Clutter Tips for Turkeys

Clump #269:  De-clump paper pile; day twenty-seven of National Blog Posting Month.

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The one thing you kind of forget when committing to the post-every-day challenge in November is a little thing called Thanksgiving.  This Thanksgiving was the year of the Pie-fecta: my husband’s Apple-Pumpkin-Pecan Pie.  The Turducken of the pie world.  I confess I wasn’t expecting to like it, but was won over by the yummy combination of flavors and textures.

And wasn’t it enough of a clump to get the pies made, the feast carried over the river and through the Amish farmland to be with our grandmother/mom?  Well, we had the easy part of the meal, with lots of help.  This is my very obliging niece, lovely enough to make the silly turkey hat look good.


Later I had just enough time and energy to haul out a clump of papers and bust through them.


In today’s issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer I enjoyed a spoof of the typical “holiday tips” lists that I’m attracted to like a moth to a flame.


I loved the advice below on how to “distract guest from the clutter you were too lazy to pick up.”


Is the picture a little out of focus, or is it the fog machine I’ve fired up? Hope your day was festive and fun!

Ode to Joy

Clump #268: Pick up (at last) Christmas cards; day twenty-six of National Blog Posing Month.


The saga of our 2014 Christmas card printing continued with another little glitch.  We left off when the machine at Target was out of order. When I returned, the word JOY on the top of the cards did not look the way it did in the computer mock-up.  My comment, silly as it sounds, was, “The Joy is cut off.”  The gentleman at the counter told me to put the flash drive back in the machine and start over again.  We both looked at the computer screen and the way the card was supposed to look, with a little bit of space around the word.  He started the order over again … and the cards came out, again, with “the Joy cut off.”


I heard a song today by a group called Lucius with the refrain, “She’s looking through the wrong end of the telescope/ Turn it around, turn it around.”  Instead of feeling put-upon for a little imperfection, I changed my perspective.  First, I’m pretty sure I got twice the number of cards I ordered … for free, and second, maybe the Joy isn’t cut off, but overflowing the page.

It was a day for inspiring song lyrics.  In an email from a local bookstore, this Leonard Cohen lyric spoke to my condition:

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving with Joy and Light overflowing.  And if it is not, I hope you might “turn it around, turn it around.”


I am thankful for you and your support of Clump A Day!

A Moveable Feast

Clump #101:  Bring Thanksgiving dinner to my mom’s place.

I am very thankful for our daughter, who got up early this morning to cook our Thanksgiving turkey.


Over the river and through the woods … to Grandmother’s house we went.


We brought along a turkey hat, which proved to be quite fun.


My hero!


Every year at this time I feel like I’m on one of those flume rides … clicking slowly up to the top, and then — right after Thanksgiving — shooting down to the big splash of Christmas.


Hold on tight!


Thanks for the Getting

Clump #97:  Shop for Thanksgiving meal and stamp Christmas card envelopes.

Pictured below: last year’s Christmas stamp Santa looks like he’s about to land on this year’s cute gingerbread house stamps.  For those dear, devoted readers who might remember, last year I sent out my cards so late that I abandoned the Christmas stamps and went with Chinese New Year’s ones.  What a difference (almost) a year and this blog have made!


I’ve been thinking and writing lately about how Thanksgiving gets a bit steamrolled by the gift giving holidays.  When I was in the grocery store picking out ingredients for our Thanksgiving dinner, it hit me: it’s not just the earlier and earlier Christmas marketing; it’s also that we are no longer a predominantly agrarian society.  For most of us, the urgency of bringing in ample crops to survive the winter is no longer part of our lives. Giving thanks for the harvest has given way to plain old giving thanks, certainly a beautiful thing, but we’ve lost our direct connection to the seasonal supply of food.

The elements of our traditional Thanksgiving meal come from the supermarket.  Growing up, we would refer to “the turnips” that were always on our holiday table.  Only after I was old enough to participate in the shopping for, and cooking of, the meal did I learn from my mom it’s actually a rutabaga we use to make “turnips.”  The other family traditions are: a plate with carrot and celery sticks and black and green olives, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, my older sister’s creamed onions (with her “secret ingredient”), peas, gravy, rolls, and cranberry sauce.  I’m starting to get exhausted thinking about it.  But getting the shopping done early is a relief.  I don’t have to worry that the store will run out of cranberries, or fight off the hordes for a turkey.


Our traditional dessert is pumpkin and apple pies.  This year my husband suggested adding pecan pie … we’re busting out!  In my experience you can never have too much pie.


For my mother, who grew up in the depression, getting an orange in her Christmas stocking was the most exciting treat she could imagine.  At the grocery store today I was thinking of how spoiled we are with a year-round array of exotic treats my parents would never have believed.


Actually, I can hardly believe some of them, myself.


But when the landscape looks like this:


And the “flowers” look like this:


I’m thankful for dazzling color and variety in the market.