Greatly Grateful

Carrot Cake By My Sis, Lettering By Moi! :)

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all through the house,
Lots of ladles were stirring, to cook perfect chows!

How do you like my rephrased holiday poem? It popped in my head while shopping for stuffing ingredients.

My sister's carrot cake is better than mine because she bakes it from scratch, meaning, it's not from instant cake mix. There are real carrot bits, walnuts, crushed pineapple, cream cheese and carefully measured sugar and flour involved. However, my contribution to this confection is the gel icing lettering. It shimmers slightly in the light!

Yesterday, we celebrated our family's Thanksgiving a day early with dinner at our aunt's house because most will be working on Turkey Day itself. I made the stuffing which complemented the 18-lb. turkey, pineapple-glazed ham, cranberry, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes. We were so stuffed that I secretly wished for
phentermine diet pills for dessert. But this carrot cake was the more delicious choice!

A surprise Thanksgiving treat we got from my nine-year-old cousin was getting Jello-based facials after the feast. Nearly everyone tried her treatment for free last night! She claims to have learned the method from Youtube.  It looks like we have a budding beautician in the family!

Despite the turkey's sleep-inducing effect, this Thanksgiving got me to reflect on the things I'm thankful for. Last year, I spent Thanksgiving Eve & Thanksgiving Day at the hospital watching over my then very sick grandfather (God bless his soul). I was in the ICU by his bedside while we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, then later that night saw Efren Penaflorida win CNN Hero of the Year. I told him that the winner is Filipino. He just stared at the screen mutely, because he could no longer speak. When one of his doctors came to visit him that Thanksgiving morning, she was surprised that someone was by his side on that holiday. She told me how lucky he was to have me for family.

I miss him dearly, but this year we're thankful for my baby niece who celebrated her first Thanksgiving, delighting our family with the more distinct baby sounds she now makes. I am thankful for the wonderful experience of witnessing her birth. A baby is a symbol of hope and pure innocence. Her arrival has certainly inspired me to bake and take better pictures.

I am thankful for family and friends who make life interesting and worth living. I am thankful for the trip we had to the Philippines last summer which was a memorable reunion of sorts enhanced by our hometown fiesta and a bit of Boracay.

Most of all, I'm thankful just to be alive.

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