Giving Thanks & The Environment #NaBloPoMo

Okay, giving thanks and the environment might not seem to have much in common, but for me they do.

It is now November, and the big deal about November for me has always been Thanksgiving. I always loved helping my mother bake Kisses to bring for dessert, the long ride from Massachusetts to New Hampshire for dinner at my grandmother’s house, the whole family getting together, helping set up the rented tables and chairs, getting to go upstairs to the 3rd floor and hang out with Terry and Matt, sneaking as many Kisses as possible before dinner, the women all in the kitchen or dining room talking as they got everything ready, the smell of the turkey cooking, the men all watching football and yelling at the TV, my Auntie Fran being mooned on video for her birthday the year she wasn’t able to come – it was awesome.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve got something pretty big to be thankful for.

As some of you know, Connor is home from the hospital and getting over a case of pneumonia, and Kyle has a nasty cold. Today, I am extremely thankful that Connor was able to come home from the hospital so quickly and that he’s getting better, and that Kyle didn’t develop pneumonia and that his cold is productive rather than all that nasty stuff staying in his head and chest. There was some concern with Connor about asthma, but he’s never had any symptoms of it. *more thankfulness*

Which leads me to the environment.

Connor’s brush with pneumonia got me thinking about all the things we’re studying in my current class – Man’s Dependence on the Environment. The majority of the class focuses on pollution and how much human activity has an effect on our environment, but Connor’s pneumonia made me think about how cases of asthma and respiratory problems are increasing globally and, more importantly, why they are increasing. One of the main causes of air pollution is greenhouse gasses released during the burning of fossil fuels and solid waste.

Now that I’m learning all about how much our planet is hurting and where the main sources of injury are coming from, I’m going to start doing my part by minimizing my family’s carbon footprint as much as I am able. No, I can’t trade in my gas-hog V8 pick-up just yet, but there are other things I can do and have already been doing.

And, since this is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), I’m going to try to post 1 thing I’m thankful for and 1 way I’m changing my habits to help our environment every day.

Yesterday, I drove as little as possible by mapping the shortest route between the 3 stops I had to make so I used less gas and produced less emissions.

Today, we switched from buying regular incandescent light bulbs to buying the longer-life, energy-efficient bulbs.

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The Aftermath…

Turkey DinnerWell, Thanksgiving went off without a single hitch. I had prepped all the veggies the night before, so the amount of work to be done the day of was pretty minimal…other than getting everything to come out at the same time.

Mum came over early to help me (well, more to lend me a feeling of calm – she totally stresses over this kind of stuff, but for some reason makes me more calm). We played with Kyle, did a few last minute preparations, and enjoyed each others’ company.

Lee was a tremendous help, considering that he had fallen asleep around 8pm the night before (he wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t hold his lack of preparation against him). He re-hung the now clean curtains in the den, put away a ton of laundry, swept the pine needles out of the driveway, and helped pretty much whatever needed to be done, was a wonderfully gracious host, and was generally in a good mood – even though he had an upset stomach.

My mother-in-law, her boyfriend, and my father-in-law were all friendly and comfortable, and talkative.

My sister and her husband were ready to jump in and help when crunch-time started and were a welcome couple of pairs of extra hands. They enjoyed themselves and were funny and felt at home.

The kids were awesome. I don’t think 9mo Kyle cried twice the entire day, and Connor and my niece, although they did get a bit rambunctious throughout the day, were happy and content playing with each other, drawing pictures and having fun.

Everyone said the food was delicious – and the crustless pie heaven my friend Lauren suggested was amazing.

Then, after we’d all eaten to the point where we felt like we were about to burst, everyone pitched in to help clean up. It was awesome.

This afternoon, I got the munchies and decided to see what was left in the way of turkey and fixings…

If there is 1 lb. left of a 19 lb. turkey, I would be amazed! We only had 8 adults and 3 kids to feed!

So, tomorrow I’m going to buy and cook a small turkey so we can have leftovers for a while. 🙂

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