Happy Thanksgiving!

Looky! my shift key works part-time.


I love Thanksgiving. Last year none of my family made it together for Thanksgiving. My older brother Ahimsa was teaching in South Korea, my mom and little brother couldn’t make it up from southern Oregon, my dad spent Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and ailing mom, and my grandma was on the Oregon coast. luckily I had a group of friends that came together for a lovely celebration.


I am so incredibly thankful to be surrounded by wonderful loved ones. last year a small group of friends baked up a storm, drank an overload of champagne [6 bottles between 4 people, if hazy memory serves me correct], and laughed and ate and ate and watched a crappy movie [no offense, Star Trek fans].

It was glorious.

This year—oh, this year. I have an ever deeper appreciation for family, if that’s possible. With my dad and his mom both passing this year, I am beyond thankful for every bit of time I get to spend with my family.

me grandma [my grandma-my mom’s mom, who is with us this Thanksgiving]

me family halloween [my family on Halloween two years ago]


me family [this past summer]

My older brother temporarily resides back in the states—just a 10 minute walk from my house, actually—with his girlfriend Rachel. she’s a Kiwi.

kiwi-bird-stuffed-f705      kiwiPudding

My darling mother and great little brother drove the seven hours up to Portland, and even my grandma is driving out from the coast to tolerate this plant-based thanksgiving feast. 😀

Today is spent just the way it should be—being goofy and laughing, cooking and eating and celebrating with loved ones.


A few things i am thankful for this year, in no particular order:

1. My little tree house of a home. I love living alone and washing my dishes in the mornings and walking around in my skivvies and just luxuriating in my chosen solitude. I am so thankful every day i wake up in my little apartment.



DSC05865 [I live up those stairs and get to wake up in the tree tops every day]

2. My job. My company has always been incredibly loyal to me; taking me back after a short-lived move to Australia and after a year-long hiatus of helping my friends open a vegan bakery. I love having a job that suits me—I get to work on projects and use spreadsheets and other geeky things like that while working around people in an ever-changing industry. Working in an established brewpub in the city that’s the unofficial capital of beer means meeting excited and new people every day. It’s a great job and I’m happy to have it.

3. Food. I love food. Like, a lot. I love discovering deep love for vegetables. like, who knew that kale is so extremely delightful? and Brussels sprouts? Forget about it. So. So. Good. And Lentils, Oh my! And caramelized onions, Wow! And pasta and bread and maple syrup and fresh fruit and and flax seeds and seitan and pho and burritos and gnocchi and nutritional yeast… so much good food! it’s a never-ending source of fun to put all these foods together in different ways and discover new tastes and old favorites every day. I love food.

August 267 August 311 DSC05975 DSC06125 DSC05536  french toast 

4. Friends. I’ve always been blessed to have great friends, but this year during the darkest days, my friends really shined for me. I don’t know if i would have made it through the first part of this year without the help, support, love, and food and flower deliveries of my friends. A sincere thank you to all of you.

5. Family. Family family family. I love my family. My small little unit is loving and funny and supportive and wonderful wonderful wonderful. I love them with all my heart. And if I had more than one heart, my love for them would fill up however many hearts I had.

6. travelzoo.com. Any site that lets me buy roundtrip tickets to Iceland for under $500  is pretty darn awesome.

7. Love and Happiness and Joy and Learning and Growth.

That’s the gist of life, friends. Just living it and soaking it all up till your fingers get all wrinkly and prune-y. all the bits—good, bad, glorious, heartbreaking and even the boring. Every day we’re blessed to be here.


I’m taking loads of pictures today and will post photos of food and family and fun on my next post.


Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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About Janessa

I'm a travelin' vegan gal, event planner & writer who loves eating, drinking, hiking, biking, reading, writing, loving, scheming, learning, laughing, champagne-ing and gerunds.
  • MikeyLife

    Happy Thanksgiving, Janessa!

  • millie

    hi, i love you!