Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I read a charming book this weekend. ALEX AND ME is the sweet, true story of Alex, an African Grey parrot and Dr. Pepperberg, the scientist who worked with him. There needs to be a kleenex alert on the cover, though.

It is rare for me to find a nonfiction book this moving. As an animal lover (we share our home with two dogs, two cats & 10 fish---I wish I could have a bird, but I have a strong allergy to feathers. ) I found the relationship between Dr. Pepperberg and Alex to be amazing. She spent so many hours, for so many years, with him. I don't want to spoil the book for you, so I'll leave it at that.

If you love animals, get this book.

It is a quick read and would be a thoughtful gift for the animal lover on your gift list. I know my oldest son will want to read it, and I think it would be perfect for a friend who trains guide dogs.

As an aside---please buy it at an independent books store, if possible. Over at MURDERATI they are encouraging book buying in general as a great way to do your holiday shopping and support the industry. A plug for supporting all small businesses is on PLOTMONKEYS today. BOING BOING has a list of kids' books, for the SF & tech-minded.

With the economy as difficult as it is these days, we can vote with our dollars and support the businesses of our family, friends and neighbors by buying from the independents of every type of business. Yes, I know I blogged about this on Friday, but it is worth repeating.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. We will be over at a friend's house for the big meal, because my DH has to work that afternoon. We will do it all again, with just our family, on Friday. How can we put up the tree on Sunday, without turkey and rice casserole for lunch?

So, what are you reading? Do you have a special book for animal-lovers? Is there a small business in your area that you love? Where will you be spending this Thanksgiving? And what will you make with the leftovers?


Aleta said...

The book sounds delightful! My friend Phyllis, who reads your blog, has two beautiful macaws and an African something or other (sorry Phyllis - I don't know my birds) and another one that talks. They are a lot of fun and are a part of her family.

I almost feel guilty saying where we're eating Thanksgiving meal - at the Golden Corral. It is just the two of us and our families are far away. But for Christmas I'm cooking a ham and we're having two guys who live on our road, who are alone this year, over.

There are a lot of independent stores around here. One that comes to mind in particular is a delightful furniture store in the closest town that sells handmade furniture at affordable prices. There is a small used book store in another town that I have yet to patronize, but I plan to one day soon.

Aleta said...

One more thing - what kind of rice casserole do you make? Do you have a good recipe you can give me?

FIONA said...

Aleta, that furniture store sounds wonderful.

As for the Turkey & Rice-----it's whatever leftovers work.

Basic recipe:
Leftover wild rice & brown rice pilaf, about 1/2 cup, per person
All leftover gravy
Shredded leftover turkey, 1/4 cup per person
All leftover green beans, chopped

Mix, and add as much chicken broth as needed to keep it from drying out.

Bake 350 until heated through.