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Just a few things up front:

Being alone with Julia for a holiday can be somewhat lonely for me. 

There are few lovely moments to lean into during the irregularity of a tradition-less holiday. 

When joy is elusive, self-pity sneaks in steals all the cookies and leaves crumbs in bed.

Totally unfair is a science project that is due next week—in a moment of pique, I cursed the offending teacher with Christmas day essay grading with only non-alcoholic eggnog to drink.  

One more happy family Facebook picture and I’ll . . . . oh, yeah I’ve been guilty of posting smiley shots around tables many years.

Whew, good to get those off my chest! I am now stepping out of my personal puddle of self-pity and finding morsels of joy scattered close by.

Wednesday, yesterday, today and this weekend don’t look so bad. Julia spent part of Wednesday and Thursday morning making a chocolate cake, butter cream icing and Voltron decorations. It took a long time and some pretty intensive coaching along with many episodes of Great British Bake Off. In the long list of what she needs to live an independent life, making a cake may seem irrelevant but there was practice reading directions, making sense of directions, measuring and weighing, dealing with stove controls, dealing with a hot oven, and staying with a long, multi-part project.

Meds update: Julia is louder than usual which, I admit, is driving me crazy. Still, I am amazed that she is able to function pretty well without ADHD meds.  She is still eating more than she usually does, but her appetite is tapering off.  

Two weeks ago when I asked Julia what she wanted for Thanksgiving dinner, she said turkey, our stuffing, mashed potatoes and the red jelly from a can.  (“Red jelly from a can” is the best description for that classic American delicacy!) Considering the lack of anything that might be green, I suggested a salad and she added a caesar salad which is our favorite.  Apart from the salad—the romaine lettuce was moved directly from the grocery bag to the garbage on Monday—we had her dinner.  Leftovers will be supplemented with more green.

The turkey breast, that once stuffed and rolled looked more like a football than a bird, roasted alongside a single drumstick. Even at a modest two plus pounds, Julia and I will be eating turkey for the week. And the breast, dressed with cheesecloth to keep it together, did not brown or crisp but was moist and delicious. The stuffing inside looked very nice when I cut into the breast but insufficient without a casserole dish to dig into.  There was not much in the way of drippings and so I did not make much gravy.

Julia is a pragmatic eater, and my plan for a short dinner time followed by a drive to see the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie was successful.  Yes, my druthers are to linger over Thanksgiving feasts but I can be pragmatic too.  We ate enough, we went to the movies and when we got home, I washed pots, started the dishwasher and Julia went back to drawing.  We ate cake.  And then the day was over.0D0052C2-4DCA-4BF4-A791-95589E4D707E

This morning, Julia is still drawing, we are listening to the first strains of Christmas music, we will take some out some decorations today and do more science and there is a show to go to tonight.  It is all good enough and for that I am thankful.