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!

33 comments to Plans For My Solitary Thanksgiving

  • I know you are talking about Thanksgiving, but I could not help noticing the mention of NPR. How I loved that station. I always listened to it in the morning as I prepared to go to work and late at night when I was in bed ready to sleep.
    Zambian Lady recently posted..What do you think of Jews?My Profile

  • Sounds like you have a productive few days mapped out! We did some of this (minus the running) over the weekend (while listening to Serial might I add.. agreed, it’s fabulous). In preparation for hosting T-day, we cleaned our house like it’s never been cleaned (vacuumed UNDER beds, thank you very much), did an epic amount of laundry, washed Frugal Hound + all dog-related cloth items, cooked (all Mr. FW), baked (all me), and Mr. FW drywalled over the missing wall in our kitchen and installed a new faucet in the shower. I’m exhausted, but we’re ready.

    Enjoy your time alone–sounds relaxing and quite blissful :).
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted..Frugal Hound Sniffs: Budget BlondeMy Profile

    • Nice! Luckily Kitty PoP is self cleaning, so I won’t need to worry about giving him a bath… but I should probably add scrubbing the tub to the “to do” list as well when the shower curtains are all in the wash. I love showering in a freshly scrubbed shower. =)

  • Spending four days alone sounds amazing to me! I would probably do some deep cleaning/organizing and binge watch some good series on Netflix or something.

    Hope you have an awesome and relaxing time!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..How The Internet Saved Me $780 In Five MinutesMy Profile

  • I assume you listen to RadioLab and Moth Radio hour if you’re an NPR fan, but I’ll mention them just in case. 99% invisible is also one I’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t yet.

    Your weekend sounds amazing. We’re going to see family, which will be nice, but I’d like a weekend like that. I have two days here with my kid in daycare, and I’m doing a bunch of different appointments, finishing grades, planning for next term, and doing a bit around the house (mostly laundry).

    do you do Netflix? We just started Voyager, and I am so excited to watch more.
    Leah recently posted..Summer ReadingMy Profile

    • I’ve caught Radiolab on the air a few times, but never downloaded the podcast and haven’t heard of Moth Radio Hour or 99% Invisible. I’ll have to check them out!

      Good luck getting everything done while the kid is in daycare and have fun with your family for Thanksgiving =)

  • I think it sounds like you have a great plan! I plan on mainly fixing up old blog posts of mine that are formatted terribly. A fun week for me! :)
    Michelle recently posted..Bad Money Mistakes Couples Should Avoid – They May Be Making You Poor and Stressed OutMy Profile

  • Just heard the first episode of Serial and I am HOOKED. Such a cool story to start with, and a cool host, to boot.

    Sounds like you have a really productive holiday planned — have a great one and best of luck w/the turkey!
    Done by Forty recently posted..Quick HitsMy Profile

  • Sounds like an amazing weekend. I would love to have the house to myself for four day. The storage room would be so tidy, I could get the powder room finished, it would be amazing…
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted..Is It Actually Cheaper To Buy A Used Car?My Profile

    • haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one that is excited at the prospect of spending some time alone getting some stuff done around the house. =)

  • Sounds like a pretty darn good use of time to me! I’ll be doing the traditional Thanksgiving things Thursday with Friday spent decorating at home, my mom’s, and my grandmas. Then next week I’ll be off work for some R&R (and a whole lot of work hopefully).
    Kayla @ Everything Finance recently posted..Will You End 2014 In Good Financial Shape?My Profile

  • We already had our Thanksgiving here in Canada but your tips will be good for Xmas too.
    Tawcan recently posted..Does inheritance mean a loss of credibility for personal finance bloggers?My Profile

  • beth

    Where is not wear a bra and spend the entire weekend in your pajamas? That is always number one on my winter weekend check list.

    Also missing from your list is eat something very inappropriate for breakfast (cookie dough or red licorice?) and have popcorn with real butter for supper at least one night.

    • “Where is not wear a bra and spend the entire weekend in your pajamas?”

      haha, thought that was a given! =) Same with the popcorn for dinner… that doesn’t require a holiday!

  • I for one am envious. My recent post lamented that I don’t have free time….and how my bathroom remodel is taking far too long. I know you guys can relate! Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy that free time
    Income Surfer recently posted..Update and a Few ProspectsMy Profile

  • We’re listening to Serial right now (on episode six) during our trip to see family for the holiday. What race are you training for? I have the Memphis St. Jude Marathon in 12 days.
    AverageJoe recently posted..Black Friday Shopping with Brent Shelton from FatWalletMy Profile

    • We’ve got a pretty packed Q1 planned, so I’m doing the local races that I do every year. They’re good ones and won’t require too much travel =)

  • There is nothing wrong with your plan. A four day weekend is priceless and should never be wasted. Yet still…Happy Thanksgiving. Oh 40 to 50 miles…I felt tired just reading that. Just saying.

  • We are going all-out this year. We used to do something half-assed or nothing, but then we moved much closer to my family–yay, free turkey! But now we’ve moved across the country and the tots (2 and 3) keep making turkeys in school and so on, so they are old enough to have expectations.

    So… We are roasting a turkey! (Let the record show that this was not actually my idea, and I wanted to buy a small portion of pre-made turkey.) Green bean casserole! Candied yams! Mashed potatoes! At least Sprouts is having a three-dollar sale on pumpkin pie, so we won’t be producing THAT from scratch.

    • Oooh! Let me know how the turkey roasting goes! I think I’ll attempt mine on Saturday or Sunday so would love to benefit from any insight you have while preparing yours.

  • Alice

    I am also having a solo Thanksgiving (by choice) but people seem to think it’s such a big deal! Ha. If I wanted to, I could go somewhere. The only part of Thanksgiving meal I like are the potatoes and pie and I will be picking up a nice pie for myself, yum.

    Instead I am using this day off to deep clean and declutter. I am glad I am not the only one excited for that, ha ha. Also having everything laundered is so neat!

    Enjoy your holiday and solitude.

    • mmmm… Publix does have pumpkin pies on sale this week… maybe I can get one as a post-running snack!

      Enjoy your Thanksgiving, Alice – it sounds perfect. =)

  • That sounds like a great weekend actually! I love crossing projects off my to do list and feeling accomplished after it’s done. And I hear you on the turkey. I’m not a vegetarian, and I’m intimidated at the prospect of cooking a big, whole bird! Luckily I’ve not had to yet. I’ll have to check out that podcast. You’re not the first person to recommend it, and I need something like that to take my mind off how much I dislike doing dishes.
    Natalie @ Budget and the Bees recently posted..Thanksgiving = Family Health HistoryMy Profile