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A Gusty Year

    Last week, we filled up the house with family.  My parents, who hadn't been to visit since 2018, came up from Oregon for the whole week and that gave us time to do more than just share a Thanksgiving meal. We had a girls' tea on Tuesday, complete with clotted cream and scones, finger sandwiches, and strawberries.  We used the teacup collection that belonged to my mother-in-law Esther -- now gone 28 years.  Tea is more fun with a six-year old girl in the family, but she wasn't the only one who was into it, I can assure you. We also managed to stop by Swanson's Nursery for some holiday spirit and hot chocolates. For Thanksgiving we set two tables to fit everyone in, and we didn't skimp on making everyone's favorite side dishes.  It took a group effort, but by 4 p.m. we had a buffet full of amazing dishes to eat.  Our "turkey" was vegetarian turkey slices with herbed stuffing and of course gravy and cranberry sauce . . . then we had mashed potatoes, t

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