Turkey Talk…

The Flying Turkey

Yes, I know turkeys do fly, but not like this one.  A little background is needed to understand our flying turkey.  My dad was a tall man, 6 feet 4 inches, large boned, but never overweight.  While serving as a B29 gunner in the United States Air Force during World War II, because of his height, he often lifted propellers on and off planes from a scaffold like stand.  Being tall does have advantages but also disadvantages; the repeated strain resulted in a stomach injury which was repaired by removing most of his stomach.  Yes, today this would be comparable to stomach surgery for obesity…certainly nothing he ever needed.  Anyway, Dad was hungry all the time, ate frequently, and never gained an ounce.  With four kids and his insatiable appetite, he took over the majority of the cooking at home so there was always plenty to eat. He became a master on the charcoal grill and loved cooking for holidays.  To Dad, the word “holiday” equated BIG turkey dinner.  He refused to consider a turkey that weighed less than 25 pounds and thirty pounds was his preferred size…lots of leftovers.  Everything he cooked was done super-sized and leftovers were fine with us, except for the macaroni salad that he made in a large, electric roaster pan. Now this did get old and to this day I have to think twice when my husband requests it.  Dad’s was the best though!

Not only was my dad known for his large size, he was also known for his large Irish temper (he was born on Saint Patrick’s Day).  His temper was lightning fast and peppered with expletives which Mom abhorred.  We kids would walk around him cautiously for hours after an explosion until one day he asked what was wrong.  When explained, he was amazed that we were still upset because he had forgotten the incident almost immediately.

We lived in a large house with a back staircase that came down to a hallway at the back of the house. We used the back more than the front staircase because the hallway led from the kitchen to the laundry room and a small TV room.  One Thanksgiving I was walking from the TV room to the kitchen as Dad was checking the turkey in the oven.  Just as I got to the kitchen doorway he was pulling the oven rack, with the monstrous turkey in the pan, out of the oven.  In the blink of an eye, the turkey was out of the pan and sliding across the kitchen floor.  The kitchen was approximately 16 feet square and that bird slid the whole way across the kitchen and hit the opposite wall.  I froze waiting for the inevitable explosion from Dad.  To this day, I’m still surprised at his reaction.   Looking up from his bent position over the empty pan he said, “did you see that?”  He was as surprised as I was. He had overcompensated because of the size of the turkey and pulled the oven rack so hard the turkey took flight.

I don’t remember any further conversation. We flew into action, retrieved the turkey, washed it off, returned it to the oven, and then scrubbed the floor.  “Don’t tell anyone,” was his only admonishment.  Who was I to disagree because there was no where we were going to get another turkey in those days when all stores were closed on holidays. As the turkey cooked and the mouth-watering smell permeated the house the family and guests started to arrive.  I remember setting the long dining room table for dinner and wondering what anyone would say if they knew.  All through the meal people complimented Dad on his delicious turkey. He would graciously accept the compliment, then look at me and wink.  The dining room table seemed a mile long that day.  I don’t remember when we told Mom and my siblings, and I don’t know if they remember but I do.  It was the best Thanksgiving ever because it was our special secret.  No one got sick and we laughed about it for years. Moral of the story, be careful when checking the bird!



When I was in second or third grade, can’t remember which, my Mom was our Brownie Troop Leader. I’m not really sure, but I think she took the job because no one else would.  Mom could sew, knit, and bake the best pies and cookies, but she was not really a crafter and you’ll see why. This is an easy project and I still love it, but at the time I questioned my mother’s sanity. She had us chew bubble gum and then use that in place of the clay I suggest here.

For each turkey you will need:

One round pine cone. Any size will do because turkeys come in all sizes.

One hunk of clay approximately the size of a large walnut. Color doesn’t matter.

One 12-inch, red chenille stem (pipe cleaner to those of us over 40, okay 50).

One or two paper cupcake liners. The larger the pine cone the more you need. Color doesn’t matter.

Directions: Roll the clay into a ball and then flatten slightly on a flat surface. This is the base to hold your turkey.

Shape the chenille stem into a circle and twist the ends together tightly. Pull the twisted ends in between the pedals at the larger end of the pine cone. Twist the circle tightly at the opposite side of the pine cone for what will be the turkey’s neck. Shape the remaining pipe cleaner to look like the head and wattle of a turkey. Now don’t get crazy this is not fine art, just do the best you can. Stick the pine cone into the clay.

Fold the cupcake liners in half and position them in the pine cone pedals at the opposite end from the turkey’s head for his tail feathers. If you like you can use crayons to color feathers on the cupcake papers, leave them blank, or write the names of your guests on the tails and use them as place markers on your Thanksgiving table. This is a crazy, old-fashioned, fun project but my grandchildren think the turkeys are the greatest!

Busy Mommy Tip: If your children are old enough to get toys out of the toy box or wherever you keep them, they’re old enough to put them away when they’re finished playing. Start good habits early. It makes life much easier in the long run.

Food For Thought: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl. I highly recommend this book for teens.

Keep sending those entries to the Readers’ Contest digitalbookcoverupdated (2)

Enter to win a free copy of Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet. Place your name and mailing address in the comment section at the bottom of the page and submit it to me. Ten lucky people will receive a copy of the book mailed to their home. Last day to enter will be Tuesday, December 9th. Winners’ names will be drawn on December 10th and announced in the following blog. Don’t just enter because you like free things, upcoming contests will be based on questions from the book. If you don’t win you can still enter future contests by ordering your own copy from amazon.com and reading it.

Reminder:  Friday November 21st, I’m doing an author blog interview on the http://hauntedorchid.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default. Orchid does a great job reviewing books and her blog site is a feast for the eyes. Little play on the Thanksgiving theme there…feast…get it?  Book review blogs are great for finding appropriate reading for your entire family.

 House for Sale

The Rosedawn Plantation – designed and constructed by the Lawbre Company is a magnificent statement in the Antebellum Southern Classical Greek Revival tradition. The Rosedawn contains three floors with twelve rooms and measures 55″ Wide x 26″ Deep x 37″ High.  The Rosedawn is the ultimate in dollhouses and the perfect gift for daughter or granddaughter. Visit Lawbre.com to appreciate their craftsmanship.

The Rosedawn, completely electrified and all but one room meticulously decorated, is being offered for sale to the highest bidder (over the owner’s pre-determined minimum) with or without the existing furniture.  If you want a superior quality dollhouse and don’t have the time or interest in doing the detail work, this is the house for you.  If you are a miniature enthusiast you will recognize the quality of this house and an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

The house is located in the Maryland suburbs outside Washington DC  and is large and significantly heavy.  The successful bidder will be responsible for picking up the house or arranging for packing and shipping.  The original shipping crate is available.

Please send bids to me with your contact information and I will forward them to the owner for consideration.  Christmas is just around the corner…don’t delay.

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