Scene: Thanksgiving Day. T minus 30 minutes.

The bronzed bird is resting on the counter, but you need the drippings to make the gravy.

The potatoes are boiling furiously, and you are waiting to drain some of that starchy cooking water into the pot for the gravy. (A tip you found long ago). The mashing tools are ready and waiting.

You have just rolled out the crescent rolls, which need a short time and little oven space. Good thing those candied sweet potatoes and extra casserole of stuffing are about finished.

The fresh cut green beans have been steamed, and are now in a skillet with butter and sliced almonds on the back burner.

You found out how delicious those fresh cranberries can be, and you made them the night before, while the second batch of pumpkin pies was baking. The first batch was set aside, since you forgot to add sugar to the pumpkin.

The table has been set with the “good dishes” since early in the day, so the counter tops are busy. With fresh cut flowers and candles, you are sure no one will notice that you didn’t iron that table cloth.

The guests have all arrived, the kids are dressed and ready.

The husband is collecting coats, tending to the cooler of beer and wine on the back porch that the uncles brought to the party.

You are trying to smile, and listen in on some of the family conversations going on all around you.

You’ve got this. You are a holiday hostess in full control.

Norman Rockwell. 1943

Then you look down and realize, you are still in your cooking clothes…mostly pajamas.

If I had it to do all over again, I would.

And more often.

Happy Thanksgiving !






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Ten days before Thanksgiving, we took our kids to a local turkey farm.

As we approached the fence, they rushed over to us, crying out in unison, a collective gobble, timed about every 10 seconds.

It is said that the turkey is one of the least intelligent animals. On a rainy day, if they look up to the sky, they will drown.

But I’m not so sure. It seemed like they were calling to us with a purpose, and maybe in search of an escape plan.

A few weeks later, we would be hosting our first extended family Thanksgiving since returning to the east coast, with a cast of (what seemed like) hundreds.

The turkey at the center of the feast did not come from this particular Maryland farm.

But that’s a story for another day.


Note: Just 3 years after this photo, Schramm Turkey Farm, Pasadena, Md. sold the property to Koch Developers who built 70 homes on the grounds that housed 10,000 turkeys each year.

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Wookin’ Pa Nub

With internet access, it is easy to verify song lyrics. It might just be taking away the mystery, and a bit of fun.

When artists created their LP (Long Playing) record albums in the past, they would often include printed lyrics on the inside cover. But many did not.

It led to some very colorful misinterpretations,  Misheard Lyrics.

Bad Moon Rising” .

Don’t go around tonight, well it’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon on the rise.

Don’t come around tonight. It’s bound to take all night. There’s a bathroom on the right.


And all of those tourists covered with oil.

All of those tunas covered with oil.

“Blinded by the Light”

And she was blinded by the light. Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.

And she was blinded by the light. Wrapped up like a douche, you know, to run her in the night.

“Stairway to Heaven”

If there’s a bustle in the hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now.

If there are busses in your hedgerow, just call your lawnman.

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

He’s just a poor boy from a poor family. Spare him his life from his monstrosity.

He just a poor boy from a poor family, sparing his life for his four sausages.

“Rock the Casbah”

Sharif don’t like it. Rock the Casbah! Rock the Casbah!

And he don’t like it. Rock the cash bar, rock the cash bar.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit”

A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido.

A mulatto, a big wino, a mosquito and a beetle.

“Lady Marmalade”

Creole Lady Marmalade.

Frito-Lay and marmalade.

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

A girl with colitis goes by.

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”

Keep on with the force, don’t stop ’til you get enough.

Come on with the coleslaw, don’t stop ’till you get enough.

“Big Yellow Taxi”

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

Donut holes, they seem to go, but you don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone. You pay paradise, put up a parkin’ lot.


And from a classic SNL sketch, Buckwheat Sings.

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Chicken and Egg

Chick-Fil-A is taking on the role of Sam-I-Am. They want us to believe that it is okay to eat chicken and eggs for breakfast.


When they opened a new store in the area near my work, they brought us samples of their chicken biscuit breakfast sandwich. I’d never considered eating fried chicken for breakfast, but it tasted pretty good.

Then they went and added the egg. And I gasped.

How can you eat the entire life cycle of an animal in one product ?

There is a reason why you will never see a “chicken omelet” on a diner menu.

Ham, bacon, vegetables of all sort, seafood, dried beef or sausage gravy all seem to blend well with eggs and have been enjoyed forever.

But chicken ? That’s where I draw the line. It just seems like culinary sacrilege.

They are airing a new commercial that features the famous Chick-Fil-A cow doing rooster impressions on the front lawn.

Very cute, even clever.

But I still won’t eat the featured breakfast, a bowl of scrambled egg, hashbrowns and fried chicken nuggets.

Is this just so wrong ???

“I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere!”

With much respect and love for Theodor Seuss Geisel and his 1960 “Green Eggs and Ham”, which has sold over 8 million copies.

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One Minute

“In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.”  Vincent VanGogh


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Toys “Were” Us

Cabbage Patch Doll. 1983.

Teddy Ruxpin. 1995.

Tickle Me Elmo. 1996.

Furby. 1998.

Pokemon. 1999.

Nintendo, XBox, Playstation. Forever.

These are just a few of the toys that made us lose our mind.

Marketing strategies stirred up popularity, kids begged for their favorites from Santa. Manufacturing shortages led to holiday shopping riots.

It brought out the “ugly” in parents on a global basis.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is reduced to tears, caught up in the Christmas Eve frenzied search for a fictional hot toy in the 1996 film “Jingle All the Way.”

This past September, retail giant Toys “R” Us  announced that it had filed for bankruptcy. Weeks later, it issued its Christmas wish catalog, saying the brick and mortar stores will be open for holiday shopping.

It seems like the writing was on the wall when they announced the closure of their flagship store in Times Square at the end of the 2015 holiday season.

NYC. Times Square 2015

The mammoth store, that featured a working Ferris wheel, a life-size Barbie house, and a 10 ft. animatronic T- Rex, closed just months after F.A.O. Schwarz, the palace of unique, traditional toys featured in Tom Hanks’ movie “Big.”

It seems like toy stores are going the way of the mall in 2017 America.

And that’s too bad. Or is it ?

Parents won’t be lined up at midnight on a cold Black Friday night to get this year’s hottest toy, electronic baby monkeys called Fingerlings.

They’ll be stationed at their computer, waiting to connect to Amazon.

And if you find yourself in the city that never sleeps, you can shop from 8 am to 2 am at the Gap/Old Navy store that just opened in that choice location on Times Square.

October 2017.



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I had a Halloween encounter today.

With a raven.

Photo. Julian Robinson.

A pair of these huge beauties have been hanging around my neighborhood all summer.

I thought they were crows.

Until today.

Crows have a different shaped tail, and travel in larger groups.

Getting ready for the time change this weekend, I’ve moved the morning dog walk back to about 10 a.m.

It is really quiet here at that hour. No morning commuters or school buses, too early for the lunch break at the local convenience store.


This guy caught our attention with a deep- throated whistle as he perched on a fence post. We stopped, exchanged a glance, moved on.

As we rounded the block, he showed up again, this time on a front lawn, making a very different guttural sound, seemingly aimed at us.

Just then, a black hearse came up the street. No real surprise, since there is a funeral director who lives nearby.

And then, a pickup truck, towing a black sedan. The raven flew over, flapping his huge wings, joining his partner on a nearby rooftop.

Curious and curiouser.

Happy Halloween.


Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!

quit the bust above my door!

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Edgar Allen Poe. 1845

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