A Sweet Wednesday Medley

It's just like the Wednesday Hodgepodge, but with a new name and a new "hostess with the mostess"! Much thanks to Terri for continuing our Wednesday Q&A...I'm looking forward to being reacquainted with old friends and meeting new ones.

1.  Wednesday, December 19, 2018, is National Hard Candy Day! So the first question today is to ask if you enjoy hard candy, especially the kind we usually see during this festive time of year?  What is your favorite?  Which hard candy brings up the best memories for you if any?

I absolutely LOVE hard candy! I just bought some yesterday and am considering going back & stocking up ‘cause it doesn’t stay around forever, ya know! 
I went into a classroom to get a student, and the teacher gave me this:
How's that for timing?
My mom used to make hard candy...cinnamon was my favorite. Seeing the homemade shards of hard candy brings back memories, but a Jolly Rancher really brings back great memories of going to Texas on vacation. My great Uncle Pete was a “candy man”. He had a van full of candy that he delivered (I think). At the end of our vacation, he let Mom go into the van and get candy for us. Watermelon Jolly Ranchers are just the best ever!

2.  Holiday shopping!  Are you finished? If you could spend an entire day in just one store, which one would it be and why?

I’ve done no shopping this year, at least not out in the store. I bought my SIL’s and my MIL’s gifts through SERRV, which is a fair-trade online store.
I have no idea if I’m finished or not. I have no desire to get out in the craziness of shopping areas; it’s bad enough being out in the crazy traffic!
If I could spend an entire day in one store...hmmmmm...Office Depot?

3.  What holiday dessert describes you and why?

Pumpkin Roll: Traditional and just a little nutty.

4.  What is your least favorite holiday side dish?

Cooked vegetables. Unless it has lots of cheese in it, I'll pass.

5.  Now be real!! There is one on almost every tree. What is the ugliest tree ornament you have ever seen?

I gotta tell you: Target had some pretty ugly ones this year! They just looked so cheap and not pretty at all.

6.  Tell us something random about your week!!

We had our family gathering last Sunday: 6 out of 10 of us were there. It’s always a good time seeing everybody; just wish everyone had been there & we had more time to visit. 
Thanks again, Terri, for hosting! Want to get in on the Wednesday Medley? Check her blog Your Friend from Florida on Tuesdays to get the questions, then don't forget to link up on Wednesdays!

Ding-a-Ling-a-Ling Medley

It's just like the Wednesday Hodgepodge, but with a new name and a new "hostess with the mostess"! Much thanks to Terri for continuing our Wednesday Q&A...I'm looking forward to being reacquainted with old friends and meeting new ones.

1.  National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12.  Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while.  It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbor from years ago.  Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer.  How about that couple who carpooled for soccer. There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me.  So tell us who you want to call today!

This is going to sound awful, but absolutely no one. I recently got back in touch with a couple of friends from my college days through FB (we were in the band together), but I can't think of anyone I'd want to pick up the phone and call.

2.  Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize National Poinsettia Day.  I am including this "National Day" too because my neighbor's poinsettia from last year is blooming beside their house!!  Have you ever tried to plant a poinsettia outside?

First off: That poinsettia is beautiful! I've never tried to plant one, but early in our marriage, we rented a house out in the country that had a pond beside it. We could sit on the deck and fish (if we wanted to...we never did). Christmas was over & the poinsettia looked dead, so I tossed it into the pond. About a week later we had a beautiful red flower in the middle of the pond!

3.  Do you believe in Bigfoot?  What size shoe do you wear and do you have trouble shoe shopping?

I don't believe in Bigfoot but I definitely have one! I wear a 10 or 11 but my perfect size is a 10 1/2. Do you know how hard it is to find shoes that size?

4.  What is one thing you refuse to share?


5.  Are you finding that this Christmas is stressful? More or less than last year?  

Nope. Not at all. I'm not baking or making candy this year. I'm just relaxing and taking it 
as it comes. My last blog post was on how I'm getting over my Grinch-Styled Pity Party. I refuse to be stressed by Christmas any more!

6.  Tell us something random about your week so far!

We had our kitchen painted last weekend...finally! NOW I feel like I have a new kitchen! When we bought the house 14 years ago, the kitchen was incredibly dark. To counteract the darkness, we painted it yellow. Then I painted it again a more vibrant yellow. On  a couple of sisters' suggestion (they had the same one without knowing it!), here it is before & after:

When the sage started going on the wall I freaked just a bit because it looked so dark, but she assured me it would look fine after she covered up the yellow and after it dried. We are really pleased with the result!

Thanks again, Terri, for hosting! Want to get in on the Wednesday Medley? Check her blog Your Friend from Florida on Tuesdays to get the questions, then don't forget to link up on Wednesdays!

Getting Over a Grinch-Styled Pity Party

large gold ball ornament on the left side with title words on the right.
I think I am officially over my Grinch-Styled Pity Party. This was such a special time in my family. Mama (who was the organist at church) would be busy getting the music and choir ready for Midnight Mass while making oodles of candy and cookies for us. And then making sure we all had a few presents under the tree on top of that. I honestly have no idea how in the world she did it, and how she did it for so long.
I've mentioned before that even after most of us were married and had our own families, Mama would make candy & cookies and would spread them out on the table. We'd bring our tins and line up, cafeteria style, to fill them up. Then came the Christmas when she gave us our own copies of her recipes, followed by her announcement that she wasn't going to make anything anymore. The end of an era. It hit me a few weeks ago that I'm surprised she did it as long as she did. I kept up the tradition with my boys, but as they've gotten older I've cut back. Last year I asked them what their favorites were and then I made those. Of course, they said chocolate covered cherries which is the most time consuming and hardest thing to make! This year I may not even do that. OS is across the country (again) and MS said he didn't want anything. YS again said chocolate covered cherries but he added that he knew they were hard to make so he didn't need them. (I think it's time to teach him how to make them and pass the molds on to him!)

When Will it Ease Up?

Right around Thanksgiving, I started feeling a little down. After Mama passed away I made sure I was at Mass with Daddy, especially if none of my siblings were able to be there. I knew the Midnight Mass in 2016 would be my last one with him. I couldn't bring myself to go last year; it was all I could do to make it through an earlier Mass. I keep wondering, "When will it ease up?" We had so many traditions growing up, most of which I passed on to my boys. That is what makes Christmas so special to me.

Snapping Out of It

So, yeah, I was a little down the couple of weeks following Thanksgiving. I finally snapped out of it on December 8th, which is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the Catholic Liturgical Calendar. (I won't go into exactly what that is here, but if you're interested click here to read a post on my Catholic Blog.) I will say that this is a "Holy Day of Obligation", or a day when we're required to attend Mass. I was sitting there in the pew and I see a dad and his son walk in. This dad lost his wife very suddenly about a year ago (I think it was), and left him with 2 kids (they aren't yet in high school). I sat there thinking, "What is wrong with me? Waa, waa. I'm 56 years old and my parents are gone. I was lucky to have them as long as I did since Mama was 33 when she had me. I have my spouse and my boys. I should be thankful that I have them." Then, after Mass, a lady who lost her husband this past year came up to me and told me she sees my mom every time she looks at my face. This is her first Christmas without her husband, and I'm down because I don't have my parents??? That pretty much snapped me out of it pretty quickly. Then this happened the next day:
If that doesn't get you in the holiday mood, nothing will! It started coming down during Mass, which was a little distracting. Since I play the flute in the choir, I'm facing the back of the church which has a huge glass front. In the reflection (with the heavy snow falling outside), I can see the advent candles and the stained glass in the back of the altar, which represents "The Day the Sun Danced":
NOW I'm ready to put my tree up (and decorate it!) and do a little more decorating for Christmas. Will I bake or make candy? Probably not. CH & I definitely don't need it and the boys haven't expressed an interest. Christmas is going to look different for us this year: MS won't be home until Christmas Day so we won't have the traditional Christmas Eve Dinner; I'll save that until Christmas Day. He said all he wants is a french toast casserole that I make every year for brunch. Like I said, OS is across the country so he obviously won't be home. YS still lives here, so he'll be here.

It's All About the Traditions

I love Christmas; I always have. It's not about the presents (that's one thing I don't like about it) but it's about family and tradition. I still don't think the boys "get it" but hopefully when they start having kids they will. I hope that when CH & I are gone they will remember Christmas with fond memories and won't let the Grinch get a hold of them!
Pinterest picture with a gold ball ornament on the top and the title words on the bottom

When you Wish Upon a Star Wednesday Medley

It's just like the Wednesday Hodgepodge, but with a new name and a new "hostess with the mostess"! Much thanks to Terri for continuing our Wednesday Q&A...I'm looking forward to being reacquainted with old friends and meeting new ones.

1. On December 5, 1901, Walt Disney was born.  Have you been to Disneyland or Disney World?  Can you share a favorite Disney memory?

We took the boys to Disney World in 2000; their ages: 11, 8, and 5. When we went to “Honey I Shrunk the Audience” (which is in 3D) everything was fine. Then the snake appeared to come toward us and we hear, “MAMA! MAMA!” I look next to me to see MS with his feet in his chair screaming for me. We laugh about that to this day!

I’m pretty sure that’s not what Terri had in mind, but that’s a favorite memory!
I also marched in my high school band during the Disney World parade a couple of times (I think it was 2 times, anyway). Very cool!
I’ve never been to Disney Land and really have no desire. I also have no desire to go back to Disney World. I’d love to give Harry Potter a try, though.

2.The first roller coaster attraction at Walt Disney World was Space Mountain.  Do you/did you like roller coasters?

Space Mountain isn’t like it used to be. It’s not pitch-dark like it was when it first opened; I’m sure it’s because of liability.
I’m not into roller coasters & really never was. I just rode it because that’s what you do in high school, and what you’re obligated to do with your kids.

3. The very first fairy tale that Walt Disney made a cartoon about was Little Red Riding Hood.  Did you enjoy fairy tales when you were a youngster or did they scare you?  Did you have a favorite?

I loved fairy tales when I was young. I don’t think I have a fave, though.

4. In Lady & the Tramp, Tramp’s real name was Butch!  Do you have nicknames for your fur-babies and/or for your children?

I always have nicknames for my furbabies! Laika’s is “Cuddle bug” and Gurl Dogg is “Crazy dog”. I mean, really, should Gurl Dogg even have a nickname?

For my "2 footed babies", I call OS "my sunshine", MS "Tater Bug", and YS "Russell Bear".

5. I can’t let this day go by without respecting George H.W. Bush, as he lays in state in the Rotunda of our Capital today.  He was our 41st President and only the second father to have a son follow him as President of the United States.  President Bush loved his colorful socks.  I bought Joe a pair of George H.W. Bush socks for Christmas one year.  I know Myra has a pair… any other bloggers checking in today who have a pair of the Presidential socks in a drawer at home?  How do you feel about colorful socks?

No Presidential socks here; I didn’t even know there was such a thing.
I bought a 4-pack of Bombas a few weeks ago, only there were 3 in it and the pair that didn’t come was marked out with no explanation. I tried calling the 800 number only to get a message that they were only responding to emails due to the high amount of traffic. (Wonder how many other people they stiffed?) I emailed a week ago and finally received a response. The other pair of socks is out of stock so they are going to send me another pair of my choice. They are very comfortable (just as advertised) and I like that for every pair that is bought they donate a pair.

6. Please tell us something random about your week!
Well, the Small Town Football Team did it again: they won their 17th overall state championship last weekend. This team went undefeated. It's rare when they are undefeated, even if they win the championship because they play another powerhouse every year & the other school is about 3 times bigger than Small Town High. MS' team went undefeated his senior year (2009) and I think they were undefeated 1 other time since then. That's about the most exciting thing that happened this week!

Thanks again, Terri, for hosting! Want to get in on the Wednesday Medley? Check her blog Your Friend from Florida on Tuesdays to get the questions, then don't forget to link up on Wednesdays!

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