Posted tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

November 26, 2013

I am running out of time this week for my blog writing, but not for writing a thankful note to my readers. Readers that I know and readers that I do not know, and for the very faithful ones who make comments regularly.

I am truly grateful for your presence in my life.

Thanksgiving flowers in a vase


This year Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Jewish Hanukkah. Supposedly such convergence will not happen again for about 80,000 years. How this was calculated beats me, but one thing is sure – I will not be around for the next time! So we will celebrate this year the combination of both important holidays -THANKSGIVUKKAH! Somebody came up with this tongue twisting new word – cute enough to name some babies born at this time of this year, I suspect.

Something unexpected and amusing happened this morning. A daily blog written by my artist friend (painter) GC Myers (  arrived as usual in my mailbox – thank you GC! It included Thanksgivukkah Anthem, a humorous musical creation by the Jewish singing a capella group Six13, that I am delighted to share with you.

Photo of a computer screen with the image of Six13 singing group

Please, please, click on this link and have a lot of ha ha’s with your family and friends.

Have a very joyful Thanksgivukkah Day!

From Tucson with Love – Alicja


If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

November 20, 2012

Three Heineken beer cans

I like the shade of metallic green that envelops my favorite beer. It contrasts elegantly with the silver of the can and the touch of red in the little star.

Beer bread

I also like the relaxing green of the worktable in my studio. I use it often as a background when photographing small objects, like this beer bread that I baked last Monday.

Recipe for beer bread

The recipe for the beer bread surfaced lately while I was reorganizing some old papers. It is a smile from the past that I would like to share with you.

The recipe is so simple and speedy that it is irresistible to try. I hope that its result will bring a smile to you, too.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


* * *

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2012 by Alicja Mann.

Hello from Yesteryear

November 18, 2011

How about having a Thanksgiving feast with a touch of the 17th century? It is quite possible around this time at Plimoth Plantation. Plimoth Plantation? Yes, Plimoth Plantation is the living history museum of the 17th century in Plymouth, Massachusetts, just 45 miles south of Boston and a few miles north of the Sagamore bridge of Cape Cod. Plymouth is traditionally associated with the image of the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, perhaps better defined as a harvest celebration. The Pilgrims joined together with the “People of the First Light”, as the Wampanoag Native Americans refer to themselves, who had helped the newcomers survive their first harsh winter.

I never tasted a Plimoth Plantation turkey dinner while living on the Cape, but I tasted a variety of Wampanoag dishes when I was accepted as their friend and later became co-author and publisher of one of the books dedicated to their heritage — Son of Mashpee.

Now in Tucson — far away from Cape Cod and Plymouth — I am planning our Thanksgiving with a touch of southwestern style. However, while on the Cape in September I visited Plimoth Plantation and took some photos to share with you a little of its ambiance.

“Plimoth Plantation is a private, not-for-profit museum whose exhibits include Mayflower II, Wampanoag Homesite, the 1627 English Village, the Crafts center, the Nye Barn, and changing gallery exhibits. Each exhibit presents a unique aspect of the story of 17th-century Plymouth and the people who lived there,” as their brochure informs. The spelling of the name, Plimoth, also comes from the 17th century.

Indeed it is a rare and fascinating place. There is a lot to see and learn in Plimoth Plantation, but I can offer here just a small slice of what I saw — like a sliver of the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

On entering the English Village one gets enveloped by sights, sounds and smells from a far away past. The costumed role players of the village inhabitants are effective in convincing visitors that it is indeed the year 1627.

The Wampanoag Homesite in Plimoth Plantation is scenically located at the mouth of Eel River where their mishhoons, canoes made from hollowed-out tree trunks, are resting. The dome-shaped wetuash covered with bark and cattail reed mats was a comfortable summer dwelling. In winter the Wampanoags would move deeper inland, to their winter homes.

Everybody needs some bread! Every culture makes it a bit differently. In Plimoth Plantation visitors can learn how to make and bake corn bread. Kids especially are fond of that activity. I was watching them with great pleasure on that sunny September day, but could not quite dismiss the thought that in November and later months with cold and often wet days it could be a very different experience.

That visit into the past made me feel more appreciative of the conveniences in our contemporary life. So I am grateful for our comfortable homes with warm bathrooms and modern stoves.

Have a joyful time cooking, dining, and gathering on this coming Thanksgiving!


* * *

Text and photos (other than photo of Wampanoag Native American gathering) copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann.

What I Am Thankful and Not Thankful For

November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving is a very charming holiday that most of us love and the one that makes us reflect about what we are thankful for. I am writing this on Black Friday — the day that should be named National Shopping Frenzy Day (NSFD — too many consonants, I think, for it to “fly”) in which I have never participated and do not intend to do so in the future. It is the day close enough to Thanksgiving and far enough from its spirit that I feel free to write not only what I am thankful for, but also what I am NOT thankful for. I will not bore you with the obvious and obligatory statements about my health, my family, and other fortunate things I should be thankful for.

I am not thankful for Black Friday which is expanding its commercial grip towards Thanksgiving Day — this year some shopping malls were open on Thanksgiving evening to encourage walking (in them) and shopping after Thanksgiving dinner. How very healthy! Yuk….

I am very thankful for the numerous comments made by the readers of my blog — they motivate me to continue my writing. Thank you!

I am thankful for the beautiful blue skies of Arizona while so many states’ skies were gray and rainy on this Thanksgiving Day. In Arizona even clouds are pretty — especially during sunsets — but there is some darkness in them as well.

Arizona sky Arizona clouds

That darkness in the clouds symbolizes for me the darkness of this state’s politics. Arizona is becoming more and more conservative and adopting the psyche of a police state. I am definitely not thankful for the results of our last election and especially of the “great” victory of Governor Jan Brewer. Her popularity raised up on publicity politicizing the divisive Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070. I wrote about that matter — SB 1070 — in my July blog entry. Today I would like to stress only how unthankful I was to receive in the mail Governor Brewer’s campaign literature. The choices of the images used in that literature were embarrassing. Seeing such pictures as below, I had to pinch myself to remember that I am still in the same country that I immigrated to years ago!

Arizona governor Jan Brewer Captive illegal immigrants

Jan Brewer campaign flyer

What I am thankful for is the continuing existence of the Independent Press in Arizona, the kind that Tucson Weekly represents, the publication where readers still can find well researched information as well as strong and not shy opinions about current political issues in this state and in this country as well.

I am also very thankful for the writings of Arizona poets, poets like David Ray who are able with their well crafted words to touch the hearts and minds of others.

Please feel it for yourself.

The Sleepers
by David Ray

Bodies of two illegal migrants were found
this morning on the Southern Pacific tracks.
— Tucson Citizen

What they have endured, making it north
from deep in the belly of Mexico,
would make a great novel, picaresque,
the two companions trembling with hope.

After many perils they make it across
the border, manage to survive the desert,
search squads, spotlights, police dogs,
helicopters, klieg lights, and armed vigilantes.

But there is a great weariness after such
a journey, and rest is essential. Exhausted,
they lie down between rails, safe from
the hazards of snakes and scorpions.

The rotten rail ties called sleepers are like
slats of a bed, their frayed surface soft as flannel,
and perfume of the creosote is familiar,
like brush growing along barrancas back home.

If the last breath is inhaled in the new land
it mingles with pollen from home, and scent
of smog joins toxins acquired in the past
as if there has been no border at all to dispute.

As the two lie down in the night between tracks
they dream of how soon they will pick oranges
or lay tiles, trim trees and clip hedges. But a train
not expected is sometimes the one that arrives.

Copyright © 2009 by David Ray


Thank you, David, for letting me use your poem in this blog.

* * *

Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann

%d bloggers like this: