Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanks... even for the stuff that kinda sucks.

Marie, Ashley, me and Kylee at Brian and Adrienne's wedding last Sept.
It's Thanksgiving. Most people love this holiday, me not so much. Maybe if i had kids. I would like it better if it was not so close to Christmas and if people didn't already start decorating their homes so early, as two houses down the road have done this week. It's only November 17 and i feel a little bit stressed that i haven't thought about presents nor do i have any ideas.

But i do know this. I have a lot to be thankful for even in spite of stuff that bugs me. I thought about these last night when i couldn't sleep. So i decided to write them down: Here we go.

1. Health: As a committed runner I am pissed at having high blood pressure. I really hate how tired the medication seems to make me and i think it has blunted what creativity i used to have. Sometimes i try to see if i can control it. For example i didn't have any wine last week so i decided to try going without my pills to see what would happen since i figured no wine would make it better. I skipped them for two days. By the afternoon of the second day i had a scheduled appointment and the nurse told me that it was up to 155/95 even though it had been ok that morning. I told her i accidentally forgot. Then i went home and took my medicine. (Lesson: I can't control it.)

I never have liked taking medicine (even aspirin). But i am so thankful that i have good health insurance and that there is medication that keeps me healthy. And another thing: if giving up wine lowered my blood pressure then i would have to make a serious decision about giving up wine for good in lieu of taking the medication i hate.

2. Job: I don't always love my job. Too many values get stomped on when i watch what happens with some of the folks in union leadership. Lack of work ethics and follow through, wasting money, greediness, inflated egos, it goes on.

However, i am thankful that for 25 years i got to work for an employer that not only allowed me my political leanings, but embraced them, encouraged them and expected me to act on them. This was one of the best elections i can remember in all of my years of voting. And in our state my union employer had alot to do with this success. Out of 99 legislative candidates we endorsed, 79 were elected. That's what i call action and effort.

3. Living in the Pacific Northwest: Yes, the rain and semen colored skies are a bitch. And our mushroom colored skin and perpetually bad hair days this time of year do not help make us attractive in our holiday photos. And the sunset (4:32 pm today) makes me tired by 8:30 at night.

However, I am thankful for this: (back to election for a moment) : We grew up in our early youth in Louisiana where my mom was also born and raised. And every election year (except those two George W ones) i call my dad on the phone and thank him for moving us to Washington State from Louisiana.

AND truthfully, i sort of love the rain. It's conducive to my lifestyle anyway. I love to be indoors, i am a voracious reader and i love TV, cooking,  movies and low lights. I don't even mind running in it. And  the high humidity (nearly 10 months of the year) and lack of sun benefits our skin and helps to keep us younger looking.

4. Family: I sometimes think i was born into the wrong family.  With the exception of my Dad, they all love to party. A lot. With Coors Lite Beer (ick!) or my mom's big magnums of cheap chardonnay If it's at my parents little house (where my mom always wants it), it's always a quasi-hoarder's chaotic paradise, where i spend the first 5 minutes straightening all her pictures on the wall to settle down my slight OCD. And if you want a seat you first have to navigate and excavate piles of magazines, folded laundry, and other crap first.

The meal is always BBQ and lots of it. (I call it caveman eating).  And for some reason my mom thinks she always has to make some casserole with the key ingredient being cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup. It's a raucous affair. The music comes off one of those cable TV channels. And the conversations can often turn to politics, religion, which celebrity would we be willing to cheat on our spouses with (mine was Brad Pitt, but only if he has quit smoking),  AND if we were gay which celebrity would we want to date...(Rachel Maddow for me)....nothing is off the table!

But even as i get irritated at times by these very things, i am actually thankful for all of these reasons above too. I am never intimidated about what to cook or bring to these affairs. The music playing is usually the blues.  And I always bring my own bottle of chardonnay, and nobody give me the raised eyebrow when i pour my third glass AND if after my third glass I say something stupid, nobody will even notice in the midst of all of the arguing about same sex marriage. And like my nephew Brian says, "We Louvraks are  good looking family!" I love my family. And they love my husband and he loves them.  And that is what matters. (So what if i sometimes feel adopted.)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  If you are reading, (and by the stats i know you are even if you don't post - unless is amulbunny and louie checking in 500 times each by themselves)....Anyway, if you are, please come share yours.
My brother Scott and Kylee at her Art Institute graduation 2010

Kylee's mom Marie, brother Troy, and me at nephew Brian's wedding
Coors Lite balancing with Troy and Brian

Kylee with Brian at the Bayou Bar at Scott's house, both wearing goofy glasses

I love this photo of Kylee from a couple of Christmases ago

niece Jessica, me, Jessica's daughter Mari and Kylee

My Baybee and Kylee March 2011

Nephew Josh, Brian, and Ashley Christmas 2008


jojo cucina cucina said...

If you click on the photos, you can see them bigger. Funny, i just noticed i put Kylee/Modern Hippie in most of them. I wish she was still blogging! The one at the bottom is my nephew Josh is died in 2009. And Kylee's sister Ashley (who was born three days apart from Josh.) In photo #5 that is Ashley and Kylee's mom on the left. I am very thankful for Marie!

jojo cucina cucina said...

i switched up the photos and moved #5 to #1.

susieatl said...

Yea!!!! A new post! And Kylee and Brian are in it and I kinda know them since I rode in the car with them! I love seeing pics of your family.

I was also born to the wrong family. I have some crazy stories that would make you cringe...did I ever tell you I have a nephew in Federal Prison for racketeering and murder? Yes, my mom's favorite grandchild (Amanda was born after she died) ran a syndicate in the Ozarks. They murdered an FBI informat by shooting her, chopping up her body and throwing her into the Missouri River. He didn't actually do it but he gave the orders. BTW..he taught me how to ride a horse. He's only three years younger than me (I was an OOOOPS baby).

Ok..what am I thankful for...

1. That I have headphones and really loud music at the gym since they love to watch Fox News. I have decided that my idea of hell would be being chained to a chair and made to watch Fox while listening to sad Christmas songs (what they were playing at Kohls the other day).

2. Fannie Flagg - just saw a play based on Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man. Fannie tells a great story and is sly with her digs on fake people.

3. Fish Tacos...had one today at a great restaurant that donates part of their proceeds to tsunami relief..and the tacos were excellent. Small things make me happy.

4. My health. I got tomorrow for a testing on my heart, etc. It's a mobile screeing and I can't eat 8 hours before and my appt is at noon so I am staying up late and having some yogurt or oatmeal before I go to bed. We get the results pretty quickly...I'm lucky though..I have good genes. When my dad had pancreatic cancer the doctor at Barnes said his lungs and heart were in excellent shape. Since he smoked and drank for 60 years that was pretty amazing. Good genes. But my mom died of emphysema at who knows what will happen.

5. My kid. Amanda is pretty amazing. She is smart, funny and very independent. I really enjoy hanging with her. I wish my mom had lived to meet her. (I can get really pissed thinking about this so I will stop).

6. My job. It's crazy, intense and overwhelming. But it pays well and keeps me on my toes. I work with a bunch of Republicans who HATE Obama right now but they are good people and if they could get past what Fox News(see above) then I think they could get past the hate.

7. Vacation - I get tons and really have to force myself to take it. But when I do I really enjoy myself. I have lots planned this week and I've alreay lost three more pounds!! Of course I gained 2.5 after the Cirque party last week so it is only .5 a pound.

louielouie said...

Jo, love your family photos.

1. I do not care much for the Thanksgiving holiday either. At least there aren’t presents to buy. I do, though, have plenty to be thankful for this year, and most years actually.

2. My kids. They are both interesting, funny and caring people. I like them a lot. I would like them even if they weren’t mine. Honest. They’re also both employed so I’m thankful for that too.

3. I’m thankful we all have health insurance too, and thankful we don’t often need it.

4. My husband, even though he is currently watching a History Channel show about the Great Depression and the dust bowl. I just can’t get into it and it's making me a little crazy.

5. I’m thankful for my siblings too. They are also interesting, funny and caring people. I am thankful for the bond we have and our ability to pull together when we need to.

6. My self-cleaning oven. It’s doing its magic right now. Kinda stinky though.

7. Having a hard time being thankful for my job. I know I should be. Plenty of people would be happy to have it; it pays well, is inside, is close to home, it’s not immoral or illegal, most folks I work with are fine people. I just don’t want to do it. Not good at it, don’t like it. I need a better attitude.

8. I’m thankful I live in the Pacific Northwest too. It is beautiful here. I love the mountains and the tress, and even the rain. Mostly like the politics too. Wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

p.s. I do check all the time and don't post.

jojo cucina cucina said...

susie!!!!! Didn't we talk about you writing a book about your family before? OMG....How did your heart test work out? And are you done with your 11 days vacation?

louie, yeah, sometimes it is the little things that i'm thankful for too. Like the self cleaning oven. Nearly two years ago when we put in counter tops the guy accidentally broke my oven handle when he moved it back in. He was mortified. But that oven was not a self cleaning one and though i could have purchased a new part (i'm sure the guy would have paid for it) i got rid of a perfectly fine working range/oven because i wanted a self cleaning oven.

People on Facebook are doing these 30 Days of Thanksgiving and it's been sort of pissing me off. I could barely come up with 4. But if i started listing things like self-cleaning ovens, my iMac, etc. I think i can do it. In fact i'm going to try.

jojo cucina cucina said...

30 Days of Thanksgiving by Jojo:

1. My self cleaning oven.
2. My iMac desktop computer.
3. My custom built computer desk and this great ergonomic chair, which is even better than the one i have at work.
4. My 2008 Honda Accord which i only gas up once a month and it has 24,500 miles on it.
5. cable TV (though i want HBO now so i can watch Newsroom).
6. My king size bed.
7. That i get the whole garage to myself while Brian's out of town.
8. That i don't live near any trees that might land on my house during this bad rain/windstorm.
9. That i can run an hour without problem.
10. That i get a lot of time to myself as i require.
11. That i have a good boss who is approachable, thinks i'm pretty good at what i do and lets me be honest with him.
12. That i have great brothers and they have great kids and the women they love are women i adore.
13. That nobody i love is sick or suffering.
14. My hardwood floors.
15. my dining room table which was handmade by a friend who was a wooden boat builder.
16. inventions like remote controls, answering machines, dishwashers, iPods.
17. Amazon.
18. My new green trenchcoat. It's the perfect green!
19. Obama.
20. MSNBC and Jon Stewart.
21. money leftover at the end of the month.
22. online shopping!
23. My Food and Wine and Rolling Stone magazine subscriptions.
24. my cheese knife from Cutco knives.
25. Living so close to work -within 2 miles.
26. People waving to me as i run my Oakbrook route.
27. Ft. Steilacoom park, which is a short walk away from home.
28. living in a blue state.
29. Netflix.
30. My blog. I like going back a few years and reading sometimes to see where i was. and if i died tomorrow, something would be left behind. At least until the Internet is replaced with something else! There i did it!

And the time is 6:46, so it only took me about 17 minutes!

jojo cucina cucina said...

Of course with #16 i should say voice mail...though we still have an answering machine.