Ahh, Thanksgiving: isn't it the nearly-perfect holiday? You get to enjoy absolutely yummy food; you don't have to stress about gifts; and the day is full of family, conversation, and maybe a little football.
A few years back, I developed--unfairly, may I say--a bad reputation as far as Thanksgiving goes. That is because after the meal, which we usually do as a lunch, my sister-in-law, Mary, and I threw out the pies. Yes, let me repeat that: We threw out the Thanksgiving pies. I guess a few people had not had dessert yet and figured they would circle back later...and then when they circled back, there was no dessert in the house. It's true. It is absolutely true that we threw the pies out. But here's the thing: the pies were not good. They were not tasty. Why waste calories on an un-yummy pumpkin pie?? Believe me, I am not anti-dessert. Far from it! But I stand by our decision. The pies weren't good. We threw them out. If I had known folks were going to circle back, I'd have kept the pies until at least the next day. But I didn't know that, so I didn't keep them. I'm afraid the result is that the family likes to tease me for being the Thanksgiving Grinch.
Perhaps you start the day as we do, by participating in the Turkey Trot. Or maybe you will watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to get the holiday underway. Whatever your day holds, I hope it includes great food with family and friends...and don't wait til later to get your slice of pie!
Featured Neighborhood: Highland Park
You have got to take all (or at least most) of your preconceived notions about Highland Park and set them aside for a moment to see the charm in this wonderful small town within the city of Dallas. And "town" is the right word, as it is the Town of Highland Park.
Full disclosure--I grew up in Highland Park, and Chris and I have lived there for the last 4 years.
Many people hear "Highland Park" and immediately go to the stereotypes of extreme wealth and snootiness. Well, I am here to tell you that these impressions, while not without some basis in truth, do not tell the whole story.
Highland Park was among the earliest areas of Dallas to be developed. It is not as old as Oak Cliff or the East Dallas neighborhoods that are adjacent to downtown (Vickery Place, etc), but as the city pushed north, Highland Park and University Park carved out their own communities in late late 1910s and 1920s. Our home, for example, was built in 1928, and a neighbor whose grandparents built the home he lives in today has told me that when the block was being built, it was possible to go hunting in the "forest" that was just to the west of the neighborhood (where West Highland Park is now).
The beauties of HP are many. First of all, the abundant trees and lovely Turtle Creek, which runs through Highland Park, make it a visual treasure. And then the homes offer tremendous architectural interest and appeal. People often think of the great estates of HP, but plenty of HP residents are living in little charmers like our own home (a Tudor) on Livingston. I wish I could say that historic homes in the area are protected...but they are not (unlike many neighborhoods in the City of Dallas, which have historic home overlays). Property rights reign supreme. That said, there is a robust historic preservation society that does all it can to hold onto the original architecture of HP.
Beyond its "good looks," HP stands out for excellence in our police/fire/EMT services. Anyone hired in these positions takes part in all 3 roles, which is an interesting and unique model. In addition, the Town offers very personal attention. Can you believe that one day, there was a knock at our door, and it was an HP town services employee letting us know that our water bill was high, and they were concerned we had a leak.
Life in Highland Park is a lot like life in a small town. Most of all, it makes me think of being a happy child here with my mom and brother: riding my bike to play tennis with my brother at the beautiful tennis courts scattered about; and going with my mom to the Safeway in the HP Village pretty much every day.
(Picture above is an HP original home on Beverly Drive currently under renovation. I just knew they would knock it down, but they didn't! Per my friend Jann Mackey, architectural historian, the home is a Tudor with Flemish bond brickwork. I think it is gorgeous!)
Stuff I Adore
--Pumpkin Scone: I'm sure I wrote about this last year, but I so dearly love pumpkin scones from Starbucks. They simply taste like fall. A perfect morning for me would be a big run followed by a yummy latte and a pumpkin scone. Let's tell the truth. It isn't the pastry that makes the scone so fabulous. It's the icing. It's kind of a crumbly orange triangle with amazing icing. But it's a fall treat, and I enjoy it. Grab one before they get replaced by all things gingerbread! --Satin pillows: Satin pillows are my go-to gift lately. You can get them at many different places, but Paper Affair sells a very nicely-packaged one. Here's why I got interested in them. I sleep hot. I probably flip my pillow 20 times a night to get to "the cool side." Chris bought me an item called a "Chillow" a few years ago. It was supposed to help me stay cool. It ended up leaking water all over the bed. That was the end of the Chillow. Satin pillows stay cooler-than-average, so they are a delight. I highly recommend.
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