Goodbye February, Hello Hodgepodge…

 

It’s time to say goodbye to another month, and there’s no better way to say goodbye than with a Wednesday Hodgepodge!  As always, thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for her fun questions and dedication.

Here are this week’s questions:

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What’s keeping you there?

No. I’m currently operating at 60%-70% capacity.  As for what’s keeping me there–it’s dealing with chronic illness and getting old.  It now takes me twice as long to do half as much!

2. Have you done your taxes?  They’re currently being prepared at the accountant’s office.

Planned/booked a summer holiday? We haven’t planned a summer holiday, but we’re taking a spring trip, in April.

Thought about or started your ‘spring cleaning’?  Yes, I’m slowly working on it.

Besides what’s listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

We need to get some potatoes planted, in the garden, next week.  They’re an early crop.

3. What’s a favorite food from your part of the country?

Southern fried chicken, but shhh don’t tell “the girls” (my hens) that I said that!

4. This isn’t a leap year, but let’s run with it anyway…look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity…which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I’ll say “a leap of faith”  since we recently joined a new church.

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

(1) Unusually warm, sunny days, (2) the return of the robins and blue birds, (3)  blossoms on our fruit trees, (4) early morning walks with my hubby, (5) watching our newly planted seeds sprouting in cups.

Random:

I never cease to be amazed by my sweet husband.  Last February, at my request, Ed transplanted some daffodil bulbs from his parents’ vacant ‘home place’ to our yard.  Ed’s mama loved her yellow daffodils, and I wanted some of them to remember her by.  I’m happy to report the transplanted daffodils are healthy and doing great, but not yet blooming.  This brings me to the next part of my story…

Baby, hiding among the daffodils…

Many years ago, while I was still in high school, I once worked with a lady named “Miss Edith”.  “Miss Edith” and her husband died a long, long time ago, but, recently, their old home was removed from the spot where it sat for as long as I can remember.  It made me a bit sad to see the empty lot where their house had once stood. Then I looked and saw some clusters of white daffodils still blooming in the yard.

I mentioned to Ed how I’d love to have a few of “Miss Edith’s” daffodils to remember her by, then promptly forgot all about it.  Ed, however, did not!

Ed asked around, and found out who owns the property, now.  Then he called and asked “Miss Edith’s” son if he’d mind sharing a few of the daffodils! Last week, Ed drove over to the property, brought home some of “Miss Edith’s” daffodils, then planted them for me.  Thanks to my loving and thoughtful husband, now I have some little reminders of “Miss Edith” growing in our yard.  Thank you, Lord, for Your many blessings, like pretty daffodils growing in the yard, and the thoughtful, loving man who planted them there for me.

 

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Published in: on February 28, 2018 at 8:32 am  Comments (11)  
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An ‘Inspiring’ Wednesday Hodgepodge…

I didn’t make it to last week’s Hodgepodge.  Lately, life just keeps getting in the way, with Valentine’s Day and all, but I’m joining today!  As always, many thanks to our great hostess, Joyce, for keeping things going.

Here are this week’s questions:

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?

Hmm… that would depend on the kind of inspiration I’m looking for.  If I’m looking spiritual inspiration, I’ll go to the Lord through prayer or bible reading.  If I’m looking for creative inspiration I’ll probably go to a book, magazine, or Google.  For most other kinds of inspiration, I prefer sitting and thinking [in my lawn chair] under the oak trees of St. Simon’s Island!

2. What’s under your bed?

Trust me, you really don’t want to know!  You might find everything from my mother’s antique mirror to plastic container filled with [Chatty Cathy] doll clothes.  You will even find a Pyrex dish & carrier still in its original box, because I don’t have any place else to store the thing.

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

I’d be most likely to celebrate National Chili Day, but I probably won’t because it’s 80 degrees here and it’s simply too hot to cook or eat chili!

4. What are you ‘snowed under’ with right now?

I’m not really ‘snowed under’ with much of anything, but Ed’s been ‘snowed under’ with lots of outside chores.  He’s been as busy as a bee– planting bulbs, cleaning up the yard, mowing grass, and getting our garden ready for planting.

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?

Let’s see… (1) my relationship with the Lord, (2) my relationship with my husband, Ed, and (3) my relationship with our kids & their families make me feel balanced.  If any one of these things gets off track, I’m out of balance!  I could also add a good meal and a good night’s sleep to make me feel even more balanced!

Random:

Life goes on here in our neck of the woods…

Valentine’s Day came and went.  Ed and I celebrated by attending a couple’s “Date Night” at church.  It was fun, and Ed and I had the distinction of being married six years longer than any other couple there! (didn’t take a single picture)  We’ve gone from being one of the youngest couples of our former church to being one of the oldest couples of our new  church– and it truly is our church, because we officially joined just over a week ago!

Then we had a dual Valentine’s Day/birthday celebration, with family, two days after Valentine’s Day.  (It was our daughter-in-law’s birthday.) We ate lasagna, ice cream cake, and red velvet cupcakes!  Yum!  We also played a few Valentine’s Day themed games, which everyone seemed to enjoy.

the birthday girl and her family

You may recall our son-in-law was injured when his pants accidentally caught fire while helping Ed burn off a field.  It’s been 2 and 1/2 weeks since the accident, but he still has a lot of healing to do. Ed’s been helping him with his daily wound care.  So far, so good–no sign of infection.  Folks, it takes a long time to recover from a severe burn!  Our son may or may not have earned himself the nickname of “Smokey”.

In other news, Ed planted two rows of onions in our garden, last week.  The 80 degree days have been tough on them, but, hopefully, the onions will rally. (Onions prefer cold weather) We also planted about 100 seed cups, which have been busily sprouting.  80 degree weather makes seeds sprout quickly!  I moved two trays of the sprouts out to the greenhouse, today.  I’m dying to plant something else in the garden, but I know it’s still too early.  I’ll have to be patient.

Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 8:01 am  Comments (10)  
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A Six More Weeks of Winter Hodgepodge…

The groundhog saw his shadow, last week, but the past two days have been screaming “early spring” here.  I’m sure more winter is on the way, but those 70 degree, sunny days sure have been nice.  Do ya’ know something else that’s nice?  The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  As always, thank you very much to our gracious hostess, Joyce.

Here are this week’s questions along with my answers:

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try?

I’m already in the process of planning for a trip we’re taking in April.  We’re going to visit the replica of Noah’s Ark and the Creation Museum, in Kentucky.

Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most?

I’m a huge fan of taking baths!

Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter.

How about planting garden seeds in little paper cups, then watching them sprout and grow?  This always makes me happy.  The new growth reminds me that spring is just around the corner 🙂  By the way, I’ve already purchased some seeds for planting!

2. Tell us about something you’ve seen or done recently that you’d say was ‘super’?

I’m going with one of life’s recent simple pleasures–sitting outside, basking in 70 degree warmness, on a February day, with my hubby, Ed, by my side.  All the while, I was also rubbing a very soft and fluffy cat, named “Baby”.  Gotta’ love and appreciate those simple things–I know “Baby” sure did!

3. Best thing you ate in a ‘bowl’ last week?

The answer to this question would have to be “taco soup”.  I made some last Wednesday.

4. Something you’re ‘cheering’ for right now?

Our son-in-law’s leg to properly heal without any problems!  You see, he was helping Ed ‘burn off’ the field in front of our house, on Saturday, when the ‘unthinkable’ happened–a freak accident!  Our son-in-law’s pants leg caught on fire, without him realizing it, until his leg began to actually burn!  He reacted quickly and dropped to the ground, thank goodness.  However, he still has second degree burns on a large area of his left lower leg.  As you can imagine, this has been very painful for him, and we feel just terrible about it.  As I said, we’re cheering (and praying) for a speedy recovery.

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games?

I’ll have to give myself a “1” for these games.  For some reason, I’m just not feeling it this year.

Which event do you most want to see (you’ll find a list here).

If I watch anything it will be figure skating.  Pairs figure skating has  been my favorite event since the Tai Babilonia/Randy Gardner days.

Random:

For the first time in many years, Ed and I didn’t watch the Superbowl on Sunday night.   We ‘turned off’ the NFL early in the season when some of its players chose to “take a knee” instead of standing for the national anthem.

Speaking of “take a knee”, has anyone else seen this video?  (one bad word, but a very good message)

Published in: on February 7, 2018 at 8:35 am  Comments (11)  
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Ending January With Another Hodgepodge…

As the first month of 2018 comes to an end, I find it’s time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge.  As always, thanks, Joyce, for another great set of questions.  Here they are:

1. Speaking of endings….at your wit’s end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all’s well that end’s well, or no end in sight…which ‘end’ phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.

No end in sight because every day is filled with continuous animal chores–no matter what.  Ed and I begin [and end] every day by feeding and caring for the six chickens, nine cats, and a pond full of goldfish who depend on us.  The chicken coop must be cleaned daily, and eggs collected.  The chickens have to be let out, then shut back up at the end of the day.  Twice daily, Ed has to drive a quarter of a mile down the road to feed/care for “Trouble”, the cat.  The fish must be fed, daily, and the pond filter has to be cleaned.   No matter what the weather is, or how bad we may be feeling– these chores have to be done.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it keeps moving and busy, but, sometimes, I think it would be nice to be free of the responsibility for a little while.

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

I’m going to say “boots” because boots were very popular when I was in high school (along with “mini skirts”, “scooter skirts”, and “hot pants”).  I had two pairs of boots–a white pair of  “go-go” boots and a black pair of “granny boots”.  The “granny boots” were my favorites… and, yes, I also owned a couple of “mini skirts” and some “hot pants”, as well.

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

Spending some time with old friends, Herman and Diane.  (Diane is recovering from recent foot surgery.)  While visiting, Herman told a couple of very funny stories that made us all laugh–a lot!  Herman is one of those people who always has a funny story to tell.

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We’re having chicken salad for lunch…would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

I don’t recall ever eating an actual croissant, but I’ll bet I’d like them.  I usually eat chicken salad on bread or crackers.

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

We had good visits with family & friends, some good times, and enjoyed some beautiful snow!

These snow men lasted almost a week!

Random:

Life has been busy, and time is passing quickly!  Ed and I made two out-of-town trips, last week, and have already made two more out-of-town trips, this week.  Two of those trips involved visits with family and friends, which we really enjoyed.

Today, I plan to pack away the snowmen  who have been decorating the shelves in our living room, and replace them with some Valentine’s Day decor.  Soon it will be time to start planning our spring garden, as well!  In the words of the old Tracy Lawrence song, “Time marches on…”

As January winds down, I’ll leave you with one last snow picture.  This is our youngest grandson, Evan, making his first “snow angel”.  I think it’s safe to say that Evan loved the snow!

 

 

Published in: on January 31, 2018 at 10:59 am  Comments (12)  
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A Positively Wonderful Wednesday Hodgepodge…

What a difference a week makes, weather-wise.  The past two Wednesdays have seen snow falling here in Georgia, but today looks like a gorgeous spring day!   It’s a great day for The Wednesday Hodgepodge, too, so let’s get started.  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce!

Here are her questions for January 24, 2018:

1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment?

I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it, but I do enjoy getting a compliment every now and then.

Share a recent compliment you’ve given or received.

Nothing specific comes to mind, but it may have been Ed complimenting me on a meal I’ve cooked.

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.

(1)Enjoying warmer days, (2)having the Christmas clutter finally put away, (3)recently spending a fun night with family, (4)the Sunday evening bible study on “the family”,  (5)listening to Pandora on the blue tooth speaker I got for Christmas, (6)watching seasons II of “Victoria” on PBS and “Taken” on NBC (7)spending the second Saturday night of each month with friends at gospel ‘sings’, (8)having Ed at home with me (9)being able to do nothing whenever I feel like it (10)being able to shop on weekdays, instead of Saturdays.

3. Would people describe you as a positive person?

People who don’t know me very well might say I’m a positive person, but those who know me best might not agree.  I’m a worrier.

Do you see yourself that way?   I think of myself as “semi-positive”.

I read here a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they’re kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly?

I always try to be kind.

Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook?

That’s a tough one!  I’ll say “know when to move on.”

If you’re a positive person, what’s something you do regularly that’s not on the list?

I start my morning prayers off with a list of things I’m grateful for, and there are many.  Doing this makes me realize how blessed I am!

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili…what’s your pleasure on a cold winter’s day?

I like all of the above, but chili is my favorite food on a cold winter’s day.

5. The best part of my day is….  when I crawl into bed at the end of the day.  It feels so good to stretch out and rest my back!

Random:

After Ed and I had been married for twenty years, he bought me an anniversary ring to celebrate the milestone.  I loved that ring and wore it for many years.  Due to arthritis and some weight gain,  my finger eventually outgrew the ring, and it sat in my jewelry box for several years.

This past summer, I decided to have the ring resized so I could wear it again.   Resizing the ring cost about one-third as much as the ring originally cost, but it was worth it to me because I was happy to be able to wear my anniversary ring again.

Then, the ‘unthinkable’ happened on December 29, when I got home from a shopping trip and started taking my jewelry off.  When I went to remove my ring I discovered it wasn’t there!  In thinking back, I remember putting lotion on my hands just before we arrived at our first shopping destination.  Apparently, I must have laid the ring in my lap while applying lotion, and forgot to put it back on.  The ring must have fallen off my lap when I got out of the car.  Of course, it was a very cold day, and it’s possible the ring could’ve slipped off my finger, elsewhere, but I don’t think so.

Needless to say, I was just sick about losing the ring I’d had for so many years!  My daughter called the store to see if a ring had been turned in.  Then, my sweet husband, Ed, got back in our car and drove over thirty miles back to our first shopping destination, just to search around the place where we parked.  No luck.

The strangest thing about the whole incident is this.  When I took the ring out of my jewelry box, that morning, I actually had second thoughts about wearing it.  It was a very cold day and my hands were shriveled and dry, which is why I was applying lotion in the car.  I’d never had second thoughts about wearing jewelry before.  If only I’d listened…  I guess I’ll just have to take a lesson from this experience– on being positive–accept responsibility for my actions, forgive myself, and move on.

 

 

 

Published in: on January 24, 2018 at 10:54 am  Comments (10)  
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Blogging With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Happy Hump Day!  I’m a bit late getting this written and posted, but I spent the day in the city, yesterday.  Our daughter had a doctor’s appointment, so Ed and I accompanied her.  Let me tell you–country life is where it’s at!  There’s no way I would go back to city life!  On that note, let’s jump into The Hodgepodge…

1. What keeps you blogging?

Joyce and The Hodgepodge!  Seriously! Originally, I began blogging, about nine years ago, as a way to reflect on, and document, some of the events of my life.  These days, I spend more time living life, rather than writing about it.  If not for The Hodgepodge, I probably wouldn’t blog at all, which reminds me, “Thanks, Joyce!”

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter?

No, I don’t care much for the beach in winter. It’s usually too windy and cold.  We frequently visit the beach from April thru September, but never go in the winter.

According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-

St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)

Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)?

Finally, I get to answer “yes” to a travel question!!!  I’ve been to Hilton Head Island and, as you know, we visit St. Simon’s Island often!  We came close to visiting Folly Beach, once, but ended up visiting Isle of Palms, SC, instead.

Which on the list appeals to you most this winter?

I’d choose Duck Key, in Florida, because it’s probably warmer there than it is here.

3. What’s a song you’re embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?

I’ll say “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett.  I probably should be embarrassed, because of the messages some of his songs convey, but I like Jimmy Buffet’s songs.

4. When you were a kid what’s something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you’re an adult you realize it’s not all that fantastic?

How about “being an adult”?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be an adult and I enjoy it, but it’s also produced a lot of tough situations I never dreamed of (as a child)–such as dealing with colicky babies, raising wayward teenagers, uncomfortable job situations, and taking care of aging parents.

5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.

“By regularly spending time in God’s Word, you develop a biblical filter through which all new information passes.  That filter in your mind enables you to distinguish between what’s false and what’s true.  If that is firmly established in your mind and heart, you’ll be able to identify God’s truth.”  Charles Stanley

Note from me:  With so many “untruths” being taught, today, this advice is important!  I’ll be making my third journey through the Bible in 2018.

Random:

Ed and I have done the “unthinkable” (for us) and booked ourselves on a trip with the church we’re now attending.  We’ll be traveling with them, by bus, to visit the “Ark Encounter” and the “Creation Museum” [in Kentucky], this spring.  I’m excited and apprehensive all at the same time!  It’s been almost eight years since we’ve taken a vacation–and we’ve never been to Kentucky!

Published in: on January 17, 2018 at 11:15 am  Comments (11)  
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2017 Holiday Recap (part three)…

A few weeks before Christmas, my daughter expressed a desire to have a family New Year’s Eve party.  She’d hosted one back in 2015, and everyone enjoyed it very much.  After sickness invaded our family, prior to Christmas, those plans got put on hold.

After everyone began to feel better, we decided to go ahead with the plan for a New Year’s Eve party.  However we left the location undetermined, until we could see who was feeling up to the task of hosting.  Ed and I ended up hosting the party, but my daughter did all of the planning for us.  Everybody pitched in with preparing the food.

Everyone wore their pajamas to the party which was fun and comfortable, too!  We made tacos, plus an array of ‘finger foods’ to snack on throughout the evening.

Our daughter planned different games/activities thirty minutes apart, beginning at six o’clock.  We stayed busy the entire evening, and time flew by.

For the first activity of the evening, we took some New Year’s Eve pictures.  Everyone chose what props they liked and let the camera (and Ed) do the rest.  Here are a few of the best ones-

 

In one activity, we competed to see which couple could transfer the most Hershey’s Kisses from one spoon (held in our mouths) to another, then into a bowl on the floor. We laughed so hard while playing this game!

We also played several games of ‘Dirty Bingo’ in which we could steal each other’s prizes. (I think some may have been looking at Steve Harvey’s coat/hat when I took this picture…but more on that later.)

One of the scheduled activities involved sparklers for the grandchildren, so we went outside, even though it was freezing cold and drizzling rain! This was the best picture I could get-

Yet another game involved trying to earn points by ringing cups with ping pong balls…  The grandchildren liked this game!

Unfortunately, at some point during the evening, I got so carried away watching the activities, I forgot to take any more pictures. However, I didn’t forget to take a picture of Steve Harvey’s coat and matching hat during the New Year’s Eve countdown on television:

I think only Steve Harvey could get away with wearing that white coat and matching hat!

The evening progressed quickly and before we knew it the clock had struck midnight.  All except two (Brett and Evan) of us lasted to ring in the New Year together–and we had a great time while doing it!  It’s my hope and prayer that 2018 brings lots of health and happiness, and this concludes my holiday recap.

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 9:30 am  Comments (4)  
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A January Kind Of Hodgepodge…

I don’t know about the rest of you, but January came ferociously roaring into our neck of the woods, last week!  Our temperatures dipped into the low 20’s for several nights in a row and, on January 3, over three inches of snow fell in our yard!  The snow’s all gone (as of Monday) and our temperatures are nearing 70 again.  Life is getting back to normal here in the deep south.

Speaking of normal, it’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for The Hodgepodge!  As always, thanks to Joyce for hosting this fun, mid-week distraction.

Here are this week’s questions:

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

I don’t think I’ve ever had an actual mentor.

I guess you could say I mentored a few insecure first graders through some rough times, during my years of working as a paraprofessional.  And once, I briefly mentored another paraprofessional.  I found the experiences gratifying.  It’s always good to help someone.

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

I know this is an older trend, but, personally, I’ll never understand the desire to color one’s hair pink, purple, or blue.  In the words of Heather Land, “I ain’t doin’ it.”

3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few ‘weird’ things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the ‘weird’ things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more ‘weird’ thing you’d add to the list?

The only thing on the list that makes me happy is freshly cleaned sheets.  I love clean sheets!  If I could add something to the list, I’d say “soaking in the bathtub.”  By the way, I HATE cleaning the dryer lint screen!

4. What’s the last good thing you ate?

The last really good thing I ate was the last piece of a pound cake that I baked.  (You may recall, it only took me 45 years to learn how to make a good pound cake!)

5. Describe life in your 20’s in one sentence.

Life in my 20’s was filled with changes, challenges, and lots of happiness, (and I wouldn’t change a minute of it)!

Random:  I’d like to write more about the rare and beautiful snow we experienced, last week, but I’ll save it for a future post.  I will share one picture, though.  I think our Christmas decorations were quite appropriate for the snowy setting, don’t you?  The last time we saw this much snow was in 1989!

Published in: on January 10, 2018 at 8:07 am  Comments (7)  
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Holiday Recap 2017 (part two)…

In spite of all of the sickness our family experienced leading up to it, Christmas turned out wonderfully.  Ed and I began the day by having breakfast with our daughter and her family.  Occasionally, we visit each of our children on Christmas morning, but chose not to this year, since Ed was still recovering.

Brad and Jennifer filmed our grandson, Evan, as he woke up to find what Santa had left him.  I enjoyed watching their video, later in the day.  There’s nothing quite like sharing the ‘wide eyed’ wonder of a child on Christmas morning!

Santa was very good to Evan

Food prep went smooth and easy, this year, thanks to a lot of help from my girls, and some planning ahead on my part. (I made a double batch of dressing/stuffing on Thanksgiving and froze some)  This year, instead of using paper plates, I chose to set the table with my “twelve days of Christmas” china, last year’s Christmas gift from Ed.  Using paper plates is easier, but the table looked prettier with the china.

Following lunch, we took our annual ‘crazy Christmas hat’ photo, which went effortlessly, too.  We only took three shots, and none of the three were really bad.  That’s quite a feat considering there were twelve people in the photo and the camera was set on ‘timer’!

For once, the weather was actually cold on Christmas, this year!  We could actually wear our Christmas outfits, and not have to turn on the A/C.  (one year I actually wore shorts) However,  we did have to turn on the ceiling fan during our gift exchange!  Things get a little crazy when we play ‘Dirty Santa’.

As always, we started off the gift exchange with the grandchildren–opening one gift at a time, beginning with the youngest. I know, I know, but it makes the fun last longer.

patiently waiting for Evan to finish his turn

Next came the adult gift exchange–something new, this year.  (We usually just play two rounds of the ‘Dirty Santa’ game).  I think Brad got the most interesting gift, a Georgia Bulldogs SEC Championship t-shirt.  Brad’s a ‘die-hard’ Bulldogs fan, so it was the perfect gift choice for him.

this shirt brought Brad’s ‘dawgs’ good luck last weekend

Brad also got another interesting gift, this year. Our grandson, Caden, chose to pass the “Christmas Panties” to his Uncle Brad–complete with a hand-written note!

For those who don’t know, we have this HUGE pair of women’s panties that have been passed around in our family since the late 80’s.  Attached on the outside of the box is a note from each previous recipient to the next.  If you’re counting, that’s about thirty years these panties have been traveling!

Brad was gracious and posed for several pictures with the panties–one with all of his family tucked inside of those panties at the same time!!!  (Sorry, no picture)

After we finished with the gift exchange, we played a round of ‘Dirty Santa’.  One of the most unusual gifts to come out of this game ended up belonging to our son-in-law, Clint.

A yard of Snickers!  That’s a lot of candy bars!!!

By the time we’d finished playing ‘Dirty Santa’ it was almost 4:30.  We still had two more games to play, but decided to take a break.  Some folks ate a snack, some folks took a nap, while  still others drank a cup of coffee.  A few folks even went outside to search for a little missing hand-held video game, that had been lost in the yard, earlier. (Fortunately it was found!)

Eventually, we played the remaining two games, and everyone had great fun.  Both games involved rolling some huge dice and opening gifts.  Who wouldn’t love that?  The kids sure seemed to enjoy it!  The best gift won was $10, by grandson, Caden, while the worst gift was a lump of coal, won by Ed.  These last two games were so fast-paced, I forgot to take any pictures!

Finally, we ate supper, divided up the left-overs, and, eventually, called it a day.  The last of our holiday guests left for home around 9:15 that evening.  Shortly afterward, Ed and I took our nightly bath/shower and called it a wrap!  It was a great Christmas.

Of course, the holidays weren’t quite over.  New Year’s Eve was just around the corner.  I’ll save that story for part three of my recap, but I’ll give you just a glimpse into that evening…

uh-oh…the camera mis-fired!

Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 8:35 am  Comments (5)  
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2017 Holiday Recap (part one)…

I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but we’ve had a lot going on!  I always say, “Better late, than never.”  So here goes…

T’was the week before Christmas when folks in our family began dropping like flies…  It actually began nine days before Christmas when our oldest grandson came down with the flu on the day following his ninth birthday party.  Within the next three days, three more family members were down for the count, including Ed.  This was not the way we’d all planned to spend the final days leading up to Christmas!

Now, Ed and I always get our flu shots, but little did we know this would be the year that the vaccine would be only ten percent effective!  The flu has been rampant in our little town, and virtually every household has had at least one case of it!

Fortunately, Ed and I were able to do one thing we’d planned [before he got sick] the week before Christmas–we decorated a gingerbread house!  We’d actually planned to do this with our daughter and granddaughter, but, unfortunately, they had to bow out due to illness.

Decorating a gingerbread house with Ed was quite an experience.  It took us no less than five hours to complete our project, but we were both satisfied with the finished results.

Notice that little yellow window on the side?  Ed rolled out yellow gumdrops to make those panes.  Notice the green door and Christmas tree on the front of the house?  He carefully measured, rolled, and cut the fondant for those, too.  Do you see those carefully placed candies all over the gingerbread house?  Ed actually used surgical hemostats to put them into place, while I spread and piped white frosting on the house.  Only someone who’s also worked in the medical profession (and has fingers too large to hold onto the candy), would try to hold onto candy with hemostats.  I tried it, and the candy shot halfway across the kitchen!

The gingerbread house was a fun project, and I’d definitely like to try it again, sometime.  My question is, What do I do with this house now that Christmas is over?  I’d like to eat some of it, but I’m afraid I’d break a tooth!  Ours is still sitting in the kitchen…

Following the construction of our gingerbread house, on Wednesday before Christmas, poor Ed spent the next four days hovering over a vaporizer, taking Mucinex D and antibiotics.  Similar scenarios were taking place in two other households of our family.  It was not a fun time!

Whether or not we’d be able to actually celebrate our family Christmas on the actual day remained uncertain until Christmas Eve.  By then, some still had residual effects of their colds/flu, but none were running fever.  Almost everyone had finished taking their medications.

It turned out, other than the initial four who got sick, the rest of the family stayed well.  It looked like we might be able to celebrate Christmas after all.  Thank goodness I’d prepared some of the food [and froze it] ahead of time!  (to be continued…)

Published in: on January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am  Comments (5)  
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