Friday, November 23, 2012

A month of gratitude

I don't do "Black Friday."  Never have.  Hopefully never will.  I don't think any "deal" is good enough to face the madness at the stores.  Plus, my idealistic side is not into supporting the big stores, although my practical side freely admits that I will end up buying some of my holiday presents at them.

For what it's worth, my morning tea latte did *not* come
from Starbucks today.  Although I do drink a lot of Starbucks.

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to get to celebrate Thanksgiving in the company of two good friends and their families.  I contributed a lentil shepherd's pie and a pumpkin pie; other dishes included sweet potatoes, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and an amazing pecan pie.  I have a bunch of leftovers, which Little Bug and I will continue feasting on for at least a few days.  Good food, great conversation, and fun times; D may be away, and I may be unwilling to travel during the holidays, but thanks to a good support network I still had a fabulous holiday.

Little Bug enjoys his first Thanksgiving feast!
It's difficult to get a picture these days that isn't a little bit blurry...

Over the course of November so far, I've been watching as my friends post daily about what they're thankful for.  In that spirit, here is a list of thirty things I am thankful for.

1.  My wonderful husband, D.  As that song goes, "Lucky I'm in love with my best friend..."

2.  My Little Bug, my little sunshine baby.  I am so blessed to have such an amazing son who is helping me to rediscover the wonders of life.

3.  While we're working on those essentials, I'm thankful for the rest of my family, those I'm related to by blood or marriage.  It's nice to have so many people to care about, and who care about us.

4.  Friends, both near and far.  Friends that I've collected over the course of my life thus far and in all of the places I've lived.

5.  I'm thankful D has a secure job that enables me stay home to care for Little Bug.  I'm also thankful D & I are both on the same page financially, and that money is very rarely an issue of contention between us.

6.  I may not have to work, but I'm thankful for being a book reviewer and for my various freelance editing gigs.  The little bit of extra money certainly doesn't hurt!

7.  Of course, I'm very grateful for my little fuzzy monster, Freddy.

Freddy watches Little Bug suspiciously.
Maybe one day they'll be friends...

8.  My ability to cook.  Being able to make healthy, delicious food for my family is a joyful thing.

9.  Certain convenience foods.  I try to cook fresh whenever possible, but on busy days (like Thanksgiving!), it's nice to be able to substitute gravy mix for my usual homemade mushroom gravy and still be satisfied with my meal.

10.  Certain appliances.  I love my slow cooker, and yesterday my immersion blender made pumpkin pie filling into a breezy process.

11.  Books.  I may not get to read as much as I used to before having a baby, but I still love to read.  I am also thankful for my library, and the fact that it only takes me ten minutes to walk there.

12.  Music.  I love to sing, and I sing to my Little Bug every day!

13.  Pie.  Because, honestly, who doesn't love pie?

A crappy cell phone picture of my pumpkin pie.  And then I ate it.

14.  Tea.  My tea drinking habits have definitely changed over the last year; I can't remember the last time I finished a cup of tea at home without having to re-heat it at least once, and at least half the time I'm drinking lactation tea, but that's okay.  I still love my morning tea!

15.  CSAs.  I may not currently be a member of a CSA (because with D gone, I simply cannot eat the contents of an entire box by myself), but I am incredibly thankful that community-supported agriculture programs exist.  Gives me hope for the future of our food system.

16.  Two Sentinels Camp, my other home, even though it's been a few years since I've been able to volunteer there.  This place, and the other people who run it, played a major role in shaping the person I am today.  Someday, I will be back, I promise.  "Two Sentinels will be my home; makes no difference how far away I roam..."

17.  The Internet.  Enough said.

18.  My health.  I'm glad I am relatively fit and healthy, that I have the physical strength and endurance necessary to keep up with my growing boy.

19.  I'm thankful that I had such a positive birth experience, in a time and place where so many women cannot truthfully say the same.

20.  I'm also thankful I've had the courage to follow my instincts when it comes to parenting.  Raising a child is the hardest thing I've ever undertaken, but also the most rewarding!

21.  Text messages.  Seriously.  Ease of communication is a wonderful thing.

22.  Skype and video teleconferencing on base.  I may be separated from D physically at the moment, but at least I get to see his face in real time every now and then!

23.  The forthcoming arrival of the last book of The Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light.  Closure is coming, my friends!

24.  Board games.  And card games.  And dice games.  And role-playing games.  Yes, I'm that kind of nerd.

25.  Freedom of speech.  I listen to the news every day, and I'm always finding new reasons to value the fact that we have the fundamental right to say pretty much anything.

26.  NPR.  Balanced news coverage is a wonderful thing, and I learn new things all the time from all of the other wonderful programming here.

27.  Home.  I've always had a roof over my head, and I've never lived anywhere where I ever felt unsafe.  Well, our first apartment in Sacramento could be debatable.

28.  Our planet.  Sometimes I start thinking about the miracles of science and nature that have all conspired to create this world we inhabit, and then my head starts to hurt.

29.  Chocolate.  Enough said.  Oh wait, I'm also thankful that I started liking chocolate again once Little Bug was born.  Otherwise, that could have been one of life's little tragedies.

30.  My beloved country.  I am unbelievably blessed to have been born in this nation.  Sure, America has its faults, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere in the world but here.

1 comment:

  1. Heheheh!!!! That blurry picture of your wee Bug just cracks me up!!!!! He is adorable!!!! and active :D

    Also, when we were in SD we went out on Black Friday (we were SUPER BORED) so we could walk around and laugh at people shopping. But we were so disappointed - no crowds!! My theory is, there are too many malls in SD for any of them to get all that crowded on Black Friday. Ha!

    It's past Thanksgiving now, but I reckon I can still be thankful! So I will say I am thankful for YOU! I am thankful we met (by chance??) in the crappy gym on a crappy base in a crappy town in a crappy state! I am thankful for your interest in food because really, that is what first brought us together, because we wanted to eat oatmeal and we did, sitting on the floor in a crowded hotel room, eating by the light of the stove lamp out of cruddy little hotel bowls!! Oh, the things we will tell our children one day.

    I think you told me some horror stories about Sacramento, but maybe that's the topic of another post! :D

    29. Chocolate - the other day you posted something about chocolate and I thought, OH!! Since when did she start liking chocolate again!? And I was so, so relieved!!!!

    30. Yes!

    Outstanding list and thank you for sharing :)