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Tag: Thanksgiving

So thankful

For my wonderful family.

For sisters who look like me.

For cousins and nephews and their cheesy smiles.

For future nieces or nephews.

For football and snuggles.

For time spent laughing and talking around the dinner table long after the food is gone.

For puppies that love attention.

For the one I adore and for being adored in return.

And for a million other things….

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving full of delicious food and quality time with so many that I love. Those that weren’t there were thought of and missed. I’m so lucky for everyone and everything in my life.

Hoping every one of you were surrounded by love and warmth on this holiday.

My beef with Peta

I was listening to talk radio the other day and they were discussing Peta’s recently rejected ad campaign.

‘Grace’: PETA’s Thanksgiving ad

All that stuff in the ad? It’s true. The way animals bred for food are treated is disgusting. I say this because there was a caller that said if that stuff was actually true she couldn’t enjoy her Thanksgiving turkey. Sorry lady, it’s all true. The meat we eat comes from animals that are so mistreated it’s almost unbelievable. I literally could not finish watching certain videos. It was that sickening. And Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers. Just saying.

Not to mention the fact that our food is pumped so full of hormones and chemicals it’s causing all kinds of health problems. Plus, these animals live in so much filth that they actually consume their own feces. *gag* If you really think about it, eating meat is disgusting and actually pretty bad for you.

Well Abigail, you must be a vegan or at least a vegetarian if you truly feel this way, right? Actually no, I’m not. It’s not because I love steak so much (although I do). Or my cravings for cheese pizza are so overwhelming (sometimes they are). I could get over that. Actually, Joel and I both went vegan for 30 days. During this month period I realized why I can’t be a vegan and why Peta has it all wrong.

The problem with Peta is they’re focusing so much on the mistreatment of animals. They hope that, just by presenting people with the facts, it will change their minds. Then people will see the light and magically love all animals and move into a forest and skip around singing happy tunes while birds perch on nearby branches. Right.

Some people won’t care at all. Others will. Those that feel guilty will try to cut out some of their meat dishes. Maybe eat more salad for awhile. But I think we all know, one can only live on salad for so long. Eventually they’ll crave protein and head to their local Whole Foods (if they’re lucky enough to have one). When they get there they’re going to take one look at the price of tofu and decide maybe hamburger isn’t so bad for them and their 7 kids.

Because in the end money talks. For the average person budgeting their time and money, a vegetarian (or dare I say vegan) lifestyle isn’t that realistic. This is why more people, including myself are not vegan. It’s hard. Especially if you do any kind of traveling. I did it as a flight attendant and, unless I planned ahead and cooked my meals in advance, I found myself at the airport eating a side salad, potato chips and juice. Again. I’m sorry but I am not good at planning ahead, especially when it comes to food. I do cook from time to time but, the closer it comes to ready made, the better in my opinion.

Joel and I eat out a lot. Definitely too much. It’s a fault and it’s something I’m working on. However, no matter how much better I get at planning meals and actually following through and cooking them, I’m positive there are going to be times when I’d just rather order in. Or we’ll be on a road trip. Or whatever. Fact is, it’s tricky to find good, filling vegetarian options that are quick and easy. God forbid you’re trying to find something that’s vegan! Now, Whole Foods has a bunch of vegan options that are actually really delicious. But every time we shop there I do a double take at our bank account as to whether I just went grocery shopping or made a car payment. We are not rich. And if we shop at Whole Foods too often we might actually have to choose between food and a car.

What I’m trying to say in the longest way possible is, if Peta is truly serious about animal welfare, they need to stop trying to treat the symptoms and focus on the disease. Stop trying to shut down the slaughter houses. It will never happen as long as the quickest, easiest food options come from there! They need to focus on making vegan food accessible to everyone. They need to find a way to make it cheap. I’m talking McDonald’s cheap. Because seriously, do people eat at McDonald’s because it tastes good? No, they eat there because it’s fast, easy and dirt cheap. Only then will veganism become mainstream. Until Peta figures this out, veganism will continue to be only for the rich, self-sacrificing or ultra organized.

Unfortunately, I don’t fall into any of those categories.

Bring it, Chicago

I love warm weather. There’s nothing I like more than being able to keep my windows open at all times and walk around in shorts and a t-shirt. I suppose I get it from my mother. She was born in California and has always instilled in me a love for warm weather and the ocean.

Unfortunately, I live in Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Chicago. I think it is one of the best cities in the world. It’s a magical city, especially in the summer. I like to think that Chicago’s crappy weather is it’s own form of population control. I’m pretty sure, if it weren’t for the winters, everyone would want to live here. Anyone who has been to Chicago in the winter knows, Chicago winters are no joke.

Normally around this time of year I bemoan the loss of summer. This year we got an extra special treat and fall started in August (what the heck?!) so I’ve had a while to get used to the idea. I’m resigning myself to the fact that my short wearing days are over for the season and I’ve already unpacked my sweaters and coats. It’s been a mental struggle because I’m really not ready to let go of summer yet, probably mostly due to the fact that it only lasted approximately 12 days this year.

However, futilely clinging to the idea of summer as I watch the multicolored leaves swirl around outside my window only makes me miserable. There are a lot of great things to look forward to about the impending winter months. So, in an effort to remain positive and embrace my life (with which I am actually quite happy) I am going to list the top 10 things I am looking forward to.

1. The Holidays

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, rivaled only by Christmas. I love the food and curling up afterward, visiting with family, and enjoying the warmth that just seems to emanate from those holidays.

2. Decorating our apartment for Christmas

I have a feeling we’ll be starting early this year. I’m making myself wait until at least November 1st but after that I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to contain my excitement. Speaking of excitement…

3. Christmas shopping

I have to admit I have already started. I’m the kind of person who is obsessed with buying the “perfect” present for each and every person. I bought my first present of the year back in July. There is just something about finding something that you know each person would like or that they said they wanted in passing and then surprising them with it later. I am, one hundred percent, a believer in “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” The whole process is exciting, from finding that “perfect” gift, to wrapping it, to watching them open it. I’m a dork.

4. Snow

I don’t care. This year I’m just going to get excited about it. I know it’s coming so I accept it, welcome it even. It’s so pretty when it’s falling and the earth looks all fresh and new. Plus, this year we don’t have to park on the street (hallelujah!). I’m also excited to see Phoebe’s face the first time she steps out into it. I expect it’s going to be classic.

5. Christmas music and movies

Again, November 1st can’t get here fast enough.

6. Ice skating

I can’t wait to go ice skating downtown. Last year Joel and I kept planning on doing it but it was just too cold or we were too lazy on the few days it wasn’t far below zero. This year I’m determined not to let that happen.

7. My birthday

That is always something to look forward to about winter. January 17th, mark your calendars. *wink*

8. Getting warm

One of the best things about being out in the cold is coming back in and getting warm again. There is nothing quite like the feeling of coming in from the frosty weather, putting on warm pjs, fluffy socks, and a fluffy robe then snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and someone you love. Cold weather = snuggle weather = happiness.

9. Not flying

I’m a flight attendant but this winter I’m on furlough which means I won’t be working any trips. This means my life is not dictated by every flake of snow or patch of ice. It will be a wonderful feeling to hear of an impending blizzard and not have to double check that my bags are packed so I can leave at a moments notice.

10. Getting away

While I’m being as positive as possible, I know there are going to be days that I just can’t stand another day of sub zero temperatures. That’s where being a flight attendant comes in. I won’t be working this winter season but I still have my travel privileges and I plan on taking advantage of them when I need it most. Last year I escaped with my sister to Hawaii. There’s just something about looking forward to warmer weather that makes all the ice and snow bearable. I’m not sure where my escape will be to this year. Anyone have any good ideas?

So there you go. I’m done complaining about the cold, snow and ice. I love my life and right now my life is here and it includes winter. My mind is made up, I’ve decided to enjoy it. I think next summer will be that much sweeter as a result.

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