Tuesday, November 26, 2019

His arm was WHERE... by Joe DeRozier #WindowOvertheSink

From Joe DeRozier. Thanks again, Joe. We all love the stories we share. And Happy Thanksgiving to all from the Window!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to share a story about my youth, during this... my favorite holiday...

  My brother and I were always early risers, but on this day, Thanksgiving  day, mom and dad were already in full production mode.

  I would jump off my top bunk bed, inevitably knocking something off the shelves.

  Dave and I would race down the narrow hallway.  Our feet would feel the cold seeping up through that old floor.

  We often got caught in the doorway leading to the kitchen.  Kind of like a cartoon, or old 3 Stooges movie.... my brother is a year older and bigger than I am,  so the result was predictable.

  We explode into the kitchen, where mom and dad are already hard at work...

  Mom makes the most wonderful, delectable stuffing....EVER!  I'm sure this magical recipe could only be the result of Devine intervention!

  It's the kind of food you eat until you're full......then eat more until you're stuffed....then eat more until you've reached some sort of drunken euphoria....

  It is SO good, that when your Uncle Danny takes the last spoonful, red flashes before your eyes and a physical altercation is almost certain to ensue!   The fact he could (still can) tear me apart, limb from limb, is NOT what stops me..... what stops me is my inability to move since I had already eaten my body weight of this heavenly, God inspired, concoction!

Joe's mom and dad
  To achieve this virtual masterpiece.... an epic masterpiece....a dish that  brings tears to your eyes... mom and dad had a plethora of things to do!

  Dad would throw slices of bread in the oven to toast them.  Mom was cooking.....stuff.  I had no clue what she was cooking, because as she was doing that, I was intrigued by the fact that dad's arm was completely up a dead turkey's butt....a vision that haunts me to this day....
Joe's dad--and his arm...
  ....what was he doing?! 

  Was he looking for something?

  Was Jimmy Hoffa in there?!

  After mom's cooking, dad's homemade croutons, (and severe  violation of the bird), they got out the hand grinder!!!!

  We loved the hand grinder!  It was the centerpiece of this holiest of holy days!

  Dad attached the grinder to the kitchen table, and all three of us kids took turns turning that hand grinder.

  We ground the croutons, the mysterious stuff mom had been cooking, celery, onions, kitchen chairs, old coffee cups.... and nearly our fingertips..

  It is funny how we WANTED to do this.  Mom and dad pulled the ol' Tom Sawyer trick on us!  Until the day I moved out, we still jockeyed for position at the "grinder station".

  I remember the anticipation as I waited in line....mom and dad actually used a timer!  That timer felt like a calendar while I impatiently waited..

  After filling every pan in the house (and pans from all neighbors within a 3 mile radius) with this magical substance, mom refrigerated all of them, in turn.

  Now, this was all an exact process that required things to be done in a certain way, in a certain order, for a certain time.  We may have needed a full moon and some chanting.... I was never trusted with the entire spell....I mean, recipe.

  Later, mom would pull the foil covered pans from refrigeration, and dad would start the baking process.

  I have a tear in my eye as I write this, thinking of that....that most wonderful,  happy, loving, smell, that wafted through our home....

  I can still smell it...

  Once done cooking, you waited a specific amount of time.

  What did mom call that?....

  A resting time?

  I didn't care, I just counted the seconds until I could inhale it!

  Mom made enough to last approximately 7 months.... and we never tired of it.

  Breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks, and frozen stuffing on a stick for dessert....and we loved it!

  It really was a family event, though the kids really only did the grinder and ate it......and marveled about how far dad's arm got up the turkey's butt.....but it was tradition.  A wonderful tradition that I'm so sorry I never passed to my kids....

  The only tradition I passed down was pulling those Swanson frozen dinners from the freezer and throwing them in the microwave.

  If only I had jammed my arm in one...

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Go, Big Red! #RedForEd

Here it is Tuesday and I haven't even started a post for today. I'm not used to the blog "working" every week again. But today it's easy. My message is one being shared all over the state today, by thousands of educators who have made the trek to the State house to speak for our kids. Red for Ed!

Our school, the one I went to, my kids went to, some of my grandkids went to, and where my daughter and son-in-law still teach, is a place that is dear to my heart. It is a "safe place," a hall of memories, and, like any other institution, as full of flaws as it can be. But I am, like my neighbor says, always a Warrior.

The football team's defense, when my son and son-in-law played (and likely still...) was known within the community as the Big Red Machine. Shouting in the bleachers was always punctuated with "Go, Big Red!"

So today, when Indiana's teachers are in Indianapolis wearing red shirts and lobbying for better treatment for both themselves and the kids they tirelessly support, I'm saying it loud and proud. I hope you do, too.

Go, Big Red!

The monument has gone #RedForEd tonight! — at Monument Circle Indianapolis.
Borrowed from Keith Clock with thanks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

OF SPLENDID SUNFLOWERS by Sherry West #WindowOvertheSink

I'm happy to have poet and children's writer Sherry West at the Window today. Please make her welcome.

by Sherry West

Splendid Saffron Sunflowers birthed in fields of verdant green, among tall plain prairie grasses, grow beneath the watchful gaze of the Autumn sun.

Lying separated and scattered along the edges of an old highway, these mysterious fields beckon wonder and whimsy.

Each day’s travel passing these singular fields brings delightful discoveries as slender green shoots arise from gently bent prairie grasses and hay. 

Longer, taller, ever higher they reach - until one day, little round shoots appear at the tops. 

And the day after, bright yellow bits peep from within the tightly sealed enclosures - 
pieces of light reflecting their brilliant guardian. 

Warm autumn rays entice fledgling shoots to venture forth and greet the new day, 
and the Splendid Saffron Sunflowers shout Hurray!

And in the misty morning of the next dawn, their deep dark faces, encircled by shining halos, tilt up to steadfastly gaze upon the sun - warmth, light, and hope.

And as the shining Guardian travels the daily path across the blue, they faithfully remain true, watching and waiting for each day’s renew. 

Of Splendid Sunflowers & Sorrow

Sherry West

What do Splendid Saffron Sunflowers know
Of Suffering & Shaded Sorrow
Whose Shining, Gilded faces turning -
Greet the Sun King in the ‘Morrow?

One Thousand Ten Thousands abide in Green -
Hidden in Grasses tho’ still Seen -
Gently sway by Autumn’s Breeze
While Sailing ‘pon the Em’rald Seas.

Petals Gold, slightly curled
Spread their palms out - Unfurled -
Encircled Spheres, faces - Dark -
Gazing steadily, Embark

& closely Follow 
The Royal path & the Swallow
Flutters, darts ‘twixt Stem & Leaf - 
Lightly lingers, stays cooled Beneath.

Gossamer wings, of Pale & white
Silhouette ‘gainst blue & Bright
Pirouette in frantic Swirling rings
Whilst nearby Cricket chirping, Sings

Th’ Shining Orb arcs Azured expanse
Briefly rests, then Casts a Glance
At the Beloved Retinue
In their Crowns of Golden Hue.


Sherry West is the author-Illustrator of the newly released children’s picture book It’s Raining Cats! It’s Raining Dogs! It’s Raining Bats! And Pollywogs! Morgan James Publishing. Www.SherryWestArts.com Sherrywestart@gmail.com

Sherry drew a free coloring page for Word Wranglers, but to tell the truth I can't get it here, although this is what it looks like. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The end of a love affair... by Liz Flaherty @WindowOvertheSink

My ongoing love affair with fall took three big hits this week. The other day, it rained and blew a lot, which made my hair look like the very worst of the "before" pictures beauty salons post on Facebook. Since I've never had great hair, I don't take that very personally, although I do notice everyone's eyes kind of glaze over when they look at me.

On Sunday morning, I got up in the dark. This is fine, but it was also four-thirty. I hate time changing. So I'm thinking of seeing other seasons--I don't think it's going to work out with fall. Although my body says, "Okay, you can go to bed now," as soon as the Jeopardy music stops, I just can't make myself do it.

Monday morning--or maybe it was afternoon; it was daylight--I stood at the basement door and opened it with dread. There was a noise. The kind that's never good. That usually means a repairman. And writing a check.

However, that big hit wasn't what I feared. The sound was the drone of the
combine, taking down the corn in the surrounding fields. What a relief that was. I thought I'd be able to stay awake until at least nine o'clock!

And I did, but I don't remember anything after the music.

As you can tell from that idiotic thing above, I'm having a slow start getting back into getting the Window open. That's because, other than inherent laziness, I'm busy with the release of a new book. If you haven't seen me and everyone I've begged for support splashing it all over the internet, it's because you've been either asleep or in the fields. I have annoyed everyone.

That being said, The Healing Summer is on sale now. It's not in bookstores, but they can order it for you, or it's available everywhere on line. I hope you read it and like it. And I hope you have a good week.