November 27, 2008


We just put the last dish in the dishwasher. We had "the usual:" turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, rutabagas (Abe's tradition), cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and whipped cream. This year we added Morningstar tofu "chicken" for Ben and ham for Sheba, both of whom did not want turkey. I am pleasantly sated, not overstuffed.

After an early-morning blowup over old tensions between the two kids, things have been pleasant. I'm glad Abe and I were here to defuse and discuss the situation with them. (Divide and conquer.) It's been brewing for quite some time, but now it's all in the open and everyone feels heard.

While the bird was roasting, Sheba and I made Ur-spo's hot chocolate mix. It was a tad too sweet for our tastes so we added more of the other ingredients. Let me say this about that: Oh. My. Gosh. It tastes exactly like Starbucks' Signature Hot Chocolate without the high fat content. And you know, I don't miss the rich fat taste like I thought I would. The simple way to make it would be to lessen the sugar content, but since I couldn't do that, here's the original recipe with my additions in parentheses:

Incredibly Good Hot Chocolate

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Girardelli unsweetened cocoa (plus 1/8 cup)

2 cups nonfat powdered milk (plus 1 cup)

3/4 cup Original Coffeemate creamer (plus 1/4 cup)

1/4 tsp. salt

Add 1/4 cup mix (two coffee scoops) to one cup boiling water.
This recipe makes enough to just about fill one quart-size ziploc baggie.

I'm going to make several batches and put some in pretty cellophane gift bags with a coffee scoop for Christmas gifts at work. Thank you, Ur-spo!

Speaking of thanks, here's a partial list of what I'm thankful for:

I'm thankful that it was our son and not someone else's who had the ordeal with defiance and drugs. Because it was Ben, he was able to get the help he needed and come out a stronger and more confident young man. Because it was Ben, many of our friends know firsthand the outcome of their emotional, spiritual and financial support. Because it was Ben, Abe and I have had our marriage tested in the fire and found pure.

I'm thankful for the family of origin and family of choice that I have. Both have proved over the long haul to be loving and supportive and a lot of fun to be around.

I'm thankful that I'm in the right place at the right time to do what I'm being called to do. The rightness of it centers me and keeps me going in spite of the conflict it sometimes causes.

I'm thankful for my online friends who have taught me so much over the past couple of years (even though I've been blogging for only six months). I've met a number of you, but not enough; and I am looking forward to meeting as many as I can. You've been warned.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Ur-spo said...

I was pleased you liked it
I made my annual batch this day; I will think of you when I have my first cup.

Happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

Jess said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Roxrocks said...

And we are thankful for YOU!

That recipe sounds delish! I'm going to give it a try!

Java said...

A lovely thankful list, Ms. Birdie.

I, too, want to meet lots more of the people I've become friends with through the blogs. I'm thrilled to have met some already.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

I really had to pause and re-read your paragraph about Ben and his struggles. At first, I thought that I had mis-read and then I realized it was perfect. I am now THANKFUL that you made me remember.

Doug said...

That recipe looks amazing. Consider it tried.

I love your thankful list, too. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

SteveSchalchlin said...

I remember someone used to make up hot chocolate mix for me long ago. Of course, now I need it without sugar.

Bandana Jack said...

being the curmudgeon i am, i tend to resent being cued as to when i am "supposed to" experience gratitude, joy, love or a charitable spirit. all of these are integral components of who i am, and each and all surface at varying times and varying degrees. i welcome reminders to examine my heart and mind for right thinking, and to that extent, i am willing to acknowledge with a nod the ritualization of these attributes as reminders.

i have found, in relation to this ritualized cue, that a regularly essayed gratitude list is most effective antidote, in combination with sharing with friends, to depression. it is a rare week that passes without the need to stop and "count my blessings", if only just to give me the strength to carry on.

at times of less duress, gratitude becomes a celebration of one's life and a marker to more fully participating in miracles.

i find that i have been recounting the miracles in my life a lot lately, and smiling more too.

here are two of those miracles, a reconstituted, resuscitated personal blog...
and a newly formed community resource blog...
oh, and i spent several ours of thanksgiving day with my mother, who always loved holidays.

call me ms birdie, i have more miracles to report.

Patrick said...

And thank you, Dear Birdie, for your loving insights throughout the past few months. What a funny phenomenon this blogging community is. The things I've learned from you and others, as we all examine our lives...