Since Alex and Matt are going out of town for Thanksgiving  we had an early dinner at their house yesterday. We snacked on hummus and chips, sausage, cheese, and crackers while dinner cooked. We had a ham, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce from scratch, and rolls. It was simple, but nice. Later they had pumpkin pie. Alex and I had a nice visit and watched a movie while the boys were on minecraft. 

I'm working Thanksgiving night and will likely go to Danny's for a little while beforehand. Normally I would have him over for a long weekend, but I am working everyday.
 Charles and I went to Arizona to see my sister and her family. We had a great time although it was a short visit. I wish I could spend more time with them. Donna took us around to see the sights. One of my favorite things was the car ride. The kids were all talking about Dr. Who, something they were all interested in. We had a picnic on the road and Donna and I were able to just talk and visit. I also enjoyed cooking with Donna, she taught me a few dishes. Most I can not recall the names, but they are simple enough to try on my own. Now if only I could find my camera with pics.
I heard some news recently about a young kid who made my life hell for awhile. He was recently stabbed while entering someones home to rob them. He will recover, but he likely will go to prison for this. I always claimed things would catch up to him someday and he would end in jail. Partly I feel justified, that he finally will have to take responsibility for his actions. He broke into my apartment, harassed my daughter, and repeatedly caused damage to my apartment. I often noted a violent streak with the boys as well. He pulled a knife when they refused to play a game he wanted to play and if they beat him at a game he would physically pick them up and throw them outside. He and another boy would shoot cars and people with a BB gun or chase them with a 2x4.

There is another part that remembers a young friend who I tried to mentor. Seven years ago this friend was the same age as the other young man. At the age of nineteen he was killed; stabbed over drug money. It was so pointless. He thought he had to be this tough guy. 

It is hard for me to forgive, when I went through so much to get this new tough guy out of my boys' lives. It was not until he and the boys were arrested for playing with fire I was finally able to make that happen. There was a court order to keep them apart for six moths and his mother rewarded him with a car. After that he was someone else's problem. Finally they moved away as well. Still it is another pointless loss of a future.

This time of year my tomatoes have taken over the garden bed and have become unruly. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten very many tomatoes yet. The ones I kept are late producers. I usually try to have roma's or cherry tomatoes to fill in the gap. This year i gave both of my cherry tomatoes away. I do have one cherry tomato that I grew from seed but they take longer as well. All that is left in my garden are the tomatoes and herbs, as well as a couple potato plants to harvest. 

My neighbor has been giving me zucchini and cucumbers so I have been eating a lot of those lately. Hopefully my tomatoes wont come all at once this year. If they do I might have to can some. Last year I froze them and have been adding them to my zucchini and pork roast. I think next year I will try to pinch off the suckers in hopes to get earlier tomatoes. I also want to get tomato cages to support them. Maybe I can grow some fall vegetable too.

I took a few vacation days before they disappeared, it just so happened to correspond with my birthday. I had a lot of personal things to deal with. Stuff to do with housework, Danny's SSI, work paperwork, and back to school for Charles. I also took some time to spend with family, so most of that got done but not all. 

I did find some time to try out a couple small batch baking recipes. There is something special about small batch baking. Smaller mixing bowls make easier clean up, there are no treats going to waste, they are always fresh. They also remind me of the tea parties the kids and I used to have. With little cakes, and little sandwiches. Even the boys enjoyed them.

Yesterday I made a small chocolate cake with a mocha meringue icing. The icing was a little on the sweet side or maybe it was too much icing for the little bit of cake. The kids took me out to eat,  and then we went back to the house for a bite of cake. Matt helped Charles install something on the computer, while everyone crowded around my bedroom. I started to fall asleep before they left. Not that the boys left me to sleep in peace. They took turns sleeping, so there was always someone in my room on the computer. 
Danny bought this book this week. It is a sweet picture book describing characteristics of Aspergers. Not only has Danny been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, but he also loves cats. It is a very positive book that he can identify with.