As previously mentioned, I may not decorate for Thanksgiving, but I do celebrate Thanksgiving.  As a natural complainer, I, of all people, need to be reminded of lucky I have been in my life.  Here are a few of the things I’m grateful for:

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I ran into one of my old co-workers today, and I was again reminded how grateful I am for my job.  I’m grateful that I am able to work for a company that treats its employees more like human beings and less like expendable resources.  I’m grateful that I have health insurance.  I’m grateful that, despite having worked there for less than six months, and having already taken two paid days off, I have nearly two weeks of paid time off accumulated.  I’m grateful that I don’t have to clock my down down to the minute, and I don’t have to get approval to leave work 15 minutes early, because there is no rigid schedule.

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I’m grateful for living in such a beautiful area.  This is beautiful, not only because of the wonderful summer weather, the beautiful scenery, and the clean air, but because of the people.  Of all of the places I have ever lived, I don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere where the people were more accepting of differences.  I think it’s due to the higher education level, the extremely diverse population, and the overall liberal feel of the place, but the people here just don’t seem to get so worked up over other people’s choices. 

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I’m grateful for the Internet.  I’ve basically grown up with the Internet.  I started using the net regularly in 1992 when I got my very first 2400 baud modem.  Since then, I’ve basically lived online.  You can argue whether this is a blessing or a curse, but it has become a major part of my life—one that I would be hard pressed to live without.  I’ve been able to have fun, learn new skills, get and give support, make money, spend a whole lot more money, and share the things I create.  I’m grateful for that young man from Lansing who just gave me his old, leftover modem to experiment with so I could join the revolution so early.  (It’s strange to think that the Internet as we know it now hasn’t even been around for 20 years yet.  When I started getting online, it was using Lynx and Gopher.  There weren’t any graphical websites, and certainly no such thing as e-commerce.  Things move quickly in the technological age, don’t they?

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I’m grateful for my family.  We don’t live close together, and haven’t for a long time.  But I still feel very close with them.  I’m grateful that they love me no matter what, and that even though I make choices that they may not agree with, that doesn’t diminish their love for me or mine for them.  Considering what I have seen many of my friends go through with their families, I’m not really sure how I got so lucky to have mine, but I’m glad I did.

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I’m glad that I can write in my blog, take photos, write songs, play video games, play with the dog, record audiobooks, go shopping, cook (and eat), and do all of the other things that I do in the course of my life that bring me enjoyment.  I’m grateful that I get to set my own schedule, make my own rules, and live the way I want to live.  I’m grateful that I can decorate for Christmas a month early.  I’m grateful for my dog, my iPad, and my Tivo.  I’m grateful for a car that, in five years, has only needed oil changes, new tires, and (as of this moment) new brakes.  I’m grateful for my friends.

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I’m grateful for lots of other things too, but I think I’m going to limit my schmaltziness to this list.  For now, anyway.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I felt like I had to throw in at least one Gratitude post.  Last of all, I’m extremely grateful for Kaspars, the place where I have Thanksgiving dinner every years that I’m not with family.  Because this is what my Thanksgiving dinner will consist of:

  • Carved Turkey with Rosemary, Lemon and Black Pepper Rub
  • Pike Place Market Ale and Honey Glazed Ham
  • Old Fashioned Gravy
  • Cranberry, Orange and Cinnamon Sauce
  • Annabelle’s Savory Celery, Sweet Onion & French Bread Stuffing Corn Bread Stuffing with Crispy Oysters
  • Whiskey Barbecue Pulled Pork
  • Maple Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes
  • Country Style Red Skin Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Crispy Bacon
  • Butternut Squash, Spinach, Ricotta Cheese and Walnut Cannelloni Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Fine Herb Bread Crumb Crust
  • Dungeness Crab Champagne Bisque
  • Northwest Seafood Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil
  • Black Bean and Cojito Cheese Quesadilla with Pico de Gallo
  • House Smoked Wild Salmon with Honey Rum Glaze
  • Chilled Prawn Cocktail with Horseradish Tomato Cocktail Sauce
  • House Smoked Penn Cove Mussels
  • Olive Oil Poached Albacore Tuna with Watercress and Red Bell Pepper Pesto
  • Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Curried Garlic Dressing
  • Spanish Red Snapper Escabéche Deviled Eggs with Dungeness Crabmeat Orzo Salad with Green Vegetables and Green Goddess Dressing
  • Caesar Salad with Focaccia Croutons and Parmesan Dressing
  • Thai Noodle Beef Salad with Mint, Cucumber and Lemon Dressing
  • Greek Vegetable Salad with Feta and Kalamata Olives
  • Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw with Brown Sugar Dressing
  • Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
  • Caramelized Onion and Three Cheese Tart
  • Balsamic Onions with Oregon Blue Cheese
  • LePuy Lentil Salad with Chicken Cilantro Meatballs
  • Roasted Beet, Pear, Spiced Granola Salad
  • Ricotta Tortellini Salad with Autumn Squash and Crispy Sage Seasonal Fruit Platters
  • International Cheese Selection with Sesame Crackers, Focaccia, Walnut Bread, Challah, Savory Scones, Cilantro Jalapeño Corn and Bacon Muffins
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Sweet Potato Pie
  • Crème Brûlée
  • Cranberry Tiramisu
  • Rustic Apple Tart
  • Cheesecake
  • Cookies
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Banana Betty
  • and Many More!