Thankful For Tryptophan

Like roly poly balls of dough
Both too stuffed to wiggle,
My spouse and I sat side by side
Our stomachs prone to jiggle.

Through one whole day we feasted,
Thanksgiving at its best,
Tom Turkey gave his life for us
Now L-Tryptophan bade us rest.

That amino acid played its card
And lured us into slumber
Listen and you’re sure to hear
My husband sawing lumber.


Peace, people!


My mom was a kitchen perfectionist. She had precise ideas as to how most things had to be done, and I never quite was able to live up to those ideals. I never stirred correctly, never measured properly, never quite made anything to Mom’s specifications. I’ve always blamed her for my not learning to be a better cook, but truthfully I never enjoyed kitchen tasks.

Every year as Thanksgiving nears I wish I’d paid more attention to Mom’s directives. Even though I’ve now successfully prepared two dozen or more holiday dinners on my own I still have at least one hiccup in the preparation stage every single time. One year I almost forgot to buy a turkey. Another year I accidentally prepared sweet cornbread as the base for my cornbread dressing. That’s a definite no-no! No amount of sage or pepper could counterract the sweetness. There’s no telling what will happen this year. You see, I’m a bit of an imperfectionist.

On Thanksgiving morning I can always imagine my mom looking down from her perch in heaven shaking her head and saying, “Oh, sis, not like that!” But she’s also probably beaming in amazement that I manage to pull the whole thing off, and that so far no one’s been rushed to the emergency room after one of my meals.

Studly Doright and I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May your heart be filled with love and gratitude and your belly filled with good food.

Peace, people!

Thanksgiving Day at Doright Manor

Roast Turkey

Cornbread Dressing

Green Bean Casserole (Studly’s favorite)

Grape Salad (from Chicken Salad Chick-my favorite)

Cranberry Sauce

Deviled Eggs

Yeast Rolls

Pumpkin Pie





The Day Before Thanksgiving

Studly Doright, the love of my life, is a bit of a horse trader. He doesn’t trade actual horses (dear Studly harbors an unnatural fear of farm animals, large and small); instead, he trades cars, trucks, motorcycles, basically anything that is motorized transportation.

On Tuesday he informed me that he’d bought a pickup truck. I nodded and smiled. “And, by the way,” he said casually, “We have to pick it up on Wednesday.”

Again, I nodded, like the dullard I must be.

Studly cleared his throat and I looked at him expectantly. “Um, it’s in Orlando….”

Normally a proposed trip to Orlando would have me jumping up and down like a small child. Universal Studios, DisneyWorld, tacky souvenirs, oh joy! But on the day before we are to host a Thanksgiving meal in our home? Nooooooooooo! For one thing  I knew there’d be no dawdling. We’d drive four hours south, in holiday traffic mind you, then turn around and drive four hours back to Doright Manor. But I had no choice. Studly can be an awful bully, I mean, awfully persuasive. 

The trip down was enjoyable. In addition to his gifts in persuasion Studly is always entertaining. Once again we drove right by the Cafe Risqué, Florida’s all nude cafe, even though we have a series of running jokes about what’s on the menu. Trust me, you don’t want to know the jokes. 

Traffic was interesting. One seriously aggressive driver came lane surfing around us, easily going 20 m.p.h. above our rather sedate 75. (Speed limit was 70.) As we neared Orlando we passed her after she’d hit another car. I’d have cheered, but she ruined someone else’s weekend. 

Once we arrived at the car dealership Studly took a test drive while I stretched my legs and looked at cars. The dealership had a gorgeous red BMW convertible that could’ve come home with me if I had just a few more (thousand) dollars in my bank account. After he returned, smiling like an idiot, Studly told me I could start for home while he finished making the deal.

I’ve officially been home now for an hour, and put together another pecan pie that should be done in 10-15 minutes. Studly got caught in a holiday traffic jam on the turnpike. I’m enjoying a Shiner Bock and the Thanksgiving classic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Studly is probably cursing at rude drivers. Who knows, he might actually get to check out the menu at Cafe Risqué.

Peace, people!

Cooking for Studly: Special Thanksgiving Edition

Just when I think I can’t come up with a new way to screw up a meal I manage to surprise myself. Yesterday, I prepared the cornbread for our Thanksgiving dressing. I’ve made hundreds of batches of cornbread over the years, maybe even thousands. It’s pretty much a no-brainer at this point. Bwahaha!

This year I decided to make my cornbread from scratch rather than use one of the handy dandy mixes on the market. And because I’d rather have too much cornbread than too little, I doubled the recipe. Or I thought I did. 

1 1/3 cups of milk? No problem, that’ll be 2 and 2/3 cups.

1 large egg? Easy breezy: 2 eggs.

1/4 cup oil? A little tougher, but my superior mathematics skills came up with 1/2 cup.

So tell me why, when I went to add the cornmeal and sugar I didn’t double those ingredients?

And tell me why I didn’t notice that my batter was a bit on the watery side?

The result was a soufleé-ish concoction with a lovely aroma and squishy texture. I tasted it. Kind of yummy, but not at all suitable for cornbread dressing.

So, back to the cupboards for another try. I didn’t double anything this time, mostly because that would’ve meant a trip to the supermarket.

It might look a little overdone to some of you, but we like our dressing made from cornbread that is a bit on the dry side. At least that’s what I’ll tell everyone. Just in case, I have a packet of Martha White cornbread mix that I can put to good use.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for convenience.

Peace, people!


A take on Donald Trump from brilliant British blogger Mike Steeden at




My doctor is a Muslim

my dentist is as well

as is the man running the corner shop

who cares for his clientele

The bloke next door he’s one too

his missus gives us dishes

traditional Bangladesh cuisine

gifted to us with her best wishes

He also owns a restaurant

he serves the best curry money can buy

always stops to have chat

you couldn’t meet a nicer guy

Oh yes, and there’s the car wash bloke

he cracks a joke or two

when hosing down my motor

with the rest of his rag tag crew

The midwife, such a lovely girl

all those years ago

helped bring our son into this world

a Muslim compassion cameo

I’ve played cricket against Muslim sides

fine sportsmen, honest men

so what is all this ignorant vitriol

I note by spoken word and pen

For each and every one I know


View original post 116 more words

Refugees Welcomed Here

Excellent piece from

Red's Wrap


My granddaughter’s mother was a refugee from Laos. Once, on Thanksgiving, I started a conversation asking everyone’s earliest memories. She spoke last.

She remembered eating at a table at a refugee camp in Thailand when a stray dog ran up to her and stole the food off her plate.

She said this in the most deadpan way. The conversation was over. She had no interest in entertaining us with her family’s refugee story. Only the one image of being in a camp and having a dog steal her food.

My granddaughter’s father is a Nicaraguan who became a naturalized U.S. citizen when he was in his teens. He is our son, brought to the U.S. when he was 21 months old.

My husband’s family emigrated from Ukraine in the early 20th century to escape the pogroms. His grandfather and his great uncle walked to Palestine where his uncle stayed and…

View original post 480 more words

Prohibition and sticky toffee desserts

Brilliant and informative as usual.

Notes from the U.K.

When I last asked for questions about Britain or the U.S., Dan Antion wrote, “The last night I was in London, I had some kind of gooey toffee desert (sticky something). I wrote my friend in Ipswich and said, ‘why did you send us the Beatles and keep this a secret?’ but he never replied. This makes me think there’s a law against describing that dish. If you choose not to write about this or toffee, I’ll understand (but it will confirm my suspicion).”

Never one to be scared off by sensible considerations or petty legalities, I’ll tell you everything I know on the subject. And more. Much, much more.

Irrelevant photo: a volunteer cyclamen that planted itself by the back door Irrelevant photo: a volunteer cyclamen that planted itself by the back door

It sounds to me like Dan stumbled into an underground club where sticky toffee pudding was being served on the sly. While he was on the pavement humming…

View original post 820 more words

Easy Times

i read the news this morning of a friend’s mother having a stroke,
and another’s father breaking a hip.

i heard of an adult child who fled
his responsibilites and left his
wife and children for a fling.

i thought about the pain we experienced
as young parents, worrying about our
infants’ developmental stages.

i recalled the nights spent agonizing
over my teenagers’ angst and woes,
their heartaches and heartbreaks.

i wept when reflecting on the loss
of my parents, both gone too soon
from my life; too young from theirs.

i realized there are no easy times,
nothing worthwhile comes without cost.
the joys of loving our only reward.

Recently a beloved uncle passed away after a long illness. When I shared the news on Facebook a friend who’d recently experienced a similar loss commented that we are at a tough age. 

I knew what she meant. I’ve lost both of my parents, as have most of my closest friends. Several in my age group have experienced the traumatic loss of a spouse, and some the loss of a child.

We are the sandwich generation, those of us in our mid-to late 50’s. Some still have children at home while simultaneously caring for aging parents. I would almost say it is the most difficult time. But then I started thinking and the poem appeared.

There are no easy times. We might be fooled for a second by a lull in the action, but every stage has its pitfalls. The love is worth it, though. Just keep plugging. 

Peace, people!

Down and Dirty

The hours I spend at Tallahassee Animal Services as a volunteer are the among the best of my week. Only surprise calls from my grandchildren can top being with the cats and kittens at the shelter.

Each week has its pleasures: cuddling a sweet kitty and feeling it purr against my chest, enticing a morose cat from her perch at the back of a kennel to come closer for a behind-the-ear scratching, watching a hopeful feline leave with his new family. 

But each week has its little messes, too. This past Wednesday I spent some time doing laundry and putting it away. The shelter goes through countless loads of dirty towels, blankets, and cloth toys. Soiled items are placed in an oversized trash bin. 

I grabbed an armful of laundry this week and was rewarded with the icky wet smell and feel that only dog pee can produce. And now I had that smell, too. All over my tee shirt. 

Having successfully loaded the washer I stooped to pick up a substantial piece of fuzz from the floor and realized just in time that it wasn’t fuzz, it was poo. Stinky, relatively new, poo. All in an afternoon’s work. 

Here are just a few of the animals available for loving adoption at Tallahassee Animal Services. Remember, “Don’t Shop, Adopt!”




Peace, people!