3:30 a.m. Horrible dog barks, whines, and scratches on door. I ignore it. I fall asleep, dream that my mother has recovered and is working on a new book. Dog whines and scratches on door some more, but I outlast said dog and fall back to sleep.

6:15 a.m. I get up, brush teeth, take allergy pill, clip on my Fitbit, and do Wii step for 30 minutes while watching Restless on Netflix. I then have cranberry bran muffins, scrambled eggs, and half a grapefruit for breakfast, put the remaining muffins in the freezer for tomorrow, and put the turkey into cold water. I dress and check email.


7:38 a.m. My dad calls worrying about the timing of the dressing. I come up with a solution. I also get the blogs and social media ready for the day.

8:30 a.m. I make my bed, wash my face and apply serum, and head off to brine the turkey. I am unsuccessful, as the giblets are still frozen solidly into what the cookbooks call “the cavity.” I put the turkey into cold water and get back to the computer. My face feels much better.

8:52 a.m. Begin blogging.

10:52 a.m. Finish blogging (for the moment). How tidy is that? I must now write an ebook real quick.

11:40 a.m. With the ebook half done, I head back to brine that turkey. I wrest the offal from the bird, grunting, and rub its flesh with fleur de sel, brown sugar, garlic powder, and herbes de provençe. I place the turkey back in the fridge and scrub my hands.

11:49 a.m. Only slightly traumatized, I get back to the ebook.

12:46 p.m. Tomorrow’s flowers are delivered. Removing them from the box and preparing them takes about the same amount of time and struggle as preparing the turkey did, but was much more fragrant and lovely. I return to the ebook.

1:13 p.m. #2 daughter calls to say she’s on her way. Bisi the cat climbs up on my desk and starts kneading my shoulder, purring. I send the completed ebook off to the designer and decide to have lunch.

2:31 p.m. Having had lunch, done some rudimentary tidying and attempted a new style of centerpiece (it looked so good on Pinterest!), I return to finish up the work for the day.

2:33 p.m. The Thanksgiving paper napkins arrive. I don’t know quite why I made such a fuss over these (just in my mind, of course), but I am very happy that they got here before the meal. I also received a jar of marmalade, essential to the cake I’m baking, in a box the size of a microwave with more packaging than the jar itself. Still, I’m also very glad that arrived in time. I now have all the basic ingredients for the festivities.

2:59 p.m. Work is over. Now for the holiday preparations! I make a list of all the dishes that must be prepped, dust, clean up the kitchen, and try to make a centerpiece. It looked much better on Pinterest. I dress the mantelpiece and decide to make do.

4:10 p.m. My husband arrives home. We repair the wallpaper, rehang pictures, and

4:30 p.m. We greet #2 daughter. She and I catch up on all the news while baking a cake and a pie. We contemplates making Florentarts, but decide that it is too difficult. I add ganache filling to the brownie cups #1 son and I made earlier in the week and froze.

5:46 p.m. #1 son arrives, so we give up our plan for a girlie dinner of wild mushroom ravioli and pomegranate, and order pizza instead.

6:03 p.m. While waiting for the pizza, #1 son began cleaning the kitchen and #2 daughter and I joined in while discussing cooking, baking, physics, and chemistry.

6:04 p.m. I look up the recipe for Susan Stamberg’s cranberry relish. We discover that we have no horseradish.

7:30 p.m. After dinner, we head to the grocery to amend this lack. I see someone whom I fear that I know and don’t really remember. I greet her far more warmly than I should, but then hurry on to the horseradish aisle, for fear that I actually don’t know her. #2 daughter makes fun of me.

8:00 p.m. We return home and make the cranberry relish, check to be sure we have everything else for the big day, and sit down with my husband to watch Arrow. Dogs race around madly. #2 daughter’s dog barks at Bisi in a high-pitched voice. Bisi puts her ears back and leaps at said dog in a kamikaze fury. Dog is very happy.

10:00 p.m. I head off to bed.