Power through your Monday!

The Dreaded Kleenex

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College Bound

The Indiana University students are back! We observed many a mom and dad walking alongside their new college student. Boy, that sure brought back memories of me choking up all the way home from Missouri and Georgia.

My kids both left home within a year of each other and I found myself walking by their bedrooms to say something then would quickly realize they weren’t there.

I ended up just shutting their doors. 🗣😭

Leaving our babies behind, wondering when we’ll see them next is a difficult transition. And many of us are/were going through menopause at the same time! 😳 I always said it was God’s cruel joke! We put in all these years of hard work, making lunches, sewing costumes, throwing parties, working in their classrooms, for all of it to come down to moments like this. This is when we do double duty praying that our kids meet professors that align with their upbringing, meet encouraging friends that have the same morals, that their minds only be open to things that will help them grow and become the people they were destined to be.

We’ve worked with college ministries as well as international students. And can you imagine leaving your child in another country? 🙀

We pray our young people come to know God and make a change in this world just by being who God always intended them to be.🙏 .

I’m a New Grandma!

Hey guys, I’m a new grandma! (Yep, I’m getting THAT old!😁) This is my first grandchild ever!

We quickly packed our bags and took a trip down to Georgia because the baby was coming sooner than expected. She wasn’t expected till around the 21st so we were pretty surprised. But after a visit to the doctor, and some blood pressure concerns, they decided to admit my daughter-in-law that night. She was induced the next day. We were concerned at first but everything ended up going fairly well…

Well, it was hard on mommy and she pretty much delivered naturally. Poor thing. She’s awesome!

So, the baby was born July 10th and four days later they all came home. At first the baby was a little jaundice, so they had to check all her numbers each day. And she slept under a little UV blanket a few times.

Now they’re just trying to get the baby to sleep which is so difficult!😴 My son didn’t sleep but six hours till he was 10 months old.

He never took a pacifier, nor a bottle, and he cried a lot! It’s a miracle I chose to even have a second child after that.

Dead. 💀

Dead, I tell ya. I was a walking zombie for 10 months! 🧟‍♀️

So please indulge me while I share cute photos of my new, grandbaby, girl

Chloe Summer. 🌞🤗

New aunt right there! You’d think it was HER baby she was so excited!

Just doing a little tanning ha.

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The Best Products I’ve Found the Last 10 Years with this Eczema Battle

First, let me say I have struggled over 50 years with eczema\atopic dermatitis and asthma. But in the last 10 years when my skin got really bad, I finally had to stop working. 😞 And I had to search high and low for products that would help me. This is not a sponsored post, but I am hoping to share so that you can get your eczema under some kind of control.

I also have a video on YouTube discussing the CeraVe products I feel have worked best for me in the last 10 years.

What I’ve Tried

Through the years, I have literally tried every single product, every diet, had my home and life literally revamped by eliminating all chemicals and fragrances, used “natural” things, worked off a national database for my chemical allergies and even finally resigned to an immune suppressing drug that I used for seven years as I was itching so badly, all day and night, that I was losing sleep and close to losing my ever loving mind! I have now been off that drug since 2016.

Since the 1960s, I’ve also had every kind of testing imaginable as well as allergy shots and strong meds as well as followed special diets.

Basically, I’ve had eczema, asthma, and allergies for the last 52 of my 56 years of life. And I’ve tried it all! But, every so many years I learn something new or find better help with this ongoing disease. I’ve spent countless hours of research and will continue to do it. I’ll never stop searching for help till we find a cure!

Why Did I Wait?

I finally decided to write a little about my health issues. But for so long, I felt it brought on anxiety/PTSD every time I tried to write…quite literally. I just couldn’t bring myself to write just thinking about all the horrendous years of suffering. (I did have a doctor tell me that this is a REAL thing…PTSD related to long time health suffering and disease.)

However, my intent was always to learn how to create a website in order to help others find relief with their ongoing battles. Initially, I wanted to start this blog to help others with similar health battles. (This is just one of the battles I face along with Lyme Disease, eye disease and Fibromyalgia.) I hope to write about them as well.

My Allergy Journey

I have suffered for so so long and have spent thousands, literally thousands, of dollars, as I’m sure many of you have. 😔 I also didn’t want to “waste my suffering” and LOVE helping others, so I have attempted to finally share some things on this site.

My Recent Battle

I had to quit teaching 10 years ago, so I feel this is just another way I can “teach” others in order to help them through this eczema/dermatitis hell. I also hate that SO many people suffer without finding any real solutions, and I’ve been looking for answers long before there was an internet, so I hope I can help you in some way! I know you are as desperate as I have been all these years and that’s why you are probably here now. Searching. Searching for anything, just as I have all these years!

*Warning*

I’m sharing some scary pictures here, but I’m trying to be real and vulnerable in hopes I can identify with you. Honestly, it’s hard for me to show these!

I continue to battle this disease; although my skin has done a lot better since educating myself about chemicals and fragrance in particular. It’s in everything! I feel my skin has gotten better, but I almost hate to say that because as you know, you can have flareups at any moment.

I struggled horribly for eight years as a kid then again right before I got married, in my 20s, and then since 2009 when I entered menopause. I truly believe there’s a hormonal link as well. 🤔

As part of my ongoing research, I found some products that helped me tremendously; especially in the last 10 years.

Here is the video discussing some of the help I’ve found through CeraVe products.

Link to video:

https://youtu.be/kdQrox1dVhg

I wasn’t able to get all my pics loaded in that video, so I added those today. These are just a few pics over the last 10 years, but as a child I was pretty miserable and made fun of a lot. (I had rashes that got infected in the bends of my arms, legs, neck, and ears as well. They were pretty gross looking.)

And as you know, this itch is like none other and never ever lets up. So you itch in your sleep (If you finally get any.) and you keep itching that raw, broken skin and that can in turn set up infection. Then you have to deal with raw, stinging skin that burns just from the air or bath water hitting it. I know it can be so very painful. So, I say all this to say I can identify. I sure can! It just breaks my heart to see the little babies suffering. I feel their pain and yours too, mama.

I pray you have wisdom. That you find strength to go on and also maybe find some help with this post today! 🙏 Hang in there! We are in a tremendous battle! 💪🏼 I’ve made it 56 years now and was diagnosed at four years old. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m still here. 💗🤗

I also know depression is very common for eczema suffers and research shows many feel suicidal. Please get help if you feel you are sinking! Sometimes our family and friends just can’t understand how horrible it feels and that constant itch can wear on your mind especially when you’re losing sleep for decades. I tell people mosquito bites, chiggers, poison ivy, chicken pox (all I’ve experienced too. ) doesn’t even come close to this kind of itch, does it?!!! So don’t be afraid to ask for help! I haven’t been very good at that either.

I always try to do things myself. Miss Independent 🤗…. I’m a pretty good faker and have used clown makeup to cover sores even when painful. So I know we fake it! But I want you to know that you’re not alone! I’ve read some pretty heart wrenching stories about those suffering with this disease and I want to encourage you! This disease is exhausting!

I also have included links to the CeraVe items I use and will share more products later.

Let me say, that it took me years and years to even understand how to bathe, hydrate, and moisturize effectively, by using the CeraVe products in a way they would most benefit and promote healing. You have to get ahead of it all. That’s key! I have had hundreds of doctors, from around the country, and through the decades, and none have ever really explained to me how to properly use the CeraVe products for their full benefit. Crazy right?! It’s just been trial and error and a lot of research on my part! So keep trying! Keep seeking out different doctors if need be. Research, research, research. Now you have the internet and YouTube…I didn’t have that as a young person and It has helped me so much in this long journey and the last ten years especially!

Another word about these CeraVe products. I am highly allergic and sensitive, so these products are the only “free and clear” type products that HAVE NOT caused me any sensitivity. Where other products, stating the same, have given me some issues. (Again, this is not a sponsored post and I get nothing from it. In fact I don’t even have an Amazon seller’s link anymore.) So find what’s best for you, but I would be surprised if the CeraVe products didn’t help you. I’ve tried it all… medicated products and non-medicated products.

Below I’ve suggested the best way to bathe then moisturize dry skin. It’s taken me several years to finally get this down and understand the importance of moisturizing correctly. It has then led to better healing of my skin.

So here’s a short list of what to do:

BATHING and MOISTURIZING

• After bathing, you have just minutes (really) to seal the skin or the evaporating moisture will make your skin drier.

• Pat dry, don’t rub, leaving behind some moisture so that the product will adhere to the water. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream has ceramides and hyaluronic acid, (both our own body produces) but we obviously have a skin barrier problem, so these ingredients are so important! Also, as we age, these become depleted.

• Next, immediately, apply  CeraVe Moisturizing lotion or cream, so that it will adhere to water already left on your skin.

Then, seal the skin with a more occlusive product like CeraVe Healing Ointment

• You should then dress in *loose-fitting, cotton clothing that doesn’t irritate such as cotton. Although, sometimes I have found tighter clothing to feel better in that it doesn’t move around and rub the sore areas on my body. So try different clothing.

Extra Tips:

• Sweating can aggravate eczema so avoid at all costs or quickly battle afterward.

• Itching can be so maddening that sleep is impossible, so by taking a Benadryl or Atarax (preferably at night) might help some. Although, it rarely did for me but it’s still worth a try! And/or using ice packs to aid in itching can also be helpful. It’s miserable in the winter but can provide help especially with hives.

• An H2 blocker like cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine, could be tried as well. They go by various brand names in the acid reflux aisle of your store. I learned that in some cases your eczema or itching could be caused from food and this blocks histamine in the stomach.

Please let me know if any of this helps you in any way. I sure hope it does!

Also, let me know in the comments below of other things you would like me to address.

Feel free to e-mail me at: tamara42463@gmail.com.

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Amazon Links to buy CeraVe products:

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion: https://amzn.to/2HKVR1l

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream in tub: https://amzn.to/2HKVR1l
” ” in tube: https://amzn.to/2HJKHdi

CeraVe AM: https://amzn.to/2CIoZ59

CeraVe PM: https://amzn.to/2HKCdSU

CeraVe Healing Ointment: https://amzn.to/2UgpIVg &
”                                        ” 2 pack/.35 tubes (good for your purse or pocket)                        https://amzn.to/2U6R2WQ

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash:  https://amzn.to/2U0SmdM

Sunscreens:
CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion with zinc: https://amzn.to/2HJZ0hR

You can also directly order of the CeraVe website: cerave.com

For more help with eczema:

https://nationaleczema.org/

My Valentine to the Readers

Even if you don’t have that special valentine today, or you are feeling sad and low… I, even a stranger to you, want you to know that someone DOES love you and saw you before the beginning of time. You are important; you were designed to come into this world, you have something to add, and you are still here for this purpose.

Be you…but be kind.

Don’t listen to naysayers.

Dig deep.

Keep going.

Happy Valentine’s Day❣️

 Psalm 139:15-16 (NLT) – “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

Twenty Creative Ways to Leave Love Notes

Twenty creative ways to leave love notes for people.

When my husband and I started dating, we enjoyed leaving love notes for each other in creative and clever ways. ❤️ Later on, I tried to do the same with my two kids. And, I sure got a kick out of seeing them doing the same for us, each other, and now with their spouses.

But, you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to surprise someone with a love note. We have left notes for all sorts of reasons…a job promotion, a Geography Bee winning, a note of encouragement or note noticing your kid helped another person…the skies the limit!

Here, I snuck out after the snow stopped to leave love notes for my hubby to find before he left for work the following day. 🙂 ⛄️

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OK, so here’s the list of things we actually did throughout the years, or ideas I came up with.

(More pictures at the end of the post. 🤗)

THE KEY IS… USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!



❤️Twenty Creative Ways to Leave Love Notes❤️

• Hide notes in lunch boxes, books, backpacks or under and behind items for someone to find when they clean the house.

• Sneak out at night and write a sweet message on their car with shoe polish paint.

• Leave a note under their favorite coffee cup or hygiene item they use every morning.

• Use dry erase marker to write a love note, positive thought or verse on their bathroom mirror.

• Print out a sign and tape it to a wall where they’ll see it when they open their door or behind a door they will close. (i.e. bathroom door)

• Find your kids’ homework agenda and leave a congratulatory, encouraging, or fun message on a particular day. (i.e. a tryout days, their first week of school, a birthday, a milestone.) 🗒

• Kiss the back of a card’s envelope with lipstick on and print S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) 💋

• Leave a note on the rear view mirror or in their car seat.

• Write a note on the toilet paper using a Sharpie. 😉HA

• Slide a creatively designed note under their door at night, so they see it first thing in the morning.

• Use dry erase marker or permanent Sharpie to write on a coffee mug or favorite glass.

• Make a unique plate to be used for special occasions ONLY. (i.e. “You’re So Smart”, “You Did IT!” “Congratulations!” “We’re Proud of You!”) 👍🏼

• Tuck a note in a pant pocket, coat pocket or glove.

• Leave a note inside their glasses case. 👓

• Leave a note on top of a stack of  clothes you’ve folded.

• Leave a card or note under the car windshield wipers while they’re at work.

• Leave a note taped to their computer, the remote or TV. 📺

• Tape a note to their favorite food item that they use every day. (i.e. creamer, cereal or coffee can.)

• Place a note under their pillow or pinned to a favorite blanket. 🛌

• Tape a note to their car keys.

• Leave a note in their suitcase as they leave for camp or a business trip.

• Lastly, of course, you can always just send an e-mail or text. 😉 💌

JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT❣️

Tell us in the comments below what you have done before. 👇🏽


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Garlic Buttered Shrimp and Asparagus

When I was younger, you couldn’t get me to eat ANY kind of seafood. None. Nada.

The thought of going to Red Lobster after church…just yuck.

I think it had something to do with the fact my dad used to take me fishing with him out on Balboa Bay in California. We used to be out for hours trying to catch fish…many a time we caught seagulls. 🎣 They’d sweep down and pick up our bait as the line was spinning out into the sky. Oh, the memories. But during those long hours of baiting, and smelling stinky fish all while drinking V8 out in the heat of the day, 🤢 well, it just seared it in my brain. “NO, YOU WIll NOT LIKE SEAFOOD!” 🐟🐠🦑🦐🦀

And I didn’t for many many years.

Then, somewhere between high school and college I was asked pleaded with (more than once) to try fried shrimp, and I actually “tolerated” it. (I think because it was fried, so I barely tasted anything seafoodish.) I later graduated on to trying grilled shrimp and scampi.

It was a big leap for me. 😂 I guess anything with garlic and butter on it has resonated with me.

So, here I am. Now sharing my own shrimp dish. Unreal.

But this turned out better than I would’ve thought as I’ve literally only made shrimp twice in my life. It met the hub’s satisfaction, so it’s going on the blog. 🙂

You will need:

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (Yes, I actually did this myself..I know!😱)

Olive oil to coat your pan

5 cloves of crushed Garlic (or jarred minced garlic can be used.)

1 stick of butter

Salt

*Red pepper flakes

*Smoked paprika

1 & 1/2 Lemons

*Parsley

*Asparagus cooked


*optional items

Instructions:

In a hot skillet, add olive oil just to smoking temperature. Next, add in the shrimp, constantly tossing till slightly pink (roughly a minute) and then add in your garlic and red pepper flakes (small amt) turning everything for about another minute being careful not to burn seasonings. Add butter to your liking. (If your butter is salted no need to add salt.) Add paprika, and finish with chopped parsley and lemon juice. You just want to toss your shrimp till they turn a darker pink and curl slightly. I then added steamed asparagus mixing it all together and added a bit more of the seasonings also more lemon juice. (This is all to taste.)

It assure you it will be delicious! 👌🏼

Just ask my hubby and this shrimp 🦐 eatin’ gal now. 😉

What is your favorite seafood and where would you like to be eating it about now? We just got a snowstorm, so I vote Hawaii!

Items to buy:

I love my pan: https://amzn.to/2DkT2Ar

Peeled & Deveined shrimp: https://amzn.to/2MoNqbC

WOK: https://amzn.to/2Cv7l3W

Don’t Be Demanding During the Holidays

As the holidays roll around, I often talk with people and hear about how stressed they are trying to please their family members at this time. It makes me reflect on family dynamics and why people act the way they do, or get so bent out of shape at this time of year. I just heard a lady (while at the hair salon) speaking about how she works SO hard, is super busy, then has to cook a huge meal while off work…yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT this year she was choosing to stay home, just her and hubby, and she thought it sounded glorious. Why is the holiday season SO stressful for us…women, especially?

I believe it’s because some family members have preconceived expectations about how things should go. I hear friends say that their family members don’t understand their hectic life or work schedule, that they always are the one to cook and never get help, they mention they don’t get much time with one side of the family over another, or they ate 3 huge meals in one day just to please everyone. Geeze!

Why can’t people talk with each other and just be honest explaining their reality like grown ups should be able to?

As I grow older, I reflect on these situations and have created a series of posters entitled, “The older I get…” All are observations I’ve had while talking to people or while encountering certain social situations.

So, my own kids are now married. And I refuse to be that parent that pressures them (silent or not) into feeling they have to meet my needs or be somewhere that causes them undue stress. I don’t want to apply that kind of pressure to anyone! I haven’t liked it myself, in the past, and I don’t want it for them. No holiday, or get together is worth that feeling of guilt, or the added stress of trying to please everyone. You can end up resenting family holidays. I mean, even if it doesn’t seem fair at times, I refuse to put that pressure on my family because I’ve seen what that kind of hurt can do to relationships. It causes problems or misunderstanding for years! And I don’t want that! I want my family to visit me because they love me and want to be around me. I don’t want anyone feeling stressed over trying to make an engagement because they fear my disapproval. That’s not love, nor dying to one’s rights, nor is it even enjoyable when they do show up because it’s begrudgingly. Am I right?

I have seen so many family splits over such stupid nonsense.

I know of occasions when my own mother felt she didn’t have an adequate home (not completed due to constant remodeling nor enough beds for everyone), and she would ask if I could house family coming in from out of state. That really never bothered me because I liked hosting them and just being together all in one place was fun to me, and it brought joy to my parents. However, I always felt bad mom worried about many a holiday season. She wanted things to be just perfect, nice and cozy, creating good memories for grandkids she wasn’t able to visit with all that often, and I understood that. But, to be able to just do what you can, and be okay with that, and everyone giving grace to each other and just being thankful to be together…that would be more enjoyable. That’s what truly mattered, still does.

So, you can’t make it one year, or you’re cramped and everyone sleeps on the floor, or you’re not a good cook, so you get takeout, or you can only buy a few gifts…no biggie. It’s really not important and it’s sad people don’t realize that sooner. We really need to let go of OUR wants, OUR expectations, OUR needs, and try to put ourselves in the OTHER person’s shoes.

Not everyone has the same upbringing, not everyone celebrated Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas the way you did. Not everyone understands your traditions, norms, or your family’s customs. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. We all are unique. We were all raised differently. And that’s okay, too! There is no perfect way to do things. Why do we think everyone should be like us, do like us, sound like us, think like us, celebrate like us or just conform to our ways? The way “we’ve always done it!!”

Life is a mix. A mix of people…ideas, wants, and needs. We all need to just chill and learn to enjoy one another because time is shorter than we even realize, even at this moment.

I’ve seen many a family go through extreme crisis, and I bet they would tell you that just being with their special loved one, doing nothing extraordinary, or having any great plans would be just fine. Letting go of any differences. In fact, I would bet they would be happy to just let go of everything and just be.

Be present.

Because, being there in the moment with their loved one, would be gift enough. ❤️

Saddened by the Disrespect Shown to Another Young Soldier (Repost 5/26/17)

uncle-terry-recent

After recently visiting my Uncle’s grave, I was upset to hear, once again, about another young man who lost his precious life.

Another son had died.

In a foreign, far away place.

He fell as a soldier wearing the United States uniform, and now, his parents were bringing him home.

And the reactions of the plane’s passengers made me sick.

VERY SICK and VERY ANGRY!

The article describing the incident here.  

I wanted to cry. I felt horrified to think other human beings could be so calloused. Americans, at that!

I couldn’t even fathom this lack of respect, nor comprehend such a show of self-centeredness or whatever they thought they were trying to achieve.

What causes a person/people to treat a grieving family with such disdain?

What has happened to our America?

I tried to place myself in that family’s shoes; that frozen moment in time they will NEVER forget…

My heart was heavy for them.

But how can my heart be SO different from those that were on that plane?


My family is also familiar with this pain. They could tell you of profound grief.

We, too, lost a young soldier in Vietnam many years ago.

Terry3

He was escorted home, finally.

It just happened to be decades after being listed as Missing in Action. (MIA)


It was the 60s and the Vietnam War was raging. My Uncle Terry had volunteered just as his two older brothers had.

Marine family of uncles, dad, and brother

He was part of a helicopter crew, rescuing the wounded when his helicopter was shot down.

Some of the men were thrown from the fiery crash, but Terry was never found.

We always wondered what the full story was.

Terry5

Then, in 1993, some Vietnamese farmers came forth with items from a crash. And the story began to unfold.

Forensics were then confirmed in Honolulu, and my brother–then a young Marine himself– escorted Terry’s remains home.

Terry could’ve been buried at Arlington. However,  the family thought it best to teach a community (and the younger generations) a valuable lesson.

A lesson we feared was being lost, not really taught in schools much anymore.

Not just one lesson, but many:

That war was cruel.

Kids were still dying to this day.

That we should be there to support families, help where needed, and invite a military family over for the holidays.

(You know, just be a good human.)

That this could have been anyone’s son or daughter.

And there were other countries losing their people, DAILY, due to lack of freedom with many picking up rifles to enter war as children.

Most importantly,

that freedom had a price. Always has, always will.

A HUGE price.


So, on that hot and humid July 4th, Terry’s high school gym was packed out.

He was remembered for his talented football skills, and his kind, gentle ways.

Terry1

His ultimate sacrifice recognized.

Our family, once again, was left with distant memories.  Terry’s parents (my grandparents) had wounds reopened all over again.

Terry4

People lined the streets, kids waved flags, and many a biker rode in from the surrounding states to finally return their MIA bracelets.

It was a memorable sight to see them piled high, on the floor, near my grandparents’ feet. It had to be so hard for them.

The news crews were there to capture it all.

The flag-draped coffin.

The thunderous flyover that moved you to your core.

The caisson; a solemn reminder as it passed through town to the beat of a sole drum.

COMPLETE RESPECT was shown that day.

Tragically, for this other family on the plane…

that didn’t happen.

There wasn’t much, if any, shown.


My Uncle Terry didn’t get to finish college.

Terry 2

And I sometimes wonder what his life might have looked like.

What would’ve been his hobby to tinker with?

Who would he have married? How many kids would he have?

He wasn’t able to marry, have kids or enjoy a weekend with family.

(Just to have another day to show his own thankfulness.)

No, he CHOSE to leave a comfortable life to help in a far away land.

He wanted to show his loyalty.

He wanted to make sure we were ALL afforded continued freedom.

Simply put…HIS MOTIVES were PURE.

USMC, Marine soldier's gravestone


If I had been on that plane, I can tell you…

I could NOT have sat there silently!

I KNOW, that I would’ve stood to speak for that family.

I KNOW, I would’ve cried with that family.

I KNOW, I would’ve tried to apologize to that family.

AND, I would’ve thanked them and made it clear that this is not the totality of America that my Uncle, nor their son, gave their lives for!!


Find a military family to reach out to.

Reach out to a grieving widow, a cop, a neighbor…the lonely and under appreciated in your community.

Compliment your local worker.

Invite someone over for the holidays.

Say a prayer for others.

Just show some kindness, some thankfulness.

Bridge the gap(s).

Teach your kids.

Show some honor and respect.

I know my Uncle Terry would have,

if he could.


* For Terry’s documented military story two accounts are listed below:

http://www.vhpa.org/KIA/incident/68081999KIA.HTM

❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸

http://www.hmm-262combatvets.org/hoffmann_memorial.htm


Link to:The United States Marine Corps

Written in honor of Terry who would have turned 72 Feb. 4th.💗

Show some thankfulness this Thanksgivingposter.