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For Turkey Lurkey Time

Every year, whether I am writing about Thanksgiving or not, I try to always spend the day focused on how lucky I am instead of all of the so called bad things I wish I could change. I try to remember those who are truly suffering and pray for them. I try to review my year and count my many blessings, who are often those I will be spending the holiday with.  This is especially true when my year has been better than the last. This year is no different.

I try to keep mindful of my blessings all year long, not just saving them for that time around the entrée when I like to go around and ask everyone what they are grateful for. While my life has many challenges I also know that I have witnessed many miracles and I do not take ANY of them for granted ( You never know what tomorrow may bring.

While I intend to reflect more specifically on the year of 2014 in a future blog at the end of this year, I will briefly mention what I am most thankful for right now. Today I do not have a migraine (yet anyway) and that is a blessing. I know that when I go home I will be met with three people who love me more than anything and I know that everyone has that. I know that I will attempt to post a couple of blogs and I am grateful for the passion I have for writing. I will say many silent thank yous to the universe over the next few days that I have what I have and attempt to share it with the world.

In the spirit of thanks and giving back it is time for several of my favorite campaigns to help those in need not just in November but all year round. The first is the “Thanks and Giving” ( program that allows your purchases at many popular stores to be donated to St. Jude, a hospital for children that is FREE for all patients and family. What a blessing that must be for those who are going through a trying and scary time. I am extremely fond of Marlo Thomas ( and her strength in carrying on her father’s passion to help as many people as he could. For her work she has just received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Next on my list is “God’s Love We Deliver”. I am aware of the amazing work behind this foundation because of another woman I admired deeply and lost way too soon, Joan Rivers. Joan was heavily involved in their Thanksgiving Day events. She didn’t just donate money she took her grandson every year out to deliver healthy meals to those in need. She would spend some time with each person passing along her spirit and the food. She gave of everything she had. I am sure her family will continue her legacy this year and in her honor I plan to contribute as well. When it came time to turn the tables and reflect on their love for Joan Rivers, “God’s Love We Deliver” had this to share:

There isn’t anyone who cannot relate to this message of love and community. It was for this organization after all, that Joan Rivers won Celebrity Apprentice for in 2009. If you want a piece of Joan Rivers at your Thanksgiving try her plum cake recipe ( that is the finale of an article by actors sharing their favorite holiday recipes.

Speaking of beloved recipes, one dish I made every year for Thanksgiving has become encrusted as a tradition I must keep up. They are my version of Stuffin Muffins (  Lately I know making things in a muffin tin has become a big trend for breakfasts and dinners, but I started these several years ago. They are extremely easy to make and so delicious you’ll be going back for seconds and thirds. I am also proud to say that they made the November issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine.
My last and newest way to give back this season is a relatively new campaign from the Rachael Ray Show. It launched this past September in honor of the show’s ninth season  and aims to provide “9 Million Meals” this year (production ends in May). Every dollar you donate helps provide up to ten meals for Americans struggling with hunger. Hunger is a big problem in America and anyway to combat it, especially from the comfort of your own home, is a powerful gesture. It is another brilliant way to give the gift of food and life to someone near or far. So when you are full and feel the need to lie down after your big meal, I urge you all to think of those who are not as fortunate.
If you are going through a hard time and think you have nothing to be thankful for, this might do the trick. I found this online and I couldn’t agree more.
These are the things we can all be thankful for even if you don’t have all ten, all you really need is one.
10 Things to be Grateful for this Thanksgiving:
1. Be thankful for growing older; we don’t all get that chance.
2. Be thankful you can read these words: not everyone can.
3. When waiting in long lines to get your holiday groceries, be thankful you can afford them and can conveniently buy them.
4. Be thankful that you can pay your bills every month.
5. If you have to get up early every morning for work, be thankful you can see another sunrise and that you have a job.
6. When you’re stuck in traffic, be thankful you have transportation and the ability to use it.
7. When the kids are unruly, be thankful you have children to love and who love you.
8. Even if you relationships aren't all “perfect,” be grateful that you have people who care about you in your life.
9. When your aging parents seem too demanding, be thankful they’re still around.
10. When you sit down with loved ones for your Thanksgiving dinner, be thankful for everyone and everything that makes this gathering possible.
I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy beginning of the holiday season.
I just realized one of the most important things I am thankful, each and every one of my readers!
Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble, Gobble.
For “Thanks and Giving”:
For “God’s Love We Deliver”:
For “9 Million Meals”:


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