30 Days of Thanks Day 28: New Appliances

Aside from this past year when I lived with my friend, I have never been able to do laundry without paying for it at a laundromat or my apartment complex laundry room. But, my new apartment has washer and dryer hook-ups!

I suspect most women in my demographic (college educated, employed full-time, mid-40’s) have already purchased their first major appliance by now. Shopping for and purchasing a new washer and dryer seemed like a very grown up task!

Today, my new washer and dryer were delivered and installed. I’ve done two loads of laundry – or rather, my Personal Assistant did two loads of my laundry. Already I am excited about how much more my staff will be able to complete in a shift by not needing to walk to another building to do laundry.

Tonight, I am grateful for the conveniences new appliances bring to my world.


30 Days of Thanks Day 27: Flannel Sheets

It is starting to get cold at night here in upstate New York. That means it’s time for the flannel sheets to come out.

I can’t move in bed if I have a lot of weight on my body. But I love to be warm. Flannel sheets are the perfect answer because they provide great warmth without extra weight.

Tonight I will be crawling into a bed made with penguin flannel sheets for the first time this season. Yes, I own penguin flannel sheets. Multiple sets if you want to know the truth.

You got a problem with a 44 year old spinster sleeping in a bed made with flannel sheets with penguins on them?! At least I don’t have cats!

A white peace lily flower stands amidst dark green leaves.

30 Days of Thanks Day 26: Flowers

I got back from my Thanksgiving holiday this afternoon. When I walked in my apartment, the first thing I saw was a new flower on my peace lily plant.

If you are unfamiliar with the story of my peace lily plant, and the significance of a new flower, I encourage you to read this post.

Coming home to a new flower felt like my sister and my father were greeting me as I returned from this past weekend. I smiled and offered a prayer of gratitude.

Then I managed to shove eight containers full of cookies in my freezer.

30 Days of Thanks Day 25: The Cookie Journal

Today was our family’s annual cookie bake. Eighteen bakers ranging in age from 4 to 90 years, nineteen cookie recipes, two ovens, and seven hours of chaos in my sister’s kitchen.

I think it’s my favorite day of the year.

Our baking tradition started in 1990 when I was an exchange student to Australia. My sisters Donna and Caroline joined my mom for a day of cookie baking when she was missing “her baby.”

In 2002, Mom gave us little notebooks as gifts. My sister Mary Jane suggested we turn one of them into our cookie journal. I offered mine for the cause.

For fifteen years, we have kept notes in this journal. We write about our flops, like the year Mom forgot to put sugar in the fancy brown cookies because she was worried about Mary Jane and I driving down in snow. We write helpful hints, like how important it is not to put too much filling in the pecan tassies. We sometimes make reference to the fact that someone didn’t read the journal about the last time we had difficulty with a cookie.

Mary Jane started the journal that first year and anointed me the keeper of the journal. Over the years, other sisters and family members have all added to the journal, but each year it comes home with me.

The journal is a record of our family history. The year my father was in the hospital for Thanksgiving, we recorded how we baked in shifts so we could all take turns going to visit him. New births are recorded, as are tragedies.

We all cry when we see Mary Jane’s last entry in the journal tucked against my sister Susan’s words. Her simple message of love, written a month before she passed away, reminds us why we gather together for our annual tradition.

The day isn’t really about the cookies, although we do make some really good ones if I do say so myself. It’s a day full of love and laughter, and I wouldn’t want to start the holiday season any other way.

30 Days of Thanks Day 24: Pie for Breakfast Day!

It’s not even 7 AM and I’m already writing my daily gratitude. Today I am thankful for pie.

I am too full to enjoy pie after our big feast on Thanksgiving. So, I save them for breakfast the next day.

This year I’m enjoying a sliver of the following pies: chocolate Nutella, raspberry (made from the raspberry plants my dad gave my sister), pumpkin marscapone, pecan and apple. What pies are you grateful for today?