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November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

by Nancy     Go to fullsize image

I spotted my prize in Chicago last weekend while on a girlfriend getaway: a Marc Jacobs white quilted handbag.  Retail $1400. On sale for $400. 

Was I tempted? Well, not really, because I'm not an idiot who spends $400 on a handbag--one that's white, for crying out loud. (Black?  Okay, very tempting....) Plus it's in bad taste to buy luxury goods now. Did you know that? It seems everyone--even those who don't blink at spending $1600 on a bag--are feeling the pinch of the economy. Or they don't feel it's a good idea to flaunt their spending.

It's tacky, say the elite, to buy a new Mercedes with your year-end bonus from the brokerage house this year if your next door neighbor is losing his job. Even the Times says so.

You also may have noticed that your supermarket is displaying comfort foods. (How many jars of Prego are in your pantry?) Stores at the mall are showing sweaters that resemble comfy horse blankets.Northwoods plaid swing jacket

 And everybody's giving away coupons.

I went to Chicago last weekend with my book club. The trip seemed like a good idea last June when Madame President came up with it, and we bought cheap tickets on Southwest back when the prices were great. Barbara works for a hotel conglomerate, and she got us the "friends and family" rate, which was $49 a night. Which means I paid a bargain basement price for a suite in a luxury hotel (the white robe, the chocolates, the sensuous shower, the maid who unpacks your suitcase and arranges your cosmetics in the bathroom, the lotions, the fresh popcorn--the works!) overlooking Grant Park and Lake Michigan. The room was almost as stunning as the view. Because business is so bad in the hotel trade, we were practically the only guests, and the staff treated us like queens. We tipped like crazy, but they gave us all kinds of perks that have spoiled me completely. The restaurant, in fact, treated us to THEIR ENTIRE MENU.  I'm not kidding. It was a feast for . . . well, queens.

We went to the art museum, had lunch at the old Marshall Field department store, gawked at the Christmas decorations, strolled through Escada just for fun and basically enjoyed a fabulous city for a couple of days. It was a real girl getaway. (There was even a handsome sports celebrity on our airplane. We got close enough to know how delicious he smells.  We might have gotten closer, but he was with his lovely wife. And she looks like a potentially fabulous girlfriend, so we didn't want to stir up anything that might prevent girlfriendliness.)

And we laughed. We had a hilarious time. Except for an hour we spent consoling one of our members who just lost her job and the ten seconds when Molly decided to turn around on the escalator and try to come back up, nearly catching her long coat on the mechanism.  We were horrified, and then--when she was okay--we howled.

So . . . despite the fact that I don't own a Marc Jacobs handbag, here's what I'm thankful for this year: 

My girlfriends.

Not just my book club pals, but the Tarts, the TLC community (even the guys count as girlfriends around here, and don't be offended, please) plus my Trusted Friend, my email pals, my neighbors, my college sorority sisters, my fellow writers, my former roommate, my Sisters in Crime, The Six (you know who you are!) and my mother, my aunt and my daughters. My girl friends.

Author Lynn Smith-Lovin says friendships are on the wane. All of us are more isolated than ever, working harder, staying at home during our leisure hours because of the economy--all the things that cause friends to drift apart. Not my friends, though.  In case you haven't gotten the memo, ladies, we're making a pact. Best Friends Forever means starting now, making the effort, staying in touch, forgiving, enjoying, reaching out, sharing a laugh, lasting until they screw down the coffin lid.

Who needs another handbag when you have good girlfriends?

Thanks, girls.

Oh, wait.  Here's one more thing I'm grateful for.  My grandson Bobby! Three months old this week.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  And best of luck tomorrow on Black Friday.  (I'm staying home.  How about you?)

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Comments

I am up too late trying to get done those last minute things for tomorrow. So I can be first. I am grateful for:

My family. I don't know how I would have gotten through the last couple of years without them. We have our petty squabbles, but we are there for each other.

My (hopefully) recession proof job. When other businesses start the layoffs, community colleges swell with new students trying to start a new career or get updated on the one they have. Our enrollment for the spring term is up 9% from last year; our unusal rise in enrollment is about 3%.

Dear Hubby's 'recession proof' (again, hopefully) job. He works in the pharmaceutical industry...need I say more?

My 'real world' friends and my cyber friends. The ladies and gentlemen of TLC keep me sane throughout the day with your humor, good ideas, and just being there. I read a few other blogs and follow other message boards. It is scary what is going on out there & the trolls! Everyone here is a joy!

Again, thanks everyone and have a great day.

I'm up in the middle of the night with indigestion (thanks mom!) so I thought I check in with "the gang". I see that Pam has beaten me to first place tonight.

Nice post, Nancy. But the grandbaby's picture can't be seen. It's tiny and not blowing up when I click on it.

I have so much to be thankful for. My life, my home, my family and my friends.

I agree with Pam. Coming here very day is fun and I'm thankful for the many many laughs and interesting discussions that have been on TLC this year.

Recession-proof jobs---yep, that's a good one, Pam.

Indigestion already, Cyndi? That doesn't bode well!

I'm terrible with the photo thing. I can't get Mr. Typepad to cooperate either. Yeesh.

My turn for the shower...

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

I'm not going out on Black Friday. Too many frantic people pushing and shoving for one item.

Yes, Nancy, I am thankful for girlfriends, cyber and real, far and wide. And for family and health and my dog, who even when he's driving us nuts makes us laugh. For the food we'll enjoy today and the leftovers we can feast on tomorrow.

There's so much to be thankful for and it's good to be reminded of that.


I'm signing books on Black Friday. A signed paperback is an inexpensive personal holiday gift. I just hope someone buys them.
I'm thankful for my friends. That's where Don and I are spending Thanksgiving, at our friend Kay's house. Like many people I've had a rough couple of years, but I get by with a little help from my friends. Happy holidays.

I was just told a "grinch that stole Thanksgiving" story that boggles my little mind. A friend was at her daughter's in-laws for Thanksgiving, MIL has made sure everyone has been served, and then begins filling a plate for herself, when her husband said, "I thought you weren't going to eat now because you had lunch earlier." She put her plate down and left the room. She is perhaps, like so many of us, a bit overweight, but public reprimand? . . .on Thanksgiving? and how would any other "fluffy" person in the room feel about their own food at that point??
My friend has made other plans for Thanksgiving since then, but that's a silent protest . . . any thoughts?

I'm thankful for my friends, especially the lovely family I'll be joining soon for dinner and board games. We met at the allergist's, and he's proud to have created a friendship in his waiting room. (He's always on time with appointments, but there is that 20 minute wait after allergy shots, lots of time to tell stories and help kids with homework).

Today's Letter People
Here's the Story of the Day:
Perfect Combination
We need a letter that's like i & u together for when we're doing stuff like this, he said & I hugged him & said a lot of people want a letter like that.
http://www.storypeople.com

One more -- I'm very grateful for my healthy house and for the convenience of a garage ;-) I never knew what I was missing.

All three of my wonderful daughters are "home" this holiday, and all three of them (and significant others) are continuing a long-standing family tradition, at least for their generation: running the oldest road race in North America on Thanksgiving, the Turkey Trot. It's a 10k race, beginning downtown Cincinnati, and draws some 10,000 people. This is the 99th year; I ran it when it was somewhat less popular, in its 69th year, when I came in second last out of a field of maybe 300-400. But I'm grateful to be here in my nice, warm home, cooking for the upcoming feast, and watching the Macy's parade with my grandson and husband.

Even though the economy is in the toilet, we are fortunate to still have a roof over our heads, food in the freezer (and on the table), loving family and friends (including all of you, whom I greatly cherish and value), and our good health. What more can we ask for, really?

I wish you all peace and joy today, the one holiday that is only about sharing thanks with those who mean the most to us.

Amen on girlfriends - and manfriends too - I've made some great ones here on TLC.

I'm thankful for so many things - from the next occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the families of our warriors who sacrifice so much.

Mary - I'm a fat person and if my husband made a crack like that, the weather forecast on the home front would be 'ice' for the foreseeable future.

Back to the kitchen! More zucchini bread in process before we break for the annual Turkey Bowl at my sisters.

Can I confess I'm not cooking this year? All gussied up, though, and leaving momentarily for the Thanksgiving Brunch with the old folks--with whom I'm very glad to be spending this holiday! GORgeous day here--idea for a post-turkey walk in the park.

William---you're officially a Good Girlfriend. So's Joe Cocker.

If everybody cooked, there would be no guests, and without guests, it's just a regular family dinner (not that those aren't special, too).

Yeah, Kathy. I heartily believe that is you don't love "through thick and through thin" you don't really love the person, and what would be the point of that?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Late lunch at home with my husband and MIL. We've been travelling too much and we're still exhausted. So we will be enjoying an extended holiday with family and friends over the next couple of days - punctuated by a publishing conference call from England tomorrow and a quick trip to Newport to drop artwork off at a gallery there. :-D

No shopping tomorrow for me. :-D

Warmest wishes to you all,
Cheers,
Marianne

IF you don't love "through thick and through thin" you don't really love the person, and what would be the point of that?
-- and I taught Language Arts -- though (obviously) not typing.

Yes, yes, yes, Nancy! Girfriends, including male girlfriends --

And babies. Mine are a bit older than your Bobby, but so scrumptious.

ANd I am so deliriously grateful that someone else is bringing the turkey today and I don't have to wrestle with a bird I feel sorry for.

Happy Thanksgiving for everyone! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a long time but didn’t dare to write in it until recently because of my lame English.
I really feel so close to you all, so “at home” despite the fact that I live far far away from you. Thank you for being with me even if you are unaware of it.

Olietta, your English is lovely. Please don't hesitate to share your ideas. I agree with you about feeling at home here, the perfect description.

Being somewhat agoraphobic, I'm especially thankful for my cyber friends, my remaining brother, and even the jerks in my life cause they have taught me valuable lessons LOL

I am so very thankful for having made it through the last year alive, intact, and still relatively sane. I am incredibly thankful for the many friends who made the survival of this year possible. And yes, the folks here at TLC played a larger part in that than you will ever know.

My husband made a crack this year about how cooking Thanksgiving dinner made me frustrated and bitchy. So we've been denying that there are any preparations going on (even though we can smell the turkey as I speak) and have stashed a Banquet turkey dinner in the freezer, ready to nuke and present to him as we sit down to the table. Voila - the ultimate fuss-proof, bitch-proof Thanksgiving meal!

I'm grateful for y'all, for music, for McCabe's (check www.kcrw.com on this), for friends and family, for rain that has washed our sooty skies clean for the day, and for sooooo much more.

To add some humor to the day, a lady in my online quilt group did this;
One year at thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister's' house for the traditional feast. Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick. She told my sister that she needed something from the store.

When my sister left, my mom took the turkey out of the oven, removed the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen, and inserted it into the turkey, and re-stuffed the turkey. She then placed the birds back in the oven. When it was time for dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird.

With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, "Patricia, you've cooked a pregnant bird!" At the reality of this horrifying news, my sister started to cry. It took the family two hours to convince her that turkeys lay eggs.


Today I am thankful to turn 49! I am thankful my friend Anne survived open heart surgery on Tuesday.

Rita - the pregnant turkey story is hilarious, I will have to tell that one to my friends!

Rita,

We played a similar prank on my little sister one year. Put the big turkey in the oven, but exclaimed throughout the cooking that it seemed to be shrinking. Then put a cornish game hen in the oven, hidden behind the turkey. We carried the tiny game hen to the table on a huge platter, and then all stared at it.

Amazing the trouble we went to; but we have a photo of my sister's very surprised face, and we still laugh about it.

One more thing for which to be grateful: laughter!

I'm thankful to all of my cyberfriends at TLC. It's such a joy to check in everyday and see everyone's names and responses.

What you have brought to me this year:

- Sanity during this year's pre- and post-election events
- Intelligent discussions on oodles of topics
- Company while I'm writing
- A place to share ups and downs
- Laughter

Thanks TLC'ers! You're awesome!

To Gaylin....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU-HOO
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Gaylin, happy birthday! And best wishes to your sister for a quick recovery. What a week, girlfriend.

I hope you all had a lovely day today!

Soooo....let us give thanks!
Things to be thankful for:
My parents are still alive and I cooked with my mom for dinner tonight.
My son is at the "Harrod's" for dinner in Boston tonight. (The little match girl syndrome for me but...he is having a great time.)
I have wonderful friends. (My girlfriends came to see my play. One of the actors said "Forget the star, Dee has 15 people waiting to see her." Nice.)
I don't have to get out of bed until I want to.
I don't have to go to sleep until I want to.
I don't have to get on the train to go to work for a company that doesn't appreciate my talents.
I can be my creative self.
I can be myself.
I like me.
Just saying.
Bless all of your houses this holiday season. May everyone find love and laughter and happiness. As the Army slogan says: Be all that you can be.
My advice: Don't settle for anything less!
LLL (Love Laugh Live)

Happy Birthday Gaylin!
Right now I am thankful for my good old 1960's Corningware. Just slap the lid on & stick it in the fridge!
Tonight I am also SOoooooo thankful for Rolaids, Maalox & Tums!
Waddling off to bed with my book cause TV sucks!!! nitenite

well, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how's life? hope it's introduce branch ;)

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