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Monday, November 22, 2010

Oprah's Favorite Things?? The Real Reasons For Giving Thanks, And A Giveaway!

Oprah-shmoprah.  I'm sorry, but most of the *favorite things* are great if you are in the audience, and you're getting them for free!!  But what about the rest of us poor schmucks??  

Our favorite things often lie in the simple things in our lives.  My list is pretty short and sweet.  And, after my *many* years on this planet, my list no longer centers around material goods.  I won't tell you that I don't enjoy driving my fancy car, because it is better to have reliable transportation than the kind we had many years ago.......I have not forgotten driving with jugs of water in the back seat to refill the radiator on the wrecked Chevette.  But I know my true happiness does not rely on those things. 

I watched Oprah's *Favorite Things* Show last week, like I do every year.  Mostly to see what made the list.   Then, I thought.....why not share MY list, and ask all of you to list one of your *favorite things*?  It can be anything that makes you happy.  

For example, I love getting things ready and packing my suitcase for my annual birthday trip to Michigan.  It's not just getting to leave town for a few really is about my roots, seeing my family, and sharing the dark humor we are known for with the people that get it.  I love driving past the farms, seeing the fall colors, and that feeling of being loved and grounded all at the same time.  

Just about a decade ago, I lost 4 family members in 5 years, 3 of them to cancer.  It was so hard, for so long, to see anything in that experience that was good at all.  The holidays were by far the most difficult time for a long, long time.  I could hardly bring myself up enough to even decorate.  There were so many years we were together for Thanksgiving or Christmas and we took for granted that it would just *be* that way.  Richard would drink too much, Mom would complain the turkey was dry, Karen would burn the rolls, I would force people to try a new, healthy alternative to the old holiday recipes.  Then when things changed, I realized how much I depended on them to be the same.  I was lost for a long, long time. 

What I found in the lost years was that change is inevitable.  I certainly changed a lot in those years.  I changed professions, I changed hair color, I changed dress sizes more times than I will admit to here.  Some of the changes were worth keeping, some were more like phases that I moved through.  But what I found was that the things that truly mattered always stayed the same.  And that is the undeniable fact that my family loves me unconditionally no matter what.  They are happy to see me, and not only put up with my newfangled twists on the traditional, but have come to expect and embrace it.  I am sharing 2 traditional recipes for the holidays that I have found changed for the better.   They have been tested and are requested now every year.  You don't have to be a master chef to make them come out right.  So- these 2 recipes make my list of *Favorite Things*!

My husband jokes that "everything is better with bacon".  It actually got him thrown out of an art gallery downtown (don't ask.....).  But, I have to say, with the traditional green bean casserole recipe, this is certainly true!  Here is my 'take' on that time honored favorite:

The second is pumpkin pie.  I am not a fan of the old standby.  They are usually a little soggy, and where I come from, a little burnt on top (sorry Karen)This recipe can be made sugar free for diabetics, by simply using sugar free Cool Whip, and making your own crust, or just doing this recipe as a mousse or parfait in a little glass.  If you are cheap like me, and don't want to spend the $$$ for Nutrasweet, just swipe about 6 packets from any gas station coffee bar, or restaurant  ;-)  I used to make it especially for my Mom, who was Type 2 diabetic, so she didn't feel left out at dessert time.  Everyone else loved it so much it got to where I had to hide a piece for Mom before everyone else pigged it down! for the Giveaway!  I have a $35 CSN Store Gift Certificate to help you with your holiday shopping list.  Here is all you have to do to enter:

  • Find and click on the link in the blog text to get to the CSN Store website
  • Find something cool for someone on your gift list (or you!!)
  • Be a Follower
  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me one thing you are thankful for this holiday season.

That's it!  As usual, simple like me.  You MUST be over 18 to enter.  Shipping is not included in the gift card, but many items in the 200+ CSN Stores ship for free.   I will, like last time, put all the names of the entrants in my trusty little basket, and draw the winner on Dec 1, 2010.  

You redeem the gift card with an online code, so you will just be able to enter that with your order, and get your item(s) in plenty of time for Christmas.  If you are not Christian, then use it for whatever!  :D  I'm not judging here.  

And seriously now.....that green bean casserole recipe is to die for, and I never liked it before!  We have it for dinner now about once a month. 
Okay.....I got stuff to do now to get ready for Thanksgiving, which is at my home this year.  Have a fantastic holiday, stay safe, and embrace the same old-same old, even if it means your sister wears that stupid holiday shirt AGAIN this year!  :)    :)  


  1. I totally want to hear the art gallery story!!

    I am thankful for 3 new grandsons that have joined us this year. The adoption process will begin in January. We are beside ourselves with joy!!

  2. Hi there. Thanks for visiting my blog marinagraphy and for leaving a very funny response...or at least a response that had gumption. Love women with spunk!

    Love your blog. It's very unique and fun to read. I am thankful for people like you who go on my blog and leave comments :)

    I am very thankful for my husband and kids and the family they have given me.

  3. Hi, I'm following from MBC and I would to enter to win the CSN Stores gift card.

  4. My husbands favorite food in the world is pumpkin pie (he actually says he could eat it everyday and be happy!) so I have become pretty good at making it. One of my tips is homemade ginger whipped cream, it tastes amazing with the pie! Happy thanksgiving!

  5. Good morning! I saw your comment on Blog Frog this a.m.! I am going to follow you, and I would love it if you were to check me out as well...I see you like Thrifty Living - Well, my site is all about saving $$ :)

  6. Having lost my dad to cancer recently, I can certainly relate.

    I can also relate to that feeling watching Oprah and thinking, "Awww man!!"

    One of my favorite things is slipping into freshly cleaned sheets and newly fluffed pillows... with a cup of tea and my favorite show on TV... and peace!

    Visiting from SITS - Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Hi there! Finally making it over from Sofia's Ideas! I'm following you now, are you already following me? I subscribe to your RSS too so I won't miss a thing! :)
    Come back over to Sofia's Ideas when you get a chance! :)

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to get a new blender! This year, I'm thankful for time spent with friends and family. I'm also a follower!

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

  9. Following you! I am so thankful for my family and all the love in my home.

    SO sorry to hear of all the loss you have been through. I can relate as I lost my mom 4 years ago and holidays are always a bit difficult.

  10. Hi! I saw you on MBC and am your newest follower! I loved looking around your blog--very fun reads! I have so many things that make me happy...right now I am loving my peanut butter brownies. The smell of lavender always makes me happy too.


  11. Thanks for all of your kind words! I am picking the winner right now.....


let's keep it kind :)

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