Thanks Again

Believe it or not, I’ve been publishing this weekly blog for nearly four years.  In all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever repeated a post.  As tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I wanted to do something special to acknowledge my multitude of blessings.  Several years ago, I posted about my Thankful Thursday project.  That piece is still one of my absolute favorite blog posts.  I recently presented a devotional based on that piece at a church women’s meeting.  Because that devotional seemed to strike such a melodious chord with my sisters in faith and because that piece is still one of my favorites of all my posts, I decided the post merited an encore performance this Thanksgiving week. 

Thankful Thursday

When I was working, I used to sponsor a weekly “Thankful Thursday” event in my office.  Each Thursday, I would send an email to my entire staff, listing five things for which I was especially thankful that week and inviting everyone to come to my office for a cookie or donut or some kind of treat I brought to work.  The price of admission was simply to share one thing for which the worker was thankful.  I tried to be strategic in my five weekly “thankfuls,” using the opportunity to recognize employees’ exceptional efforts or to reinforce some key message to the staff.  I also included some thankfuls that were “just for fun.”  One day, one of my subordinate managers came to see me before “thankful time” and said, “You must be having a bad week.”  When I asked him why he said that, he explained, “When you said you were thankful for the color pink, I figured you must be scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

The color pink notwithstanding, Thankful Thursday was a positive experience.  Usually, about a third of the staff would show up. I think it was an opportunity to leverage positive energy and acknowledge what was truly important in life.  Even if I am fooling myself believing it was helpful to my employees, it was rejuvenating and uplifting to me to have a dedicated time to revisit my blessings each week.

Now that I am retired, I think it is important to continue the tradition.  I have gone too long without remembering the bounty of things for which I am thankful.  Here goes….

  • I am thankful for my retirement and the luxury of not having to do everything in the most efficient way humanly possible.  When I was working, I craved sleep like crack addicts crave cocaine.  Now, I rest and putter through my existence at a pace slow enough to live mindfully and fast enough to avoid stagnation.  I am also thankful for my career.  The years of labor that led to my retirement were filled with meaningful, interesting work.  Although responsibility and leadership are stressful and exhausting, it is also incredibly rewarding.  I had the opportunity to nurture strength, kindness, and integrity in myself and others.
  • I am thankful for the financial stability and economic benefits I enjoy.  I am thankful that I can meet my basic needs with abundant food and safe shelter.  I am thankful that I have the resources to give to others.  I am thankful for the plenty that allows for little extras for leisure and pleasure, like books and movie tickets, modest shopping sprees, vacations, and day trips to explore the interesting adventures of my new state.
  • I am thankful for my country and the freedoms it provides.  I am thankful for the men and women throughout our history whose courage, honor, imagination, intelligence, and decency created the rich, intricate fabric that we now know as the United States of America.
  • I am thankful for the people I love and I am thankful that love has no boundaries. I am thankful for the people who live close by, filling my daily life with grace and love.  I am thankful for those who live far from me but whose spirits are never far from my heart.  I am thankful for those who have passed from this life.  They live in my heart and continue to enrich my life each day. I am thankful for my readers, who fuel me to explore my mind and to create.
  • Most of all, I am thankful for my good Lord from whom all these “thankfuls” generate.  I am thankful that I am a child of God, who has saved me and blesses me constantly in strange and mysterious ways.  I am thankful that He has chosen me to be His light unto the world.  And I am thankful that, when I let that light fade, He patiently forgives me my weakness and rekindles my flame… again and again and again.
  • Despite the challenges and stressors that exist even in retirement, there are blessings everywhere.  An attitude of gratitude does wonders.

P.S. For the record, I’m still thankful for the color pink, too!

Thank all of you so much for reading and sharing. You have no idea how grateful I am for your interest and support.

Now it is your turn!  Double extra bonus points for adding your thankfuls!  Please share by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Terri/Dorry 😊


My brother has long maintained that my mother and I are basically the same person.  I am not sure how the metaphysics of that assertion work exactly, but he is adamant on the point. 

As much as I loved my mother and admire her many excellent qualities, I’m not sure I want to be the same person she was.  For one thing, it seems very disrespectful of who she was as a person to suggest that anyone else (myself included) could be her as effectively as she did.  Secondly, it seems a rather lazy approach to life to just duplicate someone else’s protoplasm.  Thirdly, I do believe that God made us each uniquely and we are fitted for a specific purpose.  I’d like to think that I have something to offer the world independent from being a pale carbon copy of my mother.  Basically, the world was lucky enough to have one of my mother.  She was so special that no one could ever replace her.  The world doesn’t need me to be a replica of my mother any more than diamonds need cubic zirconia.  The world might need me to be cubic zirconia, though.  You never can tell. 

I can think of a few simple differences between me and my mother right off the bat.  My mother never met a stranger- only friends she hadn’t met yet. She loved meeting new people and reveled in conversation.   I live in a world of strangers.  My ability to communicate, even with people to whom I am close, can dry up like a riverbed in Southern California. My mother could do arithmetic in her head.  I can’t be sure of a reasonable amount to tip without a calculator, pencil, and paper.  I got excited when I learned that doubling the tax in California gives you a good approximate tip amount.  The only problem was, once I determined the tip amount, I then had to mentally add it to the bill in order to know how much money to leave.  My mother would have been able to take the check, compute 15%, add the 15% amount to the total, pull out enough cash to pay, and know exactly how much change she had coming back.  My mother did not eat pizza.  I just can’t fathom how someone could live over 85 years on this planet and never eat pizza.

You can see that we are not, in fact, the same person.  Still, I understand my brother’s point.  There have been many times, especially since my mother died, when I have caught myself in an expression or gesture that reminds me so much of something my mother would have done.  When my mind is playing tricks on me, I find myself wondering if I got a particular mannerism from her or if she got it from me.  It is very confusing.  It seems likely that I somehow picked up traits from her by osmosis, just from having been around her so much.  What I find really weird is that I sometimes recognize myself doing a mannerism that she did when I never even realized she had the mannerism while she was alive.  For instance, there is a particular face I make when I am stumped by a question.  I never particularly noticed that face when my mother was alive, but, now, I clearly remember her making that face. 

Is it a good thing or a bad thing, do you think, that I seem to be turning into my mother?  My brother would argue that it isn’t a case of me “turning into” my mother, but that I always was my mother.  That whole notion contorts my brain into a very uncomfortable position.  It is sort of like looking at the little girl on the Morton salt container and seeing her picture on the Morton salt container she is holding, where that tinier little girl is holding a still tinier Morton salt container… etc., etc., etc.  Help me!

The thing is, I do want to be a unique person, but I also love that I may be growing some of my mother’s wonderful traits within myself.  Maybe there is no way to know if it is good or bad that I am turning into my mother.  And maybe it doesn’t really matter because it is happening, whether I want it to or not. Let me explain.  I realized something the other day which firmly convinced me that both nature and nurture are far stronger than I ever understood.

We used to laugh at my mother and her novel approach to flatware.  I remember a day when I brought my mother a dish of ice cream and a spoon from the kitchen. She looked at the spoon and pointed out that it was okay, but that I had not brought her “favorite” spoon.  I looked at her as if she had suddenly grown another head and asked how she could tell the difference between the spoons.  The teaspoons all looked alike to me.  As it turned out, she had a few spoons from a mismatched set of flatware she bought at a thrift store that were much smaller in size.  Those were her “favorite” spoons because she said they fit in her mouth better.  From that day on, I tried to remember to fetch the “favorite” spoon when serving her something that required a rounded utensil. 

The other morning, I realized I was rooting through the silverware drawer looking for my favorite spoon with which to eat my cereal.  In my case, it is actually the sugar spoon that came with my flatware set.  It is a better fit for the shape of my mouth than the teaspoons.  I wasn’t laughing.   

Do you think you have inherited any traits or tendencies from a parent?  How do they manifest?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a natural, nurturing day!

Terri/Dorry 😊


WHO:  Terri LaBonte, AKA Dorry Curran, AKA Dorothea Therese Curran, AKA Tinker Bell

WHAT: Subject has slipped her leash and disappeared from the blogosphere.

WHEN: She’ll be back next week with more random musings.

WHERE: She has been sighted in the vicinity of Southern California.

WHY: She went to visit her brother and some dear friends.

HOW: In an airplane, of course…. Did you think she used the power of pixie dust?

So, do you miss me?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a newsworthy day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

Stalking The Scone

Last Autumn, I was in New England.  I fulfilled a lifelong dream to see the Fall foliage and experience the New England culture.  I loved it.  My spirit could not contain my joy.  My enthusiasm exploded outward the entire time we were gone.  I loved how beautiful everything was.  I loved exploring the history.  I loved the small-town vibe of the places we visited.  I loved the Fall decorations and merchandise.  I loved wearing jeans and sweaters and sweatshirts.  I loved wearing a jacket without sweating.

What a difference a year makes! In Florida, the weather doesn’t give us a Fall.  If we are lucky, we get a Stumble.  The Summer weather doesn’t change much until December.  When my compatriots in New England are putting on their snow boots and shoveling snow, I am making the transition to long pants.  Actually, the New Englanders probably start shoveling snow long before I start wearing long pants on a regular basis. This is probably no big secret, but it is hot in Florida.  And it doesn’t stop being hot on the autumnal equinox. 

Fall has always been my favorite season.  The fact that Florida weather does not provide for a Fall is patently unacceptable in my book.  If Mother Nature does not provide a Fall, I am going to create one. 

I put up Autumn decorations a few weeks ago.  I did that in the comfort of my air- conditioned home.  I keep struggling to resist the compelling urge to purchase sweaters, sweatshirts, and jackets… and I keep losing the struggle. I am a huge fan of French terry and lightweight knit fabric.  It gives the illusion of cozy clothes without the pesky warmth.  The other day, I indulged in a monumental act of faith that the temperature will eventually drop.  I bought a new pair of jeans. 

Last year’s Autumn vacation gave me the opportunity to indulge my Fall obsession.  Not so much this year’s Autumn vacation.  We went to Las Vegas.  Las Vegas is not known for crisp weather, changing leaves, or apple cider.  There was one hallmark of Fall that we did encounter there, though…. The first Starbuck’s pumpkin scones of the season.

Max and I look forward to the Starbuck’s pumpkin scones all year long.  During scone season, we will look for any excuse to go to Starbuck’s and share a scone. We decide which movies to see based on what is playing in theaters near a Starbuck’s.  I think the only reason Max joins me in my charitable work delivering food to the homebound is that there will probably be a scone stop somewhere along the way.  Even though we each eat only half a scone each time, I am sure we eat more than our share of iced pumpkin spicy sweetness throughout the limited run the scone enjoys.

One year, the pumpkin scones disappeared only a week or two after we first tasted their seasonal delectableness.  When I asked the barista about them, she told me that there had been a fire in the factory that produced them.  It was so sad.  I was afraid that we would never see the scones again. I went into deep mourning.  Happily, the scone bakers must have repaired the fire damage.  The next year, the scones were back.  I think we ate double our usual unreasonable number of pumpkin scones to make up for lost time. 

The first scone sighting of the season is always exciting.  It was doubly exciting because this year, it happened at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.  I imagine it felt something like the feeling northerners get when the first snowfall of the season comes on Christmas Eve.  We were on vacation.  We were in Las Vegas.  We were walking hand in hand under the fake Roman sky in the most iconic hotel casino in the United States.  Then, there they were… pumpkin scones in the Starbuck’s display case.  It was a magical moment. 

Since then, we’ve been stalking the scones.  We must not be the only ones because sometimes there are none left when we get to Starbuck’s.  We went to the Florida Mall a couple of weeks ago and went straight for the Starbuck’s.  We were disappointed to see the earlier birds had gotten all the scones.  We settled on a pumpkin muffin and nursed our disappointment. Later in the day, we noticed that there was a mini-Starbuck’s counter inside the Macy’s, and they had the pumpkin scones.  We felt distinctly sulky and resentful that we missed our opportunity. 

Soon, pumpkin scone season will be over.  It is sad.  I do not despair, however.  In fact, I look forward to the middle of November, when the pumpkin scones disappear.  You see, after pumpkin scone season comes…. Gingerbread season!

Your turn… what means “Fall” to you?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can send me an email at

Have an au-tummy-licious day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

I understand there may be something wrong with the comment feature. I didn’t see any immediate problem when I looked at my settings, but I know at least one reader got an “access denied” response. I’ll check with the web hosting service. In the meantime, you can contact me at If you have tried commenting and been thwarted, I apologize. If you would be kind enough to email me and let me know what happened when you tried to comment, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

UPDATE: I think comments are working now. Hooray!