Thanksgiving 2011 | Changes Continue

Happy Thanksgiving

Keeping in line with the steady stream of changes that have happened over the past year, how we’re spending Thanksgiving has also changed. We’re staying home and keeping it very simple. If we had gone anywhere else, some of the family would have been left behind due to work schedules, and we wouldn’t have seen them at all.

I’m cooking a turkey breast and a spiral sliced ham. Oh yes, my friends, there will be plenty of leftovers for us this year! :D No yams allowed, either. I don’t hate them, but I can live without them. There will be corn and fresh-from-produce green beans and mashed potatoes. These potatoes will have some skin left on and won’t be whipped to creamy submission but will maintain some hearty lumps giving us something to bite into. Yum! Of course there will be dinner rolls – the simple brown ‘n serve kind. And for the stuffing … wait for it … Stove Top baby! Awwwww yeah! That’s right! Not a lot of people in this family eat stuffing anyway, and a couple of us love Stove Top Stuffing. :lol:

I baked two Marie Callender’s frozen pies yesterday: Cherry and Pumpkin. I’m thankful for the gene that makes me a fairly laid back person who has no problem saying, “Sure! go ahead and slice into that pie already!” the day before Thanksgiving! Instead of looking at it like a bit of staged perfection has been ruined, I see it as spreading it out longer. Those who really know me know that I like to bend rules. ;)

I echo everyone’s thanks for health, family, and friends. This year, especially, I’m thankful for so much more. I’m also hopeful that these things continue to be constant in our lives. There was a time when we’d just go out and buy things we didn’t necessarily need. That has changed. Things are really tight. It makes me look at those things differently. So, yes, I am thankful for the over-abundance of material items we have that we couldn’t afford to replace now.

I’m also thankful, and this may sound weird, that each and every person in this world is different. We’re all unique. Even twins! If we were the same … if we all held the same opinions, what a boring world we would live in!

I’m thankful for Facebook! :lol: Whatever it’s original intent, I love that it keeps far away (and not-so-far away) family and friends connected conveniently without the need to find mutually convenient times to sit and talk on the phone for an hour or more at a time.

I’m thankful for Pandora! An extra thanks to them for lifting their monthly listening limit, too!

I’m thankful for Xfinity, where I can catch up on shows without relying on DVR.

I’m thankful for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, which I’m about to go watch with my girls while baking cookies! :)

Year 45, Day 3 | Day One of Vacation

Mourning the death of my mixer.Thursday was the 44th anniversary of the day of my birth (fancy way to say it was my birthday). Day 1 of my 45th year of life. Like the day of my birth, the day was a bit stressful. I was 8 lb 5 oz, and my mom was a petite thing at barely 5’1″. My fat head was stuck in her pelvis, and apparently the only way to save one or both of us was to do an emergency Cesarean. As I struggled to make my way into the world 44 years ago, I struggled to make my way through the day on my birthday. I can imagine the next 36 hours after my birth, I was pretty exhausted – as most babies are. Well the next 36 hours after my 44th birthday, I felt much the same and kept longing for the work day to be over.

I ended day two of my 45th year with my husband at a little corner bar called G-Ducks, where our friends’ band ONE15 was playing. I had shared the Facebook invite several times and even mentioned my birthday. I don’t normally throw guilt trips around, but I have to say to the multitude of local “friends” on Facebook, “Where were you?” I know it’s the first day of spring break in our area so I tried giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe people had family plans. By coincidence, the friends who were there were friends and family of the band members already.

It’s all good, though! I had a good time. Well, with the exception of some chick who thought her shot at the pool table trumped my photo op that I was already poised and focused, ready to capture. She expected me to get out of her way and was clearly irritated when I didn’t immediately move but said “Hang on” nicely as I took my shot. I saw her much later at a table glancing over her shoulder at me and miming taking a photo with a cell phone as she was clearly relaying the story to her guy friend. We made eye contact, and I smiled with a slight smirk and tiny shake of my head as if to say, “Get over it already!” Sad to know that these are the things people choose to hold on to. <sigh>

Moving on to day three of my 45th year of life. I woke up with a splitting headache, which I believe is purely coincidental and not just a hangover since I only had three draft beers last night. So I guzzled some water, made coffee, and started to make buttercream frosting for the cupcakes I made yesterday. As I was waiting for the water and Meringue powder to come together and form stiff peaks in my KitchenAid mixer, something popped and clattered inside and the damn thing just died. It’s only MAYBE two years old and is very gently used. Why??? So my cupcakes sit naked in the kitchen while I sit with head pounding in front of this computer avoiding anything resembling work of any kind as this is, after all, day one of my vacation.

Are You Texting in Church?

Bible app on phone could raise this question!

No! I wasn’t texting or reading Facebook updates during church. :) I have a Bible app where I can take notes and even send versus to social network sites. I downloaded the YouVersion Bible app, which was promoted by LifeChurch. No more worrying about remembering to bring a pen. No more wasted paper. Everything I need – compact – easy! Technology!

Navigate to book & chapter. Select verse(s), then tap & hold or double tap to bring up menu.


Enter a title and notes.

Share on social network sites if you wish!

Latest Facebook Fad | Child Abuse Awareness via Cartoon Characters

Image Copyright Thanks!Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook had to see this post coming – right?!

The latest viral status update on Facebook is encouraging everyone to change their profile pictures to a cartoon character from their childhood to raise awareness of child abuse. What it fails to do is encourage people to educate themselves about what they are supposedly raising awareness about. So of course I balked at the idea and created a bit of an uproar on my Facebook wall.

On the job, I have to write with tact, empathy, and diplomacy. Most of the time, my people-pleasing attitude smiles and nods just so I don’t have people mad at me. I can’t stand it when anyone is mad at me. So every now and then, I have to make up for lost time and just let it out!

If I did choose a cartoon character for my profile pic, it would be this little stinker, Jerry! Anyone surprised?

So here we go…

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “child abuse”? I bet a large percentage of you picture kids being beaten. Oh, honey, abuse comes in many forms! Lets not forget neglect and verbal abuse. They may not feel verbal abuse physically, but words cut deep. No words at all – equally damaging. Drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and putting carcinogens from cigarettes into your body while pregnant are also abuse.

What can you do about it?

Sadly, there’s often little we can do because we don’t always see it happening. We’re aware that it does happen, but we aren’t aware enough to recognize the signs. On the other end of the spectrum, some people overreact to seeing a child get a whack on the butt. I won’t get into the whole “spare the rod…” discussion here, though. (Interesting article on that.)

My son found a great website that educates: Prevent Child Abuse America

I encourage you to go to that site and learn more! It has information on recognizing and preventing abuse. It also offers alternatives to lashing out for those on the brink of abusing.

I could have simply smiled and nodded and used Jerry here as my profile picture and not typed a word on my Facebook wall, but I don’t believe that a cartoon picture alone will raise the right kind of awareness. The viral status simply tells people to help fight child abuse by changing their profile pic. That’s not right. The status should have equipped the public with tools to educate and truly make people aware.

The LIVESTRONG bracelets are worn to show support of the cause. It would be better for the not-so-tech-savvy people to actually print  on the bracelets to lead people to their website for more information but if you simply Google “livestrong”, there it is!

A poll in the NY Daily News asks “Are you changing your Facebook photo to stop child abuse?” This is poorly worded because we all know that displaying a picture is not going to stop anything. An overwhelming 72% answered “Yes! It was great to pick out my favorite cartoon character from yesteryear.” Read that again. “It was great to pick out my favorite cartoon character from yesteryear.” Fun! The only searching of the internet going on there is for pictures. How many people first chose to search the internet for information about child abuse. This is my argument! The whole controversy may have been somewhat muted if more information had been offered up front.

The problem could have been avoided if the campaign’s Facebook page was shared directly by clicking the Share link instead of copying and pasting a status update created by Lord only knows who. Blame it on operator error, I guess. To that person: See what you caused?! <wink & smile> That page does offer links to websites where you can educate yourself! Bravo!

Obviously, I’m not alone in my tirade. There’s a whole Facebook page dedicated to my point exactly!

The telephone game comes to mind. Things change along the way. Before getting swept up somewhere in the middle, do a little investigating. Arm yourself with the facts. Then, by all means, have fun with it! Is that too much to ask?

Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas: Debate on a Facebook Wall

I posted a status on Facebook that sparked a bit of a debate.  Names have been changed to initials for privacy.

:  WARNING: Strong personal opinion… I do not have an issue with wishing people “Happy Holidays” and believe it’s presumptuous and indignant to expect everyone to accept “Merry Christmas”. I respect the beliefs of others. To me, “Happy Holidays” means Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (TWO holidays)! Let the comments roll…..

MSE:  I’ve got a ton of non-Christian friends who are celebrating their own holidays at this time of year. I’m a “Happy Holidays” kind of gal out of respect to *all* the things people have to celebrate right now. :)

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