A very thankful list…

Last year, Thanksgiving sucked.  My dad was in the hospital on a respirator and we spent a good part of the day in the ICU waiting room.  But I still managed to come up with a list of 101 things I was thankful for.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve tried to remember these things every single day…because life is short and it’s so important to focus on the good things and not waste time on the bad.  Some days it’s hard…work is busy and the train is late and the basement is flooding from some unknown source and there are ten piles of laundry to do and I am tired and cranky.  On those days it’s hard to be thankful, but I still try every day.

Today, I’m updating my list.  Some of these are new and some are repeats of last year.  This year, I’m thankful for…

  1. That we are all together this year.
  2. My dad…who never gave up even when the rest of us would have.
  3. My mom…who is very strong, even though she doesn’t think so.
  4. My brother and sister-in-law…I don’t know what I’d do without them.
  5. My grandfather…who is amazingly kind and generous.
  6. My grandmother…who is no longer with us, but I’m thankful for the years I did get to spend with her.
  7. My other grandmother…who is also no longer with us, but who taught me that sometimes life hands you a bag of crap, but you have to just smile and keep going.
  8. J…who makes me laugh every single day.
  9. Sadie and Sofie…who are always happy to see me and who give me more kisses and snuggles than I can handle.
  10. My “in-laws” (J’s family)…who are amazing and wonderful even though we aren’t legally related.
  11. My niece and nephews…who constantly amaze me and who I love like crazy.
  12. My extended family…who are always there for me…and let me bring all my electronics over to charge during a blackout!
  13. The fact that none of my family or friends was hurt during the hurricane…things can be replaced, but people cannot.
  14. Erin…who I don’t get to see very often, but who is always there if I need her.
  15. Allyson…who is the sister I never had and who gets me like no one else does.
  16. The addition of Everett…who is the coolest baby ever.
  17. The addition of Jake…who kept his mommy waiting a really long time, but was so worth the wait.
  18. Robyn and Phil…my favorite Canadians.
  19. Kallay…for inspiring me to write this post…and to keep smiling no matter what kind of shit life throws my way.
  20. Brooke…who always texts or emails the exact right thing at the exact right time…and who loves TLC as much as I do.
  21. My blog girls…with whom I share special bonds, even though I’ve never met most of them…and who have been so amazingly supportive.
  22. Old friends
  23. New friends
  24. Karma…because I still believe it will eventually catch up to the person who ran my dad over.
  25. My job…because even though it makes me crazy sometimes, I’m lucky to have it.
  26. The best coworkers…who make going to work seem less like a job and more like a fun day with my friends.
  27. This blog…because writing helps keep me sane and because of all the wonderful friends I’ve made because of it.
  28. Books…which take me to another world when I read them.
  29. Movies…that make me laugh or cry or think.
  30. The Macy’s parade…one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
  31. Christmas…and the pretty twinkle lights it brings.
  32. Cupcakes…which are really just little packages of goodness.
  33. The awesome vacation we just took.
  34. Pie…especially the homemade ones sitting in my fridge.
  35. Cooking and baking…which calm me down.
  36. My house…which is messy and quirky, but is our home.
  37. Christmas music…I can finally lift the ban and start listening to it!
  38. Wrapping paper…that makes everything prettier.
  39. Handmade presents.
  40. Decorating my Christmas tree.
  41. Making it down from the attic with the Christmas decorations without having a panic attack.
  42. The hope the holidays bring with them.
  43. A really great night’s sleep.
  44. My amazingly comfortable bed.
  45. My Blackberry…that keeps me in touch with everyone all the time.
  46. Super soft cashmere sweaters.
  47. My health.
  48. The fact that Caroline’s cancer wasn’t any worse and that she’s going to be ok.
  49. Robert’s health and that he finally went to the doctor instead of continuing to ignore the problem.
  50. Peaceful, quiet mornings.
  51. Gorgeous starry nights.
  52. Champagne cocktails.
  53. Creativity.
  54. My fancy new polka-dotted umbrella that I love to twirl.
  55. A positive attitude.
  56. Fuzzy slippers.
  57. Caramel scented candles.
  58. Diet Coke…one of my favorite things.
  59. Thanksgiving day football games.
  60. A three-day weekend to catch up on all the shows on my DVR.
  61. The ability to control my own happiness (this one is stolen from Kallay…but so true!).
  62. Losing weight.
  63. Spa days.
  64. Good timing.
  65. A sense of humor.
  66. My car…which I love more with every new ding, scratch and broken window.
  67. My camera…that allows me to capture images I’ll treasure forever.
  68. The photography class I took that taught me how to take even better pictures.
  69. Learning.
  70. My craft room.
  71. My morning train ride…because it gives me time to read.
  72. The kindness of (some) strangers.
  73. Inspiration.
  74. Motivation.
  75. The right to vote.
  76. My freedom.
  77. My independence.
  78. A delicious, juicy, golden brown turkey.
  79. All the fixings that go along with it.
  80. Black Friday shopping…online only!
  81. Chocolate.
  82. My 365 photo project…which has become a great archive of the year.
  83. Love.
  84. Singing along to the radio in the car.
  85. Singing in the shower.
  86. Dancing around the house with the dogs.
  87. Peppermint body wash that makes me smell so good.
  88. Lazy days spent in the backyard.
  89. The salad place that delivers my lunch every day and makes delicious bread.
  90. My 101 list…and all the things that I’ve been able to cross off.
  91. All the things I still have to look forward to crossing off.
  92. Quitting smoking…that I did years ago and that my dad is going to…again.
  93. The beautiful new art I have to hang on my walls.
  94. Perfectly cooked pizza.
  95. Bacon.
  96. Sunrises and sunsets.
  97. How much I’ve been able to recycle lately…and how little I’ve thrown away.
  98. A hug when I really need one.
  99. Someone to wake up next to each day.
  100. The prayers and support of everyone around me.
  101. Happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  What are you thankful for today???

I’m not really here today…

I’m not really here today.  I’m actually over at From The Sidelines…talking about Thanksgiving football with a little help from my friend. 

I’m just stopping by to give a brief update.  My dad’s surgery finally happened yesterday and everything went very well.  By 5pm he was awake and talking and asking for root beer…and morphine.  He’s got casts on both legs and his arm, but they’ve got him sitting up today and the nurse just told me that he was eating breakfast.  It’s a huge relief to finally be making some progress.  Now he’ll start getting a little better each day. 

And a quick PSA…if you smoke…STOP!!!  Because my dad is such a heavy smoker, they had trouble intubating him for surgery yesterday.  The doctor also indicated that the smoking would impede the healing of his bones.  We’ve always worried about my dad getting lung cancer from his smoking…but it never occurred to us that he might someday be in this situation and face an extended recovery time because of the cigarettes.  You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow…so stop today and you won’t have to worry about things like this!

I’m off to start preparing for Thanksgiving…we have a lot to be thankful for this year!

What I learned at the grocery store…

Who knew going grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner could be educational?  Here’s what I learned last night while collecting the ingredients for our feast…

  • You are not the only person who waits until the last minute to plan a menu and shop for food.  Expect the grocery store to be packed…at 9pm on Tuesday night.
  • The lines and signs in a grocery store parking lot are merely suggestions and you can really drive and park wherever you want.
  • When you wait until the last minute you will have to go to two different stores to get everything on your list because one store will be out of at least three different items. 
  • It’s impossible to get people to move using telepathy – you know, like the guy who blocked access to the turkeys with his cart while he chatted on his phone and drank coffee.  Staring at him while thinking “Move asshole!” will do nothing.
  • If you are going ask the person on the phone to move you are going to have to yell…otherwise they won’t hear you over their own self-importance.
  • Pre-cut vegetables are more expensive, but not having to peel and cut up potatoes is so worth the extra money.
  • People will eat anything if there is a “free sample” sign next to it…even if there is no sign indicating what it is.  This seems to be especially true of cheese and baked goods.
  • It is possible for two grown women to get into a shouting match over a bag of marshmallows. 
  • It’s amusing to watch two grown women get into a shouting match over a bag of marshmallows. 
  • If you strike up a conversation with the person in line ahead of you, you might get yourself invited to Thanksgiving dinner. 
  • If the surly teenager at the register is tired and wants to go home, he will ignore you for five minutes while refilling his bags and talking to his friend at the next register.  If this happens, it’s completely acceptable to throw a 14-pound turkey at him. 
  • If you shop with a boy you will end up with random things in your cart that were not on your list.
  • If you shop alone you will spend far less money than if you shop with a boy.
  • Finding room in the refrigerator for all your newly acquired groceries might require an advanced degree in engineering. 

As you can see, my shopping trip was…eventful.  Want to know what was even better?  When we got home and went to brine the turkey only to find it didn’t fit in any of our cookware.  That was a good time.  Also, when J finally managed to get the turkey into a pot and covered in brine and halfway to the fridge…and then spilled the water…the nasty turkey water…all over the floor and the inside of the fridge.  What was awesome. 

Actually…the very best part was when J suggested we cook and eat the turkey neck.  Turkey grosses me out.  Eating things like necks and feet and tongues grosses me out even more.  So turkey neck?  Um, no.  I gagged right there and immediately threw that disgusting thing in the trash.  I’m gagging now just thinking about it. 

So who else is cooking for Thanksgiving?  Are you going to use the neck and giblets of the turkey?  Have you done your shopping?