Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

I thought I'd at least try to get out the Hodgepodge & Friday Fragments out this week!  That's about the best I can do right now!

~  Thanksgiving was a success.  We didn't really do anything while we were at BIL & SIL's house.  Saturday was a day of football.  All. Day. Long.  Which wasn't a problem for me at all.  It was pretty neat to see 2 Small Town boys celebrating after 1 of them made a touchdown.  #89 graduated with MS, and the other graduated the year after.

Friday we had lunch at a German Restaurant.  Pretty good food, ditzy waitress.  CH looked at her and said, "You're from Southern Germany, right?"  To which she said, "No, I'm not from Germany at all."  (NS, Sherlock.  Thanks for clearing that up.)  It didn't get much better after that.  I won't even go into my MIL swiping some brown bread and putting it in her purse for later.

~ There is one class at one of my schools that has 6 speech students in it.  Tuesday, only 2 were there.  The flu & stomach bug is hitting hard, y'all.

~ Tomorrow is December 1st.  Does anybody have any idea where November went?

~  I'll probably put the Christmas decorations up this weekend.  There will be no strike for me this year.  (Last year I did decorating, no candy making for the boys, no stockings.)  Hopefully the boys will appreciate it a little more this year.  Highly unlikely, but I can still hope.

~  My phone completely went wacko last weekend, so I'm back to a "regular" phone until we can find one.  We went to the cell store on Sunday and bought a used phone, but it froze while trying to download an app, so I took it back.  It's amazing what people will do for a phone:  the salesman said that someone had traded in a minivan for an iPhone 4.  Ridiculous.

~ The drive into work this morning was...magnificent.  The sunrise against the mountains was GORGEOUS.  I wanted to stop & take pictures, but that would've made me late, and I didn't have my camera with me.  I doubt if the picture would have done it justice.  The pink sunrise against purple mountains:  breathtaking!

Wednesday Hodgepodge Unwrapped

Thank you, Joyce, for pointing out that we only have 4 more Hodgepodges until Christmas.  I think I could've done without that little tidbit of information.  Way to slap me back into reality!

1.  With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don't you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion? 
Pretty gift wrap with a bow.  Of course, that doesn't happen around here, unless it's the sticky kind of bow.  I'm not much of a creative gift-wrapper.  As for that last question:  Just in case you didn't realize from my opening statements:  I only have the gifts for my special ed lady friends (the ones who get together every month for dinner.)  

2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
I don't have anything on my list.  I think I have pretty much everything I need/want.

3.  What makes a home?
I was just telling someone yesterday about my BIL & SIL's house.  It's a very nice, large house, but, as I told CH, I really like our home.  It's "comfortable":  it may be older and have its faults, but it's a home.  Sure, I miss the bigger closets that we had in SC, but this one feels more like home.  The boys were able to run in and out of the house with their friends without me worrying about if the house was going to get messed up, or if something was going to get broken.  

4.  Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck. 
Oh, how I LOVE Motown!  The Supremes, Tempations, Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye.  They don't music like that anymore.  I remember when my siblings were in school, Mama would put the Supremes on the record player and I would dance & sing to it.  Or, I would play with my dolls while listening.

5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?
I think it's a toss-up.  I don't have a whole lot of either one.

6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon? 
False.   Ranch Dressing or cream cheese: that's a different story!

7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.
After Midnight Mass, we would congregate in the kitchen for eggnog and Hungarian Coffeecake. Then, it would be off to bed so Santa could come.  We didn't have a fireplace in our house, so we put our stockings on our bedposts.  There was at least when I just KNOW I heard Santa filling up my stocking.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We had a good Thanksgiving weekend.  But, my SIL didn't get a blog up and running.  I mentioned it to her, but she didn't really seem to want to get one going.  She doesn't know what she's missing out on!  She made this incredible Crescent Sausage Casserole on Saturday morning, and it was so easy.  And just as incredibly good.

Thankful Hodgepodge

1. Turkey-love it or leave it?  White meat or dark?  What's your favorite thing to make using leftover turkey?
I love turkey!  Especially white meat.  My MIL makes a mean leftover turkey casserole.  I'm not sure what all she puts in it, but I think it has cream of mushroom soup, turkey (of course), and some kind of pasta.

2. Gotta burn off all those carbs the day after a holiday feast so which would you rather do-run a 10K or climb a mountain? 
How about get up every now and then to get a snack/beverage while watching football?

3.  Do you feel like social networking has made your relationships better or worse?  Explain.
I've reconnected with college friends through facebook.  After I graduated, I didn't keep in touch with friends very long:  they had their lives, and I had mine.  It's great to see what everybody is doing, and where everybody is living.

4. How do you find and express gratitude for the hard things in your life? 
I try to think about people who have it much harder than I.

5.  In the US, the day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed 'Black Friday'.  Is most of your holiday shopping done live and in person, or is it done more through the magic of the Internet? How do you feel about stores opening at midnight Thanksgiving night? Will you be out amongst the masses on Friday? 
Live, and in person.  I don't think I'll be out on Friday morning.  I usually wait until Friday afternoon to go out, if I even go then.  I hate that stores think they have to open Thanksgiving night.  But, as long as people will go, they'll open.  I foresee that sometime in the future Christmas sales will begin the day after Halloween.  

6.  Speaking of the color black-which black item in your wardrobe would you say is your favorite?
I'm sure people will say theirs is some little black dress in their closet, but mine is a black tank top that I can wear under jackets.  It's either that or a pair of black sweat pants!  

7.  What do you appreciate about your life today? 
I appreciate that CH & I, and all of our boys are healthy.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have 2 random thoughts this week:
1)My goal this weekend is to get my SIL started on a blog.  I've talked to her about it, but every time we've been together we've had something else that we needed to do.  She is an amazing cook/baker and she has so many funny, wonderful stories, that I think she'll be a wonderful blogger.  I'll let you know if/when we get it up and running.
2)  OS sent me this picture yesterdayafternoon:
He's fortunate that he works for a company who gives their employees a whole week off for Thanksgiving, so they can get on the river and enjoy their product!  This will be the first Thanksgiving that we haven't spent together.  My boys young men are growing up and finding their own place in this world!

Weekend Wrap-up

Another exciting weekend in the Small Town:

~  CH took YS and a few other boys down to his college choice for a music symposium.  He took this picture of him when they got there:
They were required to wear suits all day.  He said that the visit confirms that he made the right choice.  Now if I can just get him to remember to have his transcript sent down there, we'll be in good shape!

~  Friday I got home from school, took the girls out, then went to look for some "treasures" at the dollar store.  I ran by Salsarita's to grab something for supper because I was starving...I didn't have my usual snack at 3:00 and I could tell!  I got one of their cantizzas; at first I ordered a chicken fajita cantizza, then changed it to make my own.  I was not happy...they put very little chicken on (although the girl said it was 4 oz.), and when I asked if I could have more, they were going to charge me around $2 for it.  So, I said "no, thanks".  I ended up with basically a toasted tortilla with a little bit of queso, a little bit of chicken, lettuce, and tomato and paid almost $7 for it.  That's the last time I'll do that again.

~  After I got home, I cleaned up a bit, then sat down with a glass of wine and made out my menu/grocery list for the next couple of weeks before I watched "The Family Stone". That movie never gets old!  I heard some fireworks going on, and, at first they made me jump.  Then I realized that Small Town was scoring when they went off.  CH & YS went straight over to the game after the symposium, so I was getting updates.  The score went back and forth pretty much for the whole game, but Small Town didn't come out on top:  38-36.  At least we don't have to worry about going to a football game next Friday.

~  Saturday morning (around 8:30) I went to the grocery store.  There's something to be said about getting up and getting out of the house that early, because I was in full Becky Home-ecky mode for the rest of the day.  I made 3 batches of cookies (okay, I just put them in the oven because they were the ready-made kind!) and a batch of pumpkin spice muffins.  I also got most of the laundry done and folded.  As an added bonus, I figured out how to use clip-art to make activities for school!  Yay, me!

~ UT really stunk it up against Vandy Saturday night, and I knew the announcement was coming that the coach would be fired.  I really like Dooley; I think he's brought a lot of off-the-field discipline back to the program, but he just couldn't win any games in the SEC.  The announcement came yesterday.  He leaves with $5 million.  Sure wish somebody would fire me for that kind of money.

~  CH & I went to see "Skyfall" yesterday.  That was my first James Bond movie, and it was everything it was cracked up to be.  It was pretty cool to see places that I saw last Oct. during our trip to London on the big screen.  I'm ready to watch more 007 movies!

~ As an added bonus for a perfect ending to the weekend:  OS & his girlfriend came by last night!  They spent the day visiting with her grandmothers who live 1 & 2 hours away from us.  Since they had to come right by here to go back to where they live, they decided to stop and spend the night since it was late.  I had just gone to bed when they pulled in.  It was so good to see him!

~  I'm looking forward to a 2-day work week!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  I started listening to Christmas music yesterday.  It's not too early, is it?  I mean, Thanksgiving is next week!

~  Flute choir is going great.  I'm absolutely loving it!  After 3 hours of straight practice last night (with a quick potty break), I was wiped out when I got home.

~  YS is in full swing of practicing for All East Auditions on the baritone.  He goes to his choice for college today for a full day of clinics, and will go to the big university nearby tomorrow for another day of clinics.  The best part:  they're both FREE!

~  Small Town High School is playing in their biggest playoff game tonight.  They have to play the same team that beat them twice last year and knocked us out of the playoffs.  It's pretty much for all the marbles tonight.  Most people around here say this IS the state championship.  We beat them by 3 points a few weeks ago.  Bad officiating?  Well...apparently they called an extra point good that wasn't.  It'll be a whole new officiating crew tonight.

~  I'm sitting this game out.  I tweaked my back Tuesday and don't want to chance standing up and bending over a table a bunch by working in the concession stand.  Have I mentioned how much I love my chiropractor and how amazing he is?  :)

~  I'm looking forward to a very short week next week:  only 2 days.  I absolutely love having the day before Thanksgiving off.  I don't feel so rushed when I have that day to do some preparations!

~ My airline tickets for Germany/Denmark have been purchased!  I've looked into taking the ICE train from Germany to Denmark, but can't purchase them until March.  I'm also looking into what I can do to occupy my time when the kids are participating in their homestay.  I told CH that I'm going to be awfully close to Lichtenstein (a place I've always wanted to visit), but I'll be even closer to Prague.  So many places, so little time!  If you've ever been to Germany (around the Dresden area) and have recommendations, let me know!

A Truly Hodgepodge

Joyce is back this week after a natural disaster!  I don't know about you, but I missed her last week!  Here are the questions for this week:

1.  What rule of life should never be broken?
I have to admit:  I googled this to see if I could get a clue as to how to answer this.  Apparently we all have rules of life, we just don't know it.  
Don't meddle and mind your own business.

2.  What's your favorite family recipe? 
Kolaches.  I tried to make them once, but didn't have the right recipe.  It tasted NOTHING like my Aunt Frances'!  Such great memories with that smell!

3.  Is the media manipulative? 
Absolutely.  And one-sided.

4. Hubs and I saw Skyfall last weekend...are you a fan of the Bond films? If so, who's your favorite Bond?
You know, I've never seen an entire Bond movie.  They've never held my attention, but I haven't ever attempted one on the big screen.

5. What is one thing you hope people never say about you?
"You never know if she's going to talk to you."  One of my pet peeves is having people act like they're your best friend one minute, then the next act like they've never met you before.  I have no use for people like that.

6.  What's a nearby tourist attraction you'd like to see, but haven't gotten around to visiting? 
There are a lot of attractions around here, and I've seen most of them.  I may not remember them because I went when I was little, but I've been there.  There's a farm nearby that makes/sells cheese.  I would like to go there.  There's also a winery near there, too.  

7.  Where's your favorite tree?
I've looked at this question and tried to go 3 different ways answering it.  I don't have a favorite tree.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
CH took this picture yesterday outside of the office building where he works:
The colors have just been spectacular this year.  It's amazed me how long the colors have stuck around.

Weekend Wrap-Up

The weekend started on Friday with a high school football game:  Game 2 of the playoffs.  The score was more of what we expect out of our team:  a bit one-sided.  It's become a tradition that the game before Veterans' Day the Veterans of the Small Town are recognized.  This year, the Small Town outdid itself.  There was a Wounded Veteran who was honored, and he tossed the coin before the game.  Under Armour provided the coaches with these:
Just in case you can't tell what it is, here's a close-up:

Even the field honored the Vets:
When the football players went onto the field, I wondered why they weren't running and why the band wasn't playing our fight song.  Yesterday, I saw these pictures and understood:

I'm so glad I couldn't see what was happening from the concession stand:  I definitely would've cried!  Such a wonderful gesture and a small way to say "thanks"!
(The above pictures were courtesy of the Small Town's Football Booster Facebook Page)

You'll never guess what CH & I did on Saturday.  (Okay, I know you will, but I had to keep you guessing!) There were a couple of groups who merged together over the weekend for a campout:  The Dutch Oven Group (LSDOS & IDOS) and Tear-Jerkers.  It wasn't a big gathering, but it gave us a chance to explore another campground and meet a few new people.  This campground is only about 30 minutes from our house, and is a "sustainable" campground.  A few pictures from around the campground:

Saturday night, the campers cooked something in a dutch oven, and then brought it all together for a massive potluck.  CH wanted to try to cook pizza, and he was afraid it wouldn't turn out so we opted to sit dinner out.
CH fixing his pizza:
The final product:
It really did turn out pretty well, and it tasted great.  The DO people really know how to use the DO to make perfect dinners and desserts.  Someone made "almost pumpkin pie" and someone else made cherry cobbler. I had just a small taste of both, and they were excellent.
The sunset was just beautiful:

Saturday night we sat around a campfire and talked to a few people.  Then, I was getting a little cold, so I decided to go back to the camper, where I promptly turned on our heater and read for about 1 1/2 hours with Laika keeping me company.  Once I was warm and started to nod off, I went ahead and went to sleep. 
Sunday morning, CH had better luck with the eggs this go around:
The eggs didn't slide off of the pan and into the stove this time!  We realized we had a visitor during the night:
I'm really surprised that he didn't get a hold of some cheese that we didn't put back in the refrigerator since it was so cold out.  Guess he missed his chance!
A couple of the men we met made their own teardrop camper.  One of them had airbrushed the back of his:
And, I got to try this out:
If you read this post, you know what's inside the little tent.  It was much nicer to just step outside my warm bed to potty Sunday morning than trekking down to the bathhouse!  And, it worked like a champ!

We ended the weekend with our weekly outing to our favorite Mexican Restaurant, and MS & his girlfriend joined us.  I loaded him up with leftovers (along with cookies and pumpkin muffins---thanks, Patty!) before he headed back to the big city.  He said that he had called his grandpa (who is retired Army) and uncle (who is full-time career National Guard) to thank them for their service.  My boys never cease to amaze me!  I'm kinda likin' this man he's turning out to be!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  Last night was the Community Band Concert.  The best part about it?  My parents were there.  One of my sisters came, too, and of course CH was there.

~  Just in case you haven't seen a bass flute, here it is:
I probably should've put my flute next to it so you could get an idea of how big it is.  It's a "honk of a flute", but nothing compared to the contra-bass.  The smallest person in our flute choir plays it.

~  CH got these in the mail and was very proud:
He got the Tennessee one for me, and the Dixie Chapter for him since he considers himself from Alabama (they moved there when he was in 7th grade).

~  The Small Town passed a sales tax increase last election to help build a new high school, so the county tried to pass an increase on Tuesday.  Half of the revenue would go to the school, the other half to the roads.  It failed.  It just breaks my heart:  the county schools (where I work) are hurting for money.  We spend less on our kids per student than the other 2 city school systems in the county.  Teachers spend a lot out of pocket and ask parents to help because there just any money for supplies.  Wednesday was a real bummer for me.

~  I have a student who spent a couple of days in the hospital with pneumonia.  He was back at school Wednesday, and I popped over to give him his "homework".  I went in just in time to hear him say, "Doesn't anybody want to hug me and tell me they missed me?"  It was one of the most precious things I've ever heard!  Love that kid!

Heavy Heart

* Disclosure:  This is my political rant.  It is only my opinion.  Comments have been turned off since this rant is for me (and it's my blog!)

I woke up with a heavy heart this morning, although I had a feeling the election was going to turn out this way.  I have lost so much faith in the American people.  I was looking forward to having a President who didn't think he was a rock star or movie star, but someone who would bring the dignity of the Office back.

As I watched the news this morning, I saw Romney supporters with tears in their eyes.  I didn't take it to mean that it was because Romney lost, but rather because they love our country.  I'm very worried about what the next four years will bring.

My hope is that Obama learned things through going through the campaign, and will change some of the things he did over the last four years.   We can only hope, right?

Ryan 2016!!!

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