Posts in Category: Traditions

11 Chilean Cures for Common Maladies

Last week, one of my Chilean acquaintances posted on Facebook. She has a six-month old baby and she is a nursing mom.

In her post, she said that she went to the fería, the farmer’s market, and an elderly man approached her and begged her for some breast milk.

What?! He told her he wasn’t planning to drink it. He explained that he had a severe earache and needed it for that. He claimed that putting warm breast milk into his ear would cure his earache.

Happy Mother’s Day

Last week, I started taking a French class.

I’ve always wanted to learn French. A thousand years ago, I went to college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I transferred there as a sophomore and didn’t have the option of preregistering for classes beforehand.

During the normal registration period, I signed up for the classes I needed. If one was unavailable, I had to start over and rebuild my schedule from scratch, trying to fit the classes together like a Tetris puzzle. I’d already done this twice, which meant running around the entire campus, from department to department, getting approval for admittance.


random-acts-of-kindness-christmas-calendar-1 Many, many years ago, long before I got married or Phillip was born, I made an advent calendar.

It was made of felt, in the shape of Santa Claus. On his big, triangle-shaped belly were 24 little pockets. Each one held a felt Christmas ornament, which I also made. There were bells, balls, angels, snowmen, etc. All had sequins, beads, and trimmings.

The idea was to take one out each day and hang it on the Christmas tree. My Advent Santa was a decoration himself. He hung on the wall, and I pulled out the ornaments, one a day, during December.

Gobble, Gobble

img_0239It’s that time of the year, Thanksgiving Eve, and I’m watching my traditional “Thanksgiving” movie, Home for the Holidays.

Good sound track, great cast. Funny, sad, poignant. Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Robert Downey Jr.

I’d been planning a low-key Thanksgiving. Alone, but I’m okay with that. I bought all the customary, commercial food, a turkey breast that’s probably loaded with hormones and chemicals. Stovetop stuffing. Just add water, right out of the box. Fluff it with a fork and voila! Instant stuffing. Cover it with gravy made from McCormick’s gravy mix, added to the turkey drippings, and you’d hardly ever guess that it wasn’t homemade. I bought potatoes, both white and sweet, because you need mashed potatoes for that gravy, and sweet potatoes because they’ve got lots of fiber and vitamin something-or-other. Nahhh, I just like them. Last, but not least, I have the cranberry jelly that “slides out of the can,” as Lucy van Pelt famously said in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving.

The Gingerboys

385855_10150405349473563_904533935_nMy cupboards smell like ginger and nutmeg and all things festive and celebratory.

I’m getting ready to make the “Gingerboys.” That’s what my son, Phillip, called them. I made these cookies for the first time for his third birthday party. They were a hit and became his favorite cookies. He looked forward to them every November.

That was 30+ years ago, Since then, I’ve made them almost every year. Sometimes, I’ve been able to give or send them to Phillip. Other years, it’s been impossible to send them, but I’ve made them anyway in honor of his birthday.