{ Fall 2018 In Pictures }

It’s difficult to condense a season into a few photos.  And, to look at these, you might think everything looks ever-fragrant and all-smiles at our house. A more thorough post would include snaps of dirty laundry & dusty corners and a soundbite of a squabble or two.  This is just a brief, pictorial record of an imperfect family, living day to day by God’s grace.  We have to ask forgiveness when we step on each other’s toes and get selfish or lazy about loving one another. Anyway, here are a few random pieces of fall 2018. You have to catch this fast-moving life while you can.






{ DIY & Dubious Thanksgiving }

Our Thanksgiving was a little different this year.


My sister and family were spending the holiday with her in-laws. My brother and family live in San Diego now.  My single cousin Clee, who usually spends holidays with us, was with her brother’s family.

So, our guest list would simply be: my mother and her friend, Marlene. Marlene is a dear widow who is legally blind.  She is a classy dresser who wears red-rimmed cat-eye glasses.

In addition to the sparse guest list, we threw another curve ball when we told the children,

“This is a Do-It-Yourself Thanksgiving.  You can all plan one dish, buy the ingredients and prepare it yourself.”

Then, our oldest daughter mentioned that a Facebook acquaintance was in the area for Thanksgiving weekend: Nathan, a seminary grad student from Sri Lanka.

When my daughter asked if he could join us for Thanksgiving dinner, some of the other children seemed dubious…even shocked.

I regret to admit they said things like:

  • We don’t even know him.
  • He could be a weirdo.
  • Why would we invite someone we’ve never met?

So much for the Christian spirit of hospitality.

In the end, we all had a marvelous time:

  • Marlene and mom were excellent company and formidable game-players. We learned new things about both of them.
  • Everyone stepped up with the DIY dishes; we had abundant leftovers, as usual.
  • Nathan was friendly, intelligent and a definite non-weirdo. (If he’s writing a blog, I wonder what his prediction and assessment of us would be?)

So, I am thankful for uncertain opportunities, new friends, and rich experiences that help us grow!

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.  I wonder how you spent it?

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. ~ 1 Peter 4:8-9

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Photo Credit:  Zbysiu Rodak

{ Turkey Bowl XVIII }

My husband — the Commish — started an annual tradition after we moved out to the country.  Every year, he heads up a football tournament on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

After a quick massage, the Commish does some pre-game stretching exercises.

It’s called The Turkey Bowl.


He hosts 10 teams, divided up into two main brackets: The Gold Division and The Top Gun Division.

The tournament support team is busy in the kitchen, where the oven is bursting with muffins, cookies and hot sandwiches.

IMG_20171125_094939When the first vehicle turns into our long driveway, someone gives a shout.

The young, the old, the underdogs and the superstars arrive around 9:00 a.m. through sleet, snow or sunshine.

Clad in tights-under-shorts, the brave warriors place their snack offerings in the spacious garage and head out to the field.

The Commmish has it all planned as written on the huge white board.


At 11:30 they break and The Commish will give his annual speech and designate someone to give a blessing on the tournament.

Turkey Bowl XVIII has begun.

The Commish is 58 years old.

IMG_20171125_095729 (1)

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Word Prompt of the Day: underdog

{ Don’t Be Afraid of the Turkey: He’s Just a Big Chicken. }

Some people shy away from roasting a Thanksgiving turkey.

If I can do it, I know you can.

Cooking a turkey is like roasting a big chicken.

It’s easier than constructing a casserole or other putsy dishes that require lots of steps.  With turkeys, you just rinse, season and cook.

Wash and season.

Rinse the turkey and take out anything from the cavity.  (I’m not into gizzards, necks and stuff – but maybe you are.)

I’m seasoning the turkey today and will cook it tomorrow. I use garlic, salt, pepper (in that order!) Add parsley and oregano and other seasonings you like.  I cut up a few large onions and place in the cavity of the turkey. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I had a sage and rosemary plant in the garden last summer.  I froze some leaves, which I’m plastering around the bird.


Place in cooker

You can cook a turkey in a special bag, an electric roaster or a large foil pan – (disposable foil pans make cleanup easy.)

I use Grandma Pat’s large vintage roaster.


Roast it.

Turkeys cook well at approximately 20 minutes per pound; I cook mine at 325 degrees.

Once you have purchased your turkey, check the weight:


My approximate 14 pounder will need 4.5 hours or so to cook.  No problem.  While he’s roasting, I’ll get my other work done.

Mercifully, most turkeys have a little pop-up device that tells you when the meat is fully cooked.

This guy will sit all dressed up in the refrigerator until tomorrow morning.

Before and….

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊



{ A FULL Schedule }

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. –William Arthur Ward
  • Wednesday: Family Thanksgiving #1
  • Thursday: Family Thanksgiving #2 + family birthday
  • Friday: Family birthday
  • Saturday: Big football “Turkey Bowl” tournament XVIII
  • Sunday: On duty in the church kitchen. Drive home, hopefully eat tryptophan-rich leftovers, and collapse in a stupor.


Photo credit:

 Simon Maage