Lovely Weather For a Hodgepodge

Yes, I stole the title from Joyce.  Isn't that what you're suppose to do?    The questions this week are mostly inspired by the holidays:

1. What does it mean to have the 'holiday spirit'?
Being happy, joyous, and almost childlike.

2. What sits atop your tree (s)? Why?
An angel.  I don't remember where we got it, but to me an angel is all about proclaiming the birth of Christ, regardless of that nasty rumor about the little angel knocking on Santa's door and asking him where he wanted her to put his Christmas tree!  (For the story, see Karen's post.)

3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?
Gosh, I have no idea.  I know I do it quite often ('cause if I don't do it, who will?), I just can't think of the last time.  
4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?
Smell.  Nothing takes me back to Christmases past like a smell.  It may be cookies baking, candy being made, peppermint, or pine/cedar.  

5. What do you have too much of in your kitchen?
I can't wait to see what everybody's answer is on this one, because honestly, I'm coming up with nothing.  

6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big meal? 
Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it? 
Since my MIL is Danish (or was until she became a naturalized citizen a couple of years ago), we have tried to incorporate some Danish traditions in with my family traditions.  We have a big meal on Christmas Eve, consisting of pork loin, carmelized potatoes, green bean almondine, and rolls (along with other things, but those are the main things), followed by an almond put in someone's pudding.  The Danes use a rice pudding, but, since CH isn't too fond of it, I usually use pistachio pudding.  Whoever has the almond in their pudding gets a prize.  Then, on Christmas Day, I will make a big brunch.  Then I'm through cooking for a while.  We snack during the day on leftovers from the night before, as well as cookies and candy that I made.  (I know this is crazy, but I don't let the boys tear into the goodies until everything is made and put in tins.)  When the boys were little, I used to make a big Christmas Eve dinner, big brunch, and then a big Christmas Dinner, but as I've gotten older, I've realized that there's no reason I shouldn't be able to relax and enjoy Christmas just like everyone else!
The Danish heart that has a place of honor over our dining room table:
7. What is the best thing about winter?
 Being able to put your jammies on early, curl up on the couch with a blanket, and watch old movies.  It's just not the same to watch old movies in the summer!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
The weather's been crazy here in East Tn. this week, y'all.  We had snow that actually stuck on Sunday, got out of school on Monday, the county schools (where I work) were out on Tuesday, and we're expecting another "disturbance" tonight.  Here are a couple of shots from around town:
An unexpected surprise from YS when I went out to my car yesterday:
Ducks/geese on the ice; not in the water:
The duck pond (which is in between the middle and elementary schools and next to the swimming pool) frozen over:
 Yep, us southerners are intrigued by things our northern counterparts take for granted:
YS pointed this out to me yesterday.  It's an icicle that's formed under the pipe where the steam from our heater goes out.  Here's a close-up of the top part:
Yes, we're easily amused in the south!


  1. I love that you incorporate the Danish traditions into your day!

    I'm hoping your weather settles down next week because we'll be driving and so will daughter1 which makes me nervous even in good weather.

    You guys are already rolling thru the snow days! We had a light dusting on Monday night, it kind of stuck and made for some slippery spots but nothing really to speak of...I'd just as soon any big snows wait until after the holidays

  2. I thought of you when I saw on the news about snow in Tennessee. When I taught in Pensacola, Florida, we had snow once--less than an inch. All of the sisters in our convent were from the north and we were so excited--we even made a few snowballs and put them in the freezer just to remind us of home. We were all trying to call our families to tell them but apparently so was everyone else in Pensacola because the lines were jammed!

  3. Loved the traditions. I enjoy the heck out of reading about other peoples things.

  4. That icicle is amazing!!!! How is it even attached? Looks like its just hanging in mid-air!!!

    (see, doesnt take much to amuse me either) :)

  5. I love that you included some Danish traditions! How thoughtful! I live in the upper right hand corner of USA and we have not had snow yet! Can you believe it? It's so cold and dry that any snow evaporates before it hits the ground. Woke up 5 degrees. It will make it up to 15 if we are lucky! Glad you are having fun in the stuff however - keep it please. And #7: I'm with you there!

  6. I like your Danish inserts throughout the Christmas season. I also liked the comment that Sr. Ann Marie left. I'm picturing these nuns running around making snowballs and freezing them and then calling family up north to tell them about it. Too cute!

  7. No, it's NOT the same watching old movies in the summer! I had to laugh at DH the other day when he proclaimed that Casablanca was a Christmas movie (because we always watch it around Christmastime; when I was working, I was off between Christmas and New Years, so we had an old movie marathon ... including Casablanca ... going on during the time we were off!).

  8. I may have grown up in the north, but I've lived in the south for quite a while now, and your pictures fascinated me, too! : ) Stay warm and have a Merry Christmas!

  9. RE: Jammies and could always crank the air way down during the summer and create your own winter feeling! heehee

    Love the smiley face on the car! Too cute! I'm glad you snapped a photo of it!

  10. Well, if you get tired of the snow, come over to west TN...we have none! Thought there would be some issues with freezing rain overnight, but woke up this morning to non-icy roads...whew! :o)

    And I agree about the jammies and old movies in the wintertime...especially if they're old Christmas movies. Christmas in Connecticut is calling my name now!

  11. I love your photos, Mary! It was so much fun to read about your Christmas traditions. We actually don't have any so I always love reading about everyone else's. I think snuggling up in your jammies and watching old movies would be the perfect way to spend any winter day.

    Have a great Wednesday,

  12. Those pictures are awesome. Burr!!
    I love your answers. Your Christmas meals sound wonderful. I grew up with roast pork for most celebration meals. Jamies and movies, my favorite!!

  13. That is a big icicle!! I liked reading about your traditions and the pudding with the almond got a prize; cute!! I'm with you; I don't have a lot of something in the kitchen except now that I think about it, we have a lot of knifes and we only use about four or five of them......hmmmm.....I think some of those won't be making our move with us.

    Stay warm! It does sound like interesting weather you are having!


  14. Interesting icicle, we get the great ice mountain where our steam vent for the heater is--but then we get lots colder, lots longer here in Wyoming.

  15. Enjoyed your answers. Loved reading about the Danish customs. And I think everyone mentioned the sense of smell... how can you not?
    until next time... nel

  16. Do you still make the french toast in Christmas shapes?

    Love the smiley face, too!

  17. I love your photos. It's been cold here in Georgia, too.

    I think you are on to a good idea about being able to enjoy Christmas without being in the kitchen so much!

  18. Missed the hodgepodge this week. The days are getting away from me! You are right about one thing--Tennessee has been cold! We got about 2-3 inches on this side of the state.


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