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.