Sunday Lowdown #147 🦃🍗🥧


Hi, there. It’s me. This week I went to my ASL class on Monday for final exam review part one and then the rest of the week was getting ready for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, and post-Thanksgiving. I noticed on Twitter that many folks, out of respect for indigenous individuals, are asking people to stop celebrating Thanksgiving. This is a tough one; I don’t know anyone who is “celebrating” anything on Thanksgiving, but we do get it off every year. Given how few days off per year Americans get anyway, we’re just celebrating not working.

Nick and I headed to Biscuit’s house in central Michigan and stayed three nights. Here we are at Thanksgiving dinner:

We ate at noon with traditional turkey, green bean casserole, cheesy cauliflower, cowboy beans, and cranberry-ginger soda. Later, Biscuit and I got to do book club in person! She confesses to only nodding off once. I gotta spice up my book club game. I also texted with Jackie @ Death By Tsundoku, who celebrated with family and enjoyed her baby’s first Thanksgiving.

On Friday, Biscuit and my brother’s four kids put up her Christmas tree and decorations. The five-year-old was convinced it was Christmas Eve. The next day, when it snowed, the four-year-old was convinced it was Christmas. At least their time tables match? It doesn’t help that Nick and I brought presents to put under the tree so we have less to pack and store and scramble around with come Christmas.

Me on the left, Biscuit on the right. We wanted to show everyone the snow! But, we are also freezing.

Since it was Friday, I still watched a horror movie and ate popcorn, per the usual. The only difference is I grabbed a bag of microwave popcorn from a gas station on our way to Biscuit’s, and the S.O.B. only half popped. I usually make the p-corn on the stove. Thanks to Cupcakes & Machetes, who alerted me to the new release of Black Friday, I was able to see a holiday-themed movie. It wasn’t straight horror; the previews suggest a zombie movie, but it’s actually sci-fi/horror. I wanted to see Black Friday in theater with my brother, but COVID has made movie-going confusing. It wasn’t playing at the cinema even though it was supposed to, but I could rent it on Amazon for $6.99.

Why is Devon Sawa in horror now?? He was the “heart throb” when I was a young teen! You’ll also see the “King,” Bruce Campbell.


Everyone seemed quite enamored with Jen Fliss, whose Meet the Writer interview is quirky and honest and ends with a comment about a book club/LARPer hybrid that had my spouse giggling.

Everyone also seemed confused by me (and Lou @ Lou Lou Reads, by extension) for picking Fifty Favorite books. I’d argue both Lou and I are more focused on books that are or were important to us at different times in our lives. Lou’s gone the extra step to organize her books from top to bottom, whereas my fifty books are just in random order. I’m wondering if I should make it a project to reread and review the titles on there that I haven’t reviewed because I read them pre-Grab the Lapels…

I’ve actually had it in mind that I should re-read all of my books that are pre-GTL and review them then get rid of them if I don’t think I would read them again. Some books live on the shelf because I think I thought they were important at some point, but now, who can be sure?


I love when the Preserve Eatonville Community have a book club meeting. Biscuit and I read Seraph on the Suwanee by Zora Neale Hurston and then “Zoomed” to Florida to talk about this interesting novel. Review on Tuesday.

Fat Angie is back in her third book, Fat Angie: Homecoming, by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. An unconventional young adult novel that deals with truth and being heard, this rock’n’roll tale is interesting addition to the tradition of teen rebellion story. Review Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 202

Thanks to Anne @ I’ve Read This for her recommendation!


  1. I don’t do twitter but I do understand why Thanksgiving bothers people. For me it is needed time off of work and I do think of all the things I am thankful for. Like other holidays, the original meanings mean very little as the world evolves. Though also my not being religious helps that too.
    x The Captain


    • My spouse was saying something about Thanksgiving being a religious holiday, and I was all, “What? Nuh uh!” but then I was thinking about the pilgrims and puritans and how there is religion woven into the culture with those groups.


  2. It sounds like you had a great time with family! I’m so happy for you. I love seeing what different people have to eat on Thanksgiving. Cowboy beans and cheesy cauliflower are new Thanksgiving foods to me! We had candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans, dressing, Turkey, ham, and corn pudding. I saw some anti-Thanksgiving stuff on Instagram. I get the sentiment. It’s good to be aware of what happened in the past and how it still effects Native people today. But sorry, there’s no way in heck that I’m giving up Thanksgiving. As you said, Americans already work too much! Plus, it’s a holiday where you don’t “have” to exchange gifts, which means less stress, just being with family and eating. LOL. I’m totally fine doing away with Columbus Day, though! Just my thoughts.


    • My brother stopped eating certain kinds of carbs, like potatoes, cereal, bread, chips, etc. to help with a situation with his liver, so we were all trying to accommodate that. For me, anything that has too high of a fat content gives me a stomach ache. In the end, we try to come together to make something that everyone can enjoy.

      Yeah, I’m not even sure what the history of Columbus Day is. Were we supposed to celebrate something? I know my mom always got the day off because she worked for local government. The post office was closed. But not much else.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. At some point in the last several years, it has become tradition that I sit back and watch the kids decorate the tree, then swoop in at the last moment to help place the topper on the tree – a nice ribbon in this case. Last year, I heard that out nieces were upset because I wasn’t the one to finish the tree.

    This year we were able to resume the tradition where Uncle Nick swoops in at the last moment and, with minimal effort, gets to feel like he contributed because he is 1) present and 2) taller than the kids. Yessss.

    The kiddos were happy, the tree was decorated, and the most magical thing happened. Everybody “forgot” to place the guitar shaped Johnny Cash ornament on the tree that the youngest kid(s) obsessively seek out and continually press the button that plays a brief clip of Folsom Prison Blues.

    I hear that train a’comin’ in my Christmas memories. It’s been comin’ ’round the bend for years. I’m not ready yet, but I now have another month to prepare.


    • I keep waiting for the day when Quirt says he wants you to pick him up so he can put the topper on, but Quirt is made out of bricks, so you’d throw out your back.

      The Johnny Cash guitar is in the kitchen above the coffee maker. I’m sure he’s taking a nap and recharging for Christmas 2021.


  4. Did you ever see Devon Sawa in Idle Hands or Final Destination? He’s been in horror for a minute! (Idle Hands is a great 90’s campy horror movie if you haven’t seen it by the way. Another one I need to rewatch.)
    Rob and I were just discussing our need to watch Black Friday! Was it at least good?
    I’m glad that you guys had a good Thanksgiving. I spent mine covered in children. If I don’t get sick again it will be a miracle.
    I think stopping Thanksgiving would be incredibly hard, if not impossible. Most people aren’t celebrating conquering the new world anymore, but time off of work and spending time with family around good food.


    • OMG, I forgot Sawa was in Idle Hands and Final Destination! Yes, I’ve seen both! Idle Hands is so good. I was thinking of him in Casper, Now and Then, and Wild America. I also forgot he is in SLC Punk. He’s the one who has acid in his pants pocket and runs through a sprinkler, lol.

      I did like Black Friday! There is a moment at the end where they’re using CG and it doesn’t quite look high budget, but the rest of it, especially the creature effects, are great. I jumped a few times, especially because I was watching the movie on my laptop with headphones.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the pic of you and Biscuit in the snow! We had snow here yesterday, which is pretty rare – I was out in it at 7.15 am but thankfully parkrun was cancelled before my bus arrived!


    • Thank you, Liz! Most of my bloggers are several time zones away from me and do not experience snow, so I wanted to capture the setting for folks.

      Biscuit has a Jingle Bell Run next weekend, and I hope it’s not snowing then. No need to slip and fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It looks like you had a wonderful visit with family and some yummy food. I had heard that some areas of the US got snow. That’s pretty wild and beautiful. Have a great week!


  7. Ah, your Thanksgiving quandary is a bit like our Australia Day/Invasion Day quandary. For most Australians it is just a day off, and a long weekend, but it does commemorate the day Britain set up its colony effectively taking the country as its own. The rising right nationalists, of course, want to left alone. Many lefties think it should be changed. But there are some, including one of our leading Indigenous thinkers who suggests that it’s best left where it is – that if you move it you can, in effect, sweep the whole invasion thing under the carpet. By treating the day as marking both things, he feels, we could become a mature nation which understands its own history. This rather appeals to me, but I’m not sure it has traction.

    I love hearing about traditional meals. Your Thanksgiving meal is a bit like our Christmas. It has always seemed to me that Americans have more traditional food at Thanksgiving and that Christmas is a bit more varied. Anyhow, traditionally, in Australia we did the roast chicken or now, turkey, with stuffing, and served with roasted vegetables (mostly potato and pumpkin), and greens (usually beans), and gravy. There would be some variation in the vegetables but that’s the style. Plum pudding and custard would be the dessert. In other words, this was all very much drawn from England. NOW, as Aussies more and more think that the traditional meal is ridiculous for our summer, we are moving to more seafood (perhaps on the barbie or perhaps cold) and salad feasts, with perhaps pavlova for dessert.

    Had seen your Fifty Favourites post but it’s been a busy week so will check it out now.


    • What you’re describing sounds very much like American Thanksgiving. We made some changes to accommodate dietary needs and skipped stuffing and cranberries, which are common. For dessert we always do something related to fall and typically in pie form: apple pie, pumpkin pie, etc. I love the idea of a more summery menu for Christmas in Australia. Bill frequently shares Christmas photos, and I always love that it looks like a summer party with Christmas lights. To be honest, if there isn’t snow on the ground at Christmas, I’m always a bit heartbroken.

      I think your leader is onto something by acknowledging the holiday and still having people “celebrate” it (I use quotes because is anyone really celebrating the British arriving?). I’ll bet the conversation comes up at the dinner table now and again because the holiday is two things now.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you were able to join your family for thanksgiving, sounds like you all had a wonderful time. I have such a hard time picking favourite books though my list would also be based on their role in my life

    Wishing you a great reading week


  9. Lovely photo of you and Biscuit! We had a little bit of snow here at the weekend too, which is rare. Not unheard of, but we don’t normally get it until February if it’s coming at all. We had an early first frost this year too, so I am sort of hoping for a cold winter. Not so cold that it stresses the NHS out more than it is already, but cold enough for about a week of snow at some point – I love the cold weather.


    • Walking through a snow fall is always lovely, wearing mittens, things like that — all wonderful! How does cold stress the NHS? Is it that more people get sick, or the actual physical infrastructure doesn’t do well in cold temperatures?


      • A bit of everything. People who get sick get more sick, might find it harder to look after themselves (struggling out to buy a few odds and ends in miserable weather is a lot harder if you’re poorly – but that could mean you end up not eating properly), people are more likely to fall and break limbs and hips, more car accidents etc. This often means more patients and fewer staff. But also, because we don’t get snow particularly often (depending on the part of the country, of course), when we get snow or prolonged freezing weather, all our aged Victorian infrastructure tends to suffer. That includes the roads ambulances would be driving on, but also some older hospitals, healthcare clinics etc.


        • I didn’t even think about the role the roads would play in this, but I see your point. I hope everything goes smoothly. I’m sure everyone is still struggling to maintain the hospital with COVID, let alone cold weather.


  10. I’ve heard some controversy around Thanksgiving too. More so coming from the US than around Canadian Thanksgiving but I get it. Your point makes sense too though – how many chances do we have to take time off and be together with people we love? Those things are important. I’m glad you got time with family. Your brothers’ kids thinking it was Christmas made me smile!


        • For instance, we would work Wednesday before Thanksgiving, have Thanksgiving off, then work Friday, then it’s the weekend (assuming you aren’t working that Saturday). So, you could never really host a Thanksgiving without preparation time, and then you couldn’t travel unless you used a vacation day because you had to be back to work on Friday.

          Liked by 1 person

          • For some reason I thought the whole week of Thanksgiving was basically a holiday in the US. Did I make that up or do schools get the week off? Having a holiday on a Thursday would be a pain then because you’d have to take an extra day off to actually go anywhere, as you say. Our Thanksgiving is always Monday so even though it’s not as big a deal here, you can at least have a long weekend.


  11. I almost spit out my tea reading your SOB comment about the popcorn bag – that is pure comedic gold.

    Also cute your Mom only nodded off once during book club.

    What are cowboy beans???


    • I’m so used to making my own popcorn on the stove that an unwilling bag of microwave popcorn almost felt like an insult.

      Biscuit gets sleepy easily. You cannot take her to a movie theater.

      Cowboy beans are pinto beans with bacon and BBQ sauce, I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds like you guys had a great Thanksgiving. 😀 That cheesy cauliflower sounds/looks delicious. We watched Black Friday with my family for Thanksgiving too. 🙂 I was so happy they used so many practical effects. And I agree, I was expecting it to be just a straight-up zombie movie from the ads too.
    I was going to comment about Devon Sawa being in Final Destination and Idle Hands, too, but I see C&M beat me to it! 😉 It really makes me want to watch Idle Hands again. lol Such a fun movie. I was talking to my husband about him being in SLC Punk as well, and the same acid-in-the-pockets scene you mentioned was what came to mind for me too! Haha 😛


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