This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot of things. And, for this month of November, I wrote down some of those things, one each day leading up to today. I wrote them down and put them in a dish, and I watched that dish fill with things that I probably take for granted a lot. So now, sitting on a couch, in a warm house, with a belly full of good food, surrounded with technology and trivial possessions, I’d like to share some of the things I am thankful for:
This is going to be a long post.
I’m just pulling papers at random here so, in no particular order (unless you believe in that kind of thing):
My Fit. I love my car. It’s small. It’s orange. It’s bigger on the inside. It’s fun to drive. It’s easy to handle. It didn’t take too long to get it unstuck from the snow today. My Fit is Go.
My mom. Always. More than my Fit, obviously. But, again. Random. While we’re at it, I’m thankful for my whole family. My mom, my sister. Even my brothers.
Twitter and Tumblr. More specifically, the friends I have made on Twitter and Tumblr. I should name them, but I won’t. You all know who you are. I had no one when I moved here and now I have so many persons. I love you all.
My job and my coworkers. I love my job. Even when it’s hard. Even when it’s frustrating. Even when I feel lost. I know I’m doing some good out there. It’s a good fit for me. My coworkers pull everything together for me. We are a cohesive group, and we have a lot of fun together.
Fiona. My kitty. My little tumor. My little pukemeister. My little Fiefdom. My cuddler. My couch-scratcher. My food-eater. My table-sitter. My singer. My alarm clock. My… you get the idea. I love my cat and she drives me crazy and I love that she drives me crazy. And I love that she cuddles.
Beer! No explanation needed, but exclamation point required.
Krista. She inspired this you know. This blog right here inspired this whole thing, and I am grateful for it. Thank you, Krista! #smf
Books. I haven’t taken the time to read in… a while. I started Android Karenina. It’s overdue now. I already renewed it as much as I could. I am probably not going to finish it. I’m not that into it. But the time I took to actually read it felt great. I have so many books I’ve purchased to read and never make time for. I’m going to change that. Books make me happy. Curling up on the couch with a blanket and a book and a mug of some type of hot beverage is my favorite thing. Especially now that I’ve vowed to put a Christmas tree up. Books are better when read by tree lights. I know. I’m a pro at this.
Being flawed, unfixable, and bff-less for life. I have a lot of friends I consider besties. I put some trust in a lot of people. I don’t have one, single bff, and I am ok with that. I have a lot of flaws. I am unfixable on many levels. And I am not alone. Others are like me, and I found them. I love you guys a lot.
Lake Michigan. It is a different kind of beautiful every single day, and sometimes I think I am the only one that notices. Everyone else is too busy going 60 in the 30 zone to glance over and notice that the waves are different, it’s a different shade of blue, the sun reflects a different color, those clouds accent it just right. I fell in love with Lake Michigan and it was a part of me moving to Wisconsin. It’s beautiful, and brings a lot of joy to my life.
Cold weather. I love it. I hate it when the temperature gets above 70. I love wearing my yellow hat and my orange sweater and my brown jacket. I love wearing my dresses with knee highs and leggings. I love stomping through snow in my boots. I love Christmas. I love snuggling under a blanket. I love sitting around fires. Cold weather brings me a lot of things that I love.
Brunch. I love brunch. I love a good Bloody Mary or some endless Mimosas. And, usually, brunch brings me my Sara. Me and my brunch buddy, Sara, have a goal to eat brunch everywhere. Sample every bloody. We will probably grow old together and die trying to reach our goal. We’re gonna do it.
Fall leaves. The trees changing. The sun shining through the leaves. The leaves falling. The leaves crunching under my feet. The change of seasons. Love it all!
My new flat. Oh my God, do I love my place. I’m so grateful I stumbled across it. What a crazy, random happenstance. I have awesome neighbors. I have a garage. I have my own wash machine. I am 2 blocks from the lake and the South Shore Farmers Market. It’s the perfect size for me. I made a reading area in the basement. It is my home and, for the first time since I moved here, I’m living in a place that feels like home. It’s a place that deserves the Christmas tree I’m going to put up. I even bought a Boy Scout garland for the balcony. Because I want to show off that I live there. I’m proud of it, dammit!
My fuzzy bathrobe. It’s purple and fuzzy and warm and I would probably wear it to work if I could get away with it.
The success of my friends. When my friends are happy, I’m happy. Sara C. ditched her old boss and started her own business. It’s going places. Krista and Stephanie found new jobs they love. Chelsey moved to Milwaukee and just started working a job she loves at a brewery. Annie and Bruce and Sara and Ed are all a part of a company that is going higher all the time. So many good things are happening to so many friends. It gives me hope and optimism for those of my friends still waiting for their turn of good fortune.
Bad television drama. Yes. Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, Fringe, The Event. Yes. Bring it on. I love gluing my eyes to bad scripts and repeating plot lines. Gimme gimme gimme.
Gianna Mae Jording. My cousin delivered a beautiful 7 pound, 10 ounce baby girl on November 2nd. I can’t wait to meet her this summer!
My good health. Obviously I wrote this before I was diagnosed with pneumonia but, you know. That’s temporary. I’m usually pretty healthy and, when I’m not, I have insurance. Very, very grateful.
Skirts and dresses. You know. Excuses for not wearing pants. Sometimes I love being a girl.
Hot showers. How I wake up in the morning. I mean temporarily before my coffee. Hot water, steam, good smells from body wash bottles and shampoo. Stepping out into steam. Good feelings all around.
Vacations. I like vacations a lot. I make a point to leave work and life at least 3 times a year, strategically separated to avoid burn out. And those little weekend getaways are always nice too. Leaving and doing something fun and stress free. It doesn’t matter where I go. I can sit at the airport all day watching planes take off. Getting away is special to me. Even if it’s just vacationing in my bed, being a hermit, the entire weekend.
The Santiagos. My second family. I love those guys something fierce. I’m so grateful that they let me into their lives.
Autumn Apple Candles. Yes. The overpriced product from Bath and Body works. Have you smelled that smell? It’s worth every penny. Also comes in a concentrated room spray. For the office cubicle. For my home, I have candles. Something about candle light and candle smells just can’t be captured in a room spray. I can’t afford to be frugal in that area. Once a year, I splurge and enjoy myself a candle. And I think that’s ok.
And that brings us to today. Today I didn’t write down anything. Today I am thankful for everything. All of it. Even the bad stuff. Every atom of my existence, I am thankful for.
You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming?
Laying in bed knowing you’re awake, just knowing. You know you’re not running with a ball. But you can’t stop. Snap yourself out of it and open your eyes. You’re laying in bed in the dark and you’re drinking coffee at the poolside. You’re thinking thoughts in your head about what it’s like to know you’re awake and asleep at the same time and watching the kids playing while you think about blogging about this weird semi-dream state as the hallway gets longer and whoa! You’re nodding off again. You can tell because you just woke yourself up snoring, because you weren’t sleeping deeply enough to miss that sound. Everything is going dark again…
Today a friend of mine received a complimentary pair of tickets to the Taste of Home Cooking School Show. She invited me along! Being in the audience of a cooking show? Of course I said yes!
The event was hosted at Alverno College. On arrival, we were directed away from the auditorium to the Expo for free things! Go down the hall, make a left, walk a bit, first right, blah blah blah black shirts wristbands. Check. We walked through the halls, around the halls, past some lockers, down a corridor. We might have left the United States at some point; I’m not sure. But we found the expo! Which was packing up. Oh. Well, we got a tote bag full of pamphlets so there was that.
We journeyed back to the auditorium and found some seats. Jackets off. Purses on the floor. Shhh. It’s starting.
Our Master chef comes out and sings a song that I am pretty sure he made up all by himself. And then the magic began. The first recipe was baked apple French toast. The key ingredient is, wait for it. Apple pie filling. From. A. Can.
I’m sorry, I thought this was a cooking show. Is this guy being serious? Is that cooking spray? Nothing like some aerosol additives to let people know you’re a pro. I guess. Goop those syrup-drowned apple bits out of that aluminum can. Mmmmm.
Moving on to a mushroom crab melt. Which didn’t seem too bad. Crab from a can but I’ll let that slide. The highlight of this recipe was when he said he cooked the mushrooms in bacon grease and someone boo’ed. Someone boo’ed bacon. And then a crack appeared in the skin of the Universe and swallowed her, and the Universe went on as if she had never existed. We cheered for cheese.
The next recipe this guy announces is Jalapeño crescent poppers. “$10 he breaks out the Pillsbury.”
"I’m sure you all have heard of Pillsbury® Crescent Dinner Rolls.”
Dear Twitter: “This recipe involves Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls. And probably came off the wrapper. #thatsenoughsarah”
What does he say as I am tweeting this? “This recipe came to us from Pillsbury.”
You sunk my battleship.
As he is working magic with something that passes off as dough, he’s telling a story about jalapeños.
"This story is totally true, you guys. I can’t make this stuff up."
"Obviously." No really. That’s enough, Sarah. Now you’re just being mean.
"Now, sometimes it’s easier to just use the pre-cooked bacon…"
What did he just… did he just advocate for that bacon in a box over in the general vicinity of the meat department of the store? The non-refrigerated bacon? Is that even real food? Everything just went black then red then where am I?
And that is when I walked out.
No really. Thirty minutes into the 2 hour cooking class, my friend and I stood up, said “excuse me” to all 7 people to our right, and walked out of the auditorium.
I can’t believe people paid money for that.
And I’m not sure what was worse. The blasphemy occurring on stage, or the fact that the other 998 people in the audience were just so… in awe of everything this man was doing.
Dear silver Toyota Camry with Wisconsin plate 682 MWX,
I find it amusing that someone incapable of driving the speed limit or using a turn signal would ever find it necessary to slam their brakes on with a little orange Honda Fit behind them in order to honk at a cyclist actually following traffic laws.
Every time I come home, walking through the back yard to my door I glance up and see, sitting on my kitchen table, that cat. Staring out the window. Watching me.
Unlock the door, step inside. Walk up 3 steps and *thud*. She’s off the table, onto the kitchen floor. The neighbors downstairs have dubbed her Thundercat because 7 pounds makes quite a big noise when it jumps from a counter-height table, apparently.
Open the door to my flat and there she is. You never know what she’s going to do when that door opens. Bolt into the living room? Bolt down the stairs into the basement? Lay on the floor? Anything can happen.
I should probably find it flattering that my cat sits by the window all day. Waiting for me to come home. Watching. Staring. Stalking. All day long.
YOU GUYS. I just stole the greatest idea from my pal Jessica. I’m giving her all the credit because she totally came up with it, blogged about it, and I flat-out stole it. So head over to Healthy Living in America’s Dairyland and love on her a little bit.
Also tell her how awesome she is.
And that I said HI.
And I’m sorry for stealing her fantastic idea.
Every day for the next 25 days, I’m going to jot down one small thing I’m thankful for. I’m going to fold ‘em up, put ‘em in a jar, and on Thanksgiving, I’m going to read one by one each little thing I’m thankful for. I’ll share them all with you on Thanksgiving. You should clearly do the same. We’ve got to remember the little things because too often the big, bad things cloud our judgment. WON’T THANKSGIVING BE FUN!?
You’re damn right it will.
Now start thanking.
In other news, I finished my last race of the year this weekend. Half marathon No. 15. FIFTEEN. Since 2007. My, how those bad boys add up. Finished in 1:54:43, which is neither here nor there. Somewhere in the middle of all of those races. It was an awesome race, and I got to run it with one of my oldest and dearest friends, who crossed her first half marathon finish line that morning.
Spent my Halloween weekend mostly lazy–aside from the 13.1. My how the times have changed. Four years ago I was a surprisingly naughty nurse with far too much to drink and one humiliating citation, and this weekend I was in sweatpants on the couch, falling asleep at 10:30. With a Snuggie. I’d be ashamed to admit this, but, well, I’m not. At all. My awesome simply cannot be diminished. Even by an embarrassingly low-key weekend and a pink Snuggie.
Happy November, friends. Rock on with your bad selves.