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We are still eating delicious Thanksgiving leftovers so it’s fitting that the house is still decorated for fall. I’m glad we were back in time from Japan to see the maple turning red. The color was spectacular this year! Brighter than it’s ever been, even on a cloudy day.

The Japanese Maple was spectacular this year.

The Japanese Maple tree was spectacular this year.

The table was set. Even with the heavy overcast, the new windows provided splendid light.
2 2014 Thanksgiving table set
I asked one of the guys to label the serving dishes to make filling them faster when the food was ready. He labeled the water glasses! So funny.
3 2014 Thanksgiving table labels
The turkey was small this year, barely 14 lbs. It was the perfect weight for me to lift by myself. It was nice being able to use the rosemary and thyme growing in the kitchen planter.
4 2014 Thanksgiving turkey
Not all the family was present and we missed those far away. But everyone here was in a jolly mood and we were happy to be together.
5 2014 Thanksgiving everyone happy
We started with a salad course. One of the guys cut the peppers into leaf shapes. We made our own house dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, cracked Tellicherry pepper, water and a bit of boiled cider. It was delicious!
6 2014 Thanksgiving salad plate
Then on to Pumpkin Bisque. We tried a new recipe this year. The cardamom was prominent and very good with pumpkin.
7 2014 Thanksgiving Pumpkin Bisque
After the salad plates and soup bowls were cleared, we placed the rest of the food on the table. Here are some of the dishes.
8 2014 Thanksgiving table
9 2014 Thanksgiving side dishes

Baked Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans and Bacon

Baked Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans and Bacon; Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup; Buttered Squash with Cinnamon.

10 2014 Thanksgiving turkey

French Bread Stuffing with Sage Sausage; Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Turkey with Rosemary and Parsley.

The turkey was taken to the kitchen island for carving. This was the first year we used a fresh turkey. It was delicious and tasted much better than a frozen turkey. It did cook faster than I thought though, so we’ll remember that next time. Look at the steam rising! Delicious.
11 2014 Thanksgiving carving
We didn’t take any more photos. There were many wonderful moments, such as when grandson “cooked” his real food in the toy oven. But I was so thoroughly enjoying the baby and grandkids, eating pie and participating in our myriad conversations and laughter, that I completely forgot to take photos.

This morning I finally got around to washing the crystal. The glasses sparkled in the sun. As I held a glass, I wondered whose hand had held it and extended it in a toast to family. Even the grandchildren got to hold the crystal in toast this year. My beloveds were here! That’s a warm and happy thought indeed.
12 2014 Thanksgiving washing crystal day after
The latest additions to my gratitude journal are even more full of thanks. Being thankful ALL the time is truly a choice. You can’t complain one minute and be thankful the next. Choose optimism, choose joy.
13 2014 Thanksgiving journal
This year we placed his cutting board in the center of the table. Thank you God for good meat, for good bread, for good wine. Thank you for family and friends. –I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 — Thank you for helping us see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, here, now.
14 2014 Thanksgiving letting the candles burn
Today I made the apple pie I didn’t have time to make for Thanksgiving. Today we’re still giving thanks.

Thank you Ethan and Gabe for taking some of the photos and thank you Holly for the delicious Candied Carrots and Baked Squash. ::smile::