Turkey day ditty


It’s Thanksgiving week here in the USA and nobody wants to read a long winded AGMA post.  Least of all AGMA.

So I thought I’d change things up and try some poetry.  Robert Frost is turning in his grave…

My apologies to all you real poets out there.

AGMA Thanksgiving haiku

Frozen turkey waits
Hot oil sits in a fryer
This may not go well

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  And be safe out there…


Let’s Go Krogering!


Although the last few years have seen me in Whole Foods every week, I’m really a Kroger girl at heart.  If you aren’t familiar with Kroger, it’s a US grocery store chain headquartered in the city I lived in for most of my adult life, Cincinnati, Ohio.  You pretty much can’t spit in Cincinnati without hitting a Kroger.  They’re everywhere.

OMG – this is going to be a snoozer post…

Since Whole Foods is waaayyyy too expensive to buy food for more than one or two unless you have a trust fund, last weekend I went into my local Kroger to get some goodies to donate to my church for Thanksgiving food baskets.

But a weird thing happened.

After I had checked off all of the boxes on the list of things to get – cans of vegetables, cranberry sauce, evaporated milk, boxes of instant potatoes, stuffing and pasta – I didn’t want to leave.  I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the cashier to check out.  Or to one of the horrid self-service checkout things that are always calling the attendant on me because it didn’t “sense” me putting the 1 oz greeting card into the bag.  I’m convinced they call the attendant just to mess with me.  I hate those things.

But honestly, I didn’t want to leave.  I found myself pushing my cart, aimlessly wandering up and down the aisles.  Thinking about November “Krogering” trips from years gone by.

It’s pretty crazy how and where memories can be triggered.  These were good memories of shopping to feed the seemingly endless appetites of teenage boys, buying turkeys and “fixin’s” for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, getting ingredients for home-made holiday treats for teachers, friends and co-workers   Memories of family and community brought together by the sacred act of sharing food together.  Of spending time and energy in creating a body and soul nurturing meal out of the simple elements of meat, vegetables, bread.  And love.

Like alchemy.

I’ve been running away from some memories for a long time.  Maybe running away is a bit too dramatic.  How about “detouring around”?

The bad ones because they are just pain bad and painful. Understandable.  But I’ve been detouring from some of the good ones too.  Really happy ones in a different time and place and situation.  They tease that life may never be like that again. That the best really isn’t yet to come – that it’s already been.  Total nonsense I know.  Life is a continual adventure with unexpected joys and opportunities presenting themselves all the time if we can find a way to open our hearts to them.  I really try.

Screw Whole Foods…  This year we’re having an all Kroger Thanksgiving!  I have 364 days of the year to eat organic and “locally sourced”.  I want some good old comfort holiday food tomorrow. Food that will make my kitchen smell like it did 20 years ago when I was cooking for my growing family, and having friends and family in and out for the holidays.  Food that makes me smile and remember, and feeds my body and spirit.


Maybe this means the detouring is winding down.  Maybe it means that I’m finally getting my act together.  Or that the life I’m making for myself now is just as happy as in days gone by, but in a new and different way.  Or none of the above.

I need to not overthink this.  Tomorrow, I just need to dig in, enjoy and be thankful.  For lots and lots and lots of stuff.

Like you, my WordPress friends.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

The day before Black Friday formerly known as Thanksgiving


Did anybody notice that Costco had their Christmas stuff out before Halloween?  And the city of Decatur, Georgia’s streets are already festooned with holiday/Christmas decorations.  Fa la la la la…   We haven’t even gotten to double digits in November.  What the hell?

Enough is enough.

I’m not one to pine for the “good old days” because, usually, on closer inspection, they weren’t really all that good…  I mean, I’d never want to go back to the days when I couldn’t immediately look up the history of ketchup on my smart phone while waiting in the Steak N Shake drive thru.  That’s just crazy talk…

But I do long for the days when Thanksgiving was considered a real holiday instead of being relegated as an mere appetizer in the Christmas/holiday frenzied gluttony.  Now, it’s just barely tolerated for the sake of nostalgia and the fact that it’s the day that people use to rest and fuel up to prep for the carnage of Black Friday.

But I remember the days, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when no store would dare to put up a sprig of holly or a wreath until after Thanksgiving.  No self respecting Santa would show his face before THE REAL Santa made his appearance during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  And the “buy a Chatty Cathy” Christmas commercials didn’t start on Saturday mornings until almost December.

You couldn’t go out to do any Christmas/holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day even if you wanted to because all of the stores were closed.  Up tight.  Doors locked.  Going out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t an option either.  They were all closed too.  So, unless you had a medical emergency that landed you in the hospital with a wishbone lodged in your throat, you were stuck at home or going over the river and through the woods to a relative’s home for Thanksgiving.

But, back in the old days, for some strange reason that will be lost to future generations, people actually wanted to be home with their families.  Huh?  For better or worse.  In sickness and in health.  The good, the bad and ugly.  Even the cousin who picked his nose was okay on Thanksgiving.  Kind of.

My mother and aunts cooked all morning and well into the afternoon preparing the Thanksgiving feast.  The uncles would drink Iron City beer and talk about how the Pirates would do better next season.  Except in 1960 when they won the World Series.  That year they just drank more beer.

Aunt Ann made her cranberry jello mold and Uncle Jim mashed the potatoes and carved the bird.  And Aunt Mildred always made her rockin’ poppy seed roll.  Uncle Johnny and Aunt Sadie yelled at us kids for making too much noise fighting over who got to pull the wishbone.  But even they got a pass on Thanksgiving.

My family was far from perfect.  As a matter of fact, we were downright dysfunctional in a charming Eastern European kind of way.  But on Thanksgiving, the house always smelled and sounded like happiness and love  To a seven year old AGMA, that was a magic all of it’s own.

The good old days.

Heed my warning – Thanksgiving’s in danger.  I think it’s going to go the way of Pluto.  Remember, Pluto got a planet “demotion” in 2006 because it just wasn’t up to snuff?  People think that Thanksgiving’s not really a real holiday because there’s no big money to be made with it as a stand alone holiday.  Because it’s not really a “job creator” holiday and it actually encourages people NOT to work, don’t be surprised if there is “holiday demotion” legislation introduced in 2015 from the Koch Brothers Fan Club (formerly known as Congress.)

Thanks, Obama!