Writers Workshop December 27, 2012

Wow – this will be the last of the workshops for this year! Imagine that! Anyway, as you all know (or maybe you don’t so I will tell you), I participate in Mama Kat’s pretty much world famous writers workshop every Thursday. If you would like to join in just click the button below and link up your post on her site. It is pretty awesome.

Mama’s Losin’ ItThe prompt I chose this week: Share a favorite holiday inspired recipe.

When I was growing  up we used to go to my Dad’s parents house on Christmas Eve for a huge celebration and feast – and I do mean huge, with four kids, and their friends, my family, and others who joined in we always had a lot of folks celebrating with us. It is still a tradition among the family today.  One of the things I have carried with me all these years is a recipe passed down by my great-grandmother Mimi.

Mimi, Grandma Ruby, Daddy, and me!

Mimi, Grandma Ruby, Daddy, and me!

She was 107 when she passed away. Amazing – my grandmother Ruby just turned 90 this year. I guess I’ve got a long life ahead 😉

Anyway, my favorite food at every family dinner of holiday proportions was Mimi’s Cranberry Relish. By far it’s the easiest thing on my menu every year, but everyone seems to enjoy it! So for you all to enjoy, here’s great-grandma’s recipe.

What you need:

2 sm. bags cranberries

2 red apples (medium to large)

2 navel oranges (medium to large, and yes they must be navels)

2 c. granulated sugar (more or less, depending on how sweet/tart you wish – play with it because everyone is different)

Core and cut apples (leave skins on), peel and separate oranges. In a food processor combine all fruit using the shred tool (you want it to be finely chopped). Remove to bowl and add sugar to taste. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

And there you have it – simple, yet so very tasty!

Happy Thursday!



Writers Workshop – December 20, 2012

So yeah, I’m back on the bandwagon and participating in  MamaKat’s pretty much world famous writers workshop. If you want to join in head on over there and grab a prompt!



Mama’s Losin’ It 

This week I chose the prompt Share a favorite Christmas Memory. 




When I was young, we always had huge Christmases.  My Aunt and Uncle would always come to our house in Tennessee from North Carolina bringing my cousins with them. They usually arrived a couple of days before the big day in order to spend plenty of time with the family. Of course there were plenty of cookies, cakes, candies, and other treats to be had as my grandmother (who lived right next door to us, conveniently) loved to make sure her grandchildren were thoroughly spoiled during the holidays.


One year in particular, I believe I was six or seven, the adults all gathered in our living room to put together the “Santa” gifts. Of course, there was alcohol involved – rum spiked eggnog and some Budweiser for the guys… I remember laying in my bed and being awakened by the sound of laughter from the living room. As any young child would do I assumed that my parents were partying with Santa and I was missing out… so I crept from my bed and hurried to the door, determined to catch the big guy in the act of depositing gifts under the tree with my delighted parents offering up the carefully placed cookies and milk and laughing gleefully at his carefully chosen gifts. I quietly opened my door just a crack and peeked out to see… my wonderful Aunt peeking back at me! Apparently the stealth with which I had crept from my bed and to the door was somehow not so stealthy… they had heard me! Foiled again! I told my Aunt that I had to go to the bathroom in a valiant effort to see if the jolly Claus had left anything behind. Desperately hoping for a preview of the delicious loot left behind I was unceremoniously picked up into my Aunts arms and my eyes covered (oh the indignity) as we trekked across the house to the bathroom, where I was deposited and informed I should go ahead and go… because she wasn’t going anywhere till I was done. I tried in vain to peek through her carefully placed fingers to see what was under that tree…


Alas, my Aunt, the apparent victim of one too many eggnog’s was not as careful on our trek back to my room from the bathroom and I was able to steal a peek on my way past the tree – and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but my father, wrench in hand putting together what looked to be the most beautiful bicycle I’d ever seen – exactly the one I had asked Santa for just days before.


Not wanting to spoil the fun the adults were having, I returned to my bed and somehow managed to get myself back to sleep. In the morning when I woke – sure enough that bike was sitting beautifully under the tree with a tag that read “From Santa” in big bold lettering. Now, just how did that happen? I wondered… and then I realized – Dad was really Santa! Far from being disappointed, I was elated! Imagine the jealous look from the other kids at school when I went back and informed them that I knew  the big guy personally; in fact I lived with him… He tucked me in, and read me stories EVERY NIGHT!! What a lucky kid I was!


I cherished that thought for several hours on Christmas day, until I could hold onto it no longer and had to share my new found knowledge with my cousins. Cousins who were ten years older than me, and in fact knew  the true identity of Santa… and they informed me that yes, indeed, my dad was Santa! Just like every other kid in the world’s dad or mom was Santa! I was astounded! How could this be?? Surely they were not telling me the truth! I had to be the only kid Santa had! Not wanting to believe these hideously mean boy cousins of mine – I chose to ignore them. I also chose to keep my mouth shut to the adults – no sense getting the boys in trouble, after all they were family.


So, I quietly kept the secret… for at least two more Christmases I kept silent about being the daughter of the one and only Santa. The memory of that year is one of my favorites… I will never forget my Daddy working on that bike – the last one he ever gave me. Little did I know then that in just a few short years, my dad would no longer be with me. I will treasure this memory of Christmas for as long as I live. I have shared it with my kids, and will share it with my grand kids when they’re old enough. The year I discovered that I was Santa’s daughter!


Merry Christmas!!!


Santa Claus

Santa Claus (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)









I’m sitting here listening to my Pandora music station – and Michael Buble is singing White Christmas. I just realized this morning that it’s only 6 more days until the fat man slides down the chimney… although I don’t know HOW he’s going to do that if I don’t have a chimney… I’m guessing he’ll just come in through the front door.


I don’t know about all this hullabaloo… I’m so not ready for Christmas – really I’m not. It’s insanity! I did manage by the grace of God this year to get each of my kids a little something -and even was able to spring for the grandbabies both a great gift. I’m pretty pleased with that – it’s the first Christmas in three years we’ve been able to do anything for them.


But in my happiness at being able to give my kids something (no matter how little) I feel a little pang of guilt. How can I celebrate and be happy knowing that under 20 different trees in the town of Newton, CT sit gifts perfectly wrapped and ready for 20 little hands to open? How can I celebrate with those close to me, my dear children, and my loved ones knowing that those moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents will never hear those little voices exclaim how happy they were that the perfect gift was waiting under that tree… or asking for one more piece of pie – or begging to stay up just a little later, in hopes that somehow some way they might catch Santa at his game.


In contemplating this the best I can do is hug my kids a little closer, love my family a little deeper, and pray for those desperately seeking answers for why their holiday was marred by tragedy and the loss of something so very precious.


I owe it to my family to be a bright and cheerful light in the darkness, and to love them and celebrate this joyous holiday – they deserve that – and so does yours. Merry Christmas!


christmas 2007

christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)


Yep, I’m still alive

But oh my it’s been busy around here. I had a job interview this week… for a REAL live job! One in which I dress in nice clothing and shoes and leave the house every day! It would be awesome to actually work again. It’s been almost 2 years, and I would love a job! I miss working every day, and don’t like sitting home doing nothing.

Also, keeping up with the wild child has been rather interesting. He’s learning SO much, and we are so proud of him. He has started saying “I love you” and “Big Boy” from time to time… he also talks a lot of gibberish that’s trying to be words. He’s too precious!

Next up the teenagers…

Our Girl has stopped associating with us completely. She stays up all night in her room, then gets up to call A to come get her, then she leaves and stays gone till midnight… she then gripes at us because we don’t spend any time with her. She complains that we don’t have enough room in our house for her to hang out with us comfortably. She’s jealous of her older sister and brother in law… she feels like her place has been taken up by Jackie. Even though I’ve told her a million times, I don’t love her any less because they’re here… she got years with me that should have been Jackies, yet she doesn’t appreciate it or care that NOW Jackie is here and we’re trying to establish a good relationship, one we should have had years ago. One that was stolen from us. Now that I’m trying to reestablish this relationship, and Our Girl is so upset that we get along. She complains that we never “do anything fun” with her, but she’s never here during the hours which fun things would take place. I know it’s just a phase she’s going through, and I know it’s just an adjustment process. She’s not used to having a sister to share me with, she did this when the boys showed up too.

Our Guy is doing well, and has been such a joy to have around! He’s grown up so much over the last couple of months, it’s amazing. He is so much more mature than I ever expected of him at 16. Funny Halloween story with him… we took little bit (the grand baby) trick-or-treating and Our Guy went with… we stayed about an hour. When we got ready to come home, Our Guy wanted to stay out… it was about 7 and not yet dark so we told him to go on, after all at 16 Jonathan was running the roads and gave us no reason to mistrust. At 9 our phone rang – Our Guy’s curfew is not till midnight… it was him – ready to come home. So at 9:30 on Halloween night, he came home to hang out with us. It was fun!

The adult “kids” got to dress up and go to a show for Halloween. The guys dressed as girls and Jackie was a “Dark Fairy”… as you can see – it was humorous!

This is Jack and Jeni actin the fool… her eyes turned out so cute! I’m rather proud of it!

And here are my three “daughters” LOL The boys actually made pretty good girls for Halloween!

And because I couldn’t resist – our little Punk Rock hero! 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

30 Day Blog Journal – Day 7

It’s been a week since I started this blog journal – and I’m wondering are you tired of it yet? Hmmm… too bad! HA – we’re doing this!

Anyway – today is “A photo that makes me happy”.

I thought this one might be HARD ya’ll since I have so many photos – but you know what? It wasn’t hard at all… Because you see, today is Father’s Day… and I know just the perfect picture for that… well, sorry TWO perfect pictures for that…

Here you go:

My beautiful daughter and her Daddy, the night of her first prom!

And the other one that makes me smile?? MY daddy!

Happy Father’s Day!