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Alone for Thanksgiving

tv dinner

You know, moms lose their sons – but tend to keep their daughters.

I was informed last week that my offspring would be eating turkey at his girlfriends house.

I knew this day was coming – but didn’t know it would hit when he was 19!

I had prepared myself for the “We’re spending Christmas at my wife’s parents house” sentence – but that was supposed to be YEARS from now – and I’d be tending to my 15 cats by then and unable to dwell too much on his absence!

What happened???

We usually go together to my moms for a feast.  But this year, after hearing I would be sans child – I decided to stay home with Butters.

My mom understood.  Mostly because she’s a huge animal lover and advocate and knows how I hate that every holiday we end up bailing on Butters to partake in festivities without her.

I’m also not a huge fan of Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a HUGE fan of being thankful.  And if it was just a special day set aside for doing just that, I’d be all in.  But there’s that tricky Pilgrim/Indian factor.

true thanksgiving

The whole myth of the harmony of that first feast turns my stomach to the point of not wanting to fill it with brussel sprouts or stuffing.

Then the completely food selfish glutton in me manages to get over that and pig out.

darth thanksgiving

I bought myself a turkey – plan to make a full meal and enjoy having the relaxing time at home.  I’m going to love smelling the meal cooking while lazily flicking through channels to find the perfect corny holiday movie to settle on.

I might even fish out the Christmas decorations – or at the very least, the Christmas candy bowl.

It’s my first 4 day weekend in I don’t even know how long!

Butters and I will enjoy every moment.

None of those moments will include being anywhere near a shop on Black Friday by the way.

I’ve managed to restrain myself and not bring up the way the Wampanoag were treated … so I’ll keep it light and skip the holiday commercialism speech too.

I DO wish everyone reading this, Peace, Gratitude and Love in their lives. May your day fill more than your stomach – may your heart be filled with precious new memories.

And hey, if you’re parents of young children, let them be loud, let them climb down from the table, let them stick their fingers into the pumpkin pie – don’t sweat the small stuff!  Because one day – they will have other plans.



Parades, phalanges and procrastination


It’s freezing in my house.  A chilly 70 degrees.  Yes, that’s cold.  When you’re used to temps in the 120’s.

I can barely feel my toes.  I refuse to turn the heater up – I just got the electricity bill down from the Summer.  I don’t need the gas bill competing with it.

Since my son was church mousing around the house at 4 in the morning, I’m sure I won’t be seeing his bright-eyed face until it’s almost time to go to my parents house this afternoon.

So, Butters and I have been watching the Thanksgiving Day parades and pacing.  Mostly I’m pacing.  She’s relocated a few times.

I can never sit still.

I go from room to room – swipe my email update – check Facebook – go to another room – make a mental list of everything that needs to be done in said room, then leave it.

I’m bathed – dressed – and bored.

I’m sure there’s someone out there completely inundated with people and activity that would love to switch places with me.

They would know better what to do with boredom.  Not me.  I am restless!

Unmotivated and restless.

It’s a really bad combination of things to be.  I could have had at least 3 projects crossed off my list right now if I had a teeny tiny bit of motivation in me this morning.

I think by typing I feel like I’m getting something accomplished – besides, it keeps my fingers from freezing.

Speaking of fingers.  Yesterday I managed to staple my finger …

I happened to have two people in my office at the time – and much to their amusement I did the ‘Is it bad?? OMG, I don’t want to look … IS it bad?? Look … no, wait – don’t look’ thing.  All whilst giggling.


One visitor took photos while the other said “Oh, yeah, that’s in there.” Then proceeded to leave me.

Not before announcing to my boss in the room across from us, “She stapled her finger,” to which there was no response.

I think he’s pretty used to hearing anything when it comes to a) Announcements (muttering, unprovoked fits of laughter, cursing) from my office b) Updates from other people as to what Amanda has managed to do now.  He’s desensitized.  Can’t blame him really.

Probably he managed an eyeroll – maybe even sighed a little.

I was laughing and wondering if the femoral artery got anywhere near the finger tip –  (It could!  Well … if you’re scratching your leg) then just bravely strolled to the kitchen, grabbed a bandaid from the friend that left, turned on the faucet and yanked the offending staple from my sore phalange.

It really wasn’t bad at all.  Provided a little excitement on a day that was crawling by.  (I swear, the clock was taking one tick forward and two ticks back!)

Much like today.  Some teeny bopper is singing with Ninja Turtles on the tv.  Butters is sleeping in the living room and I’m shivering at the kitchen table.

For the sake of not becoming hypothermic – I shall bid you all a Happy Thanksgiving (And Hanukkah!)  and start one of my projects.


Thankful … every day

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

I’ve been reading my friends daily statuses declaring what they’re thankful for – been skirting around the people hovering over the turkeys in the grocery stores, and rolling my eyes at the premature Christmas commercials.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Grinch.

I love this time of year – the Season that squeezes out a little extra joy from people.  I don’t even mind the decorations being up early, it’s nice to see festive lights and warm sentiments on a chilly day.

That being said – I’m not really a ‘Thanksgiving Day’ fan.

For a few reasons. One being that I’m from England and didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving.  There is an equivalent in the UK, ‘Harvest  Festival’ – I recall it lasted longer than one day, but the premise of being thankful and contributing food to the community was the same?

I also have a problem with the whole Pilgrim/Indian story angle.   A tale of a peaceful, bountiful meal shared between two blended cultures.  Historically accurate?  Um, no.  Here’s a great article:  What Really Happened at the First Thanksgiving? The Wampanoag Side of the Tale

The Indians – Native Americans – were ultimately wronged.  And you can color that however you want – but I’m not buying it.  Not even if it’s on sale at midnight at one of the greedy chain stores.

Another reason I’m not a huge fan of the fourth Thursday of November … the day after it.

Black Friday is a most obnoxious example of consumerism.  The fact that it comes directly on the heels of the day when people are supposedly thankful for what they have, just makes it even more obnoxious in my book.

The only part of Thanksgiving I can get behind, (other than eating stuffing and brussel sprouts) is the Giving of Thanks.

I’m of the mind that we should be doing this every day – but, the fact that a day is set aside for it is certainly a beautiful thing.

So, with 2013 drawing to a close – I’ll share with you what I am most thankful for this year.



When I chose to watch the documentary Hitlers Children on May 25th – I had no idea what effect it would end up having on my life.

A random selection on a topic I wanted to know more about – turned out not to be so random.  I was learning of Rainer’s existence on the day he came to exist.  His birthday.

As I sat there, crying – completely undone by his need to be a part of some change in the world – to take something horrific and find something good to do with it – I was moved to write my post ‘There is Such Good.’

What happened after that was a chain of events that led to becoming a small part of his big world. was born and more than that – something very special cemented between us after over a thousand conversations.

There IS such good – and Rainer is good.  Er ist mein Held.

My friends

I have the most amazing friends.  I don’t get to spend much time with them, but it doesn’t seem to matter.  When we are together, it’s as if no time has passed.

From my sweet friend that has the uncanny ability to show up without me having to say ‘I need someone to show up’ – to the friends I work with who make every day magical and my California friends that reach out and keep me laughing via Facebook. 

And then there is my ‘BF’.  The miles that separate my best friend and I are creatively bridged with daily chats – sharing of jokes and photos, quotes and discussions.  I miss her – but we are always connected.  There isn’t a room in my home that doesn’t have a piece of her in it.

When I am going through hard times, or joyous ones – all  of my friends are there for me. And I hope they know, I am always here for them.

I’m so fortunate to have people in my life who love me for who I am, who think differently than me, who are genuine and trustworthy.  For that I am so blessed and very grateful.

This blog

I love to write almost as much as I love to read.

I’ve been able to purge and process major life events here with you.  I am all over the place with this blog, I know, but, there is a common theme.


Motherhood, daily concerns, stress, happiness, gratitude and venting – all here.  Interviews with amazing people and photographs of things that caught my eye.  All here.  All me.  All shared.

I remember being so nervous about going public – but I had to be brave.  I wrote for a while anonymously, with only a few trusted friends knowing where to find the blog.  Now when I publish a new post – I immediately tell the world.

I really am an open book – I can’t comfortably function in life with secrets.  I can’t comfortably live in my skin without truth.

This blog has been very comforting.

My job

Yes, it’s been a topic I’ve vented about.  But, just work in particular, not my specific job.  I love my job.  The other day when I was walking to the kitchen in my building – I felt … at home.  I love the people I work with.  We are like a family.  And, I am very aware that I am fortunate enough to have a job that makes a positive difference in people’s lives.  I get to be a part of someone obtaining a home.

I am also very grateful for my part-time job – although I complain about that too.  (I really need to stop complaining.)  Again, it isn’t ‘the job’ that I vent about – it’s more so the fact that I have no choice but to do it.

I think I hoped that by 44, my ducks would be in more of a relaxed row – but I still struggle.  Struggle is good – it makes us strong – but I think I’m done doing everything by myself now.  I’m tired and ready for the next chapter in my life.

My son

Oh Nicholas.  The center of my world.  The person that genuinely makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis.  The boy who taught me what true love was and became a man who teaches me more about myself than he knows.  I would lay down and die without hesitation for my boy.

I also choose to live for him.  To be the best person I am capable of being for him. I wanted to give him the world – and this year, I am so grateful that he was able to see some of it!

What started as a hopeful dream – a seemingly unobtainable goal – happened.  It really happened.  Nicholas spent a month and a half in England.  He met family and friends, visited the city I was born and the street where I grew up.

I’m so grateful he was exposed to another culture – to history – to his own heritage.   I hope he looks back on that trip with fondness for the rest of his life – and I pray he adds more adventures  and never stops exploring our beautiful world.


Truly.  Just … everything.

Everything I have, everything I don’t have.  I am thankful for my family, music, art, dreams, stories, animals. For hope and love and butterflies in my stomach.

Everyday I am thankful for waking up.  For the ability to see colors, hear sounds, smell fragrances – feel, hold, touch and to think (too much <– right Rainy? lol)

I am thankful for diversity, variety and for sameness too – I am thankful for humanity and … I am thankful for you.


Thank FULL!

I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone string words together in a blog worthy manner – so I’ll share a little photo diary of today.

Over the river (literally) and past the sheep, to grandmothers house we went.

We’re here! My moms house.  That was a long 20 minute drive 😉

Didn’t expect this … was just going for a shot of her front yard tree.  Lovely isn’t it?

Not sure why I’m at the table, the food wasn’t ready. LOL!

NOW it’s ready!

My plate 🙂

My attempt at a ‘serious’ ‘nice’ photo with Nic.  *sigh*

We’re just never going to have a serious mother/son photo are we?

Nic can be serious about eating dessert though

And we’ll end with my Dessert.  Mince and pumpkin pie! 🙂

Hope everyone had a wonderful day.  I am so very thankful for all of my blessings!  Thank you for being one of them.

The shut up Buddha

My desk Buddha – he reminds me to shut up.  Or put more sweetly, to think before I speak, because I have a habit of saying what’s on my mind, out loud, a lot. 

I thought he’d help. 

Now I look at him from home, he looks like he could also be reminding me to stuff my face with fun food too! I don’t talk with my mouth full, so I suppose either way, both should help with keeping my trap shut. 

Did a lot of speaking today – mainly to my boss about how important it is that we observe Veterans Day by closing Monday.  I’m not going to lie, I really just wanted a three-day weekend.

Wait! Before I come off like a thoughtless, shallow, ingrate – let me just say, I am grateful every day to those who serve. 

I tell every Veteran I do a loan for ‘thank you’ and then grill them about their experiences etc. Nothing better than hearing someones story first hand. 

I’m also thankful all year and not just on Thanksgiving.  (Don’t get me started on Thanksgiving though – that’s one holiday I wouldn’t mind working on.  Celebrating taking someone’s land and spreading disease. YAY!)

Well, all my campaigning failed as I was told ‘See you Monday!’ as my boss left.  Although, I know he’s only coming in for a couple of hours. Nice. LOL!

And because it’s Friday here’s another picture for you taken on the way home. I stopped on the parkway to take this and was almost struck by at least 3 speeding cars! (no lie)  But you’re worth it.  You’re welcome. 😉

 I didn’t alter this at all.  It was a gorgeous black and white shot just waiting to be captured.