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Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:41 Jennifer Devore
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Mr. Snowman has been patient, all the autumn through.

Now he’s ready to vogue and pose and preen,

To oversee your snow angels, powder fights and frolics.


Pine boughs and incense, cinnamon and peppermint.

Sugar cookies and gingerbread, snickerdoodles and milk.

Pfeffernusse and Gewurtraminer, spice cookies and mulled wine,

Of all the holiday making, the baking and cooking call us home best.


Fairy lights glitter and dance in the fireplace glow,

As they hug the tree and adulate the dearest décor,

That box of precious, priceless family adornments,

Waiting patiently through the year, much as Mr. Snowman.


Presents tied with velvet bows and wreaths wrapped with grapevines,

Garden gnomes with Santa hats and carriage lights ringed with pine,

Welcome all whom enter, those we hold dear and those we wish to know.


‘Tis Christmastime and no season’s more special with cheer,

Than that which brings us all home at once,

Than that which brings us all love at home.


Sunday, 25 November 2012 20:54 Jennifer Devore
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An interesting story ... he began, 'tis oft how he began.

Should you hear these words, lean forward, listen closely.

A ripping good yarn was sure to come, a tale and a full glass.

Always a full glass, for he loathed an empty glass.


An interesting story ... he grew up well and was disallowed dungarees.

He never heard of Del Taco, yet found his true love at Delmonico's.

Early were the lessons of a well-polished wingtip and bespoke tennies,

A hearty steak, a smooth scotch, a strong handshake and a stirring conversation.


A formidable and gracious host and interviewer was he.

"Sorry I went all 'Charlie Rose' on you there," he apologized after your first, long chat.

Life was "all about getting a good story out of it". That he did.


An interesting story ... Teddy Roosevelt was a standard bearer.

George Washington and Winston Churchill, too.

Rise of Rough Riders, Studies in Greatness and the Craft of Intelligence.


"I hope you enjoy this biography of T.R. as much as I did.

I'll be happy to forward the next volume to you at your request."

I should very much like to make that request.


"Sometimes, I like being the dork in the corner, reading a book."

"Why don't you go an' learn something, Brain?"

Books, books and more books. Text me, anytime.

Bios, history, politics, golf and Roberts Rules of Order.

How to dress like a gentleman and the etiquette of the green.


An interesting story ... his cache of Disney trivia was greater than even mine, maybe.

Tears of laughter sloshed from Mad Tea Party cups,

Chicken dinner at Main Street's Plaza Inn, comforting as could be.

An evening at the Park with friends, a nightcap at the Hotel, not to be refused.


Grand Californian's Hearthstone Lounge, Trader Sam's, the classic Hotel.

Manhattans, Shrunken Zombie Heads or a rare reserve.

Closing down Disney, done well indeed.


An interesting story ...  he was going to bring back spats.

"Thank you, ladies. I've spent half the day shopping,

for pocket watches and spats at"

You are welcome; though we never got to see your spats.

Perchance Brooks Brothers will make you a special pair.


Hercule Poirot, Caesar Rodriguez, Frasier Crane and Picky Ricardo,

Would all approve of the spats revival; so would Manny.

C'est difficile to watch Modern Family of late.

Manny makes us laugh, and weep. Manny hits too close to heart.


An interesting story ... everybody should have a majordomo.

He was absolutely right. A majordomo knows, knows all.

A majordomo knows which drink to serve, when.

"Never iced tea at night. Manhattans? Well, those are for the Big City."


We raise our collective Manhattans to you, Good Sir.

In San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and Wine Country,

You are absolutely correct ... everybody should have a majordomo.


Rest in Peace, our dearly departed friend.

You are missed.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012 18:42 Jennifer Devore
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Something is different, something hearty in the air.

‘Tis crisper, cooler, brisker, sharper,

Like a bite from a chilled, candied apple.

The wind and weather now zip through the trees.

Shaking loose leaves of orange, red and gold,

Leaving mere bones and fingers of bark and birch.


Dark Italian roasts, mulled spider ciders and spiced pumpkin lattes,

Perfect complements to all the season’s feasts.

Families are amassing, friends are warming near,

Enveloped and embraced by a fete’s baking, cooking and cocktails,

All warm and sugared comforts, certain to please.


Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, coffee and wine,

The smells of the season lead us home year after year.

Bringing the best of autumn together, the best of family and friends,

The very best of everything, the very best of us on this Thanksgiving Day.




Happy Tofurkey Day to All!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:13 Jennifer Devore
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In the spirit of the holiday and being the Hallowe'en freak I am, it occurred to Moi it was time to read one of the essentials of Western literature, one of the earliest titles ever printed, a book, at the height of its popularity, outsold only by The Bible. Whilst I knew well of this tome and do ever so enjoy speaking its mellifluous name, I had not ever read The Malleus Maleficarum. "What, pray tell, is the Malia Whatch-a-ma-callit?, you may ponder. Well, 'tis really more of a Witch-a-ma-callit. Ha!

No laughing matter when it was written by Heinrich Kramer & James Sprenger and first published in 1486, it served as a guidebook and reference source for the Christian community, church leaders, nosy neighbors, municipal courts and the official Inquisitors of the Inquisition. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

The Malleus Maleficarum was written as a guide to seeking, identifying and prosecuting, thus vanquishing and dispatching of, witches. Didn't believe in witches? No worries, disbelief itself was at best heresy, at worst a sign of a witch. Being a redhead (Well, we all know my feelings on those Redheads! Ha!), having moles or birthmarks (Oft sought by town elders, always male, upon the nude bodies, usually female, of suspected witches for hours and hours of probing, poking and pinching.), possessing a quiet nature, possessing a rambunctious nature or cultivating a belief in the burgeoning fields of science were all excellent, possible signs of a witch. I highly suspect Gladys Kravitz, beauteous and spirited Samantha Stevens' crotchety old neighbor on Bewitched, had a copy on her windowsill. Something other than Heaven help you if you were found guilty.

Whilst the final, waning days of the witch trials peaked here in America with our very own Salem Witch Trials in 1692, the two and a half centuries previous ran Amok, amok, amok! across Europe with figures, dazzlingly varied but horrific even on the lightest-end, numbering 600K - 9Million men, women and children burned alive, drowned, stoned, hanged or tortured to death as witches. With too many specifications to sift through, sometimes the Inquisitors could simply rely on the time-tested generalizations of those "who did not fit within the contemporary view of pieous Christians", "old", "Jewish", "gypsy", "outcast" or the old standby, "a woman".

With such a verifiable and terrible history of inhumanity around which to wrap our modern brains, all one can do four-hundred-plus years later is make a joke or two, produce quirky films about the period (Hocus Pocus, for one, rocks!) or, like yours truly, travel to Salem, Mass. to celebrate Hallowe'en, dress up like Abby Sciuto or Bellatrix Lestrange , stay in the Hawthorne Hotel and blog about it all in November! (I could also work it into a future Savannah of Williamsburg title: maybe a 1600s prequel to the series?)

As a good friend stated sagely upon learning My Viking and I were headed to Salem with the Parental Units for the holiday: Salem Witch Trials? Oh, yeah? Might as well capitalize on that shit, right? True dat, pal.

On the jokey side of this vile and embarrassing era of Western civilization, I came across this "review" of The Malleus Maleficarum on Goodreads. It was such an out-of-the-box review, I couldn't believe Moi didn't write it first. Damn. Oh well, credit where credit is due, I had to share!


A Review by R:

"Why is your son dressed like a pilgrim?"

"Oh, it's a phase he's going through."

"Why is he piling up all that wood?"

"Oh, it's a...a phase. We're pretty certain it's a phase. You know kids, ha-ha."

"Ha-ha. Why is he tying your youngest, his brother, to a pole? And...a gasoline can? Matches??! Is that a phase, too?"

"No. Witches. You can't suffer them to live."

"I suppose you're right. You can't."

"No. You really can't."

"For a second there..."

"Yeah, I know. But, no. Witch. Well, warlock, to get technical about it."

"Your youngest, though..."

"Yes, I...I know. Don't think it didn't surprise me."

"Thank God your oldest is going through that phase."

"Tell me about it. Saves me the job, you know."


"Ha-ha! Ha!"

Review by R, just R. Head on over to Goodreads and give his review, your review!

By the by, as I read R's review, I instantly envisioned the scene with very specific actors: Tina Fey as Talbot's cardigan-donned Mom, those off-putting, strange little Children of the Corn twins on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Steve Martin as the casually well-dressed, Brooks Brothers-sporting neighbor across the Marblehead, autumn leaf-laden, stone fence. Who did you envision? Tell R!

Happy Hallowe'en, all!



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Abyssinia, kids!