Moment of Zen: Apples 🍎🍏

I actually prefer apple cider (hard cider, sparkling cider, or regular cider) above actual apples, but cider doesn’t make for good pictures.


Pic of the Day


Black Friday

For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. For those of you in other countries who don’t celebrate the holiday, I hope you’re having a nice week. A lot of people will be out shopping today. There are always loads of Black Friday sales. I doubt I will be one of them. My plan is to stay in and be lazy. Isabella gets to be lazy everyday, so I’m going to take a page out of her playbook. I doubt I’ll sleep like she does, but I plan to just relax.

By the way, my Thanksgiving dinner turned out very nice. I wish I’d had someone to share it with, then maybe I wouldn’t have eaten too much of the dressing I made. Cornbread dressing is one of my favorite part of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.


Pic of the Day


Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

There is a lot to be thankful for. I have a much more open and honest life in Vermont as an out and proud gay man. I don’t have to constantly hide in the closet like I was forced to do in Alabama. I have a job that I love, and that I think is rewarding. While I may complain about my job sometimes, I love what I do. I am very thankful for leaving full-time teaching to be a museum professional. I love working in the museum world, and I wish I could have discovered that earlier in my life, but I am thankful I have found it now. I am also thankful for my faithful companion, my beautiful Isabella. She brings me so much joy, even if she likes to wake me up at 4 am to be fed.

More important, I have some wonderful friends. One such friend is Susan. I don’t know what I’d do without her love and support. She’s been there for me when I needed someone the most. I’m also thankful for all my blog friends out there. As long as you keep reading, I plan to keep writing. I’ve made some really wonderful friends through this blog. Some are no longer with us, and I will miss them every day for the rest of my life. They made their way into my heart, and they will always live on in my heart and memories. Thankfully, there are those of you who are still with us, and I always look forward to your comments and emails. I may not always be able to answer my comments, and I may take a while to answer emails, but I read and cherish every one of them.

I’m also thankful for the beautiful meal I am preparing today: roast chicken with croutons (I prefer chicken to turkey), cornbread dressing (the recipe for the cornbread will be at the end of this post), collard greens, and dulce de leche lava cakes for dessert. I made the cornbread and prepared the dulce de leche for the lava cakes last night. I’ve already started the collard greens (they take a while to cook), and I’ll soon mix up the dressing.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday?
And what are you planning to eat today?

Recipe for the Cornbread for Dressing
It’s a little different from how I usually make my cornbread—it has more seasonings.

Cornbread for Dressing
Adapted from feastandfarm.com

Ingredients
1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix (not just plain cornmeal)
¼ cup self-rising flour
1 ½ Tbsp butter
⅞ cups buttermilk or regular milk (Start with 1 cup of liquid if you are using regular milk and
add the rest as necessary)
½ tsp celery salt, or to taste
0.75 tsp onion powder (you can use one small yellow (or Vidalia) onion instead)
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
⅛ tsp of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
¼ tsp of sage (or Bell’s seasoning), or to taste, optional
½ tsp of poultry seasoning

Preparation Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt butter as the oven preheats in an 8″ x 8″ pan.
3. Add cornmeal, self-rising flour, and seasonings in a bowl and mix with a fork. Make a well
in the center of the mixture for the butter and buttermilk.
4. Add the butter and buttermilk to the well.
5. Mix until combined.
6. Spray pan with additional butter-flavored PAM. Pour batter into the baking pan.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set.


Pic of the Day


Date Night

I had a date last night and did not get home until just before my bedtime. I didn’t really have time to write a post. I’m not going to really say more about my date until I see where this possible relationship is going. I don’t want to jinx it, but I will say it was a second date, a nice dinner, and good conversation.


Pic of the Day


Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving
By Edgar Guest – 1881-1959

Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
Buildin’ the old family circle again;
Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
Father’s a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.
Home from the east land an’ home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,
Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.

Give me the end of the year an’ its fun
When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.

About the Poet

On August 20, 1881, Edgar Guest was born in Birmingham, England, to Edwin and Julia Wayne Guest. The family settled in Detroit, Michigan, in 1891. When Edwin lost his job in 1893, eleven-year-old Edgar between working odd jobs after school. In 1895 he was hired as a copy boy for the Detroit Free Press, where he would work for almost sixty-five years. His father died when the poet was seventeen, and Guest was forced to drop out of high school and work full time at the newspaper. He worked his way up from a copy boy to a job in the news department. His first poem appeared on December 11, 1898. His weekly column, “Chaff,” first appeared in 1904; his topical verses eventually became the daily “Breakfast Table Chat,” which was syndicated to over three-hundred newspapers throughout the United States.

Guest married Nellie Crossman in 1906. The couple had three children. His brother Harry printed his first two books, Home Rhymes and Just Glad Things, in small editions. His verse quickly found an audience and the Chicago firm of Reilly and Britton began to publish his books at a rate of nearly one per year. His collections include Just Folks(1917), Over Here (1918), When Day Is Done (1921), The Passing Throng (1923), Harbor Lights of Home (1928), and Today and Tomorrow (1942).

From 1931 to 1942, Guest broadcast a weekly program on NBC radio. In 1951, “A Guest in Your Home” appeared on NBC TV. He published more than twenty volumes of poetry and was thought to have written over 11,000 poems. Guest has been called “the poet of the people.” Most often, his poems were fourteen lines long and presented a deeply sentimental view of everyday life. He considered himself “a newspaper man who wrote verses.” Of his poem he said, “I take simple everyday things that happen to me and I figure it happens to a lot of other people and I make simple rhymes out of them.” His Collected Verse appeared in 1934 and went into at least eleven editions. Edgar Guest died on August 5, 1959.


Pic of the Day