A Thanksgiving Note

Hello, Dear Readers,

How did you spend your Thanksgiving Day?

I grew up in a family of four: Mom, Dad, me, and brother Jason. Yet I have a large extended family, as my mother came from a family of nine siblings. So, I have lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, and all their kids, and now their children have children. I always looked forward to holidays, because of all the people I got to connect with, and having cousins to play with as a girl.

And…the food was always awesome. I come from a family of great cooks.

I spoke with a voice student yesterday, a woman who has sensitivities to many foods, so her holidays center around rituals and grounding moreso than food.

This is something we can all incorporate, whether we have food sensitivities or not. The holidays can be frenetic, but they don’t have to be.

Sometimes I miss being around my big, extended family in South Dakota. Yet I also appreciate a more quiet, intimate holiday celebration as I had with my partner, George, and cat Lady Jane this Thanksgiving. The weather here in the Willamette Valley was mild, with just a bit of rain, so George and I went outside for a good walk after breakfast and between making music together. I spoke with a dear friend in Canada, as she is going through a transition and we are reconnecting – her birthday is tomorrow. Early evening, I called my brother, then parents, and finally aunt and uncle who hosted Thanksgiving in South Dakota this year. Each conversation was heartfelt, and often filled with much laughter.

Each holiday is an opportunity to become centered, grounded, and set your intentions for what you want to experience, and what you want to bring into your life moving forward. Let us know your intentions on the blog!

Here’s my non-traditional Thanksgiving Dinner menu:

*Fresh green salads with lots of veggies

*Chicken parmigiana

*Pasta with simple homemade marinara sauce

*Parmesan bread

*Apple crisp with homemade whipped cream for dessert

And here’s the chicken parmigiana recipe, for those of you who enjoy cooking:

Chicken Parmigiana

This is for the capacity of a small roasting pan, so have that amount of chicken cutlets at room temperature.

-Slightly beat one egg and combine with splashes of olive oil and some good crushed garlic.


-1/3 C parmesan cheese, 2 TBSP bread/cracker crumbs.

Dip chicken cutlets first in egg mixture, then coat with parmesan crumb mixture.

Brown meat with minced onion in 2 TBSP oil and transfer to baking pan.

Stir together:

-8 oz. tomato sauce, pepper, Italian seasoning, perhaps extra oregano and basil.

Pour over chicken in pan and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.

-Top generously with shredded mozzarella cheese about 10 minutes before it’s done.


Wow! What an amazing workshop at the Oregon Mediation Association’s 31st annual conference! My wonderful audience and I had a full 90 minutes together. See my initial speaker reel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8alNyT2Siw. I love teaching speakers how to HONE their message: keep me in mind for your next keynote or workshop.

Here are just a few examples (of many) of what people had to say:

I came away with a much better understanding of how to do, and effectively use, belly breathing to speak confidently, efficiently and effectively. -Caroline M.

Laura is a skilled teacher and observer of her students. -Anita E.

Supportive, fun, safe…and immediately applicable tools and skills. -Barbara M.

Laura truly connects with her audience. She makes people feel comfortable and safe to be vulnerable and find their authentic voice. Thank you. -Angela P.

Laura was fantastic and empowering. -Laura D.

If you found this post helpful, please spread the love and pass it along to a friend!

Authentically Yours, Laura