Very Airmail Christmas

If you're looking for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, click HERE. (or just scroll down a bit!)

Last year, I participated in a "Very Airmail Christmas", hosted by Rebecca at Making Memories.  It took very little time, and I was like a kid waiting for my card to come in the mail!  
This year, Very Airmail Christmas is in memory of Doria's mom, who lost her fight with breast cancer before Christmas last year.  What a wonderful way to honor someone, by spreading happiness and the wonder of Christmas!  All it takes is a little bit of time and a stamp.  To read more about the exchange, click HERE.
Want to join in?  Send Rebecca an email at before December 1st!

Talkin' Turkey with the Hodgepodge

1. Are you settling for something?
Nope.  Can't think of a thing right now.

2.  It wasn't that long ago almost every store in the US locked doors and turned out lights on Thanksgiving Day. This year many will be open all day Thursday, giving shoppers a jump start on 'Black Friday'. In your opinion is this a good thing or a not so good thing? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving Day?
I will NOT be shopping on Thanksgiving.  The only way this will stop is for everybody to stay home.  (Like that's going to happen!)

3. Speaking of shopping... I saw a recent article on the twelve best shopping cities in the world. In order they are-

New York, Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, Milan, and Seoul. 

Ever shopped in any of the cities listed? In which city would you most like to pull out the plastic or cold hard cash?
I've only been in NY & London.  I was more interested in seeing the sights than shopping.  I'm not much of a shopper.  I did go to Herod's when we were in London, but just took a quick look around.

4.  When did you last dine by candlelight?
I dined by campfire last weekend...does that count?

5. What do you have too much of?
Let's's not money, for sure!  

6. The Hunger Games...are you a fan?  Did you read the book(s)?  Will you/have you seen the movie?  Will you/have you seen Catching Fire?  No spoilers please!
I loved The Hunger Games books!  CH & I just saw "Catching Fire" on Sunday.  Excellent movie!

7. Share your plans for Thanksgiving Day. The who, the where, the what...especially the what! As in what's for dinner?  If you're one of my International visitors, whose homeland doesn't celebrate American Thanksgiving (the whole world doesn't ya know!), then still tell us your plans for Thursday. 
We'll only have one of our boys with us on Thanksgiving:  OS will be with his girlfriend's family, and YS will be with his girlfriend's family.  We'll be with CH's brother, SIL, and parents.  I know we're having deep fried turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, dressing, and plenty of desserts...I'm not sure what else we're having!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Today begins Thanksgiving weekend!  Yesterday was so rainy and just all-around yucky.  I had my first observation, but won't have my conference until next Tuesday.  This is my first time with this principal, so we'll see how it goes!

Weekend Wrap-Up

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a short week this week!

Friday night, MS brought a few friends down for dinner.  I made a huge pot of spaghetti (at first he said that there may be around 12 guys, and he didn't tell me until 5:30 that there were only going to be 5-including him!) and garlic bread.  Thursday night, I made a cake for dessert, but took it out of the pan too soon, and it fell apart.  No biggie:  I made another one on Friday as soon as I got home from school.  I don't know what happened, because I've never had any trouble with this cake before, but the cake messed up again.  It tasted great, but it wasn't pretty!

After the boys ate, they went to the Small Town's playoff game.  They had to play the team that knocked them out of the playoffs the past 2 years (and who also went on to win the state championship).  It was a very rainy night, so CH & I stayed home and got updates through a friend on twitter.  We were also able to hear the fireworks go off after we scored, so that helped!  Laika would run behind CH's chair every time they went off, so she was in & out of her "safe place" for a couple of hours!  Small Town won 42-14, so they have to win next Friday to make it to the State Championship Game.

We just hung around the house on was a laundry day, materials-making day (for school), and football-watching day.

Sunday, CH & I went to see "Catching Fire".  I read the book, but I couldn't remember where it left off and the 3rd one started.  CH hasn't read the books, so he was a little put out by the ending.  I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it and plan to.  Excellent movie...can't wait for "Mockingjay".
Before the movie started, one of the theater employees came through the theater with an empty soda cup saying, "Leaky cup...who had a leaky cup?"  A little later, at the end of the trailer for "Frozen", a lady started "belly-laughing" followed by a snort.  Never a dull moment at the movie theater!

If you work outside the home, are you getting to enjoy a short week?

Smokin' Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What lesson has failure taught you?
To never give up.  

2. What decision are you glad you made?
To move back to the Small Town.

3. I've been a little bit surprised to see fully lit and decorated Christmas trees popping up for the past several weeks in friend's Instagram feeds. So tell the truth-is your tree up and decorated, and if so when did that happen? If not, when will you be decking the halls?
Absolutely not!  I'll wait until after Thanksgiving.  When the boys were playing football, I wouldn't decorate until after football season, which ended after the state championship the first weekend in December.

4. Solitaire-Poker-Rummy-Hearts-Go Fish-Old Maid...which game of cards would you most like to join? 
Go Fish is pretty fun, I have to admit!  A couple of my camping friends have got me playing Rumi-Kub, which really isn't a card game, but it's like Rummy.  

5. This question comes to you courtesy of a Facebook friend, who once upon a time had a blog...When you're feeling stressed do you snack a lot or are you more the 'can't eat' type?
Oh, I snack!

6.  Have you ever reviewed a product or service on line? Was your review favorable or less than favorable? 
I review materials from Teachers Pay Teachers all the time, and it's paid off!  Some of the Speech Pathologists who make their own therapy material and sell it on "TpT" have a give-away every month:  they pick one person who has given good feedback to win something from their "store".  I was given the opportunity to pick an item from one of my favorite sellers a couple of days ago!

7. What was the best conversation you had yesterday? 
Since I'm writing this on Tues. night, the conversation would have been on Monday.  CH & I had a pretty nice conversation with YS.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
We had some excitement at school on Tuesday.  Usually, all of the excitement happens when I'm not there, but I was able to get in on it this time!  We had a fire drill, or at least we thought we did.  I didn't realize that the "drill" happened when the principal was at a meeting.  After the drill, we went back inside, but after about 5 minutes, the alarm went off again.  Apparently the indicator was saying there was smoke on the bottom floor.  

The fire dept. is a volunteer dept, so of course there are no firemen hanging around the station, which is at the bottom of the hill from the school.  It took them about 15 minutes to get to school; we were finally able to go back in after about 45 minutes.

Weekend Wrap-Up

We had big plans for the weekend:  we were going to leave to go camping on Friday as soon as CH got off of work.  After I left work, I went to the grocery store to get a few things that we needed.  When I left the store, we were in the middle of a good, soaking rain, and it felt like the temperature had dropped significantly.  I don't mind camping in the rain, but I don't want to have to set up in the rain.  So, after we grabbed a quick dinner, I put on my pjs, bundled up with a blanket, and cuddled on the couch with Pepper.
The weekend wasn't a complete wash-out, though.  We got up Saturday morning and headed out to camp.  We went to a campground that we had visited last year.  There were some people from our camping group and a dutch oven group getting together for the weekend.  Last year, the campground was pretty full.  This year, there were only 3 other campsites being used besides those in our groups.  I guess the nasty weather kept others away.  Saturday was chilly on and off, with the sun coming out every now & then.
Our drive into the campground.
 Laika had a few friends to play with.
 Our campsite
 We had a visitor on Saturday evening.
 The Dutch Ovens were out in full force on Saturday.
 It was cool enough for a fire.
We had an amazing moon.
Sunday morning I walked out to the pier.
 I managed to catch this sunrise. 
I also saw this interesting sign!
Breakfast consisted of our first attempt at camp french toast:
We thought it turned out pretty well!  We also had yogurt and fruit.  This is going into our rotation as a keeper!
On our way out, we stopped by the overlook to see the dam:
 We ended the weekend with our weekly visit to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  YS had to work, but MS & his GF, and YS' GF joined us.  The view from the parking lot:
Not bad, huh?
Hope you had a nice weekend!

Waddling into the Hodgepodge

1. Describe a typical Sunday from your childhood.
Mass, followed by a substantial brunch, with the priest as our guest.  The rest of the day was relaxing, reading the comics, and just being lazy.

2. How comfortable are you with uncertainty? Explain.
Not at all.  I like to know what's coming down the pike!

3. What have you accomplished recently that might be described as crafty, as in 'arts and crafts' crafty?  If crafty doesn't work for you, how about handy? Or both?
Nothing.  Nothing at all.  

4. Have you ever worked in a 'food place'? What did you take away from the experience?
Nope.  Never.  Thank goodness! 

5. Cold turkeytalk turkeywhat a recent days, which turkey phrase or idiom best applies to you and why? Click on the word turkey if you need to read more about the meaning behind each phrase. 
Talk turkey.  I can't kid around with a straight all!

6. If you could have any one guest join your Thanksgiving dinner table, who would it be?
My paternal grandmother.  I didn't know her (she passed away before I was born), and I'd love to pick her brain!  She must have been a very special lady.

7. What is one thing you must accomplish today? 
I have to start off with a 7:15 a.m. meeting (but I'm not expecting the parent to show up), followed by a day of supervising my intern, then home to fix dinner, followed by community band practice.  I just have to accomplish getting through the day!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thank a Veteran!

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but our veterans and those who serve don’t have that problem.”
~ Ronald Reagan
The Veterans in my immediate life:
 (another picture of CH:  He's the lowest parachute!)
My 2 older brothers:   (My nephew-who is serving in the Air Force- is in the middle)
My daddy:  (I don't have a picture of him in his Navy Uniform)
My BIL (CH's brother)

(Photos of all-except CH & my daddy- courtesy of their FB pages!)

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. My sister is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday little sis! What's one way you're like your siblings?  If you don't have siblings how are you like your lifelong best friend or cousin?
Oh, my.  I'm so much like all of my siblings in so many ways!  I recorded an evaluation I administered yesterday so I could analyze some stuttering behavior, and realized how much I  sound like my sister the basket weaver.  Very strange.

2.  What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of yourself at age eighteen?
Young.  And sooo naive.

3. Sculptor-actor-painter-dancer...if you could excel in one of these arts, which would you choose and why?
Dancer.  Because in my mind I can.

4. What's a scent that takes you back in time, and where does it take you?
Pickles and coffee.  It takes me back to my Aunt Catherine's house.  Strange combination, I know, but it seems like she would make pickles when we were there, and of course the adults drank coffee.

5. November is for Peanut Butter Lovers (National Peanut Butter Lovers Month).  Are you a lover or a hater?  What's your favorite dish/recipe that calls for peanut butter? 
I LOVE peanut butter!  My favorite way to eat it is on Danish Pancakes (a.k.a. crepes) with a little nutella, some mashed bananas, and syrup.

6. What do people thank you personally for most often?
Geez, I rarely hear it.  I'm in a pretty thankless job!

7. What event this year are you most thankful for?
By this year, is that this past year, or this coming year?  If it's this past year, YS graduated from high school, and my sweet in-laws graduated their 50th wedding anniversary.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
 I love when this happens (yep, sarcasm):  I got to work yesterday at 6:35 a.m. to get paperwork ready for a meeting at 7:15.  Since I had been out sick Wed.-Fri., I hadn't gotten everything ready (like I usually do), and I didn't have the student's file with me, so I was in a bit of a panic.  7:15 came and went, and no sign of the student or the parent.  By 7:40 I gave up, and started to get ready for the day.  The student came in late, so I had to rescheduled the meeting.  On the bright side:  the paperwork is all ready for the meeting in a couple of weeks!

Good/Bad Weekend Wrapup

Stomach Bug:
Good:  I made it to school on Friday.
Bad:  I left at 8:45 and had to stop a couple of times on my way home to get sick.
Good:  I've lost a few pounds
Bad:  I only have about 30 to go
Good:  So, this may be a good time to get off the Sugar Train because I'm definitely not wanting any of it right now.

Bad:  A former roommate and college co-color guard member's son was in an accident over the weekend
Good:  He wasn't driving and was treated for non-life threatening injuries
Bad:  The driver and another passenger were killed.
Please keep everyone involved in your prayers.  As a mom, I can't imagine the pain that my friend is going through right now, along with the guilt of the relief that her son is alive.

High School Sports:
Good:  Small Town won the District Championship on Friday night.
Bad:  I wasn't there to see it (see "Stomach Bug")
Good:  They won by a whole bunch (49-7)
Bad:  They played a parochial high school, and apparently their sportsmanship left a lot to be desired.  (CH runs the chains, so he gets a first-hand look at how the visiting team acts.)  Being Catholic, I was so disappointed.  I expected a lot more out of them.

College Sports:
Bad:  UT lost on Saturday
Good:  I don't know any good that came of it, unless it was that a true freshman quarterback got some experience.

Hope your weekend had more "good" than "bad"!

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