November 30, 2010

How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

I know you have heard of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  It is a children's story--no, change that to--It is for ages 3 and up.  That way it will include us, too, for we all enjoy this book.  
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was written by Dr. Seuss in rhymed verse and published as a book by Random House in 1957.  In a nutshell, the book criticizes the commercialization of Christmas.

The Grinch has a heart that is "two sizes too small".  He lives with his dog Max on a high mountain north of Whoville.  As the Grinch sits on the mountain, he can hear the people down below happily participating in Christmas merriment.  

The Grinch decides to go down and steal all the Christmas presents, holiday ham and decorations.  Surely that would keep Christmas from coming, right?  But no, Christmas comes anyway, leading the Grinch to realize that Christmas is more than just ham, decorations, and presents.
"And the Grinch, with his grinch feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

The Grinch's heart grows three sizes larger, and he returns all the presents and trimmings that he had stolen.  Of course, all the people in Whoville welcome him warmly into the community, in the Spirit of Christmas!

November 26, 2010

Christmas Crafts, Treat Your Feathered Friends

One of many easy Christmas crafts that can involve your entire family is making a treat for your feathered friends!

Make cranberry garlands. Choose what other foods you want to include in addition to the cranberries.  Peanuts in the shell are good.  Other excellent choices are grapes, raisins, popcorn, or orange slices. (photo by Holly Kuchera,

You will need a needle and fishing line.  If you don't have fishing line on hand, you can also use heavy thread.

Tie a knot at the end of the thread to keep any food from falling off.  Decide on a pattern.  Maybe you want eight cranberries, four peanuts, then a foot of popcorn.  Or any other pattern.

Carefully string cranberries and other chosen foods, repeating the pattern until you have pieces that are 3 or 4 feet in length.  Tie another knot at the end.

Drape on outside trees or shrubs.

Hint:  Stale popcorn strings better than fresh! So pop the corn a few days in advance of the garland-making day.  You may  need to hide it so nobody eats it before the birds!

November 23, 2010

What's Inside a Genie's Turkey?

 (photo by Don Purcell,

I don't want to miss my last chance until next year to tell Thanksgiving turkey jokes!

What's inside a Genie's turkey?  three wishbones

What's a baby turkey called?  a peeping tom

What's big and green and goes "Gobble, Gobble?"  Turkey-saurus Rex

What did the turkey say before it was roasted? " Boy! I'm stuffed."

What did the little turkey say to the big turkey?  "Peck on someone your own size."

Why did the police arrest the turkey?  It was suspected of fowl play.

Why did the turkey bolt down his food?  Because he was a gobbler.

Why did they let the turkey join the band?  Because he brought the drumsticks.

What was little Timmy thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?  That he wasn't a turkey.

Why did the turkeys go to the movies?  They wanted to see Gregory Peck.

Why would you want to cross a turkey with an octopus?  So the kids don't have to fight over who gets the drumsticks.

Why did the farmer wash the turkey's mouth out with soup?  Because he used fowl language.

Can you add a turkey joke?  Please comment!     (Santa jokes coming soon!)

November 21, 2010

The Unfortunate Turkey

 (Cartoon by Tony Sarrecchia)

Think of what the unfortunate turkey has to endure.

First, it has the reputation of being the original "bird brain," as though brain size and intellect go together.  They don't, regardless of the misconception that they do.

Then there's the common myth that says turkeys are so dim, they'll look skyward during a rainstorm and drown!  That's not true, either.

And what do we call people when we want to insult them or imply they are stupid?  That right, we call them turkeys!  We don't say, "You robin"  or "You ostrich."  We'd never say,  "You peacock" or "You sparrow." But we say,  "You turkey."  Fortunately, the accusation of being a turkey is often said fondly rather than maliciously.

Children are singing turkey songs this time of year. Sometimes the turkeys are fortunate, but more often they're not.

Five Fat Turkeys
Five fat turkeys are we.
We spent all night in a tree.
When the cook came around,
We were nowhere to be found
And that's why we're here, you see!

The Turkey Song
I'm a little turkey
Short and fat.
Thanksgiving Day is coming,
Now what do you think of that?
I had better run as fast as I can,
Or your mommy will roast me in a pan!

If  Turkeys Thought
If turkeys thought, they'd run away.
A week before Thanksgiving Day.
But turkeys can't anticipate,
And so there's turkey on my plate!

Did You Ever See a Turkey
 Did you ever see a turkey,
A turkey, a turkey.
Did you ever see a turkey
Run this way and that?
He runs, and he runs.
But he won't get away.
He is going to be my dinner on Thanksgiving Day!  

November 18, 2010

The Tabby In the Nativity

The Tabby in the Nativity  
Phoebe, the Wondrous Story Cat is often lamenting that she has never seen a nativity scene that included a cat.  And I understand her perplexity. Baby  Jesus was born in a stable.  There are mice in a stable.  I can't even imagine a stable without a cat . . . or two . . . or more.  Yet, I have never seen a manger scene with a cat.  Have you?   Oh, there are cows, sheep, lambs, donkeys, and camels.  But never a cat or a kitten.

But one of Phoebe's Facebook fans told her about a tabby that was part of the nativity.  You've noticed the "M" on the forehead of a tabby cat, haven't you?  Some people say a tabby with a "M" brings good luck.  But I prefer the legend of The Tabby In the Nativity.  Here it is!

According to, there is a wonderful legend about the origin of the "M" tells about Mary and the tabby cat in the manger. It seems that the baby Jesus was cold and fussing, and Mary asked the manger animals to move in closer to warm him. The manger was simply too small to accomplish that, but a little tabby cat came in and nestled next to the baby, and cosseted Him with purring and warmth. Mary was so grateful, she bestowed her own initial, "M" on the cat's forehead. 

November 15, 2010

The Breakfast Blahs

Ever get the breakfast blahs? Tired of eggs, oatmeal, french toast, cold cereal . . . . . ?   Take a look at the pumpkin pancakes below.  You may have found a new breakfast favorite that's nowhere near the blahs!

I found this recipe on another blog, The Fruit of Her HandsCheck out the blog if you'd like, and then come back here!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups All-Purpose flour
2-3 T. Sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
A pinch of Ground Cloves
1 cup Milk
6 T. Pumpkin Puree
2 T. Melted Butter
1 Egg
~Delightful Additions~
Rich Pure Maple Syrup
Toasted or Candied Pecans
For a spiced breakfast treat, whisk all-purpose flour; sugar; baking powder;
cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt; nutmeg; and a pinch of ground cloves.
In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients.
Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
Cook pancakes about 2-3 minutes per side; serve with butter and rich maple syrup.
Enjoy! ~ Makes 8 to 10.

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November 12, 2010

Preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey, By Second Graders

(photo by Niderlander, 

I asked my second grade class to write about how they would prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Maybe the rest of us have been doing it wrong all these years!
You buy a turkey at the store.  It should be dead.  If not, hit it over the head. Then take out the yucky stuff.  Use some of it in the gravy. If the turkey is real big, cook it for a whole hour.  If it is not so big, just a few minutes will be enough.  It will smell good.  Then Dad and Uncle Mike fight over who cuts it. 

Take a 150 pound turkey and pour gravy over it.  Put in a 10 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Serve with pie and ice cream.  Then call everyone to eat.  Oh, and keep the biggest piece of pie for yourself.
Tell Grandpa to take off all the feathers.  Then clean it in soapy water.  Put dressing inside the big hole.  Cook for 15 minutes or until done.  Set the table.  Grandma will give you a leg!

Home cooking, for sure!