“Festivals cause diseases, since they lighten cares but increase gluttony.” ~Apollonius of Tyana


Welcome back! Week two of our ongoing parade of Deadly Sins features Gluttony. This bad lad is described as habitual greed or excess in eating. The word is derived from the Latin “gluttire”, meaning “to gulp down or swallow”.

Some may well confuse this sin with that of Greed. While Greed does seem to lead straight to Gluttony, they are indeed two different characters.

Speaking of festivals, I attended a large backyard barbecue event yesterday and had my own brush with Gluttony. You may have been there as well. It was a most excellent time, a day full of food, music, more food and more music, and libations aplenty.

There. Was. So. Much. Food.

My friends cooked all day. And I mean all day. I don’t think the grilling stopped until 10:30 last night. I myself had to stop after three plates of food. Mind you, they were reasonable sized plates of food consumed throughout the course of the day, but that’s still a lot of food when it’s hot out.

It was so difficult to stop eating! I had to tell myself “no” three times when I saw the corn roasting over the fire after my third plate of food. I’m kind of sad about this today, but last night I would have deeply regretted eating even one more bite.

Hello, Gluttony. I see you there. I have no room for you.

So, earlier today I was meditating on which Deadly Sin each of the kids in ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ might be. (This is the sort of thing I will regularly mull over in my spare time, yes.)

Obviously, Augustus Gloop’s downfall is Gluttony. The kid can’t stop eating. Or whining, but unfortunately whining does not count as a major sin. (Thanks, Evagrius Ponticus. Missed a big one there…)

I’m kind of torn on whether the poor behavior of the other three unfortunate children would be classified as Gluttony or Greed.

At first I thought that Veruca Salt’s issue might be Pride because she’s so boastful, but she wants EVERYTHING. So that could be Gluttony. However, it’s not always related to eating, so that’s more likely Greed. (The fit about the “Bean Feast” always throws me, because none of the food she lists off for that extravagant party has beans in it. Unless the cream buns and doughnuts are vanilla flavored?)

Violet Beauregarde is greedy for gum, which she sometimes swallows, and that’s kind of eating. She also turns into a piece of fruit because she doesn’t know how to listen and continues to indulge in an imaginary dinner, so…I’m counting that as Gluttony.

Then there’s Mike Teavee. Over indulging on the idiot box and not opening his mouth wide enough when he talks. It’s true that he watches a glut of TV, but again that’s not related to food so I suppose I’ll have to leave that one with Greed.

I still think it was totally bogus that Grandpa Joe didn’t get out of bed for twenty years until a Golden Ticket was waved in his face.


~Jessica, your Raven Cafe Media Specialist






“Do not overrate that which you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not achieve peace.” ~Buddha

Hello, there.

I am extremely excited to announce that I am your new social media person/librarian here at the Raven Cafe.

My name is Jessica, and my confession is this:

This is my first blog entry ever. It’s not like this is my first rodeo with regard to writing. And with facebook/social media/online platforms being what they are, it’s not my first time writing for an audience, either.

Just my first time blogging. (“Blog”. “Blogging”. “Blogger”. Fun words.)

So, my predecessor set up this pretty cool weekly blog idea to correspond with with one of the weekly social media posts. She granted me full permission to run with it, and run with it I shall.

As you may know, the Seven Deadly Sins are scattered around the Raven in the form of caricature wall art. These delightfully terrible creatures are to each get a bit of limelight for the next seven Sundays.

Speaking of “lime”, our first sin featured will be that of Envy.

(See what I did there?)

Did you know that the term “green with envy” is attributed to none other than the Bard himself?

Shakespeare wrote in ‘Othello’:

“O beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on…”

‘Othello’, Act III, Scene III

The sin of envy is equated with jealousy, as envy is categorized as the desire for others’ possessions. These possessions could be those of the material nature, or it could be jealousy over a relationship or someone’s current station in life. It is also said to lead to the sin of wrath, or anger.

This makes sense. When another person has something that one does not have and greatly desires, one may move through covetousness straight to anger that one does not have said thing. One may even resort to violence in order to get it.

I feel that such behavior rather denotes a lack of will power and also points towards laziness, but that’s just my opinion.

Have you ever felt envious over something? What did you do about that feeling?

Authors at the Raven


The Raven Café is all about showcasing local talent and creative spirits, from music to art to food to books. We are proud to present a diverse group of Michigan authors at our first-ever book signing event this August 1st. Each bring their own unique style and genre and would love to share their work with you. Come hang out for a meet-n-greet and get your own signed copy!

Here are some introductions of our amazing authors and their featured works:

Gretchen with BooksGretchen Bassier / Various Books

A short story and nonfiction author with stories appearing in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books (The Cat Did What?, The Dog Did What?, The Cat Really Did That?, Thanks to My Mom, and My Kind (of) America), as well as the following magazines and anthologies: Alternate Hilarities 3: Hysterical Realms (fantasy/humor), Trysts of Fate (dark paranormal romance), Bloodbond (vampires/shapeshifters), Triskaidekaphilia Book Three: Transformed (shapeshifter romance) and more.

Peggy Christie / The VesselHeadShotFuzzyEars

About her book: Nora is an average woman in an average job with an average life. She senses that she is destined for more. Nora has no idea how right she is. A group of rogue Chinese vampires target Nora who, according to a centuries-old myth, is the embodiment of the collective energies of all the souls that have ever or will ever exist. For the vampire who can possess her life force that is infinite power. For Nora? Death. For the world? Oblivion. Nora is forced to trust another sect of these vampires in order to stop the evil that will destroy all life as we know it.

Cnv0050R. R. Ennis / The Unexpected: Tales of Lust, Love & Longing

The synopsis for my book The Unexpected: a collection of nineteen tales about characters whose personal desires and notions of romantic fulfillment take them on journeys of self-discovery, often leading to unforeseen outcomes.

Cheryl L. Morgan / OTTISSIPPI THE TRUTH about GREAT LAKES INDIAN HISTORY and the Gateway to the Westche

The sweeping history of the Ojibwa and Three Fires People of Michigan! The indigenous Anishnabe – original men and the many tribes connected to the Great Lakes. The truth that has been scattered and hidden, inaccessible, due to time, complexity and name changes of people, places, and governments. The great unknown, what we never learned about Indian history! No accessible, you can know the truth in one volume!

37185181_10211980629294320_3560671490615541760_nJordan E. Morrow / Nature of the Machine: a short story encoded within poetry

“Nature of the Machine: a short story encoded within poetry” is an exploration of hauntingly beautiful words that gives readers a chance to read poetry through the stanzas of someone living with mental illness, the dysfunction it can be to relationships, and both the bitter and fragile moments caused by its mechanical nature.

Sally Sulfaro / Abe SulfaroDSCN4989-token-abe

Detroit rock musician, author, and poet Abe Sulfaro died in 2014 during final edits on his novel The Antiheroes: Treatise of a Lost Soul, a dark, gritty ode to the author’s beloved Detroit and all things Goth.  Abe’s family has published his work posthumously including a compilation of his quotes, poems, and song lyrics titled Memoirs de Nocturne: An Anthology.  His mother Sally has written Co-eternals: A Story of Entangled Consciousness, a tale that begins with the death of Fade, the main character in Abe’s The Antiheroes, mixing historical fact with fiction, bridging centuries, and jumping continents. 

Vic Amato / “Incoming”

signing-ft-g.jpgVic Amato holds a Ph.D. in political science/public administration from Wayne State University, Detroit. He is a former journalist, mental health services administrator, and college instructor and he served with the Third Infantry Division. He and his wife Susan live in Port Huron, Michigan. He holds awards such as the iUniverse Editor’s Choice 2015, was seen in New York Review of Books, and has a very positive Clarion review, which was picked up by Forward Reviews.

If you’d like to check out the books before the event, we do have some for sale on the first shelf you see upstairs. All of us at the Raven and all of our authors are so excited to share this first-time event with you!


We Gather


On any given Thursday, you may have the pleasure of meeting Cathy, Susan, Julie, Helen, Diane (pictured above, left to right) or any of the approximately 12 members of the Hillside Wesleyan Church small group at Table 6. They regularly meet at Raven Café  and like to begin with sharing a joke to brighten their day followed by reflection and fellowship. “We’re a support network for each other,” Susan said describing how important the group is to them before reading the daily meditation. The group has been meeting at the cafe for over twelve years.

“It’s amazing how often the theme is similar to something I’ve read elsewhere earlier in the week. It makes me feel  like it’s a message specifically directed at me when that happens,” Helen commented afterwards.

Carol Mason, server at Raven Café, enjoys serving this dedicated group of well wishers each week who graciously share their smiles, along with their sincere pleasure in meeting others. “They’ll add your name to their book of prayerful intentions if you’d like. I’m not a believer in any organized religion, but they offer to keep me in their thoughts and prayers if they know I’m experiencing a difficult day or facing a major decision, or even if I’m just excited about something, and I’m a cool with that. They’re cool,” Carol said with a nod and a smile.

I was welcomed at their table. I felt the sincere appreciation they had for their shared time with each other. Before I left, they asked a bit about me. I shared news of my pending home sale, eventual plans for relocation to South Carolina, and bittersweet feelings about eventually leaving Raven Café where such wonderfully diverse groups of people gather. They provided affirmation and asked to add me to their prayer book. I accepted. I don’t think a little extra prayer will hurt me, and if it can fly me safely to the two cute little faces I call, “My Silly Gooses” waiting for me in South Carolina faster, all the better.  ( And yes, I know the plural of goose is not gooses, but that’s just the way that I am.)  1526653719977.jpg

If you have a group who would like to reserve a table or the entire upstairs for a gathering perhaps, contact us ahead of time to make arrangements and we’ll put the sign out!

Yours truly,

SK Mabry

Media Specialist, Raven Café



“Hi guys! I’m a gluten free vegan and was psyched to find so many options…you guys are my fave! Cheers!”  (Written on the back of the Raven Review comment card by one of our patrons. We read them all!) “My server, Courtney, did an awesome job taking care of me!! Overall I found my experience to be exceptional. My favorite feature of the place was the gluten-free menu.” -Karin

So much more than a salad, Raven Café offers a large selection of gluten-free and vegetarian delights that eat as a meal. In fact, we’re confident you can find something in each area of the menu to dine in like-fashion with your group of friends or family without compromising your taste buds. Any specialty, grilled or baked sandwich can be served in a gluten-free wrap or sandwich bread for only an additional 99¢! *

Soups always on! We serve nine, repeat nine, soups each and every day which also include multiple options for those who crave a gluten-free cup, bowl, or meal sized serving, including Baja Chicken Enchilada, Herb Tomato Bisque, Vegetarian Black Bean, and Meaty Beef Chili with Beans.

Linda -Lefty's Lunchbox

Linda Staton, Lefty’s Lunchbox, Port Huron

Don’t forget desert! Our Homemade Gluten-Free Baked Goods, including scones, rolls, muffins and more are baked with a smile. If you visit regularly, don’t hesitate to let Linda know the flavor of scone you crave – she just might whip it up while you wait for a taste test. Linda Staton of Lefty’s Lunchbox, Port Huron bounces in a couple times each week with her flour-free equipment to restock our pastry cooler with mouth-watering gluten-free treats, like the Lemon Blueberry Scones pictured below.




*Please note, all items are prepared in a kitchen that uses gluten. Trace amounts may be present. Please notify your server for details and available gluten-free modifications.

Yours truly discovered this awesome place because of their  gluten-free menu and I fell in love with everything and everyone else behind the doors. I’m a stranger nevermore.

Be free with me-

SK Mabry

Media Specialist, Raven Cafe


Seeking Storytellers


You may have noticed, but we REALLY like books. We celebrate the great minds who thought them up and wrote them down. Our book-lined walls attract creative spirits including many writers and we’re approached often about hosting book signings.

Because of this, we’re looking to organize an event for 4-6 writers at once – preferably local talent. There is no cost to the authors for this. Interested persons, please send an image of your book cover and a synopsis to Jody Parmann at by May 31, 2018.

Collective Book Signing Event (with readings by writers) will be held Wednesday, August 1st from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Authors must have books available for purchase.

Let’s Sit Outside

patiosWhat’s better than hanging out at the Raven, consuming delicious food and libations? Doing it outside, of course!

Both of our patios are officially open for your dining pleasure! Our upstairs outdoor seating area overlooks the Black River & Desmond Marine, and is located on our second-floor balcony. We also have our Sidewalk Cafe erected for the warm season, located in front of the building on Military Street. And, while we are a seat-yourself establishment, please check in with the bartender inside to be seated in the Sidewalk Cafe.

The Sidewalk Cafe is particularly prime real estate while enjoying a latté or cocktail and partaking in the following upcoming Downtown Port Huron events:

Vantage Point Flower Market
Every Tuesday & Saturday
Vantage Point

The Blue Water Fest 2018 
7/11/2018 to 7/14/2018
Downtown Port Huron

MainStreet Memories Car Show
7/28/2018 – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Downtown Port Huron

Rotary International Day Parade
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Parade Start Time: 6:30pm
Downtown Port Huron

Raven Rocks



The weather is finally breaking which mean people are painting, hiding and finding rocks. Did you know the Raven encourages folks to hide rocks in their library? True story. We also often find them hidden on the wings out back and the fair garden out front. Come visit!

Read more about the KINDNESS ROCKS project here. 

Creep Week


69359_1561542091561_4648217_nDo you long for the dark haunts of October like I do? Ugh, it’s still ages away, but the Raven is working on it’s “Creep Week” activities to help the lovers of the macabre get their fix. Here’s the line up so far:

Monday, May 14th – Vinyl Mondays (bring your spooky records to spin)
Tuesday, May 15th – Psychic Medium, Laura Moody Tickets $13 in advance or $17 at the door. Limit 40 people. Upstairs balcony seating. SOLD OUT
Wednesday, May 16th – Chris Troy’s “Haunted Blue Water Area” Documentary
Thursday, May 17th – Live Music by “The Picassos”
Friday, May 18th – Live Music by “My Drowning Youth”
Saturday, May 19th – Live Music by award-winning classical guitarist William Henry Russell

Does He Deserve It? Absolutely!

We’d agreed to meet at 9 a.m. He was late.Todd Bailey

Todd Bailey hurt my feelings. I already knew I wasn’t the first.

“You’re too sensitive,” flashed in my head. Perhaps I’d indicated 9ish I thought, so I reluctantly dismissed the tardiness.

He was in charge of the staff in the kitchen. “He’s a grumpy one,” they said.

“I’m here when you’re ready,” I messaged him without injecting shame.

“I’ll be right there,” he responded, but his reputation preceded his arrival and I feared displeasure. “I don’t know what anyone wants to know about me,” he insisted, after already agreeing to meet.

I heard a rapid ascent of heavy footsteps . The two cups of my favorite brew I’d drank earlier to fuel my ambition felt like sudden death, not “Resurrection” as labeled; it slipped down the shoot and created the sudden urge to escape to the bowels of the Raven.

Someone who declares, “I just don’t like you,” isn’t necessarily anyone’s friend, but could it be a cloak, camouflage, a distracting disguise? When it’s only in print, the tone of the words can be very deceiving. I’d already spotted him in the shadows of my previous photos – never with a smile, but he’d already racked up four years with the Raven family.

Game On.

After the dreaded small talk about working at Raven Café, managing the staff, dealing with difficult situations, maintaining inventories, and avoiding lousy food and warm beer, the conversation became only slightly more fluid. Like the silver steel ball being slapped about in a pinball machine, I used my silver tongue to extend our play, and avoid falling into the dark holes.


He disclosed sailing from Florida to Milwaukee aboard the tall ship, Denis Sullivan, and working on another tall ship, Highlander, in Port Huron.  I sensed there was a lot more to know about this grumpy one than he’s willing to share on the first drink, or libation as he prefers to call it.

“What else do you enjoy?”  I asked.

Awkward silence.

I hid behind my painted smile. Was he a gamer? I had heard he was, but I suddenly felt like Puck-Man (look it up – it’s not a typo).  I tried to manage the tight corners in the uncomfortable silence and avoid my own ghosts, while trying to devour any bits of information I could grab as I shifted about.

“Have you played the new Fortnight Game?” I finally asked. I’m only a limited retro game enthusiast myself, but I’d heard about the newest game on the radio the same morning.

“No, I don’t play it. I like The Witcher 3,” he responded.

Through pursed lips, I reluctantly admitted to my limited Puck-Man parade of old-school games and the antiquated systems I’d played them on, unable to comment on Witchers 3, but it finally broke the plane.

1523467443734“Retro games are cool,” he pleasantly said with a nod. “A lot of people enjoy the old retro games. In fact, I build gaming systems. About $120 each, if anyone’s interested.”FB_IMG_1523149285765

We don’t have video games in the Library, but before we parted, he willingly agreed to play a word game with a culinary theme, while I retreated to the TARDIS in the library to curiously look up “The Witcher 3”.

You can play the word game too, just write down the following:  An adjective, an insect, a number, another number, an adjective, an animal (plural), a verb, a foreign country, a verb ending in “ing”, an adjective, and another adjective. Then substitute each of your answers in the blank for his.

Here are Todd’s results:


Have you ever eaten a bittercockroach? It’s a delicacy now at Raven Café! Patrons have been known to eat at least  27,0000  in 2 visits. And in this town, worms aren’t only bait for catching fish in the river. Todd has the talented staff use them to capture tangygoats too –  a delicious dish served weekly to guests! They may wiggle and shout, but don’t let that slow you down! If they aren’t your style, please don’t forget to try the beetle juice brew from China –  cooking them releases their delicious flavor. If you miss any of our fluffy cuisine, don’t worry, because we’ll serve another hot course again soon! -Todd Bailey, Manager

If you want to talk nerd and all things gamer-related, grab a seat at Raven Café’s bar on Wednesday evening or Saturday morning. Ask Todd for one of his favorite libations with your meal. He’s the one with the grumpy face that’s grumbles “meh.” If you get him chatting he’s a pretty okay guy for a young curmudgeon.

All in a day’s fun. Game on.

SK Mabry

Media Specialist, Raven Café