Cake and Pierogie Lasagna, covered in Christmas lights

Did pretty good today. While I didn't get to walk the dog...I did manage to get the Christmas porch lights up with Talon's help...and Harry's loan of wire ties :)

My porch looks like a Gingerbread House, which is perfect for the upcoming Fairy Tales book discussion club starting. It does look good enough to eat and I am happy with it. That is, until the NYSEG bill comes :)

Have also gone to work, and made a wonderful creation of mine own concoction.

Potato Pierogie Lasagana, with peppers, mushrooms and sausage. Delicious.
It's also Harry's birthday today, 52 years for my honey! He wanted Chocolate cake with Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Ice Cream....but recanted that a yellow cake would also suffice, as the Chocolate Coma ensuing would be too much to wake up to. :)

But I have to say, even tho, I have not made the chart for my checklist for my goals...and I did not walk Monty, I DID love him up and play with him....and got many other things done today that counted.

I also worked on organizing and sorting some stories for my different books. It all feels grand.

Very happy....and hopefully snuggles will occur in the interim.

If it's going to's up to me

I just watched "Julie & Julia" again last night.
I do so like that movie. A woman takes on a commitment to make some changes to her life, by adding French cooking ala Julia Child to her daily life for a year.

Cooking makes her feel better. It takes her worry and stress out of her job of being a counselor and transforms it into something delicious. It is not the first time that cooking has been incorporated into a life changing experience. "Like Water for Chocolate" is a story about a woman who puts all her emotions into her cooking, and anyone who eats her cooking, feels the emotion that made it....whether it was grief, happiness or lust. A very clever book.

"Chocolate" is also about a woman who changed her life, and the lives of those around her, just by being herself and nurturing her community with her healing advice along with a serving of chocolate.

I have seen friends of mine, take up the gauntlet of writing daily or walking daily or making some daily committment to themselves to change or add something to their lives.  Some have taken up the 365-52-12 banner to wave. 365 commttments to self to do something daily. 52 things in a year, to commit to do something enhancing for themselves weekly. 12 things to do once a month to encourage some growth within their lives.

I admire them. I've also been thinking about what would change my life for the better. I'm 50 now. I've completed and fulfilled a lot of my past goals. My girls have now grown and left the nest. My life needs some new goals and focal points to push me to achieve, and to accomplish.

I have made some notes to myself about what I'd like to add to my life to change or enhance it for the better.

I write to you, to make a commitment to myself and to "man up" as it were.

I would like to try to walk Monty every day. Even just a wee walk. It's good for both of us. (365)

I would like to make a commitment to start caring for myself better.
So, once a week (day TBD) I should make an extra special "spa" date with myself here. I should give myself a manicure, pedicure, bubble bath or detox bath, all over lotion, and deep conditioning hair treatment and facial.(52)

I would also like to see the Chiropractor once a month for my health. I don't have insurance (I am a musician and work part time at a college) so I should see the doctor to keep myself in "working order".(12)

I would also like to schedule a full body massage for myself for my health 3x a year.(4)


I would like to encourage a book club discussion gathering of like minds who enjoy Fairy Tales and Folk Tales. Grownups who want to delve into these stories and enjoy them for their political, symbolic and entertainment value. This is also to encourage intelligent friendships and fun mental activity. (12)

I have complained in the past that my dear loving husband is a pack rat...even a hoarder. I encourage myself to do something about the house, daily, regardless of some of his restrictions that have been limiting me. I promise to do a little something daily to encourage organization and to make my house a more comfortable place to live. I promise to try to help him by my own example. (365)

I would like to encourage my friendships and make a "date" with one of my friends every month (12)

I would also like to set up a Creative Circle for me and my friends to get together to be productive. (12)

I will also try to be more loving every day to the people around me, by telling them or showing them. There needs to be more love in this world. (365)


I am going to try to write every day, which in turns help me to be in touch with my own spirit. Even a sentence journal a day will make me thankful and keep in touch with the passage of time.(365)

I will try to post here once a week and give some updates on my progress (52)

I would like to visit a sacred place, temple, cathedral or sacred grove once a year on a journey of self discovery.This is also a reward to myself as well as a goal. (1)

I want to get several of my book ideas in order. I counted and I have about 6 separate books going and I am going to try to get them organized. I will do something on them every day (365)

I will try to brush up an old song or learn a new song to me once a month for Merry Mischief (12)

So there it is.
A bit complicated.... mayhaps a bit over reaching, but then again, so am I.
But the life I try to live, to be the best me I can be, is also very important..

Thanks for listening and hold me to this....
I will keep you informed the best I can.

Thanksgiving Day 2010

I got up at 6:30am to make coffee and see Talon off on his journey quest of a walkabout to his friends in MA. He has about a 6 ½ hour drive ahead of him as he set his goal to leave at 7:30am.  After waving goodbye for his adventurous next four days, I wished him well and prayed that his number 13s aren’t gonna be too heavy on the gas pedal, I let out the dog. 

Going into the kitchen, at 7:35am, I decide to eat the last remaining piece of homemade lasagna that was the lone orphan on the stove from last night. I wash it down with juice and both Monty and I crawl back in bed with Harry.

Monty is a bed hog, but Harry & I don’t mind. Harry calls Monty to snuggle and all three of us spoon and drift back off to slumber.

I fall back asleep, have a couple of interesting dreams and slowly wake up. I look at the clock and it says 11am! Shawna’s dad is coming for her at 12:30pm and she still has to have a shower and get dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner at his family’s house! This also means that she will be wearing a skirt… which means tights… which is much like stuffing a sausage casing. :)

I hear her call for help, for me to go to help her get into her tights. Wadding up the toe of the stocking, I see that one of her big toes is a long as a Dracula claw. We call these beauties “Fangoras” at our house, for their ability to impale sleeping partners or anyone in range. I go find the clippers. I eliminate the stocking shredder before I put the wadded up stocking on her feet.

She looks beautiful. It’s a late start to a Thanksgiving day for me.
In the past, in my childhood, my mother would’ve started prep for  the day…yesterday… and maybe even the day before.

Bernie Brown, my mother, was a farm wife, and would cook a huge dinner and have to utilize all the extras leaves in the oak table to accommodate our holiday feast.
Pies and fresh rolls would have been baked a day or two before. Mom would be up by 5 or 6am on Thanksgiving day prepping the turkey and cubing stuffing bread to fill the cavity before it went into the oven at around 7am. No mean feat to eat with all at the ready by 1pm. Many vegetables were fetched fresh from the cold cellar: potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, onions. Other veggies: green beans, beets and pickles were hand chosen from jars on the fruit cellar shelves. Linen tablecloths laid out, the good china placed just so, with at least 15-20 places set for everyone. The gravy boat even made its’ thrice yearly appearance on the table. Mom, sweaty, disheveled, busy, broken, tired would lay all the bounty and cornucopia on the table, right on time. She, however, was usually too tired to eat. My mother would pick at her plate, while telling everyone else to have seconds.

I thought of all of this as I rose from my marriage bed after a decadent lounge at 11am this morning.

On Thanksgiving Day…I do things a bit different now, but it’s still good.

Since my little girls were small, I always made sure there was some special treats.  Treats like “juice punch” (orange juice and gingerale) and danish hot from the oven (Pillsbury Orange Cinnamon rolls) that I fix for Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. No, it’s not homemade. But it’s pleasure, just the same.

I have made tradeoffs in my life. I’d rather have quality rather than quantity. I’d rather spend my time giggling with Shawna, and cutting her fangoras  and wedging my chubby girl into her tights, than make sure my Thanksgiving dinner was scratch made. I’d rather sleep till almost noon with my cuddly, snuggly husband and rise to put a turkey in a roasting bag to cook 3 hours, instead of rising at dawn and basting a turkey all morning. I don’t know if mom would’ve even used a turkey bag if they existed back then. Maybe. Maybe not.

My girls are with their dad and his side of the family today. A gigantic, wonderful hulabaloo filled with quantity and noise and laughter. That is a wonderful thing, and I’m glad they have it. I am also glad that they are there having a wonderful, busy, big family experience. I had that as a child and it was wonderful. Dishes weren’t that great tho, and I usually was always on that detail.

Yet, all in all, I prefer the quiet of today, the turkey that cooked fast and without my hovering, the enhanced Stove top stuffing I make, the boxed pie cooked bubbly with whipped cream. You know what? It’s all good.

So is watching a movie, in my quiet house, with a glass of wine and a plate of food in my lap and Harry at my side. While big may be better….sometimes little is best. :)

Our life is lived on stage, in crowds, on the move and on the go. The quiet day is a balm to my battered, rag tag, worn out soul.

Even the highway, which is our front road, is quieter today. I took Monty for a walk after my dinner (and he got the cooked turkey neck ;) and we had a lovely stretch of the legs.

The wind was brisk and cold as we stepped out the front door. It was Monty in his chin harness and me at the helm. Many houses were quiet today too… empty. Mayhaps, over the river and through the woods, to grandmothers’ house they did go, no doubt. 

The last few times I’ve been walking Monty, I have been participating in an experiment.
I close my eyes and let my dog be my seeing eye dog. While it is true my cataracts are getting worse, my left eye is totally occluded….yet, I have to tell you that compared to a black slate, my eyes still see.

What an interesting thing to be led. Granted, I still have my sight to check myself when we drift, or when a car sounds close by. I open my eyes and right us on the path or check distance or progress.

But what a feeling to let go and let Monty lead me. There is the matter of trust here. Trust that he knows where he’s going. Trust that you are walking on a firm footing. Trust that you will not fall. Trust in yourself that you can judge your footing and make the proper adjustments. Trust that Monty knows the way.

So, although my sight is failing, and will be addressed with surgery at some point in the near future…I am grateful that I am not blind.

While I am grateful to my mother and all that she did to make a wonderful feast day in my memory, I am grateful that I had some time for my children to enjoy them and to not feel so pushed to crank out perfection.

I am grateful for easy things, for tasty food that cooks itself.

I am grateful for my best buddy, Talon, who has an adventurous spirit and a loyalty for  friends, he who will drive long distances to keep friendships…and who also knows where home and his heart is.

I am grateful for my children, my girls, beautiful and unique in their own right and who have grown into capable young ladies.

I am grateful to my first husband, David, who is still an active part of our little family, who is still loved, and who has been an excellent daddy to my girls every day of their life.

I am grateful for my husband, Harry, who, is handsome and smart, and even though he drives me rat shit sometimes, he is wonderful to sing and play with, is a pleasure to be on stage with, is a very toasty loving and warm bed mate, and while he has his own particular way of doing things…he occasionally lets me sway him to my way of doing things. Proving he loves me truly.

I am also grateful for my home, messy and cluttered around the edges, yet with always the promise of hope of its’ getting organized, if only we try a bit harder, and keep at it.

And mostly, I am grateful that, like following Monty, we may run far afield in this life, mayhaps blindly going our own way….

But that we can always tune into our instincts and if we just listen, know that deep down inside….our feet know the way to go home.

Pet Peeves


I am now outnumbered by males in my household. 

For years, it was 3 females and 1 male in the house. Now it is 3 males (Wayne, Talon and Monty) and one lone female. Me.

 It’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m sure the guys like the lack of feminine hygiene products, combs, brushes and hairdo stuff left lying around now…and they can now fight over the phone betwixt themselves instead of fighting teenage girls for it.

I, on the other hand feel outnumbered sometimes. The guys support each other and are in cahoots together sometimes.

But it’s a fun roommate situation if you have a sense of humor about it.

Case in point with the quick and interesting conversation we all had last night:

I came home from work and made dinner while Harry worked on emails. (Some things don’t change). But when Talon came home from work, I could hear him mumbling quietly under his breath out in the kitchen, “why fer feck’s sake can’t you use a plate instead of resting the dirty spoon on the stove?!?” (as he comes home from work, and starts bitching about the mess in the kitchen, brought on by my need to cook dinner waiting for him and Harry…)

I said, “Does that bother you? There’s no room for a spoon rest on the stove. No big deal, I wipe it up when I clean it up later.”
(More crabbing as he scoops up his big plateful of ready made pasta :).

 “You mean when I clean the stove….” He trails off.

So then I said, “Do you know what bothers me about YOU?”

He said, “Beer bottle caps left lying around?”

I said, “Yes…but that wasn’t what I was thinking…”

He replied, “The reading material in the upstairs bathroom that I leave lying perched on the garbage can?”

“Yes…but that’s not the one I was thinking of either…” I mused.

“The way I put the toilet paper roll on backwards?” he grinned.

“Yah, that one does piss me off, but I always change it back anyways…but NO…keep going….” I giggle.

Harry, in the other room,  interjects, “How about how when all the lights get turned off in the room I’m working in?” (he’s now playing along :)

To which Talon replies, looking directly at Harry, “Or how about leaving all the fecking lights ON AND the radio left blaring and THEN driving off for the day?”

To which Merlyn looks at Harry now and says, “Or the “oh so close” award of throwing your laundry NEXT TO the hamper?”

“I try.” He grins and says with a not so convincing statement.

“Oh, you are very trying” I say sincerely.

“Harry, why can’t you shut the back screen door? I’m gonna nail the fucker shut one of these days.” Talon says.

“I shut it…kinda…” says Harry “It closes eventually.”

“NO, you HOPE it closes…but it doesn’t…it closes because I close it tight.” Says Talon, the keeper of the door.

“Talon, you still haven’t got to the correct pet peeve yet…keep going…” I look at him with a twinkle in my eyes.

“Um…..let’s see…I have one for YOU, Merlyn…what about the sign on my door that says, “Man Bear Sleeping in Man Cave…Do Not Disturb?” Hmmm? You walk right in….”

“You like it when I visit.” I smirk. “Besides, I don’t have a door….why do you get a door?!”

“I’ll get you a door” he mocks.

“No, I’m fine, besides, you can’t hear me knocking with your headphones on”. I counter in my defense.

“You guys fart all the time.” I say. “Why do you think we call Harry, “Squeeks?”      I laugh outloud.

“Well, Merlyn you do too…and worse than the dog.” Says Talon with tears  welling in his eyes.

“Self defense around here. It’s good to get even.” I say with a pirate smile.

Harry says, “Come on now you two, no fighting….”

“We’re not fighting….we’re playing” we say in unison.

“Besides…” I continue, “You always leave a spoon or fork in the leftovers when you put it in the fridge” I gack.

“What’s wrong with THAT?” he says incredulously.

“It’s fucking disgusting. You LICKED off it first.” I say with a nauseous look. “AFTER you kissed the dog on the lips. He licks his dick you know.”
 Monty bats his eyes demurely and winks at Talon…who blows him a kiss back.

“And, while we’re at it…" I continue, "Let’s talk about the Herculean way you crank down the soda or any jar in the fridge. I can’t get the fucking thing open without going to the shop to use the vicegrips. You don’t know how strong you are! I’m turning into an old woman who can’t open jars prematurely cuz you’ve horsed them on with superglue.”

“Well, you don’t flush the toilet at night and leave several night time visits in there.” Talon says to me in a peeved voice.

“It doesn’t make ecological sense to flush 5 gallons of good water for 2 tablespoons of piss. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down… Besides, I get up and see you’ve visited the potty previously in the night…and it’s sort of muddy in there, too sometimes. You don’t flush either.” I say.

“Well, I don’t want to wake you up. Not that you or Harry don’t come walking in and talk to me anyways….while I’m…READING.” He says with a smirk.

“We’re all old and wake up automatically at 3am now”. But it’s only cuz you don’t shut the bathroom door and the light wakes us up and then we realize that we have to pee too….” I say.

“Oooh…. so we’re back to the DOOR thing again?” He says with a sarcastic smirk. ”I shut my door so my computer game doesn’t keep you up. You said you don’t like all the beeps and fatal death screams the zombies make when I kill them, when you are trying to sleep. I close the door for YOU, Merlyn.” He say diplomatically.

“No, the pet peeve that got this whole thing started” I say, trying to get a handle back on the original conversation, “is the manual can opener. I like to leave it when I’m done, clicked back closest to the wall. YOU like to leave it wide open and ajar and swung out.” I state with my good reason.

“No, I leave it clicked and locked in where it GOES.”

“Nuh uh.” I shake my head no.

“Uh huh” He shakes his head yes. “It’s not like your gonna bump your head on it or anything.”

"You saying I'm short?" I question.

"Hey if the midget shoes fit..." laughs Mr. Stilts.

“Well, the can opener looks ugly left sticking way out like that” I say matter of factly.

“You two stop fighting in there. Don’t make me get the spray bottle” Harry says as he continues to play on his free cell game in his hoarding room.

“Well, there’s one thing we can all agree on. Monty’s toys are all over.”

“YES.” We all say in unison.

But after Monty’s near death car accident and us nearly losing him, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Dog toys splayed all over the house is a GOOD thing.

And that’s a “pet peeve” that we all good naturedly put up with.

But I still think the toilet paper roll goes on my way. :)

30 Things About Me

1 I sing and talk to my dog. Pretty constantly, and I have inspired everyone who lives with me to also do it on occasion. It’s a wonderful creative release and love flows.

2 I read a lot. But not as much as I’d like. I generally have several books going at once.

3 I love my girls with all my heart, but I’m glad that they have lives of their own now, so I can have one too. I also like that I’m not cleaning up the wake after them. With Jesse gone, the constant cleaning up is gone, and with Shawna gone, my cupboards are staying organized. This is simply amazing to me. I notice this most after they visit.

4 I used to sing and write as a wee child. My mother would have me sing to her as she drove and I rode in the back seat, standing with my feet straddling the hump between the seats. There was no such thing as seatbelts then. I sang to my mother because she loved it so and because she asked. This was the most attention for my singing I ever had from her. She was a singer too, but too busy the rest of the time as a farm wife to find time for me.

5 I never took a lesson on my guitar till after I’d been playing for 20 years. And I only did It because I needed the college elective. 

6 I can’t read music. It’s laborious, tedious and stifling to me. It makes my skin crawl. I am self taught and figure out music by ear, repetition and ingenuity. I learn songs that I like.

7 I once had 7 boyfriends at once in HS. I realized it was too much work to keep them separate.

8I like being in love more than anything

9 I once lived on the same road as a serial killer who joked to my brothers about killing me. This same guy once picked up me and my friend hitchhiking. We are lucky to be alive. He is in jail now forever after killing 7 women. I will write about it all one day. But I can't yet. It's just too scary...and REAL. I don’t watch thrillers or slasher movies or scary movies because my life and imagination are too real time for that.

10 I wish I was thinner but when I was, I wasn’t’ thin enough and it is too much work to make that happen. I like being comfortable now. I’m a good pillow and a sweet snuggler.

11 I love who I love because I need them and they need me. They complete me.

12I am very spiritual and say my prayers every night in some way before I sleep. I also pray out loud for my men, my children, my dog if they are going thru something hard. I lay on my hands on them and we pray together. It helps us all.

13 I have tried many religions (due some to my mother’s influence). Baptized Catholic, then went to learn about Baptists, Presbyterian, 7th Day Adventist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Assembly of God, Dutch Reformed, and United Methodist. I am currently a Unitarian Universalist member who runs pagan services there.

14 Went to a Catholic Mass with Talon for a funeral. We were both baptized Catholic, but do not practice anymore. We were both amazed and astounded that we still knew the church service, call and response, when to sit stand or kneel at the time called….after 35 years time passage away…

15 I love to write.  I have been published. I want to write something wild and creative and popular. I want my readers to laugh, cry or ponder after they read something I’ve writen.

16 I really can’t whistle.

17 I taught my kids how to swear. By example.

18 When angry, I am a force of nature. I do not trust myself when I get like that. I am in danger. You are in danger. Soothing words are the only thing that helps me. LOVE. Much love. Do not rile me at that point. You are not safe. No one is.

19 I can be the sweetest, funniest person who will spoil you. You will never find another me.

20 I once sat in the snow across the road on Christmas Day and cried for an hour because my life at that point in time was so awful. My next door neighbor said she saw me thru her window and said she laughed. I still hate her for that.

21 I have magical powers. You may not believe me, but I once made a few things move, visiblily. I also can sometimes predict the future, know what you are thinking/feeling, know who is on the phone most times. I also have the power of invisibility. I know this because I have not been caught yet.

22 I have had several out of body experiences. Once when I was very young and didn’t even know what it was all about. I bumped my head on the ceiling and looked down and saw my sleeping child body on the bed.  It scared me so much that I jumped back to …me.

23 I was pestered by an evil spirit in my childhood home. I feared for my life and didn’t want to go to sleep or be alone in my room. This is probably also why I don’t like being alone much now, even though I am safe now..

24 I have seen an Angel when I was a child and a fairy when I was an adult.. For real. I kid you not. Please don’t think I’m crazy. They were beautiful and amazing. The angel was terrifyingly beautiful in an awesome powerful way. It scared me. I asked it to not show itself to me ever again, because it frightened me so.. It said it wouldn’t, but it would always be my protector and hid itself from me. I now regret my request and wish I could see it again.

25 My name is Merlyn because my given name is Marilyn and I was so entrenched in Arthurian legend in HS that my name was twisted by my peers and I go by both now. I also have an affinity to magic and magical things, and feel the power of a strong personality of Merlin the Magician.

26 I can make a meal out of whatever is in the house. Even if the cupboards are bare.

27 I have an incredible memory for lyrics, passwords and recesitation. But don’t make me learn anything electrical or mechanical. I just don’t get it.

28 I love deeply and hurt very easily. Then I will hurt you. Then I will forget about the intensity of the storm and love you deeply again. I ask you to please forget the bad stuff too.

29 Even though I can be the sweetest, kindest, most generous, happy, make the drink come out your nose friend….What goes around, comes around. Don’t fuck with me. I’m a pirate.

30 I will always hope to go to heaven and be with my former pets and parents when I die. No matter what my religious beliefs are, I will also always believe in Jesus. He was the coolest person in history (or even an amalgamation of several people) and I believe in his archetype. I also believe in the Goddess. She helps me daily and I want to meet her then.

Gypsy Pirate Cooking 101 with Merlyn

Good Morrow!
I canna tell ye how many folks want t' have my recipes, after either hearing what I cook, or by tastin' it.
And I tell them, as I tell you now, that I don't use "recipes" much. Oh, there's the occasional time I have to get out my dog-eared, broken spine Fanny Farmer paperback (complete with missing loved up pages) and I get the scoop....

But I am more like a Pirate-Gypsy, and that goes for cooking too.

Pirates "take what they need and give nuthin' back." ( use what you have on hand) and well, Gypsies (pronounced "Geepsees") usually do a "Gypsy trade" (i.e. borrow without asking and leave some item in trade).

Now, to give you some background, I was raised on a farm with a farm wife's mentality:
Use what you have.
Make it go as far as possible.
Always take free stuff when offered.
Turn leftovers into something else.
Give anything that is leftover you don't want to the pigs in the morning..

Here's a confession: "I was once "Suzy Creamcheese". Yes, I was a good little stay at home wife, with 2 kids and a dog and a nice little home. Clean. Neat. I baked bread from scratch 10 loaves at a time. Canned. Gardened. Wore an apron and cooked with my little girls.Tried to impress the wicked mother in law. You know that old story...

But that's all o'er now.....

Girls grown, different mates, life too busy with gigs, travel and writing and being a Pirate Gypsy Minstrel Bard. Something has to give!  I still have all the ingenuity of my upbringing to want to put on a spread for the loved ones in my life and to make sure company never leaves my home hungry.
But I don't have time or the patience or the snobbery for all that 'died in the wool "scratch is best" blather.

Cuz sometimes scratch is NOT best.

Case in point: My dear old mother's chili. It was basically her goulash but w/o the elbow noodles and without the Mexican seasoning but with added kidney beans. God rest her soul, but it wasn't her best work.

My sisters and I are all great cooks, but we all do things a bit different. And seeing as how I am also a Gemini, and would rather be banging my man or sleeping in after, or doing a myriad of other things instead of being stuck in kitchen for the better part of Thanksgiving Day...I'm gonna help you with the upcoming holiday meal's mandatory side dish: Stuffing.

I have served this many times....even to my wicked former mother in law (who is a food analyzer and critic of great reknown) and I pulled it off with panache!

Merlyn's Stuffing.
 (and BONUS: ye won't have to get up at 6am on Thanksgiving morning if you follow some of my tips)

Get out yer turkey. Use one of those turkey baking bags fer feck's sake and save yourself some time and the environment a bunch of energy on the cooking time. Yah there's a bag to throw away...but it came in one too. You are gonna cut your turkey cooking and clean up time by several HOURS.
And the bird will be moist and juicy and you don't have to baste it.
Not even once!!

Take out the giblets, heart, kidneys and neck from the bird. Go ahead. Reach into it's neck and bowels and grab the guts all wrapped up pretty for ye.
It's nothing like the farm, believe me. You grab real guts there. (but surely I digress :).

Take the neck and giblets and other mysterious parts, and boil them down in a saucepan with several stalks of chopped celery. This will make your house INSTANTLY smell like Thanksgiving Day. When the bits are cooked, put the parts on a plate and SAVE THE WATER. Give the cooked turkey neck to the dog on the porch. He needs something to do and will thank you later with raging dog farts, but he will love you like there is no tomorrow. (Tomorrow is Black Friday anyway, so you probably won't even be home for the gas part:).

Cut up the liver (that's the one that's the most yummy and cuts easily like pate'. Because it IS pate'. The heart is the toughest, use it by cutting it very small or toss it if you don't like it.

Take out a couple BOXES of Stovetop stuffing. That's right. (This is where TRUE Gourmet cooks faint). Use the cornmeal or sage. No sense in a chicken or a pig dying needlessly for your stuffing. Use the water that you cooked the turkey parts in and replace it for the plain water in the directions (you probably don't have to add the butter either) and throw in the cooked celery and turkey giblets and "mystery parts" :).

Cook as directed on the box the rest of the way.

I GUARANTEE you will want to make a double or triple batch of this for your company who will RAVE about your stuffing.

You won't have to cut up old bread. It's easy, quick and VERY yummy.

The only thing you must do is this piratical bit....:
DISPOSE OF THE STOVE TOP STUFFING BOXES deep down in the garbage before your company comes, and bat your eyes when they tell you it's the best homemade stuffing they ever had.

Pirate-Gypsy Cooking.

Not for the squeamish or the perfectionist cook.
Only for those of us who like to eat what tastes good and would rather spend time having fun with the company than stuck in the kitchen.

You can always make the guests do the knife point, while you drink port or rum after dinner :)

Yar! Here's to the bird!

Start at the very beginning

Hey Ho~

I've been writing all my life, as far back to when I could first grip a crayon.
Then there came markers.
Charcooal pencils and rollerball pens.
Ink and quills.
Bathroom walls.
Fan readers, Myspace and Facebook.

And now, Blogspot.

A real blogspot of my very own. Setting this up was as easy as learning to write with my right hand. (I'm left handed).

Which takes me to my first wee story.......

Sent to Catholic school by the noble wishes of my mother, transported from the farm to the bigger city on a bus that took me an hour each way to Sacred Heart School. First grade was fun and we were all new to each other. Second grade was daunting and hard work.

You see, I did not realize until then, that my left hand was an instrument of the devil.
The nuns knew this, and plotted with each other to save my soul and to make me an acceptable human being by forcing me to write with my right hand.

It was like trying to wiggle out of a straight jacket.

They would see me doing my circles for penmanship time, come by my desk, take the pencil from my left hand, make me grip it "just so" with my right hand and encourage me to do the circles that way.

The circles looked demented.

They didn't feel right.

So after their long black gown had swished by my desk, and they were tormenting some other child in the room, I would switch hands again, and put the pencil back into my left hand. OH! The beautiful circles they could make so easily!

Then the nun would see my joy, or sniff it in the air, and she would come swooping back to my seat, 3 row over, 4th seat back, in the folding metal and wooden desk units and now, she was not so giving or nice.
Now she ripped the pencil from my hand, forced it into my right, with a pinch and a stern warning for next time.

She would then turn her evil eye towards another child and float off to reprimand them in turn.

I was a stubborn lass. I did not feel right using my right hand. I was WILLFUL. I wanted to WIN. I was not going to do something that didn't feel right, no matter if it was the hand of God giving me direct knowledge.

I put the pencil back in my LEFT HAND and looked straight at the nun's back.

She whipped around, having sensed my defiance.

This time she came with retribution in the form of a ruler slapped against my demonic left hand. Not flat side down, no. Metal edge side down. Tears welled up in my eyes. The pencil was forced into my RIGHT HAND again. She was pleased and stood by my desk for a few lingering moments to make sure I did my duty.

But I was then, and am now, a PIRATE.

I showed her my awkward right handed circles. She withdrew from my now chastised space, with tears dripping on my desk, and with a smug smile she went about her hovering over the other wayward children.

I made a decision. I would HIDE my left hand. I would feign using my right when she was looking. I would become duplicitous in order to please myself and authority.

I was eventually found out and after several more beatings...and the ultimate acquiesence and shaking head of the disbelieving Mother Superior.... .I was allowed to be left-handed.

I was also cursed to hell for it at the ripe old age of seven.

Interestingly enough, in Scripture, the number seven symbolizes completeness or perfection.

I was now an Ambidextrous.Pirate..