Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mother Pluckers

Sarah Josepha Hale in 1837 created a letter writing campaign that caught the attention of Abraham Lincoln who endorsed the idea of Thanksgiving in 1863. Do you think that way back then people had family fatigue? Imagine Uncle Henry to his brother Samuel, "Do we always have to hunt for the bird on your farm?" Sister Sarah to sister Mary, "I just wish mother wasn't so picky about how to pluck this damn turkey!"

No one can handle being around someone for more than a few days without feeling cooped up. The best way to overcome that woozy feeling you get when you spent too much quality time with relatives is to get out and do something. We went to a nature preserve where I learned that a Watusi is a type of cattle, not a dance from the 60's. We met a zebra who was rescued after being found in a car crash on an Atlanta highway. Sounds like a movie, huh?! Then, a turkey got all huffy with me while taking his picture and went on the attack! Those birds hate the paparazzi right now and we watusied out of there.

It is important to dance around family issues during these "special times." Wait until everyone is apart and you can talk behind each others back again. I'm just kidding but one sure way to end a party is to blurt out, "You always seem to be busy when I come to town." Rather, do what the best of the best Southerners do - put on a nice smile and be grateful for what you get. The people in the South are more gracious than anywhere else in the country. It must have something to do with the fact that they are super grateful that hoop skirts left with the fires of the civil war.

If you still feel hassled by the holiday, here's something that you can do to make a difference. Like Sarah Josepha Hale in 1837, let's start our own letter writing campaign to those mother pluckers who are telling people not to get mammograms. I live in DC and would love to personally hand-deliver a mini-van load of letters to The Senate HELP Committee. Pass this note around to your friends and family. Write a letter and send an email to with the result to catch some attention.

P.S. I am thankful for my family! Here I come mom to help you prepare the feast. XOXOXO!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Whoopie

Enjoy your pumpkin pie while you can. Mother Nature is ruining pumpkin patches in the Midwest. Because of heavy rains, Nestle, which controls 85% of the pumpkin crop for canning, issued an apology for not shipping the holiday staple. They are chunkin' pumpkins to use as fertilizer for next year's harvest.

On a positive note, there is a whole
new crop of nail polish colors, just in time to get lacquered up for the holidays. I am intrigued by the festively named, "It's Coal Outside" and the Rockettes "Legs Celebrate." There should be colors to represent Thanksgiving. How about Burnt Autumn Red, Plymouth Rock, May Flower, Going Native?

After your manicure, go out and get a can of pumpkin puree while supplies last. Be thankful that long ago the Native Americans gave Plymouth settlers these gourds that they thought tasted so nasty, they covered them with molasses. The first American recipe for our traditional style pie was published in 1796...American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons. If you are feeling racy and want to try something different, make whoopie, pumpkin pie style. Click on the arrow below to see Gigi workin' her kitchen skirt.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies - click on arrow

If you want the recipe, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Suburban Suck

That thing really sucks, I thought as we watched the leaf vacuum getting rid of Autumn's presents. Only in the burbs would you see those trucks. They are loud and I feel like I'm back in New York City at garbage pickup time.

Suburban sucky experiences also happen at the big chain stores. I've already covered Target (see blog entry "Get Your Head Examined). Costco is another one on the list and we have renamed it "Fiasco." One of our first outings after moving to this community was to join the club. We waited for an hour to get our membership card with crying, feisty children, and left to never return. Ok, ok, I get the advantages - the good prices, quantity of food, and carrot cake. But we don't have a freezer or the patience. At least we didn't get accused of shoplifting during self checkout, like a Chicago couple at the other giant mega-store, Walmart. They've been banned and they didn't do anything wrong! That would really suck.

There is a draw in the outskirts - the great schools, the backyards, the spacious houses. There's also the cardio dance class taught by Mommie Bootie Camp Queen, Kristine Oleson, that helps me channel my inner Britney. The get-togethers for dinners and drinks shake up the routine. The Boovie Girls in the book/movie club are rockin'...we just saw Michael Jackson's This Is It. But the most important aspect about living anywhere are your friends, whether they are city or suburban sirens who've sucked you in to amazing friendships. As MJ would say, "With love, L-O-V-E."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Daylight Stupid Time

Fall behind should be known as "Fall on Your Behind" because the time change causes a state of national jet lag. Even though no one I know was on a 16 hour flight to Asia, people are grogged out. Calls are not being returned. Bills are not being paid. Kids wake up an hour earlier than the clock indicates. Hell, I hear on the farms, even the roosters keep crowing when the sun comes up. Who and why do we play with the hands of time?

It's an idea that dates all the way back to Benjamin Franklin. Living in Paris in 1784, he wrote an essay suggesting that moving the hour of sunlight from the morning (when Parisians were sleeping anyway) to the evening could save thousands of candles. That energy saving idea was translated hundreds of years later during war time in order for the morning sun to light the factories. Congress eventually came on board, creating a standard time zone for the railroad industry and signed it into law in 1918. I
always thought it was created for agriculturists who need the extra sunlight but evidently, the farmers still have to milk Rosebud at the same time each morning.

Daylight Stupid Time is about saving energy, especially during the summer months. We trim the entire country's electricity usage by one percent each day.*
However, what we save during the dark months of Winter is negligible and the lack of light makes me SAD (that's seasonal affected disorder). I took the kids today for an H1N1 flu shot and noticed as we waited outside in the cold, it was dark by 5:00p.

The universal clock is out of whack. Traffic has been horrible in DC this week with ten minute car trips taking an hour. A friend of mine showed up for her parent/teacher conference but it is scheduled to take place a week later. I put the wrong date on an evite invitation to a December party. Imagine if people showed up on both days! I feel so out of sync, we're having breakfast for dinner tonight...I just don't have the ENERGY.

* DOT study