Monthly Archives: December 2022

in the dark of december.



“i heard a bird sing in the dark of december.

a magical thing.

and sweet to remember.

we are nearer to spring than we were in september.

i heard a bird sing in the dark of december.”

 -oliver herford


art credit: “Winter Moon”, photograph by Ginette Brosseau
This dark winter landscape photo was taken not far from her home
along the shores of the St. Lawrence river in Quebec.

just stop.


for those who may be unsure

i’m going to just go ahead and say it:

a stop sign in not meant to be a suggestion. 

(good thing there’s a backup here for a second chance to get it right)

‘if you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

-orson welles

the jetsons.



while filling up my car with gas 

a man walked over to me saying

how it would have been great

if one of the inventions from ‘the jetsons’ show had come to be –

 a warm air pad that you walked on, so you were never cold

i reminded him of their version of the microwave

where you pushed a button and your food was cooked in seconds

from there it continued on, back and forth

with inventions remembered from the show

until we both of our cars were filled up

 going on our merry way

what an interesting conversation to have with a random stranger at the gas pump

perhaps he recognized a fellow jetsons fan

not your usual small talk, but rather refreshing

triggering memories of my favorite childhood cartoon.

the jetsons premiered when i was 5 years old on abc tv (their first color show!) on sunday nights. i loved it instantly; the characters, the banter, the clothes, and all the cool space-age stuff. unfortunately it only ran for one season and then quickly disappeared from the airwaves, except in reruns and later movies.

here’s smithsonian’s take on the show:

It was 50 years ago that the Jetson family first jet-packed their way into American homes. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) after its debut in 1962, offering television viewers a rather sunny and optimistic view of the future. Flying cars, moving sidewalks, and flat-screen TVs were the norm. Even the Jetson family’s sky home was considered envious. ABC set The Jetsons in 2062, exactly 100 years from the year that the show premiered. Based on the Jetson family’s phone number, one could argue that they didn’t live on Earth or just above it. The family’s phone number was VENUS-1234, meaning they were most likely residents on Venus. 

Regardless of its short-running timeframe, the show remains a point of pop culture reference all these years later. Some of the inventions that existed on The Jetsons are available today, and they did predict current technologies. Some examples include; interactive newspapers, robotic help, holograms, and drones. The most widespread Jetson-inspired invention  is the Apple Watch. It closely resembles the device George wore on his wrist to call work, make appointments, handle doctor visits, and much more.

Tesla is teasing us with self-autonomous vehicles, but people are still waiting for the highly-accessible flying cars used by the Jetsons. We may not have to wait another 50 years as a Slovakian company is currently working on a flying car prototype. Smithsonian Magazine said, “The Jetsons stands as the single most important piece of 20th-century futurism.” They claim the show “has had a profound impact on the way that Americans think and talk about the future.”

image credit: hanna-barbera productions, abc tv, warner brothers archives,smithsonian magazine

house of cards.

learned a new card game
while hanging with family at christmas
when someone reads the rules
it does nothing for me
i learn best by trial and error
lots of trials
lots of errors
but i did somehow win my first game
with a combo
of good luck and a happy accident
nothing to do with strategy
 i’m fine with that
then got slaughtered in the next five games
by the kids
my hot streak might be over.
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’emKnow when to fold ’emKnow when to walk awayAnd know when to runYou never count your moneyWhen you’re sittin’ at the tableThere’ll be time enough for countin’When the dealin’s done.”
-kenny rogers, the gambler
photo credits: universal studios, facebook



when you invite a man in a red suit and a pack of flying reindeer into your midnight kitchen

it’s not all that surprising, on the morning after, that is doesn’t look exactly how you left it 

 while you did put the coffee pod out as a option as needed

you don’t remember putting the bailey’s out for a shot

but i am pretty sure they had a good time on their stop

 and were happy for a little pick me up

before heading out to finish their deliveries

on their busiest night of the year. 

“a fellow doesn’t last long on what he has done. he has to keep on delivering.”

-carl hubbell

love in action.


and this year

santa and his crew will even have plate decorations

and a keuring cup

in case they’re cold and in need of a cup of coffee.

“christmas, my child, is love in action.”

-dale evans (american cowgirl star)

tom and jerrying.


The cocktail is warm, hearty, and festive.

This 19th-century warm, hearty, and festive cocktail still fights cold nights in the Midwest.

The Tom and Jerry’s origins are frequently traced back to a publicity stunt orchestrated by British journalist, Pierce Egan. The story goes that he added brandy to eggnog to create a signature cocktail to promote his 1821 book, Life in London. A subsequent play based on the book, Tom and Jerry, or Life in London, has additionally been associated with the beverage. While this remains unverified, Egan’s work did make a meaningful contribution to the drinking world: the phrase “Tom and Jerrying” which means indulging in loud, drunken behavior.

No definitive records exist about the drink’s first appearance stateside, but in 1862, the famed New York bartender Jerry Thomas published a recipe for a Tom and Jerry in his book, “How to Mix Drinks, Or, The Bon-viant’s Companion.” (great title)

Historians are unclear as to why the Tom and Jerry became such a Christmas staple in the Midwestern United States, but it was popular enough to merit a cottage industry of Tom and Jerry drink sets, consisting of punch bowls and mugs inscribed with the drink’s name in Old English font. Milk glass Tom and Jerry sets were fairly common in the 1940s through the 60s. A New York Times article about the cocktail quotes author Jim Draeger, who surmised that the Tom and Jerry became a Wisconsin staple because the state has an affinity for brandy drinks, and is also a dairy state. Perhaps more than anything, the intense cold of the American Midwest has arguably solidified this warming drink’s staying power in the winter drinking traditions of the region.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 ounce Jamaica rum
  • ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Brandy or rum
  • Boiling water or hot milk
  • Grated nutmeg, to garnish


  1. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites with cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks, then beat the yolks until they are, according to Thomas, “thin as water.”
  2. Add the spices and rum to the yolks, and continue stirring until incorporated. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  3. Thicken the mixture with sugar until it has the consistency of a light batter.
  4. Serve in standard coffee mugs. In each mug, mix two tablespoons of the batter with three tablespoons of brandy or rum. Top off with milk or water, or a combination of the two. Grate fresh nutmeg over the surface and serve.

note: we are currently dealing with blustery winds, blowing snow, white-outs, and single-digit – below zero temps, and i have always lived in the midwest (in michigan), but have never encountered or heard of this drink. any readers out there ever had this?

“heap on more wood – the wind is chill;

but let it whistle as it will, 

we’ll keep our christmas merry still.”

-sir walter scott

source credits: gastro obscura: rohini chaki, photo-sam o’brien, nyt

what is coming.


since the early 70s, 

the tree at the American Museum of Natural History has been decorated with paper ornaments.

this year it features origami critters—beetles, butterflies, and grasshoppers-

that represent exhibits past, and attractions coming in the new year. 

(The New Yorker)

“what is coming is better than what is gone. let this belief aim you in the direction you need to go.”

-karen salmansohn

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