Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Sharing My World 4

image

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax-free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

Do I have to spend it?  Can’t I just do the typically Canadian thing and sock it away for a rainy day?  I read somewhere that’s what we tend to do.  I can’t remember why.  I also read that we spend much more on food and beverages and alcohol than Americans do.  Perhaps it has something to do with our long winters.  Anyway, I digress.  I’d probably give most of it to my kids who need it more than I do with their growing families.  And sock the rest away for a rainy day.

What’s the finest education?

Ever notice how little kids start off absolutely loving school and then end up hating so many things about it from about grade five on?  Part of the problem is that we don’t focus on having them develop a love of learning.   Their primary motivation is to pass their exams and get to the next level.   The finest things a teacher can teach are the skills needed to find things out for themselves.  How to have an informed opinion.  How to discover and develop whatever their talents are,  so they can spend their lives doing whatever it is that contributes to their day-to-day happiness and well-being.  Little kids know how to live in the moment, and then school teaches them how to live for the future, set goals, dream about the day they can call themselves successful.  We forget to teach them how to be happy and have fun in the process.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

At the moment it’s mixed media.  Taking a blank canvas and making it beautiful with paint and paper, pencils and brushes, glue and markers.  It’s like being six again.  Except for having better developed scissor skills.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

Yes!  Hamlet’s soliloquy.  The first 12 and a half lines of it anyway.

To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

Isn’t that beautiful?  I loved it then, I love it now.  It’s the only bit of Shakespeare I can still recite.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a visit with K and C last week, and an invitation to spend the up-coming Thanksgiving weekend with them and my daughter and all the grandchildren.  However, I don’t think that will be happening because my day surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  There’s a possibility that they may keep me in over night.  I may end up with a temporary Jean Chretien smile if they stretch whatever muscle or nerve in my cheek or jaw controls that .

jean chretienI suppose there are worse fates, and it’s not like it will ruin my modeling career or anything.  I’ve always been able to raise my left eyebrow independently of the right, so last night I tried it out in front of a mirror, while smiling with only the right side of my face.  Cool.  I really am still six in my head.

I’ve talked to the hospital booking people and they’ve gone over all the pre-op rules with me, although I already have them written down on paper.  What to eat and drink, when to stop doing each of those things.  No perfume, no make up, no finger or nail polish.  Surgery is apparently a scent-free beauty-free zone.  No alcohol for 24 hours prior to surgery.  Which means I have approximately 30 minutes left to drink my face off.

However, I think I’ll go for a walk instead and take advantage of our continuing beautiful fall weather.  We’ll be snowed in soon enough.

share-your-world2

Share Your World Week 40

 

 

Advertisements

Bad Things Happen in Threes

image
These are not three bad things, they are three good things that work well to offset the bad. This picture is from somewhere on Facebook. I really need to start writing down who is responsible for this stuff.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was yesterday because today I get to work the actual stat holiday and make regular pay plus stat pay and perhaps die from boredom in the process.  These holidays are never busy for us at work, unless you count being a glorified repair service for broken arms on glasses, or emergency suppliers of the odd contact lens.

Yesterday, in the middle of preparing dinner,  I knocked almost a full glass of my smoothie on to the floor where it splattered for miles into as yet undiscovered places.  What a mess.  It also got all over me, so I cleaned it up and changed my clothes.  Then when I took the splattered clothes down to the laundry I got more smoothie on myself and my second outfit.  Change of clothes number three.  Later when I tried to shove a bowl of vegetable cooking water (for making gravy) out of the way on my counter I forgot that the bowl has a rubber non slip thing on the bottom of it, so it tipped over and a tidal wave of hot water soaked my work surface.  Yay.  Another unexpected clean up.  And THEN, while clearing the table after dinner I knocked over my finish-the-last-of-the-bottle-because-it’s-too-little-to-put-away glass of WINE!

At which point I remarked – thank gawd that’s the third spill of the day and thus the last.  Because bad things always happen in threes.  And there had been two sets of them in one day all ready.  Also,  there was more wine to open if I really needed more, which I didn’t, obviously, if I was at the glass knocking-over stage of the day for me.

We ate too much and packed the fridge full of whatever left overs we couldn’t force our daughter to take home with her, and went to bed, thus avoiding whatever third set of three bad things the universe had in store for me.

Perhaps I’ll find out today.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating it today.  Hope you don’t get indigestion or break your glasses.  Or spill your wine.

Compositions Circa 1928 (Part Three)

The following are excerpts from a few of my mother’s history essays written when she was eleven years old.  They sound so incredibly familiar to me – not because I learned the same “facts” but because they’re put together with a string of bits and pieces of information to tell stories that basically don’t make a lot of sense.   I think I must have inherited my mother’s defective history gene!  How else do you account for finding history confusing and tedious.  Well, besides poor teaching and biased points of view, and a lot of very subjective thinking which we were expected to accept as the truth.  I always wanted to add my own take on things.  I think my mother might have been into that as well.

*****

Thanksgiving at the Trolls
Thanksgiving at the Trolls (Photo credit: martha_chapa95)

Thanksgiving Day is a very old festival.  The Hebrews kept it as the Feast of the Tabernacle.  The Greeks kept it in memory of their God Demeter.  They brought fruits and little pigs.  The Romans kept it in memory of their God Ceres. The next to celebrate it were the Pilgrims.  After leaving their own country they sailed to Holland.  This was done so they could keep their own religion which the king was persecuting.After reaching the coast of the United States they had to endure many hardships.  Their first building was a log church.  But in a few years they reaped a very bountiful harvest.  Governor Bradford thought they should have at least one day to thank God and have a large feast but the people wanted a week so it was decided they would invite their troublesome neighbors, the Indians.  This was a very busy week.  The men were sent out to hunt while the women baked.  The children gathered fruits such as grapes and wild berries of different varieties.

Then the day came at last, and also the chief and his bravest warriors, all dressed in war paint and feathers.  There were so many people that they spread the table outside under some trees.  The food soon disappeared.  The Indians could stay only three days.  They had a very pleasant time playing games and enjoying themselves in every way possible.  Before leaving they smoked the pipe of peace.  The Indians never disturbed the Pilgrims again.

*****

Edith Cavell
Edith Cavell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edith Cavell came from London over to Belgium to be a nurse in the year 1900.  When the great war broke out the officers thought perhaps she would be of some use and they were not mistaken for she became a great help in the hospital.  After the capture of Mons and Namur many of the Germans became fugitives.  She had many of the enemy in her hospital too.  Now she would help the fugitives escape.  If they did not get away the enemy would kill them.  Many of these fugitives tried to escape to another country or hide.  Many of the farms contained a number of these fugitives who were hiding.  Edith Cavell was an earnest worker in this work and many fugitives escaped death with the help of her.The enemy saw many of their prisoners were escaping so they sent a spy over to the hospital.  The spy was supposed to be a fugitive.  Edith very fondly offered the spy (not knowing that he was a spy) a place of safety.  The spy went back and told all this.

She was arrested on August 15th, 1915.  She was not allowed to see any of her friends.  Her trial came off on the 7th of October.  She was allowed to have a lawyer to speak for her but as he had never seen her before he gave little assistance.  They condemned her for helping many fugitives escape.  She owned up, but said “If I did not, they all would have been killed.”  But no one would help her.  She was shot the following morning.

This gave many countries who had not taken an active part in the great war new courage.  They fought and won.  She was a very good woman because she gave her life for the life of other people.  The people thought so much of her that they called one of their mountains Edith Cavell.

*****

In 1763 the Treaty of Paris was signed and this meant all the land except two islands were to be handed over to England.  So Canada fell into the hands of the English after the seven years war.  The people in England were paying for the damage done so they thought they would make the people in Canada pay for the damage so they put a tax on mail and letters.  The thirteen colonies south of the Great Lakes said they would not pay it.  Then they put it on the exports and again they said that they would not pay it.  They expressed themselves independant and became the United States.  But why did not the 14th colony, Quebec, join with them? 

English: British General Guy Carleton
English: British General Guy Carleton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A governor was sent out to govern Canada.  He was Guy Carleton.  He thought since the people in Canada were French they ought to have laws to suit the French so he made some.  The boundaries of Canada were to be Michigan, Ohio, Labrador, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.  The French used the feudal system of holding land.  But they used the British Criminal Law because it was not so cruel as the French.  The French were of the R.C. faith.  One mistake they made was they had no legislative assembly which gave the people a hand in the government.  They sent their laws to England where they were read and found alright.  When these laws were put into force the French were very much contented and had no desire to leave Canada.  This was all due to Guy Carleton’s good knowledge.

So there you go.  Thanksgiving, Edith Cavell and the Treaty of Paris, in a nutshell.  Any questions?

(Not even about the boundaries of Canada??)  (Or how the French became once again discontented and the Indians reverted back to being a tad troublesome?)  I guess those are lessons for another day.

This Week

It’s catch up Thursday!  Just because.  Getting to the end of week two with four grandchildren who all went trooping off to catch the school bus today leaving me home alone!  So no excuses.

For some unknown reason I still cannot access Plinky from here, but I get a summary of the prompts via e-mail so I’ll just answer all their questions in one fell swoop. Going backwards chronologically, just to make my life seem ever so slightly more interesting.

Describe your favourite way to prepare Thanksgiving leftovers.  Thanksgiving here was a month ago.  If the leftovers aren’t finished up by now, you have a problem.  Best way to use them up is to make up a plate that replicates as much as possible the original meal, cover it in plastic wrap and zap it in the microwave.  When it’s no longer possible to do that, throw whatever bits and pieces are still taking up space in your fridge into a frying pan and stir fry it all in a bit of oil until it’s crispy – potatoes, vegetables, turkey, etc.  Then add zapped globs of congealed gravy.  Yum.  Finally, last but not least important by any means, dump what’s left of all that into the compost bin.  Another thanksgiving dinner disposed of successfully.

What holiday traditions does your family celebrate?  We eat a big meal, make a big mess, and then sit around texting or playing games on our phones.  I’m pretty sure there’s other stuff that happens, but those are the highlights.

What does wealth mean to you?  The first thing I think of is financial wealth, but there’s all kinds of good fortune in this world having little to do with the accumulation of money and possessions.  Good physical and mental and spiritual health.  Knowledge.  Rewarding relationships.  You really can’t put a price tag on any of those things. A whole whack of money is a nice thing to have, but it ain’t everything.

Does silence make you uncomfortable?  Only when there are noisy little kids around and the bedlam suddenly stops.  Chances are good that they’re up to something they shouldn’t be.  Best to check that out.  All silence is not golden.  Other than that, I love silence;  peace and quiet, no tv or radio, nothing to break my concentration.  Because gawd knows paying rapt attention to things is not my strong point.  The term ‘scatter-brained’ comes to mind.

What’s the best way to cure a cold?  Well if I knew the answer to that one I’d be rich, wouldn’t I?  And not likely to give up my secrets about it here.  But there are good ways to cope.  Get a flu shot.  Stay home from work so you don’t give the germs to everybody else.  Use a nasal decongestants so you can breathe and get sufficient sleep.  Use a humidifier.  Drink and eat hot steamy things.  Whine incessantly about how rotten you feel and how it’s the worst cold you’ve ever had in your whole life or that anyone has ever had in the entire universe.  That last one works well for W.

Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?  Lazy days make me feel ecstatically happy.  I live for them.  When I know there’s nothing that MUST be done, I do all kinds of things simply because I feel like doing them.  And if I don’t feel like doing them, I don’t.  What luxury to have such choices.  After a lazy day I feel both rested and restored and thrilled that I’ve actually accomplished something without resenting the process.  And not the slightest bit guilty if nothing got done because lazy days are no pressure days.  I’ve spent entire days doing nothing but reading.  Is that productive?  I’ve filled my brain with words and ideas and strained my eyes all to shit so that I can’t see the dust settling around me.  Hard to beat a day like that.

What are your must see TV shows?  I don’t have any and I don’t even know what’s on the boob tube anymore.  Who knows what I’m missing out on?  What I do know is that when someone asks me if I watched something and I say no and then they start to tell me what the show was all about I generally find myself wondering why anyone would want to sit around watching that kind of crap.  I do have some ‘must have’ apps on my I-phone though.  Post Secret is fun to read;  Netflix for movies when it works;  Angry Birds of course;  Kindle linked with my actual Kindle;  You Tube;  Weather so I can see what the temperature is in Cancun;  Talking Tom (and Ben and Gina and Roby and Larry and Rex and Santa and John and Hippo and News…..) because little people love them and five minutes of playing them on grandma’s phone is a fantastic reward for good behaviour.  The latest one I can’t seem to get enough of is “Unblock Me”.  It’s a simple little puzzle game that after over four hundred games completed in the beginner level has yet to get old for me.  Huh.  One of those lazy day activities to keep my mind sharp.  Or sedated, I’m not sure which.

Well, there’s another Plinky Week done;  signed, sealed, delivered.  I’m heading home in a couple of days and will hopefully be much much more appreciative of the days on which I do not have to help dress a small child in hockey equipment.  Getting everything on in the proper places and in the right order is not as easy as you might think, especially if you’ve never played the game yourself.  Nothing fell off of any of them on the ice (that I noticed or heard about anyway) so I guess I did an acceptable job.  Corey told me he wants me to live here with him forever and never go home.  A wealth of praise indeed.  I’d do it all again if just for that.

Let’s Talk Turkey

“I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There’s turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Some one needs to tell the turkey, ‘man, just be yourself.’ ” (Mitch Hedberg)

Our son was born when his sister was 18 months old. She wasn’t able to say his name, so she called him Tookie (rhymes with cookie). Pretty soon we were referring to him by that odd little nickname too. Until one day a friend asked me, in all seriousness, why we called our baby a turkey. Silly goose. So we stopped calling him that at once, or cold turkey if you prefer.

Our thanksgiving was the 11th of October, which gives us Canadians a much longer break between turkeys before Christmas rolls around and we get back into stuffing mode. I do love turkey and would roast one more often if they weren’t so incredibly huge. The leftovers seem to go on and on forever if you’re foolish enough to invite too few people over to share it.

My mom always put her turkey in the roaster upside down so that the breast meat would not dry out. Looks bizarre, but works like a charm. She also made a crock pot full of stuffing on the side. My mother-in-law always roasts plump sausages in with the bird. The juices from that combination makes the best gravy ever.

Okay, all this turkey talk is making me hungry, and our next turkey feast is still a month away.

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” ~Erma Bombeck

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.

Powered by Plinky