Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

I am lucky to be the Monday through Thursday blogger because each year, right around this time, I am able to take a few moments and share my gratitude.

Today is Thanksgiving here in America, and while the rest of the world goes on about their Thursday, I will be cooking for my family. This will be our last Thanksgiving in this house, and I think for that reason, it will be particularly special. My two oldest are coming home, and it will be a quiet holiday here at home. I’m writing this ahead of time – on Wednesday – and will begin the marathon cooking session as soon as I’m finished.

Admittedly, cooking is something I don’t particularly love to do. I’m told that I’m very good at it, but then again – the people who say that are also somewhat dependent upon my cooking skills in order to eat.  <big grin here> I do my best and get through it, but I won’t lie – I’m looking forward to the following day when I REFUSE to cook, and force the family to fend for themselves.  This year though, I’m genuinely enjoying the challenge of getting an entire turkey dinner with all the trimmings ready with one oven and a microwave.

I want to say thank you to everyone who takes time to read our posts. We’ve been writing now for over eight years, and while we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve been so lucky to have people support us. There have been many times when I’ve felt like I’d lost my way, lo and behold someone – whether it was a friend or someone I’d never met – would take a second to tell me that something I’d written really  hit home. I’ve needed those boosts now and then, and I can’t thank you enough.

My small but steady and loyal group of friends continue to keep gratitude coursing through my veins. I am not one of those people who have thousands of friends, but the few friends I have are those I can count on, and I do. You know who you are, because you’re the people I text first when something goes right, or when life begins to implode. It has been a roller coaster year, and I’m grateful that even when I feel like I’m at wit’s end, you send reminders that vodka is the reason for the season, or that we are going to have the “breast” weekend ever in February. I belong to the best tribe.

Amanda, I’m so grateful for our friendship. This past year has sucked. Royally. There were times I felt completely paralyzed with fear, shock, and stress. I couldn’t even be a friend to myself, much less to other people, and you just waited patiently for me to return to normal. Most others might have walked away and you didn’t. I won’t forget that. I miss skyping, Vodka Fridays, and writing though, and once I get settled, maybe we can pick that back up again. We also have a mini-convention to plan, so there’s that too. Goodness!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Duran Duran and the DDHQ team. They’ve been patient and forgiving when I was anything but positive – something that I’ve learned from, and won’t forget. We really do try, along with an entire army of Duran fans, to keep the conversation going and the fandom growing. However, when it comes down to it, you are the reason(s) I started writing, and the reason(s) I keep going.

I’m going to go get started on the cooking. Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

I know that it is only the US that celebrates Thanksgiving on this day, but for those of us who live in the USA – it is one of our major holidays. I wish everyone celebrating a very happy one.

At this moment while you are reading, I can guarantee that I am cooking. (I’m writing this a bit early to accommodate my schedule!) Our holiday is not incredibly fancy, and we don’t have a lot of people over – just the kids and my mom, but it is nice. We watch the Macy Thanksgiving Day parade and then the Westminster Dog Show (no, I’m not kidding).  We are not a football family (American football), so we avoid it like the plague! Today we’re eating a late lunch rather than a dinner because after this insanity is over, we have to pack up our trailer for camping. We leave early tomorrow morning.

That’s right, I’m the crazy person who suggested that we go camping this weekend after I cooked. 6 AM Friday, we are on the road.  (Who thinks that is really going to happen? Anyone???) Someday, I’m going to learn to keep my crazy thoughts to myself. This, my friends, is not that year. In all seriousness, I don’t think we would have gone except that the other side of our family – Walt’s side – is going, and we wanted to be able to spend time with them. So, I’m looking forward to getting packed and on our way tomorrow morning.

This brings me to the section of the blog where I share what I am most thankful for this year, because it IS Thanksgiving, and that is what the holiday has come to mean for my family, particularly this year. Sorry for the sap.

I am grateful for learning how to take time to breathe, center myself, and focus on the things that matter. I’m still working on living my life in gratitude, but I’ll accept the baby steps and learn from them.

My family. When I get overwhelmed, they are always here. I love having my two older kids out in the world, even though I miss them at home. I love that they share their successes, and even their hardships and failures with me. I’m also really thankful to have a lot of time with my youngest. I have learned so much about her this year. I can’t parent her the same way I did my older two – she is so different, and I love her uniqueness. She doesn’t let me get away with a single thing!

I am so humbled by the way my brother has handled his illness. I could not say and do the things he has in the past year. He says it is because of his faith, and maybe that is true for him. I just know that I don’t have his grace OR his strength. The same holds true for his wife, my husband’s sister. I am not half the person either of them are, that is for certain.

Now for the fun part:

This band. This crazy, silly, ridiculous BAND. Like it or not, I’m still writing about them, contemplating their antics, and having fun. They remind me to keep living my life and to enjoy the journey, which I am.  I also am thankful for them as people. They make me laugh, and I love that. Pure joy. I’ll take it every single time. I think they know we adore them…spit zone, eye rolling, winks, brightly colored flood pants and all.

Oh and Simon? Sixth row in Vegas, December 30th. You’re REALLY gonna need to spit for distance, and I wish you luck. You didn’t quite make it in San Francisco. I’d probably get some practice in beforehand, my friend.  BRING IT.

Can’t hit me, Simon!!!

I will never forget “Ordinary World” in both Oakland and San Francisco. Raw human emotion, undisguised by a stage name or “rock star” imagery. Simon showed us a bit of himself those nights. I know the pain of losing a parent, as many probably do. I know what it is like to have to pick up the pieces, move on and find whatever “normal” is going to look like from then on. Those nights, I felt that same pain rushing right back. Grief is just an incredibly deep hole. Sometimes I feel like I’ve climbed out of it, only to fall back in. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, yet there was something about having him share that on stage with all of us…I don’t know what it was, I’m not quite sure it is appropriate to say I was thankful being there to share it…I just know I felt it.

This blog is special to me, otherwise I simply wouldn’t take time to write each day. I know it isn’t perfect, and there are a good many things I could do to improve the site, our branding, my tone, my writing, etc. I appreciate the opportunity I give myself to write, even when my darling husband says, “You blog today? Again??” (Yes, again Walt. It’s DAILY!!!) It is cleansing at times, and entirely too much fun to ever consider giving up in others. Thank you for reading and supporting Daily Duranie. 

I’m also so thrilled to have a new friend brought into my life by none other than Dom. Writing about a song he was featured in led me to a new friend in Michael Kratz. Cannot wait to see what 2018 brings for each of them. All good things, I hope!

Thank you to Lori & Suzie, our touring buddies. A trip would not be the same without either of you, and I am hoping we get to do some more of that next year! Thank you also for getting those tickets to the Vegas show, girls – otherwise Amanda and I would have been sitting at the BAR!!!  A thousand thank you’s to Suzie, who is my spirit animal in ways I cannot explain here. 😀

Lastly, of course I am thankful for my good friend Amanda. She puts me in check when necessary, gives me encouragement and plenty of grace. I am not even remotely close to being as selfless as she is, but she gives me hope in humanity when I’ve just about given up. (BTW – have you written anything for our project?? Me neither. I need to get that done! EEK!)

Moving on…I’m sure it’s gotta turkey carving time by now, so I must go. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate, and to those who do not – have a lovely weekend ahead!



For the small things: a little gratitude

This week is my Thanksgiving break from work. My oldest is already home, and my son comes home late Wednesday night. We will have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner here at home, and then we are going up to Paso Robles with the other side of the family for the weekend. I’m especially thankful this year that we are spending time with all of our family.

Last May, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with AML – a type of Leukemia. He had two rounds of chemotherapy, went into remission, and was able to have a bone marrow transplant. The first 100 days post transplant are the most critical. Today, if I am counting correctly, is day 97 post transplant. We should be cheering, thankful that he beat the odds, and trust me, we are.

Walt and I are very close with my brother-in-law and his sister, and every time we see them we are both so glad he’s still with us. The one thing I learned this year was just how valuable those two are to me. He may be legally just my brother-in-law, but in my heart – he is my big brother and she is the older sister I always wanted. I need them. Life would change forever, otherwise.

Normally, transplant patients have a bone marrow biopsy (imagine having a hole drilled into your hip?!?) on or near day 100 to confirm that there is no leukemia present. Thanksgiving is day 100 for our family. Thankful? Most definitely.

Today, he is having his post-transplant bone marrow biopsy. We are all hoping for the best. Unfortunately, his platelet count is still very low, and they like to see it return to at least near-normal by day 60. His levels are nowhere near normal. This is worrisome, because even if AML is not present, the fact that his platelets are not recovering is problematic. We’re thankful, but I think it’s fair to say we’re all a little worried. On the flip side, we are also excited to be able to go to one of our favorite vacation spots later in the week to be together. I’m hoping it’s all just a crazy blip on the horizon, and we can go back to trying to convince him to agree to move up to Paso Robles and start the Rivera Family Compound with us.

I know most of you are sticking with this story to find out what this has to do with Duran Duran, or with being a fan. I had a revelation recently as I saw two groups of people I know going at one another. Pure drama. Is the band really worth all of that? In my opinion, it’s not even about the band, it’s just fandom, and while at one point I would have felt like I had something to prove to show my “place” in the community, I see it differently now. It just doesn’t matter.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Duran Duran. I love their music. I also adore each of those guys as PEOPLE. I don’t need to fight about who loves them more, or who they’re going to sleep with next, because honestly – I couldn’t care less. That’s not what it’s all about for me, and it never has been. The rest of you can grapple with what constitutes the best type of fan. Some fans are new to the community and want pictures. They’re making up for lost time.  Some other fans trace back their fandom for decades, and everyone handles their fandom differently.

As for me,  the results of the biopsy that is happening right now as I type is all that matters right now. Fandom has become more about friendship than fawning, although rest assured I have done my fair share. Gratitude is an interesting thing. Sometimes, taking a minute to be grateful makes a difference. This weekend, I convinced my husband to forgo plans to clean up our backyard in favor of meeting his sister and brother-in-law to go to a winter art festival. My argument was that we have to take the time when we can. We had a great time that day, and both of us were glad we went. Chores can wait!

Today I’m thankful that my oldest is home and that my son finally answered one of my texts. I am trying to spend time in gratitude for what I have, rather than worrying about assurances I do not. It isn’t easy.  Duran Duran is the same way. I have no idea what that band really has planned for next year or beyond, but I am incredibly grateful for the career they’ve already shared. It is these thoughts that will get me through until Wednesday, when my family hears the results.



Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Yesterday, I wrote about some things I am thankful for. I decided a visual was in order.

I’m going to apologize to my male friends out there, should you be over the whole “gawking at the band” thing. I have decided that life is entirely too short to worry about what some of you may think. I’m gonna do this the way I wanna do it…period.  If the band didn’t want us to look at them, they’d perform behind a damn wall.

So with that in mind, here are some of the more visual things I am thankful for, on this lovely Thanksgiving Day.  Enjoy!

I think this thumbnail alone speaks volumes and says everything I need say.

On the other hand….

(and I could have posted just about any video from Dom…I just like this one, and it’s his solo stuff, so enjoy!)

Back to Duran Duran…


Oh look, another thumbnail with Roger.  😀  No seriously, I am thankful for this video because it is with all five, and it is the five that I grew up identifying as Duran Duran.  There is no more joyous of a video than this one for me, to be honest.

I love this video. I am thankful that Nick decided to be a pain in the ass and chew gum, too. You go on with your bad self, Mr. Rhodes.


So much to be thankful for in this one I do not know where to begin. Well, there’s John Taylor, to begin with… and Simon. What?  I need therapy.

Ah yes, therapy.  This might work. I am thankful for this video because regardless of what the band or the director had in mind – I have my own personal meaning for all of it. And Dom is in it.  :)It’s

It’s Late Bar. It’s semi-recent(ish).  Oh, and Dom is in it.  To be honest, I don’t even know if he played well. Does that matter right now?


There’s a lot of memories here for me. I saw the studio they filmed this at (the tin foil was still on the wall), I walked through the cemetery Nick walked through (it also thundered, lightning and hailed which was amusing), and I saw some of the other sites in the video too. Plus – all we really need is now, isn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Welcome to the holiday season, 2016 (we are almost through this blasted year!)


When the curtains are pulled back: a little thankfulness

Yesterday I wrote about appreciation. I have great appreciation for the fact that I’m starting to have fun with this fandom thing again. I can’t really say how long it’s been that I’ve actually wanted to carve time out to sit down and watch, say…Live from London, or Sing Blue Silver, or even Diamond in the Mind. I’m starting to feel that again, and yes—I definitely appreciate that feeling.

Today, I’m going to write about being thankful, because I am.  Just yesterday, I saw something on Twitter about airline pilots at O’Hare airport in Chicago. They are going on strike over the weekend. Political statements aside here—I feel for the travelers because their plans to get home, or get away, might be entangled in a giant mess.  When I read the tweet though, my mind immediately went back to 2012. I was supposed to fly to O’Hare to meet Amanda and then we were going to fly on to Heathrow so that we could go to four DD shows in the UK.  On Black Friday, I spent a lot of the day on the phone with Amanda. We were freaking out because there was to be a huge public workers strike in the UK, and naturally that was planned for the day we’d arrive. Anyway, I smiled at the memory and tweeted it to Amanda – saying that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about that kind of thing this year.

Amanda is going to DC over New Years, and she’s going to see Duran Duran. She’s going with someone else, and yeah, it’s weird. I’m somewhat wistful about the entire thing.  She’s gone to shows without me before, as I have without her. The difference is, she’s traveling by plane for this one.  Normally, in fact, I can say that since we met – if I’m traveling to see the band, it is with her.  We go together like peanut butter and jelly. That’s not happening this time. On one hand, I want to go. On the other hand, it has been one HELL of a year for my family. It’s been one hell of a year for me. I need to be here and I need to be thankful for what I have, and what I’ve done. But yeah, I wish I were going…but I’m very thankful I didn’t spend the money on tickets at the same time.

For a long time now, Duran Duran was sort of a job for me without it actually being a job. I’m not saying this to complain, I’m saying this to point out my stupidity to others. Lately, I’ve been enjoying doing things, like actually gawking at the band.  I’ve watched some videos. For fun! And…I’ve been listening to their albums. FOR FUN.  I realize that to many of you this is like, well…breathing. It used to be for me, too. I’m getting back to that, and dammit I am thankful.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t pay some respects to my touring drink of choice, vodka. (although wine still comes in at a very close second, followed by coffee and then iced tea. Caffeine surges through my veins. ) Time for truth for anyone who might be concerned: I don’t drink often. Even so, when we tour, we TOUR.

I am thankful that I get to have my three kids and husband together with me for a few days this week. That’s unusual for us anymore, and we’re going to one of my favorite places – Paso Robles.  Yes, there will be some wine tasting, but also a lot of laughter and love.

Amanda and I have been friends since 2004. That is twelve years. I wouldn’t say our friendship is necessarily complicated, but our lives certainly are. There have been moments when I haven’t felt as close as others, but I value our friendship. We are proof that you don’t necessarily have to be the same in order to be friends – our mutual respect, love, and loyalty is what carries us. I’m lucky I found her.

I feel particularly thankful that I have met so many wonderful Duranies over the years. Some, if not most, have flowed in and out of my life, their time with me not always a constant. What has been really eye-opening for me though, is that in every case, they’ve had some sort of life-long effect on me. Whether teaching me to be more open-minded, or to embrace the adventures that life has to offer, or even to be more forgiving and careful with the feelings of others, I’ve learned something. Thank you.

I am learning not to take what I’m about to say for granted – but I’m really thankful for those five guys (ok, six or seven guys) who have been, or are in Duran Duran. I may not know all of them personally, but they have also been invaluable to my life in some way.  Even in the few instances that I have been around a couple of them – they managed to give me something to think about for the long-term.  They gave me something to look up to when I was young, something to aspire to when I most needed it, and reminded me that yes – even though they are rock stars, they really are human. I am particularly lucky that they happen to create some decent music, too.

I know it’s a day early, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving if you’re in the US and celebrate. If you’re elsewhere in the world, thank you for allowing me to indulge!



Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

For those in the US today, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. If you’re elsewhere in the world, allow us to send our best wishes and a hearty thank you for taking the time to read. It has become a bit of a tradition at this time of year for us to say thank you, and take stock in what we are thankful for.  Instead of doing a combined list, we decided to each write a little something this time.


For me, this has been a year full of adjustments – but one that I’m also thankful for, both personally and fandom-wise.

I struggle when it comes to knowing what exactly to say about Duran Duran. I am obviously very thankful I fell in love with them at the age of ten. I’m also thankful they continue to make amazing music. I’m thankful Paper Gods is out. It is beautiful and I continue to be very proud of them. In a year that has been a personal struggle for me, I desperately needed to escape into the music just to stay sane, and the band came through, as always. Thank you for continuing to challenge me to broaden my definition of what IS Duran Duran, even if it took me a while to “get it”.  I am so thankful that I was able to see them a few times this year – they came at a point in time that I really needed, and I’m glad I had the opportunity. (Big thanks to you, Amanda) It’s funny, I don’t think I take the band for granted as is, but I learned just HOW thankful I am for them on November 13…not just as a fan-girl, but as a real person. They matter in my world, and I wasn’t ready to lose them. Thank goodness they are safe.

On the blog front, I am so thankful for DDHQ! They keep us updated with what’s going on via social media and by doing so, they help us to do OUR job, and their hard work isn’t taken for granted. I am thankful for two people who took the time out of their own busy day to sit and talk with Amanda and I, and offer some very well-intended advice. I don’t want to name them, but I am hoping they know who they are. I needed to hear what they had to say and while I am sure I will continue to make mistakes, I appreciate the encouragement they continue to offer. “Thank you” doesn’t seem to even begin to cut it – and I can’t explain how much it helps knowing that people who have been in similar positions understand. I also very much appreciate the “learning opportunities” I’ve been given this year. Those moments did not go unnoticed. I am thankful that we have this blog, too. I’m proud of what we’ve created, and I especially appreciate that our writing resonates enough with people that our blogs get read. Lastly, thank goodness for my friendship with Amanda. She is the one completely loyal, unwavering pillar of support I really have and can always count on. This is the one major lesson I’ve learned this year: she’s got my back and I have hers, no matter what. For that, I’m eternally grateful. 


Every year, at this time, I do like to stop, think about life and express my gratitude.  This year is no different.  In fact, I would say that it feels even more important this year as I feel like the big lesson of this year is truly to appreciate what I have as it can be easily taken from you.  First and most importantly, I learned this through my parents.  I didn’t learn it through example or some teachable moment that they captured as was when I was a kid. No, I learned it through my mom’s cancer diagnosis and my dad’s continuing health struggles.  Luckily, both parents are doing as well as can be expected.  My mom has completed treatment and we are very optimistic that all cancer is gone and will stay gone.  My dad keeps up the daily battle of having a chronic condition with strength and courage.  Truly, as much as they can drive me crazy and cause me to worry like no other, I’m extremely thankful that they are still here with me.

Interestingly enough, I also learned this lesson of appreciation through Duran Duran.  A year ago, the album seemed impossibly far away with no real end in sight to the Durantime.  A big part of me worried in the back of my mind about whether or not the album would ever be finished and would ever be released.  I didn’t want to say goodbye to Duran and I worried that I might have been doing just that.  This concern appeared to some to be negativity.  It never was.  My love and loyalty to the band never wavered but the fear of losing them was real.  That fear of losing them returned in a huge way when they were in Paris on the date of the recent terrorist attacks.  Thankfully, the band was fine and their career is doing well!  I’m beyond thankful for that.  The music they brought us this year did what good Duran Duran music is supposed to do.  It made us feel and it made us think.  It made us dance and feel good and it made us fall for their music all over again. As always, the live shows I attended only reinforced my love for the album and the band that I became a fan of over thirty years ago.  I am definitely grateful for that!

Of course, the band has given me more than just a great album and some fabulous live shows.  I have been given some of the best experiences of my life, on tour, and the motivation to do all that Daily Duranie does from writing to holding fan events.  This year caused Rhonda and I to question ourselves and our purpose with this operation (or whatever you want to call it!).  This questioning along with support from DDHQ and those who really understand our current position and take time for us made a huge difference in encouraging us to keep going and in giving us reassurance that we are on the right path.  As Rhonda said, we still make mistakes but we are learning and will continue to learn with every new opportunity we are given.  Lastly, I have to agree with Rhonda that I, too, am thankful for our friendship.  It has only grown stronger through time and through this journey we have been on.  It is a constant that gives us both strength and determination to continue on.  We are very lucky to have found each other.

Happy Thanksgiving!