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Holiday plans and asthma

I know we just got done with Halloween, but Thanksgiving is not far away and then there are the December holidays.  What do you have planned?  Will you be traveling or staying in town?  How will you handle your asthma?  

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  • Kathy P

    We are staying put! It's the first year in many that we are not traveling for Xmas.

    My big challenge will be cleaning out the living room to put up a tree. The tree won't fit in our family room – the layout just won't work! We don't really use the living room, so it kind of collects clutter and dust. I need to consider a new vacuum cleaner since I can't get new filters for my current one. It's a bagless and the filters are really worn out.

    We'll make lots of yummy food and probably do pierogi (Polish tradition) for Xmas eve. I'll make them gluten-free which is a challenge to work with.

  • GigiGibson

    I will be heading an hour south to the big city of bikes creek(haha) to my aunt and uncles house. He is my daddy's brother, my sweet daddy I lost on November 2nd, 1977. Just passed and yes, I still remembered him and that day. 

    Anyway, we will have a great time with cousins and tales. I will bring a couple vegetarian dishes just in case there is ham hock in everything!

  • Kathy P

    LOL – I've had my veggie/pescatarian friend for holiday dinners and always make sure I make some dishes safe for her. She always does bring something too.

    Sounds like a fun time. I will miss hanging out with my family this year and retelling all the old stories!

  • K8sMom2002

    I'm not sure what our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans will be … I'm sort of waiting on my sis to signal what she's ready for. We have to plan a bit in advance because of my DD's food allergies. Luckily no one smokes, and everyone in our family has bad lungs — so we all give the stink-eye at anyone who even THINKS about perfume or potpourri or strong cleaning supplies!

    Gigi, I'm glad you will have family to spend the holidays with — and yeah, down here in the south, it's not a chicken in every pot, but a ham hock in every pot!

    What are your favorite vegetarian dishes?

  • GigiGibson

    I I like collards and dumplings, corn pudding, gourmet raviolis and pasta dishes. Hubby hates onions and neither of us eat meat so it's tough. Outside of us and the daughter the whole family eats meat. We have learned to adapt. I hadn't thought about perfume, hope everyone else forgets to wear it!

  • K8sMom2002

    Mmmm … dumplings! (Wait — which kind of dumplings, the fluffy little balls of dough or the thin rolled out dumplings? We're the thin rolled out dumplings kind of folks.)

    I also like greens — not much on collards, but I love turnip greens and kale and mustard greens and even beet and rutabaga greens. My grandmother preferred collards over all other greens because they were so easy to wash. 

    Corn pudding would be out at our house — corn allergies, yikes! And I haven't found a commercially prepared ravioli that's safe for DD, since so many of them thicken their sauces with cornstarch or modified food starch. But, oh, I would love a good ravioli!

    Our "traditional" Thanksgiving meal used to be:

    • Turkey and sage dressing (stuffing cooked on the side that was moist enough that it was almost like a stuffing with the gravy cooked with it)
    • Cranberry sauce out of the can
    • Butter beans
    • Cream corn
    • Pasta salad
    • Turnip greens or mustard greens or collard greens
    • Brown and serve Dinner rolls
    • Pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread

    Since DD is allergic to corn, we've had to switch it up a bit. We swap out the cream corn for another veggie, usually creamed squash, and I make my own cranberry sauce. I also either have to buy a safe dinner roll or make my own. This year I'm delighted that Pepperidge Farms has a corn-free herb stuffing blend, so I won't have to make my own dressing from scratch! I've already bought it and it's at the ready to be mixed up and popped in the oven.

    Christmas is about the same menu, but we do ham instead, and my dad insists we have dumplings at both Thanksgiving and Christmas — though I'm clueless where to put it in our already full tummies! I usually do a different dessert for Christmas — maybe an apple pie.

  • GigiGibson

    The dumplings are cornmeal and flour with salt and stock. Simple. 

    You can make ravioli and have full control over the contents. It's a good upper arm work out, same with tamales.  I have found a nc brand I love though, Drakes. I buy it at teeter and they are on sale today:-) their manicotti is amazing too!

    so many delicious dishes aren't an option for us with hubby's picky taste buds. He won't eat olives, artichokes, squash of any kind, onions, leeks, sour cream, guacamole, Chinese, Japanese or other Asian foods. Makes it tough. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Gigi, I've never had cornmeal dumplings … ours are flour and water. And I to admit it, but I bought a pasta roller with a ravioli attachment so that I could make ravioli … and yet I have not made a single one. Usually the pasta roller comes out only when I need to make wonton wrappers at Chinese New Year.

    I should change that, shouldn't I? 

    Thanksgiving is hurtling toward me with the speed of a runaway train. My sister and I keep telling each other that we MUST figure out what we're going to do for it. 

  • GigiGibson

    Now that's really bad when there are two procrastinators. I say you decide on a menu make paper slips, throw in a bowl and let a kid draw and everyone make the items they get, lol. 

    Im going to just drive down to Buies Creek. I'm getting my anxiety up just a smidge over the upcoming holiday dinner here on December 3rd for 22…..I know I've told you….I'm just "uhhhh" or more like "uhhhhhhhh" can't do anything right now! Trying to rest up to shower.yall know what that's like.  my hubby is so good, taking care of me and the house, son is cooking

  • K8sMom2002

    It's actually worse than that — we know the menu, because it's pretty much carved in stone. What we DON'T know is where we're going to have it.  

    Part of the problem is trying to figure out what to do about our stepmom and our dad. In the past, when my mom was alive, we had Thanksgiving at her house, and we'd do something non-Thanksgiving-y (a low country boil, maybe) at my dad's that weekend. My dad and my step mom would go have Thanksgiving with her cousin (who's like a sister to her) and there was always tons of people there.

    Fast-forward to now: my mom passed away in 2009, but DD still has an allergy to corn, which makes big rambunctious family get-togethers hard. I love my step-mom's cousin (she's like an aunt to me), but it's just too nerve-wracking. 

    If we go to my step mom's and have dinner there, my step mom's cousin will have her feelings hurt, because she lives two minutes away. Plus I have to haul safe food all there — and my step mom is extremely nervous about cooking for my DD. Also, she wants to have Thanksgiving supper (probably because they could still fit in the Thanksgiving dinner visit with her cousin), but my DH has to go to work the next morning very early, and my dad and sister are notorious for always being an hour late serving any meal. (It's delicious when they get it done, though!)

    If we have it at my house (which is centrally located and no one has to travel very far), it's really, really crowded — my house is teeny-tiny, and also, my poor step mom has not much faith in my ability to cook. (With good reason from years past! ) It also means that my step mom's cousin will miss my "parental units" at her dinner — and I would hate to hurt her feelings.

    If we have it at my sister's, that means she has to host, plus it's further for my dad and my step mom to travel, plus ditto on the hurt feelings of my step mom's cousin. 

    In years past, we've just had a quiet little Thanksgiving for me and my sister's family, and then the separate non-Thanksgiving one at my dad's, but this year, my step mom is very worried about my sister being without all of her family on Thanksgiving. 

    Aaack! We are blessed with people who love us!

  • Jen

    Good luck figuring it all out, Cynthia.

    I think my mom, sister and I have sorted out who is making what for Thanksgiving.  Maybe a few tweaks, but we have a good idea.

  • Jen

    How are everyone's holiday plans coming along?  Everyone ready for Thanksgiving?

  • Jen

    Now that we're through Thanksgivng, time to start thinking about the December holidays. Anyone have holiday parties or gatherings planned?

  • GigiGibson

    I have 22 for dinner next Saturday. Stayed up to 2 this morning to get the tree done. Hubby cleaned the carpet in the dining room and staged. Looks like the elves had a messy party in here. Neb bing and prepping for the clean up today:-)

  • Jen

    Gigi – Those trees are beautiful!  That's good that your dh is helping with some of the prep. Will you have anyone helping with dinner prep?

  • GigiGibson

    Oh yes, Mom is coming Tuesday to stay through, clean, cook, whatever. Daughter is coming two evenings to help and son and hubby will help too. I am off Friday for final food prep. I'm doing easy. …three kinds of pasta and a big salad bar, crusty baked bread, dipping oils and for dessert banana cream cheese cake, truffle & Reese's cheesecake.  Christmas tree brownies, cookies, cheese, crackers, veggie tray and Rice Krispie trees for snacks. Breakfast the next day- pancakes, bb muffins, bf casserole. 

    The house should be clean and completely decorated  by tomorrow except for the table set up. I have only the bathrooms to clean and sunroom and hubby committed to all. I still dont know how I'm going to decorate the table…. I have multi colored decor in that room. I don't want to spend anymore $. I guess I'll go sift through the North Pole (that's what my kids named my craft room) and come up with something

  • Jen

    Sounds delicious. What time should I be there? . That's great that you have help. 

  • Shea

    Oooh, love the tree! That is a lot of people to have over, you must be magical!!!

    We had Thanksgiving at my mom's (just family, 8 people total), We brought bell pepper and babybel cheese "turkeys", and a watermelon and berry "sea monster" fruit salad, and some candied sweet potatoes. We also went out on my dads boat, it was just beautiful on the water, although my mom got a little chilly. It was my son's first time on grandpa's boat, he just loved it. My sister and I sang Christmas Carols as we rode, and my mom and dad bickered like the old married couple they are, over going over a wave too hard or parking too close to that boat, it was kinda cute. Afterwards we all played cards. It was a fun Thanksgiving. At dinner, my brother and his wife (who have cats) …the dander on them always flares up my asthma and skin.. and it did this time too… I just do not know what to do because I do not want to wear a mask and a scarf, but I think I just need to get over that because they are always going to be at family events, they refuse to find a home fir theit cats, I have tried to not give hugs and stsy my distance and explain myself but they just ignore it, and I just feel uncomfortable bringing it up again…. and I do not want to be flared up at every holiday and wheezing and itchy. So, for the nexitget together, im gna try out my mask and wearing a scarf to cover my neck and chest, because that is where the skin rash breaks out when I am around them. I wish they would just find a home for their cat. It really makes it difficult for me, and it has hurt our relationship, because they seem to be in denial of the allergy despite me wheezing and having to use my rescue inhaler a lot, and my skin rash breaking out, and for days just being allergic after…. Its just…. frustrating.

  • Jen

    Shea – most of it sounds like a nice night aside from the exposure to cat dander. Maybe the mask and scarf will help them take it a little more seriously. 

  • GigiGibson

    Oh shea you thanksgiving sounds awesome! Never took a boat ride on turkey day but sounds perfect. I'm sorry you brother just doesn't get it. Definitely wear your gear next time and let them SEE. 

    Nice creative food!!! Your son is a lucky boy to learn the magic of creativity!

  • Shea

    Thank you fir the compliments and there were a lot of positives about the night. And it does seem weird, boat rides in November and December, but they just work beautifully in (central to southern) Florida (it is my kinda one horse open sleigh ride). And, those were my thoughts too: wearing the mask will relieve the symptoms and have them see what I am dealing with. I have a dream… that one day I will be able to go to a holiday family event with no asthma or allergy flares, where I feel loved and cared for and accepted.. and will be comfortable (meaning no mask).