THANK FULL!

Sign on our Door

I am Grateful for Music.
I am Grateful for Laughter!
I am Grateful for Colors — Every One of them!
Purple, Orange, Magenta, Mahogany, Yellow, Mauve, Red, Green, Silver and Gold, Blue, Pink, Violet, Chartreuse, Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Indigo, Scarlet, Peach, Ruby, Azure, Cream and Crimson… and all those Colors in the sky that don’t even have names!
I am Grateful for the Sky
And the Ocean,
Every Blade of Grass
And Every Leaf!
I am Grateful for MOM!
I am Grateful for my BigHearted Partner!
I am Grateful for my Very Amazing Friends!
I am Grateful for my Education!
I am Grateful for the Challenges that Teach Me!
I am Grateful to Know.
I am even More Grateful to Question!

I am Grateful for Transportation, even though the MTA makes me Crazy most Days!
I am Grateful for my Meditation Process even though it’s messy and sloppy and I don’t really achieve a state of Nirvana, except for Fleeting Moments — I think that’s normal, and even if it’s not, I am Grateful for it!
I am Grateful for the Crazy Last Minute Jobs and my humble little Office in Manhattan and for the Gift of Work!
I am Grateful for Health — with its Second-Half-of-Life Challenges! We’re Here!
I am Grateful for Clothing!
For My Bed!
And for HousePlants
And Magic… So Much MAGIC!
And So Many MIRACLES!
And for the Miracle of the Day!

Such a Festive Plate! So Many Autumn Colors!

I am Grateful for Breath
And Being Born
And all of the sacrifices my parents made so I could have my Education
And Books
And Carfare…

I am Grateful for the Crazy amount of Cooking that this Holiday Entails!
So far, I have made Macaroni and Cheese (Not a usual dish at our GivingThanks Day Table, but I like to mix it up a bit!)
Ratatouille (It’s nice to have some Healthy Low Calorie Leftovers too!)
Fudge Oat Bars (It’s also nice to have some Treats and not worry about Calories!)
Homemade Cranberry Sauce (with no sugar — This year I cooked the CranBerries in Orange Juice with cinnamon sticks as usual, but tried reducing the Orange Juice, added a can of Crushed Pineapple in its own juice, and some tiny slices of fresh orange!)
HomeMade AppleSauce which reminds me of COUSIN ALICE!

Oh, How I Adored Her!
Such an Enchanting Human Being!
Such a Delight!
I remember once, as a Kid, saying to MAMA, “I Love Her!”
MAMA assured me with a smile, “She knows!”
I suppose I tend to wear my Heart on my Sleeve a bit.
When you would go to COUSIN ALICE’s House — she was in her Eighties —
She would have Cold Cuts and a spread of freshly sliced tomatoes, pickles, coleslaw — all store bought fresh for your visit.
And she would put out some HomeMade Apple Sauce.
It was Delicious!
I never got her recipe, and I expect she didn’t really follow one.
But I found one — some Awesome friends gave me The Comfort Diner CookBook years ago, and there was a Wonderful Recipe for HomeMade AppleSauce — simple, easy and Delicious, just the way COUSIN ALICE liked her Cooking to be!
Here it is:
Comfort Diner Apple Sauce

I leave out the sugar and the raisins, and I double the spices.
I try to avoid sugar in general, and COUSIN ALICE loathed Raisins.
I remember she once told us, quite cheerfully, “This nice young girl moved in just a few houses down here, and she knocked on my door and said, ‘I baked you a Zucchini Bread!’ I thought that was So Nice! So I thanked her and…” Here her voice dropped several octaves and her demeanor changed dramatically
“Wouldn’t you know it! Loaded with Raisins!” and she gave a big frown!

So I leave out the Raisins, and the Sugar.
But Giving Thanks Day is the Holiday that COUSIN ALICE always spent with us.
DAD adored her! (She was technically his Cousin, so my First Cousin, Once Removed.) DAD would drive out to Staten Island to pick her up on Wednesday, drive her back to the Bronx where we lived; she would stay with us two nights, and he would drive her back to Staten Island on Friday.

I miss her.
She is gone some ten years now.

A Meme from the Internet

And So, Today,
We Celebrate Giving Thanks!
That is the root of this Holiday.
As LINDSAY MCVAY writes on the website of the National Museum of the American Indian  about the Wampanoag People who celebrated with the Pilgrims what we think of as the First “ThanksGiving,”

“Like indigenous groups everywhere, the Wampanoag had a reciprocal relationship with nature and believed that as long as they gave thanks to the bountiful world, it would give back to them. Long before the arrival of the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag held frequent Thanksgiving-like celebrations, giving thanks in the form of feasts and ceremonial games.”

In honor of GivingThanks Day Today,
I made a Feast which includes:

GivingThanks Day 2017 with MOM

Turkey,
Sausage Stuffing,
Sweet Potatoes,
Homemade Cranberry Sauce,
Cranberry Mold (Another of COUSIN ALICE’s Signature Dishes!)
Stuffed Mushrooms,
Ratatouille,
Macaroni and Cheese,
Broccoli & Cauliflower Au Gratin
Apple Cake,
Oat Fudge Bars…

And HomeMade Apple Sauce.

Stuffed Mushrooms

I also learned today that when making an Apple Cake in a Tube Pan, if you plan to turn it upside down to cool, it is Better to let it cool and set for 15 minutes or so before you do that! 🙂 Whoops!

There is So Much for which to be Grateful!
How Blest we Are!
The LeftOvers will last for a week.
Let’s make sure the Celebration of Gratitude that this Feast represents lasts for a LifeTime!

The Complete Door

Happy GivingThanks Day!

# # #

So Much to Celebrate

Image from the Internet

Christmas is a Season, not a Day.
It is a State of Mind.
It is a Grand Arc of Unbridled JOY!
It is a Time for Unabashed Kindness and BoldFace Love!

It is too early to be talking about Christmas, of course!
The Street Decorations went up this week in my neighborhood,
And there are Ugly Sweater Cookie Cutter Sets available at the SuperMarket.
This is all about Commercial Retail Playing Us to get some coins from our purse.
Not for me.
However, the Season to focus on Spiritual Growth and JOY has already Begun!
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Giving Thanks, 2016

Me and MOM at GivingThanks Day, 2014

Me and MOM at GivingThanks Day, 2014

 

 

Has there Ever Been a More Welcome Holiday!?
Has there Ever Been a Better Time?

Pause and Give Thanks!
STOP!
BREATHE…
Let us Take a Moment and Just Be Grateful for What We Have!
Give Thanks to God
Or The Universe
Or Each Other
Or Whatever Divine Force You May Believe In
Or Just to The Air
Or the Sun
Or the Moon!
Just Speak It!
Just say it OUT LOUD,
Even to No One, in particular!
Just say the Words, “Thank You!”
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On the Border of Us and Them

from THE COURSE IN MIRACLES

from THE COURSE IN MIRACLES

I don’t want there to be an “Us” and “Them.”
I am trying to avoid that path of thinking.
UNITED States!
UNITED States!
Stay UNITED!

Trying to get on with my Life and get back to Writing and Working and Taking Care of MOM,
Casting Shows, and Being Present in my Teaching, and Organizing for Christmas, and Cooking for GivingThanks Day…
I have to make Apple Sauce!
(I know. Who does that!?)

I go back and forth
Between my Fundamental Belief in the Good of People
And Trying to pick Myself Up Off the Floor from all of this!
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Giving Thanks Day

IMG_5809One of the things of which I am Proudest
Is to live in a Nation in which we set aside a Holiday for the sole purpose of
Giving Thanks.

Some say I am naïve,
And the true purpose is FootBall,
the sale of Cranberries,
and the Inventory Clearance Shopping Day — now Week — known as “Black Friday.”
And perhaps those elements have protected and buoyed this Holiday Up
Into the Five Day Weekend that it is for So Many of us
With the Travel Home
And the Celebratory Feast.
Others voice Great Political Objection to an Occasion that marks the obliteration of an Indigenous Culture by White Europeans.

Well, all of these issues may be worthy of discussion.
but that is not the Holiday I choose to Celebrate.

And I do not expect for one minute that any of those things account
for this being the greatest Travel weekend of the year.
There is some Larger Spiritual Aspect at work.

Gratitude.
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PAUSE and GIVE THANKS

Tisquantum

Tisquantum

It’s a Strange Holiday, isn’t it?
It Moves…
The Fourth Thursday in November could be as early as the 22nd or as late as the 28th
It’s Late this year.
And that shortens the Shopping Season between Now and Christmas
And that makes the Primary Beneficiaries of Capitalism angry.

Growing Up, there was this Marvelous Long Weekend in November
You could do whatever you liked.
Relax…
Play…. (more…)

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Many of us might think, living in the Consumerist Circus of Victor Lebow as we do, that we are now in the midst of the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.

This would be incorrect.

Good News for those who feel that they are Way Behind and the Twelve Days have already begun:

They have Not.

We are now, in fact, some seven days from its beginning at all… (more…)