December 16th, 2015

Simple Little Christmas

Years ago, we belonged to a parish where the pastor was an elderly “retired” French-Canadian priest. Monsignor Leo was a little rough around the edges and sometimes a bit deaf in the confessional, but we loved him just the same.

We especially loved him at Christmastime. Every year, at the end of the first Christmas Mass, he would stand before the congregation and sing “O Holy Night.” Without musical

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December 8th, 2015

Let the Santa Wars Begin

“How can you lie to your children?” one mom demanded of another on Facebook last week.

“How can you deprive your children of the magic of Christmas?” came the retort.

It happens every year – let the Santa Wars begin!

On one side, we have the Die-Hard Believers. These are the folks who panic when a 6-year-old asks why Santa at the mall had blue eyes this year

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November 19th, 2015

Grace at Thanksgiving

Dan and I spent our first Thanksgiving as a married couple at his mother’s bedside in the hospital. She had suffered a stroke and was on her third day in the intensive care unit, incoherent and unresponsive to medication. One of my husband’s aunts arrived and suggested that the two of us should take a break from sitting vigil and head down to the cafeteria for lunch.

And so

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November 17th, 2015

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes


I like to experiment in the kitchen, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, my secular favorite holiday, I’m all about tradition, and I’ve trained my family to agree with me.

Don’t mess with the traditional recipes!

In case you are looking for some traditional inspiration yourself this year, here are some of the recipes I use:

Sage Stuffing

Pumpkin Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread

Corn Bread

Basic Pie Dough


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November 2nd, 2015

Of Saints and Sinners

I was a teenager when he died. We went to visit him one last time when I was about 14 years old. Nobody said it was “one last time” – not to me, anyway. They said we would be taking some short trips to Canada – just a few of us kids at a time – to see our grandfather.

It was their eyes, their tone, and their hushed late-night

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October 28th, 2015

Who’s Afraid of Halloween?

Last October, my 12-year-old son stood in the aisle of our local pharmacy and held up a life-like foam replica of a human skull.

“How about this one?”

I winced. My son rolled his eyes.

“Come on!” he coaxed. “St. Francis had one!”

Of course he did. I placed the skull in our cart, along with an economy-pack of vampire teeth, a tube of fake blood, and a discounted

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December 10th, 2012

Bean Tree

November 25th, 2012

Sweet 13

We love you, Juliette!