Spoken Word Poetry:

  poems that perform.

 Sarah Kay: a professional.

Seth Godin has recently published her poem, “If I Should Have a Daughter,” in hardcover. As Godin’s publishing company,  The Domino Project, has never published poetry,  and Sarah Kay usually only speaks her poems, this work breaks the rules.

I just spent the last 24 minutes engrossed.

If you have 5 minutes, watch Sarah Kay perform her poem. If you have 19 minutes, listen to her talk afterwards
(and her three steps). She’s a communicator, a storyteller, an artist, a teacher. She’s found what she loves, and is doing it.  It’s compelling.

Tis the Season…

for a decent family picture to elude us.

This year, I am making a list entitled “Things I can Let Go Of and No One Will Be Negatively Affected Or Actually Even Notice,”  and I’m checking it twice.

Welcome Yuletide.

Heading out to get the tree this morning…I’m suppressing hope that The Picture could still happen in front of a freshly cut Balsam (or with the Golden Retriever that we pet out there every year…)

Thanksgiving Day ended as it should have,

in the hot tub.

And Friday, we celebrated news of the Biggest of Birthdays in Cape Town.

 Love, Joy,  the Oldest of Friendships, The Newest of  Babies and some  Sweet Potato Casserole on the side.

It was a good one.

And now here I sit scrutinizing my living room, deciding what I will purge to make space for the Christmas tree this year…

Hope your holiday was grand!

And Today We Gather…

This whole holiday involves a lot of purchasing and a lot of work. And then it involves a lot of eating. And then more eating. And then more work. And then  tomorrow  you will eat and purchase, unless you have to be at work.

This is America.

But I continue to meet people who declare that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday, causing me to question, “But, you do know, that on Christmas we eat a lot and get presents, right?”

 Thanksgiving is something different.

 Even with the excessive everything we impose on it, Thanksgiving is its own Culture Warrior: All the purchasing and cooking and preparing culminate in nothing but a gathering.

We work and prepare and plan in order to sit down with each other and be present.

And in my little world the food is plentiful.( Far too plentiful. )

But that presence, that gathering, let’s face it, that sitting?

It’s scarce. And I think we’re hungrier for it than we are for the Deep-fried turkey.

 And it’s sacred. Jesus met people and immediately made dinner plans. And we experience the ultimate Mystery of our faith with a group, around a table.

We will puchase, and work, and eat, and clean. And we will be tired and even cranky at some point. But this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for Thanksgiving. In a  world wildly broken,  along comes a holiday based on gathering, and looking at each other, and being present, even if its for 12 minutes. (Or if you are Italian – 3.5 hours, the Puerto Ricans can’t sit still that long.)

And instead of even giving, or producing, we.just.are. When we gather, we’re together – connected, sharing, mindful, grateful. And the tenacity of Thanksgiving…the sheer determination to not make it more than it is (regardless of  the Outlets opening up tonight) , comforts me. It’s apparent that somewhere beneath our insatiability and angst we do really know what we need, and what we don’t.

Because, every year, at least once, we still do nothing but gather.  Come what may. Come what came.

 Thanksgiving  makes me thankful. And gathering for  Thanksgiving? It makes me  hopeful.

“And all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” (Lady Julian of Norwich)

“…If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and he with me.” (Jesus)

 Happy Thanksgiving.

 All shall be well.


photo credits: my house marthastewart.com

Leave your screens behind, just for the gathering, will you? Be fully present. Unless you have an Ipad with The Monkey Game,  in that case give it to a nearby 3 year old in a pink dress so her mother can be fully present.

We’re headed over the bridge and through the tunnel for the holiday. Have a wonderful weekend.

I think heaven

is full of spontaneous street music…

and people who dance like nobody’s watching


Been grocery shopping yet? Wal Mart the day before Thanksgiving is like a rave, in fluorescent lighting. I will be sad to miss this year, but Harris Teeter had Craisins buy 2, get 3 free…bring on the feasting!

Twas the Monday before Thanksgiving…

and recipes are on the brain…

I made this last year. Super easy. Super festive looking. 3 ingredients: goat cheese, pistachios, Craisins. At a wedding in September, I sat next to someone who worked in marketing at Ocean Spray. I went on and on about this little recipe and how it renewed my love for the Craisin. (And now Trader Joes has a version of Craisinsm, significantly cheaper. Don’t tell the Ocean Spray guy.)

The day after Thanksgiving is known for shopping, lethargy, and turkey sandwiches. But in our family it’s known for the Turkey Wreath. Quite honestly, this is the best thing to happen to leftover turkey since always. (?) Again, super easy and super festive looking. You will never want a turkey sandwich again. (Unless it’s from the Cheese Shop)

Shauna Neiquist recently shared a recipe for French Pumpkin Soup. I love soups and the thought of serving this inside of little pumpkins? Too. Much. If I can pull that off, this will instantly become the French Pumpkin Soup blog and it will be all I talk about and show pictures of for the rest of my life. Guaranteed.

If you aren’t into pie baking, here is a wonderful Pumpkin Cookie Recipe. I actually am going to type it out because it’s one of those recipes I have on a stained scrap piece of paper, stuffed in a cookbook and I cannot remember where I got it from to provide a link or at least credibility. So pretend I invented it. Unless it doesn’t turn out well for you.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup butter, 1 cup pumpkin, 1 egg, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups flower, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt

Mix sugar butter, egg

Add pumpkin. Mix well.

Sift dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients. Beat well.

Drop using small rounded scoops onto baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes.

I frosted them with cream cheese frosting. And they were delightful.

A few years ago, right after O was born, we had a “Meppy Thanksmas” feast with my College Roomies and their Significants. It was so fun doing a Thanksgiving with other people from other families because I saw entirely new food traditions (that are entirely normal to other people.)

One dish that stood out was a Macaroni and Cheese casserole. Not Easy Mac, people, but one of those baked, drizzled, breadcrumbed, three cheese masterpieces. Macaroni and Cheese? With Thanksgiving? We, Puerto Ricans keep to the Rice and Beans for the Alternative Side. But this year, I might make some Mac and Cheese and I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe. Let me know if you have it. Especially if it has bacon in it. Not to be too demanding.

The family will no doubt balk at the new addition. More for me.

Happy Monday! Happy Tasting Cooking!

    (photo credit: Realsimple.com )                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

High, Low

High of the week?

New vacuum cleaner.

Low of the week?

Looking at what that new vacuum cleaner removed from our floors:

 Thanks to reader input and an in-store cross-country consultation with my Sister-in-law, I’m bought in. I, too, now believe in Root Cyclone Technology. I just wonder, does the cannister have to be clear?

 It’s just so, so…confrontational.

Not surprisingly, I’m the only family member who finds the sight disturbing.

Have a great weekend.

 Hope something is spinning the dirt out of your air.