KN p. 312 “Thanksgiving Is Coming!”

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Despite the challenges many of us face all during the year, and notwithstanding the pundits who shout:

  • Wars are ongoing in multiple countries.
  • Prices are up.
  • Inflation is rising (even if at a slower rate).
  • Covid is still with us.
  • Politics keeps heating up.

We can still be thankful. We can’t completely ignore all that turmoil, but we can lend a helping hand to those in need, create the best life that we are able, and choose to be kind.

Sheila and I are thankful for each other’s support as we go through our quirky, soon-to-be-over,  knee troubles. 

We are grateful to have a roof over our heads, knowing that many people in war zones, earthquake areas, wildfire spots, and volcano sites, have lost everything.


We are thankful for great food and the ability to cook it well, knowing that people facing challenges with money and housing sometimes go hungry.


We are deeply grateful for the loving family members that step up to help our elder relatives who have slowed down a bit.


We are thankful that we have the right to vote good people into office and that we have the equally important right to vote the lousy ones out.

It’s the 12th anniversary of Kerrian’s Notebook. We are so very pleased to have been around all these years. We are beyond chuffed that you have taken the time to interact with us and continue to read about “Fun, Facts, and a Few Dead Bodies.” The Kerrian community is a fabulous bunch!  THANK YOU! 

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


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KN, p. 300 “Thankful we made it!”

Survival was our goal.

“Get through the month of November in one piece” became our mantra.

It started out with great promise. Halloween was enjoyed by all. During two months of ownership, the replacement car for the two-year-old lemon had behaved for nearly two thousand miles. Started every time, no tow trucks involved. With that hopeful weight lifted from our brains, we felt confident that the holiday season was off to a great start. Wahoo!

The deck had been finished, so what major thing could go wrong? HA! Here are some lowlights:


The new deck started to smell. It was sooo different from a new wood smell. This was hideous; bad enough to keep us from sitting out there. Turns out, it wasn’t actually the deck that caused our eyes to weep. It was the swarms of flies that visited the fly traps placed at either end of the deck. They came by the hundreds, not dive-bombing us as they had initially before we resorted to buying the traps, but lured by the traps to such a degree that the traps were filling up. Flies  were circling, waiting for their turn to enter. Think dead body smell. We moved the traps farther away from the deck, and the smell then wafted toward us only when the breeze blew. A drop in temperature helped. By the way, those fly trap bags hold thousands of dead flies. Ick.

Staining the deck turned into an on-again-off-again deal. We were hoping to begin that part of the project two months after construction was complete. Rain prevented that from happening – repeatedly. We set up, prepped time after time, only to see sprinkles or mist or downpours drench the wood. That wood needs a full 24 hours of drying time after it gets wet, before application of the stain, plus the overnight temps can’t dip below freezing. HA! It’s taking weeks to get it done, and this is just the first coat.

Sheila was attacked by a vicious standing mixer while she attempted to change the beaters after baking a cake. A bizarre interaction with a formerly friendly mixer resulted in a bleeding, broken thumb, and a trip to Urgent Care. She still hasn’t uncovered the offending appliance. It lurks, ready to pounce again, I’m sure of it. But, her thumb is much better now and she can wiggle it.

The snake was trying to sleep, but the gal helping with the yard work raked away the pine straw protecting him and he perked up. Good thing he was sleepy because he was identified as an adult pygmy rattler, a venomous snake that lives in NC. I was a bit shaky while taking the photo, so it doesn’t show the shape of the head or the pinkish gray coloring that specifically puts him in that category. It took a lot of work with a hoe to send him to snake heaven.

The water heater stopped doing its job. It was 16 years old when it kicked the bucket, so the situation was not unexpected, merely badly timed.

The deck, the flies, the thumb, the snake, and the water heater could be dealt with while shaking our heads and writing checks, and rolling our eyes. Trifles compared to what else happened.

A dear friend passed away suddenly and time stopped, frozen after decades of friendship. A medical mistake was made, and our friend left us way too soon. We were in shock at the service and at the reception later, trading stories of her remarkable life. It’s been a couple of weeks and Sheila tells me she still starts to text her to set up a movie/lunch date or a trip to the museum. When that happens, we chat about the fun we all had together.

How can we be thankful?

  1. We have each other to lean on in times of trouble.
  2. Our friend lived a full life and was surrounded by family at the end.
  3. Our memories bring smiles to our hearts.
  4. We have a sound roof, enough money to pay the bills, and the snake is gone.
  5. A few days ago, we celebrated 11 years of Kerrian’s Notebook. Amazing journey!
  6. We are blessed with the ability to face the challenges of life and overcome them.

Hug your friends and family. Be thankful for the best parts of your life. They make the rough parts bearable.



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KN, p. 267 “Thankful in a Challenging Time”

Some years are better than others, that’s the pattern of life. 2020? Without any hesitation, 2020 should be buried in a deep, dark hole somewhere and forgotten for all time. 36 days to go.


Sheila and I have always enjoyed our gatherings with family and friends, and as you are aware, most of the recipes and posts during the last nine years have been generated because of those gatherings, whether professional or personal. But, the last eight months have been a blur of cancellations of conferences, events, and people scrambling to make sense of life in the USA and the world, as the Pandemic and politics became the overriding daily themes. We couldn’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or open a newspaper without those two topics jumping into the forefront.


So, how can we be thankful for anything except each other? That’s a biggie, for sure, to know that you can count on your nearest and dearest to help and support you whenever you need them, to share both the pain and the joy.

We might be stretching our thankful list this year, but I have to believe that the only way we’ll get through this is to find the silver lining in as much as possible during the truly weird times.

  • We are thankful that we met a wonderful Orthopedic Surgeon who took over Sheila’s case when her recovery wasn’t going well. He truly listened and made significant adjustments to her rehab.


  • We are thankful for her marvelous PT guy. Because of him, she was able to walk 2 miles yesterday without her crutch. She’s tired and sore, but she did it!


  • The bats are still in the attic because the bat guy was in a car accident. We are very thankful that he’s fine. He’s looking for a new car and the bats are okay up there until he does.


  • The washing machine died. A crazy series of events led us to having to do the wash in a too-small sink for three weeks, rather than getting the new washer two days after ordering it, as promised. Our thankful moment? We got a washer upgrade for our troubles, for no more money.


  • We are thankful for the best plumber in the business. We’ve used him for 14 years for all our plumbing needs, and that tells you something.


  • We are thankful that we each tested negative for Covid. Bridget, too.


  • I am REALLY thankful that the new car dealer is cooperating and that a file has been started at Corporate. There may be a recall of the car on one of the issues. We’re not crazy for pointing out the concerns, and now they know it as well.


  • We are thankful that we can make a living that pays the bills.


  • That new roof is still sound, even after hailstorms and windstorms, and more rain in three days than we’ve seen sometimes in an entire summer.


  • We are thankful for GoToMeeting, an oldy-but-goody secure system for meeting visually online. We’re going to try cooking with pals this weekend through the magic of cyberspace and laptops.


  • We are thankful for phone calls, texts, and messages with family and friends, both near and far. They make the weirdness bearable.


  • We are thankful that the anti-erosion system (the front gardens and new stonework) are holding through all the storms.


  • I’m thankful for all our books and time to read them. We’ve visited places in them that we can’t go to IRL right now, but we’re making a list for the future.


  • We are blessed to have this marvelous Kerrian community. We have come to know many of you personally and it always brings smiles to our hearts whenever we make that connection.


Life will return to normal, with jammed concerts, crowded conferences, full stadiums, big parties, open nursing homes, full churches, in-person book signings, noisy restaurants, real vacations here and abroad, visits with the grandchildren, and hugs of a dear friend – some day.

Keep the faith, wear the masks, wash your hands, and stay six feet apart from people not in your tribe, and we’ll get there. We’re ever hopeful.


Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!



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