Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The 400th Hodgepodge

Yes, my friends, this is the 400th HP hosted by Joyce.  My goodness, that's a whole lot of questions. Hats off to you, Joyce, we appreciate you so much and your hosting us each Wednesday.  You are the BEST!

1. I feel like episode 400 cannot go without comment. That's a whole lot of Hodgepodging folks. 2000 questions if my math is right. So, what's something you feel like you do 400 times a week? 

Straighten things and wipe off kitchen counters.  My goodness, I'm so OCD that if I see some thing out of place, I must straighten it immediately.  And, I wiped kitchen counters a lot before Covid but , I'm forever wiping them off with Clorox wipes now.

2. Tell us where you were and something about what your life looked like in the year 2000? 

My sweet Dad and Mom made their big move from Virginia to Louisiana after Daddy retired from the ministry. We had not lived closer than a 1000 miles of each other since I had married. It was so nice to have them just "down the road."   Our children were in college and doing well for themselves and, as I remember it, life was indeed good.  And, that  seems like yesterday and here it is, 20 years later. The kids are married and we have 5 precious Grans.  I wonder what the next 20 years will bring or maybe I don't. 

3. Do you like cinnamon? What's something you make and enjoy that calls for cinnamon? Of the cinnamon 'foods' listed which is your favorite-red hot cinnamon candies, cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, apple cinnamon oatmeal, churros, an Indian curry?

I love cinnamon!  Several desserts I make this time of year call for cinnamon and that's what makes them all the more delicious.  I love cinnamon toast but I cannot tell you the last time I had some.  Just an added note..........I add a tad of cinnamon to my coffee every morning, along with a lot of powdered creamer and stevia.  

4. Does Christmas 2020 (or Hanukkah) look much like it has in years past, or is this year vastly different for you and your family? How so? How are you feeling about it all? 

Well, the Christmas season has been very different with little to no gatherings taking place.  I've missed that so much as it is usually so much a part of our Christmas season.  As far as our family Christmas, so far it's looking very similiar to past years.  One of Tommy's sisters and her husband will arrive this afternoon and Bridget and her family will arrive Christmas afternoon.  We'll have our family celebration on Saturday.  We've all been being extra careful and doing our best to stay well so nothing will change these plans.  With that being said, my Daddy has always come for part of our celebration and, of course, that will not happen this year.  I just hate it but am so thankful that not one resident at his assisted living facility has gotten Covid.  I think that's amazing.  His facility will be getting the vaccine real soon.

5. What's one thing you need or want to do before this year ends? 

I don't know if it will happen, but I would like to get our home office all ready for 2021.  That means cleaning out the 2020 files and keeping the ones that are necessary and shredding the rest of them.  And, there's my closet that I want to go through as well.  So, if not by the end of this year, it will definitely be my first of the year projects.  

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I "think" I am as ready as I can be for the celebration to begin here at our house.  I worked on my menus last week, made my grocery list, and bought the groceries.  I've even done some of the preparation.  Meals are by far the biggest job for holiday company.  I do all that I can ahead to cut down on my time in the kitchen, but it always seems like you finish one meal and immediately start thinking about the next one.  ~smile~  All the gifts are wrapped and ready, the house in order and the welcome mat rolled out.  All that's left to do is make memories and we'll start on that this afternoon when our first of the family arrives.

Monday, December 14, 2020

A Recap of Past Days

And, life just keep right on rockin' along, although very different, it keeps on rockin'.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with my brother and his wife and our niece and her boy friend.  Did I tell you that my brother and his wife have recently moved to Tyler, Texas?  Well, we are so excited!  They have always lived a very long ways away and now they are a mere 3 hours up the road.  Now, Ashley and John flew in from Iowa, so we were all a little concerned that all the "Covid Cooties" that might be floating around here in our house.  But, thankfully, we have all stayed well thus far.

Isn't this the cutest pictures of these two redheads!  This was taken on Thanksgiving Day and it looked like the perfect fall picture to me.  This is our daughter in law and our youngest granddaughter, Andi Kate.

Coleman, Clancy and their Daddy went to their other Grandparents hunting a couple of weeks ago.  Clancy ended up snagging himself a nice buck.  Clancy will stick with it and do what is necessary to have a chance to kill something.  Coleman, well, not so much!  Bless his little heart, he will want to go but doesn't usually last very long.  But, he's only 5, so he's got plenty of time to develop what it takes to be a good hunter.

My "tree fairy" came on the 3rd and worked her magic on our tree.  It really is pretty and is just about the only decoration we have this year.  I have kept it fairly simple this year. I did decorate the front porch, so we have a nice warm and welcoming Christmas look out there.  And, Hubby and I did wrap clear lights around the trunks of a couple of our Crepe Myrtles in the back yard.  We thoroughly enjoy looking at them thru the back windows each evening.  And, I have several strands of the little fairy lights entwined on the mantle and arrangements throughout the house.  They give off such a lovely glow and make me very happy.  

Hubby and I are being extra cautious and careful right now as we don't want to jeopardize our family Christmas.  But, I did host our office staff last Thursday for our annual Christmas lunch.  They should feel very special as they are the only group that we will be hosting this Christmas season. ~smile~

They are indeed a special group that do a good job of caring for the insureds and we are so fortunate that none of them have contracted Covid up to this time.  And, we hope and pray it stays that way.

I just had to share this easy, easy praline recipe with you.  Perhaps you have seen it before but if you haven't, you need it in your file.  I had never made pralines until I saw this recipe a couple of years ago.  They were too time consuming and you never knew if they would turn out right.  Well, these are awesome and it takes a mere 10 minutes in the microwave and then work quickly in dropping them out.  I will tell you that you need a rather large glass bowl because the mixture gets very bubbly after about 6 minutes and if the bowl is not big enough it will bubble right on out of the bowl.  Take my word for it!  And, never forget that pralines make a wonderful sweet to share.  You can thank me for the recipe later. ~laugh~

Santa made a stop by the country club yesterday while we were eating lunch.  I decided that I needed to have a little chat with him so I stopped by his station.   

And, I leave you with these.......are they not the cutest!!!!!  The lady that keeps Case snapped  these last week and I could hardly stand it.  This little guy and his family will be coming in on Christmas Day and we'll have our family Christmas on the 26th.  It's just what you do when your family is spread out, you have it when you can.  And, it works and it is just fine.  Added note, Case absolutely will NOT keep socks or shoes on his feet! 

It is such a different holiday season this year.  Covid is rampant in our area and we know so many folks that have either had it or currently have it.  It has put such a damper on holiday gatherings and my social self misses that terribly.  

Christmas cards didn't make the cut this year, so please consider this as our wish to you.  And, isn't it a comfort knowing that HE is the hope of our world!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Holiday Spirit Kind of Hodgepodge

I've missed being a part of the HP the past couple of weeks but sometimes there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.  Life happens! ~smile~  But, it's sure good to be back answering Joyce's questions today. 

1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit? 

Enjoying Christmas music
Shopping for gifts
Wrapping gifts
Enjoying family
Worshipping together
All of these mean the holiday spirit to me.

2. What's one thing you've baked this month? Have you eaten the finished product? How much baking do you do around the holidays? What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year?  

I LOVE to bake and bake a lot throughout the year.  I think it's theraputic for me.  I enjoy giving my baked items away as well and like to package them "cutesy."  I know, I know, crazy! I don't really know of any one baked item my family insists on during this season.  But, they are ALWAYS ready for a piece of my Almond Pound Cake.  It's an all time favorite!  My big thing for the holidays is making fudge.  I have made around 35 pounds this year and will be packaging and delivering it in the coming days to the "lucky" folks.  And, it's not something that my family is all that crazy about, including me.  But, I so enjoy making it and sharing it and have been doing it for 20+ years.

3. Your most recent 'half-baked' idea?

Hummm...........this one stumped me.  I can't think of a thing.

4. Where were you the last time you 'baked' in the sun? The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed? Which one on the list appeals to you the most? If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go? 

I cannot remember the last time I baked in the sun, I learned the ill effects of that and  have been very careful ever since.  I have never been to any of the cities mentioned above and if I could go to any beach right now, it would be Seaside Beach in Florida.  Seaside is such a quaint and beautiful city with gorgeous turquoise beaches.

5. Today I wish I had more holiday gatherings to attend.  I am so bummed that many of our usual holiday gatherings are not happening this year.  This whole Covid mess has put a damper on my social self for sure. ~Boo - Hiss~

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our family is making plans for our Christmas celebration and praying that ALL of us can stay well and nothing will change our being together.  I'm sure that many of you are doing the same thing.  Hubby and I are being extra cautious right now and the kids are being as cautious as they can be.  But, our daughter and DIL are school teachers and 4 of our 5 Grans are in school.  So, it is what it is and we will deal with it accordingly, happily or unhappily.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

November Prime Purchases

What? How can it be December 1st?  It truly seems that we were just celebrating Christmas last year and here it is time to celebrate again.  Perhaps an item on my Prime list today will assist you with your Christmas shopping.  Either way, enjoy browsing!  

GOLI - Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

If you have watched TV or been on Facebook then I am sure you know all about Goli.  I have seen it for a few months but just recently decided to start using it.  I started with 2 a day and am now taking 4 a day, 2 in the morning an 2 in the afternoon.  They taste like candy and they have done so much for my digestive system.  Their "claim to fame" is helping with digestive issues, improve energy, and immunity.  Well, I can definitely attest to the improvement in digestive issues, and during the Covid ridden time, I'm hopeful it will make my immunity even better. I tried a long time  ago to drink Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) and I simply cannot do it.  So, if you have wanted to drink it but, like me, couldn't, then order yourself these gummies.  You will not be sorry. 


   These are such pretty and unusual snack plates.  They are 8" in diameter and work nicely with a Charcuterie board or appetizers. They are just big enough for snacks or dessert, take your pick.  Of course, they are NOT dishwasher safe but, that's a small price to pay for their beauty as far as I'm concerned. ~grin~ And, I'm betting there's someone on your Christmas list that would enjoy having them.  They come in sets of 4.  And, they are also available in 11" diameter should you prefer them.




I'm betting either you or someone on your Christmas list would love to have one of these insulated mugs.  As I've stated before, I want my coffee as hot as possible and I always use an insulated mug to keep it as hot as possible.  It comes in so many great colors and they can be personalized as well. 



I "think" I have told you about these before, but they are worth mentioning again.  These are the BEST face washcloths that I have ever used.  They are so, so soft and  and wash and dry like a dream.  I have given these as gifts and they are very affordable.  I use these with warm water and wipe my face off before using my facial cleanser..  Then I apply my cleanser and rinse my face off with the cloth.  They are a great size, 12 X 12. 



I love these tiny lights and use them year around in areas of our home.  They have a timer setting and come on at the same time every day and go off after 4 hours.  I love the warmth they add to a home.  They use 3 AAA batteries and they last about 2 weeks.  I use mine year around but they are especially nice during this holiday season.  



This is the cutest sweater!  This is an internet picture and not the one off Amazon.  The one on Amazon has a straight bottom with an elasticized hem.  It comes in 4 colors and it would make someone a great Christmas gift. too.  I got the white and beige one for myself.



These are the cutest enclosure cards and are great to add to gifts or just a short note to slip to someone.  They come  100 to a pack and can be divided into stacks of 25, tied with a cute ribbon or raffia and given as a gift.  I like to have these on hand.  



The mat at our back porch door was looking a bit ragged so I replaced it with this one.  It is so pretty and is one of the no-skid type.  I love the half round mats for doors.  If you are needing a new door mat, I highly recommend this.  


And, there you have it!  I hope each of you are well and faring well through these difficult days.