Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just in case...

Since Thanksgiving is notoriously busy for everyone in America (and some American transplants living in other countries) I thought I'd take a few moments to run down my list of gratitudes tonight.

  • My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm no southern bible thumper here, but I give credit where credit is due. AND if you'd known me years ago you would have to believe in miracles, too!

  • My sweet (sometimes) babies - my son and daughter. What a blessing they have been to me! Even when they completely disobey me, forget to do their share of the chores, or spend days with my mother instead of coming home to me; I still love them...

  • My wonderful neighbors. I've met some fascinating people this year, most right here in my neighborhood. I'm thankful that I have neighbors who want to get to know each other, share talents together and who aren't afraid to lend a helping hand. What a world we would have if everyone lived this way!

  • My mommy. Yes, I said mommy and I'm over 12. She will always be my mommy because I just love her like that. My experience is that when you add an "ie" or "y" to someones name you truly adore them.

I hope and pray that all of you have fabulous holidays, whatever you celebrate, and that you find many things in your lives to be thankful for this year and all of the years to come.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Simplify Thanksgiving

How do you simplify Thanksgiving?

Start by cutting back on your cooking.

  • Do you really need a 25 pound turkey? Yes, if you have more than 10 people coming. If not, NO.

  • Do you have to serve turkey AND a ham? Yes, if you have someone over that is allergic to turkey. Otherwise, NO.

  • What are you going to do with all of those leftovers? If you plan on reusing them in dishes for several days after, freezing or donating them, fantastic! If not, why waste the effort and the money to throw away all of that food?

Only invite the amount of people that your home will hold. Why invite 25 people if your table only holds 10? You will add stress to your day by worrying over where everyone will sit.

Make time to eat! Sounds simple enough, right? But, the truth of the matter is that if you are the person doing most of the preparation and hosting then your needs always come last. Believe it or not, your family came to spend time with you, not to critique how perfectly browned your turkey is or how few lumps are in the mashed potatoes. Take time to sit down and enjoy the meal with your loved ones. That's what they'll remember about they day.

Take time to give thanks. Many people forget to do this on Thanksgiving. Remarkable isn't it? Thanksgivings without thanks do occur. Don't let this happen in your home! Set aside a special moment to announce the things you are thankful for in your life. It can be as few or as many items as you like. The quantity is not as important as the thought.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What can we do?

This question arose today as my son and I were going over his Science lesson for the day - Is it ok to continue mining and searching for coal when the effects of removal damage the earth?

My son: No, it's terrible how they take out mountains and pollute the earth by removing coal.

Me: What can we do instead?

My son: Use wind and solar energy. They're free and unlimited.

This from a 7th grader! Wow! He listens and pays attention...

My next thoughts - What can we do at our level to prevent misuse of our natural resources?

My answer(s) - Well, we don't have the funds to install solar panels or our own wind turbine, but we can cut back on our consumption of electricity and other resources.


  • Unplug electrical appliances we aren't using.

  • Stop using so many electrical devices. It's takes so little to open a can with a hand held opener, why use electricity to do it? Why do we have to use a hair dryer? You know, little things like that make a big difference.

  • Combine car trips. Run all of your errands at one time rather than 5 separate trips a day. You'll be amazed at how much time, effort and energy this will save!

  • Recycle! This is my favorite. Most cities have recycling service and even if you don't have curbside pick-up you can save it and tote it once a month to a recycling center.

  • Reuse! This is my second favorite. I remember my grandmother saving plastic bread bags when I was little. She saved everything - jelly jars, twist ties, grocery bags...anything and everything. AND, she used it. If she hadn't used something at least twelve times she wasn't through with it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thought for the day...

I ran across this quote recently at a get together. It's one I won't soon forget...

"Live your life so your pastor doesn't have to lie at your funeral!"

Profound, simple and I can't think of a better idea...if we all did that, think of what a better place the world would be.

Hope your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things we can all do without...

At my mom's tonight the topic of conversation led to simplicity and her amazement at what we now think, as a generation of Americans, that we can't live without. On the drive home I arrived at this...
  • I CAN breathe without a cell phone and can breathe even better without a $100+ bill coming monthly!

  • I CAN live without 8-10 movie channels, 14 sports channels and live, streaming 24 hour news channels. Somehow, I made it through childhood with 3 local channels, a PBS station and, if my sister or I held the rabbit ears just right, 2 UHF channels.

  • I CAN walk to the corner store. I know it won't kill me to slip on tennis shoes and saunter over. The alternative - going to Walmart and spending $100 more for my container of sour cream to finish dinner because I found 16 other things I may need sometime in the next 10 years while hiking to the back of the store.

  • I CAN turn off the CSI reruns to cook a meal at home, even though I passed by 144 restaurants on the way home and one of them advertises a meal for 4 for under $4 a person.

  • I CAN spend quality time with my family even though I might miss the 1st airing of a new season of Desperate Housewives AND I don't own a DVR or TiVO!

Whew! That felt good! If you have somethings that you've decided you can live without please feel free to share them. Perhaps we can journey together to a simpler life...