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text 2017-11-26 23:20
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 4 - Thanksgiving

Tasks for Thanksgiving Day: List of 5 things you’re grateful for.

 

Three days late, but anyway, here we go:

 

1.) My mom.  Life wasn't always a bed of roses for her, but she brought me up never once letting me feel it.  Praise was always more lavish than criticism -- in fact, the mere absence of praise and a subdued showing of disappointment usually took the place of overt criticism, and that was all that was needed.  It was my mom who fostered my love of reading and travel -- even from my earliest years on, she took me abroad at least once a year -- and of every activity that expanded my scope of vision.  From my earliest days on, she was the closest friend I ever had.  Yet she never once challenged my decision to move to Berlin (a day's travel away by car or train then) after I had graduated from university, and later even to the U.S.  And after 20+ years of wanderings, I was happy to move back to Bonn, and close to her at last, so as to be able to be around when she needs me. She'll be 80 next year but doesn't look nearly that.  Our / her family tend to live very long lives -- I sure hope that's true and we'll be able to enjoy each other's company for a long time yet!

 

Traveling with mom to Spain, the Netherlands and the French Riviera (my mom took the picture, so she isn't in it), and at home, during an autumn walk and on my grandparents' balcony (they lived at walking distance from us).

 

2.) My cats.  All of them, beginning with Gypsy, who stole my heart almost 20 years ago at the end of my final term at Cornell and stayed with me until his body finally gave out on him after he'd reached a Methusalean age (I never knew what age exactly he'd reached; his last vet thought he was at least 19 or 20); continuing with Holly and Tiger, born in the wilds of Grand Canyon and a Los Angeles back alley garbage dump respectively, who found their homes with me after having been saved from certain death by guardian angels in 2000 and 2002; and now, finally, Teddy, who's been making his home with me since this past June, and is learning, for the first time in a life spent out on the street so far, that humans aren't all evil and can even (gasp -- what a notion!) be trusted, at least to a certain extent.

My two black boys, Gypsy (R.I.P. 2008) and Teddy -- and the two girls at play (left Holly, R.I.P. 2016, right Tiger, R.I.P. 2012).

 

3.) The fact that my office has survived the first year of its existence.  I left my former firm and set up an office of my own at the end of last year, and though I knew I wouldn't be starving, there's always a huge amount of uncertainty connected with such a step; not least because both clients and peers will perceive you differently once you're no longer connected with a powerful, well-established firm.  But this year has, overall, been better than I expected, and it looks very much like next year's intake is ensured as well.  Of course it can still all go down really fast, but so far, things are exceeding expectations, and that surely is something to be thankful for.

 

4.)  My books!  All of them, every book that I ever read -- even the bad ones.  I taught myself to read while most of the rest of my class was still stuck in the early stages of their ABC so as to finally be able to read the books that others (chiefly my mom) had, so far, been reading to me ... and I've never looked back.

 

5.)  My friends.  This community (as the recent site maintenance hickups very unnecessarily brought home yet again) and in real life, chiefly my BFF Gaby, who is one of the most courageous persons I've ever known -- and we've known each other ever since high school.  She's been born with a slew of handicaps, not all of them as visible as the fact that she requires crutches and a wheelchair to move any distances longer than a few 100 feet, but this doesn't stop her from living a fully realized life -- which on her job side, includes business trips to such places as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali or, more recently, the part of Turkey just on the other side of the border from the Iraqi civil war zone.  She is always ready to stand up for her own rights as well as those of others, always has an ear for other people's troubles, and is, all around, the most generous and loyal friend anybody could possibly wish for.

 

Mexico (December 1994 / January 1995) -- together at Teotihuacán, and Gaby climbing up the stairs of El Capitán, the big pyramid at Chichén-Itzá -- and Edinburgh (2006)

 

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text 2017-11-23 10:00
Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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text 2017-11-22 21:41
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Fourth Square - Penance Day and Thanksgiving

Apologies; this post was intended to go up earlier, but I was stuck in a meeting almost all day long.

 

Buß- und Bettag (Penance Day, or Day of Repentance and Prayer) (November 22)

Buß- und Bettag was a public holiday in Germany until 1994, and is still a public holiday in Saxony and a school holiday in Bavaria.  In Germany and Switzerland, Protestant church bodies of Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist) and United denominations celebrate a day of repentance and prayer on the penultimate Wednesday before the beginning of the Protestant liturgical year on the first Sunday of Advent (i.e., the Wednesday that falls between November 16 and 22.

 

The Reading Tasks:

Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).

 

–OR–

 

Other Tasks:

Tell us – what has recently made you stop in your tracks and think? –OR– What was a big turning point in your life? –OR– Penance Day is a holiday of the Protestant church, which dates its origins, in large parts, to Martin Luther, who published his “95 Theses” exactly 500 years ago this year. Compile a catalogue of theses (it needn’t be 95) about book blogging! What suggestions or ideas would you propose to improve the experience of book blogging?

 

 

Thanksgiving (November 23)

To most of this community, this is going to be carrying turkeys to Plymouth, but just in case ...

 

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States, Canada, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia.  It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year; similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan, albeit not at the same time.  Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.  Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well; in the U.S. the First Thanksgiving is believed to have been held by the Puritan settlers in the early 17th century.  Traditions associated with Thanksgiving in North America include family gatherings for a dinner of roasted turkey, potatoes, squash / pumpkins and gravy, as well as spiced pumpkin or apple pie for desert.

 

The Reading Tasks:

Read a book with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need. –OR– A book with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover.

 

–OR–

 

Other Tasks:

List of 5 things you’re grateful for –OR– a picture of your thanksgiving feast; post your favourite turkey-day recipe. –OR– Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it.

Bonus task: share your most hilarious turkey-day memory.

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text 2017-11-04 14:26
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Task Four - Thanksgiving Day

1. My family

Pic of my sis's two kids! Happy Halloween! Also I have all together 6 nephews and 9 nieces. 

 

2. My cat

 

 

3. My work wife (seriously everyone needs one). She kept me together the past few months when work got bad. And now I'm working for her and I feel like I crawled out of a pit. It's hard to work for someone (former supervisor) who has it out for you. She didn't like me and just seemed intent on competing with me. She's already a director, I worked for her and she made it obvious that she had no intention of working with me on anything.

 

4. That I can travel and see so many things/people that I never dreamt I would experience

 

Trip to Ecuador

 

5.  Having a great book community to come to on a daily basis that perks me up. Including in there is a special shout out to Moonlight. We've both been busy so I miss chatting away about books with her

 

Bonus task: 

 

So after my mother passed away Thanksgiving was kind of a hard day for my family. We would get together to go to my grandmother's house and eat. 

 

So one year my cousin and I decided we would cook because my grandmother was getting older and also we felt like jerks because people in their 20s should not bounce to their grandparents houses and expect to be waited on hand and foot.

 

So my cousin and I decided we would cook the turkey and do all the side dishes and just let everybody sit and rest. Well we did not realize that the turkey would need to be defrosted as much as it needed to be. So the two  of us are holding the world's most gigantic turkey ever, we're just forcing hot water into it to try to get it to defrost. And so when that was done we finally stuffed the bird.

 

Sweaty and exhausted we're sitting down and I'm reading the recipe book which has a note about a package inside the turkey. I tell my cousin and she goes what are you talking about. I said they say that the turkey comes with giblets in plastic, but I don't remember seeing it. 

 

We stare at the oven.

 

I think we both realized at the same time we were going to have to take the turkey out of the oven after it had been in there for at least 40 minutes and go rooting around for this piece of plastic. So we did as quietly as we could and we both were just silently screaming at each other as we kept reaching in to pull things out. Thank goodness my cousin finally found the package and took it out and of course we're hopping around screeching at that point at the top of our lungs. My grandmother's asking is everything okay in there and we're just going of course it is.

 

So that's the story of the time I almost poisoned my family with plastic in a turkey.

 

Tasks for Thanksgiving Day: List of 5 things you’re grateful for –OR–

Post a picture of your thanksgiving feast; or your favourite turkey-day recipe.  –OR–

Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book and post a picture of it.

Bonus task:  share your most hilarious turkey-day memory.

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-09 15:45
A McClendon Thanksgiving (McClendon Holiday) by Sean D. Young
A McClendon Thanksgiving (McClendon Holiday) - Sean D. Young

 

I fell in love with the McClendon brood at first book.  Ms. Young extended a ready invitation into the workings of a family.  Despite the flaws and dysfunction, the bond is strong and love permeates the dynamics.  A McClendon Thanksgiving is a friends to lovers story with a new beginning thrown in for good measure.  Big dreams led Faith to NYC, heartache brought her back home.  Will a renewed friendship, bring her the love of a lifetime?  Michael broke his own heart when he lost the girl of his dreams to the temptation of the big city.  Now she's back a little bit wiser and a lot more broken. Can he help heal her broken heart and gain a chance at forever with the woman he loves? Sweet love and second chances are a temptation make a great combination. 

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