Category Archives: 28 Days of Thankful

Thanksgiving

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Over the last 27 days leading up to Thanksgiving, I have blogged a lot about things for which I am thankful.   In this, my last post for the blog link up at Champagne to Crayons, 28 Days of Celebrating Thanks, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for YOU, my readers.  I am so appreciative of the time that you take out of your day to spend with me. I sincerely hope that there is something that I have said that you have found encouraging, comforting, amusing, informative or anything else that you may have needed at that moment.  As you spend time with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, please remember that you are never far from my thoughts and prayers and, again, thank you for your support and encouragement.  Most of all, thank you for being you! Peace.

Lisa

Friendship Rings

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Friendship Rings

Friendship Rings

“A ring is round, it has no end, and that’s how long, I’ll be your friend.”  Remember that from when you were a kid?  That last time I said it was on my wedding day.  Big Poppa and I were standing out side of the church waiting to take pictures and when I looked down at our rings (we were holding hands), it was the first thing that came to mind.  I am quite certain that Big Poppa probably doesn’t remember that moment, but that’s okay because it was a pretty busy day…you know, since it was our wedding day and all.

Over the years, our rings have become as much of a symbol of our friendship as they are of our marriage.  In your lifetime a lot of relationships will come and go whether they be boyfriends or best friends or casual acquaintances.  Life is busy and complicated and sometimes we move on and leave people behind, both intentionally and unintentionally.  However, our most important relationships we hold on to come hell or high water and shouldn’t our marriages fall into that category?  Because the person that we choose to spend the majority of our time with, to share our bodies with, to raise children with, to expose our vulnerability to should be someone who we are willing to go through hell or high water with.  It really shouldn’t be easier to walk away from our husband than it is from our girlfriends.  Maybe, just maybe, we should be looking for a true friend in our spouse, rather than Prince Charming.  After all, a lot of so-called Prince Charming’s are dressed as toads.  There’s a reason for that..just sayin’.

It’s a very simple, but sweet memory and one that I cherish.  A lot of things have transpired over these past ten years since Big Poppa gave me my ring, but  our friendship has remained constant.  He’s my hell and high water guy.

*This post is in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, a mash-up of Day 23: A Special Day, Day 24: Jewelry and Day 26: A Memory, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks. If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

Faith

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Romans 4: 20 - 22

*This post is in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 22: Faith, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks. If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

Just Desserts

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Thanksgiving is pretty much synonymous with the Four F’s:  Family, Friends, Football and Food!  I love, love love the Thanksgiving spread and have no problem admitting that I look forward to this meal all year. The turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy and on and on and on.  Oh, wow!  And then, the food induced sleep. Best. Day. Ever.  The blog post topic on Champagne to Crayons is 28 Days of Thanks, Day 21: Dessert.  You know I can’t just talk about just one dessert.   Soooo, here are some links to a few dessert posts  (just click on the photos) that I have done previously that I think are perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday.  All tested and approved by Big Poppa, the Crew and some invited guests over the years.  Go grab your coffee, tea, whatever and enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Mom's Famous Apple Pie

Mom’s Famous Apple Pie

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

Make sure that you read the entire post because the German Chocolate Cake recipe is at the end!

Over Looking the Obvious

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Today’s post topic on the 28 Days of Celebrating Thanks blog link – up over at Champagne to Crayons is “a project that I have done”.  I had no idea what to write about.  I mean, sure, I’ve worked on projects at work over the years.  There have been school projects with the kids and house decorating projects.  My husband,   he’s a project of mine sometimes, but really I could think of nothing that made me want to blog about it.  So, this morning I was talking to my son, Mr. C., about needing to find something suitable for this topic and he just kind of stood there and looked at me with an expression that said “You poor, poor old woman.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”, I asked.

“Well, Mom, you could write about…your blog.”

“Oh, yeah…I could, couldn’t I ?”

I know, right?  It was really obvious, but somehow I missed it.  In my defense, I’m exhausted and barely forming coherent sentences, so it’s a bit much to expect me to think clearly.  Also, in my mind, a project is something that you plan from conception to completion.  Trust me when I say that there was no planning.   I told my husband that I was going to start a blog, and I did.  I had no idea what I would blog about or how often I would post to the blog.  I did a little research on various types of blogs, followed a few blogs and that was that.  I had no way to measure success and I set no goals.  Hardly a project and I was certainly no project manager.

However, over this first year of blogging, I have learned an awful lot about my craft.  I am learning the lingo: clicks, referrers, page views, etc. I have even set goals for my blog and myself over the next 1 to 2 years. Now, I just have to figure out how to reach them.  It’s definitely a work in progress, but I’m most proud of the fact that I have been consistent and stuck with it.  Blogging is much harder than I thought it would be, but it is well worth the late nights, constant picture-taking and checking my stats.  What makes it satisfying is you, my readers.  I am always surprised and humbled when I encounter someone who is a regular reader.  It is because of you that I want to do this to the best of my ability.  Thank you!

So, I guess what started out as some sort of experiment has evolved into a legitimate project. That’s kind of exciting! I’m nowhere near completion, but I am certainly looking forward to Phase 2.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Memory Lane

A couple of weeks ago Thing 2 was in the middle of one of her meltdowns (what else is new?) over something her sister had allegedly done.  I’ve learned to always include the word “allegedly” because things have a way of getting confused.  Anyway, she wanted nothing more than to sit on my lap and cuddle.  She loves to cuddle, especially when she’s upset.  On this particular day I was in desperate need of calming her down so that I could get some work done,  but she was unmovable.  Tears, whining, more tears, accusations, followed by more tears.  It was never-ending.  So, I started singing…

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).I’ve got so much honey the bees envy me.
I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.Well, I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Ooooh.I don’t need no money, fortune or fame.
I’ve got all the riches, baby, one man can claim.

Well, I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day
With my girl.
I’ve even got the month of May
With my girl
Talkin’ ’bout
Talkin’ ’bout
Talkin’ ’bout
My girl
Ooooh
My girl
As long as I can talk about my girl…

 For those of you that may not recognize the song, I was singing “My Girl,” by the Temptations.  When I was done, my daughter – who was no longer crying – looked up at me and said, “Is that a real song?”  Amused, I said “Absolutely, baby! That was a song by the mighty, mighty Temptations!”  She paused, then responded, “I like the song, but I have no idea who they are.”

The next day, while I futzed around the house, cooking and cleaning, I took my girls on musical trip down Memory Lane.  Of course we listened to the real version of “My Girl” but, there was also Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (“Tears of a Clown” and “Tracks of My Tears”) and Martha and the Vandellas (“Dancing in the Streets”).  Of course you know that there had to be the Supremes (“STOP! In the Name of Love”) and the Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin! They were familiar with her since I play her hit “Respect” at least once a month around here.  You know, sort of as a reminder. Not to mention that when Thing 2 was about two – years – old she used to sing “Chain of Fools”.  Nothing funnier than hearing a toddler who can barely talk sing “Chain, Chain, Chain…Chain of Fools.”  Those were the only words that she knew.

The funny thing is that most of these songs predated even me, but everyone in my family knew them. They were a part of our culture.  So, I brought the play list forward a bit by throwing in Sly and the Family Stone, The Commodores (before Lionel Ritchie went solo and started making the same song over and over again) and, of course, The Jackson 5 – “ABC”, “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There”.  There were others, too many to mention here.  We literally took a trip through classic R & B and we had so much fun singing and dancing together.  Well, I sang, they didn’t know the words. It was nice to revisit a time when music was real and sweet.  When talent was appreciated. When love songs were pure and not really about assault disguised as something else.  You didn’t have to turn off the radio because the lyrics were too racy for your children to hear.  It wasn’t like this over synthesized, overtly sexual, misogynistic crap that they play on the radio today.  I know, I sound like some old woman, but that’s okay.  I got a kick out of watching the girls discover something new.  Not to mention that it was as much about introducing them to the African – American landscape as it relates to music, specifically R&B.   Good stuff and good times!  Best trip that I’ve taken in a while.

 *This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 19: A Trip That I Have Taken, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks. If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

My Daily Indulgence

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Do you have something that you indulge in daily?  Every day is kind of excessive, I know, but it can be something small.  A piece of chocolate (or six pieces of chocolate)?  Ten minutes of solitude?  If you can pull that off, I’m jealous.  Is your workout your sanity saver?  What do you do that is just for you and feels special?

This is my indulgence.

I love coffee!

I love coffee!

 Actually, it’s not really the coffee, but most of the time it’s what it represents.  It’s waking up extra early to a silent house, making a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise from my kitchen window.  It’s my morning treat after dropping the girls off at school and starting my errands.  It’s sitting down with my favorite super sized coffee mug and doing some late night writing or blogging.  It’s grabbing an iced Americano, decaf, with three pumps classic and one pump vanilla with cream (Yes!  It’s that serious) after a day of shopping with one of my friends and being silly on the way home.  It’s (this is my favorite), taking a cup to Big Poppa and sitting in his office and talking the night away.  It’s all good!  So, friends, when I tell you that I am having a cup of coffee, please know that I am in a happy place.

Lisa

  *This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 18: A Daily Indulgence, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks.If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Getting Healthy

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As I get older, I am much more conscious of my need to live a healthier lifestyle.  Cut carbs, go low-fat, shun sugar & exercise more. For a number of reasons, I have a really hard time with all of these things, but I know that they need to be done.  I need to be healthy in order to continue to be here for my babies.  They’re not exactly babies any longer, I know, but you get the idea.  When I started this blog, I was on a diet and exercise kick all in an effort to be better.  Then I went AWOL.  I don’t really know what happened.  I have tried to remember what derailed me, but for the life of me, I’m drawing a blank.  You know what that means, don’t you?  It really was nothing at all.  Just some excuse for me to go home, find the nearest comfy couch, a bag of Oreos and sit down.  

Ah, but alas…it’s time for me to get back on track.  Yes, you heard me say it here folks.  I need to get my butt back in gear and at the very least, get back on some sort of exercise routine.  But, I’m taking baby steps here, first exercise then diet because, you know, the holidays are here and more than one of you have asked me to post some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes  (that post will be up later this week).  Please don’t make me write about all of the delicious food that graces my holiday table and expect me not to eat it.  That would just be mean.

I will need some encouragement, some cheerleaders and some coaching.  I’m counting on you all to help keep me going because, like I said, exercise is NOT something that I enjoy. However,  I have realized that I need it (everybody needs it) just like I need air to breath. Not to mention that I do want to look a little cuter in my jeans, too!  Just keeping it real.      

  *This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 17: Health, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks.If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

Validation – My Shining Moment

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When I first started this blog it was as much about being validated as it was about having an outlet.  I was bitter about moving away from my friends and family and I needed some way to express that, but I also needed something in my life that was genuinely mine.  Me. It needed to be about me or at least completely my creation.  I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t share much of it because I was too afraid of what other’s would think.  Let’s face it, writers want people to like what they are writing.  We put our thoughts, and our hearts, out there for others to see, judge, and comment on and hope for the best.  Deep down, every one of us wants our readers to agree with us or validate our musings.  At the very least we don’t want to be told that we suck at it because honestly, most of us aren’t making any money at this.  Most of us write because it’s our passion.    

I had been plugging away for a few months when I decided to start submitting posts to BlogHer.    For those of you that don’t know, BlogHer is a blogging website with a reach of over 60 million viewers and has a variety of some of the most talented bloggers and business women out there.  I was unsure of what to expect, but I was certain that I would be a very small fish in a gigantic ocean.  And I was, however, I was not prepared for what happened shortly thereafter.  Soon after I began posting on the BlogHer website, I was notified that my post, What Are We Doing to Our Children?  was chosen to be featured on their Website, Facebook and Twitter.  I was floored!  I was flattered! Finally, I was validated!   Finally, someone who had no connection to me at all had confirmed what I had always known; that yes, I am a writer.  Not to mention, they thought I was talented.  Bonus!  And, not just anyone, but BlogHer, a giant in the blogosphere.  It was a good day…no, a good week…make that, a good month!  I have had posts featured on BlogHer a few more times since then and every time I’m just as honored, and surprised as I was the first time.  I’ll never quite get used to it and I will never forget that first time.  That was definitely my shining moment.

*This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 16: My Shining Moment, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks.If you would like to tread more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

Charity

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I think this graphic says it all.


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 I have said this before, but reading the comments on blog posts and internet articles is by far my least favorite part of blogging.  I read a lot and in fact believe that if I’m going to do this job well, I have to stay connected to what’s going on in the blogosphere.  I am constantly amazed and disheartened by the tone that many people take when they are hidden anonymously behind a computer screen.  And, I am convinced that most people would think twice before saying these same things face to face.

Why are we so quick to judge and to attack?  Why do we always need to be right?   Whatever happened to giving someone the benefit of the doubt? Disagreements are fine and a healthy debate is good.  If you pay attention to the other party, you just might learn something. However, disparaging remarks, name calling and pointlessly antagonizing each other is so unnecessary and fruitless.  After all, isn’t our goal to be better?  Shouldn’t we be expecting the best from each other and in turn giving each other our best? 

If we all had a more charitable spirit, I think we would choose our words more carefully.  We would take our time and think about our response before we hit the first key on the keyboard.  We would remember that life is far more complicated than what is conveyed in a blog post and rarely are things as black and white as what we read on a computer screen.  Just a thought.

*This post is a mash-up of Day 14: Life Lesson and Day 15: Charity  on Champagne to Crayons’ 28 Days Celebrating Thanks.  If you would like to read more posts by my fellow bloggers, click here.