Thanksgiving Hangover

What with all the preparing and enjoying, and visiting, and cleaning, I have a Thanksgiving hangover. But I wanted to post today, so I looked at the daily prompt. Don’t you know it was a word with which I was not familiar? When I began to research it, I found this most excellent essay that not only explained the word but also riffs on its meaning and surrounding philosophy.

Here’s a hint to get you started:

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Threshold

So, now I just want you to travel on over to http://www.liminality.org/about/whatisliminality/ and learn a little something for a change. 🙂

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Etsy

I have been working on my Etsy store for years. By that, I mean I have had great intentions for years, that I have crept up to the finish line frequently, that I have almost but not quite gotten it open for business. So, in the last few weeks, I have made getting my pictures uploaded, downloaded, and in place for my grand opening, a priority.

Everything was going along swimmingly until, out of the blue, my photographs were not being imported and exported correctly. I was horrified but plowed through until the whole photography side of the process went kaput!

I began to think that possibly I was getting a signal from the universe that having a shop was not in my cards.

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But, just when I thought all was lost, when I thought I had read every manual I could, when I had scanned Google from aperture to “zip file,” something happened and opened a portal I could walk through, and the problem was solved!

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This is what Ben Huberman calls “the struggle to close the gap between an idea and its realization.” And because I decided to “push through” instead of giving up, I will have my Kinship Gardens Etsy store, and I will succeed in realizing a dream I have had for, as I said, a few years.trophy-1392993_960_720

No, I may not have a “first place store” but I bet I have a store that does well because I’ve decided to be a push-through Patty, not a give-up Grace!

Mythical

When my kids were little, they loved books. I knew how important it was to read to young children, and since I had just graduated with a master’s in education, I was a little obsessed with making sure my two sons were read to often. Fortunately, they both seemed to love our times together reading and were reading to themselves pretty quickly.

It was a teacher’s dream come true. I had two avid readers on my hands, and, of course, I was delighted. In fact, keeping their library stocked meant many trips to the library and skulking around bookstores frequently.

One of their favorite books, by the time they reached about seven and nine, was D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. I can see that bright yellow cover in my mind’s eye whenever I think back on our times together reading about Zeus, Hermes, Athena, and the rest.

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The reason for highlighting this book, over all the significant other children’s books, is that I believe getting involved with the myths of other cultures has an effect on a person’s literary savvy for the rest of his or her life. And the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) agrees.

On its website, Edsitement.neh.gov, the NEH explains that Greek mythology is exciting and filled with myriad stories of love, war, magic, monsters, and much, much more. For the reluctant reader, mythology can be a gateway to convincing young ones how fabulous reading can be. But, most importantly, mythology has inspired writers, artists, musicians, and sculptors over the centuries. Knowing the myths leads to a greater understanding of literature and the arts.

Thomas Bulfinch, who wrote Bulfinch’s Mythology, said:

Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegant literature of our own language cannot be understood and appreciated.

So, Bulfinch, the NEH, and I think that this book is a must-have for kids. I have no association with the sale of this book, but I wish I did because thousands of copies have been sold since its publication sometime in the 30s.

Christmas is coming. I humbly suggest that this would be a lovely and advantageous gift for any of the children on your gift-giving list. Ho, ho, ho!

Percolate

Oh, my goodness, another word I love! I can see my mom getting the coffee percolator filled with water, putting the ground beans in the sieve-like container, and pushing the container onto the metal rod that held it upright. Ours looked almost exactly like this one.5201119_rdpercolater

It was the small glass component on the top that fascinated me as a child. The coffee rose and fell, and was visible within the glass ball on top as it brewed.

There was never any question that it would be perking away when I walked into the kitchen, dressed for my first-grade class. The smell was hypnotic and its dependable presence made me feel safe somehow.

My mom had a habit that I have not noticed anyone else possessing. She liked to dip her toast into her morning “cuppa Joe” and would sometimes let me have a taste of her coffee-soaked bread. The flavor I remember, as I remember it, has a strong association with feeling loved.

The cups mom used were thick and sturdy, not quite white in color but not beige. They looked like this:

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She put one teaspoon of sugar in her coffee and a dab of cream – real cream. In the winter, when the milkman left his delivery  on the back porch, the bottle would freeze from time-to-time and the portion that rose out of the frozen bottle was cream, I believe.

For most of my life, I did not drink coffee very often. But now, having coffee in the mornings with my husband is one of the happiest and most peaceful times of the day. It’s during these pleasant morning rituals that I remember my mother most.

In the Style of…

It was suggested today by Michelle W. that it might be fun to write a post in the style of someone else. She wrote:

This week, publish a post in the style of a writer or artist you admire, or in the style of another genre. You don’t have to write about politics or current events to give this a try — you could just as easily:

  • Take a photo of your local playground in the style of Ansel Adams.

  • Write about what you did over the weekend as though it were science fiction.

  • Share a favorite childhood memory, written as though it were dialogue in a play.

  • Publish a recipe as a poem in the style of e.e. cummings (or plate the finished dish in the style of Picasso!).

Publish on any topic you’d like, but with a new lens — who knows what you might reveal?

This idea resonated with me, and I have decided to write a description of Donald Trump in the style of Miss Eudora Welty, one of the many renowned writers from my state. So, here goes.

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Miss Eudora Welty

Miss Beckham came over this morning to have coffee. I do love it when she comes because, as everyone in Jackson knows, she did spend a number of years studying at Blue Mountain School for Young Girls, and she does turn a word so well. No matter what Margaret Fender says, I say Miss Beckham is absolutely worldly.

But don’t you know that when Miss Beckham arrived, she wanted to discuss politics, of all things. I was hoping that we could settle all that business about Walter Barksdale’s funeral supper, but, no, she had to talk about this gentleman from New York City.

“Have you seen him, Mertie? Have you seen him on TV?”

“No, ma’am, I have not for I do not watch such things.”

“But, Mertie, he is going to be the President of the United States!”

“Well, I have heard that he speaks in a vulgar manner, and I have read in the Clarion-Ledger that he has treated ladies in ways which I cannot even repeat to you.”

“Why, Mertie, I do believe you are speaking ill of our president-elect.”

“I am not! But I do wish that nice young man from Texas, an outstanding member of the Bush family, had won. He seemed so even-tempered. And his mother is not only charming but quite intelligent, as well. Can’t we just talk about something else?  I’m no good at politics, and I did make some yeast rolls for breakfast. Please join me for coffee and rolls, won’t you?”

“Oh, Mertie, you are so provincial!”

“Thank you, Miss Beckham.”

 

Lemons

This week, my son-in-law brought me a large bowl full of lemons. Now, I live in Mississippi , and I have never seen a fruit-bearing lemon tree in this state, so to say I was surprised when he brought me this lovely citrus from a tree near his house would be a huge understatement. I was delighted and began to fish for recipes I could make and freeze for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My Lovely Lemons page on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/gebbysmith123/lovely-lemons/) is filled with lemon delights, so I found myself drooling over many choices that would be perfect for holiday yummies.

Chocolate is my favorite, but there are times when nothing will do but something lemony. So please allow me to share with you three of the sweet concoctions I chose for using my serendipitous lagniappe.

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The first is from  http://fattaincassa.blogspot.com/2014/04/white-chocolate-lemon-truffles.html# and is easy, delicious, and decadent. Lemon truffles fit right into my plan because they are easy to make and can be frozen for future use. Really this is one of the best-bang-for-the-buck recipes I have come upon in quite awhile.

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So I’m scrolling down my Pinterest page and I see that I was smart enough to have pinned this fabulous recipe published by Rose Thomas of The Londoner (http://www.thelondoner.me/2013/06/lemon-drizzle-cake-sorry-starbucks.html). Am I the only one who cannot get enough of Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake? I didn’t think so. Rose says this version is BETTER than Starbucks. It can also stand up to being in the freezer for a short time.Oh, my goodness!

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And what would a lemon orgy be without the ever-popular lemon bar? For this delicious holiday selection, I chose these easy, peasy lemon squeezy lemon bars from Oh My Sprinkles! (http://ohmysprinkles.com/easy-cake-mix-lemon-bars-recipe/) Inspired by Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake, these bars look absolutely scrumptious.

Hope you like my choices. Let me know if you have a favorite lemon holiday recipe!

Acts of Altruism V

This day is the time to consider how we can support and assist the brave men and women who serve or have served in all branches of the military. Coming from a Coast Guard family myself, I know the lengths to which these strong individuals freely sacrifice their time with their families, endure their frequent upheavals, and, yes, even face the possibility of losing their lives.

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Finally, it has been recognized that not all injuries from serving in wartime are physical Doctors now understand that the harshness and constant danger faced day in and day out when in battle can leave scars not only on the body but on the heart and mind, as well.

An organization that seems to be making heroic efforts to help soldiers heal after their tours of duty is the Wounded Warrier Project, which works to offer programs that meet the soldiers’, and their famiies’, needs at each point along their healing spectrum.

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The charity provides free programs and services that are centered on the mental, physical, and financial well-being of veterans, families, and caregivers of this generation of veterans who have been injured while on duty.

If a soldier has been injured on or after September 11, 2001, he or she is invited to join the WWP Alumni program which includes a variety of benefits. Family members who are thrust into the position of becoming caregivers and full-time supporters of their loved-ones are eligible for the program’s benefits, also.

The project’s offerings include such aids as:

  • outdoor rehabilitative retreats
  • professional psychological services
  • physical rehabilitation
  • employment services
  • support in acquiring government benefits
  • peer mentoring
  • local and national advocacy

Donations can be made by visiting https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs

Thank you to all veterans and those on active duty.Flag and soldiers.

https://www.babble.com/mom/15-powerful-quotes-of-war-in-honor-of-memorial-day/

Old Words

Primp is a word that isn’t heard very often these days. I remember the word being spoken many times growing up. Folks would say, “She’s always in her room primping.” or “I think she went to primp before her boyfriend comes over.” But now primping is called contouring, or having a spa day, or getting a seaweed scrub.

Thinking about this word reminded me of many old-fashioned words that are not heard anymore, but will catapult those of a certain age back to their younger days. One of those words, for me, is chifferobe. When I was five-years-old in Dundalk, Maryland, my mom announced one day after school that we were going to get a chifferobe. I wasn’t sure what that was, but I loved it when it was brought into our house. It looked a bit like this one:

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and I thought we were very grand to have such a beautiful piece of furniture.

Another word I remember, that is hardly ever used today, is davenport. That’s what Mom called our sofa, and a much better name it was, as far as I was concerned.

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My grandmother did not refer to her purse as a purse or a handbag. No, she called her purse her “pocketbook.” And since one of the first brands of refrigerators were manufactured by a company by the name of Frigidaire, that’s what everyone called their refrigerator, a Frigidaire.

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So, people would say, “Would you put this co-cola in the Frigidaire, please?” Oh, and the co-cola could be any brand of soda, such as Pepsi, 7-Up, or root beer, and it still would be referred to as a co-cola, or Coke, as we now say.

One last faded word I have to get off my mind is crinoline. In the second-grade, we would spend time on the playground counting how many layers of crinoline we had on under our circle skirts. Sometimes the crinoline pettiskirts (another antiquated word) were white, but there were also colored crinoline slips. We thought this look was fabulous.

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Here’s hoping I can play some small part in encouraging an old word trend.:)

 

Five Photos – Five Captions

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Most Americans have voted by now, 6:15 CST, Nov. 8, 2016. When I left my polling location I was almost in tears.

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Although there was an autumnal celebration in Plymouth in November of 1621, it was Abraham Lincoln who called for a day of  “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” during the Civil War. He made the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day and hopefully, this year American families and friends can come together for a peaceful , warm, and happy gathering. No talking about politics !

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Black Friday, when sales and price reductions lure consumers to big box stores, malls, and shopping centers, has become an American ritual. But USA Today reports that Black Friday may be close to extinction due to the rising number of internet shoppers. Some stores are opting to not even open on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Could it be possible that the traditional frenzied spree to purchase the popular stuff that may sell out before Christmas Day will cease? I’m thinking not anytime soon. Still, wherever you shop, no talking about politics!

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Then the Christmas carols begin. Make no mistake, I adore Christmas music. When the carols are wafting through stores, restaurants, and our homes, I am a total fan. However, about one-and-a-half weeks after they begin to be played, I start to get a little agitated. By two weeks in, I am almost oblivious, and by the time Christmas Day rolls around, I’m hoping all speakers in all locations in my town will have their electrical cords clipped. Ubiquity is killing our collective holiday musical vibe. No singing about politics, either!

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Then, in the blink of an eye, we will be celebrating  Christmas Day. After the grand feast has been devoured, the presents have been opened, Tiny Tim has asked God to “bless us every one,” and Uncle Jim has gotten royally sozzled, we will be only days away from 2017. Here’s what T. S. Eliot said about new years:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

Allow me to explain what he was trying to say. Eliot meant that we should never talk about politics again.

 

 

 

Irksome

It’s irksome to me when a guy with orange skin makes it hard to feel safe and secure.

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And it’s irksome to me when a gal who could be, should have definitely done a bit more.

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Also, I’m angry we can’t get along when it comes to the ole USA.

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In fact, it’s so irksome it’s making me feel that I really have nothing to say!

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But we’ve made it before, and we’ll make it again. We’re the Pilgrims, the pioneers, Man.

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We just have to remember that we are all joined, and together we always will stand!

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Don’t forget to VOTE!