Tag Archive for Holidays

Mardi Gras 2015

I never fully claimed Louisiana or Baton Rouge as my home, and I never participated in the full spectrum of Baton Rouge Mardi Gras events. These past two weeks I’ve been homesick, missing the festival spirit that consumes the entire state, even the most reclusive among my friends. You’d think the weeks and weeks of Mardi Gras spirit – preparations,…

Gratitudes

New Year, New Beginning

Keeping track of gratitudes helps keep me positive and appreciative. The only rule is people can't be on the list because there are too many to name. Focusing on the small things keeps me mindful. Here's my gratitudes for today.

New Year’s holiday gratitudes:

1. Deer outside.

2. Trees heavy with snow so they look like shaggy dogs.

3. A white Christmas.

4. Netflix, binge-watching television, Lillyhammer.

5. Staycations.

6. Cuddling, cuddling, cuddling.

7. Cuban bean soup.

8. Cargo space in SUVs. Thank goodness.

9. Meyer’s soap.

10. Cheap snow boots that still do the trick.

 

Gratitudes

Giving Thanks

Keeping track of gratitudes helps keep me positive and appreciative. The only rule is people can't be on the list because there are too many to name. Focusing on the small things keeps me mindful. Here's my gratitudes for today.

People.

The people who helped me get to the Northwoods of Wisconsin this year – people who wrote letters of recommendation, proofread job application packets, and held my hand; committee members and HR staff who held a job search; family, friends, and my partner who packed and moved me here; my cats who didn’t run away. This is where I need to be and I’m grateful I got here.

The realtors, bankers, and inspectors of Rhinelander who got me into a home in time for Thanksgiving.

The Louisiana students who have told me this summer and fall semester that they miss me, starting from the ones I had in 1999 to the ones I had in 2014; they remind me why higher education is a great job.

Bounty.

Insurance to cover replacing a car I wrecked, a roof damaged by hail, and hail damage on a new car. I was expensive to carry this year.

The abundance of windows in my new house that lets the light in from all directions and the happiness that the cats derive from this experience.

The Fiat Pop is a wee beastie of a machine.

The bounty of Hodags in Rhinelander; what a joy, that.

Heart.

There’s so much love in my life, and I’m sorry I was too busy and stupid to cherish it last year.

There’s a new chapter of life, filled with trees, renewed purpose, 401k’s, and zombie apocalypse supplies. It’s all good.

HandTurkey

Foiling and Basting a Turkey

Why do you add flour to the oven bag when you bag baste a turkey? According to Reynolds Kitchens: to blend the fat and juices and to protect against bursting. That did not explain enough. Crowd-sourced answers say that it keeps the bag from sticking to the bird. Still not enough. Also, doesn’t make a lick of sense. Dr. Greg…

Scare Cam

Scare cam proves what everyone’s saying about us – we are all turning into a bunch of narcissistic sociopaths. Our ability to empathize is eroding daily. Most folks attribute this to desensitization from new media technology, but the blame is elsewhere. “Point and shoot” scare cams emphasize that the thing pointing doesn’t kill people, people kill people. Scare cams are…

homemade lip gloss

Homemade Presents

A couple of Christmases ago I decided to skip shopping, save money on presents, and make things instead. Plus, rejecting commercialized Christmas is always good. Homemade presents are more meaningful and contribute less to landfills and capitalists’ pockets. Ironically, I ended up spending lots of money; buying presents would have been cheaper. The supplies came from hobby shops with right-wing…

Gratitudes

Gratitudes: Father’s Day

Keeping track of gratitudes helps keep me positive and appreciative. The only rule is people can't be on the list because there are too many to name. Focusing on the small things keeps me mindful. Here's my gratitudes for today.

My gratitudes for daddy:

1. He was a supreme raconteur; I owe every story to him.

2. Whoever thought to put pears and cheese together? Whatever odd pairings in life, I got from him.

3. The persistent belief that cats know what you’re thinking despite your best efforts otherwise.

Father’s Day 2013

My father spent time in federal prison for seeking to overthrow the United States government pursuant to the Taft Hartley Act. In 1952, it was against the law in this country to be an officer in a labor union and affiliate with the Communist Party in any way. At the age of 28, my father resigned from the Communist Party…

Mother’s Day 2013

In the 1870s, Julia Ward Howe attempted to start a Mother’s Day for Peace. Anna Jarvis started Mother’s Day as a memorial for her mother, and did not appreciate its commercialization. My grandmother, a “right on woman,” completely agreed, but ate the candy anyway. Here is my grandmother, Anna Zuckerman, accepting an award for her service to the Susan B.…

Valentine’s Day 2010

It is our tenth year of making Valentine’s Day cookies. I can’t believe how long it’s been. Ten years of making nipple cookies. There’s something to be said for the holiday rituals of married couples. These things sustain us and keep us whole when the world outside is unstable and cold. To use one of our couple idioms, we protect…