Tell Your Turkeys to Go STUFF Themselves!

When you sit down at Thanksgiving dinner, are there certain foods you don’t like?

For me, it’s cranberry sauce from a can.

I don’t dig the tartness of cranberries, and the ribbed reminder of the inside of the can looks odd…and makes those of us who watched “Beavis & Butthead” giggle.

Consequently, I make sure the plate of cranberry sauce stays far away from my place setting at the Turkey Day dinner.

It’s a pretty simple concept: if there is something you don’t care to be around, don’t keep it around you.

The same goes for PEOPLE in our lives whom we wish to not have near us.

Maybe they are tart.

Maybe they are distasteful.

Heck, maybe they’re ribbed.

Bottom line: if you don’t want to be near them…don’t be (even if it simply means you don’t let them drag you down emotionally).

If I were to ask: “Who is the most negative, toxic person in your life right now?”…would a name or a face come to mind?

Was this the same person you would have envisioned a year ago, had I asked you then?

If so, why is that person still allowed to be this close to you, making you miserable?

It could be a client, a family member or just a hanger-on who hasn’t been booted out of your orbit…yet.

It’s not an easy conversation. Many people who try to be nice and ‘like to be liked’ have a tough time confronting toxicity. It has always been a challenge for me.

Bottom line comes down to two words: HONOR YOURSELF.

We’re in the home stretch of yet another year.

Life rolls on and, as Pink Floyd put it so bluntly, we find ourselves “shorter of breath and one day closer to death”.

Got some turkeys in YOUR life?

Maybe it’s time to shuffle the line-up around the table at which you give your thanks.

Are there a few turkeys who need to “Stuff it” and be excused from YOUR table?

What I have discovered over the years is this: when you make room at your table, you’re actually making room for better to take their seats.

Here’s to YOUR celebration of thanks this year!!

May you enjoy great company, celebrate happy memories, engage in positive conversations and fill your face with nothing but delicious goodness.

What am I thankful for this year?



The 68-Hour ‘Woodstove Channel’ Thanksgiving Marathon!

Tina really wanted this Thanksgiving to be special. It was the first one since we rented our home, and the plan was to enjoy a special holiday meal, just the two if us.

If nothing else, it was definitely memorable!

Mother Nature crashed the party on Wednesday afternoon and evening, dumping a foot of heavy wet snow all over Southern NH. After leaving the house briefly to help my Dad fire up his generator (he lives just 7 miles away), Tina texted to let me know that we had also lost power.

My Dad’s electricity was restored within 2 hours.

Ours took 66 hours longer.

Instead of one day of giving thanks for all the gifts we have, Tina and I enjoyed nearly three.

We are truly blessed.

My Dad works as a carpenter and had plenty of kindling in his workshop for our woodstove.

He also has a woodshed which we’ve filled with firewood accumulated from fallen trees of the past.

On the second day we also borrowed his generator and gas can, which gave us light and enough heat in the basement to keep the pipes from freezing.

We are also the new owners of his old snowblower, which helped clear driveway and footpaths twice during the storm.

As we had buried all of our fridge and freezer contents in Mother Nature’s icebox (our deck), I made a trip to the store for instant (just add water) pancake mix which I cooked on the gas grill with a cookie sheet for Saturday breakfast (under a glorious sunrise).

Take that, MacGyver!

That afternoon, Tina and I make the trek to her mom’s house to use her shower. As I was the DJ for a wedding that evening, I figured I should probably smell nice in my tuxedo.

During a quick trip home before the wedding, the lights came back on.

Electricity never looked so beautiful!

While at my event, I drew a map and texted it to Tina, letting her know where I’d buried everything on the deck. Although we lost many items, I was thankful that some of it survived.

storm map

One thing was constant throughout the 68 hours of bundled layers and nearly frozen pipes: family and friends stayed in touch to ask how they could help, I saw neighbors helping each other to clear downed branches, work crews from as far away as Canada worked around the clock to repair wires, and the customer service team of our electrical service provider pleasantly answered the phone every time I called.

Was it an easy time for everyone?

Not at all, but the prevailing attitude I encountered was one of patience and understanding.

I did my best to make people laugh everywhere I went, knowing that it could be the only one they might enjoy that day.

The biggest laugh was at the grocery store (after it re-opened) when I explained the hot dogs and velvet cupcakes were for “a romantic evening spent watching the Woodstove Channel”.

This is New England.

Sometimes the weather really sucks.

Occasionally I think of moving, and then I remember just how awesome the people are here.

Then I know I could never live anywhere else.

Here’s hoping you also encountered helpful people and attitudes…and that YOU were one of those who made the storm more bearable for others.

Hey Mother Nature, please take Christmas off this year.

I’ve already seen enough of the Woodstove Channel to last the rest of the winter!