The more we get together the happier we’ll be!Add a Comment
The more we get together the happier we’ll be!Add a Comment
My good friend and author Sudè Khanian is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the holiday. She asked me to join the celebration and I had to say yes!
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far! I haven’t been a very good blogger lately and posting has been sporadic the last month or two, even for me. In a nutshell life has been unusually hectic except for this week which has been gloriously slow-paced; I no longer feel like I’m constantly on the verge of having an anxiety attack. I’ve also been considering re-thinking my blog, its purpose, etc., and haven’t had a lot to say or was feeling too lazy to write, snap photos and the like. (I’m still in this mode actually. These photos were taken with my phone and I didn’t even bother to open Photoshop to edit them, ha.)
Anyway, I hosted Thanksgiving for my parents which was nice especially now that we’ve got a real grown-up table, perfectly rustic and charming. Out came Grandma and Granpa’s wedding china, their Wedgewood candlesticks (that you can see are still there because they look so festive), and a big leafy bowl to show off persimmons from Mom’s garden (she said she left the stems on because she knows I like that sort of thing).
Now it’s onto Christmas. I HAD to share this darling old-time kitty that came in a set I bought on Etsy. Isn’t it sweet? I favorited another item from this shop months ago but at the time I thought it was actually vintage, I had no idea there was such a wonderful variety of these newly crafted ornaments until I spotted them on the Design is Mine blog.
Do you have any plans for this weekend? For one thing I am NOT working! I have to say I’m looking forward to catching up on some sewing.Add a Comment
Fox with toothpick.
Shady character, up to no good or innocent (t-shirt-wearing) woodland creature, practising good dental hygiene after Thanksgiving feast?
We’ve come into the season of holidays; Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas and moves inexorably to New Years. For centuries this season has stood for blessings, fellowship, and unity; if not in actuality, at least on the surface.
This time around something has gone off the tracks. Everyone is edgier, ruder, more desperate. One could attribute this holiday syndrome as an ever-increasing out-pouring of the stress felt by countless millions of people who don’t know what the next year will bring economically, politically, or within the family.
The question is: Why has our population become seemingly unequipped to keep themselves under control?
Our forefathers for centuries lived with the knowledge that nothing in this world is certain. Life and their own common sense taught them to plan for those lean times, rely only on necessities, especially when luxuries cost so much more than most could pay. They lived with few clothes for each member of the family.
A father with more than two pairs of pants, one work shirt and one for Sunday, and who could give the same for each of his family, was a wealthy man by the standards of the time.
A mother who didn’t lose at least two children to stillbirth, illness or injury before they were five years old was truly blessed. Children who still had both birth parents to attend their weddings, complete with cake and a bride’s veil, could remember that for the rest of their lives.
If one owned a small cabin or house, with enough land to provide a kitchen garden that would produce enough food to put away for winter stores, wealth was clear. Size of the home didn’t matter. Everyone would have a place to sleep, warm and secure when cold and snow took over the outer territory. The living room/family room/kitchen, etc. occupied one space, all of which might have measured 15×20 feet. A loft was always necessary for sleeping nooks for the children.
When the world industrialized and cities became the working world for many, credit became common for those who always paid their bills on time. The 1929 Depression and subsequent lean years didn’t teach everyone the price of greed. People afterwards merely moved to different avenues for making money.
By the early 21st Century we’ve become barbarians in subtle ways. Take the incidents these past couple of days across the country. People, so absorbed in their passion to buy the latest and greatest for the cheapest price available, have been willing to kill or maim others to get to a desired item first.
Headlines in the news: Woman pepper sprays others, injuring 20 people, to get to a xbox on sale. Shoppers, anxious to get into a store for first pickings, dismantle a door and trample to death a young woman standing ready to open the door at the appointed time. A man is shot in a store’s parking lot during a sale.
Question: Have we become barbarous murderers in the name of possessions? Or, has greed so possessed our people through constant consumerism propaganda that we’re desensitized to our own actions?
Incidents like the above are on the increase, and not just at this season. When will be grow out of this selfish adolescence and back into the adulthooAdd a Comment
Do you have a favorite story about Thanksgiving? Something that happened at the table? Something that happened on that day? Or, do you have a folktale that reminds you of the joy of a grateful heart? One story that I love to tell during this season is the Japanese story, "Roly-Poly Rice Ball". I found this story in Margaret Read McDonald's Twenty Tellable Tales.
The story has a common theme. One woodcutter is rewarded simply because he shared his lunch willingly with someone and was grateful for the gift he received. His neighbor is punished for demanding a similar reward and showing bad grace when he received it.
The greedy are often ungrateful and the ungrateful are likely to be greedy. The grateful, on the other hand, understand how to accept a gift and how to share it.
|My apple pie looked every bit as good as this!|
As always, Thanksgiving, was a time for being grateful for all the wonderful blessings that’ve been presented to us this year and all the years before…to get together with family and friends…followed by a slight feeling of regret that I may have ate a little too much. But nonetheless it was a great weekend. Our turkey?
Rave reviews about our very first turkey! So awesome. Thank goodness for the internet and showing us the perfect way to brine this massive bird. It was deeeelicious, we’ll definitely be sticking with this recipe for the future. Even my niece Chloe grabbed a second helping and her mom said she didn’t like turkey. As of yesterday, we are officially out of leftovers. YAY!
Hope everyone had a great start to the holidays as well!
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After all the lovely, salty, Thanksgiving feasting and the ensuing, weeklong grazing of leftovers, I now look in the mirror and I see a blowfish.
It’s time to deflate with some nice, healthy salad, methinks.
The fact that this week’s Illustration Friday theme is “round” is no coincidence, is it?
By Louisa May Alcott (Author), Jody Wheeler (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Ideals Children’s Books (2010)
What to expect: Thanksgiving, Fall, Family, Tradition
Although Transcendentalist author Louisa May Alcott is primarily known as the creator of Jo March, the determined heroine in her classic novel Little Women, she penned over thirty books in her lifetime. Her short story An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving is a heartwarming selection for the holiday season. When the good-natured Barrett family are beginning to make preparations for their Thanksgiving celebration, Mrs. Barrett is called away suddenly to attend to her ailing mother. She puts her eldest daughter Tilly in charge of cooking the feast in her absence. Tilly undertakes this colossal challenge with confidence and the help of her siblings, but fails to pay attention when stuffing the turkey with catnip and neglects to add sugar and salt to the plum pudding. As her little sister Prue is prettily setting the table, her brothers discover a bear coming toward the house. Wielding axes and rifles out the door, the boys are shocked to find Tilly’s sweetheart in disguise. Disaster averted, Mrs. Barrett returns with cousins and aunts and uncles in tow and the happy news that their Grandma is well. The entire family savors the delicious dinner, despite its few shortcomings, and praise Tilly and her siblings for pulling off a Thanksgiving they will always remember. The Barrett family has much to be thankful for- their family and friends, good health, and love and laughter. Old-fashioned or not, you’ll enjoy reading this delightful tale with your family.
Add this book to your collection: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
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Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies,What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters; Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond; Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love; and The May Queen: Women on Life, Work, and Pulling it all Together in your Thirties. Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Redbook, Add a Comment
Some would argue my life has been moving in fast-forward lately, so this whole rush-rush to the Christmas season is just normal. Right? Wrong.
Okay, yeah, the past month has been lived in chaos. First, there was Halloween, and what a glorious spook-fest it was. Then, a whole week passed that I don’t remember because I was too busy thinking about my wedding. Then, the week of November 7th, my whole family descended on Phoenix. I got married November 12th. Jake and I had a mini-honeymoon in Flagstaff for four days, post-wedding. We got back last Friday, and people were talking about Thanksgiving, which made me wonder, “Why are people talking about Thanksgiving already?” Oh, right, because Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
The sudden arrival of Turkey Day is not what distresses me most. I am most distressed by the pre-Thanksgiving arrival of CHRISTMAS! In the middle of November, Christmas music was already playing on the radio. I won’t name the store (it rhymes with Blood-Bath and Beyond), but they had their Christmas decorations up when I went to buy an Autumn Leaves Yankee Candle—in autumn. There are horrendous marketing campaigns already on TV, filled with glowing trees, snow, and people in scarves. I have to mute them, because I don’t understand why we’re skipping Thanksgiving.
You can blame it on the bad economy. Marketers think the sooner they get their ads up, the sooner their sales will soar. They don’t realize there are people like me out there who refuse to buy certain products simply because the commercials bug me—which is why I can’t buy Charmin toilet paper. I hate those commercials with the baby bear covered in left-over poopy-paper on his butt. No. So dear marketers, here’s a note: you’re making me feel very un-Christmassy with all your stupid ads in November!
Thanksgiving is an amazing day. It is a day we are expected to fill with eating, beer, and football. That’s all! What a great day! We’re supposed to think about all we’re thankful for—and as Americans, we have a crap-ton to be thankful for. It’s a day to relax with family before the Christmas hubbub threatens our calm. And yet, the world is trying to run it over.
Now, maybe this happens every year. Maybe the Christmas madness always begins in late October … Wait, NO! NO! It can’t possibly always begin this early! If it has, how did I never notice it before?
Not only does this concern me because of my love for Thanksgiving. It concerns me because Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, and Christmas peace and joy will NOT subdue my horror movies and haunted houses! If we’re not careful, we’ll be celebrating Christmas all year, and we’ll all go broke, and our faces will hurt from being cheerful all the time, and Santa will lose a ton of weight because of all the stress, until he finally retires from extreme exhaustion and then, there will be no Christmas at all! Because of YOU, marketers, retail stores, and radio stations!
This is a call to action. I demand you live in the moment tomorrow. I demand you acknowledge the insane awesomeness that is Thanksgiving, because it is not a holiday to be missed—even if Christmas is trying to elbow its way in. It is a day to be thankful, so enjoy it. Give lots of hugs. Overeat and drink. And be sure to root for the DeDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Check out all the stops on the first half of my tour. I have learned so much about myself and my characters just by answering the thoughtful questions. Thanks to everyone who has commented and to the tour guides who have been very insightful in their reviews and posts!
I sez it’s children’s literature related and I sez the heck with it. The Thanksgiving connection is, admittedly, a bit of a stretch. Many many thanks to BoingBoing for the link.
I hope you are all having a delightful Thanksgiving. I know that with my new baby and newer job I’m awfully thankful for a whole mess of things.
Now if you’d like another link, enjoy the antics happening under the hashtag #LiteraryTurducken. As the publisher Doubleday describes it, “The #LiteraryTurducken combines not one, not two, but three classic works into one, in the spirit of the turkey+duck+chicken creole classic.” Favorites that I spotted briefly while looking at it included “The Lion, The Witch, and the War & Peace Like a River”, “Anne of Green Eggs & Ham on Rye”, and naturally, “Into Where the Wild Things Fall Apart.” Fun for all. Big thanks to T.S. Ferguson for the link!
*Is anyone else hearing Bart’s line after he says, “It’ll be like Swiss Family Robinson but with swearing!”?Add a Comment
by Ernest Hogan
This will be going up on Thanksgiving Day. Have a happy one, everybody! And be thankful. Even in hard times, we all have reasons to be thankful.
I’m lucky to be publishing Latino writer. It hasn’t made me rich or famous, but I’ve been published, people have read my work, and some even said they liked it. A lot of people never get published. For all you struggling Latino writers out there, I recommend talking advantage of former Simon & Shuster editor Marcela Landres’ offer to answer your questions here at La Bloga. I’m hoping it stirs up some lively discourse.
According the sacred Aztec calendar, we are in the middle of the festival of Panquetzalitzi, the “Lifting of the Banners” when paper banners were hung on houses and in fruit trees in honor of Tezcatlipoca, the trickster/warrior god, and Huitzilopotchtli, the Méxica tribal war god. Prisoners of war and “bathed slaves” were sacrificed. There was also a sacred procession from the Great Pyramid to Tlatelolco, Chapultepec, and Coyoacán, then back to the sacred precinct at Tenochitlán.
And all we have to do is eat turkey.
What savory foods are you preparing for Thanksgiving? Any recipes made with pumpkin? Pumpkin pie is a perennial favorite at our fall gatherings, but this year we're also experimenting with something new -- pumpkin soup!
Why pumpkin soup you ask? We just finished reading and listening to a cute story all about pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin Soup - Book & CD set by Helen Cooper, read by Kathleen McInerney. Macmillan Young Listeners (August 2009); ISBN 9781427207401; 32 pages; paperback and CD
Book source: Review copy received from publisher
Is there such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen? Duck, Cat and Squirrel enjoy making pumpkin soup together. Each animal has his own specific task -- Cat slices the pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in water and Duck adds the salt. Happy with this set-up, they cook up delicious batches of pumpkin soup. But one day Duck decides to take a turn at stirring the soup and ends up stirring up a mess of trouble instead. Luckily friendship reigns and the trio eventually sort things out. Soup makes everything better, especially when prepared together with thoughtful, sharing friends!
Cooper's Pumpkin Soup won the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal in 1998. The illustrations of the animal friends and surrounding woods are top-notch and completely adorable. Cooper doesn't scrimp on the details. Readers who look closely are awarded with little treats like pumpkins on the china, a pair of tiny bugs that watch the story unfold and other interesting carvings on the furniture. It's worth a re-read just to have a chance to stare that the pictures! The book is the first in a trilogy, preceding A Pipkin of Pepper and Delicious!
Pumpkin Soup is a book that's a lot of fun to read-aloud. The liveliness, drama and pacing of the text also makes it the perfect choice for the audiobook format. Kathleen McInerney skillfully uses her voice to play up the dialog between the friends and bring life to the characters. She even makes slurping noises! Early on in the book, readers learn that the animals like to perform music and the audiobook background tunes add to the musical flavor already alluded to in the book. We did notice a few differences between the written and spoken text (trudged is trotted in the book and the narrator substituted the word pleased for happy), but the changes didn't detract from the listening experience. Also, for those with beginning readers should be awar
Thanksgiving has to be one of First Book’s favorite holidays; we love the food (who doesn’t like pumpkin pie?) and we love spending time with our friends and family even more. This is also the time of year when we get a chance to reflect on all the things we are grateful for. We are quite the lucky bunch – there is so much to be thankful for this year. Thanks to support of our donors, partners and volunteers, we have distributed 8 MILLION BOOKS to kids in need throughout the U.S. and Canada this year!
Without the dedication of our supporters, we would not be able to do the work that we do. So, THANK YOU for your commitment to helping us fight illiteracy. We hope you have a spectacular holiday full of lots of delicious food, fun and family.
What are you most thankful for?Add a Comment
OUP’s Online Marketing Manager Stephanie Porter reflects on the beers to accompany her Thanksgiving meal.
Thanksgiving is all about tradition, and if you are like my family, your dinner will probably be served with wine. But having recently spent some time with The Oxford Companion to Beer and its Editor-in-Chief Garrett Oliver, I am thinking about adding a little twist to the end of the meal.
“Dessert, often thought of as the province of sweet wine, is actually usually better with beer. The maxim in wine—that the wine must be at least as sweet as the dessert—does not hold force with beer. In fact, it is the relief of sweetness from the palate that is the key to success. After a few forkfuls, the palate is overwhelmed by the sugar in most desserts. That is one reason why coffee often seems so pleasant with dessert; it is not nearly as sweet as the dessert.”
So after the turkey has been carved, eaten, and relocated to the fridge for tomorrow’s sandwiches, I will be breaking out a few choice beers to serve alongside my cousin’s famous French silk pie. Here are a few easy suggestions for incorporating a delicious brew into your Thanksgiving dinner. According to The New Republic reviewer Alexander Nazaryan, it might be almost as American as apple pie.
Not to suggest that you have to forgo the coffee altogether, but my mouth starts to water just thinking about this pairing.
“Bigger beers with some caramel or roasted character tend to do best. With a chocolate tart, for example, we can pair a coffeeish, chocolaty imperial stout. In this pairing, we have both contrast and harmony—the
roasted malts match the chocolate, whereas the beer cleanses the palate of sweetness; the dessert can come back tasting fresh.”
I would aim for something with rich flavor, but that isn’t too heavy. I might go for two of my all-time favorite beers, Full Sail Session Black or Köstritzer Schwarzbier. But any of the beers listed in this link—Great Brewer’s Beers with a coffee flare—(or in your grocer’s isle) could have a similarly great effect.
As full as I am after a big meal, it just wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving without a little something sweet to finish it all off. And since pumpkin ale is an American original, it seems even more fitting.
“As a general rule, pumpkin ale has an orange to amber color, a biscuit-like malt aroma, and a warming pumpkin aroma. Modern pumpkin ales are almost always made with “pumpkin pie spices,” which usually include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and sometimes vanilla and ginger. The finish tends to be dry because of many fermentable sugars derived from the pumpkin.”
Pumpkin ale has seems like it has secured its place in bars and bottles across the country, so you should have no trouble picking up this new classic. I love the light flavor of Brooklyn’ Brewery’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale, but as this would be in lieu of pumpkin pie, I might go for something with even more pie-like goodness like Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. Check out Draft Magazine’s Pumpkin picks, too.
This pairing is all about pleasant contrast. Concurrent with the flavor of the wood itself may be the flavor of whatever beverage the barrel hAdd a Comment
Ten years ago today, my mother and I had the good fortune to hear a special song, performed a capella at the Thanksgiving dinner table by our dear friend Anne Runolfsson. That song was John Bucchino’s “Grateful,” and we were so moved by it that we ended up collaborating with John, and the gifted artist Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen, to turn it into a picture book.
That song continues to bless our lives, especially at this time of year, and always invites me to “remember how I’m blessed.”
I have so very much to be grateful for, but here’s just a partial list… heartfelt, albeit not nearly as poetically expressed as John’s lyrics:
Happy Thanksgiving!Add a Comment
Watch your pets this Thanksgiving!
I’m just posting the rest of the illustrations for the spread I did for this month’s Highlights magazine. Enjoy the day, whatever you do and where ever it finds you. : )
(Copyright Highlights magazine, 2011)Add a Comment
Today is a day which is marked by remembering all we have for which we are thankful. Sometimes this can be difficult, particularly when many of us are increasingly being forced to tighten our belts.
Yesterday I used a traditional Jewish folktale as part of our Thanksgiving storytime. This story, commonly called “Joseph the Tailor,” has been retold in picture book format by a variety of authors. Each story retains the same basic plot outline. A beloved article of clothing is worn and worn and worn… until it’s all worn out. Sadly, it seems like the item must be thrown out, but then the tailor realizes that with just a bit of sewing, a new, beautiful item can be created. Coat… jacket…. vest… tie… cap… button… and finally, the tailor realizes that there’s just enough good material left to make a story.
Changing the story a bit, Phoebe Gilman presents Something from Nothing, the story of a loving grandfather who makes a blanket for his grandchild. As it becomes tattered, he uses his talent as a tailor to transform it into a different useful object.
Wonderful as these picturebooks are, the rhythm and the repetition of the folktale make it a perfect story to tell rather than read.
Yesterday at storytime, I booktalked different picture book versions of this folktale, and then, thanks to the incredible artistic talents of one of our Children’s Services’ staff – I’m talking about you Mr. Eric Tarr! – I shared the story as a “fold-and-tell.” With pictures printed on both sides of a large (11 X 17) piece of paper, I could tell the story and fold it to show the progression of key elements.
Coat… Jacket… Vest… Cap… Tie… Button… Story!
This story is a sure-fire winner with kids. It also leads into great discussions of recycling, aDisplay Comments Add a Comment