Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I found this online and thought it was cute.  And true!

So if Christmas Eve is like floating on a calm sea, peering up into the stars
And Christmas Day is like a rogue wave that knocks you off your feet and envelops you into a deep dark sea of confusion
Then the day after Christmas is like sitting in a puddle, on a muddy shore, picking sea shells out of your bathing suit.
Beat up, tossed around…recovering from a thrill ride, all at the same time.

As excited as I was for Christmas to come, I'm relieved that it's over.  It wasn't the best Christmas we've ever had.  Anxiety combined with unreasonable expectations and too much sugar can make for not much peace and good will toward men.  Or sisters.

All in all, it was a good day.  We scaled way back on presents and that turned out pretty much perfect.  I got a beautiful, warm scarf, a pair of cute pajama pants and Mama found two more of those Fire-King mugs that I love so much!  I started a collection earlier this year and Mama got me a couple more.  I love 'em!  Mama and Daddy got us all a plate of Mennonite cinnamon rolls (yummmm!) and tons of stuff for our stockings.  

Larry got me a beautiful cutting board made from a slice of an ash tree.  I told him it was too pretty to use!  I'm not about to cut that thing.  Here I am counting the rings with him on the phone.  :)  He also got me a set of ABC cookie cutters and a little spyglass monocular that is so strong, you can see a bug on a tree a half mile away!  SO cool!  He got me a President Obama bobble head doll that I absolutely love, too.  He thought I could put him in situations like I did my Spidey.  I'll have to see what I can come up with...

Santa came to see Tabbie Hoffman, too!

This little thing right here was what it was all about, though.  My 3-month-old great niece, Elizabeth AKA Lizzie AKA Bean.  She's so fast just like her mama was so she's teething already and those little hands felt so good to her gums.  

We're really looking forward to sharing many, many Christmases with her.  It's pretty incredible having a baby in the family again.  We had quite the dry spell.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and are excited to see what 2013 brings you.  I know I am!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

It wouldn't be Christmas without Livvy's applesauce cake...

So y'all know I'm a Walton fool.  Always have been, always will be.  I LOVELOVELOVE The Waltons and I've watched "The Homecoming" six times since Thanksgiving, three times this week.  And it's on again tonight.  :)  After the sad, sad events that took place a week ago in Connecticut, I have taken so much comfort in this sweet movie and have been transported to another time when life was simple and people were kind.

So, since I am a Walton fool, I have heard about this applesauce cake since I was four years old.  I've never had it.  I've never made it.  Nobody I know has ever made it.

I decided this was the Christmas that I was going to make Livvy's famous cake.  I got the recipe from Earl Hamner's novel, The Homecoming, and I made it tonight.  

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups unsweetened applesauce


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Remove 1/2 cup flour mixture to a small bowl; stir in raisins and nuts.

Add remaining flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with applesauce, beating well after each addition. Stir in raisin mixture. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
Bake at 350° for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.


It turned out pretty good!  Crunchy on the outside and really moist on the inside.  Not very sweet, though, so two cups of sugar wouldn't be too much.  I know sugar was a luxury during the Depression and I wanted to make it exactly like Mama Olivia did so I followed the recipe to the letter.  

I like it!  And it only took me 41 years to taste it!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hunk for the Holidays

Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for her family's construction business. That might explain why she doesn't have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn't quite explain why she's crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or - crazier still - why she's dying to unwrap him like a present . . .

With whiskey-colored eyes and a killer smile, James is one gorgeous hunk who really knows how to fill out a tuxedo. He charms everyone, including Cassie. And when the night ends, the party doesn't stop. As Cassie falls, literally, into his bed, James falls head over heels in love. Now he has to figure out a way to tell her the truth: he's not an escort. He's her family's fiercest business rival. But all he wants for Christmas is her . . .

I've been reading this book this week.  It's such a funny, sexy story and I have really enjoyed it.  When Cassie almost burns his house down with a dried-out tree she bought on Christmas Eve, I literally laughed out loud.  The guys at work surely think I'm nuts.

I started reading Katie Lane's cowboy books earlier this year and was thrilled to find out she'd written a fourth!  I got that one in the mail today from Amazon.  :)  My Christmas present to myself.  Not-so-guilty pleasures are an escape from the stresses of life.  

Hot cowboys don't hurt much either.

Wrapping up!

I didn't put my gifts under the tree this year because Tabbie Hoffman absolutely LOVES laying and sleeping under there.  Since his time to do that was limited anyway, I decided to let him enjoy it as long as he could.  I've gotten up in the middle of the night to find him sound asleep underneath the tree.  So sweet.

Since we drew names this year, I didn't have many gifts anyway!  That was stressful for me.  I don't like this drawing-names thing.  So I got a little something for everybody anyway.  I chose to buy most of the gifts for my family from hard-working Americans who are just trying to survive this year and I hope that I made their Christmas a little brighter.  

Larry always always always makes me 25 Christmas cards.  I got #24 and #25 today.  I so look forward to getting one every day!  He spoils me.  :)

Larry made me this sweet little 3-D Christmas tree, too.  He uses all of his resources to make me feel loved and special.  I truly hit the jackpot when I chose him.

Four days to go!


So, we're still here.  Still got to finish that Christmas shopping, still have to pay the bills, do the laundry and feed the cat. 

Still.  It was a wild day.  Winter came in last night with temps in the 30's and freakishly gusty winds.  Wind that howled all night long and dropped tree limbs and branches all over the yard.  And in the driveway.  Which I backed over this morning, in the dark, on the way to work, and subsequently dragged a limb alllllll the way to the base.  "Thumpity thump draaaaaaaaag scrubbbbbb" all the way.  I get there, park under a street light ('cause it's dark at 6:30!) and pull out a forked tree limb that had to be way too big to be up in there.  Yet it was.

When the sun finally came up over the flight line, we went out there to stare at the sun, which was the brightest I believe I'd ever seen it.  It hurt our eyes to look at it!  Yet we did.  Hoping we'd see a solar flare or three.  We didn't.

We had our Christmas lunch at Golden Corral and it was so nice to just sit down together and eat.  Especially things dipped in the chocolate fountain.  

My poor left foot swelled up again like a softball this afternoon FOR NO APPARENT REASON.  I didn't do a thing to it!  We had a really slow day at work, didn't do much at all, yet my foot looked like this when I got home.

Ice and rest is on the agenda for this weekend.  IF I can sit down long enough.  I still have a LOT to do.

Andrea and I exchanged gifts today.  This is what she got me!  I love this scent from Bath & Body Works!  And for the cute little peace sign car air freshener that you just clip to your visor, she got me the Fresh Bamboo fragrance oil.  It smells so good!  I love it!!

All in all, it was a pretty good day, despite the fact that my hair was blown within an inch of its life ALL DAMN DAY.  Still, we're here, life goes on and Christmas is four days away!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

They had me at the fried okry!

We met down at the Mennonite restaurant in Montezuma yesterday afternoon to celebrate Brian's birthday.  I hadn't been in years but the roast beef was just as good as I remembered.  This was my plate!

And there was also pie.  :) 


After we finished eating, we carried our too-full butts to the bakery for more.  I got a loaf of oatmeal cinnamon bread and a jar of apple butter.  Yummmm.

I have always loved this painting that hangs on the wall inside the restaurant.

Sunset over the silos.  
A beautiful ending to a great time spent with my family.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Secret Santa -- The Finale!

Today was our Secret Santa Reveal and Christmas luncheon at work and let me tell you, those girls went all out!  I made Dr. Patrenos' awesome brownies with the brown sugar crust on top (and I brought home an empty plate!) and Andrea made a spinach dip that was the absolute best I've ever had!  

The other girls, oh my!  There were 16 of us participating this year and they just outdid themselves.  They brought parmesan and lemon pepper chicken wings, meatballs, turkey, ham and four different kinds of cheeses along with tiny pumpernickel and wheat buns for sandwiches, deviled eggs, chicken salad with crusty Italian bread, sausage cheese dip and chips, a cold pasta salad from Olive Garden, shrimp fried rice from a Chinese place in town, a chocolate pecan pie, a Sock-It-To-Me cake and another plate of brownies.  We were stuffed!!

We did our reveal and opened our gifts and I was surprised to find out that I was also Secret Santa for MY Secret Santa!  We had each other.  That was pretty funny.  It happened to two other girls, too.  Wild, huh??

She gave me a Visa gift card so when I got off work, I swung by Old Navy and got three new long-sleeved shirts and a pair of pajamas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Secret Santa - Days Three and Four

I missed my Secret Santa gift yesterday because I was out sick with bronchitis or some mess ain't nobody got time for.  I feel a little better today!

So I got TWO gifts today!!  Yay, me!!

Tomorrow's the finale!  We're having a luncheon with wings, meatballs, deviled eggs, veggie tray, spinach and artichoke dip and whatever else we all decide to bring and we'll do our reveal.

This week has been so much fun!!  It's awful, awful cold on the flight line at 6:30 in the morning when you have to deliver presents on the sly.  Must be why a certain someone we know does it in a wink of his eye and a twist of his head.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Secret Santa - Day Two

Today I got some Ocean Breeze tea lights and a little jar candle, a pack of Reese's Fast Break mini candy bars and a bottle of SoBe green tea!

My Santa's doing gooooooood!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Secret Santa - Day One

A couple of weeks ago, a girl from a neighboring building came to ask me and my friend and fellow co-op, Andrea, if we wanted to participate in this year's Secret Santa.  We said absolutely so last week, all of the girls (and two guys!) from the two buildings closest to ours drew names for Secret Santa.  We had filled out an "about me" form last week to help each other with gift ideas.

We started today!  A small gift every day this week and then the big gift and Santa reveal on Friday at our Christmas luncheon.

This is what I got today!

A candy cane filled with peanut butter cups, a Diet Mountain Dew and box of green tea and a stuffed mousey rattle for Tabbie Hoffman!  AND she put it all in a bag with kitties on it.  So cute!!  And so sweet that she included Tabbie.  I had put "play with my cat" as one of my hobbies on my "about me" form.

Tabbie Hoffman thought it was sweet, too.  Here he is just a lovin' on that little mouse.

Or smellin' on him.  Same thing.  :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Christmas meme

The Christmas song I could listen to even in June (and do!) is A Christmas To Remember by Kenny and Dolly.  I absolutely LOVE this song!!!  My favorite line?  With a fast talkin' lover and some slooooooow burnin' wood.  :)

Hot chocolate, egg nog or mulled wine?  Egg nog!

Scarlett sho' did not deserve this boy right heah.

When do you put your Christmas decorations up?  Thanksgiving weekend, usually on Slack Friday, while I watch Gone With The Wind.  That's a new tradition I started a few years ago.  By the time the movie's over, I'm done!

What are you having for Christmas dinner?  I think we're doing something totally different this year.  Chicken wings!  Everybody is going to bring a pan of different kinds of wings and we'll have slaw and potato salad and chips and whatever else we decide to bring.  I think I'm going to do lemon pepper wings, potato salad and apple cider.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?  Ami and me decorating Mama and Daddy's tree.  We've been doing this for many years now and I love digging through those boxes and pulling out ornaments that I remember from my childhood.

Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?  Yes, I think, a couple times.  To the nursing home when I was a kid and with the church a time or two.

When did you learn the truth about Santa?  I think I was nine.  I was on the school bus and some kids made fun of me because I had written a letter to Santa and had gotten a response and had brought it to school with me.  What did they know?  Santa IS real.  He may not be one man who travels the world delivering presents in one night but he's real all the same, his spirit of love and giving to others is kept alive by millions of mamas and daddies all over the world.  I am a Santa FOOL and always will be.  Mama and Daddy made Christmases so special and magical for us.  They had us completely tore up over Santa Claus weeks before the big night.

How do you decorate your tree?  I currently have a 7-foot faker tree that has 650 multicolored lights on it.  It's in three pieces.  I take it out of the box, connect the three pieces, fluff and plug it in.  I like character ornaments (snowmen, Santas, dolls, bears) rather than balls so most of my decorations are those.  Wooden and cloth, mainly, although I do have a hand-blown glass Winnie the Pooh.  That Tabbie Hoffman has NOT even touched.  He is doing so good with the tree!!

The best thing about Christmas is remembering what it's all about.  The birth of a very precious baby boy who was God's gift to us!  He was HERE.  He is Christmas.  

All I want for Christmas is continued good health and happiness for my family. And maybe some pajamas. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December is here!

I am really excited that December is here!  I don't want to say December is finally here because the older I get, the faster time goes by, or it seems that way, so I'll take life as it comes to me and try not to rush things.

We had a family get-together today but I couldn't go because I had to work and then at the last minute, they called off overtime and sent everybody home for the weekend.  I didn't really have time to get my stuff together and go so I did a little housework, put my outside lights on the fence and my trusty light-up Santa on the porch.  A lot of guys at work were fussing about the overtime but I said I'd much rather they cut overtime than start laying folks off.  They looked at me like I was speaking French and badly.  They are so used to a third (or more) of their salary being overtime.  You just cannot count on that.  The powers that be proved that today.  Nobody knows what's going to happen the first quarter of next year but I'm fine with whatever happens.  I learned a long time ago to just roll with it.  I've been laid off before.  It's really not that big of a deal.

I absolutely love my new job location!  It's like day and night.  Morale is so much better in there and I think I've learned more in the eight days I've been in that building than I did the seven months I was in Rewire.  I'm going to fight with guns and knives to stay right there.  I'll have to move around to various buildings to get all of my training done and signed off on but when it comes to my permanent assignment, right now, I'm loving where I am.

Our family drew names for Christmas and that's going to be a little weird, this being the first year ever that we haven't gotten everybody a gift.  I'm pretty much finished with my shopping and I didn't buy the first thing at the mall, Walmart or Target.  I got everything online or locally, from good old Americans just trying to make a living.  So nothing I bought is stamped "Made in China"! 

Happy December!  Happy Christmas movies, hot chocolate, cookies, gift wrapping and light stringing.  Speaking of Christmas movies, did you know about this??

I'm skeptical.  No way can it compare to the original.