Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I'm so thankful for each of you! Your friendship is a treasure.
I wish you a peaceful, happy rest of the week!
I'll see you Monday--after the turkey, sweet potato, and pumpkin pie madness has come to an end!
Love, Becky

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Horn of Plenty

Today's Wonder of the World is...The Cornucopia!

Flickr photo by periwinkledaze
Do you have a cornucopia at your house? My mother always had one on the table during the Thanksgiving season, filled with nuts or gourds.
I never thought much about the Horn of Plenty back then, but it sure did get around.

It was even on our state seal.

And when I took trips, I saw it there too.

Even the Californians loved it.

And here it is on the crest of Peru!

A French cornucopia is called une corne d'abondance.

So where did all these cornucopias come from?
Never fear, dear readers. I did a little investigating and I found quite the dramatic story for you.
It involves Zeus and a goat! What could be better than that?

Flickr photo by amysahba
No, not a goat named Zeus. Though he is sort of cute. If you're a girl goat.

No, I'm talking about this Zeus...

Flickr photo by Wonders
You know, Zeus, king of the Greek gods? Zeus didn't always look so old and grumpy. No, at one time he was just a little boy god. And he had a buddy, Amalthea, who just happened to be a goat.

Flickr photo by Vita Aerovita
Yes! Like that one.
Well, one day they were roughhousing, like little boy gods do, and naughty Zeus accidentally broke off one of Amalthea's horns. It turned Amalthea into one of these...

A unicorn!
Zeus felt terrible and gave back the horn, which now was imbued with supernatural powers. Whomever held the horn could have whatever he wanted. It was the Horn of Plenty, after all!

Here's a cornucopia in a mosaic dated from 500-550 AD.

Flickr photo by ggnyc
You can find it at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

If I had Zeus's cornucopia, I think I'd wish for this cake.

Flickr photo by handymama
Yes, it's a cornucopia--a pumpkin spice cake cornucopia, with cream cheese icing! Lordy, Lordy!

Maybe with Thanksgiving just tomorrow, I should ask for something more low cal.
Like this cornucopia with felted veggies that I found here.

Photo by
Beautiful! And full of fiber!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!
I count you all amongst my most special blessings!

Love, Becky

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gobble Gobble!

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Turkey!

Flickr photo by William Dalton
Aren't turkeys majestic birds?
No wonder Claude Monet wanted to put them on canvas.

A French dinde says glouglou, not gobble gobble.
Monet's turkeys are lovely!
Although I must say, turkeys are prettier from a distance than up close.

Flickr photo by Festblues~
No offense, Turkey.

Readers, do you know your turkey anatomy?
The red thing hanging from the underside of their beaks is called a wattle, and that crazy looking scarf like protuberance that drapes over the top of the beak is called a snood.
Now you know, just in case it comes up in conversation.

I love this turkey too.

Flickr photo by rich66~
It reminds me what Benjamin Franklin said about the turkey, that it would be a better national symbol for the United States than the eagle. Here's an excerpt from a letter to his daughter on the subject. I found it fascinating!

"For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him....
I am on this account not displeased that the figure is not known as a Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on."

Oh Ben, I would so love to have you over for tea!
Anyway, back to turkeys...

Look! The mystical turkey in a piece of wood is talking to you!

Flickr photo by clickclique
What's it saying?

Is it telling you to eat these instead?

Flickr photo by PhillipWest
Origami turkeys!

Or maybe we should dig into this turkey cake!

Flickr photo by simmiecakes
I like the white meat. What about you?

Of course, you could forgo the turkey platter all together.
You can still have plenty of Thanksgiving spirit!
Just wear this on your head instead.

Photo by
You can find the knitting pattern on Etsy of course, here.
Or for a more subtle look, try this one instead.

Photo by
Buy it at
Or maybe this one at the same Etsy shop...

Flickr photo by
Oh my goodness! My mouth is watering! Pass the stuffing, please!

Have a Wonder-full Tuesday, y'all!
And before you turkey trot away, take a look at this crazy gobbler in action! It makes me wonder that age old question: Why did the turkey cross the road?

Love, Becky

Monday, November 24, 2008


Today's Wonder of the World is... The Cranberry!

Flickr photo by photo fiddler
What an amazing fruit--so tart and tasty--and pretty too.
I love their pinkish-reddish-yellowish outsides, and on the inside?
Wagon wheels!

Flickr photo by Papa Mikey
Whoops! Those are wagon wheels!
No, I meant these luscious ones.

Photo from MedGadget
There, that's better.

Did you know that the French word for cranberry is canneberge? We'd find them at the market around Christmas time.

Cranberries are so interesting, partly because of the way we harvest them.
Well, maybe I shouldn't say we. I've never personally harvested a single cranberry. But others have. Like those funny guys in hip waders on television. And these guys.

Flickr photo by norjam8
No, my own personal relationship with cranberries has mostly been at the Thanksgiving table. Tables like this!

Flickr photo by tracilyn
Excuse me while I fall out of my office chair and laugh myself silly!
Is it just me, or does the sight of a just un-canned cranberry jelly cylinder CRACK YOU UP?!!!
Ha ha ha ha ha.
I LOVE the sound it makes. SHLOOOOOP!

Now before my mother reads this and runs all the way to Greer, South Carolina to bop me over the head, let me say that I never grew up eating cylinders of cranberry jelly.
No, my husband got me hooked on it.
My mother was the Kentucky State President of Future Homemakers of America. (Yes it is incredible that somehow she gave birth to me, a person who still refuses to learn how to properly make up a bed.)
At Thanksgiving my Mother does not open up a can of cranberry sauce and lets it go SHLOOOOP onto a dish. No, she makes a mean cranberry relish.
Like this one.

Flickr photo by benjamin.lim
Here's a recipe that looks similar to hers.

Flickr photo by Eudaemonius
Try it! It may not look as interesting as a Cylinder O'Cranberry, but let me tell you, it's DELICIOUS!
Yum. I can't wait!

I was having cranberry relish day dreams yesterday and had to rush out and buy this.

Yum. That bag is dangerous.
As soon as I started it, I had to make a batch of these.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti! The recipe is here, and boy howdy it's good!
I bet they'd be great with a cup of coffee after the big meal, not that my batch will last that long.

Of course, if I still missed the Cylinder O' Cranberry, I could always buy one of these to set on our Thanksgiving table.

Photo by
You can find it on Etsy, of course! Right here!
And look! You can even display it with a can!

Photo by
If you need me, I'll be down here on the floor, laughing my head off.
Ha ha ha ho ho ho.

Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
Love, Becky

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pencil Pushing

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Pencil!

Flickr photo by luigi.carrieri
How I love a bunch of brand new pencils!
So much possibility!
I tell you, it's just eye-popping!

Flickr photo by The Dogs Blogs
Uh oh!
Somebody went a little crazy with Mommy's eye pencil!
Either that or the cutie must be Groucho's grandbaby.

Colored pencils also make me happy.

Flickr photo by Sofia Katar1ina
Even their shavings are pretty.

Flickr photo by myruby
I hate to throw them away!

I also hate to throw away pencils when they get too small to hold.
If I lived near Jennifer Maestre, I'd give them all to her. Do you know Jennifer? No?
She's an amazing artist who makes incredible things out of pencils.
Like sea urchins, her first pencil projects.

Flickr photo by jenbutt
And then more complicated creatures.

Flickr photo by jenbutt
Hi Jen! I'm in awe of you.
See more of her incredible work here.
Prepare to be spellbound.
Make sure you have a comfortable chair.

Flickr photo by nick on
Maybe not that one!

Tell me, what's your favorite kind of pencil? Number Two or mechanical, colored, charcoal or grease? Or do you even use them anymore, preferring to tappity tap tap on your magic keys?

Have a wonder-full Friday, y'all! And a fabulous weekend!

And before you go, enjoy this tour of a pencil factory in the French countryside.
If you've ever wondered how they make les crayons (pencils, not crayons,) it'll leave you feeling smart. Or should I say sharp?

Love, Becky

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm An Acorn Small and Brown...

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Acorn!

Flickr photo by Cornixelis
Aren't they beautiful? So perfect? Those acorn caps look like they were knitted right on!
Kind of like these!

Photo by
Wait a sec...those are knitted! You can get them here, for your sweet little acorn!

Acorn caps have always reminded me of beanies. You know, for Brownies?

Flickr photo by kristinafh
Which is perfect, since I learned the acorn song from my Brownie troop!

I'm an acorn small and brown

Lying on the cold cold ground.
Everybody steps on me
That is why I'm cracked you see.
I'm a nut. I'm a nut. I'm a nut.

I used to sing that over and over. Ooh boy, that was fun. At least it was for me. I can't speak for my friends and family, especially on long car trips.
And guess where I lived when I was a Brownie?
In the City of Oaks, of course! Raleigh, North Carolina.

Flickr photo by mojo2go
Most of our acorns are a bit smaller.
I wonder if that guy would wear a beanie if I asked him?

This thumb seems happy to.

Flickr photo by alexisimcha
And this gerbil does too! Or is it a hamster? I get those two mixed up.

Flickr photo by knittingskwer1gurl
He looks like quite the jaunty gerbil/hamster in that pic, with the acorn cap slightly askew.

He's not the only animal that favors acorns.
From the looks of this stonework, humans do too.

Flickr photo by Martin Beek
Isn't that lovely? It was photographed in a church in Sussex.

Thinking about beautiful England makes me want a cup of tea. Won't you join me?

Flickr photo by delightful knits
Perfect! An acorn tea cozy!
Miss Suzy would be delighted! Remember Miss Suzy?

She'd want to sit with us. She'd use an acorn cup.

Flickr photo by raphaelmazor
Now, where are my cups?

Flickr photo by Tomi Tapio
Why, Miss Suzy, aren't you kind?
Allow me to thank you with this acorn quote I found.

"The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities."
James Allen, a New Zealander statesman.

Have a wonder-full Thursday, everyone!
Love, Becky

PS. Before you go, enjoy Ice Age's Scrat and his crazy pursuit of acorns. No doubt about it--he's a nut!