Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I'm linking up with Mrs. 4444 for the last Friday Fragments of January.

~ Yesterday, I wore a blue sweater vest with a yellow shirt and blue shoes. At 9:00, I realized I also had on black pants. (Fashion fail.)

~ Monday, MS stopped by to pick up some stuff that he left at the house from Christmas. He also 'fessed up to a little trip to NJ to see a buddy while we were in The Keys. He got an amazing deal on an airplane ticket, and went to Atlantic City & Philly for the first time.

~ How about last night's episode of Scandal?

~ I'm looking forward to another quiet weekend.  Has anybody seen American Sniper? How was it? I've heard really good things about it.

~ The A-Z Blogging Challenge is coming up in April. Have you registered yet?
Not sure what it is? It's fairly simple: "You would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn't even have to be a word--it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day." Click on the A-Z picture above to register! 

~ Is anybody else having trouble signing out of blogspot? So frustrating. I'm trying to sign out of  the Life in a Small Town blog and sign into my speech blog, but it won't let me sign out at all.

~ Have you seen this video? My boys would absolutely DIE if I even thought about doing this at their weddings (if any of them ever get married...which looks doubtful at this point!), but then again, I can't dance like this mama can!
~Have a wonderful weekend!

A White Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?
During our trip to The Keys.  It was me telling myself to chill out...several times.  Unfortunately, I can't share the situation.

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt? 
This post from Knit by God's Hand. It's just the sweetest thing!

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton  

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?
It's all in the attitude you have. It could be an inconvenience or an adventure. When we were coming home from The Keys, traffic was horribly backed up around Warner-Robbins, Ga. The GPS suggested an alternate route, so we took it. When I was younger, I would've been extremely nervous about getting off of the interstate & traveling a 2 lane highway in the fog, but I chose to see it as an adventure. I definitely still view it as such.

4.  A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?
Really? I have to pick just one? Depending on my mood, it could be any one of those 3.

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.
Symphony. The planets seem to be aligned right now. Right at this second, anyway, but I realize it could change at any second.

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?
White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?
My daddy & my siblings.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm writing this at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. We're on a 2 hour delay for a little bit of snow we got overnight and early this morning. It's not a full snow day, but I'll take it! As I'm writing, this is my view out of my living room window:
Another quick random:
A blogger who (whom?) I follow through Friday Fragments has moved from Honduras back home to Louisiana. She shares some very interesting things about her life...then and now. Go by and check out her new blog, A Gumbo Pot. You won't be wasting your time!

Menu Plan Monday #1

I saw this on The Horton Family's blog, and thought it might be a way to #1 encourage another post during the week, and #2 make sure I don't get lazy with my menu planning. The weeks that I'm just too lazy to make a menu  then a grocery list we call "European week" because I end up going to the grocery store every day to get what I need for supper. As a result, I end up spending much more than I should. So...I thought I'd give it a go.
mpm chalkboard
Since I get paid on the 15th & 30th of every month, I usually try to plan for 2 weeks at a time. This week isn't going to be a full week, since the 30th is Friday.

Monday:  Meatloaf (my Daddy's recipe!)
                 mashed potatoes
                 green beans

Tuesday: Red & White Chili (crockpot) Keep in mind mine never looks like the picture on the website!

Wednesday: Chicken Strips (I use the frozen Kroger brand...they're the best!)
                     Macaroni & Cheese (This is just about CH's favorite food in the whole world! I use 
                                                       Kraft's Homestyle 4's the "grownup" mac & cheese!)
                      Salad (mainly for me. I put the chicken on top & use honey mustard dressing for my meal.)

Thursday:  Chili (I use a recipe that a nurse I once worked with gave me.  Oh, okay, here it is:
                    1 pound ground beef
                    Dice onion and put in pan while browning the ground beef.
                    Add & bring to a boil:
                    Large can of diced tomatoes
                    Salsa (I usually eyeball it and add however much I want. Lori said to use a big jar of Old El Paso, but I usually just use                      Kroger brand)
                    2 packages chili mix (whatever brand you want to use. I like to enjoy my food, so I use mild)
                    1 can Chili beans (again, I use the mildest I can find)
                     Simmer for 30 minutes

We'll go out on Friday since it's payday for me, and Sunday nights are almost always eat out nights for us...usually Mexican. 

For more ideas on what to plan for your meals for the week, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie. Thanks. Laurie, for introducing me to this site!

Excuse Me!

People being rude
Let's talk about rudeness, shall we? I don't know what the deal is with people being so rude.
A couple of weeks ago, YS & I were having dinner out. A family came in: grandparents, parents, & 3 children. The oldest child looked to be a young teenager, the middle appeared to be around 10 or 11, and the youngest appeared to be 8 or 9. The youngest immediately went into a booth, took her shoes off, and threw herself on the middle child. He tried to get her off, but she persisted. She ended up sitting on the back of the booth (still no shoes). I could just see her tumbling off. The grown ups were oblivious at first, but then one of the grandparents said something to her. And she stayed up. Mom said something to her and she slid back down, only to jump back on her brother and end up back on the back of the booth. The adults were oblivious. No lie...this went on for at least 10 minutes. YS works in a restaurant, and he said that the bad thing is that if she were to get hurt, the family could sue the restaurant. Unbelievable!
It didn't appear that this was a special needs child. If she were, I could halfway understand. Halfway. Being special needs is no excuse. But I digress...
Tonight, we were in the same restaurant. I was sitting down and a girl who appeared to be late middle/early high school age had to get by. There was no "excuse me", she just pressed by, pushing me in the process. If she had just said, "Excuse me", I could've moved up and there wouldn't have been a problem. 
I can deal with being bumped and pushed if someone will just be polite and say those 2 little words. When they're rude, I want to be like this:
Sometimes, okay...most of the time, I will say "excuse me" for them, but I am kind of nice about it. At least, I think I am. CH may have a different opinion!
So, please. Next time you bump into someone, just say those 2 little words.
And now, I'll climb off of my soap box.

Drawing a Lot of Blanks Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. American Idol is back for a 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?
When the show first started, I watched it faithfully. Now...not so much. I do like the judges this season, though. I have no idea what song I would sing. 

2.  Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 

So when did you last have to 'eat a frog'? Or two? How'd that work out? 
I'm just not getting that quote. In fact, I even googled it for some help and still have no idea. Unless it means to do your toughest things first to get them out of the way.
This past weekend, I wanted to catch up on some shows & do some laminating for school, but I really needed to clean the house. So, I made sue I cleaned before I did anything else.

3. If you were going on safari, what is the number one animal you'd want to see?
Giraffe. I just love how big, yet graceful they are. 

4. January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. I know. Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the holiday okay?
Give me a chewy granola bar anyday. Better yet, one of these:

Probably not the most healthy bars, but they are really good!
5. If only__________________________________________. 
I could think of something profound to fill in this blank, I wouldn't look like such an idiot!

6. You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.

More room.  Or, maybe a bigger closet. I've said this before: One thing I miss about my house in SC is the master closet. Our current house was built in the 60's...need I say more?

7. What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?
Gosh, it seems like it just started! No snow days yet, so nothing to get excited about.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I've got nothing for the random this week. Absolutely nothing. 

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time
I'm linking up again with Mrs. 4444 for another Friday Fragments, so...yay, me!

~ My goals for this long weekend: 1) clean the house, and 2) finish reading Edge of Eternity (Ken Follett). I'm around 75% through the book, so it's an attainable goal!

~ Check out my handsome "baby":
(Keep in mind that I'm 5'9"...and look how little I look next to him!)

~ Is anyone else as over Facebook as I am? If it wasn't for blogging, I would close my account.

~ 8 more Mondays until Spring Break! :)

A Not-So-Wordy Hodgepodge

1. What's your best piece of advice for a newly married couple? I'm asking for a friend.
Always communicate with your spouse.

2. Before we're too far into the new year I wanted to post a question Teresa submitted during the December giveaway. Teresa blogs over at Being Refined As Silver, so everyone go say hi.

Teresa asks, "What were you doing on December 31st, 1999?"and "Did you or your family make preparations for Y2K?"
We were living in SC, and one of our neighbors had a party. It was warm, and the kids were all playing outside. Good times, y'all! We didn't make any preparations for Y2K..we were living on the edge! 

3. According to Global Language Monitor, the most used word of 2014 isn't a word. It's the heart emoji. Huh? How can something that's not a word be the most used word, but I digress. What do you think was your most used word in 2014?

4. Speaking of words, it's that time again. Time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2015. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

bae (before anyone else), polar vortex, hack, skill set, swag, foodie, curate/curated, friend-raising, enhanced interrogation, cra-cra (as in crazy), takeaway, and -nation (a suffering sports suffix).

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
Wow. I must not be very with it, because I haven't heard of "bae", "Friend-raising", "enhanced interrogation". I'm not real crazy about "cra-cra".

5.  January is National Hot Tea month? Are you a fan? Do you like flavored teas? How do you take your tea? Have a favorite cup or teapot? How many cups of tea do you consume in a given day? 
I wish I liked tea, but I'm not a big fan. When I drink it, I make sure to put in honey.  And, when I had strep last month, I threw in some Tennessee Honey.

6. Whatever happened to________________________________?
common decency

7. What is one book on your must-read list this winter? 
Divergent...and Gone Girl.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
We saw this video on ABC News right after we got home from a meeting discussing the building of a dog park in our area:

What a great dog!

New Year's Wrap-Up

We brought in 2015 the same we we brought in 2013 & 2014: in The Keys! The weather was just gorgeous this year. The first year it was rather cool (around 70) and last year it was overcast. This year: Beautiful! No rain at all, and 80 degrees.
We got to the campground around 6:30 a.m. and ended up pulling over on the side of the road and sleeping for a couple of hours. This greeted us at a convenience store:
We were told that if we went through the gate before 8:00, we would be charged for another day. So I napped in the car, and CH hopped into the trailer and slept. Once we could get in, our site wasn't in someone was still in it. We ended up going to IHOP for breakfast and just wandering around the campground until we were able to set up.
We saw some people that we had met before, and met new people. We ate at one of our favorite places 2 nights in a row. It's that good, y'all! The views aren't bad, either.

We did a lot of nothing that week. My toughest decisions were what kind of seafood I was going to eat, and if I was going to drink wine, beer, or rum.
We witnessed beautiful sunrises:
and sunsets:

We were very sad to see that another one of our favorite restaurants was no-more:
We saw iguana:
(these are 2 of 5 I saw that day. I wish I had my phone out for the 5 foot orange one I saw!)
Key Deer on Big Pine Key:

and an alligator in the Blue Hole:
Unusual things:
We saw cute little signs in the campground:

decked out shelters:
lights made out of airplane bottles:
and a Christmas Tree made out of lobster traps:
We visited a pub with no name (No Name Pub): (the burgers are huge and delicious!)
Had amazing seafood at Keys Fisheries:
And had an excellent Cuban Sandwich at this little hole in the wall place. (I didn't get  a picture of it, but we knew it was going to be good when we realized we were the only people in the whole place speaking English!)
We ate breakfast at our campsite: french toast, sausage and biscuits, and breakfast burritos. We had one dinner at the site: Rolled pepperoni bread. We actually made 1 pepperoni and one with Italian Sausage.
It didn't look that great, but it really tasted fantastic!
And, of course we had to have a slice of fried Key Lime Pie:
We spent New Year's Day on the beach:

Thanks to an ant problem (UGH!), we spent a day cleaning up the trailer. That was the cleanest that our trailer has been since we bought it.
On the way home, we spent Friday night at Ft. DeSoto State Park, just outside of St. Petersburg. The campground was recommended by the guys who stayed next to us in Charleston. It wasn't halfway, and the traffic getting through the area on Saturday morning was kind of hairy, but the park was beautiful.
Each site that is waterside has their own private little beach area, and the sites are pretty private:
 Private beach on our site
 View of campsite from the water
View of adjoining sites from water

 One last Florida Sunset
Selfie on our "beach"
It seemed like we would never get home on Saturday with the fog in S. Ga., traffic in Warner-Robbins/Atlanta, and rain in N. Ga/ Tn.  But, we finally got home, and our girls were happy to see us.  We had Sunday to relax, then it was back to the real world on Monday. I told my coordinator that one of these years I was just going to stay down there!

Christmas Wrap-Up

Well, I figured it's about time I got around to summarizing Christmas. We got out of school on the 19th and I needed a day to just decompress from school. That Sunday we had our family get-together at one of my sisters' house. As always, there was waaay too much good food to eat, and a lot of good company.
My sister did an excellent job of disguising their garage and making it festive:

I clicked a few selfies:
 My "baby" brother
One of my sisters
Laika got into the Christmas Spirit, too:
On "Christmas Adam", CH & I attended a party that a friend & her husband had at a local beer joint called The Casual Pint. More good company & some wonderful beverages. We tried a grapefruit beer that was exceptional...and I don't like grapefruit.
I spent Monday & Tuesday baking and making candy. And I decided that next year I'm only doing a couple of different things. When I asked the boys what they wanted me to make next year, they each said the one thing that I swore I'd never make again: chocolate covered cherries.
I played my flute for the Children's Mass on Christmas Eve, along with another young lady who also plays in the Community Band, and another lady who plays the oboe. We didn't do too badly, especially for not having practiced together! 
We had Christmas Eve Dinner after Mass. Daddy came up and joined us. 
I went back to Mass at Midnight with CH, MS, YS, Daddy, and a couple of my brothers & one of my sisters. There were some sad moments, but it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Midnight Mass was such a huge deal when I was growing up since Mama was the organist and choir director. When I took Daddy home, I offered to stay with him, but he said he was fine and told me to go home.
One of the advantages of having adult children: They wanted to open their presents at 2:00 a.m. so they could sleep later. So we did.

 I think my grand-dog was just tuckered out:
Daddy came back up to the house for Christmas brunch:

Daddy & I visited Mama's grave. My eldest sister had a wreath delivered, and it was just beautiful.
As you can imagine, this was a tough time of year. We all got through it, and I thought Daddy did exceptionally least to our faces he did. There were times when I had to make myself do our traditions, but once I got started, it wasn't so hard. I know Mama would have wanted it that way. I loved having all 3 of the boys home; that was all I really wanted for Christmas!

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