Plans For My Solitary Thanksgiving

LaunderAllTheThingsThrough a few random events, I’m looking at spending this upcoming 4-day Thanksgiving weekend mostly by myself. Well, technically it’ll be me and Kitty PoP, and while he’s more of a cuddler when Mr PoP is out of the house, he’s still not much of a conversationalist.

But don’t feel bad for me. Seriously! If I really wanted to spend the holiday with family* or friends, I could easily book a flight or hit up local friends for some good pumpkin pie (the rest of the Thanksgiving meal is always rather underwhelming to me as a vegetarian). But I’m actually rather looking forward to having four days to myself, without work, to get things done around the house. Because how often does this happen? Not often enough.

So here’s what’s on my “To Do” list for the Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Put up our icicle lights and wreath on the outside of the house to ring in the holiday cheer. This isn’t all that unusual since I do this every year when Mr PoP goes out of town to visit friends for most of Thanksgiving weekend.

  • Time Estimate – 2 hours

2. Run 40 or 50 miles depending on the weather. Now that running season is really kicking into high dear in FL, I need to start amping up my training by increasing my distances and getting some speed intervals in there as well and the Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to do so since I won’t need to hop on a bike and commute to work for a few days.

  • Time Estimate – An hour or two each morning.

3. Pull everything we have out of the attic and organize the closet in the guest room to store all of the current attic items. We’ll be losing most of our currently in use attic space when we complete the plans to vault the ceiling in the kitchen, so everything that’s up there needs to come down and I’ll be making room for it in the closet in our guest room. We should have plenty of space for this (we never stored that much in the attic to begin with and the guest closet has a lot in it that is either stored very space inefficiently or should be gotten rid of.

Organizing this space is going to involve going through stacks of papers we’ve managed to collect and not file properly over the past 5 years and shredding what we don’t need anymore and organizing what we need to keep into file cabinets that will be moving into this closet. I’ll need to look over my academic notebooks and textbooks and decide if I’m ready to part with any of them or see if some of them would be better off coming to my office and serving as reference books there rather than at home.

  • Time Estimate – A full day? Maybe 2?

4. Launder ALL THE THINGS. We’ve been without in-home laundry facilities for over a month now and while we’ve been able to drive our laundry over to Mama and Papa PoP’s place a few miles from where we live and get the everyday laundry done there (Thanks again!), it’s been inconvenient enough that items that I like to launder every couple of weeks (bedding, bath mats, shower curtains, etc) haven’t been done in a month. Feel free to be grossed out, it’s to the point where I’m pretty grossed out by it all. Luckily we have laundry facilities back in the house (as of a couple days ago!) which makes that long weekend the perfect time to just launder load after load after load. (Am I weird that the prospect of having everything in the house with the exception of the clothes on my back clean at once thrills me?)

As a bonus, if I really have time, I also want to go through our clothes closet and thin it out a bit to get rid of clothes we’re really never going to wear again. (I’m looking at you yellow shirt bought for Mr PoP on clearance years ago that has never had its tags removed…) I’ll launder those as needed and get them on Freecycle or Goodwill.

  • Time Estimate – Tons of time to run, but not all that much for me to be switching the loads around.

5. Cook a turkey. I’m a vegetarian, but Mr PoP does eat meat if it’s put in front of him, so when it goes on sale I try and stock up and use it for multiple meals for him. But despite the fact that turkeys are sold below cost as loss leaders this time of year, I’ve never attempted a turkey (and honestly have always been a bit intimidated by it). So cooking one when there’s no one around to see if it turns into char feels a bit safer – if it looks inedible it will go into the trash and no one will ever have to know…

Ultimately as long as it looks edible, Mr PoP will have to be the taste tester when he gets back to tell me if I’ve succeeded or not, but I feel like there’s a lot less pressure to attempt it without him around. I’m aware facing this alone means I’ll have to touch giblets, which does gross me out – even more than the unlaundered state of our bedding. I don’t think I’ve touched anything that disgusting since I used liver as part of science experiment in high school. Wish me luck.

  • Time Estimate – A lot of time, but I think most of it is just “waiting” without a whole lot of action on my part.

6. Get some weeding done. We let the rock bed around our pool cage get a bit too weedy this summer; when it’s hot and muggy out weeding never seems like a good idea. But now that the temperature is lovely out there it’s time to pay the piper and go out there and weed.

  • Time Estimate – 4-6 hours? Hopefully I can do this in chunks, maybe one side of the house each day until it’s done.

7. Binge on some good media. I’ve been listening to the new Serial** podcast from the producers of This American Life, but want to binge listen to all of the episodes in order again. Time spent cleaning out closets seems like the perfect opportunity to do so. In fact, I may need even more good media to binge on. If you have any recommendations (podcasts or anything I can access on Hulu!) I’d love them.

  • Time Estimate – As much I can fit in while getting the above chores done.

I’ve got my work cut out for me this Thanksgiving, but I’m oddly REALLY excited about it. It feels like it’s been too long since I’ve had a few solid GSD days and I feel like they’re really needed.


What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Anyone else planning on partaking in a little GSD over the holiday weekend?


* This doesn’t feel super urgent since we just spent a long weekend with Mr PoP’s family and they’ll be returning to FL just a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving for Christmas, anyhow.
** Sarah Koenig is in my top 5 favorite reporters/hosts on NPR and this is a great podcast if you haven’t downloaded it yet!

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