, 

  The honeysuckle shows 
A dazzling icy splendor, 
  And crystal is the rose." 
-   Evaleen Stein, November Morning

Friday, November 4, 2011

All in a weekend

The story of last weekend starts about a month ago when Allen's sister "blew-up" their car.  I was explaining this to a friend the other day and they asked what this "blowing-up" exactly means.  I suppose I have been married to a mechanic's son for too long now and take it for granted that most people understand car mechanic lingo.  Seriously, we were driving down the hi-way the other day, saw a car stranded on the side of the road and Allen remarked that the drive shaft had fallen out and that car wasn't going anywhere...who knows these things?  Anyway, I've picked up bits and pieces over the years.

With the car that "blew-up"... basically, the car's engine got too hot, ran out of water, or oil, or something and the engine quit working.  Apparently, if you drive a car too long this way a rod can shoot out of the engine and through your hood.  I've never witnessed this, but have been told it is possible.  Its supposed to be pretty dramatic and I think it would be exciting, of course not on your own car....

So, the blown-up car was no use to the Jones family and they decided to go ahead and buy a new car altogether.  Everyone in the family immediately considered what should be done with the blown-up car and thought of the poor college students up in Indiana whose own car was about to "blow-up" or something worse. ;)  So, my father-in-law, the awesome mechanic, went to a junk yard, pulled a good engine out of another car, and put the two pieces together and voila!  A car for Mary and Allen.  Its an awesome car too!  Leather seats, heated leather seats, heat that actually blows out of the vents when you turn it on!!!  Amazing!

So, Terry brought this little gem up to us a couple of weekends ago.  We were tickled pink and we've been totally enjoying it.

Skip to last weekend (the weekend of Halloween)...

We have these wonderful friends, the McDonalds, up here in Indiana.  Basically, they are considered our family.  They've adopted us, we've adopted them, we're all happy.  So, two of these McDonalds are named Ayvah (age 7) and Calvin (age 5).  They each had a birthday in October and to celebrate, their mother hosted a dress-up birthday party on the 29th.  The rules were that everyone had to dress up in a home made costume as an animal....Allen and I were quite excited and made our costumes eagerly awaiting fun and games at the McDonald's house.

 I am a bluebird and Allen is a dog.  I originally meant just for Allen to be a cute puppy with floppy ears, but I found a chain to go around his neck and when I sewed the ears on his hat it ended up looking really punk. :)  So, he became the "rapper dog" - yo, yo, yo!

The birthday party started at noon and we were already running about 20 minutes late, sitting at a stop sign on Curry Pike, halfway between our house and the McDonalds...when BAM!!!  We heard two cars slam into each other...then about 1 second and BAM!  The second car clipped the left side of our brand new bumper. :(  (Well, not really brand new, our previously "blown up" but brand new to us bumper) 

So, the important point to this story is that  I had SEWED my wings to my shirt.  They weren't just something I could slip off...I was in costume for the long haul.  So, there I was standing on the side of the road, wings, boa feathers, and all waiting for the police.  I'm pretty sure the cop that took pictures of the wreck got me in a couple.  So, somewhere in the police database I will now be forever remembered as the girl in blue. Luckily, Allen's costume was not sewed on.  He removed his hat and ears, his neck chain, and after a reminder from me, his tail that had been tied to his belt loop (which we lost amid the slight chaos).

We were way-layed at the wreck site for about an hour and 15 minutes and missed the beginning of the party.   But, no one was seriously injured, just sore...the wreck was deemed the first drivers fault, and eventually we were on our way.  

At the party we met the rest of Noah's ark:
A bumble bee, leopard, butterfly, skunk, duck, kangaroo, panda, ladybug, elephant, monkey, another bumble bee, and Batman!  
It was quite a party.

The kids of course had a ball hitting pinatas, and searching through piles of leaves for stuffed animals. 

 But I think the big boys may have had just as much fun:

In the end, despite being sore and slight damage to our car, the day was awesome.

And the next day was just as good.  We participated in "Trunk or Treat" at our church and decided to dress our car up as the whale from Jonah and the Whale.  Our friend, Craig, agreed to play Jonah, and we attached magnets to paper fish so the kids could "fish" out of the whale's mouth.  It was another fun filled day of candy, kids, and friends.

The whale was a hit and the kids were amazed that you could catch paper fish with just string and paper clips. 

You can also see that our nice "new" car really wasn't damaged terribly in the fender-bender. Its scratched up a little and the tail light covers are broken, but it could have been much worse.  

All in all, it was a great Halloween weekend, one for the books.  We are thankful for our friends that love us and great fun that we will remember for a long time!

Mr. Skunk and the D. O. G....Yo! yo! yo!