Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Hello, Again, in a New Year!

(Photo by BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash)

Hello, again, in a new year! Can you believe that it’s 2023? That number has such a nice, odd sound to it. But seriously, here’s hoping that 2023 will be even better than 2022!

We had a wonderful holiday celebration. My daughter visited from California. We scaled back on gifts and decorations this year but dialed it up on food. I made enough roast beef and beef brisket (with all the trimmings) to keep us all fat and jolly over Christmas week. In addition to the main meals, I always set up a smorgasbord of cookies, candy, crackers, summer sausage, and cheese for everyone to snack on in-between meals, so nobody goes hungry and can help themselves. It was all very comforting since the weather decided to turn cold, grey, and nasty with several days of rain. We bundled up in blankets, drank hot chocolate, watched movies, and talked. It was nice to catch up with my daughter in person instead of on the phone.

And we drank plenty of mimosas, French champagne, and Italian prosecco to celebrate the passing of 2022 and the arrival of 2023.

Cheers!

Happy New Year!

Dawn Pisturino

January 2, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

71 Comments »

Christmas Vacation

(Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash)

Hello, Dear Friends!

I’m taking a Christmas hiatus and will not be posting anything until after New Year’s. May you all be blessed with happiness, prosperity, and the fulfillment of all your dreams in 2023.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Dawn Pisturino

December 24, 2022

71 Comments »

Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookie Recipes

(Photo by Bruna Branco on Unsplash)

[NOTE: I’ve been busy with major housecleaning, shopping, doing Christmas stuff, cooking, doing homework for an online class called “Online Obsessions,” and hanging out with my husband before he returns to work next week (he’s been off for the last three months recovering from a total knee replacement). I’m getting caught up with responding to your comments and visiting your blog sites. I apologize for the delay!]

I inherited these recipes from my mother, and I have no idea where she got them, but these are the cookie recipes I use at Christmas. They also make great cookies for Valentine’s Day. Rich, sugary, buttery, spicy, and delicious!

Old-Fashioned Butter Cookies

3 cups sifted flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup butter or margarine (butter is best)

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp. cream or milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream the butter. Gradually add sugar to the butter, creaming well. Stir in egg, cream, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients gradually and mix well. Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Roll out, one third at a time, on floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. (This dough also works well in a cookie press.) Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Let cool. Frost with powdered sugar frosting and decorate.

Gingerbread Cookies

1/2 cup shortening (butter works best)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark molasses

1 egg

2 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar well. Blend in molasses. Add egg and beat well. Stir in sifted dry ingredients. Chill the dough for three hours in the refrigerator. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (Do not over-bake.) Let cool. Dust with powdered sugar or frost with powdered sugar frosting and decorate.

Serve your cookies with milk, hot chocolate, tea, or coffee, and enjoy!

I love the Hot Chocolate Scene from Polar Express:

Christmas is coming! Make it Merry! And today is the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year! Or, longest night – however you want to look at it. LOL!

Dawn Pisturino

December 21, 2022

38 Comments »

A Tudor Christmas/Pearl Harbor Day

(Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash)

Green Groweth the Holly

by King Henry the VIII of England



Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly.

As the holly groweth green
    And never changeth hue,
So I am, and ever hath been,
    Unto my lady true.
            Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.            
Though winter blasts blow never so high,            
Green groweth the holly.

As the holly groweth green,
    With ivy all alone,
When flowerys cannot be seen
    And green-wood leaves be gone,
              Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.              
Though winter blasts blow never so high,               
Green groweth the holly. 
                

Now unto my lady
    Promise to her I make:
From all other only
    To her I me betake.
                Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.               
Though winter blasts blow never so high,                  
Green groweth the holly. 

Adieu, mine own lady,
    Adieu, my spec├»al,
Who hath my heart truly,
    Be sure, and ever shall.

Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly. 

 

Greensleeves –

Attributed to King Henry VIII but actually published in 1580 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1865, Englishman William Chatterton Dix “borrowed” the musical composition, changed the lyrics, and turned it into the Christmas carol, What Child is This? While Greensleeves remains a popular folk song in England, the Christmas carol is uniquely popular in the United States.

~

December 7, 2022 is Pearl Harbor Day. Remember Pearl Harbor!

Dawn Pisturino

December 7, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

24 Comments »

Spotlight on Phil Perkins, Graphic Artist

(Digital City – Digital artwork by Phil Perkins. Copyright 2022 Phil Perkins. All Rights Reserved.)

Phil Perkins is an outdoorsman, photographer, poet, music lover, and graphic artist. My friend, Kym Gordon Moore, spotlighted his photography talents; but I want to shine a light on his amazing digital artwork. Much of his artwork is futuristic, such as the example above, Digital City.

But many of his pieces are playful, imaginative, and just plain fun:

(Desert Scene, which employs the point of view of an extinct prehistoric dinosaur. Copyright 2022 Phil Perkins. All Rights Reserved.)

I can’t even imagine the number of hours he devotes to creating these amazing pieces.

Phil’s photography and digital artwork can be found on Pixels, Redbubble, Society 6, ArtPal, Zazzle, Cafepress, TeePublic, ArtFlakes, and Fine Art America.

Visit Phil’s website here: http://www.philperkins.photography

Christmas is coming!

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2022 Phil Perkins. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

24 Comments »

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

I will not be posting any posts until sometime after January 1, 2022. I will continue to respond to comments and visit blogs. Have a great holiday season!

Dawn Pisturino

December 25, 2021

57 Comments »

My Christmas Prayer – a Poem

by Dawn Pisturino

May I never lose the Joy of Christmas,

Though my Tree of Life grows withered and rots,

Standing stark and gaunt in the cold winter light:

Please, Lord, may I never lose the Joy of Christmas.


May I never lose the Love of Christmas,

Though my heart grows feeble and weak,

Beating like a broken drum in my chest:

Please, Lord, may I never lose the Love of Christmas.


May I never lose the Meaning of Christmas,

Though the shadow of Death hovers over me,

Drawing farther away from the Circle of Life:

Please, Lord, may I never lose the Meaning of Christmas.

Dawn Pisturino
December 4, 1986; December 24, 2021


MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Copyright 1986-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

19 Comments »

Reprise: Sammy’s Sleigh Ride

by Dawn Pisturino

One winter night, Sammy Mouse ran away from home. He wanted to go to the North Pole and see Santa Claus. So he put his clothes in a suitcase, bundled up in his heavy winter coat, left a note for his parents, and sneaked out of the house.

Sammy peered into the darkness, shivering with cold. Up above, millions of stars looked down at him. Sammy trudged through the snow, guided by the light of the full moon.

Sammy thought about all the wonderful things he would do for Santa Claus: help the elves make toys, feed the reindeer, and pack Santa’s sleigh.

When Santa Claus was ready to leave, Sammy would jump into the sleigh and sit beside him on the seat. Santa would laugh, “ho-ho-ho,” and Sammy would laugh, too. Then, up in the air they would go. Sammy would look down at all the little houses below.

When Santa’s reindeer landed on a snowy rooftop, Sammy would help Santa climb out of the sleigh. He would help Santa lift his big bag of toys and watch him slide down the chimney. Then, off they would go again!

Sammy walked a long time through the snow. When the sun began to shine, Sammy could walk no more. He curled up under a log and fell asleep.

When he woke up, Sammy’s stomach growled with hunger. He nibbled on a piece of cheese and hurried on his way. He wanted to get to Santa’s house before nightfall. Tonight was Christmas Eve.

But the longer he walked, the more tired Sammy felt. Everywhere he looked, he saw trees and snow. Where was Santa’s house? Where was the North Pole?

As night fell, Sammy began to get scared. Christmas was almost here, and he had not yet reached Santa’s house or the elves’ workshop or even the North Pole!

Sammy sat down in the snow and cried. He was wet and cold and hungry. He was tired, and his feet hurt. Worst of all, Sammy was lost!

Overhead, the stars seemed to be laughing at him. The man in the moon wore a big, shiny grin. Suddenly, Sammy heard bells jingling. Up in the sky, he saw Santa’s sleigh and eight reindeer flying past the moon. Sammy’s heart sank. Now, he would miss Christmas.

But wait, here was Santa’s sleigh coming right toward him! Sammy could hardly believe his eyes when the sleigh landed in the snow.

“Jump in, Sammy,” Santa said, smiling brightly.

Sammy jumped eagerly into the sleigh next to Santa. “Where are we going?” he asked.

“We’re going to take you home,” Santa answered.

The reindeer began to run across the snow faster and faster until suddenly, they were flying up into the sky!

Up, up, up they went. Sammy looked down. The trees in the forest looked like frosty toothpicks. The moon and stars grew bigger and brighter.

“Ho-ho-ho!” Santa laughed, his belly shaking.

“Ho-ho-ho!” Sammy laughed.

Before he knew it, Sammy was home. He helped Santa fill the stockings and put special gifts under the Christmas tree. He made sure he didn’t see what Santa had brought him.

When Santa was ready to slide up the chimney, Sammy said, “Oh, thank you, Santa!”

Santa laughed and shook Sammy’s paw. “You’re welcome, my little friend. Merry Christmas!”

In a flash, Santa was gone. But Sammy could hear reindeer hooves on the roof, and he never forgot the sound of the bells jingling on Santa’s sleigh.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2014-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

9 Comments »

Christmas Folklore

Holly and Ivy

When the house is decorated with holly and ivy on Christmas Eve, good luck will bless the family in the New Year.

Mince Pies

Also called “wayfarers’ pies,” these tasty treats were passed out to visitors during the Christmas season. To earn good luck in the twelve months of the upcoming year, visitors tried to eat twelve pies at twelve different houses during the twelve days of Christmas.

Mistletoe

In ancient times, mistletoe represented peace and friendship. When friends stood beneath a tree adorned with mistletoe, their friendship would be blessed with good luck. Enemies who did likewise would call a truce for the day. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe grew from these older legends.

Candy Canes

These sugary treats represent the shepherd’s crook at the nativity. Some legends say they are shaped in a “J” to represent “Jesus.”

Wassailing

Since the 13th century, it has been the custom to offer a toast to each other for good health and cheer during the Christmas season. The original wassail bowl contained roasted apples, ale, sugar, spices, and cream or eggs. Eventually, egg nog developed as the traditional Christmas drink.

Yule Log

Yule logs were lit during the winter solstice to ward off demons and light up the darkest day of the year.

Christmas Trees

Fir trees traditionally represent life’s victory over death, or eternal life. It was common during Saturnalia for Romans to decorate their homes with evergreen boughs.

Christmas Full Moon

Christmas 2015 was graced with the first full moon since 1977. Another one will not appear until 2034. The full moon in December is often called the Full Cold Moon, Full Long Nights Moon, or the Moon before Yule. An old tradition relates that when a full moon rises on Christmas Eve, the animals will be blessed with the gift of speech.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ONE AND ALL, AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

Dawn Pisturino, RN

Copyright 2015-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

11 Comments »

Reprise: Saint Nikolaus’s Companion, Knecht Ruprecht

From out the forest I now appear,

To proclaim that Christmastide is here!

For at the top of every tree

Are golden lights for all to see;

And there from heaven’s gate on high

I saw our Christ-child in the sky.

And in among the darkened trees,

A loud voice it was that called to me:

“Knecht Ruprecht, old fellow,” it cried,

“Hurry now, make haste. Don’t hide!

All the candles have now been lit —

Heaven’s gate has opened wide!

Both young and old should now have rest

Away from cares and daily stress;

And when tomorrow to earth I fly

‘It’s Christmas again!’ will be the cry.”

And then I said: “O Lord so dear.

My journey’s end is now quite near;

But to the town I’ve still to go,

Where the children are good, I know.”

“But have you then that great sack?”

“I have,” I said, “It’s on my back,

For apples, almonds, fruit and nuts

For God-fearing children are a must.”

“And is that cane there by your side?”

“The cane’s there too,” I did reply;

“But only for those, those naughty ones,

Who have it applied to their backsides.”

The Christ-child spoke: “Then that’s all right!

My loyal servant, go with God this night!”

From out the forest I now appear;

To proclaim that Christmastide is here!

Now speak, what is there here to be had?

Are there good children, are there bad?

Theodor Storm

Translated from the German by Denis Jackson, Isle of Wight.

BIO: Theodor Storm (1817-1888) was a German poet, novelist, and lawyer known for the lyrical quality of his work. He died of cancer in 1888. Knecht Ruprecht (Krampus) is still a popular figure seen in Germany (and other countries) at Christmas. While St. Nikolaus rewards the good children, Krampus punishes the bad.

Dawn Pisturino

11 Comments »

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