press hard.

I'll only speak for myself here, I love a day (a season!) that inspires gratitude on all sides. I think back on the past years and I remember that first smooth stone, tossed into the pond. Gratitude. It slipped beneath the surface and the concentric circles formed and before I knew it, I was thinking harder about the things I am most thankful for. So, I'm glad I let that first stone fly ~ thankful.

If I decided to log my every thankful, we would be here all the live long day. I think, always, that time might be better spent living gratitude than writing every whip-stitch of it down. So, I'm making the choice to pen thankfuls on the inside surface of my heart, every day. I promise to press down hard when I write.

For today, I'll not attempt the unabridged list. Instead, I'll share some here-and-now, bright-burning highlights. I'm thankful that I'm spending Thanksgiving with my Family. Last year my heart was still a little fogged over. My family felt  incomplete. This year, I have new wrinkles and a new tinge of weariness, but what it means is that he is still here with us, and I'll take it.

 I'm thankful for unexpected surprises left on my door step.

I'm thankful for the cachepot of friends I have collected, the shiny new friendships and the weathered and worn. 

I’m thankful for soft, snowy days.

Hands that still hold mine.

Squeezy hugs.

Fresh journeys.

and answered prayers.


I'm thankful for the hope of a new story.

I'm thankful that I am much more than the sum total of all my failures.

I'm thankful that Tom & Jerry humor transcends generations.

I'm thankful for the guy at the other end of the couch.

I'm thankful for the rattle and whir of a furnace, for air scented heavy with orange, for misbehavin' hair and flannel pajama pants. for puppies, siblings, extended family members, sons, the mothership and cinnamon rolls.

Count your thankfuls.

I hope all of you have a day full of love and laughter.

And remember - press hard.

 just sayin'.

cranberry chutney

24 ounces apricot preserves
¾ cup raspberry vinegar, or ¾ cup white distilled vinegar plus 1 ½ tsp raspberry preserves
A pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 bags fresh cranberries, nasty ones discarded
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 ¼ cups dried tart cherries

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the apricot preserves, raspberry vinegar (or vinegar and raspberry preserves), salt, cloves, and Grand Marnier. Stir to mix, and place over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook – it will bubble aggressively, and you should stir regularly to keep it from scorching – for about 10-15 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cranberries, and cook until they are soft but not popped. [I know that they’re ready when I hear one or two of them pop; that’s a good indicator that most of them must be getting pretty soft.] Add the ginger and cherries, stir well, and remove from the heat. Cool completely before serving. The chutney will thicken considerably as it cools.


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