Monthly Archives: November 2013

Favorite Thanksgiving Dish


Thanksgiving is one of the few times I eat turkey. I don’t dislike it; it’s just not my go-to meat. For some reason, I’d rather have chicken in my salad, or a chicken sandwich.

So, my favorite Thanksgiving dish is…. ta, ta, ta, tam … dessert. This being the time everyone brings something to the table, whether homemade or bought; the assortment is amazingly delicious.

Anything and in any form goes, just bring it on because come Thursday I’m not worried about calories or sugar. Ice cream over pie, yum, sooo good. Any kind of pie will do (pecan, pumpkin, fruit and almond tart, cherry pie … and the list goes on.)

Can’t say I’m a great cook, but I can whip up a pretty good pie. Not the crust, thought. I tried one year and whether it was the phone call I received in the middle of preparation, or my less than terrific cooking skills, the crust came out a bit burnt. The rest of the apple pie, though, was delicious.

My aunt’s famous pasta salad comes in as a second favorite (not sure how she makes it, but I’m sure she uses vinaigrette for the dressing), and then homemade stuffing is third. 

We’re not hosting this year, but driving to Orange County — an hour and a half away. And while I look forward to the meal itself, I can’t wait for dessert.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish?  And do you make it yourself?


Photo courtesy:

Wordless Wednesday

A bit of history.  Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia — 2013

25. Colonial Williamsburg -- the way it was

36. Colonial Williamsburg - historical reenactement part 1

32. Colonial Williamsburg - carriage & horse

21. Colonial Williamsburg Bruton Parish Church -- Jefferson's pew

Thomas Jefferson’s pew

More Wordless Wednesday participants here

Marie of Romania


“Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.”

~~Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)

Poetry is expression by beautiful language, isn’t it?

To be the master of its beauty and irony — oh, what a fine gift to be given.

Being inspired by poetry as a fiction writer is a blessing. It doesn’t happen often — turning prose into song — but when it does, when one sentence sings on my page, I’m a happy writer. For writing with the feel of a poet is not easy.   

Dorothy Parker, “the mistress of the verbal hand grenade,” had no problem with inspiration, of course. We see it all through her work.

The poet wrote the haiku above around the time Queen Marie of Romania was a famous figure in Europe.

And who was Marie?

Apart from being the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, she was queen consort to Ferdinand I, King of Romania.

File:King Ferdinand of Romania.jpg

King Ferdinand I

She was known as a strong woman, more than a principessa.  Ahead of her time. She took her position in the royal house seriously.

She went beyond her duties to build up the country as a European nation proud of its heritage and folklore. She made sure Romania did well at the Conference of Versailles (the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of WWI to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918).

Considering she grew up and lived surrounded by a collection of the rarest jewels, Marie is famous for having said: “Fashion exists for women with no taste, etiquette for people with no breeding.”

Rumors of unhappiness and infidelity circulated for some time. If she was unhappy in her marriage, however, Marie took that secret to her grave.

How do Romanians view Queen Marie?

Having grown up in Romanian, I can say royals are, generally speaking, long forgotten. The country has been through a lot of turmoil since King Mihai (Michael, the last of the royals and Marie’s grandson) was chased out of the country by the Communist Party.

We moved from monarchy to  socialism and communism to democracy in a matter of a century.  

The royal family remains part of our history as a story from long ago. And if any royal has maintained a certain connection, however shaky, within the people — especially the older generation and historians — Marie is probably the one.

But what is Dorothy Parker telling us in her haiku?

“… And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.”

Perhaps life isn’t all that it appears to be, and love can go wrong for anyone.

In her witty tone, Parker seems to say … Yes, Life isn’t fair. So there … shove it down your pipe and smoke it.


Images courtesy: Wikimedia Commons, Public records.

Images of the Season

Sometimes, images tell the story best. Especially when it comes to children and the holidays.

I hope your holiday season is off to a good start. Cheers.

2013-10-20 15.57.34

Pumpkin patch

2013-10-20 15.00.36

So many pumpkins

2013-10-20 15.54.41

Music to celebrate the season


A little pre-Halloween basketball


Trick or treating as The Phantom


With friends


Halloween decorations