Monthly Archives: November 2011

All Our Relations Book Review


For centuries the Native Americans have been fighting “the system” to obtain control over their land and their way of life.  In most cases, it’s been a bloody exhausting struggle to a finish line that keeps disappearing.

Unfortunately, the Earth can’t speak for itself.  It can’t play the blame game or say for certain who’s right and who’s wrong; however, there are people who speak on the Earth’s behalf…a Lorax, if you will.  Winona LaDuke is one such Lorax.

In what’s come to be known has her critically acclaimed non-fiction debut, LaDuke’s narrative, All Our Relations:  Native Struggles for Land and Life, is a testimony to those few people who will stop at nothing to maintain control over their way of life.

LaDuke’s in-depth account of resistance to cultural and environmental degradation is thanks to years of experience in public speaking, testimonial analyzing, and leading her own protests and demonstrations.

All Our Relations speaks quite forcefully for self-determination and way of life.  LaDuke is a powerful, strong, and emotional voice for all of those Native Americans who, for whatever reason, were not able to have their voices heard.  Not only does she speak for her own tribe (the Anishinaabeg), but stands up for the Innu, Cheyenne, Mohawks, and many other tribes who constantly find themselves fighting for a place to live, food to eat, and a return to the cultural traditions that make them who they are.

*Thankfully, some things have changed since All Our Relations has been published…but they haven’t changed enough.  As LaDuke herself says, “Change will come.  As always, it is just a matter of who determines what that change will be.”

NEXT WEEK:  “While Eeyore frets…and Piglet hesitates…and Rabbit calculates…and Owl pontificates…Pooh just is.”

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Popcorn-Stuffed Paper Turkey

What’s more nerve wracking than a house full of family and friends?  A house full of family, friends, and their kids!  But don’t go gobbling off mad and frustrated…keep those little turkeys entertained with this super fun kids table!

Thanksgiving Kids Table

What You Need:

3-4 bags of popcorn, non-buttered

1 large paper grocery bag

2 small brown lunch bags

Hot glue gun


White paper for frills on turkey

1. For the frill, take a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11″ white paper and cut it in half lengthwise. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and make small cuts with a pair of scissors on the folded half to create loops.

2. For the drumsticks, make one hand into a fist and stick it inside the lunch bag. With your other flat hand, press on the bag to mold and smash it down into a more rounded shape. Fill the bag 2/3 of the way with popcorn. Gather up the bottom of the bag and twist to keep it tight. Hot glue the beginning of the length of frill and wrap it around the bottom, twisted part of the lunch bag. Then hot glue the end of the white paper frill to keep it in place.

3. For the main bag, do the same thing as the drumstick to make the corners rounded. Fill the bag up full with popcorn. Fold the sides of the bag in and tuck the bottom edge under. Hot glue the edge shut. Hot glue the legs onto the sides of the “turkey.” It’s best to use a plain brown bag, but if you can only find one with writing on the outside, you can carefully turn the bag inside out and it will be just fine. Easy Peasy.

Cover the kids table with a paper table cloth and scatter crayons and markers on the table.  Have them draw what they’re thankful for or start a contest for the most creative turkey drawing.  Kids will have fun digging into the popcorn turkey while the grownups wine and dine and you won’t have to worry about kids stepping under your feet!


Thanks to One Charming Party for this awesome idea!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I would just like to take this time to thank all of my wonderful readers for sticking with me through the past few years.  I simply adore this blog and I’m so glad all of you are with me for the ride!  I know life gets in the way sometime…and we’re all busy doing one thing or another, but I wanted you all to know how much I appreciate your time…even if you stop by for a few minutes.  Your kind words, suggestions, and comments do not go unappreciated, and I hope you continue to stick by The Hobbee Hive in the years to come!

Wishing you and yours a most wonderful and fruitful Thanksgiving!

With much love,

The Hob-bee Hive

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Thanksgiving Cornucopia Place Holder

Here is a beautiful way to arrange your Thanksgiving table and keep guests happy with some snack food as you finish up the gravy and heat up the green beans.

Thanksgiving Place Setting

These beautiful cornucopia place settings are almost 100 percent edible (save the paper) and will look stunning on your table.  Here’s what you need:

  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Pens in assorted colors to match your table settings
  • 1 sugar ice cream cone per person
  • 1/3 cup assorted nuts seeds and dried fruit per person

Cut out long thin strips of paper, 8 x ¾ inches for each person.  With the scissors, curl the ends of each strip of paper, making sure to leave ample room for the name of each person.  Write the names of all your guests on the pieces of paper, and set aside to dry.  Place the sugar cone on the plate, and loosely fill the cones.  Place on the plate and let the contents slightly spill out onto the plate.  Tuck the names into each cone and place on the table where each person is supposed to sit.

If you’re feeling extra creative, soak your strips of paper in coffee for a few minutes and let dry.  This will give them a beautiful light brown color.  Instead of cutting them, rip the ends for a rustic country look that is easy and elegant.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Life of Pie Book Review


Pi Patel is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.  The son of a zookeeper, Pi accompanies his parents (and a slew of animals, including an orangutan, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger) on a boat ride from India to North America.  As is the case in many water travel tales, the boat sinks.  Amidst mass chaos and fear, Pi is finally able to find a lifeboat…only to discover it’s already occupied.

Awaiting Pi’s arrival on the lifeboat is a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.  His family is gone.  The boat is gone.  He has a limited supply of food and water and now must learn to not only take care of his own health, but the health of these scared and flustered animals.

Pi and his companions remain lost at sea for 227 days.  What ensues is an imaginative and unforgettable tale of adventure, survival, and most importantly, faith.

The Life of Pi is ultimately the story of Pi’s struggles with faith, religion, and belief.  Through his harrowing time floating through the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean, Pi has time to contemplate, soul search, and ends up finding security in the thing he fears the most.

This fascinating survival story is magical and thought provoking.  It may leave you questioning your beliefs, what you think to be true, and what will motivate you to keep going, despite all the struggles.

NEXT WEEK:  It’s Thanksgiving Week at The Hob-bee Hive…so, quite appropriately, next week’s book is “a brilliant, gripping narrative” about the Native American struggles for land and life.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Tortellini Soup with Chicken and Spinich

I have been craving soup like no one’s business.  It’s been cold and rainy in Chicago and nothing goes with a rainy day like soup and a Johnny Depp movie 🙂

So last night we whipped up this batch of chicken tortellini soup that seriously warmed my soul.  It’s perfect for a weekday meal because it’s so easy to make!

Soup for the Soul


12 oz. chicken breast

2 TBS olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2 14.5 oz cans of chicken stock

3 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cups fresh torn spinich

1 3/4 cup water

2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks or chopped into bite-sized pieces

19 oz. cheese filled tortellini

1.  Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook in the oil in a large soup stock pot (this is a 1 pot chop n’ drop kind of thing).

2.  Add garlic and cook 5 minutes, or until garlic is soft.

3.  Stir in broth and add rest of ingredients, except spinach and tortellini.

4.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.  Add tortellini and let simmer until noodles are ready.  Stir in spinach just before serving.

5.  Enjoy!  PS-your kitchen will smell AMAZING!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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The Nazi Officer’s Wife Book Review


As a student of Judaism, and a lover of history, I’ve read my fair share of Holocaust memoirs.  The classroom staples, the hot-button novels, the poetry of the children…but never have I ever read anything like this.  A story so controversial that it had to wait several years to be told…a tale of utter bravery, heroism, foolishness, and shear dumb luck.

The Nazi Officer’s Wife is the true story of Edith Hahn, a woman who outsmarted a whole nation of Germans by marrying into the very regime that was destroying her people.  By taking on the identity of a good friend, Edith tried to make a new life for herself, smack dab in the middle of Nazi Germany.

In her quest to adopt the new persona of “Grete Denner”, Edith ends up meeting and falling for Werner Vetter…who just so happens to be one of the higher ups in Hitler’s army.  Even after discovering that she’s not who she says she is, and is Jewish on top of it, Werner stands by her side…convinced his feelings are still real.

This memoir was so different from every other Holocaust book I’ve ever read.  It wasn’t blasphemous…it wasn’t emotionally distressing or disturbing…if anything, The Nazi Officer’s Wife was a story of inspiration and utter heroism.  The people in Edith’s life were in her life for a reason…to ensure her survival.  Edith survived to tell this story…to share this powerful tale of faith, determination, and ultimate triumph.

NEXT WEEK:  Sometimes we spend a lifetime looking for something that’s been there all along…just maybe not in the form we were expecting.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.


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No-Knit Light Scarf

Not one to knit?  No worries.  You can still make a beautiful scarf for yourself or as gifts for the upcoming holidays.  All you need is some think funky yarn and a little bit of patience.

My No-Knit Scarf only took about 1 hour to make!

Cut 12 pieces of bulky-weight yarn, each measuring 140 inches long.  This will give you an 86″ scarf, approximately.  Divide yarn into 4 bunches of 3 strands each. Tie 2 bunches together with a square knot, leaving 6 inches of fringe at end; repeat with remaining bunches. Pin the knots to a piece of foam board. Knot inner 2 bunches of yarn together, spacing knot about 1 inch from existing knots, then knot left and right bunches together.

My 2 sets of yarn. Begin by tying the two middle bunches together.

See, it kind of looks like you knitted it! Well, yours will…mine’s kind of messy.

Alternate knotting the inner bunches and the left and right ones, spacing knots evenly apart, until about 6 inches of yarn remain
on the end. Finish so that final knots mirror opposite end, and trim to even the ends.

Really thick, chunky yarn works best for this project.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Chocolate Kiss Acorns

Hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away!  Here’s an adorable little treat that would be a PERFECT addition to a bowl of vanilla ice cream.  It’s a light dessert after what’s bound to be the best meal of your life…at least that’s how I feel every year!

Acorn Cookies!

Acorn Cookies:
Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped
Round Nutter Butter snack cookies
Creamy peanut butter
Melted chocolate

1.  Twist open the Nutter Butter cookies and remove the peanut butter filling.

2.  Melt the chocolate (about ½ cup) and let cool to room temperature.

3.  Using a piping bag or a knife, place a small amount of peanut butter on the Nutter Butter cookie.

4.  Working quickly, dip the bottom of the Hershey’s kiss into the melted chocolate and attach the cookie to the kiss, peanut butter side down, so the chocolate and peanut butter melt together.  Repeat for as many acorns as you need.

5.  Place remaining chocolate in a piping bag and create little stems on top of the Nutter Butter cookies.

Toss 2-3 acorns in with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 


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Today In History…Sistine Chapel Painting Opens

By the time little Michelangelo Buonarroti was 13 years old, he was already an artist’s apprentice to Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler of the Florentine republic and a great patron of the arts.  After proving his sculptural skills with pieces like the Pieta and David, he was called to Rome in 1508 to create what would become his most famous piece ever…the Sistine Chapel.

The ceiling itself took a little more than four years to complete.  Many of his most famous ceiling frescoes are devoted to Biblical history…the most popular being The Creation of Adam.

On this day, 499 years ago, the ceiling opened to the public for the first time.  In no time at all, Michelangelo was praised as one of Europe’s greatest living artists.  He continued to work up until his death in 1564, at the ripe old age of 88.  His impact to the world of artistic creation is comparable to the influences William Shakespeare and Mozart have on their respective fields.

Not many people get the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel in all its glory.  While this isn’t even close to seeing it live, there is a way you can get a good idea of what this stunning chapel looks like.

The Vatican has a virtual tour available of the Sistine Chapel…all you have to do is click here.  Drag your mouse around to get the full view of this breathtaking piece of art.

Don’t quite know what you’re looking at?  Here’s a guide to the stories painted on the ceiling.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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