The Goose Is Getting Fat….

I have a note that I wrote to myself back on December 27, 12:37am

“blog: best day of Christmas is right at the beginning, maybe Nov. 29?  Dec 1?  Before the lights, before the tree, before the first window on the advent calendar…but which?  try to be conscious of it, when is the pinnacle, the height of expectation & promise when it’s there but still far off, all the goodness of the season between it and you…?  BUT, will looking for that moment heighten or devalue?”

Thoughts, anyone?

Eleven months have passed.  It’s time to find out.

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Call To Arms!

The Thanksgiving armistice is over. Bellies full, we plunge headlong back into the fray! Starbucks be damned, Let the battle commence!

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Sand Tarts


My Great Aunt Leona made these every year at Christmas–this is the closest I’ve ever found to her long lost recipe.

Originally posted on The Gourmand Mom:

You’ve heard me kvetching about cut-out cookies in the past. As much as I love to bake, I’ve got very little patience for the flouring, rolling, cutting, baking, and individual decorating involved in making cut-out cookies. And all too often, I just don’t find the results to be worth the effort. But I have one big exception to this sentiment; Sand Tarts.

I found the recipe for these Sand Tarts several years ago, nestled in the back pages of an old Better Homes and Gardens A Festive Christmas cookbook. They are essentially a sugar cookie, accented with lemon and garnished with cinnamon sugar and almonds, which gives them the appearance of perfectly round, perfectly delicious sand dollars.

They are cut-out cookies. They require that floured work surface, rolling, cutting, baking, and individual decorating I have such low tolerance for. But, with these particular cut-out cookies, the end result is worth…

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Tunesday: The Mockers: Republican Girl

For anyone who ever suppressed an agonizing, embarrassing, disturbing little crush on Ann Coulter….

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Bloggers Unite for Peace


Damn straight!

Originally posted on Uncle Spike's Adventures:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

Here are some ways to add your support to this message of peace:

1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be 
added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing 


~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different continents. We speak different languages, eat different foods, and are of varying ages, professions…

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It’s A Wonderful Life In Indiana, PA

I have the good fortune of living in the town where iconic film star Jimmy Stewart, who played the lead role in the classic holiday movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” was born, raised, and to which he often returned.  The article-2528752-1A468BBF00000578-209_634x480town of Indiana, PA is the county seat of Indiana County, PA, which for decades has laid a somewhat dubious claim to the title “Christmas Tree Capital of the World.” We’re not the biggest producer of Christmas Trees in the world any more, but we were the first place to grow them as dedicated crops, and the business still means a lot to our local identity.

As Philadelphia Inquirer writer Jeff Gammage wrote, way back in 1997, “Trees cut from its mountainside farms are shipped everywhere from Mexico to England, Florida to Arizona. They are wrapped in brown paper and sent via UPS to Pittsburgh, or strapped onto the roofs of cars that drive in from all over New York State.

One couple travels here each year from Philadelphia to buy a tree, which their dog picks out. Another family pops a bottle of champagne over theirs, christening it for the season.

In Indiana, you can drive from lot to lot and spend $79.50 for a 15-foot Fraser fir or $11.93 for a five-foot white pine, then cruise through a gaggle of glowing Santas at the Festival of Lights or shake hands with Queen Evergreen, the tiara-clad promoter of Indiana County Christmas trees.”

We take this Christmas business seriously, and in the years since Gammage wrote, our seasonal celebrations have expanded to include an “It’s a Wonderful Life” Light-Up night that features a 5o+ unit parade starring the high school marching band playing Christmas songs, floats from a cross-section of community groups, organizations, athletic and dance teams, and even (my favorite) a corps of farm folks stoicly piloting a squadron of beautifully restored antique tractors.

There is a bonfire in the center of town, free cocoa and crafts, an increasingly accomplished Jimmy Stewart impersonator wandering the crowd and, of course, Santa delivered on the back of a firetruck into the hands of the teaming masses of children.

This year, we had an additional treat: groups of travelers who were on bus tours visiting Indiana to see the Jimmy Stewart Museum and to enjoy the festival were seated on floats and celebrated as the welcomed visitors they are. I imagine we’re not the only town to show our appreciation to our guests, but I’ve never heard of anyplace else that puts visitors in a parade. Very cool.

We celebrated in equally warm fashion on one of the coldest evenings we’ve had to date, gathering with friends at a local pub for dinner and cocktails before watching the parade, then going back to Dave & Laura’s for beers, snacks, conversation and camaraderie by a roaring fire.

Earlier that day, I bemoaned to my wife that it just felt too early this year, that I didn’t have any sense of anticipation, but after an evening like that I was raring to go. Holidays 2015–bring it on!  I’m ready.

All Photos Below are from The Indiana Gazette

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Memeday: Waiting With Walter

Yep, its that time again.  Almost the most wonderful time of year.  I’m posting this for my wife, who keeps me honest.  Without her I’d already have the lights up, the decoration boxes down from the attic, and Steve & Edye jamming “Sleigh Ride” on the stereo.


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