From My Front Porch to Yours: Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey's in the oven. Smells buttery and good.

Yes, it's been a while but please know I continue to seek (at times desperately), find and buy products made in this neighborhood we call the USA. Once you begin reading labels, you just can't stop. As one friend recently put it: "Tina, I hate you! Now I can't buy anything without noticing where it was made!" Sorry 'bout that.

The CAMJ journey continues. I've been interviewing some of the people behind the USA-made products I've bought; been reading economics books (yikes!), which have made me more convinced than ever that manufacturing--skilled, unskilled, we need both--is key to any country's health; been Tweeting a bit (

But for the moment I just want to send good wishes and a gentle nudge: Be mindful consumers. If the USA-made item is as well-made and reasonably priced as the imported item, why not choose the home team? Go ahead, hate me for bugging you. We are all on this road together. As the nation goes, so do we. And we are so young compared to the rest of the world. Still pilgrims, hoping to find our way, right?

The photo at the top of this post offers up an image of a shopping solution. In October, I'd searched the usual big box artsy-craftsy stores hoping to find some domestic / USA-made autumnal decorations. Are you laughing yet? I came home, empty-handed. In my garage I unearthed the grey urn you see in the photo. It looks like stone but is made of some sort of plastic. Bought at Home Depot like a decade ago. Made in China, natch. There are some silk leaves from Pottery Barn tucked away in and around the urn where you can't see them, given to me as a gift a couple of years ago. Everything else is courtesy of Mother Nature. Pumpkins from local farms, leaves from my neighbors' trees. To me the picture represents a recipe for our country's economic (and environmental) success: Choose locally grown / manufactured products as much as possible. Add a dash of imports as needed. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, pilgrims. Oh, speaking of pilgrims, check out the message on this Hallmark card...

It's all the more meaningful when you read the back: "Made in China." After I snapped the photo, I tucked a China Ate My Jeans calling card inside the offending greeting card and put it back in the display case. I felt better.

Have a great Turkey Day. And try to make it a red, white and blue Friday. We can do this.