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Trading misery for gratitude

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“If you want to be miserable, think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, what respect people ought to pay you and what people think of you.” -Charles Kingsley

I love/hate that quote. Because while the truth may set you free, it’s a rare person who won’t go a few rounds with it before finally surrendering and admitting defeat. Lately I’ve been a little miserable, which is why I haven’t posted here. I could rant and rave about how things haven’t turned out the way they should have, about how people are going to regret the decisions they’ve made and what those decisions mean for the rest of us, but after two attempts at an eloquent and intelligent response to current circumstances, it’s clear that I simply cannot express my sense of loss without sounding like a whiny butthead.

And I think we can all concur that the interwebs already have a lion’s share of those.

Instead of spending time in the virtual world, I’ve been spending some quality time in the non-virtual one, and have been richly blessed in doing so. I’ll be back to my old ranting, ridiculous self soon, but in the meantime, I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and that we would all set aside any thoughts of what we hope for but do not have and replace those thoughts with a spirit of gratitude for what we have been given. Which in my case, is ridiculously more than I deserve.

Confessions of a Thanksgiving slacker

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If you were to show up at my door on Thanksgiving day, I would welcome you into my home. I would offer you a cold beverage and invite you to stay for dinner. The main dish would be a delicious turkey most likely cooked to perfection and filled with delicious stuffing. But if you were to compliment me on the deliciousness of said turkey, I would have to confess that I had nothing to do with the preparation of the bird.

I’m a 46 year old wife and mother of two.

And I have never even attempted to cook a turkey, nor have I ever offered to do so. It seems so daunting. So mystical and wrought with salmonella poisoning potential.

On any given Thanksgiving, I am either in the company of my mother and sisters or my mother-in-law and sisters-in-laws. All of whom are better cooks than me. I am usually relegated to setting the table, making iced tea and putting ice in glasses, and I do so without complaining. Much.

I have also never baked a pie from scratch, made a sweet potato casserole or any number of side dishes considered regular fair for a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not so much that I can’t cook, I just don’t enjoy cooking. I am perfectly happy to surrender my kitchen to more experienced cooks, help where help is needed and provide comic relief as necessary.

Because I’m quite sure my first Thanksgiving turkey would turn out something like this:

So, what about you?

Are you an experienced turkey cooker?

Any Thanksgiving confessions you’d like to share?

Bunnies can’t cook turkey…

And neither can I, but I’m a pretty good dancer…

Thanksgiving 2009 marks the 44th consecutive year I have NOT cooked a turkey. Just lucky, I guess.

Thank you all for stopping by my silly little blog time and time again. Especially when you’re never quite sure what you’re in for once you get here. And while I’m rarely at a loss for words, I find myself struggling to convey what an incredible blessing this experience has been – from the friendships I have made to the doors that have opened up. It’s really quite mind boggling.

I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I’m so very grateful for you. Not kidding…

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

-Philippians 1:3-11

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…already

Oh, I know, I know…it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and I’m already doing a Christmas post.

Editor’s note: For those reading this outside the USA, Thanksgiving is an American holiday where we celebrate white guys in funny hats and knickers bringing disease and pestilence to the New World and stealing the land from the Native Americans. Some of us were raised to believe that this holiday was about being grateful to God for our blessings, but we stand corrected.

I also realize that there are some of you who will read this from atop your high horse because you’re already finished with your Christmas shopping and will spend Black Friday sipping eggnog and stringing lights from your eaves. You people are annoying…

But for the rest of you slackers, I thought I’d give you a heads up in what seems to be the hottest trend in holiday decor at places that buy stuff the major retailers couldn’t sell. It seems that since many retailers start putting up Christmas decorations before Halloween, someone got the crazy idea to combine the two holidays:

Scary Christmas!

For today’s post, I will focus on decorations (even though I got some great gift ideas before I was given the stink eye by the store manager and thought it best to leave the store with my camera phone in hand.)

Question: What do you get when you cross Jolly Old St. Nick and the Bride of Chuckie?

Answer: This

That poor deer is a goner for sure!

But wait…there’s more! Maniacal Mice!

and Sluggo the Snowman (“You talking to me?”)

But it’s not ALL evil, some of it is just…well…

What is this? Seriously…I know it’s supposed to be a Christmas tree, but who makes something like this, stands back and says, “This is really good. Let’s make a million of them.”? #FAIL

On a brighter note, I did find a lovely “Holiday tree skirt”. But just between you and me, I’m going to need to let it out in the waist a bit. Must be all the Halloween candy…

Blogging: We’re going to need more monkeys

What is your blog about?

Assuming you have a blog, how often have you been asked that question? My answer usually goes something like this: “Um, well, that’s sort of hard to explain. It’s sort of like talking to me, without so many random obscure references to subjects we’re not even discussing. Also, while writing, I’m not distracted by blank stares or someone constantly interrupting with questions pertaining to what on God’s green earth I’m talking about.” Seriously, my blog is about what the header says it’s about: thoughts and commentary from my ADD mind. At least, that’s how it started out. But I was reading an old book by Robert Fulghum called “It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It” that sums it up much better in the introduction:

Show and Tell was the very best part of school for me, as a student and as a teacher. Not recess or lunch, but that special time set aside each week for students to bring something important to class to share and talk about.

As a kid, I put more into getting ready for my turn to present than I put into the rest of my homework. Show-and-Tell was real in a way that much of what I learned in school was not. It was education that came out of my life experience. And there weren’t a lot of rules about Show-and-Tell — you could do your thing without getting red-penciled or gonged to your seat.

As a teacher, I was always surprised by what I learned from these amateur hours. A kid I was sure I knew well would reach down into the paper bag he carried and fish out some odd-shaped treasure and attach meaning to it beyond my most extravagant expectation. It was me, the teacher, who was being taught at such moments.

Again and again I learned that what I thought was only true to me…only valued by me…only cared about by me…was common property.

Show-and-Tell was a bit disorderly and unpredictable. What the presentations lacked in conventional structure was compensated for by passion for the subject at hand.

The principles guiding this [blog] are not far from the spirit of Show-and-Tell. It is my stuff from home — that place in my mind and heart where I most truly live.

And so, to my old friends and new; to my lurkers and my prolific commenters; to those of you whose blogs I read on a regular basis and others I check in on from time to time — Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share my stuff and for sharing your stuff with me. Thank you for allowing me to be silly, sarcastic, serious, sappy, self-righteous, and a bunch of other “S” words. I’m a better writer, listener and dare I say better person for the experience.

This is not a “Goodbye Hey Look a Chicken” post. Just a “Thanks for the Memories So Far” post.

Thank You God!

Okay, now you know I don’t like to get all mushy and whatnot, but tomorrow before I go into full carb-loading mode, I’m going to say a special thank you to God for all of you — my chatty blogger pals and my mysterious lurker buddies. You’ve made me laugh, made me cry (in a good way), made me think, made me work a bit harder at writing posts worth reading, and ministered to me in ways I could never have imagined. Thank you.

A very special thanks to Jamie and Jake, who were the first to read my blog because they wanted to, not because I asked them to.

Happy Thanksgiving from WKRP

Sorry about all the show credits in the beginning of this video — I just fast forwarded through them on youtube. Some of you younger folks may not remember the show WKRP in Cinncinatti. This is my all time favorite Thanksgiving show ever. (Which, in retrospect might reveal a little more of my somewhat warped sense of humor than I should.) If I don’t get a chance to tell you before tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless You!

For some reason, youtube has disabled the embed function on this video, so here’s the link: