Sassy Living Below the Mason-Dixon Line

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Thanksgiving category.

Elizabeth Linley Sheridan

I have embarked on an exciting new creative project!  It involves my great-great grandmother Sarah Sheridan Ward.  She was a prose writer and poet in the 1800s, and researching her has been so much fun.  I am amazed at how many writers are on my family tree, beginning with Sarah’s cousin, Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  He was famous for founding London’s Drury Lane Theatre and writing the English comedy, The School for Scandal.  His wife, Elizabeth Linley was even more extraordinary.




She was born in 1754, one of seven children of the harpsichordist and composer Thomas Linley.   At the age of twelve, Lady Linley was already singing at Covent Garden, and her success was so great that her father could buy a substantial house in Bath, England with her earnings.  Thomas Gainsborough was so besotted with her that he painted her at least four times, and The Honourable Sheridan eloped with Lady Linley to Calais, France.

That’s why I love the holidays (and being a writer) — being thankful for family you didn’t know you had, and feeling kinship with them as an artist.  Here are several of Gainsborough’s paintings of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  The above portrait hangs in Washington’s National Gallery of Art, directly opposite Napoleon and just round the corner from George Washington!







Get set …T-day is almost here!

Hello dear readers — a few ideas on getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Can you believe it’s next week?  Your mind is probably twirling with how long to cook the turkey and a list of sides (farm these out to the guests) that need to be prepped and served.  I, of course, am always obsessed with what to serve them on — I know, I know but presentation is important.  And, presentation my friends doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.

I love ETSY and boy do they have some great items for the feast.  My friend Jan has a fabulous site and she is offering this  lovely tureen.  The color is so chic and modern and could be used year round.



Georgia decorator James Farmer (Southern Living Magazine’s editor-at-large) has some great ideas for using what you have and mixing in natural and traditional to create a fresh looking presentation:











Or if you are into a grand style, you could channel Aerin Lauder who is an absolute goddess of tablescapes and atmosphere:








No matter what you have, make the presentation yours and do so with all the gusto you can muster!



‘Tis the Gift to be Simple

I love this shaker hymm…really says it all about Thanksgiving, and life in general.  Cheers to family and friends and food.  Blessings to every one on this day of gratitude.

‘Tis the gift to be simple,
’tis the gift to be free,
’tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
’twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right.