Ode to Black Friday

I do not like Black Friday, sir

I do not like the brrr, grrr, whirr

I do not like to fight over socks,

I do not like to get crammed in a box

store,  you will not see me at the Mall

I do not like it, no, not at all.

The crazy, scrambling, hunter’s race

Doesn’t fit my ambling, gatherer’s pace

I like to feel, I like to sniff

I like to take my time and if

I take more time than Sally and Sam

It’s the way I shop, and it works for me, ma’am.

So you will not find me camped outside the store

You will not find me standing at dawn at the door

You will not find me wedged in the mall’s lot

Or crammed in traffic, with wares newly-bought.

For I do not like Black Friday, friend.

Well, except online shopping maybe – they’ll send.

–original poem by Karen “Wingoov” Molenaar Terrell


Thanksgiving: Karen in the Kitchen

First, I will don my way cool apron that my friend from Canada sent me, and that has the Canadian word “Eh?” written on it in really flamboyant letters.  Of course, putting on the apron isn’t going to actually keep me from having flour all over me by the end of my culinary adventure – but I think I look sort of cute in it. And that’s the important thing.

Next I will haul the turkey out of the fridge, where it’s been thawing since Sunday. I will dice home-grown onion and garlic, apples from our orchard (yes, apples – using apples in turkey stuffing is a Wingoov tradition – because I, traditionally and invariably, FORGET TO BUY CELERY!!! and then I find myself scrambling around the kitchen, looking for something crunchy I can throw in the dressing…and…yeah…well…apples…and, true to tradition, I just realized that I, once again, FORGOT THE CELERY!!!), and toasted Dave’s Killer Whole Grain Bread (the bread will be toasted, not Dave).  I’ll sprinkle sage and rosemary over everything that’s within arm’s reach (this includes the dog, the cats, the sons…).  Then I will yank out the turkey’s innerds, and replace it with toasted Dave, and put the whole shebang in a pre-heated 325 degree oven.

Pie-making comes next. I love making pies. There’s something kind of comforting about pie-making. I especially love making pies when there’s rain pounding against the windows, and a fire in the woodstove – the rain adds a certain ambiance, and it looks like we might be getting a lot of ambiance today.  I’ll combine the flour (2 cups), and butter (2 tbs, plus 2/3 cup) and water (6 tbs) in a bowl, and then grab half of it and roll it out on a floured cutting board, and lay it in the bottom of my glass pie plate.  The bottom crust will be a picture of perfection – it will be seamless and smooth.  Next, I’ll put the frozen blackberries that I picked last summer into the pie shell. I’ll add 4 or 5 tbs of flour, and 6 tbs of sugar, and loosely mix the pie’s filling.  Now it’s time to roll out the top crust and place it on top of the pie. The top crust is the crust that everyone will see. It will have holes and tears in it. That is another Wingoov tradition. Once I’ve got my holy crust attached to the pie, I’ll lightly sprinkle sugar over the top, to make the pie look sort of sparkly when it’s done.

By the time we sit down for our feast, our plates will be full of turkey, stuffing,  mashed sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon, and cranberry sauce, and we’ll be half-way through dinner before someone – probably one of the sons – will ask me about the dinner rolls.  And they will either be burning in the oven, or still sitting in the cupboard. It is another Wingoov tradition.

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite of all holidays – a time when we celebrate gratitude for all the good in our lives.

May your day be filled with a feast of love and laughter.  And don’t forget the dinner rolls.

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Originally published last Thanksgiving. Not much has changed from last year, though. Due to scheduling conflicts, we celebrated Thanksgiving last Sunday – and, yup, once again I forgot to buy celery – but apples worked really well.  And once again, the rolls got a little crispier than we’d intended.  (Here’s a post on my other blog about the particulars: http://madcapchristianscientist.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/thanksgiving-what-a-wonderful-world/ )



A Comparison of Monty Python and Lonesome Dove

I am watching Lonesome Dove. People are dying left and right. Five minutes of boozing and yukking it up, and then someone gets shot, hung, whipped, or fricaseed. Sentimental music. Tears for a minute or two. Then back in the saddle. Repeat.

In the last couple hours five guys have been hung, four have been shot and two of them burned, one had a spear thrown through his chest. Another got whipped. Three people got scalped. I know. This is classic western stuff. Good acting. Beautiful scenery. Lots of pretty horsies. But I have had just about enough here.

Breaking news: Angelica Houson’s husband just bit the dust.

Two arrows in Robert Duvall’s leg now and his buddy is following a ghost through the desert.  Robert Duvall just got his leg amputated from the knee down. This is beginning to remind me of that scene in Monty Python:s The Quest for the Holy Grail – you know, the one with The Black Knight?

Ah geeze. And now Duvall has blood poisoning and he’s not looking so good…

Honestly, I think I’d rather watch this:

Ah. That’s better. 🙂

Note to Donald Trump: You are not the Boss of Me

Dear Mr. Trump,

You are not the boss of me. And frankly, I have always been really surprised that anyone would actually compete to be your apprentice. I mean, who really wants to spend their time being barked at, berated, treated like trash, and employed in a job whose sole purpose seems to be to make money for you?

Sir, I respectfully submit that it is time for you to grow up, stop throwing your tantrums, accept the will of your fellow citizens, and treat the office of President of the United States with the respect it is due.

The times have changed. You can no longer buy everything you want.

The United States is not a corporation. It is a nation made up of rabble rousers,  independent thinkers, and people with a strong sense of fairness and fair play. Corporate shenanigans will no longer be tolerated.

We wish you nothing but good in your future endeavors, but it is time for you to stop trying to boss the rest of us around.


Karen Molenaar Terrell

Proud American

To Gov. Romney:

Dear Governor Romney:

Thank you for your recent application for employment. Although your resume was certainly impressive, we felt your job experience and qualifications were not quite the right fit for our job opening. The United States is not a corporation in need of a CEO. We don’t need a boss. We need a hard-working self-sacrificing employee. Our President is not our employer. He is our employee, beholden to us.  We think, perhaps, you might be happier in another position.

We wish you well in your future job search.


Sex in the Kitchen: Greed, Passion, and a Gazillion Fruitflies

In the beginning there was a kitchen. And darkness was upon the face of the kitchen. And Karen said, “Let there be light.” And she flicked the lightswitch and there was light. And, verily, it was very good. And Karen said “Let there be fruit.” And Karen went to the local Fred Meyer’s and loaded her shopping cart (one of those little ones that are easier to maneuver through the produce section) with organic mangos, bananas, and one really big pineapple. And Karen brought the fruit home, to reside in her kitchen until she chose to ate it.

And Karen did NOT bring fruitflies into her kitchen, because she is not that crazy.

But they came.

First there was only one. He was a wild fruitfly (I should probably explain at this juncture that, according to the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences for Hobart and William Smith Colleges, there are two types of fruitflies – “wild” ones and “mutant” ones.  I, personally, think it’s kind of insulting to the mutant ones to refer to them as “mutant ones” – why don’t we just call them “domestic” – I mean,  in my house they seem to have settled in and made themselves right at home – which pretty much makes them domesticized, right?).  He had really cool-looking sex combs on his forelegs – black and bristly and really sexy. No female fruitfly could resist his bristles.  And so She came.  (http://math.hws.edu/javamath/ryan/Genetics1.html )

And, with the heady, tropical smells of banana and pineapple filling the kitchen,  and their greedy bellies (do fruitflies have bellies?) full of banana, the fruitflies had wild and passionate fruitfly sex.  And reproduced like… well, fruitflies.

And now there were hundreds of the little buggers.  Who reproduced like fruitflies.  And then there were thousands. And within a week or two (keeping in mind that the lifecycle of a fruitfly is about 10 days, according to the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Sciences at Hobart and William Smith – and why, I’m wondering, is a department of Computer Sciences involved in fruitfly sex?), there were, like, a gazillion of them!!!

And they lived happily ever after in Karen’s kitchen.

(As a side note, we might mention that Karen and her family abandoned the kitchen and the rest of their house, moved to the other side of the mountains, and never brought fruit into their home again.)