Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Khedegah Mc: Technology is playing mind games with me......

Khedegah Mc: Technology is playing mind games with me......

New Years And Other Celebrations

It is New Years Eve of 2008 . I honestly can not believe that tomorrow will be the beginning of 2009 . Really . I can remember when Prince's song 1999 came out in the 1980's and we were all thinking , yeah right that will never come . It was too far into the future to imagine as a reality for most of us way back then . And now it is 2009 .New years Eve and New Years Day is celebrated around the world by most people tonight and tomorrow . New Years Eve being the last day of the month December in the Gregorian calendar year , with the New Years Day being the beginning of the month January , in a new Gregorian calendar year.

The Islamic New Years is celebrated on the 1st day of the 1st month of Muharram in a moon cycle based calendar year that has 12 months also . This year , according to the moons cycle , the 1 st. day of the month of Muharram , in the Islamic year of 1430 Hijrah , the Islamic New Years fell on Dec. 29 , 2008 of the Gregorian calendar . It is not celebrated as New Years is in the Western countries, by most Muslims , but rather in quit prayers and family gatherings , maybe . Sad to say in all my years here in Libya I have never seen this day being celebrated either in prayer or as a family gathering . Maybe that is just my experience but I don't think so . It is the observance of the Prophet Mohamed's migration from Mecca to Medina .This picture says in Arabic Peace and Love which is a good beginning for a new year huh?

Then there is the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa that always starts on Dec.26th and accumulates into a week long celebration to Jan. 1 st of the New Year . The word Kwanzaa is Swahili for 1st fruits . It is a holiday who's tradition was started in 1966 by Ron Karenga , a social activist for the African Americans and a scholar . This holiday has even had a special stamp designed for it by the U.S.A. postal department .As I grew up my mother had special observances we kept . One was on New Years Eve Day we cleaned the entire house from top to bottom . Nothing was allowed to slide in the cleanness department with my mother on that day . After the house was nice and spotlessly clean , she threw away all our cleaning tools , like the mop and broom , replacing them with new ones . This was so we could start our New Years off with a clean beginning .

We ate on New Years Day black eyed peas , corn bread ,any greens , like collared greens or mustard greens , usually a vegetable soup of some sort to go with it all . This was to remind us that being humble , living simply was healthy and would be enriching for the soul .

I have tried to carry on these simple traditions with my children also . Handing them down to my children as my mothers mother handed them down to her and she to my sisters and I . I wonder did my great grandmother receive them from her mother too ? I won't be able to do the house cleaning part this year but will definitely be doing the cooking part . I love black eyed peas but haven't found any this year so will substitute them with beans , just as delicious !

I want to wish all of you a very happy , healthy , and extremely prosperous new years for 2009 . If you made any new years resolutions , good luck lol ! Talk to you next year !

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Sad Sad Story, LOL !

I feel a little purple right about now . My favorite color is blue but the other day I realized as I was taking stock of things around the house that I had a uncommon amount of things that were the color purple and most of them I didn't buy .

I have a slip sort of night gown thingy that some one gave me. It is the same shade of purple as this print . I have never worn the gown . It lies folded neatly in my closet . I have a great pair of no skid/slip plastic house sandles that are worth their weight in gold that I have worn to death , also from the same person . I love them because they will not slip on the marble floors we have here in Libya , in or out of water. That is very important to me , since I have degenerative arthritis in both knees and need knee replacement surgery's. I just can't seem to get around to doing them for one reason or another . A fall puts me out of commission for weeks .

I also noticed some one else had gifted me with a bathroom set , you know one of those sets that have a soap dish , water glass , and a tooth brush holder in it ? I always wanted one but never would buy it for myself . This gift set is white with violet flowers decaled on the pieces. My daughter sent me a lovely pair of lavender pajamas recently. This last summer a friend gave me a pair of mauve slacks with a matching T shirt . I have worn both many times , always thanking in my mind, the givers of such generous presents . I think there might be a few more purple things around the Condo but right this minute I can't think of them .

I have not been on line this last week because I had A DAY FROM HELL last week . It started out a lovely day . It was the 1st time I had left the house since having the flu for 2 weeks and I was excited because I was going to Beauty Street to get stuff , Lots of STUFF !

The weather looked like it would rain but changed it's mind at the last minute and turned sunny . I went into a few shops and found exactly what I wanted for great prices . I thought to myself that since I had time to kill before I needed to do other errands I would look around to check out the new merchandise . I went into the next store . It was crowded . I had to back up to let a man by pass me and that's when things went south . My bad leg went one way , while the simi good leg went the other .Oh , look mom , I can do the splits ! I was surprised I could still do that ! LOL ! As I was going down I decided I would try to land on my simi bad knee to help minimize the damage I knew was coming .

I landed hard on the so so knee and twisted sprang the bad one . I knew I was in bad trouble . The I was stuck on the floor with 2 strange men staring at me talking about how they were going to get me up . I think I would have laughed if I hadn't been so scared. I was wondering that very same thing too , how was I getting up off that floor . They some how managed to helped me up . I regain what little dignity I had left , thanked them and left to drive home . I wanted to go to a clinic that was on the way home to have a anti inflammatory injection , then go home to put my feet up with ice on the knees to slow the swelling .

On the way home a very large ....strong..... dump truck decided to merge into traffic behind me , causing 3 cars to immediately start honking their horns wildly , trying to get him to stop , which he ignored as he continuing onward into the right side of my car caving it into a mess , knocking the wing mirror off along with part of the front bumper . So that happened ! Luckily no one was hurt or killed .

It just went down hill from there all the way home with one awful thing after another happening to me . I came home to find Moe was out . Where is that man when I need his shoulder to cry on ? SO, I sat all alone ( boo hoo ) feeling so sorry for myself and cried until he came home hours later . Of course he is the hero of the story , taking charge and wiping my tears away . What a guy ! Telling me not to worry about anything , he would take care of it all . See why I married him ? Of course reality is another thing but that is another story for another day , lol !

So , that is the long , very drawn out version of why I haven't been on line ... with out getting to the point , which I am famous for, by the way, in case you never noticed . The point ? I have had to stay off my feet , with my legs up ( now no nasty thoughts !) and can hardly walk . It hurts to sit at the computer for too long , so I probably won't be posting much in the near future .

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quiz Time

Try these quizzes to keep you busy . See which one is the real you for chuckles and grins . Have fun !

What Does Your Personal Rainbow Look Like ?

Your rainbow is shaded indigo and yellow.

What is says about you: You are a proud person. You appreciate optimism. Friends count on you for being honest and insightful. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

What Do The Stars Say About You

fun quiz for myspace profile and blog

How Do You Feel

More politics quizzes on

Just How Much Of 2008 Do You Remember

You Remember 50% of 2008

Okay, you were somewhat paying attention during 2008.

But you're not going to impress anyone with your knowledge of what went down.

You know the basics about what went down, but little else...

Let's just say you won't be writing the history book for 2008.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Change Of Plans This Year

There has been a change of plans this year at the North Pole . Rudolph and the girls are taking a well earned vacation this year and turning over the reins to Santa's sled to their cousins , The Camel's . Clyde will be the lead camel , sans the famous red nose of Rudolph , pulling the sled with help from his friends Beau , Mercury , and Hercules . These guys have been in special training all year long in preparation for tonight's important event , Christmas Eve . They want to reassure all the children out there that they are up to the job and won't let anyone down . Santa says he has complete confidence in them . Santa wanted everyone to know he has been on a low carbohydrate diet slimming down this year so he can slip down all those chimneys tonight with his bag of goodies for all good children out there . We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas this year .
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here Comes The Sun

Sunday December 21 is the Winter Solstice. That means it is the day with the shortest daylight hours and has the longest night .I like the though of a day that is so short it used to scare people. They thought the night was so long it would never be daylight again . They would light fires and danced around them sometimes singing and paying instruments long into the night . When the sun did come up the next day they rejoiced the rebirth of the sun , so happy were they .

They usually had the last feast of the year then too . They would kill off any excess livestock so they wouldn't have to worry about feeding them in the winter when food was so scarce . It must have been a hard time , a scary time knowing you were facing the winter starvation , diseases that come with the cold , and no sun on top of it must have been seen as the last straw . It is no wonder they had a party on the longest night of the year to make them feel brave hoping all the while the sun would be reborn and appear the next morning .

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story for people having a bad day:

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First Virtual World for Muslims

There is a new Muslim virtual world that is in trail form on line right now by a Finnish company called Muxlim . It isn't a religious sight but more of a Muslim on line hang out place . It is called Muxlim Pal . It is free to join and no violence , sex, drugs , or profane language allowed on line by the members .

You have a avatar that you make with his or her own rooms, they can mix and mingle with others , go shopping at the Mall , go to a concert ,or even go swimming at the beach . You could pray at the Mosque too . This sight is in English and is for those that wish to meet other Muslims like them that want to reconnect in a Muslim setting, but is also for anyone interested . It is a family orientated friendly environment . This is cool !

Have Any Good Advise ?

Pinky Tabor is looking for a lot of good sound advise on ... doctors , hamburgers, childcare , information on life in Libya .General information to support her in trying to adjust to living here in Libya . She recently move here with her Libyan husband and two little boys from the Philippines . Khadijateri has already given her some good advise.Read Pinky's post .Please give her your input as well . We all need a good support system to help us in life sometimes .OTE

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Question and A Statement

I am not going to talk about the pros or cons of the infamous " Shoe Throwing Incident " that happened to President Bush during his most recent visit to Iraq this past week end . I have one question and one comment .

Where was his security detail when this happened ? If the man had possessed a gun Bush would have been dead . I thought the Secret Service was supposed to be top notch when it came to protecting the President . If I was President Elect Obama I would hope they improve a lot before taking office because I read somewhere Obama has the highest threats made against his life so far than any other President . Let's hope they get better at their job before President Elect Obama takes office in January 2009 .

Now the statement .... did you notice how well President Bush was at ducking those shoes ? I mean the man had a perfect throwing aim at President Bush right ? This leads me to wonder , how did President Bush get so good at ducking things being thrown at him ? Makes you wonder what President Bush and Mrs. Bush do in their spare time huh ? LOL ! I have furnished the video below in case you are one of the few people on the planet that hasn't seen it yet .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saranty Guy Part 3

This IS the season for Miracles !!! The Saranty Guy just came ... WITH THE GLASS ... and installed it into the kitchen door . Hallelujah !!! Can I hear a AMEN ????

Eau De Flu

Moe and I still have the flu .We are doing all the things you are supposed to do.... resting, eating chicken soup , drinking plenty of fluids , taking pain relievers for the aches and pains . Last night I got the Vick's Vapor Rub to grease up my chest to help me breath better . After doing that I went into the living room where Moe was watching TV to keep him company . When I walked past him he looked up at me and smiles a huge smile . He says ever so sweetly to me , " Is that a new perfume you are wearing tonight ? I really like it . What's it called ? " Eau De Vick's !

The Saranty Guy Part 2

Just when I think people can't get any stupider ......A couple of weeks ago we had a bad storm with gale force winds , rain , and hail hit us hard . In a freak incident , a piece of hail hit a side balcony door that is made of glass in our kitchen .One thing or another has stopped me from getting it the glass replaced until tonight .

Tonight the Saranty Guy ( shutter) came finally to finish repairing the living room shutter for that balcony . If you remember I mentioned that several times this past year . So , he being a carpenter , I was thinking maybe he would get the glass for us and install it in the kitchen balcony door for me .This way I would not have to do all the running around to get someone to come install the glass for the kitchen door . Right ?

Wrong !!! He told Moe that yes he could do the glass replacement for us . He measured the door for the space where the glass should fit into the door .Um hum , that's a good sign .He then TAKES OUT ALL THE GLASS FROM THE DOOR !! ALL THE GLASS ! There is not one single piece if glass left in the entire door .And HE LEAVES ! With the glass .

After he leaves , I come out of my room where I have respectfully hidden the whole time he is in our house ,since he is a very religious man and I do not wish to embarrass him by my mere presence .I start my inspection of all his work . All is good ...... until I come to the gaping glassless kitchen door where every mosquito in Tagura is sending out party invitations for fresh blood tonight ! It is freezing outside but we still have mosquito's .

I look at the door for several minutes trying to take this new development in before I have a temper tantrum .I ask Moe What is this ? Where is the glass ? WHEN will we get the new glass ? What did he say ? Where did he go ? WHAT WAS HE THINKING ? Taking all the glass out of the door before he got the replacement glass ? How long is this gonna take to get fixed ? Moe looks at me like I am the one with the problem . I asked him why did you let him do that ? Hum ... so I call the guy . I am polite .Really ! I asked him when he was coming back with the glass tonight , wishful thinking right ? He sorta chuckles and said ... well he was in the street RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE and it was night time ... so maybe , maybe ? The place might be closed for the night .I suggest that there are more than one place that sell glass in this part of N. Africa and MAYBE he could find another place tonight ? I mean , we might have a snow storm or something during the night .Not to mention a burglar or two . He told me INSHALLAH ( God Willing ) he would be able to fix it tonight .That was 3 hours ago .

Granny's Baby's

Haroun 18 months

Gail 4 months

Sophia 1 week
Our little angels !
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Of This And That

The Eid was ok . The 1st day we stayed home . We decided to not go to the son's house for the Eid . I had cooked the Libyan soup and a meat dish that has all sorts of cuts of meat that is cooked in spices and eaten with bread for us . That was good .

The next day the whole family came by . Our son brought Haroun , our grandson . He has gone like a weed and can now sit in his little chair that he couldn't sit in before . He was a terror , into everything . I had put most things out of his reaching range already but of course there were a couple of things I missed , lol. Our daughter in the States called and I got to talk to Gail , our grand daughter . Rosebud wrote since her phone is outta order to wish us happy Eid too . She sent some really fabulous pictures of Sophia that we drooled over about a 1,000 times .Everyone was ooowwwing and awwwwing over them . She is so cute !

The nieces and nephews have all grown taller and more beautiful and handsome as well . The brothers and sisters have aged ( of course JUST THEM , not Moe or I ! ) and I was shocked to see all the grey in our sons hair . Where did that come from ?

Today we were gonna go visit the aunts since they are getting up there on age now , but Moe and I have been blessed by every person we have come in contact with over the last week that had the flu .They lovingly passed the flu on to us . We have stayed in bed most of today sleeping . I can remember when that would have been a fantastic thing , but not today . It was spent snuffling ,sneezing , moaning , and groaning . Much complaining on Moe's part and demanding I get this or that for him ... since HE IS DYING ! But I am dreaming of a nurse in a shinning nurse uniform to come and take care of me! Mad laughing going on here , can you hear me ? Ok , that's my 2 minutes of moaning and groaning . I gotta go , Moe is whining in the other room , something about food or maybe meds ?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Eid And Libyans

Eid From A Libyan Point Of View

The Men Say :

I bought the sheep .
I killed the sheep .
I ate the sheep .

The Women Say :

I prepared the sheep .
I cooked the sheep .
I ate the sheep .

The Children Say :

I ate the sheep !!!
I ate the sheep !!!!
I ate the sheep !!!!!

Wishing You A Happy Eid Adha

Wishing all that celebrate the Eid Adha a very lovely holiday with your families and friends .

Friday, December 5, 2008

Piece Of Cake

Everything you see below are entries in a cake decorating contest held in Russia . Everything included must be edible. The sewing machine and other items may look real, but they are simply made of cake, frosting, and candy.

Just imagine how many hours went into this contest!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

She's Here !

Presenting Sophia : 7 pounds and 3 ounces , 18.5 inches long . Mother ( Rosebud ) and Sophia are both doing well .Moe and I are so happy !!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Taying In The Wind

Next Monday , Dec. 8 is the Eid Adha for Libya . That doesn't mean it is the same for the rest of the world , since our Ramadans always start a day or two earlier than the rest of the world. Maybe our Eid Adha is like that too ?Anyway , I am hearing all over town that same old thing ; whether or not families will buy a sheep this year or not to slaughter . Some say no , then they hesitate and say erm , maybe they will since it is Sunna to do so . That means it is a command from Allah to slaughter a sheep in honor of the covenant between Allah and Ibrahim . Some say they will do a cow or a camel since the sheep are infected . WHO knows what kind of sheep is being imported from Turkey , they say . I think we will be going to our sons house for the Eid , maybe ? So , it is his problem what to do , yeah !

Moe and I plan on sitting by the phone all day (Dec. 3) since our first granddaughter from our oldest daughter will be born later today . Sophia will make her debut at long last . We are arguing over who will have the highest blood pressure while we wait ! LOL ! Our son in law has instructions to send immediate photos to us after Sophia is born , lol ! Wonder who she will look like ? What a exciting time !

Moe has a new hobby . It is having a new survey map made of our land ever so often. It really doesn't matter to him that we just had this done several months ago . Or that it is already registered .Nope ! It keeps him busy I guess ? Maybe he is hoping that the land GREW since the last time , I don't know !

I have been reading other peoples blogs and came across several that I thought I would mention here .

Potpourri :

Potpourri writes of life adjustments after moving to Libya 6 months ago with her Libyan husband of some years , from her homeland of the Philippines . I find myself remembering many things I had forgotten ( how could that possibly have happened I don't know !! LOL !) that I and many of my friends have gone through as well . Really all foreigner women go through many of the same things whether or not they are American married to a Mexican in Mexico , a Lebanese married to a Syrian in Syria , or a English woman to a man from Timbuktu ! It is never your home , your family , your anything but you try so hard to adapt , to fit in, find your niche , and make that place yours . To be and to be happy . This some of the things she has faced .


Heba has brought to Libyan attention a new national identity card that will be in universal use by 2o10 in her latest blog post .It seems this might take the place of the family book now in use , BUT she DID NOT say so , it is just my assumption here . Anyway , everyone ( Libyan) will be required to have a ID card . If you go to her blog , you may apply for one now on line .

Desert Fences

She is a recent transplant to Riyadh from Pennsylvania , along with her Saudi husband and their six children .She is experiencing homesickness and transplant blues also .

It is just so hard sometimes to be in a constant state of flux or change , as our lives demand from us . All the while trying to stay true to ourselves in side , be a good wife / mother / daughter in law / sister in law / daughter/ superwoman ! AND ADAPT TOO !

Those of you that read Khadijateri's blog know of her trails and tribulation's over the years that she has posted about for a few years now .Even a native Libyan such as My Being Days had adjustments to make when she and her family moved to Libya after living all her life in the UK . There is my oldest daughter , Rosebud that was a transplant to Libya at the age of 15 , then she moved BACK to America 3 years ago . She has had to undergo adapting back to a very different life there ,marriage , PLUS the new baby coming tomorrow ! LOL ! So , as I love to say , ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE . Anything can be changed and on occasion , has been known to actually happen .

Saw a movie once , I think it had Jodi Foster in it ? Maybe ? I watched it with the kids years ago . Jodi played girl that was deaf I seem to remember , but maybe not , lol memory is so subjective after time you know , but this character she played loved to say " Taying in the wind ". It meant ," swaying in the wind" . Or as Kaleidoscope once asked me , " Can you go with the flow "? I thought of "Taying in the wind" when she asked me . I knew I could flow ,and I knew how to go , but most importantly I knew I could "Tay in the wind " .Adapt , adapt , adapt ! Evolution !

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Quiet Belief In Angels

" A Quiet Belief In Angels " is a book by R.J. Ellroy . It was brought to my attention by a post on MY BEING DAYS
in which she writes a beautiful quote from the book . Thank you for sharing this with us, MY BEING DAYS .

" Love , I would later conclude , was all things to all people .Love was the breaking and healing of hearts .Love was misunderstood , love was faith , love was the promise of now that became hope for the future . Love was a rhythm, a reverberation .Love was awkward and foolish , it was aggressive and simple and possessed of so many indefinable qualities it could never be conveyed in language . Love was BEING ."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ode To A Turkey

Ode To A Turkey
By Anonymous

It was the night before Thanksgiving and all through our house
No turkey is baking; I feel like a louse ,
For I am all nestled , so snug in my bed ,
I'm not getting up , I'm not baling no bread !

No pies in my oven, no cranberry sauce
Cuz I give the orders and I am the Boss .
When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
I almost got up to see what's the matter .

As I drew in my head and was tossing around
To bed came my husband , he grimaced , he frowned.
And laying his finger aside of his nose ,
He scared me to death , and I thought , "Here he goes" .

He spoke not a word as he threw back my quilt
And the look he gave was intended to wilt .
So up to the ceiling my pillows he threw
I knew I had had it , he face turned blue .

"You prancer , you dodger ,your lazy , you vixen
Out yonder in the kitchen , Thanksgiving your fixing ."
But he heard me explain , with my face in a pout ;
" I'm just plain too tired . We're eating out " !

And this is what has happened this year in our house ! A very Happy Thanksgiving to all that are celebrating !

On The Edge

Libya Has New American Ambassador

The New American Ambassador To Libya

Yippeeeeeeee !! At long last Libya will have a American ambassador, 36 years in fact since the last one was here in Tripoli. Gene Cretz was confirmed as US ambassador to Libya on Thursday Nov. 21 , 2008 by the US Senate . Can wait to see if Americans like my friends and I , married to Libyans , will be treated better when he comes , by the new embassy , as apposed to the way many of us are just ignored now by the existing American consulate .Read more on this story as reported by the V.O.A.(Voice Of America ) .

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why We Eat What We Eat On Thanksgiving

I found this post on the Mental Floss blog . Thought I would pass it on to you to read too .Thanks Ethan ! Thanksgiving is this Thursday , Nov. 27th., this year in America .

Ethan Trex
Why We Eat What We Eat On Thanksgiving
by Ethan Trex - November 25, 2008 - 9:41 AM

Buzz up!on Yahoo!


When Americans sit down with their families for Thanksgiving dinner, most of us will probably gorge ourselves on the same traditional Thanksgiving menu, with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie taking up the most real estate on our plates. How did these dishes become the national “what you eat on Thanksgiving” options, though? Are they holdovers from the First Thanksgiving, or did they gradually sneak in?

The Pilgrims may not have had turkey

Turkey may not have been on the menu at the 1621 celebration by the Pilgrims of Plymouth that is widely considered the First Thanksgiving (though fans of Virginia’s Berkeley Plantation might quibble with the “First” part). There were definitely wild turkeys in the Plymouth area, as colonist William Bradford noted in his journal. However, the best existing account of the Pilgrims’ harvest feast comes from colonist Edward Winslow, author of Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Winslow’s first-hand account of the First Thanksgiving included no explicit mention of turkey. He does, however, mention the Pilgrims gathering “wild fowl” for the meal, although that could just as likely have meant ducks or geese.

So why do we chow down on turkey, then?

It helps to know a bit about the history of Thanksgiving. While the idea of giving thanks and celebrating the harvest was popular in certain parts of the country, it was by no means an annual national holiday. Presidents would occasionally declare a Thanksgiving Day celebration, but the holiday hadn’t completely caught on nationwide. Many of these early celebrations included turkey; Alexander Hamilton once remarked that, “No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.”

When Bradford’s journals were reprinted in 1856 after being lost for a century, they found a receptive audience with advocates who wanted Thanksgiving turned into a national holiday. Since Bradford wrote of how the colonists had hunted wild turkeys during the autumn of 1621 and since turkey is a uniquely American (and scrumptious) bird, it gained traction as the Thanksgiving meal of choice for Americans after Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

Moreover, there were pragmatic reasons for eating turkey rather than, say, chicken at a feast like Thanksgiving. The birds are large enough that they can feed a table full of hungry family members, and unlike chickens or cows, they didn’t serve much utilitarian purpose like laying eggs or making milk. Unlike pork, turkey wasn’t so common that it didn’t seem like a suitable choice for a special occasion, either. An interesting 2007 piece in Slate discussed these reasons for turkey’s prominence, but also made another intriguing point. The publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843 may have helped force along the turkey’s cause as a holiday delicacy when Scrooge magnanimously sends the Cratchit family a Christmas turkey.

There was no cranberry sauce, either

cranberry-sauce-istock.jpgWhile the cranberries the Pilgrims needed were probably easy to come by, making cranberry sauce requires sugar. Sugar was a rare luxury at the time of First Thanksgiving, so while revelers may have eaten cranberries it’s unlikely that the feast featured the tasty sauce. What’s more, it’s not even entirely clear that cranberry sauce had been invented yet. It’s not until 1663 that visitors to the area started commenting on a sweet sauce made of boiled cranberries that accompanied meat. There’s the same problem with potatoes. Neither sweet potatoes nor white potatoes were available to the colonists in 1621, so the Pilgrims definitely didn’t feast on everyone’s favorite tubers.

They did have plenty of venison, though

Winslow mentions in his writings that the governor sent out a party of four men to do some fowling for the feast, but the Pilgrims and Wampanoag also enjoyed five deer as part of their feasting. The meat supposedly arrived at the celebration as a gift from the Wampanoag king Massasoit. On top of the venison, other meats probably included lots of fish and shellfish, which were staples of the Pilgrims’ diets. So if you want to wolf down a lobster or some oysters in lieu of turkey on Thursday, nobody can fault you for being historically inaccurate.

And pumpkin pie didn’t cap things off

pumpkin-pie.jpgIt may be the flagship dessert at modern Thanksgiving dinners, but pumpkin pie didn’t make an appearance at the First Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims probably lacked the butter and flour needed to make a pie crust, and it’s not clear that they even had an oven in which they could have baked a pumpkin pie. That doesn’t mean pumpkins weren’t available for the meal, though; they were probably served after being baked in the coals of a fire or stewed. Pumpkin pie became a popular dish on 17th-century American tables, though, and it might have shown up for Thanksgiving as early as the second celebration of the holiday in 1623.