Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Falling for Picture Books

Here are recommended picture books for fall:

1.  Thanks for Thanksgiving (Julie Markes)

2.  One Little Two Little Three Little Pilgrims (B.G. Hennessey)

3.  I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (Alison Jackson)

4.  Turkey Trouble (Wendi Silvano)

5.  Apple Pie that Papa Baked (Lauren Thomspon)

6.  Pumpkin Soup (Helen Cooper)

7.  Too Many Pumpkins (Linda White)

8.  Seed by Seed:  The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman (Esme Codell)

9.  Apple Picking Time (Michele Benoit Slawson)

10.  One More Acorn (Don Freeman)


Monday, 20 October 2014

Falling for Chapter Books

Here are ten chapter books recommended for fall.

1.  The Best Halloween Ever (Barbara Robinson)

2.  Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve (Mary Pope Osborne)

3.  The Skeleton in the Smithsonian (Ron Roy)

4.  Thanksgiving on Thursday (Mary Pope Osborne)

5.  The Great Turkey Walk (Kathleen Karr)

6.  The Candy Corn Contest (Patricia Reilly Giff)

7.  The Peculiar Pumpkin Thief (Geronimo Stilton)

8.  Coyote Autumn (Bill Wallace)

9.  Apple Orchard Race (Abby Klein)

10.  There's an Owl in the Shower (Jean Craighead George)


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Congratulations, Cassandra!

I remember the day my niece, Cassandra, was born.  She had dark eyes and dark hair.  Her hair stuck straight up on her head like a porcupine.  I remember the flowered dress she wore to my wedding, still a babe in her mother’s arms.  I remember her running around double fisting bologna at the Germania Club after my mother-in-law passed away.  "Go! Go! Go!" was the toddler’s motto.  

Cassandra made beautiful music with the Hamilton Children's Choir.  She and her sister Amanda filled the old St. James Anglican Church with song.  Cassandra helped her sister blow out the candles on their birthday cake at their double birthday party.  Around the time she turned seven, she had just learned the formula for a joke and she made up one herself:  “What do you call a girl standing on a cat? --  A statue.”  Rob and I got a kick out of that one. 

Cassandra and her sister munched on chocolate Easter bunnies at my house on Thanksgiving Day 1998.  I wondered how they lasted for six months in their fridge without being gobbled up.  Later that year, when Rob and I were in the process of adopting our newborn son, Cassandra suggested that we take Thomas to Grandma and Grandpa's house for three weeks to hide out, just in case his birth parents changed their mind.  That's how much she wanted a new cousin!  

Cassandra used to come for sleepovers at my house with her sister.  Rob used to take them to Lynden Park Mall shopping sometimes.  Their favourite store was Claire’s.  Cassandra always did have a flair for fashion. 

I remember Cassandra’s first communion, dressed in a pretty white gown, her dark hair in ringlets.  I remember her grade 8 Graduation.  I remember her Grade 12 Graduation.  She was the life of the party! 

Two nights ago, to the strains of a pianist, cellist, guitarist and three violinists, Cassandra got engaged.  An ensemble of Kyle's friends played her favourite song, "Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die".  

What happened to the past 23 years?  Congratulations, Cassandra!  May God bless you and Kyle in your forthcoming marriage!


"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die" quote by Babe Ruth courtesy m1.behance.net.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fast Facts about Fall

1.  People sleep better in the fall due to the cooler temperatures.


2.  Apples are a natural teeth whitener and help prevent Alzheimer's Disease.


3.  Leaves become their most vivid in colour after a succession of warm sunny days in autumn.

Fall Leaves Colorful Green


4.  Men and women's testosterone levels are at their highest in the fall.  The cooler temperatures make people want to cozy up together.  It is a popular season to start dating or get engaged.


5.  Pumpkins were once recommended to get rid of freckles and cure snake bites.


6.  The United States has about 203 billion leaf bearing trees.


7.  The first day of fall is one of two days where you can stand an egg on its end.


8.  Each fall, the black capped chickadee's hippocampus swells by 30%, enabling it to remember where it stored its seeds.

9.  The Arctic tern migrates 11,000 miles in the fall.


10. Autumn babies, those born between September and November, are more likely to live to 100.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Autumn Magic

1.  Amazing Autumn Scene courtesy wallcoo.net.

2,  Ducks in Lake courtesy setialaysayang.com.

3,  Autumn Church Scene courtesy desktopwallpapersonline.info.

4.  Tunnel courtesy fanpop.com.

5.  Railroad tracks courtesy fanpop.com.

6.  Red leaves courtesy santabanta.com.

7.  House courtesy dailymail.co.uk.

8.  Bench courtesy wordpress.com.

9.  Bridge courtesy hqwallbase.com.

10.  Tree courtesy zoomerradio.ca.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Peeling Back the Foil

What do you do with two hundred and sixty tons of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving?  That was the question that Gilbert and Clark Swanson asked themselves after they overestimated the number of turkeys that would sell over Thanksgiving 1953.  They rented a refrigerated car and stuffed it full of turkeys.  As the turkeys rode the rails, they challenged their employees to come up with a more economical solution to the problem.

Nebraska's Gerry Thomas, a Swanson salesman, made a trip to Pan-Am in Pittsburgh to study their frozen dinners served on their airplanes.  He "borrowed" one of their aluminum trays, then set to work redesigning it into three, rather than one, compartments.  While the frozen dinner idea had been around for about a decade, no one had married the frozen dinner to TV; that is, until Mr. Thomas.  By 1953, most middle-class American households no longer had a maid.  But they did have a TV set -- 33 million of them.  Why not market the dinners as TV dinners?  Gerry even designed the box like a TV set complete with a volume knob.



Swanson assembled two dozen women in the Fall of 1953.  Armed with spatulas and ice cream scoops, the women assembled 5000 dinners complete with turkey slices, sweet potatoes, peas and cornbread dressing.  Each TV dinner was priced at 98 cents.  Directions on the box recommended that the dinner be reheated for only 25 minutes.

One Swanson ad showed a woman arriving home at dinner time and saying to her husband;  "I'm late, but dinner won't be."  While Gerry Thomas received hate mail from some men, complaining that they wanted their wives to cook from scratch as their mothers had, the majority of Americans seemed to warm up to the idea of a TV dinner.  In the first year alone, Swanson sold 10 million.

By 1960, Swanson added a fourth compartment:  dessert.  Two years later, they officially dropped the name TV dinner.  However, the notion stuck.  With the advent of microwaves, the foil tray was replaced by a plastic one.  At over 60 years old,, the TV dinner is still going strong.

Source:  www.gourmet.com