Tales From A Hungry Life

November 27, 2013

Thankful Things

by Maria Schulz

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What this means for everyone is that they’re supposed to think about all of the things they’re thankful for in their lives. However, this day before Thanksgiving means different things to different people, depending on how old you are. For example, if you’re a school-aged child, it means:

1) You will have to write an essay called “What I’m Thankful For”

2) If you are under 10, you will probably be wearing a pilgrim’s hat or a feather on your head

Fashionable thanksgiving attire

Fashionable Thanksgiving attire

3) You’ll be eating pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cookies, and possibly turning orange, at your classroom’s Thanksgiving Party

4) You will take a quiz called, “Which food was at the first Thanksgiving Day feast?” Hint: Turkey might not have been on the menu.

5) You will be asked to put your hand on a piece of paper, trace around it, and make your own turkey decoration/centerpiece

Many of these things can also apply to grown-ups. For instance, if you work outside of your home, you may find:

1) The office cafeteria will serve turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes and stuffing with gravy for lunch. Which makes no sense, because you’ll be having all of that tomorrow

2) You may be asked to write a report titled, “What I’m Thankful For”

3) Your co-workers will be wearing a pilgrim’s hat or a feather on their heads, but if you work in a creative environment, that’s probably true every other day of the year

Good all year long

Good all year long

4) You will gorge yourself on pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cookies, and possibly turn orange

5) You will take an online quiz called: “Which food was at the Thanksgiving Day feast?” and get mad when your answer, turkey, is wrong. Then you’ll trace your hand and make your own turkey to help you feel better about things

Get tracing

Get tracing

Turning orange and failing online quizzes aside, here are a few things I’m really thankful for this year:



  • Amber Riley won Dancing With The Stars, and I called it. This may not mean much to 99.9% of the world, but it gives me bragging rights in my little DWTS fan club, which very often, consists of my dog and me. Unless she’s tired, and then it’s a party of one
  • I found my Planes, Trains and Automobiles DVD in time for this holiday, instead of on January 2nd like I did last year. Now I get to be infuriated, delighted and heart-warmed (not wormed) by Steve Martin and John Candy all over again. It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving
Those aren't pillows

Those aren’t pillows

  • While I may have to push back the publication date of my book by a week or so, the manuscript is done and so it should be seeing the light of day very shortly. So yes, Virginia, there is going to be a Tales of a Hungry Life: A Memoir with Recipes book at an Amazon store near you
So glad this isn't me

So glad this isn’t me

  • The song “It’s Raining Men” is going through my head, because it’s raining so hard outside right now that it sounds like there are actually large men hitting the house. So why am I thankful? Because it’s not snowing so hard I might see Polar Bears walking by soon
  • Being a wife and mom is a lot of work. There are days I just want to curl up in a ball, eat bon bons, and catch up on TV shows I missed completely (anyone for a Breaking Bad marathon?). But then, I look at my husband or gaze into my kids’ faces, and I realize that it’s all going so fast, that I’m lucky to be here, and it really is exciting and fun. I’m so glad I got to go on this ride, even if it does leave me dizzy and nauseous sometimes
  • I managed to do all of my Thanksgiving shopping without having a total nervous breakdown. Also, I no longer need to get a goat because I have enough milk and cheese to get me through the next two days

    Wait…no goat?

    Wait…no goat?

  • I survived the 2 day, 4 hour filler-fest that is the Dancing With The Stars finale, and I even got to see Bill Engvall and his partner, Emma Slater, make it all the way to the finals. They did a free style! He never expected to get past Week 2! They are friends for life! If you didn’t believe in miracles before, how can you not believe in them now?

    ©ABC images

    ©ABC images

  • My book club continues to recommend books that make me think and help me become a better writer. Plus everyone always brings the best salads (yes, I do actually eat salad on occasion), cakes, cookies, breads, wine and cheese. Here’s a book we just read that I recommend highly.

    Great book

    Great book

  • My blog. Yes, I panic every Tuesday because I pledged to write a post every Wednesday for the rest of this year, and I have no idea what I’m going to write about until I sit down and do it. But as much as I complain about it, I thoroughly enjoy it. No, I might never be famous or get invited to be a contestant on Dancing With The Stars (now that would be terrifying), but I do get the pleasure of writing for all of the people who are kind enough to drop by every week. And for that, I’m really thankful.
  • I am so grateful for the people who made me the person I am, but who aren’t here anymore. I’d like to say they’re off in Rio de Janeiro dancing and eating and having a great time, because then I could call them or visit them. But no, I’m talking about gone, as in gone and never coming back because they’ve moved on to the next life.
    Uncle Don and Maria in the 80s

    Uncle Don and Maria in the 80s

    My Uncle Don was someone who always made me laugh, and I’m very grateful to have had him in my life. Remembering him on these holidays makes me smile, and helps me appreciate the family and friends that are still here with me (and who haven’t run away to Rio de Janeiro). So I’m grateful for everything he gave me, and still gives me to this day.

  • Finally, in a world that’s filled with natural disasters, heartbreak, and bad things happening to good people, sometimes life gives a little something back. Here’s a story that made me feel very thankful: Heartwarming Reunion: Illinois Tornado Survivor Finds His Missing Dog Buried Alive Under Rubble – weather.com





Corn Pudding

My friend, Joanie, tried this recipe and said her son told her it was “the best side dish” he’d ever had. So, if you’re looking for something a little different to try with your traditional Thanksgiving day meal, this one looks easy and delicious.

Great Thanksgiving side

Great Thanksgiving side


So, Hungry Lifers: what are you thankful for? Do you want to be a Dancing With the Stars contestant? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. Ok first of all, I do on occasion watch dancing with the stars. I also envision myself being on it. I might have to write down who I want my partner to be and bury it in the backyard with a crystal so it will come true. Every year my sister makes us write down on a cut out turkey what we are thankful for (no name) then she reads them out loud. Last year I put funny things in but this year 3 people will be there that I don’t know so I can’t. I will say that I am thankful for my family and really really mean it. As everyone gets older I get lonelier. Have a happy thanksgiving! Oh yeah and I am thankful that every Wednesday morning my friend writes a blog post that I love reading.

    Comment by Suzanne — November 27, 2013 @ 9:01 am | Reply

  2. You may not be famous all over the world but you’re famous in our little neck of the woods. I am the leader of your fan club! And I’m glad you don’t need to get a goat. Gobble gobble!

    Comment by Paula — November 27, 2013 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  3. Nice Blog. Made me think of what I am Thankful for and there are so many things I won’t list them except one: At my age I am so thankful I am here to be so thankful. Know what I mean? By the way if I was under ten I would be celebrating Thanksgiving by dressing up in my mother’s old clothes and going out with my brother and friends who were also dressed in grown-ups old clothes (yes Virginia in those days children dressed differently than adults) and went form door to door asking “Anything for Thanksgiving?” and would get some sort of fruit usually an apple or banana or maybe a walnut. Somehow this tradition got lost and morphed into Halloween’s “Trick or Treat”(I almost typed “Tweet”). I bet I am among the last 10 people alive in the USA who remembers doing this.

    Comment by Bglou — November 27, 2013 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  4. Maria, this year you know what I’m thankful for — a veritable miracle — but I’m also thankful for wonderful friends like you who helped me through. I will never forget that. Have a happy Turkey Day, and I eagerly await your book!! Love to you all.

    Comment by thedailypeeve — November 27, 2013 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

  5. Very heartwarming and honest. I loved the picture with you and Don. and yes, your blog did make me think of all the good and the bad, and how grateful I am for the good friends I have made over the year, bought and decorated my own house, and have had two great dogs.

    I do not watch Dancing with the Stars (and I think they use the word very loosely, “stars”) but I thoroughly enjoyed the blog. looking forward to the book. happy thanksgiving!!!

    Comment by diane — November 27, 2013 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  6. I’m thankful that Amber won the Dancing with the Stars trophy. It shows that women of all sizes can move and dance along with their skinny counterparts. Yeah. She was my number one pick as well. I’m thankful for my crazy loving family as well. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without someone saying something insane and possibly causing WWIII. I’m grateful for your blogs they bring back so many wonderful memories. Congratulations on your book. Amazon here I come!

    Comment by Kathleen Lagalante — November 28, 2013 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  7. Maria, I used to hate having to write what I was thankful for because if the nuns didn’t like it they made me redo it and they put on a face of disgust that shamed me. But here goes, I am thankful for the life I have lived, am living, and will continue to live. I often complain about nonsense so I am also thankful for those people who are still around to put up with my complaints and my nonsense. Health, happiness, and enough money to enjoy life is what I am thankful for. Now that doesn’t mean there were times when I or someone I cared for lacked these things, but I am thankful that I have the support of others to get me through the bad times. I too feel I have been blessed with people in my past who have influenced me in getting through life with a better attitude. “I am a millionaire without the millions” was one of my grandmother’s trademark sayings. She believed it because she remembered the really hard times and was always thankful for anything she had. As her grandchildren know she came from nothing but was still able to turn into a productive, loving, proud individual. Then there was my mother. My thanks to her is because showed me how to give, how to compromise, and how to make the best out of what you have. These are many others who have passed who have shaped the person I am today. They made me feel special when coming from a clan of seven kids sometimes made you feel lost. My father’s cousin Lorraine (still on this earth) , who I always called aunt, was my godmother. She never forgot me on my birthdays and had the best sense of humor. Uncle Don was my godfather and took me out to movies and ice cream over summer vacation. My brothers and sister and their significant others over the years have enhanced who I am. I look at their children and see traits of family past and present. Now I have to mention my loved ones I live with (although they are the ones I referred to at the beginning of this comment). I am thankful for my wife, children, and yes you too dad – to have the opportunity to live with you as an adult. Dad was hard to figure out when I was young and now that we live together since July 21, 2006 (the day his house was struck by lightning) his craziness is more understandable. So are you sorry you asked? See what the people around me have to put up with? Ask me a question and you get a Thesis. Maria your blogs bring out memories of a time gone by and are held in high esteem. Don’t miss the Wednesday deadline. Although I don’t always read them on time, I catch up with them eventually.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — December 1, 2013 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

    • What Craziness? You kids!!!!

      Comment by Bglou — December 2, 2013 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  8. I am thankful that I realized I somehow dropped off your subscriber list and was missing all these great posts. But I’m ba-aaack! You keep writing … and I’ll keep reading.

    Comment by Lisa — December 1, 2013 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

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