It’s Thanksgiving. I’ll bring the pea casserole (that no one likes)

pea casserole

Happy Thanksgiving!

I never get asked to do the turkey for Thanksgiving. I don’t know why…maybe it’s because the one year that I did cook the turkey, I baked it with an unintentional “stuffing” of the plastic bag full of organ meats that comes inserted in the bird. That was a fun surprise at the dinner table!

So, now I usually stick to the simpler items that have less cavities where plastic items could be hiding. The  dish that I’ve been relegated to is the infamous pea casserole.

I think it’s safe to say that this dish, with it’s canned cream of mushroom soup, canned peas, and golden-baked top crust of…Cheez-Its—nope, not a single fresh ingredient—has never graced the front cover of Southern Living.

Here’s the text conversation I had about it with my sister this week.

pea casserole
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Come. Laugh at my half-baked, botched hair experiment

Steph, medusa

My hair feels like it is made of hay and I currently have no working shower to wash/condition it with. Bad decision after bad decision got me to this place.

Not fully thinking things through before I act. I do that now-and-again.

You know how when you are going to dye your hair at home and the box cautions you to do a strand test on a tiny, hidden piece of hair so that if it comes out some ungodly color you can start over without anyone being the wiser.?

Well…I’ve never been a “strand test” kind of girl.

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You can tandem kayak without any drama!

Same Life paddling kayaks

Alicia and I proved it last weekend when we took our nine-year-old girls on an hour-and-45-minute kayak trip in New Port Richey. No problems at all.

By the way, who knew New Port Richey was on the water?

I mean, I should have known since I have lived in Florida for my entire life and have had access to maps the whole time…and I guess the word “Port” in the name could have clued me in if I was paying attention…

But I never spent any time up there until Alicia moved from Ohio. And any time I’ve visited her there I’ve had nary a glimpse of the shore. I assumed we were inland, halfway to Georgia. I’ve seen lots of cows up there, not boats.

However, much to my geographically challenged delight, there is plenty of water fun to be had in New Port Richey. It’s actually right on the Gulf of Mexico, which makes it pretty convenient for kayaking.

The place we rented them from was like a food truck for kayaks on US 19. It is located on a canal that leads out to the Gulf. The canal is in a cute residential neighborhood, with calm water and plenty to look at as you paddle.

I have always loved getting to see houses from the water. It’s a different, slightly voyeuristic perspective. And, usually, the water side of the house has more personality than the front. The age-old adage, “Business in front, party in back” is alive and well in New Port Richey’s waterfront homes.

There were tiki huts and colorful adirondack chairs, decorative fishing nets, even three barrels of Captain Morgan rum tied together on one dock. Almost every house had a boat named something like “Copacetic” or “Therapy”, or at least a nameless Jet Ski.

What I really liked was that the houses, for the most part, were modest, one-story homes that looked like a regular person actually stood a chance of being able to afford one and enjoy living on the water. That’s not something you see anymore where I live. The houses did get progessively bigger as we paddled closer to the Gulf though, one of the finger canals we paddled down even had a seaplane docked out back.

Paddling girls

I have heard tandem kayaks referred to as “divorce-makers”, and have actually been on a canoe trip where a husband and wife had to be separated into 2 different boats. So I had anticipated less helpful participation and more complaining from the girls, but they both paddled like champs. Apparently the tandem-kayaking strife only affects couples, not mothers and daughters…at least when the daughters haven’t reached their teenage years yet.

So thank god for that! And for the balmy kind of day that makes you say “This is why we live in Florida.” One of those where the air is cool enough that you don’t sweat but you can still wear a tank top and flip-flops—Florida perfection.

callie steph kayak