Thankful days has November


November 25, 2011 by 8junebugs

Do you know I was never taught that “30 days has September” rhyme as a kid? I’m not very thankful for that.

I am thankful for all this, though:

  1. My health. I realize this is the best way to ensure that I get lupus by Christmas, but I’ve been really, really healthy this year and that’s been helpful. No colds, flus, broken bones, etc.
  2. Steady employment. I took a big fat leap this year and this piece was not at all certain. I’m very, very thankful not just for the paycheck, but also for the trust a new company has placed in my skills.
  3. Smart, funny colleagues. For real, y’all…I land in the damnedest places and get to work with the coolest people. You have no idea.
  4. Telecommuting options. What I do, I can almost always do from anywhere (with or without a snoring dog on my lap), and I work for a company that agrees. This is immeasurably useful in balancing work with everything else that happens without regard for the traditional 9 to 5 schedule (like canine diabetes).
  5. Northern California. I don’t want to live anywhere else ever again.
  6. Oakland. We’ve been here seven months and I feel like it’s home. I can see San Francisco FROM MY HOUSE. (Okay, from the trail two blocks away. Technically, we can see Alameda from our house.)
  7. A good haircut. In October, I paid more for just a haircut than I ever have before, but I did so at a salon where they treat curly hair like it’s made of gold…and because I’m growing it out, I’m not going to need another haircut for six months. I realize I have kind of a shaggy-dog thing going on right now, but it’s intentional and I love it. (Graham does, too, although yesterday he offered me a Scooby snack.)
  8. A good vet. The follow-up vet continues to be awesome. She listens and explains and worries about our dog like he’s her own. And one of the receptionists is exactly the kind of lady you’d want or expect to be a veterinary receptionist. I’m pretty sure she designed the appointment reminder cards.
  9. A good ob/gyn. Yeah. I had to find one. I found a really, really good one. With any luck, I won’t need to see her again until 2012.
  10. Extended family. In the last few months, we’ve spent more time with Graham’s family than…well, pretty much ever, at least from where I sit. There are cousins and babies and aunts and uncles and family drama I didn’t even know existed because he didn’t participate in his younger years. It’s awesome.
  11. Immediate family. Every couple of months, we trek up over the Sierras, blow through Tahoe, and spend a couple of days with Graham’s folks (and their dog). It’s a shorter drive than I faced getting from DC to Vermont, and I can’t tell you how nice it is to visit family without having to suffer through New Jersey.
  12. Big families. The G-clan grew by one this year — tiny Lillie (Lillian Irene) made her appearance not too long ago, and every time that happens, it reminds me that I have many cousins, that they are awesome, and that I am lucky to know almost all of them pretty well.
  13. Small families. Of the original four, it’s just me, Chris, and Dad (and our respective SOs) left, which gives us a fair bit of freedom to change things up, try new traditions, and see what happens.
  14. The Sierras. If I ever reach the point where I can drive through those mountains without a deep, visceral response to ALL THAT NATURE, just cremate me and scatter my ashes on 880 South, for I am quite clearly dead inside.
  15. Lake Tahoe…which needs no further explanation.
  16. BART. There are days when I curse its slowness, its disrepair, and the bicyclists who don’t follow the rush hour bike rules, but really? I’m completely spoiled and don’t want to commute any other way, ever. Except maybe by ferry. Or transporter beam.
  17. Old friends. I haz them. There are people in my life who’ve known me longer than some of my relatives and certainly better than many of my relatives. Which makes them family.
  18. New friends. I’ve met some fantastic people since moving back to California.
  19. Red friends and blue friends. When you’re a wonk, it helps to be friends with other wonks in the run up to an election. It keeps you from being That Person at parties.
  20. New-old friends. Thanks to the magic of social networks, I’ve been able to get to know classmates I didn’t know before, and some of them are fully 10x more awesome than I knew they were when we were teenagers. Some of them — as well as some of the friends I knew a little better back then — have such great adventures…
  21. Safe spaces on the interwebs. In some ways, the internet hasn’t changed at all since 1995 — there are still trolls and flame wars and violent, ignorant, hate-filled crap. On the flipside, though, there are vigilantly moderated communities committed to…more. More tolerance. More equality. More understanding. More openness. I am grateful for these spaces and for the large mercy of the women and men who provide them…at no small cost to themselves.
  22. Puppies! I love our dog beyond reason (almost), which has led to almost always loving all other dogs.
  23. Technology. Facebook, Skype, Google+ Hangouts, unlimited texting, and the like. It’s never been easier or cheaper to keep in touch with people, and it’s just getting better.
  24. Fruit smoothies. You don’t realize how much they do for your body until you spend a week eating bagels with peanut butter for breakfast.
  25. Books. I recently discovered that the author of my favorite series of all time renewed the characters in a five-book series that picks up right where the last book left off. I’ve read the first two books and pre-ordered the next one, and they’re good.
  26. TED Talks. When I get bogged down in a project, I take 20 minutes to listen to one for inspiration. It’s free, easy to access, and I am never disappointed.
  27. Simple pleasures. Coffee, hot showers on rainy days, knee socks, homemade bread and stew, good pillows.
  28. Long walks. Sunshine cleanses more than dirty laundry.
  29. Amazon, Etsy, King Arthur Flour, Penzey’s, and all other online stores that help keep me out of malls. I hate malls.
  30. Graham.

5 thoughts on “Thankful days has November

  1. Amy says:

    Sounds like you’re happy, Jen, and that’s wonderful. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  2. Dev says:

    1) Lovely list. 🙂
    2) I just watched TED Talks for the first time last week and I am hooked. (it was the one on language development)
    3) Does it happen to be the Pern series by Ann McCaffrey? That was a fave of V’s growing up and she just discovered the latest ones and was SO stoked.
    4) I don’t know if you guys are planning to make it up for the holiday party tomorrow, but if not, I hope we can connect sometime in 2012. It will be fun to have a real life conversation after 17 years. 🙂

    Happy holidays!!

    • 8junebugs says:

      Same to you! Sorry we missed the party. 😦 We’ll be coming through Sac the Friday before and the Tuesday after Christmas (probably) if you’ll be around…and don’t mind the presence of the dog.

      It’s not the Pern series, but my condolences on McCaffrey’s recent passing — I hope the story is complete. My favorite is the Deed of Paksennarion, by Elizabeth Moon (who worked with McCaffrey sometimes). Imagine someone took the Tolkien world and added religious and military themes, relying heavily on female protagonists.

  3. Amy says:

    Hi Jen -Kath and I want to wish you and Graham a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I was hoping to get your new address? Can you email me at amy.halt at I hope you’re enjoying the holidays with your honey. 🙂
    Love, Amy

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