holiday blog hiatus

Fantastic Mr. Fox illustration by Donald Chaffin, 1970 (via Vintage Kids' Books)

It’s that time of year again, when people gather from near and far, sidle up to bountiful tables and give thanks for life’s abundance.

As for me,  I’m already hearing that all-too-familiar gobble gobble, and my highly trained olfactories are picking up the aroma of yummy pumpkin pie baked with generous measures of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger. Yes, I’m looking forward to a hearty meal with all the traditional fixin’s, but I know the real nourishment will come from sharing it with family and friends.

credit: Hungry Housewife/flickr

I’m giving myself plenty of time to reflect on what I’m thankful for this year. November, more than any other Fall month, is tinged with melancholy. Though it’s chock full of happy birthdays — friend John, brother-in-law Ron, cousin Leslie, godson Kyle, father James, husband Len, and mine (turning 29 this year ☺) — it’s also a time to celebrate the lives of those who left us in November, who won’t be at the Thanksgiving table: Aunty Ella, Aunty Ellen, and Cousin Liz. Even while you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, the deepest part of you knows that the light of remembrance is inextinguishable.

I will be offline until after Thanksgiving, when we will resume our holiday hijinx. To keep you out of trouble until I get back, enjoy these videos, Parts 4 and 5 from “The Thanksgiving Visitor,” based on a short story by Truman Capote first published in McCalls (1967). It was written 12 years after my all-time favorite short story, “A Christmas Memory,” and features Buddy and Cousin Sook. Unlike the joyous account of baking fruitcakes, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” reveals some of Capote’s childhood torment. In light of today’s widespread problem of bullying in the schools, there is an interesting “lesson” here for the victim. Unbeknownst to Buddy, Sook has invited the older boy who’s been bullying him to Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s wishing you a joyful, delicious, heart-lifting Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Enjoy all the family chatter, the Macy’s Parade, the football games, the obligatory naps, and seconds and thirds of pecan and pumpkin pies. I am thankful for each and every one of you — my faithful, good-looking, eternally hungry blog readers!


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Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

happy christmas!

photo by Baking Addict.

Tick tock, tick tock.

Christmas is practically here!

I think I hear the faint jingle of sleigh bells!

Better check my list to make sure I’ve got everything covered.

Shopping? Done (hooray!), 80% of it online.
Wrapping? Check (like doing the paper, not the ribbons/bows). 
Shipping of gifts? Check (USPS Flat Rate boxes are too dang small)!
Decorating? Yes, with the help of resident bears.
Christmas cards? Mailed (receiving and sending fewer this year).
Baking? Done for now, large percentage already consumed. ☺
Carol singing? Not yet, better practice on the piano.
Stress factor? Abating.

         Wreath in Old Town, Alexandria, VA.

Is it just me, or has anyone else ever thought that if it weren’t for women, there wouldn’t be any Christmas?

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thought for the week

      2a48457e.jpg Truman Capote image by superman1432

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade
  just as painting does, or music. If you are born 
  knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. 
  Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.”
               ~Truman Capote (1924-1984)