Thankful For You

 

Yes, if you’re reading this the title of this post pertains to you. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who bothers reading my blog. There are (way more than) a million blogs out there and it’s meaningful to me that you would choose to read mine. I wish I posted more often or more interesting things and who knows? Maybe moving forward I will.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving this week and will spend it with friends, family and loved ones be sure to take a moment and reflect on how good we actually have it, whether we realize it every day or not, compared to those who are suffering around the world and in our own towns.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the holiday.

Where Pigs Fly

The inspiration for this post was alpacas having sex. Or maybe they were llamas. Regardless, enjoy this picture of an alpaca and let that sink in a moment.

Okay, while I’m not really here to talk about the alpacas (or llamas) getting to know each other in the Biblical sense, I will say that it was a very unexpected sight and definitely one of those things that simply cannot be unseen. I’m unsure if my 9 year old daughter saw it, or if she did whether she understood what was happening or not. I was uncomfortable and I’m SO not ready to go there yet. Anyway, what I DO want to mention was that I saw this as I was driving to my aunt & uncle’s farm to have (my second) Thanksgiving dinner last week. “Next door” to their farm is a place called The Where Pigs Fly Camp.

I think this is kind of cool because my aunt & uncle know the woman, Cindy, who runs the camp. I don’t know her and haven’t met her but it’s just a neat idea for a place and I think it’s cool my family knows her. Shut up, it is. the Camp has been set up as a place that disadvantaged children can come and get the (free) experience of camping, being on a farm, being around various animals (they have a TON of different animals there!) and how to take care of them. You can read about the Camp’s mission on their web page, which you should definitely visit.

Here is a list of some of the animals at The Where Pigs Fly Camp:

  • goats
  • horses
  • llamas
  • alpacas
  • peacocks
  • pigs
  • rabbits
  • sheep
  • turkey

and that’s not all of them! You can Sponsor an animal, helping to provide for it’s care, and they’re always looking for Volunteers. The Camp relies heavily, as I understand it, on donations and support from families  individuals, and corporate sponsor-ships. Think you’d like to help? You can find Cindy’s contact information on their website, The Where Pigs Fly Camp. They’ve located in Owensville, Missouri, about 70 miles west of St. Louis and about 50 miles east of Jefferson City. Check them out! You can tell them The Stroupe’s nephew pointed you in their direction, but it’s not necessary. I’m not getting paid for this endorsement, I just thought it was a super cool idea and wanted to share.

Thursday Eats: Thanksgiving Edition

Woke up from my food coma just in time to get this post up today. Here in the US we celebrated Thanksgiving today complete with the tradition of eating until we’re full up to our eyeballs. Don’t lie, you did it too.

The menu at my dad’s included:

A deep fried turkey: awesome crispy skin & so juicy, nice job Dad

Mashed potatoes & gravy

Roasted sweet potatoes: thank you for doing half w/o marshmallow, I don’t like marshmallow

Green bean casserole, a must have

2 kinds of dressing, my favorite part

Rolls, etc, and the only dim spot: canned cranberry jelly thing stuff, which was fine because it made my 9yo happy and I don’t eat that anyway.

So, dinner was a hit and I ate too much. Had both pumpkin pie AND really good pumpkin bread pudding, for dessert. It was rich, delicious, and had caramel pecan sauce, yum.

I’m very thankful for my family, and for the opportunity to do it all over again tomorrow with my mom’s side. If you’re reading and celebrated today (some of you may be Canadian) what was the highlight of your feast?

A Time For Thanks

Thinking about gratitude and being thankful (hopefully) comes naturally this time of year. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, a day we ostensibly gather with family and perhaps friends to celebrate how thankful we are for all the things we have, the people we know, etc. I guess that’s what it’s about, right? The pilgrims were going to die and the Native Americans showed up and saved them so the Pilgrims were thankful, right? Sorry, I saw part of the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show tonight and frankly it was a little disturbing, but I’m not really here to talk about that right now.

I am very thankful right now, thinking about all that I have, despite the things I seem not to have. I’m healthy, I have a wonderful girlfriend in my life, I have a beautiful daughter, I have a roof over my head, a job… I’m grateful to have those things. I’m grateful to live in a country, despite its shortcomings when it comes to the way the government works, where I am allowed to have these things and wear what I want and talk to whom I choose, and believe in God (relatively) without fear of being persecuted or killed for my choices.

I’m sitting here listening to Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, and while the blues tumble from Bob’s fingers and tongue I find myself very happy. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday primarily for the feasting, but I really am grateful for the chance to visit with family I don’t always get to see every day. I’ll have the opportunity to spend it with my girlfriend, and my daughter, and those facts make me smile. My dad is deep-frying the turkey tomorrow, and provided he’s not like the 15 people who apparently burned their homes down last year doing it (according to All State Insurance) it should be delicious. My dad is an awesome cook, that could be why I enjoy it, hard to say. My daughter might not eat much other than the pumpkin pie he made but you know what? That’s okay. I look forward to telling him how grateful I am to be a part of his Thanksgiving and for the meal.

I suppose it should be easy to be thankful during this time. I’m disappointed that as soon as dinner is over there will be people elbowing each other and stomping on toes to get super deals on material goods we can’t live without. After we waxed eloquently about how thankful we are for the things we already have. It’s unsettling, sort of like the Charlie Brown special tonight, but it’s the way of the world. I’m grateful I wont be standing in any lines tomorrow night or Friday morning. 

Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude for the Write on Edge online community for this very timely writing prompt. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Fill in the Blank Friday II

For the second week in a row, it’s Fill in the Blank Friday! via Spabettie! Thanks to Kristina (@spabettie) for the inspiration and the fun list of blanks to fill in 🙂 Dispute any of my answers? Leave it in a comment!

1. My best quality is my loyalty to family and friends. If you’ve had my back then I have yours, pretty much forever.

2. One of my less flattering qualities is my vanity. At least in my opinion, I tend to care too much about how I look.

3. I’d rather be playing at the park or hiking a trail. 

4. Something I have been challenged with lately is budgeting my money. I’m not a fan of working for commission, it’s very up and down which drives me crazy.

5. I am looking forward to delicious Thanksgiving dinner with my family, and spending the weekend at home with my girlfriend and my daughter.

6. A super random factoid about me is that I served a day as a Page in the Missouri State House of Representatives when I was in 4th grade.

7. I want to someday travel across the United States visiting all of the Major League Baseball stadiums.

National Blog Posting Month!

I was reminded by the awesome Studio30Plus (via their Facebook page) that November, aside from being some other crazy writers event month (more on that in another post,) is also National Blog Posting Month!

 

30 posts in 30 days. Really, what else do I have to do? No excuses. Get it done. Because it’s fun and because I can. No really, I can. What? You don’t believe me? You say there’s no way I can write a novel, work, have a personal life, be a dad, help coordinate the Studio Features, post on my blog every day in November AND have like, three or four Thanksgivings due to friends and a multi-faceted family?

To you doubters I say, “watch me.” Rawr.