Nicole's 2008 List of Gratitudes

Thank you to Karima and the whole family for inviting me to share in this tradition, as it has now become one of mine (even if I don’t always get around to doing it on time…)

This year, I feel very, very grateful for so many things so narrowing this down to a short and sweet list… well it will be tough, but here goes… As 2008 winds down, I am most grateful:

to be living a life that is so much more liberating, peaceful, and content than I can remember

that each new day seems to bring more beauty and joy to my life

the smell and taste of a REAL italian cappuccino

vipassana meditation

for challenge, hardship, and change… all of those wonderful gifts that make us stronger and more whole.. and for courage and strength that has surpassed my own imagination

for the love and support of my beautiful friends and family… especially during those times when I really needed it this year… I love you all!

pain au chocolat

to have the most dynamic and inspiring girlfriends… who just continue to change right along with me!

yoga classes w/a fabulous soundtrack.. just 2 blocks away from my apartment

the wonderful public transportation system here in SF

to have been blessed with the opportunity and courage to take an extended vacation from work.. in order to explore myself and the world in greater depth

the lovely SF hills that keep me healthy and slim w/o having to go to the gym! ūüôā

for continually meeting new people that make me excited to be alive

brazilian dance classes with live drumming

for those glorious, tearful moments right after they announced the new president of the United States and flashed their cameras to depict hoards of people of all different races crying, dancing, and celebrating as one unified mass

modern art museums

for the great chefs that continually produce so many mouth-watering recipes that I am always wishing there were more hours in the day..

homemade pasta

for my newly discovered love of backpacking!

the opportunity to have seen Italy for the very first time w/my best friend- one of my favorite people in the whole world!

bright, sunny days being lazy at the beach


for the unparalleled beauty of a bright, starry night in the most remote areas in wild nature

fantastic foreign films

hot and steamy herbal tea on cold nights

Cory's 2008 List

Thanks to Karima, Gordon and all for creating space for me to consider what I am thankful for, a rare reflective treat these days…

In 2008 I am thankful for:
nephews and niece

a credible presidential candidate that I can believe in
volunteer time well spent in Ohio and Iowa

that people now have an idea what community organizing is and that the profession is even respected in some circles

friendly vegetarians




lake michigan

dance parties

friends that send emails from far off places

the everglades


lower rent

friends that help you move twice in one year

house plants

being challenged

Book: Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough
Movie: hmmmm.  I just saw quantum of solace

Music: Gutter Butter

Trip: PNW!!!![errr, I mean Geneva in November]
Futbol Team: Barcelona

Meal: Pumpkin Ravioli in Brown Butter Sage Sauce at Ante Prima

Greg's List

Things I am thankful for:

My children (they make me so proud),

My family,

My friends,

Work that is still challenging,

Travel, and the chronicling of same with my Nikon,

A partner that gets my craziness, inspires new travels, different adventures,
makes my children and friends hers as well and tolerates my experiments in the kitchen on Sundays and my quirkiness outside of the kitchen on most other days,

That two week period in the Fall where the leaves are just the right color and they seem to animate my way as I drive, walk or ride in their midst,

That untouched first snow that is oh so beautiful, which I saw much too early while on my way to Warsaw, N.Y. in early October,

Comfort food by and for comfortable friends,

Foreign movies that make you think, feel and appreciate a non-western industrial complex based point of view,

Jazz…. a beat….a vocalist that speaks to me… instrumental soloists…a melding that you can sometimes hear when the group is in a groove, finding the all but extinct small jazz club where the music is meant to be heard at, a rhythming that gets to you when you finally get it (not all jazz is meant to be got [at least by me]).

Art in its many forms…thanx to a partner that practices, appreciates and shares that art she makes, encounters and that seems to flourish all around her,

Computers and the things I am being exposed to as a result of them,

An opportunity to do something that I never thought I would be able to do in my lifetime…to not only see and vote for a viable presidential candidate of color but to be able to work for his election and to see him elected,

I am thankful for being a part of this history that is happening all around us right this very moment

Film:¬† There were a few, but my memory is poor.¬† Right now one of my favorites that comes to mind is the Paul Verhoven film Black Book with an amazing Carice van Houten, I am sure there are more, but….

Music:¬† Alison Crockett, Esperanza Spaulding, Gordon Webster, Sandra Nkake, Camille, Marcus Miller, SMV, Raul Midon, Kenny Barron, Don Byron… so much more music and so little time and money.

Books: As most of you know I am either into detective/mystery stories or sci-fi, but my most memorable read this year might have been A Thousand Splendid Suns, heart-wrenchingly sad yet beautifully written.

Tess's List

having a fan club….thanks everyone who came to cinderella!

also cinderella related having a fantastic partner who could press me!
friends that have no problem working around my schedule

meeting people you should have known your entire life and realizing you could have
camping and being outside

free time

sleeping in
due dates being pushed back


realizing how big and small the world is

making clean breaks and having it turn out just fine and better
passionfruit gum

finding jeans that fit the right way

being stopped in the hall by friends

leaves of any colour …… working on being grateful for the snow not yet though

and the generosity of others esp my family

music: well the same as last year plus the weepies regina specktor, raconteurs the white stripes, the strokes the who, yeah yeah yeahs, 311, sublime, mgmt, bob marley and damien marley, modest mouse, led zepplin,pearl jam,radiohead,smashing pumpkins, flobots devandra banhart, joplin,black lips,flaming lips,cake, and  wow cannot list them all but thats what comes to mind right now

Mary Pichette

I am grateful for loving Albert and having been loved by him

For my children who keep me in the game

The people and circumstances that have challenged me throughout my life

The strength, courage, self awareness, and vision I have obtained from these challenges

For the beautiful Japanese maple tree I planted in my front yard in memory of Albert

The colors of crimson and gold which represent connection


People who have a good sense of humor

Being able to laugh at myself

Being in the company of friends who accept me for who I am

Support groups

My students

Learning how to make “greens” and actually eating them

Knowing that I have the ability to cook; just need the desire

An eclectic meal that someone else has prepared

Blues and Jazz music that sooth my soul

Memories and pictures

My mom who is ill, but provides me with purpose

Listening to the rush of the ocean’s waves

Collecting stones and rocks that are shaped like hearts

One of my favorite quotes: What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love becomes a part of us. -Helen Keller-

My Thanksgiving List

I appreciate the opportunity to put in writing this 2008 list.¬† It mirrors much of what I’ve appreciated all my life, but this year I feel a little more aware of that appreciation.¬† In no particular order, but as they come to me:

My wife Sharon, who I met 3+ years ago and married just this past July 12th.  She has taught me so much about being thankful.

My life in Asheville, though not as slow as I’d like, still has me noticing the wonderful mountains, weather, and people.

My friends, particularly those who have passed, who have given me the love and understanding that I needed and craved.

The excitement that democracy can work and can excite others.  Despite the problems we presently have and the fears that many, including me, feel, I have not felt this hopeful in a very long time.

To Buffalo, for being a unique place and holding a special place in my heart.  While I sometimes make light and kid about the city, I know it is my heritage and made me what I am.

With love, Ron

Mary's 1st ever Thanksgiving list, 2008

Definitley Obama, who I fell in love with many years ago after reading “Dreams of My Father”.¬† And I’ll have you know I told everyone…this man should be president!¬† I don’t think he was even a Senator at the time!

Thomas the Tank Engine (Sasha is obsessed!)

And now I’m drawing a blank.¬† After a truly life altering event at the end of September I’m sitting here thinking of what I am thankful for.¬† And I am truly not taking the “easy” way out, but my life has been turned inside out and upside down so my priorities are very different.¬†

Truly I am so very thankful for my wonderfully supportive family!¬† Words can not express, I’m writing this with tears in my eyes and a choke in my throat.

My husband home with me no matter his state of mind and the strength of our love.

¬†My inner strength that I didn’t know I possesed, especially my ability to be the happy upbeat mommy most of the time, when all I want to do is sink into self pity.¬†

 My Son, my son, my son!!! 

My pregnancy, although many times I have been anything but thankful, but as this little bean pie grows and becomes so much more a part of me with movements increasing daily, I am falling in love!

 Laila, Tiffany, and Amy, my only friends who I can burden with my troubles. 

Karima for always thinking of me and my family and for her prayers.

All the new women I have met in my support group.

The holidays, because no matter what is going on I still get that warm fuzzy feeling during the holiday season.

My life, my husband’s life, my son’s life.¬† We are here, together, alive, and in love.

Hoops' 2008 List

This year, I am most thankful for:
1. My mother, for watching my children every single day that I work. What an amazing and generous gift.
2. Memories of my grandmother, and for the opportunity to eulogize her, with my sister Val at my side.
3. The opportunity¬†to observe the family¬†of robins we had in our climbing rose this year–from egg to flight.
4. Maria Montessori and our Montessori school. I am inspired by Griffin and Harrison’s teachers and classrooms every day.
5. Barack Obama, being able to take part in a historic election, and the American people for making the right choice.
6. Children’s books which are not painful to read over and over and over again.
7. Letchworth camping with Harrison and Doug, snuggling them in the sleeping bags on a 30 degree night, and sharing hot cocoa with marshmallows in enamelware mugs.
8. The Twilight series and the guilty pleasure of being singularly absorbed into reading 2,000+ pages of such earnestly awful (yet titillating!) prose in a few short weeks.
9. New dahlia bulbs and blooms, which were spectacular this year.
10. Being able to go to the Rochester Public Market or Greece Farm Market every free Saturday, which is the bright side of being woken up at 6:30 AM by the hellions
11. Girl talk over the Thanksgiving Tasting supper at Hurd Orchards
12.¬†Harrison’s growing appreciation for The Beatles (even though I may go mad if I have to hear ‘Revolution’ on the ride to school again tomorrow)
13. Picking and eating so many sweet cherries that our bellies hurt and our fingers turned red.
14. Having a progressive/feminist husband who is a true co-parent and partner.
15. My new sewing machine and the fun (fantasy?) of planning winter projects
16. The best of this year’s thrift store treasures: a cherry-red metal roller skate case repurposed to store train-set tracks; teacups for Val which match Gram’s dessert plates; and vintage juice glasses perfect for small hands.
17. The few days when the kids and cats all sleep in and it’s actually light out when I wake–like today!
18. Love, love, love, love. Crazy love.

Laila's 2008 List

New Orleans and a sense of hope
Barack Obama and a sense of hope
peach season in Georgia
paying off my car
youtube and subsequent early 90s dance parties
running into people you thought you had lost forever
crab boils and meeting friendly neighbors who hold them in your honor
premier’s coffee bean selection
Monday night sewing club/crochet club/all-around crafty club
my KitchenAid food processor, thanks pops!
getting to see my niece three times already this year!!!!!
hearing Lucy call me Yaiya
hearing Donovan call me Teetee Laila
Italian cashmere, specifically the sweater I bought in Florence
jars of pear sauce and dilly beans preserved from my garden and lining my shelves
oysters; on the half shell at Redfish, fried at Casemento’s and chargrilled at Drago’s
Books: Mudbound by Hilary Jordan and Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
Memorable Meals: El Quenepo in¬†Vieques with the most incredible grilled meats and passionfruit creme brulee, Il Fagioli in Florence with Florentine steak, fagioli ucce’letto, tortelli di spinaci and torta di fichi with vin santo
Movies:  None come to mind but I have enjoyed watching the series Mad Men on Netflix
Music: Santogold