Traditions, Old and New

Holidays invariably evoke a sense of tradition, regardless of the form our family takes. That’s certainly the case with Thanksgiving, and probably more so with the upcoming Christmas (or whichever winter holiday you celebrate).

One thing nice about traditions is they make planning easy. For Thanksgiving every year, I know I’ll be cooking green beans (just like my grandma used to make them), biscuits, and gravy. My mom knows she’ll be bringing mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, vegetables, and cranberry.

But other traditions have changed. Some of that is due to family members no longer with us–for example, my Grandma Powell used to fix the things I now do–and some is due to shifts in kids growing up, marriages, or divorce. One person who’s soon to be an ex used to bring the desserts. My daughter has grown to love cooking and baking, so that’s now her contribution, along with stuffing balls. A cranberry salad recipe that my other grandma used to bring, seems to have passed on along with her. My mom couldn’t find it, so she tried a different one last year. Funny thing is, most of us like that one much better!

The turkey’s also gone through some changes. Mom used to get up early to get it in the oven every year. But about 15 years ago, a friend introduced my husband to deep fried turkey, and he’s refused to touch baked turkey since. For a while, we had two–my mom still baked one, since a fried turkey requires marinating, and all of the marinades seem to be Cajun spiced–and half our family can’t eat or doesn’t like spicy stuff. Then my husband tried injecting half the turkey with plain melted butter. It was a hit!

Some of my friends have gone even further in changing traditions–they’ve ordered their entire meal out! I wouldn’t mind this at all, especially the reduced cleanup. But for now, I do enjoy my family’s way–and knowing it can change when it needs to.

Probably the best current tradition, though, is having my daughter home for a few days. Isis seems to agree:

Isis Thanksgiving

book-smallWhat I read this week: The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, by Fawne Hansen and Dr. Eric Wood. Ms. Hansen emailed me a few weeks ago after seeing my blog, and offered me a free copy of her book. When I clicked over to her website,, I recognized it as one I’d found several good articles on while researching adrenal fatigue earlier this year. This is one of the newer and more comprehensive books on the subject, and while much of the same information can be found in the earlier books, it’s put together in a clear form that’s easy to understand for someone who’s not a healthcare professional, and is also neatly tied together at the end to help the reader put together his/her own plan for recovery. Some of the other books I’ve read focus more on reducing stress, or on diet, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Many don’t even mention hormone replacement therapy, which is important because all of these systems work together, and may be the missing piece, particularly for people of a certain age. This book is nicely balanced, and what I really liked was its reasonable approach to exercise that recognizes that someone with adrenal fatigue is too tired to do much physical activity. This book gives a good baby-steps way to begin a workout routine that won’t overtax the adrenal glands, and even gives some simple deep-breathing starter exercises. Recommended for anyone who thinks they may be dealing with adrenal fatigue, or who simply wants to learn more about it.

I also am almost done with the novel, but this is getting long so I’ll share that next week. I’m still working on The Indie Author Power Pack, too, which is why the novel’s going so slowly.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I got almost halfway through my book in fixing the big-picture changes required by the big plot change I started 3/4 through. I don’t feel like I did much, but I did meet my goal. This week, I have to finally start shopping and doing holiday stuff, but I still am going to shoot for working the big-picture changes through the rest of it.

What about you–what are some of your holiday traditions, whether for Thanksgiving, or an upcoming holiday? Have you started your winter festivities preparations yet? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

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