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Turkey Day–two days late

Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday… and it was late then. So, there you go.

Hey, everyone!

It’s been awhile! The last several months have been a whirlwind for us, so blogging hasn’t really taken front-seat. I’m regretful of that, and I’m working forward to rectify that neglect.

So, here we are. Americans, Happy Thanksgiving yesterday. Rest of the world? Happy Thursday yesterday.

The first Thanksgiving in America was held as a harvest feast in 1621, and, supposedly, 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans were in attendance. This whole heartwarming event likely ended in small pox and bloodshed in the long-term, but, from a modern standpoint, it’s a day to be happy for what we have.

Squanto, a Native American who had been captured and sold into slavery, before making his way back to the New World, was sent by his tribe to make sure the idiot Pilgrims didn’t get themselves killed in New England’s less-than-hospitable, late winter environment. It was this compassion that began the alliance between the settlers and the Wampanoag people—one of the only positive alliances that came out of the settler’s invasion—and it lasted 50 years.

I’ll bet the settlers were pretty thankful for Squanto and that alliance.
As per tradition, I’d like to discuss what I’m thankful for.

Family

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This is my second Thanksgiving with Jared, the love of my life, and it was around this time in 2014 that I met him for the first time. We didn’t start dating until March of 2015, but November set the ball rolling.

My store manager was transferred out of our OfficeMax location and his last day was November 16th, if I recall correctly. Jared came in as a new Operations Manager with the new store manager from Office Depot. We’d merged the previous year with Office Depot, so our whole staff was wary of the new guys. I remember our first Black Friday together, and Jared out-shined everyone with his speed and work ethic. Big dork. I couldn’t help but respect him.

By January, I had a stupid crush on him, and I managed to screw up literally everything I touched whenever he was scheduled. It was a mess. I’ve never had an issue asserting myself with people I’ve liked in the past, but Jared was on a whole different level. I mis-fed the large format laminator. I ruined several bookleting and padding jobs. Print Services Supervisor, and I was like a bull in a China shop.

In March, he asked me out. He was super nervous and it was very cute. We wound up going to St. Augustine for the day the following week. We had lunch together the next day, and it lasted well into the night. We’ve been inseparable ever since. It was easily the most enthralled I’ve ever been with someone.

Our first Thanksgiving together, Jared had to work that night. We ate a meal together, just the two of us, and off he went.

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This year, we were surrounded by our roommates and his mother, and it was amazing. I wish my own parents could have been here with us, but distance is a bitch.

Friendship

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This year, I’ve seen friends spend their first Thanksgivings with their significant others, experience a first Thanksgiving as parents, as husband and wife, and in new homes. Some of you have written or published your first novels and I know you’ve all made progress in your art and in your lives.

I’m so thankful for you and proud of all of you. Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll be even closer to your goals and your dreams at this point next year!

Peace

The people in Standing Rock, ND currently protesting an oil pipeline aren’t able to know peace right now. They’re locked into defending their lives and their clean water, air, and community in the face of aggressive riot suppression units, and, if they break to indulge in a feast of exorbitance, they leave the crews in Standing Rock unopposed.

So, I’m thankful to have peace in my life, and I wish the people in Standing Rock peace and victory in their protests. I hope they can emerge successful, uninjured, and that they are able to enjoy time with their families and loved ones without the fear of losing sacred land, health, and the safety of their families.

Food

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We worked hard on Thanksgiving this year.

I made turkey with an herb butter rub, and my great grandmother’s potato dressing.

Jared made a sweet potato casserole with marshmallow.

Kevin made vegetables simmered with chicken stock and bacon, several apple pies for us and our neighbors, stuffing, and mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes.

Max made a delicious homemade cranberry sauce.

Jared’s mom, Sandy, made green bean casserole and brought us some tasty King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls.

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Together, we enjoyed one hell of a feast, and I’m incredibly thankful we had the means to do that for one another and spend that time together. Not everyone is this lucky.

The first Thanksgiving, according to the History Channel, featured swan, seal, and lobster, as well as deer and a medley of vegetables. We may be a long way off from that menu, but I think we’ve managed alright. =]

Battle on and enjoy a leftover turkey sandwich,
Kit

I know we’re a day late here, but what are you thankful for?

A-to-ZChallenge

I is for Investment #AtoZChallenge

Where you invest your love-You Invest your life

When people think of investments, they tend to think of money, I think. At least, I did for a long time. Coming from a family who struggled financially my entire life was difficult, and everything I did or wanted to do was always put into categories of financial manageability. There were many years I went without school pictures or activities, was too afraid to be a strain on the family by asking for anything beyond basic necessity, and stayed away from social activities that would cost money.

My mother was fantastic, of course. She got me a class ring, tickets to every semi-formal and prom, bought my dresses, and managed to scrape together what I needed for field trips so I wouldn’t miss out. We were always fed and always had a roof over our heads, which is more than so many people get. I’m not complaining about my life up until this point. I’ve had a good life, though a hard one, and it’s taught me a lot. Hell, I didn’t even go to college until I was 28 because I was terrified of the crippling debt. The words “I don’t know, that’s a lot of money,” defined my life. When I heard them, regardless of who was saying it or their intention, whatever I was planning was pushed aside and I went back to school or work, deciding I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway.

Over the years, though, I’ve learned that money isn’t the only investment. Sure, investment and financial responsibility will take a person a long way in life, but it’s not the end all and be all.

Investments also consist of time, passion, attention, and love.

  • You wind up finding the people that become your tribe. The people that encourage you, no matter what the cost. If you want it, if you need it, you’ll find a way. Those are the relationships you invest everything into—it’s not about money. Family is important, but family isn’t just the small unit of people you were born into; it’s the group of people you build for yourself. Whether they’re permanent or transient, they’re the people who touch you, and investing time, attention, and love into those relationships, however brief, can change you for the better. I’ve learned this pretty intensely, after moving so damn much in my life. Not everyone sticks around, and that’s okay, but don’t let that connection mean nothing.
  • You find your passion(s). I love writing. I love working with creative people and helping them to become better at what they do. Investing passion into those things can be hard sometimes, since they don’t pay the bills just yet, but they add more to life than the “Well, I can’t afford to do that” moments. It’s not monetarily expensive to love something, but it’s more rewarding than fat bank account. (The bank account helps, I’m sure. I mean, we all like to eat, but think bigger picture for me, yeah?)
  • You will find love. I’m not saying romantic love, necessarily, but you’ll find love. Sometimes it seems bleak and lonely, and it’s hard to put in the effort to find people like you, who enjoy the same things you do, but you’ll find them. Hell, maybe you will find romantic love, which is great! My greatest hope for you, though, is that you find love in yourself and in being alone. You’re of value all on your own. Not just as a friend or a girl/boyfriend or wife/husband. You’re worth your own love more than the love of anyone else, and that’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes. Invest in self-love!

The point is, invest in the things that matter. Invest in yourself. Invest in health and awareness and love. Invest in the people that speak to your soul. Invest in your art and your writing and your music.

You’re the creative. You’re the ones who keep emotions stirring and that’s what keeps the world turning.

Battle on. ❤

What would you add to the list? What have you invested in that propelled you forward?