My Thanksgiving Binder (and How to Make Your Own!)

I love to cook. I love to chop and peel and knead and whisk–if there’s a menial kitchen task that most people delegate to an appliance or the processed food companies, I probably enjoy doing it by hand.

Not every day, of course. I have a food processor and a blender and a garlic press for everyday use. I use my KitchenAid mixer so much I’ve worn out several paddle attachments and one dough hook. I am no stranger to frozen pizzas and canned chili. These things help me (and my family) survive.

But every once in a while, an occasion calls for some serious cooking–and I actually have the time to do it. These are my favorite days.

That’s why I love Thanksgiving.

Continue reading “My Thanksgiving Binder (and How to Make Your Own!)”

Support the Blog! Buy a Mug!

Everybody needs mugs, right? To drink their coffee from, to put their pencils in, to fill with bourbon when they need a drink before five…

And this mug is special. This mug is shiny. This mug features a cute literary quote (Louisa May Alcott, Little Women). It holds eleven ounces of liquid and though you can’t microwave it (there’s metal in the paint) you can totally put it in the dishwasher. It’s lightweight, it’s unique, and it also makes julienne fries.

Okay it doesn’t make fries. But proceeds from sales of these mugs will help me fund this blog. They’ll help pay for my domain name and the lovely website that WordPress provides. If I sell enough of them, they’ll help me create more fun content by paying for things like art supplies and costuming for some fun videos I’ve been brainstorming.

So buy one for yourself or for your coworker who really loves reading! Buy one for your mom, your dad, your grandma, your babysitter.

Quotable Mug: “I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

Silver, reflective 11-oz capacity Dishwasher safe Do not microwave Quote by Louisa May Alcott Price includes shipping via USPS Priority Mail

$20.00

Of course, shipping a mug is pricey, thus the $20 price tag. If you can’t swing that but still want to support the blog, I’ve got other items for sale on my Etsy shop, including printable art and vintage books.

Anything helps!

Kids Say the Most Incisive Things

The other day, my son and I took a walk. He wasn’t his usual chatty self–it turned out he was coming down with a cold–in fact, he was a bit of a grump. I kept trying to start conversations but he’d shut them down. I kept trying to hold his hand but he’d yank it away. After a while, he started walking on people’s yards instead of the sidewalk.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“We’re sliced apart,” he said. “We’re sliced apart and we’re never going to heal.”

I have to say, I got a little misty.

Continue reading “Kids Say the Most Incisive Things”

Writing Exercise: The End is the Beginning

One of the most popular writing prompts I’ve posted here on The Sensitive, Bookish Type is also my favorite: The Opening Line. Today, we’re doing basically the same thing but instead of working with a novel’s first line, we’re working with the novel’s last line.

At random, I reached onto my shelf and grabbed Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. This will be interesting for me because I haven’t actually read it yet–excepting, of course, the back cover. But that doesn’t matter because I’m not trying to extend the story itself. I’m simply borrowing its last line.

Which goes:

Arms about each other’s shoulders, the Babbitt men marched into the living-room and faced the swooping family.

Now, without planning ahead, I’ve come across a perfect example of the theory upon which this exercise is based: the end of a novel should always read somewhat like a beginning. Unless everyone dies at the end (which would be a very poor ending, in my opinion–not even Shakespeare had EVERYONE die) the end of one story is always the beginning of another. So now I shall use this last line to start a paragraph of my own. In this case, I’m going to replace the last name with the name of a family in the novel on which I’m currently writing. My exercise, below, might not be the beginning of a story, but certainly the beginning of a chapter.

Continue reading “Writing Exercise: The End is the Beginning”

Garlicky Veggie Stew with Rice

I have to admit something: I’m not great about eating my veggies. I make my kids eat them, sure, but too often I don’t eat my own. It’s easier than it sounds–I don’t eat breakfast until my kids are at school, and they’re usually away for lunch, too. At dinner, I’ll eat a kid-size serving of whatever veggie I’m serving but it isn’t nearly enough.

Continue reading “Garlicky Veggie Stew with Rice”

Writing Exercise: Pie and Whiskey

I’ve been reading Pie and Whiskey, a collection of short stories, essays, poems, and recipes. (The pie crust recipe is spot on, by the way; Kate Lebo knows her stuff.) The creative work in the book comes from a wide variety of authors and covers a wide variety of subjects, but one thing strings them all together (well, two things):

Pie and whiskey.

So, having read a couple dozen short pieces in the past few days, filled with pie-makers and whiskey-drinkers, I’ve got pie and whiskey on the brain. So that’s this week’s prompt. Pie and whiskey. Wherever it takes you.

Here’s mine.

Continue reading “Writing Exercise: Pie and Whiskey”

Tricks and Treats: On Fear, Bravery, and Halloween

When I was a kid, we lived down the street from our local pastor. Despite some of his congregation’s hesitations about the holiday, he absolutely loved Halloween.

I don’t remember how he decorated his house or if he ever wore costumes. I don’t remember what kind of candy he passed out. I remember two things about Pastor John’s house on Halloween night: he always looked delighted to see us, and he always made us do a trick before we could get a treat.

Apparently, this is a custom in certain areas but it wasn’t a custom in ours. As far as we knew, it was just Pastor John.

At first, the idea of performing on his front doorstep was terrifying. Should I tell a joke or sing a song? What if I wasn’t good enough? What if he gave me a rock instead of candy like those horrible adults in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?

But I did it. I was brave.

To me, bravery is what Halloween is all about.

Continue reading “Tricks and Treats: On Fear, Bravery, and Halloween”