Jun 21 2015

Father’s Day comes but once a year, but thoughts of Daddy go on forever. Whenever I make his world famous Ultimate Cole Slaw recipe, I know he’s nearby, helping me get it just right.

[Tweet “Try my, “Dad’s Ultimate Cole Slaw,” for the Fourth of July. http://sunbonnetsmart.com/uncategorized/dads-ultimate-cole-slaw/”]

My Dad loved to entertain. The son of a well known hostess, my grandmother, Daddy had grown up on the thrill and satisfaction of planning social affairs. In his later years, he loved bringing happiness to those around him, coming up with novel party touches for our gathered fun-seekers. When a get-together was planned at our home, therefore, a flurry of activity would ensue. First and foremost was the menu, as food and beverages were the star attractions.

Menu planning, therefore, was the reason my Dad clipped recipes constantly. From the newspaper; from any magazine that crossed his path; from a dish he favored at a restaurant that, “required,” he call the Chef to the dining room for a consultation, he was obsessed with having recipe resource files handy for ready reference. He wanted to be able to produce just the right treat at just the right time, to dependably provide what any social situation demanded, at a moment’s notice. Now, we must remember this was in the 1980s and 90s, before the widespread Internet, much less Pinterest, so keeping track of favorite foods required proactive forethought and a filing system.

And, what a filing system he had! Boxes and boxes of 3″ x 5″ cards in plastic file boxes filling up the bottom of a bookcase near his reading chair. Directly next to his chair was a table with a drawer holding his “clipping” supplies: an X-acto knife to accurately cut out the recipe, fresh 3″ x 5″ cards and a roll of Scotch Magic Tape. While the family talked after dinner, Daddy would be clipping and filing, delighted with his latest conquests and acquisitions. He would excitedly interrupt conversation to read recipes, wanting to see if they, “sounded good,” as we would, “Ooh!,” and, “Ah!,” his latest find.

My Dad's Ultimate Cole Slaw, recent recreations (click to enlarge)Dad’s Ultimate Cole Slaw, recently recreated (click to enlarge)

And, things proceeded predictably in such a fashion for years. The quiet rattling of the Washington Post Newspaper Wednesday Food Section, along with the opening and closing of the drawer in the table next to his chair. This, comfortably blanketed by the flickering cocoon of the TV screen, made for pleasant evenings, and now, warm memories. It was an idyllic suburban scene, that is, it was…until he became even more acutely obsessed with one particular dish: Cole Slaw.

How it happened and why it happened, I cannot be sure. There is a good chance he was refused the revelation of a Cole Slaw recipe at a church supper, and became determined to recreate the elusive dish. But, all I know is he started buying cabbages. Lots of cabbages. The cabbages marched into the refrigerator with carrots and seemingly endless jars of mayonnaise, followed by a legion or  two of fresh lemons. These were his art materials, and my grandmother’s Pyrex mixing bowls were his canvas.

Cole Slaw, he had decided was the perfect pot luck supper dish. It was inexpensive to make; was healthy and, “provided roughage.” That was Daddy’s Cole Slaw strategy. And, when one stopped to think about it, Cole Slaw was indeed the perfect side dish, fitting into any church supper array of serving tabled fancies.

And, so the search began. 3″ x 5″ file boxes were no longer adequate. He moved to taping Cole Slaw recipes to 8 1/2″ x 11″ pieces of paper. As he made a recipe in the kitchen, if it made the cut, it remained unsullied, but if it was rejected, it was crossed off, right through it, with a mighty, “X.” This frantic quest went on for months, but as the research continued, he began to fine tune his efforts.

He said he wanted a natural Cole Slaw, with a cold, not cooked dressing. One with a lemon, not vinegar base. He wanted the creaminess of mayonnaise, but not to have it, too “mayonnaisey,” because, “All that fat makes me sick.” He liked adding celery seeds, but not too many. And, for color, there should be one carrot, and one carrot only, grated in along with the cabbage. Salt and pepper should be added, and finally the Ultimate Cole Slaw recipe had been born.

And, I am ready to share it. Here, right now.

But, you must understand the recipe is presented with the same persnickety-ness of my Dad’s approach. In other words, he felt there was NO WAY to accurately represent the proportions like any other recipe, because, “…of COURSE that depends upon the size of your cabbage!” So, I am going to give his recipe to you and hope for the best. I am hoping you can bridge the gap, blending the simple flavors to your tastes and that, with a bit of research and development, you will come up with your own Cole Slaw recipe, sure to be an heirloom hit at friend and family gatherings.

Dad’s Ultimate Cole Slaw

1 Cabbage, cored, quartered and grated

1 Carrot, grated

Lemon juice to taste (I usually use three)

Granulated sugar to taste (Not overwhelming sweet…unless you like that)

Mayonnaise (Start with a cup and add, if needed, to make a runny dressing as you stir with a big spoon and the juices are released from the cabbage)

A sprinkle of whole Celery Seed. (Start with a TBSP, and see what you think.)

Salt and Pepper, to taste, then mix well and refrigerate.

 *     *     *      *

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Filed under: Food,Recipes,Uncategorized — admin @ 10:13 am Comments (2)
Mar 16 2012

Cat people don’t find cats. Cats find them.

How many cats does one family need? Zero

How many cats does our family have? Seven

What! I hear you saying. Seven!?!?! Oh, sigh. Yes, seven.

 

Cats are regular BlogHers.

 

My muse, Kitty, sleeps on top of my computer desk
telepathically giving me inspiration.

Kitty was the first. I was a dog person. I had had a small Yorkie for all her life, thirteen years, when she finally passed over and I was petless. I missed her terribly, but, at the same time, I had gotten her when I was single, far from being with a family. Without a pet, I was to the point where having one less demand upon me was a relief. I was happy to have one less thing to worry about.

Then I got a call from a certain someone that there was a family of kittens born in a field at work, eating crickets for food and living in a rabbit hole. It was October, winter was coming, the big boss was taking one of the other kittens home, so how could we say, “No?” But, when I received the call, I had my wits about me and said, “Well, I don’t really want a pet, but we can one get it if you agree to change the cat box.” Not a first time cat owner, as you can see.

Smokey is a Tiffany. She is just as
strange as all of the articles on
Tiffany cats say they are.

Then, my Dad got sick and we were spending as much time at his house as our own. Kids miss cats, so driving home one day, there was a sign “free kittens” that drew us in. Once we saw Smokey, we were hooked. We consider her “medicinal” as she provided a little buddy for the kids at my Dad’s house while he was alive.

Helen was named for Helen of Troy,
in the movie “Troy.”

Then, one day, we went to see the movie, “Troy” with Brad Pitt. When We came out of the theater, there was a couple with a kennel of kittens yelling, “Free Kittens!” We couldn’t stand it, not knowing who would be taking them home, so we saved one. We got Helen because Smokey was laid back, loving and sweet, while Kitty was a die hard career women and wanted nothing to do with raising kittens. Smokey was constantly being rejected by Kitty and we felt sorry for her. Helen was the perfect playmate and they have been close ever since.

Helen and Smokey are constant companions.

So, verything went rather well until one day, the kids were yelling about a cat going in and out of our shed. Being no fool, I thought, “Kittens!” And I was right. Going into the shed, there was a tragedy in store. Here were three freshly birthed kittens, umbilical cords attached, eyes closed, dying and half dead. The mother was so sick, she couldn’t take care of them. The mother didn’t make it and GUESS WHAT!?!? The kittens did.

We didn’t know much about taking
care of young kittens.

I kept doing my motherly duty in preparing the kids for the fact that these kittens were so far gone, they wouldn’t make it. All the while I was preparing kitten formula, filling doll bottles and using flannel in a shoe box to make a kitten nest, not to mention feeding them every two hours. And, best of all, did you know kittens do not have peristaltic action in their little digestive systems? Did you know kittens can’t go to the bathroom without the mother cat licking their tummies?

Every two hour feedings ’round the clock.
Yes indeedy!

Well, neither did we. The vet showed us how to use WARM cotton balls to stroke their tummies and get them to go. It was really more than I needed to know, talk about TMI and “oversharing,” but once you get going on something like this, there is no turning back. Wherever you find yourself, there you are, as they say.

Here are two of the three twenty pound cats.

Well, they made it and we became the proud parents of three tremendous male cats. Didn’t we do a FINE job?

Turns out, they are Turkish Vans, another rare breed. How do we create these rare cats out of thin air? Why do they come to find us? What are we doing wrong? Or right?

We found out the “Boys” are Turkish Vans because that is the only breed of cat that likes water. Every time we drew bath water, these three hephalumps would come running and jump in the tub. We quickly learned not to leave doors open when taking a bath, because if one or more wandered into the bathroom, the bathtub became very friendly.

The Boys’ connection to water was the weirdest thing. While trying to figure out what in the world was wrong with these cats, we found their origins. Leave it to us to come up with this one. Turkish Vans are originally from Turkey and Armenia where they swim in ponds and streams and catch fish.

The Boys were named Bruiser, Dot and Mini. We still have Bruiser and Mini, but Dot passed on after a congenital deformity manifested in later life. After the loss of Dot, I have turned down my feline “love light” and things have been relatively quiet.

This is FatCat, a lady of refinement,
with a goal and a heart of gold.

Recently, though, I’ve gotten into adopting virtual cats that I find on BlogHer. I just open up my BlogHer Profile, and Ag-g-h-h-h, there they are. But, I have found virtual cats easy to care for, requiring only a comment or two every day or so. And I have Followed them as well. FatCat was my first virtual kitty love. Who could turn away from her sweet demeanor and zest for living? And, every day she has new stories to tell.

jennifer.watson is a very loving
cat who just adopted a kitten.

Just this week, I’ve gotten to know jennifer.watson and I have been fascinated with her stories of adopting a kitten, or child, as she prefers to call them. I was very happy to see her when she Followed me home to my Profile. I decided to Follow her immediately, when given the chance.

It occurred to me, that with her now blogging as a Mommy Cat, all of us on BlogHer will be able to hear about this baby growing up. Very regularly so, until she gets frazzled by motherhood like the rest of us and can’t keep up with everything. But, either way, “Welcome little Esme Louisa.”

And there you have the introduction to my cat family.
I am sure this post served a really good purpose and
was worth all the time it took to read it.

No cats or avatars were harmed in the
production of this blog post.

 

NaBloPoMo March 2012



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Filed under: Comfort,Roof — admin @ 4:57 pm Comments (0)
Mar 01 2012

Nothing bettern than Chocolate Ganche Cake

Once upon a time, in upstate New York, there lived a fairy princess named Laine or Lainey, as the people of BlogHer Castle sometimes liked to say. Lainey was very beautiful, was married to a handsome prince and had children that were known to drive her nuts over a cabin feverish long winter as only upstate New Yorkers can have.

And many happy returns!

As Laine can tell you, even fairy princesses have dreams. Laine dreamed of being a big, bad roller derby Queen and turning in her sparkling pink fairy dusted ball gown for a roller derby persona named Crazy Eyeris. As Crazy Eyeris, Laine didn’t have problems with anything, least of all the weather, so she and her husband and kids lived happily ever after. THE END.



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Filed under: Beauty,Inside — admin @ 2:39 pm Comments (0)
Sep 15 2011

Fashion, childcare, homemaking and health care
advice were as close as the mailbox to each
homemaker. The family was the center of the
home and female figures were the core.

There was a time when printed periodical media, in other words magazines and newspapers, were centered on people and their family life. While bringing in the news, main stream media’s human interest features and advertisements focused on making life more rewarding by helping families spiral upward, economically and emotionally.  The goal was bettering each person’s vision of what was possible and what they deserved out of life.

Then, as now, selling “new and improved” product advertising was also the purpose, but it is fascinating how older magazines and newspapers focused on those family members living inside the home rather than on unrelated people living outside of the family group. In other words, while there was some mention of Hollywood lifestyles, most of the articles, ads and photos were relevant to the management of the home and its occupants. The focus was local and immediate as people felt celebrity happenings and far off celebrity relationships had no personal relevance.

Magazines didn’t promote unrealistic standards
of wealth, but demonstrated how to improve family
life. See the tag line above: “The key to happiness
and success in over a million farm homes.”

Women’s magazines in particular were emissaries of family values and home life standards that brought homemaking inspiration and camaraderie into the mailbox when the postman delivered. Homemakers were nurtured by the stories, ads and guidance found in magazines from the early 20th century up to and including the 1970s. Vintage magazines were a large part of families isolated in a culture without television and, in some areas of the country, without radio or telephone contact.

Since the 1970s, it seems cultural emphases on homemaking and motherhood have gone onto the back burner. Likewise, magazines have changed their tone from nurturing the woman of the house to pushing her into the corporate world while she tries to do all of the home chores as well without recognition. In addition, it seems what home-life advice there is, many times pushes families to incorporate false values and high levels of consumerism, concentrating on what celebrities and rock stars are doing, rather than encouraging families to relate to each other and to their neighbors in the community.

Most vintage magazines marketed to women have
“home” or “family” on the front. Compare that
to today, when most women’s magazine covers
say “diet,” “sex” or “staying young” while
homemaking magazines are androgynous.

The words “family” and “home” were inseparable in vintage magazines. This created a home sanctuary and a safe place for family members to fall and at that time, most family homes were organized by women.  Then, as now, the family homemaker did not have to be a women, but now, it would be nice to have more literature showing women affirmed and complete in the focused role of being a homemaker. While it was timely in the 1960s and 70s to open up work force options for women who wanted them, it was not good to demean the family group and the traditional “women’s work” that provided for it.

While it is heartwarming to recognize new types of relationships and different types of families, the lack of support for homemakers who happen to be women continues to be glaring. All homemakers should receive support and affirmation, including women who like traditionally feminine rolls. We need to move away from presenting women, who are married with children as “burdened” as all people and their vocations of choice have value.

 

Inner Peace For Busy Women

A “5 out of 5 Star” Review: Inner Peace For Busy Women By Dr. Joan Z. Borysenko is a very nice surprise in that it is not a lot of advice about how to meditate, although this is one of her prime suggestions as a daily practice for gaining inner peace, but this 2 – CD set is her private sharing of the demons she has faced throughout her career as first a medical student/mother/poor housewife and through the years through divorce, single parenting, and balancing a demanding career as a doctor. The pain she experienced and the wisdom she gained she shares openly and especially deals with the persistent guilt of the working mother who is told by society that she can have it all, but in reality she is living a juggling act that kills relationships and individuals. She and her children succeeded through it all and have a loving adult relationship, although her marriage did not. She gives sage advice and encouragement to any woman walking this tight rope. EXCELLENT!

If attaining inner peace sounds like a good idea to
you, hover your mouse over this link to preview:

Inner Peace for Busy Women: Balancing Work, Family, and Your Inner Life



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Filed under: Comfort,Roof — admin @ 5:46 pm Comments (0)
Sep 07 2011

This antique postcard has always reminded me
of Laurette and Julie.

(…continued from August 31, 2011)

Yes! It was true. I was reading an article detailing the passing of one of my favorite childhood friends, Laurette. And death is very final.  All of the good intentions I’d had about finding her, saying, “Hi!”, and sharing old times would remain forever unrequited. She had transited on to another place while I was left to think about it all. It was a real wake-up call that has not gone unheeded. I learned much from the whole process. That is, taking Laurette for granted all those years, that she would always be alive and well for me to enjoy once again and then finding out that the reunion would never happen.

Our lives are intertwined, whether or not we can see each other.

I couldn’t stand the thought of eternal separation. I search the Internet until finally I was able to find one of Laurette’s siblings. I called immediately and was not disappointed. By finally making contact with a member of the family I was able to find out about Laurette and also about Julie. What a relief to make a connection with someone who knew and loved those girls! We had a great talk and signed off looking forward to getting together. I was so glad I had found out about Laurette and reestablished a relationship with her family.

From what family members said, Laurette was looking to
her next existence, when it became time to pass over

I learned that Laurette was in fine health, but suffered from an unexpected freak accident. And this is where a second wake up call from her rang loudly in my head. I was reminded that each of us lives on the edge of the next moment, never knowing what may happen and never having our next day promised to us.  We must all be grateful and enjoy each moment as an unfolding miracle. Change, good or bad, can happen very quickly.

Routine things can become remarkably notable in a hurry.

Laurette was just going to drink a cup of hot tea, like any of us might do. No skydiving, no riding a motorcycle or anything out of the ordinary. But, she had an accident happen and it eventually proved to be fatal. The accident occurred on a Friday night.  By the next Thursday, after several operations, she slipped away, dying with her family gathered around.

Tulips for Laurette. I know that wherever
she is, it is always springtime.

The power of the human spirit was exemplified by my friend Laurette. She had the funniest sense of humor and wry smile that, when she locked eyes with me, always caused me to laugh. She had, although it never once became apparent, a congenital physical difficulty that most people don’t have to entertain. Never did she complain or see life as anything but a lark, for the years that I knew her.

(To be continued Wednesday, September 28, 2011….introducing Laurette’s Favorite Toy…a vintage pattern to purchase and print out.)

 

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was a pioneer of death and dying discussions at a time in the 1970s-1980s when the separation process was not common public dialogue. Her powerful insights are not only comforting, but offer a change in reality perception as acceptance and integration of the dying processes are verbalized and even embraced.

If you are in a process dealing with the transitions
of life, or if you have an interest in in expanding your
understanding, hover your mouse over the link below:

Tunnel and the Light: Essential Insights on Living and Dying



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Filed under: Head,Intangibles — admin @ 5:39 pm Comments (0)
Aug 31 2011

They say all things are connected. I have found that to be true.

Life is amazing sometimes: the way things work, or don’t work or when they work, or how they work. For instance, when I was in junior high school, I was lucky enough to be friends with two girls who were sisters, Laurette and Julie. And they were amazing people, so much so, that I have always remembered them fondly, for what is now, almost fifty years.

In fact, while most other memories have faded, having lost their importance and receded with time’s advance, Laurette’s infectious laughter and Julie’s wry smile are easy to recall and respond to in kind. Whenever I think of those two girls, I can’t help laughing, half a century after the giggles of junior high lost moments. And because Laurette and I were in more classes together, we became closer and good friends.

Laurette and Julie were special because their family was special, and their family was remarkable, tied together by cooperative efforts to get along and get the best out of life. I was lucky enough to be included in the fun as Laurette, Julie and I became friends. It was a very special time in junior high school, which was 7th, 8th and 9th grade in the 1960s. As the years went by, those three years became even more special because Laurette and Julie both went to a different senior high school than I did when it was time. I never saw them again, although the memories of many outings, sleepovers and a week at the ocean were often recalled with pleasure.

Spring is time for housekeeping, inside and out.

Life just has a way of going forward, so, it was strange when I kept thinking of Laurette in the fall of 2010. I didn’t know why then and I don’t now. The fun we had together kept coming back to me and I wanted to find Laurette and Julie and say, “Hi!” I had done Internet searches before, never finding either one. I was determined that this time, I would sit at the computer and look until I found them. But, life was complicated in the fall of 2010 and so, I didn’t get to it. Thinking, “Well there is always tomorrow,” pressing matters came first and finding Laurette went to the back burner.

So, finally winter was over and with the exhilaration of spring, I decided to find Laurette, once and for all. I looked and looked, following many “Laurettes” on the Internet, none of them mine. But then! One day I was staring at the names Laurette and Julie along with the names of their parents and siblings. My quest was ended, I had found Laurette.

The problem was, the article spoke of her in the past tense. I was in shock. Could it be that Laurette had passed away?

(To be continued next Wednesday, September 7, 2011….)



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Life as it was in Upstate New York circa 1845.

When I think of fall, I think of the Harvest Festival at The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Farmer’s Museum is a living history museum, much like Williamsburg, Virginia or Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In living history museums, the culture of another time period is faithfully represented by period interpreters who interact with visitors as they wander through period surroundings.

The Farmer’s Museum showcases our national agricultural
heritage, specifically that common to upstate New York.

The Farmer’s Museum is a part of the New York State Historical Association, NYSHA, complex located just north of Cooperstown, NY. This well appointed history of agriculture museum sits across the road from the Fenimore Art Museum, the NYSHA Library and the Cooperstown Graduate Programs. All of the visiting options at NYSHA are well worth the time and money for the delightful experiences, both intellectual and aesthetic. And, did I say, “FUN!?!” While the NYSHA library houses rich reference materials and the Fenimore Art Museum is renown for its American Folk Art and Native American Collections, the Farmer’s Museum is a hands-on experience in the farming “way back machine.”

Distinctive architecture from all over New York State
has been moved and reassembled at the Farmer’s Museum.

Agricultural technology from all aspects of a working farm in the 1840s is displayed and explained by costumed interpreters. Hard work inside and outside the home are depicted as well as the hard play of games and diversions. Merchant life, tavern life and the interweaving thread of religious devotion are readily experienced by every visitor to create a vivid image of rural living when our country was young.

Go to The Farmer’s Museum and celebrate the bounty
of the harvest on September 17 & 18th, 2011.

My two favorite visits to The Farmer’s Museum are the Harvest Festival in September and Candlelight Evening during the Christmas holidays. Look for a Sunbonnet Smart post on the Candlelight evening in December, but  focus on the Harvest Festival now, because it’s just around the corner! Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th, 2011, should find you in Cooperstown, ready to ride on a buckboard wagon, spin a hoop across the village green, enjoy old time refreshments or shop at a well stocked general store. If you like penny candy, want to play a game of checkers on a barrel or ride a carousel, then The Farmer’s Museum is for you and the Harvest Festival is a great time to enjoy it. For more information go here.

This family enjoyed their visit to The Farmer’s Museum’s
2010 Harvest Festival so much, they shared it on YouTube.

If you have ever been to Cooperstown, NY, you will remember it as a small village with one traffic light. Cooperstown is located at the base of Lake Otsego, the spring-fed mouth of the Susquehanna River. If you haven’t been to Cooperstown, then try watching the following video to take a tour of a most beautiful and engaging vacation destination:

Cooperstown was named after the family
of James Fenimore Cooper.



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Filed under: Heart,Heritage — admin @ 5:19 pm Comments (0)
Nov 18 2010

With the holidays coming up,
it’s time to practice crowd control.

If you haven’t figured out how to descend on someone’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, and if you have the barbarian hordes descending on your home, it’s time to realize your power to control the day and adjust the festivities to your own level of comfort. Setting boundaries and limits to what you will and will not do can help you feel less overwhelmed. Rhetorically speaking, taking a few stiff belts of your favorite beverage can help temper the anticipation of relatives arriving with their boatload of comments, complaints and “suggestions.” But, without resorting to intoxicants, some directed forethought and well placed lifelines to sanity will encourage you to feel like a model hostess, thereby resisting impulses to slip out the kitchen back door when no one is looking.

One may take solace in the fact that relatives are an age-old problem as shown by the vintage postcard displayed below. If you are dreading the onslaught this Thanksgiving, no reason to feel like you are The Lone Ranger. These post cards were mass produced by the thousands for the general public over a hundred years ago so you know you are not the first and, odds are, will not be the last.

An age old problem with a simple solution?

In-laws truly present a special set of obligations and a special set of problems. It is interesting that in life, because of blood relations, you are expected to interact with people on a continual basis that you would never seek out for a sustained friendship. I have stood talking to my relatives and inwardly thought, “You know, if I met you at a party, I would be so turned off by your pompous arrogance, that I would never speak with you again.” Just inwardly acknowledging that I have rejected them for friendship has helped me step back from saying something I might regret. I have risen to the occasion a little easier, with less inward stress, because this related individual has been deposed as “not worthy.”

Are overbearing relatives the ruination of your holidays?

When I read many of the self help guidelines for getting along with relatives on the Internet, such as “How to Get Along with Relatives” found here or “Family Parties: Getting Along with Relatives or Anyone Else” found at this site, I am reminded that it is important to remember I can’t change other people, I can only change myself. But, one thing these self-help sites don’t emphasize enough is when you take responsibility for maintaining your own self control and discipline, do not feel responsible for everyone’s behavior as well.

For instance, don’t beat yourself up emotionally because you could not, on the spot without any warning, find the right phrase to diffuse Aunt Harriet’s unneeded comments about Cousin Mitzie’s couch potato husband, Bob, who’s lost another job. Don’t take responsibility for lifting that lead balloon out of the air.  You’ve fixed the dinner, washed the crystal and polished the silver. You don’t also have to be a stand up comedienne “just in from Las Vegas” delivering the perfect one liner to make everyone happy again.

No! Just smile and pass the sweet potatoes.

If Aunt Harriet is going to bomb, let her. If Cousin Mitzie is offended, let her cover for Bob one more time, she’s used to it. The point is, as hostess, you don’t have to be a psychiatrist to the group for the dinner to go well. Save yourself the effort because odds are, no one will appreciate your “interfering” anyway. No one will think you said just the right thing anyway. And, if you shield yourself from getting hooked into the action, it will be easier to relax and enjoy the rest of the day and rest of the family.

So! Like I said, smile and pass the sweet potatoes.



And, if you need a reminder as to how involved family
relationships can become, here is a 1991 episode of
TV’s Roseanne with a family Thanksgiving get-together.

 

The Relationship Cure is highly recommended. If it
interests you, hover your mouse over this link:

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships

“This is the best book on relationships I have ever read — a truly impressive tour-de-force. John Gottman has discovered the Rosetta Stone of relationships. He has decoded the subtle secrets contained in our moment-to-moment communications. By introducing the simple yet amazingly powerful concept of the “bid,” he provides a remarkable set of tools for relationship repair. By the middle of the second chapter you’re likely to say to yourself, “Oh, so that’s what’s happening in my relationship with my partner (or colleague, boss, or sister), and now I know what to do about it.”
— Daniel B. Wile, Ph.D.,author of After the Fight: Using Your Disagreements to Build a Stronger Relationship



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Filed under: Attitude,Head — admin @ 4:15 pm Comments (0)
Sep 18 2010

With whom do you live communally?
That’s who’s family to you.

It’s fashionable now to take about, “redefining the family,” as family groups now are more popularly acknowledged to include more than just a mother, father and kids. But families have always existed that didn’t fit that rigid paradigm. People have been forming families for mutual interdependence and community for years that answer to what’s now been “redefined.” Life is full of surprises and what we can count on today, we might not have tomorrow. The same with our families. Things ebb and flow. There will be gains and losses, but Sunbonnet Smart will be here to give you attention whenever you drop by. We’re family to you!

Pirates have a family on board each ship.

So, whether you have a large family or a small one, or whether it’s just you and Sunbonnet Smart, let’s get together on the Internet to blog, to chit and to chat. Holidays especially. We’ll keep the light on for you, tea in the pot and cookies in the oven!



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Filed under: Family,Heart — admin @ 2:28 pm Comments (0)
Sep 04 2010

This Labor Day Weekend, what a perfect day it was to go down to the Virginia Scottish Games and Festival, a yearly gathering that takes place in September. This year, September 4 and 5, Saturday and Sunday, the games were played on Big Meadow, The Plains, Virgina, near Manasses, VA, not far from I-66. The weather was as perfect as the company.  You’ll clearly see in the photographs that a great time was had by all.

But first!

We need some bagpipes, Highland Dancing and caber tossing to set the tone. This video is from the 2009 Virginia Scottish Games and is representative of what takes place. Click play when ready.

Now, here are photographs from this year, September, 2010:

Scots take the wearing of the kilt and the playing of the bagpipes very seriously.

Highland Dancing was originally done by Scottish warriors.

Sheaf Tossing involves lifting a heavy sheaf of grain up and over a raised bar.

Border Collies “make suggestions” as to where the sheep should go next.

All of the Clans had displays with their Clan Tartans and Clan Crests.

THE KILTED NATION, TKN, from Alexandria, VA was busy for good reason.

Scottish Country Dancing exhibition by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

There was traditional Scottish music playing in several different venues.

 

Cabers were turned in warfare to break up the flanks of advancing armies.

Scottish Highland games are both an athletic competition and a celebration of Scottish culture. The games are the modern embodiment of the war games and contests that were held in ancient Scotland in a warrior based society. It is said Highland Games are at least as old as the ancient Olympic Games of Greece and more information about the practice can be found here in this link.

Wikipedia has a great listing of all of the Highland Games all over the United States at this link.

The people who attend and enjoy these events are not necessarily Scottish in descent. The Scottish culture is very inclusive, in other words, all people with an interest in enjoying the Highland Games and Festivals are welcomed. In fact, Scottish Country Dancing has a big following in Japan. Here you can see a Japanese bagpipe group playing in Tokyo by clicking on play.

Scottish Country Dancing is also popular all over the world. Here a exhibition performance video that nicely shows the elegant patterns and turns of a Strathspey:

If you are interested in joining a Scottish Country Dancing group, don’t be shy! You’ll have a good time, meet nice people and get some pleasant exercise at the same time. Go here for more information about the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Hope to see you at the Games or dancing soon!



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