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My Writing Journey

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn to Winter

by Dawn Pisturino

The old year is fading

and Autumn blows

the misty clouds

of Winter our way.

(A runaway grizzly bear meets Jack Frost and Old Man Winter in this vintage cartoon from 1934. My father loved these old cartoons.)
(My favorite Thanksgiving hymn – “We Gather Together”)
(George Winston playing his beautiful and inspiring piece, “Thanksgiving.” My mother adored George Winston.)

My parents always came for Thanksgiving. Now that they are gone, I always think of them at this time of year.

PSALM 95:1-5 (NKJV)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.

PLEASE NOTE: I WILL NOT BE POSTING ANYTHING UNTIL SOME TIME NEXT WEEK.

Have a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving!

~

Dawn Pisturino

November 23, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

58 Comments »

Turkey Mish Mash

“In 1863, a year filled with pivotal historical events — the Emancipation Proclamation, the Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and the Gettysburg Address — Abraham Lincoln issued what has become known as the first annual Thanksgiving Proclamation.”

~

The Three Amigos by C.L. Evans – Showcased in the top 100 photos of 2014 of the North American Nature Photography Association. I love this photo!
from Pleated-Jeans
Such beautiful plumage!
Beautiful . . .

~

“Thankful” – sung by the Rise Up Children’s Choir. (This song was originally sung by Josh Groban.)

HAVE A BLESSED THANKSGIVING!

Dawn Pisturino

November 24, 2021

59 Comments »

Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Thanksgiving Prayer

GREETINGS TO THE NATURAL WORLD


THE PEOPLE


Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.


Now our minds are one.


THE EARTH MOTHER


We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.


Now our minds are one.


THE WATERS


We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms – waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.


Now our minds are one.


THE FISH


We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.


Now our minds are one.


THE PLANTS


Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.


Now our minds are one.


THE FOOD PLANTS


With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Food Plants together as one and send them a greeting and thanks.


Now our minds are one.


THE MEDICINE HERBS


Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning, they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.


Now our minds are one.


THE ANIMALS


We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.


Now our minds are one.


THE TREES


We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.


Now our minds are one.


THE BIRDS


We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds – from the smallest to the largest – we send our joyful greetings and thanks.


Now our minds are one.


THE FOUR WINDS


We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds. 


Now our minds are one.


THE THUNDERERS


Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.


Now our minds are one.


THE SUN


We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.


Now our minds are one.


GRANDMOTHER MOON


We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.


Now our minds are one.


THE STARS


We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.


Now our minds are one.


THE ENLIGHTENED TEACHERS


We gather our minds to greet and thank the Enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.


Now our minds are one.


THE CREATOR


Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.


Now our minds are one.


CLOSING WORDS


We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.


NOW OUR MINDS ARE ONE.


First People of America and Canada : Turtle Island.
http://www.FirstPeople.us

Dawn Pisturino

November 18, 2021

16 Comments »

An Attitude of Gratitude

Like so many people, I get caught up in the stresses and strains of everyday life, wish I could scrap it all, and start all over again. I want a different job, a new husband, more money, increased luxury, a brand new car, a bigger house, a slimmer waist, a younger face.

I want to travel to exotic locations, meet exciting people, try enticing new foods, and lounge on the beach with nary a care in the world.

Maybe, if I hit the lottery or write a bestselling book, this could happen. But until then, how do I keep my perspective and enjoy life?

GRATITUDE 

The Thanksgiving holiday teaches us to sit back, take a realistic look at our lives, and count our blessings. 

Do I really want to turn in my well-worn husband for a new model? We’re used to each other. We know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. We’ve been to hell and back together and count each other as best friends. 

In 2013, we took some investment savings and paid off our mortgage. As long as we pay the taxes, nobody can take away our house. Do I really want another mortgage? NO! I don’t want the stress or the hassle. Being mortgage-free gives me freedom that I didn’t have before. 

Although my job can be very stressful, I make enough money working part-time that I can keep a flexible schedule. My husband and I have learned to live on less. Do I really want to commit myself to a 40 hour a week job? No way! I value my free time. And if I can’t afford to vacation on the French Riviera, so what? I’m perfectly happy and content at home with my husband, two cats, and one dog. 

I have loving relatives and supportive friends, with the possibility of meeting new people wherever I go. I have a beautiful daughter who’s talented, intelligent, and independent. She’s been the light of my life. I don’t need anything more.   

And you know what?  That’s okay. I’m grateful for the things I have. And if Fate decides to send me more, well, I’ll deal with it whenever it happens.


What are you grateful for?


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2014-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved. 

28 Comments »

Thanksgiving Dinner from the 1950s Housewife

Thanksgiving menu 1950s style

Clear chicken or turkey soup

Bread sticks

Salted almonds

Celery

Olives

Roast turkey

Giblet gravy

Chestnut stuffing

Mashed potatoes

Brussel sprouts

Jellied or whole cranberry sauce

Romaine salad with French dressing

Cheese plate

Hot mince pie

Bonbons

Coffee

~

How to make chicken or turkey bone soup

“Never discard the bones of turkey or chicken as they always will make a delicious soup. Scrape the meat from the bones, break the bones, pack in a kettle, and cover with cold water, adding a small onion. Cover closely and simmer very gently for three hours. Strain and cool. One-half hour before it is to be served, return to the fire, and for every quart of stock, add one cup of the cold meat, season, and keep hot till needed. This soup may be greatly improved by adding to it, three minutes before serving, ten oysters to each quart of soup.”

Chestnut Stuffing

1 quart chestnuts

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons cream

Salt and Pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion juice

Shell and blanche chestnuts and cook in boiling water until tender. While hot, rub through coarse sieve. Mix with remaining ingredients. Makes 2-1/2 cups.

~

Formal Table Settings and Service

Housewives of the 1950s set their holiday dinner tables with their finest china, bearing the most exquisite designs. If the dinner was served in courses, a different design might be used with each course. All the dishes used in one course would match.

Place Plate – 10-11 inches across. This was the base plate on which the dinner plate was set.

Dinner Plate – 10-10.5 inches across, used to serve the meat and side vegetables.

Entree Plate – 8.5-9.5 inches across, used to serve an entree, salad, or fish. May have been used for dessert if the fingerbowl was brought in on it.

Dessert Plate – 7.5-8 inches across, used for dessert or salad. Used for the cake plate at tea.

Bread and Butter Plate – 6-6.5 inches across.

Soup Plate – 8-8.5 inches across with a broad, flat rim. Or a bowl could substitute.

Cups and Bowls

Cream Soup Cup – A low, broad cup with two handles, 4.5-5 inches wide and about 2 inches deep. Used for purees, bisques, and cream soups.

Boullion Cup – Looked like a tea cup with two handles that was used for clear soups, consommes, and bouillons.

Chilled Cocktail Bowl – A low, broad bowl inside a separate container. The bowl would be used to serve grapefruit, shrimp cocktail, and other chilled foods. Crushed ice would be packed around the bowl.

Glass

Colored glassware was very popular in the 1950s and would have matched the colors in the china dishes. Crystal glassware was preferred for formal dinners, either etched, cut, or rimmed with gold.

Goblet – The main component of the glassware setting. Two other glasses would have been set alongside the main goblet, usually a claret glass and a champagne glass.

Sherbet Glass – A medium sized bowl on a short stem used to serve sherbet, ice cream, and other frozen dessert.

Finger Bowl – a low, broad bowl used to dip the fingers in water.

Silver

Polished silver gave an air of sophistication to the table setting. Besides the usual dinner knife, fork, and spoon, the 1950s hostess might have provided an array of cutlery including a butter knife and smaller knives and forks for fish, entrees, salad, and fruit.

A List of Useful Serving Pieces

2 or 3 tablespoons

2 or 3 dinner forks for serving

Medium sized carving set

Butter knife or butter pick

Gravy ladle

Sugar tongs

Pie or tart server

Cold meat fork

Olive spoon or fork

Berry spoon

Jelly server

Preserve spoon

Long-handled fork and spoon

Pickle fork

Pierced server

Salad dressing ladle

Lemon fork

Asparagus server

Entree server

Cake fork

sardine server

Ice tongs

Ice spoon

Sugar spoon

Sugar sifter for powdered sugar

Ice-cream knife or server

Cheese server

Melon knife

Grape scissors

Linen

The 1950s hostess preferred white linen damask for a table cover at dinner. The napkins always matched the tablecloth. Monogramming was very popular in the 1950s.

Centerpieces and Decorations

Flowers were popular centerpieces in the 1950s. The colors had to blend in with the rest of the color scheme. Candles were usually white or natural wax color. The candles were lighted before the guests entered the dining-room and were kept burning until after they left the room.

From The American Woman’s Cook Book, 1950

~

Sounds like a lot of work! A lot of serving to do, and a lot of dishes to wash! But the 1950s housewife took pride in setting a well-appointed table. She derived satisfaction from pleasing her guests. Of course, we all know that that does not always work with family.

Most importantly, however, Thanksgiving is and was a time to spend with family and friends and to be thankful for what we have. Washing dishes is a small price to pay.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Lord, source and giver of all things, we give You thanks and all the glory on this Thanksgiving Day for the splendor and majesty of creation. We give You thanks for the blessings of family and friends: both those gathered around this table and those who are present only in our hearts. We give You thanks for this food, prepared by loving hands, and for the graces You provide to nourish our spirits, souls, and bodies so that we may continue to serve You passionately. Help us to be faithful stewards of all we have been given. May we reflect Your love and that which we have received to all those we meet, especially the less fortunate in our midst. Amen.

Practice Gratitude – Conversation Starters for Around the Table

Name two things you are thankful for this year.

Who are you thankful for, and why?

What part of nature is inspiring and beautiful to you?

What is something that makes you laugh out loud?

What is an unexpected blessing you’ve received this year?

Choose someone you are with and share three things you admire and appreciate about that person.

What is something you love about your family?

How are you going to practice gratitude this year?

Have a Safe, Happy, and Blessed Thanksgiving this year!

Dawn Pisturino

November 4, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

13 Comments »

Mayflower Descendants

John HowlandThose of us descended from Leonard Spencer and Grace Hambleton are “Mayflower Descendants” through Grace’s mother, Alma Jane Stiles. Alma was a direct descendant of John Howland, a Mayflower passenger and the thirteenth signer of the Mayflower Compact.

During the voyage from England, John narrowly escaped death when he fell overboard during a terrible storm. He grabbed onto a rope that was floating in the water and was pulled to safety.

Just think — if John Howland had drowned, none of his descendants would be here today!

John came to the New World as an indentured servant to John Carver, the first governor of the Plymouth Colony. When Governor Carver died, John Howland became a freeman. He acquired lands, married, and served the colony as selectman, assistant and deputy governor, surveyor of highways, and as a member of the fur committee.  He is still remembered as a founder of Plymouth Colony.

Famous descendants of John Howland include Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush; actors Alec Baldwin, Humphrey Bogart, and Christopher Lloyd; Governor Sarah Palin; writer Ralph Waldo Emerson; Mormon founder Joseph Smith; and Dr. Benjamin Spock — all our distant cousins.

HAVE A BLESSED AND PROSPEROUS THANKSGIVING!

Steve, Dawn, and Ariel Pisturino

Copyright 2013 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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