rock the vote

Well, that’s what the youth vote motto was back when I was watching a lot of MTV.  Today marks my fourth (!!!) presidential election in which I am eligible to vote.  Craziness.

Today I am intensely thankful to all the women before me who fought to earn my right to vote.  I am very grateful to be an American, but today, I want to be a little more specific.

Women -and I know this is arguable, but in my opinion– are the largest minority in the United States, and in this day and age, so many other minorities are fighting for rights that I think we all forget that we still don’t command equal wages in the work place (among other discrepancies).  I just read an article today about how wives and female characters on favorite television shows incite much more ire from the audience than their comparable male counterparts.


As a woman, I am faced with the inevitable conundrum ~ work or family?  Do men lose sleep at night debating the same thing?  I don’t think it’s nearly as much of a choice ~ we all (no matter how forward thinking we believe we are) subscribe to gender roles.

So today, I would like to thank the women who fought for my rights, who believed that women are equal to men, and who won me and the rest of the female population of the USA the right to be heard.

No matter who you vote for, or what your political opinions are, it is important to exercise the right to vote and be heard.  Someone fought for it, because she felt it was important that we have that right.  Don’t disregard it.

Thank you, fore-ladies of America.



Gratitude Journal

November 3rd ~ I am grateful for family.

On Saturday, the man and I headed back down to Bethesda to the National Institute of Health to visit his dad after surgery.  We were lucky that my parents were able to watch Lucy Lou (she’s very ‘in demand’!) and John’s aunts were at the hospital as well, having made the drive from upstate PA that morning.

Family is ~ well, it’s a mixed bag, if we’re being honest with each other.  But when the going gets tough, it’s family who step up, family who are there when life feels really hard, family who holds you up when you are down.  I am grateful that both the man and I have been blessed with family who care.

November 4th ~ I am grateful for football.

All Dressed up for the Game


Possibly superficial.  However, football has been an integral part of my life forever.  Not only that, but it has been a comfort and buoy in tough times, something to believe in and identify with ~ a passion.  During some really low moments, the Steelers were there every  Sunday and for the few hours they played, all my baggage and angst got put on a shelf, and my emotions were wrapped up in the game.  And Penn State ~ well, Penn State football is engrained in my very being.  ‘Nuff said.



November 5th ~ I am grateful for Lucy.

It’s been nearly 10 months since Miss Lucy came home with the man and I.  Our lives have forever changed.  This weekend, my parents very generously offered to watch her while we did hospital visits on Saturday and drove up to East Rutherford NJ for the Giants/Steelers game on Sunday (it pained them to think of her being alone for so long ~ instead, she was cuddled, coddled and just spoiled in every possible way).  The man and I woke up two mornings without our little lady, and even though I didn’t think it would affect me so much, I missed her waking us up, I missed her toes clickety clacking on the kitchen floor ~ I missed her good morning kisses.  The house felt lonely and empty without her.

I am so glad we made the decision to expand our family ~ but more importantly, I’m so glad she chose us, just as much as we found her.  We all fit perfectly together. I feel blessed to have her (despite the fact that she drops some major stink bombs sometimes!).
And now, returning to our regularly scheduled programming ….

After our busy weekend, and even though we gained an hour, Monday felt looooong today and I wracked my brain trying to come up with something yum to have for dinner.  I had a partially formed idea in my mind to re-dedicate myself to cooking this month.  And not ‘fun’ cooking ~ as in, events or dinner parties.  Regular, every day cooking.  The ‘routine’ kind.

A few weeks ago, we made loaded baked potatoes for WeHangsDay and that felt like delicious and fairly easy plan for a Monday kind of Monday.

They were pretty delish.






I sliced some sweet Italian sausage, sautéed some mushrooms & baked broccoli while the man seasoned and cooked the taters.  We added dairy (who wouldn’t?!?) with some grated cheddar (for him) parmesan (for me) and sour cream (is it a loaded potato without sour cream? I think not!). And we settled in for our first weeknight of Daylight Savings with a hot dinner, a snuggly puppy and some DVR recordings.  A pretty nice Monday, if I do say so myself.

daily gratitude

I’m not always the biggest fan of social media (let me also clarify that, along with most of the population, I am somewhat addicted to it).  Sometimes, though, social media offers up something truly worthwhile ~ something a little bit better than a glorified chain letter.

Today, I saw the beginnings of something I think we should all do regardless of the time of year ~ but Thanksgiving inspires it, so for that, I am thankful.

Multiple people online were listing things they are grateful for by day.  The idea is to do it every day until Thanksgiving.  I liked it so much, I figured I’d bring it to the blog.

November 1st ~

I am grateful for power (aka electricity).  When you are deprived of something, it becomes startlingly clear how much you rely upon it.  I am grateful for all the creature comforts I daily take for granted.  I am thankful that despite the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, she helped me remember how lucky I am for all that I have.

November 2nd ~

I am grateful for John.  We have spent the past three plus years building a life together in our snug apartment and every day I am reminded of how amazing it is to share a life with my best friend.  I haven’t always been so lucky, and because of that, I think it helps me to appreciate what ‘good‘ feels like.  It’s easy to take your person for granted, to take out your frustrations and daily irritations on that person because he’s there day in and day out.  It’s also sad to see people together who clearly make each other miserable ~ who only see the other’s faults and spend their time picking at the other, spot-lighting their partner’s failings.

I am eternally grateful that we found each other, and that despite some misgivings from my friends due to my previous relationship, and some bumps at the beginning, we were smart enough to recognize our souls in each other.  He is my sounding board, the yin to my yang, the voice of reason to my irrationality.  He protects me when I am afraid, supports me when my wings feel frail, and loves me even when I am my most ugly.  Today, I am most grateful for him.