The Thanksgiving Cornucopia, or Horn of Plenty

Mamacita, Jane Goodwin, cornucopia Mamacita says: The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, has such a wide, fascinating, and diverse history that you’ll just have to look it up for yourselves, because there’s not enough room here. I do love words, expressions, traditions, etc, that can be traced back to ancient mythology.  That would be. . . let me see. . . almost everything.

Cornucopia.

This ain’t just your grandmother’s wicker centerpiece, y’all.

God of the Tiber River, Tiberinus, with a cornucopia.

God of the Tiber River, Tiberinus, with a cornucopia.

Now, git. Off with you. Go to Google and search for “cornucopia.’ It’s relevant.

Tiberinus, here, is holding a cornucopia, but did you notice what he’s resting his other arm on?

He wasn’t the only Greek deity associated with the cornucopia, of course.  That’s why you need to look it up. You should know why it’s called a “horn.”  And why a horn is associated with plenty.  It’s all about the food supply, but why, and how?  Aren’t you curious?  I was.

It’s fascinating.  Really, it is.

Thanksgiving Is All About Gratitude

Thanksgiving Cat!

Mamacita says: Thanksgiving isn’t really just one day, you know.  It’s just the one day wherein we are all reminded that EVERY day is a day of thanksgiving in one way or another.

Some people consider this official Thanksgiving Day to be politically incorrect, but I think it’s all in one’s perspective.  Don’t think of this day in terms of clueless pilgrims  in buckled shoes and dull clothing – which is not correct, by the way; pilgrims were quite colorful in more ways than one – who didn’t know how to plant gardens and were starving to death out of sheer ignorance, and stereotypical Native Americans in loincloths who sighed, put down their scalping tomahawks, and taught the newcomers how to plant corn so they wouldn’t drop dead of starvation.  Think of this day as the symbolic Day of Gratitude.

Think back on your life; there was always something to be grateful for, even in the midst of horror, and there still is.  There always will be. Thanksgiving Day is a good time to be retrospective.

I hope we have all taught and encouraged our children to be grateful; few things are uglier than a person of any age who takes for granted all the blessings – small, medium, large, and XXlarge – that make up the pattern of our days.

A simple “thank you” can make or break us, sometimes.

Now, get out there and cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude.  It’s contagious, you know.

1. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” –William A. Ward

2. Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. –G.B. Stern

3. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. –Meister Eckhart

4. There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. –Robert Braul

5. Gratitude is the memory of the heart. –Jean Baptiste Massieu

6. When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? –G.K. Chesterton

7. The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. –John E. Southard

8. If you have lived, take thankfully the past. –John Dryden

9. As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. –Adabella Radici

10. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. –G.K. Chesterton

11. You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. –G.K. Chesterton

12. If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. –Frank A. Clark

13. The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! –Henry Ward Beecher

14. Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. –Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

15. Praise the bridge that carried you over. –George Colman

16. If you count all your assets, you always show a profit. –Robert Quillen

17. He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. –Epictetus

18. What a miserable thing life is: you’re living in clover, only the clover isn’t good enough. –Bertolt Brecht

19. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.–Oprah Winfrey

20. Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou are not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude.–William Shakespeare (As You Like It)

21. Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.–Brian Tracy

22. Eaten bread is forgotten.–Thomas Fuller

23. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.–William Arthur Ward

24. For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.–Clarence E. Hodges

25. For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful. And more truly for what I have not received.–Storm Jameson

26. Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.–Cicero

27. Gratitude is the memory of the heart.–Massieu

28. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.–Melody Beattie

29. Gratitude takes three forms: a feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and a giving in return.–John Wanamaker

30. Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.–Anonymous

31. If one could only learn to appreciate the little things…
A song that takes you away, for there are those who cannot hear.
The beauty of a sunset, for there are those who cannot see.
The warmth and safety of your home, for there are those who are homeless.
Time spent with good friends for there are those who are lonely.
A walk along the beach for there are those who cannot walk.
The little things are what life is all about.
Search your soul and learn to appreciate.–Shadi Souferian

32. If you never learned the lesson of thankfulness, begin now. Sum up your mercies; see what provision God has made for your happiness, what opportunities for your usefulness, and what advantages for your success.–Ida S. Taylor

33. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.–Albert Schweitzer

34. Keep a grateful journal. Every night, list five things that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change our perspective of your day and your life.–Oprah Winfrey

35. No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.–Saint Ambrose

36. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.–Elie Wiesel

37. None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.–Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

38. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.–W. T. Purkiser

39. Of all the “attitudes” we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.–Zig Ziglar

40. One can never pay in gratitude; one can pay “in kind” somewhere else in life.–Anne Morrow Lindbergh

41. One of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reasons for thankfulness.–J. Robert Maskin

42. Part of growing up spiritually is learning to be grateful for all things, even our difficulties, disappointments, failures and humiliations.–Mike Aquilina

43. Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.–Henry Ward Beecher

44. Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.–Charles Dickens

45. Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart.–Anonymous

46. A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.–John Bunyan

47. Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.–Gertrude B. Stein

48. So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.–Marian Wright Edelman

49. Somebody saw something in you once – and that is partly why you’re where you are today. Find a way to thank them.–Don Ward

50. Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee’s collected treasures sweet,
Sweet music’s melting full, but sweeter yet
The still small voice of gratitude.–Thomas Gray

51. There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way.–Jim Rohn

52. We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.–Sacred ritual chant

53. When eating fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.–Vietnamese proverb

54. When we are grateful for the good we already have, we attract more good into our life. On the other hand, when we are ungrateful, we tend to shut ourselves off from the good we might otherwise experience.–Margaret Stortz

55. . . . .when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present–love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure–the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth. –Sarah Ban Brethnach

56. Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.–Estonian Proverb

57. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. –W.T. Purkiser

58. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. –Thornton Wilder

59. Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. –William Faulkner

60. If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. –Gerald Good

61. Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices. –Thomas Fuller

62. There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. –Joseph Addison

63. I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude. –Benjamin Disraeli

64. There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people. –R.H. Blyth

65. Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. –Henry Clay

66. A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. — Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes

67. Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. — Mark Twain

68. The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Abraham Lincoln

69. Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart. — Sarah Ban Breathnach

70. Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. — Garrison Keillor

71. But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine. Thomas Jefferson quotes

72. Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. –Estonian Proverb

73. Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
— George Herbert

74. The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. — Eric Hoffer

75. Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. — Henry Ward Beecher

76. When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? –George Canning

77. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

78. We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. –Cynthia Ozick

79. Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. –Horace

80. The grateful person, being still the most severe exacter of himself, not only confesses, but proclaims, his debts. — Robert South

81. Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer. –Verbena Woods

82. Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors. — François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

83. Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. — Aldous Huxley

84. When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them. –Chinese Proverb

85. Thanks are justly due for boons unbought. –Ovid

86. In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. — H.L. Mencken

87. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. — William Arthur Ward

88. Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. –Robert Louis Stevenson

89. To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude. — Albert Schweitzer

90. Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. — Doris Day

91. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. — Leroy (Satchel) Paige

92. Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. — Margaret Cousins

93. Kindness trumps greed: it asks for sharing. Kindness trumps fear: it calls forth gratefulness and love. Kindness trumps even stupidity, for with sharing and love, one learns. — Marc Estrin

94. There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it. — Seneca

95. What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? –Erma Bombeck

96. Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. –W.J. Cameron

97. Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. — Robert Caspar Lintner

98. Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. –Theodore Roosevelt

99. It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast. — W.J. Cameron

100. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. — Albert Schweitzer

You’re welcome.

Thanksgiving, Indeed

Thanksgiving anywhere, Scheiss Weekly, Mamacita, Jane Goodwin Mamacita says: Thanksgiving, indeed.  When I first saw this picture, I was a small child and all I could think was, “Why were this mother and son seated at the same table with roughshod strangers?” Because this seems so odd to me. I’ve only known one restaurant in my life that seated people with strangers during rush hour so it could serve more customers, and even though the food there was wonderful, I was so uncomfortable being required to sit with strangers, I seldom went there unless there were no other options for my schedule that day.

The food was awesome there.  I just didn’t like being seated with strangers.  I’m talking about you, Ladyman’s Cafe, but your food WAS awesome.  I wish you were still there, down from the Buskirk Chumley Theatre, so I could eat lunch there and cringe away from all the strangers at my table and relish your delicious food again.

But as for this painting. . .

Now, of course, I can see the lovely lesson represented here. And I can also see that the artist has clearly shown us that even though people have different customs, etc, it costs nothing to show a little respect when someone does or says something we personally don’t practice or believe in.

Also? If we are truly thankful, we can have Thanksgiving anywhere.

P.S.  Why were Rockwell’s mothers always so old-looking?  Cripes, my mother is in her eighties and she could be the daughter of the woman in the painting!

What’s A Hoosier Thanksgiving Feast Without Persimmon Pudding?

This is a Hoosier persimmon.

Mamacita says:

What’s a Hoosier Thanksgiving feast without persimmon pudding?  A travesty, that’s what!  Whoever heard of such a thing?  Ridiculous.

Persimmons don’t grow in too many places, so chances are good that most of you have never heard of them. However, southern Indiana is a persimmon tree’s favorite home, and the trees grow healthy and prolific here. My fantastic and generous cousin gives me persimmon pulp, fresh from her parents’ back yard.  That’s right; the best pulp is from very ripe persimmons you pick up off the ground.

She gives me persimmon pulp and I give her loaves of homemade bread.  I think I get the best of this deal.

Hint: Don’t EVER taste a green persimmon, unless you like the sensation a blast of raw alum gives to your lips and tongue. Persimmons must be ripe before they can be used. VERY ripe. Asking someone you’re mad at to just “touch your tongue to this green persimmon for a second” is a fun, albeit cruel (depending on the age of the taster) trick to play on someone. Raw alum on the tongue. Yum. It’s a sensation vaguely akin to being turned inside out by the tongue.

On second thought, everybody should try that at least once.  How else can you appreciate the fun of doing it to someone else?

By request (ask, and ye shall receive) here is my very own tried-and-true persimmon pudding recipe again.  I’ve tweaked it over the years until it was perfection in a pan.

Hoosiers can be very protective and possessive of their persimmon pudding recipes, but I’m not. People have been asking me for it, so here it is:

Jane’s Persimmon Pudding

First of all, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. NO HOTTER.

Get out a very large bowl.

Put the following ingredients in it:

2 C. persimmon pulp (Use fresh or frozen; the canned stuff is terrible.)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 C sugar (I use Truvia)

1 C brown sugar (don’t use fake)

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt (don’t leave it out!!!!) (don’t use fake salt, either.)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 C flour

2 1/2 C evaporated milk (not sweetened milk)  (Some people use buttermilk.)

1/4 stick butter, softened  (not oil.)  (not margarine.)

Put everything in that large bowl and mix thoroughly. Use an electric mixer if you don’t think you can get it blended by hand. Get the lumps out.

Pour mixture into a large buttered baking pan.

Put the pan in the oven. Set your timer for 60 minutes.

After the timer goes off, stick a toothpick in the center of the pudding. Clean? It’s done.

Let it cool just enough to slice. Most people like to top it with whipped cream. Non-Hoosiers often sprinkle nuts on it.

You can also add coconut or pecans or cocoa to the mixture, but then it’s not Hoosier Persimmon Pudding. Your call.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Part 1

Scheiss Weekly, Mamacita, Jane Goodwin, Thanksgiving Mamacita says: I love Thanksgiving.  Sexist though it may sound, it usually takes a woman to fully comprehend what goes on in the kitchen before all that wonderful food appears on the table. I have several male friends who know, too. Painter Doris Lee portrays it beautifully, and some things haven’t changed all that much since a holiday kitchen looked a lot like this one.

Preparing large meals for a crowd is one of my favorite things in all the world to do.  I need to buy a boarding house. The more I think about it, the more I think that would be just the life for me.

Every dinner would be like a Thanksgiving dinner: a crowd of people around the table, conversation, and company.

I think I need to get out more.

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Mamacita says:  This day used to be known as Armistice Day, in honor of the armistice that was signed on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.  This year, 2018, marks the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day.

People wear poppies on Veterans’ Day.  Do you know why?

John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields”

This term also refers to the fact that back in ancient times, a worker who was hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour workday was paid the same as those who had worked all twelve hours.

After World War II, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans’ Day.  Many people do not realize that this is an international holiday, observed by many other nations as well as by the United States.

Schools do not teach students much about World War I, and I have never really understood why.  Most social studies classes, unless it’s a specialized elective, study the Civil War (Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn) and then make a giant leap over everything else so they can briefly mention World War II (Hitler was bad) and then leap again and remind students that JFK was assassinated (“I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris”) (“I am a jelly doughnut!”)  all just in time for summer vacation.  I learned most of what I know about World War I from reading L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside, and yes, it’s another Anne book; this one is mostly about Anne and Gilbert’s daughter Rilla. I cry every time I read it, even though I know what’s going to happen.  You’ll cry, too.  This book was written eighteen years before Anne of Ingleside, which takes place when the children are very young and was was sort of “inserted” into the list of Anne books, but that’s all right.  I would imagine, though, that at the time the books were being written and published, that might have been confusing to readers.  Anne of Ingleside has an ominous vision in it, that comes true in Rilla of Ingleside.  I have not been able to re-read Anne of Ingleside ever since I realized this.

 

On this day, let us honor the men and women who keep us safe, both past and present.

“It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Freedom is never free.” – President Barack Obama

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – former president Bill Clinton

I also like this one by Calvin Coolidge:  “The issues of the world must be met and met squarely. The forces of evil do not disdain preparation, they are always prepared and always preparing… The welfare of America, the cause of civilization will forever require the contribution, of some part of the life, of all our citizens, to the natural, the necessary, and the inevitable demand for the defense of the right and the truth.”

And I’ll end this post with this one, by FDR:  “When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

God bless America.