Tag Archive | thankful

Being thankful for a peaceful day and other things

First, to all my readers who don’t live in the United States: Happy Thursday!

Second, here in the U.S. it’s Thanksgiving, a holiday often observed by stressing out while gathering with family, eating too much, and trying not to get into arguments with your racist uncle. We are told it is to commemorate a feast shared by the pilgrims (who we are assured came to the new world in search of religious freedom) and the Native Americans who welcomed them to these shores; while we sweep under the rug the fact that those pilgrims did not seek freedom, but rather wanted to impose a theocracy where they forced people to abide by their beliefs, that they only survived as long as they did because the Native Americans took pity on this group of malcontents who didn’t know anything about agriculture, and how eventually we stole the native’s land, massacred the women and children, made deals we later refused to keep, and then destroyed a significant amount of carefully curated land (driving many animal and plant species to extinction).

For a lot of us—specifically queer people—it is a doubly-stressful holiday. When we were closeted it was an annual reminder that many (if not all) of our relatives didn’t love us for who we are, but rather they love a facade we wore in self-defense from the homophobic beliefs of society and the self-loathing that society instilled. After we come out of the closet, it is the annual reminder that our queer selves are tolerated at best. We are expected to smile and sit quietly while outrageous and hateful things are said about people like ourselves and those we love. And if we commit the sin of letting that plastered-on smile slip and express an opinion of our own, we’re expected to apologize and agree that our lives, fears, and aspirations are not fit topics for polite conversation.

We used to spend alternating holidays with my Mom and the gaggle of relatives that live near her—Thanksgiving one year, Christmas the next. While then celebrating the other holiday at home. The last time we did that was the Thanksgiving right after the 2016 election. We knew it was going to be more stressful than usual, so we had planned to cut the length of visit shorter than usual.

It was worse than we thought. Instead of just having one or two people casually making racist and related comments, and just about everyone occasionally quoting a Fox News talking point or something a televangelist said, it seemed like everyone had turned into the racist uncle. Since then, we’ve stayed home for both holidays. Several days before Christmas (since I get a ton of paid-time-off from my work, I always have a few extra days in December), I drive down to deliver presents to the relatives there. I spend most of the day with Mom. I visit at least briefly with folks while I drop things off. And something about it not being the actual holiday makes everyone less likely to start spouting off their religious talking points.

So far, no one has come out and asked me if we’re skipping the holidays on purpose. I suspect it’s only a matter of time. But for now, this seems to work.

It will just be the two of us for Thanksgiving again this year. And I know I already have more food planned than we could eat in a single day. My husband keeps pointing out that we’ll just have leftovers for a few days.

Enough about that. Without further ado, here are some of the things I’m thankful for:

  • my smart, kind, sexy, hard-working husband
  • pickled foods
  • people who help other people
  • coffee
  • music
  • purple
  • living in the future
  • storytellers
  • all the hummingbirds, chickadees, juncos, sparrows, finches, and Stellar Jays that visit my veranda a birdfeeder
  • let’s not forget the crows!
  • great ideas suggested by friends, such as the person who told me the secret that a separate squirrel-feeder stocked with pumpkin seeds will keep the squirrels from wasting most of the birdseed while going after the parts they like
  • flowers that decide to bloom again during the coldest week of weather we’ve had this fall
  • friends who will watch football with me and don’t blink an eye at my screaming at the TV during the game
  • modern medical science
  • books
  • science
  • people who fill the world with joy
  • sci fi books and the authors who imagine those many futures
  • misty grey mornings
  • people who know you so well that when they find weird things amazing things (like combination bendy-straws/cocktail umbrellas, for instance) that they realize you would love them
  • cocktails
  • eggnog
  • people who vote
  • stuffing
  • people who make art or stories or music
  • pie
  • NaNoWriMo writing buddies
  • the magical piece of glass I can carry around in my pocket that contains all my friends (you call it an iPhone, I call it magic!)
  • people who love
  • the squirrels that visit our veranda—even that troublemaker that I call Crazy Ivan
  • kittens and puppies and tigers and otters and mousies
  • tea
  • gravy
  • people who fix things
  • my bananas, sometimes infuriating relatives (who I’m sure find me even more bewildering than I ever do them)
  • not having to spend the holiday with (especially) the most infuriating relatives again this year
  • my sweet, clever, ultra-capable, cheerful, long-suffering husband (who definitely deserves to be on this list twice!)
  • fantasy books and the authors who spin such beautiful marvels
  • people who love things so much that they feel compelled create fan works
  • playlists
  • hugs
  • books
  • readers
  • lavender
  • fuzzy socks and warm slippers
  • all my incredible friends—who are talented, giving, kind, funny, accomplished, and clearly the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me!

We are supposed to be giving thanks, after all

“Have a gay ol' Thanksgiving”

Click to embiggen

Last weekend I was at Costco with a medium-sized list of things we needed that are cheapest there. One of those items was a small turkey. In the past when we’ve been trying to make dinner for just the two of us, we’ve had trouble finding a turkey that wasn’t gigantic. One reason is that back at the old place while we had two refrigerators with freezer compartments, both were standard apartment-sized things so didn’t have a place to keep a turkey frozen for any length of time. So we’d wait until it was nearly the holiday and by then most grocery stores only had the largest sizes left. Then last year Michael discovered that Costco stocks a much wider variety of sizes of turkeys than most grocery stores, which was very handy.

Now this year we do have our small chest freezer, so storing a big bird is possible—but we had to start making an effort a bit over a week ago to cook dinners exclusively from things in the freezer and refrain from buying freezable-things we found on sale at the grocery store until we made enough room in the freezer for the turkey.

But I digress… I was looking for a small turkey, when I heard a voice nearby say, “Isn’t it a bit to early to be buying a turkey?” The person wasn’t talking to me, but rather to the woman who was with him. It appeared to be a small family of like a grandpa, grandma, a mom, and two children, and the grandpa-looking guy was the one questioning their search of the turkey bins. The subsequent conversation was quite amusing to overhear: grandma and mom told him Thanksgiving was just five days away, he argued, the kids got involved. He was absolutely certain that Thanksgiving is always the last Thursday in November. One of them had to show him their calendar on their phone before he believed then that Thanksgiving was this week. Then he said something along the lines that he had a lot less time to get the house ready for everyone coming over.

Anyway, I wasn’t quite as bad as he was, but it was just a week previous that both Michael and I had been shocked to realize Thanksgiving was less then two weeks away. It wasn’t that we didn’t know the holiday was the fourth Thursday, simply we didn’t quite realize that much of the month was already gone.

Tomorrow it is just the two of us for Thanksgiving. Despite trying to keep the menu small, I know we will have way too much food. Still, I’m looking forward to my turkey and stuffing and sweet potato pie and all the rest. And I’m feeling quite a bit less gloomy this year than the previous two holiday seasons. Many things in the world are still very messed up, but there is more than a glimmer of hope, now.

So, here are things I’m thankful for:

  • my smart, kind, sexy, super capable, funny husband
  • the people who turned out and voted bue
  • coffee
  • purple
  • books
  • science
  • people who laugh and fill the world with joy
  • sci fi books that tell of wonderful futures
  • people who help other people
  • people—often from segments of society who are always told they don’t matter/should listen to their betters/et cetera—who ran for office large and small this year
  • beautiful misty grey mornings
  • people who make art or stories or music
  • music
  • NaNoWriMo writing buddies
  • cocktails
  • modern medical science
  • people who love
  • living in the future
  • tweety birds and kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
  • flowers
  • people who keep striving in spite of it all
  • stuffing
  • my crazy, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
  • not having to spend the holiday with (especially) the most infuriating relatives again this year
  • my sweet, clever, mega-competent, long-suffering husband (who definitely deserves to be on this list twice!)
  • music
  • gravy
  • all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and clearly the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me even at my most dickish

Thank you, each and every one. And whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it

Trying to remember to be thankful

“This is Chef. Chef's been cooking since four this morning. You better be hungry. Happy Thanksgiving.” © Don Chooi  http://dchooidoodles.tumblr.com

“This is Chef. Chef’s been cooking since four this morning. You better be hungry. Happy Thanksgiving.”
© Don Chooi
http://dchooidoodles.tumblr.com

The point of the holiday is supposed to be to remember the things in our lives we have to be thankful for. And normally I’m all over that. But I would be lying if I said that everything is wonderful and I have great hopes for the future. And I know that I am hardly the only person struggling to remember that the world is full of good things as well as all the crazy, awful, and so forth that we’re all enduring right now.

So, here are things I’m thankful for:

  • my smart, sweet, sexy, super capable, long-suffering husband
  • coffee
  • the many cute birds that visit my bird feeder every day
  • purple
  • sci fi books that tell of wonderful futures
  • people who help other people
  • flowers
  • people who make art
  • science
  • my crazy, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
  • not having to spend the holiday with (especially) the most infuriating relatives this year
  • cocktails
  • people who love
  • radio and wireless technologies
  • kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
  • books
  • stuffing
  • music
  • the many almost magical computing devices that I can now wear on my wrist, carry in my pocket, and otherwise bring a wealth of information and possibilities that was only barely imaginable when I was a kid
  • all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and clearly the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me

Thank you, each and every one. And whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it

At least we’ll have pie…

(Maxine created by John Wagner, © Hallmark Licensing, LLC)

(Maxine created by John Wagner, © Hallmark Licensing, LLC)

We’re spending Thanksgiving at Mom’s, which is a very small space for the number of people who will be there, and the kitchen is even tinier. So coordinating holiday dinners is always a little difficult, particularly since we are driving down the night before and staying at a nearby hotel (by the time this posts, we should be there, obviously). If we lived a lot closer, we’d be able to cook some things here the morning before, but that isn’t an option. The other extended family members who live nearby have various restrictions on their space and facilities, as well. A few years ago, Mom and I collaborated on ordering dinner from a local store which I picked up that morning. But it was… well… it wasn’t good. And the small town she is in doesn’t have any better options.

Which isn’t to say that the dinners haven’t been good and enjoyable. And as crowded as everything gets when we’re all crammed in at Mom’s small place, if we had more (shall we say) elaborate food, it would be even more difficult. It’s just that there is a part of me—primed by memories of epic childhood holiday dinners, plus a boatload of pop culture expectations, and memories of elaborate holiday dinners I’ve cooked as an adult—that keeps wanting it to be more. It’s emotional baggage, rather than any actual shortcoming of the event, right?

Which means that I have to spend a certain amount of time before the holiday psyching myself out to not be disappointed, and (perhaps more importantly) to not act as if I’m disappointed.

This year I’m responsible for the relish tray, a salad (specifically Mom wants me to make the salad my hubby dubbed Foofy Salad), and pies. All are things that are easy to transport and don’t need to be cooked or heated when we arrive. And it has the upside of leaving me certain that there will be pie. Later this weekend, we’ll be cooking a dinner with some of the traditional holiday dishes that we don’t get on the actual day.

Before I queue this up and finish packing, I want list some of the things I’m thankful for; if for no other reason to remind myself that there is still a lot of good in the world:

  • my wonderful, handsome, sweet, smart, talented, and sexy husband
  • purple
  • people who love
  • kittens
  • people who make art, stories, music, and other creative things
  • mousies
  • radio and other wireless technology
  • coffee
  • people who help other people
  • my friends—wonderful, talented, nerdy, loving, and some of them nearly as crazy as me
  • people who make things work
  • puppies
  • books
  • otters
  • my wonderful, talented, hard-working, handsome husband who inexplicably puts up with me (who absolutely deserves to be on this list more than once!)
  • people who sweat the details
  • flowers
  • tigers
  • people who don’t sweat the details
  • science
  • my job
  • raspberries
  • satellites and space craft and telescopes
  • my extended chosen family, which yes overlaps with several other times on this list (not just the third)
  • technology that lets me carry my entire music library in my pocket, access the world’s libraries from the palm of my hand, read silly things people say halfway around the world, all while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store
  • my family, yes even the most exasperating, because they’re part of what made me who I am, and I’m sure that I drive them just as crazy as they drive me
  • electricity
  • people who clean up after disasters
  • readers
  • pie
  • pi
  • good food, drink, and opportunities to be merry
  • my sexy husband who keeps me sane, fixes things I break, finds things I lose, and perhaps most importantly, inspires me to ignore my worst impulses and go high when others or the world goes low

Thank you, everyone who reads this. Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope that you are surrounded by love. I hope your life contains more blessings than troubles. May you find joy, and may you know that you give others reason to be thankful.

It is about being thankful, after all

Things to be grateful for (Click to embiggen).

Things to be grateful for (Click to embiggen).

It’s easy to spend all of our time worrying about bad things happening in the world, ranting about stupid things people do, complaining about problems that plague us, and so forth. I feel especially bad doing that because a lot of things in my life are not just good, they’re wonderful. And it’s worthwhile to remember that. And not just remember it, but share it.

So, among the things I’m thankful for this year:

  • My husband — sweet, kind, loving, smart, sexy, and way too awesome for the likes of me
  • My friends — talented, entertaining, amazing, supportive, and inexplicably willing to put up with me
  • purple, anything purple
  • people who help other people
  • books
  • coffee
  • people who sweat the details
  • flowers
  • people who make good art
  • electricity
  • people who love
  • soy nog
  • people who clean up after natural disasters
  • rockets and satellites and space probes and all the cool things humans build to learn more about everything
  • tigers
  • people who make other people laugh
  • otters
  • my family, yes even the most crazy, because they’re part of what made me who I am, and I’m sure that I drive them just as crazy as they drive me
  • people who make music
  • my job
  • people who don’t sweat the small stuff
  • my wonderful, talented, hard-working, long-suffering, handsome husband (who absolutely deserves to be on this list more than once!)
  • people who dance
  • raspberries
  • people who do science
  • kittens, puppies, adorable pictures, and all the sweet goofy things in the world
  • people who build things
  • music
  • technology that lets me carry my entire music library in my pocket, access the world’s libraries from the palm of my hand, read silly things people say halfway around the world, and complain about the most petty first world problems while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store
  • people who care
  • my extended chosen family, which yes overlaps with several other times on this list (not just the second)
  • the crazy world of entertainment that gives us everything from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to Ashe vs Evil Dead and everything in between
  • readers
  • sexy people (yes, including the cast of Magic Mike)
  • my clever, patient husband who happens to be both an amazing computer resurrectionist and a damn good cook

Thank you, everyone who reads this. Where ever you are, whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today or not, I hope your life has more blessings than tribulations. May you be surrounded by love and filled with joy—because you deserve it!

Lots to be thankful for (click to embiggen)

Lots to be thankful for (click to embiggen)

Thankful

slide_383990_4582060_freeI’ve spent way too much time thinking about, talking about, reading about, or ranting about bad things. It’s Thanksgiving, and the truth is that I have a lot to be thankful for. And sometimes it’s useful to stop and remind ourselves of the good things in our lives.

I’m thankful for:

  • my smart, sweet, sexy, long-suffering husband
  • coffee
  • people who help other people
  • flowers
  • people who don’t sweat the small stuff
  • science
  • purple
  • my wonderful, crazy, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
  • people who love
  • radio and wireless technologies
  • kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
  • ponies!
  • books
  • portable music players
  • all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and must be the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me

Thank you, each and every one. And whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it!

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