It came as an urgent written message from a granddaughter pleading for comfort and comfort food: "Grandma, we'll see you at Thanksgiving — please be sure to bring mashed potatoes when you come." I was part of the mashed potatoes team for Thanksgiving this year. I helped wash, peel, cook and mashed pounds of spuds to be added to the on-site batch — there's nothing worse than running out of mashed potatoes during the holiday season.
Do you believe that nature sends us signs and signals warning us how severe the approaching winter will be? For example, some believe that when the oak trees produce a heavy load of acorns, this is to feed the squirrels in the long, cold winter ahead. I believe I have discovered a new sign from nature on the severity of the winter ahead. As I look out my window (I'm not an outdoor writer you know) on Nov. 19, I see about two inches of new snow on our 14-degree landscape and flakes of new snow falling on a windy day. Brrr.
Last week, on the day before Election Day, I wrote an article of discouragement. I was discouraged by the negative tone of campaign ads: Don't trust the other guys; falsehoods; semi-false statements; distrust; what to be afraid of; ugly photos of the other candidate; very little about positive proposals; vicious; nasty; mean, hurtful and outrageous. I ended the summary with my own statement: I DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS MESSAGE.
I just watched the end of the World Series. What a joyful relief from the news — bombs mailed to national leaders and murders at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Grown men, millionaires mostly, hugging one another — whooping, hollering and celebrating like boys. Who were they? The Boston Red Sox, winners of the World's Series of America's pastime — Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dutch, Arubans, Dominicans, Taiwanese, and Venezuelans.
The nasty, cruel, cynical cartoon showed the open doorway to Hell. Coming from the left was a long line of people about to enter. On the right, the interior of Hell showed the residents roasting just outside glowing blast furnaces and boiling in oil. At the door was the devil welcoming each new entrant with the line "Welcome to Hell — here's your accordion." And he gave each one an accordion.
I got the Sunday paper and scanned to see what was in the news and what the issues of the season were.
This has been a great year for apples. The kind that grow on trees, that is. The apple crop this year will definitely be bigger than last year's, maybe even a record. In talking to the locals, I keep hearing that there are more and better apples this year than ever. That's terrific news for those of us who love apples — and especially apple pies.
It's Monday morning, it's overcast, damp, chilly and gloomy outside and it's back to the grind. The search for inspiration or enthusiasm seems dismal if not hopeless at this hour. Yesterday, 26 pro football teams played. Half of them lost. Most won't play for another week. Yet today or tomorrow over 1,300 players are expected to show up for practice, lift weights, run through drills, watch game films and go through the labor of preparing for next week's game.
Are you a snob? Do you have too much money? Do you enjoy "fine dining?" Do you enjoy bragging? If your answer is YES to all four questions, let me suggest a perfect event for you.
Want relief? You are all familiar with placebos. Placebos are non-medical sham-pills — sometimes called sugar pills. They have been used in medicine for generations. Amazingly, sometimes they provide relief. This is often thought to be because people have the ability to heal as a result of their own psychological expectations. In other words, if you're taking fake medicine that you believe will provide relief, you actually experience relief.