Posts Tagged 'Thanksgiving'

Jogging into a gilded past

One of the benefits of living in a small, but relatively old city, is the way neighborhoods built in different eras retain their character. In Philadelphia, you can get on the el and be in almost any kind of neighborhood in a very short time (modern, from the 1920s, or even back into the 1700s). Boston and Chicago have the same fluidity between time periods, and a visitor can wonder what era of architecture they’re looking at.

Here at Church and Graveyard, one can jog in one direction, and wind up in a neighborhood with houses from the 1930s and maybe a little bit older. If you jog in the other direction, you wind up in a neighborhood with ornamental fountains, fancy houses from the 1930s, and manicured lawns. Tonight, as I did my post-Thanksgiving run/stagger, I decided to go around one of the ornamental fountains where the carp are in the summer. The last of the sun was setting, the fountains were frozen and reflecting the darkening sky, and I passed a stone house with a beautiful room with windows on three sides. It had a golden harp set up in the front window, with a black baby grand piano behind it. I could just imagine the glittering party planned there, complete with a caterer, glittering candles, and a small recital.

And then I jogged/walked back up the hill, and was back in my normal wooden house from the 1800s (that would look better with new paint and shutters, I admit). It’s fun to look at other peoples’ glittery lives from a distance, even if it’s only in books. I love my house, and my quiet Thanksgiving celebrations, although now I’m craving harp music to listen to. Happy Thanksgiving from the corner of Church and Graveyard. I hope yours was a happy celebration, with only a small bit of travel to get to Grandma’s house. If you’re not in the USA, and want to know what all the fuss about the food is about, here’s a recipe for sweet potato pie (actually an NPR piece about a chef who learned to make his Nana’s pie recipe), pumpkin pie, and my favorite: roast turkey (basted every 20 minutes with a sauce made of lingonberry jam, port, and butter) and stuffing (I normally use one from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, preferably not one with sausage).

Time to give thanks

It’s Thanksgiving, a traditional time to look at your life and give thanks.
Around the Blogisphere, different people are writing about traditions or travels for the holidays. Here’s a Frugal traveler article from the NYTimes blog on how to travel to Plymouth, Massachusetts and see kid-friendly inexpensive things around the theme of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving can inspire knitting, possibly due to all the stress of creating a full turkey dinner. But I had not realized there was a fad (even if it’s only in the mind of a designer) for knitting turkey hats. There are at least a few on Ravelry. For those without access, there’s a list of patterns on the Squidoo website.
Poets have written about Thanksgiving. Langston Hughes wrote a poem short enough for a child to memorize (I particularly like the opening “When the night winds whistle through the trees and blow the crisp brown leaves a-crackling down,/
When the autumn moon is big and yellow-orange and round,”).
And during the American Civil War, President Lincoln made the proclamation for Thanksgiving as a holiday in the States. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a national holiday in the USA.
Overall, the things you feel grateful for are personal things that no one can say are right or wrong. For me, I’m thankful for family and friends gathering together, with the hope of seeing others at Christmastime. And I’m grateful for more than I can talk about in a blog post. I hope you have something at heart that fills you with gratitude (if you’re Canadian, you already have notes on this from October).
PS: Apple pie made from the 1950s Fannie Farmer, with butter crust. I used small cutouts of stars and turkeys to decorate the top of the pie.

November sort of snuck up on me

It’s been a weird month. One day, it was October. The next, it seemed like election day was biting my heels. I can’t tell if I’m overwhelmed by the extreme weather, the media, or work/life stress. There must have been a great deal of chaos as I realize: it’s almost Thanksgiving, and different family members are contacting me to see if I can show up for a meal. (I know, there are worse things.)
Meanwhile, major highways have electronic signs that tell FEMA convoys how to take the toll roads, and I’ve been passed by NJ Transit buses (a state transit system for New Jersey) as I drive in a more southern state in the USA. The one bus I saw was outside of the Washington DC suburbs, and had the destination of “Trenton” on its front. It’s possible that the bus is servicing stations AMTRAK can’t get to, or transporting people to help in the areas hit hard by hurricane Sandy.
So, the world seems a bit out of sorts. Although I’m a bit out of sorts, I have knitting content to show off when there’s a sunny day for photos.

Dinner, good conversation, and a national holiday

It’s hard to say what I like best about Thanksgiving. The food is great, the people and family I meet are good conversationalists, and a day off from work (plus an extra because of good work policies) all make me feel happy. But a day that I spend feeling thankful for all of these things, plus the normal everyday stuff — priceless. Hope you had a good day with family and/or friends, even if it isn’t a holiday for you. (Let’s see. Canada has Thanksgiving earlier in the year. Wonder if any other countries celebrate Thanksgiving?)


Friend ship is green, apparently copyI am always amazed at how talented, kind, and intelligent my friends and family are. You know how to make a really crummy day simply splendid.

Of course, this may reflect the fact that I got home at 9:00 PM on a Thursday evening, to find a hot chicken dinner waiting for me. Priceless. Or I have friends who are willing to have me call them from one town over from their house, telling them I’ll be nearby… and they drop what they’re doing so they can socialize. Again — priceless.

It doesn’t hurt that I live in what I think of as my own garden preserve, lovingly tended by someone who actually knows what to do with plants and doesn’t kill rosebushes (kismet and absolute cleverness). So what small things are you thankful for?

Heels and Toes

amazonian-sockheelsThe Amazonian socks are finished. Heels and toes are done, as well as the weaving in of ends, mentioned earlier. Shh: they’re now bathing in their wool wash, although rumor has it that while I was away, the Gardener wore them pre-washing without dying toes.

I’m impressed with the color-fastness of the yarn, from Araucania. I’ve looked at their website, and I don’t see the Ranco Multi that I used. It’s probably still out there, just check the shelves at your local LYS.

Even though it isn’t as thrilling as knitting lace or cabled socks, I think the Yarrow Ribbed Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks has the potential to be a default pattern, depending on how the heels hold up. The heel pick up is definitely elegant, and I’m trying to figure out if I could incorporate a different heel flap into it. If you want to see socks that were knit better and have better photographs, go to irisines stricksalon. If you want to see them knit in pink screaming yarn, check out Fuzzy Noodle Knits (she used Flat Feet Sock yarn, where you get a flat pack of yarn machine knit and dyed, your unravel it, and knit it up again). [To non-knitters: yes it sounds like a cult of wacky. No, it isn’t.]

In non-knitting news, yes, there was fine china for our dinner, good wine to drink, and classical music on the radio yesterday. It was a good day to pause and be grateful. Now, I’m back to work.


No matter the weather, no matter the traffic, no matter how dinner turns out on T-Day — we will be thankful. No matter that I need to work today, no matter how many stitches get dropped, no matter how many familial bombshells are dropped — we will be thankful.

Thanksgiving was moved by common family agreement to the weekend so we can see more people, although some of the family can’t attend due to geographical challenges. This means the Gardener and I will eat Thursday’s Thanksgiving dinner in peace, quiet, and on fancy dinner plates.  Proposed menu: chicken breasts with stuffing, date walnut bread, acorn squash with maple syrup, brussels sprouts with chestnuts, cranberry relish with lime zest and pecans, and cake or chocolate chip cookies storebought pecan pie for dessert. If you celebrate T-Day this time of year, what are you planning? Happy Day to everyone, no matter if you’re in the USA overeating or not. 🙂