Top 10 Posts of 2017

I can’t believe we’re on the last day of the year. Just the other day I was playing around with Google Analytics and I found just the thing I was looking for. I’m pretty sure I started doing the Happy Dance! I know I yelled giddily (word??) and my husband looked at me like I had lost my mind. I get excited when I figure things out I guess. So when I got it figured out I was so happy.

Anyway here are the top 10 posts from 2017. I was a little surprised at the ones that made the list.

Top 10 Posts of 2017

  1. The 2017 Totality Solar Eclipse, Were you there?
  2. Quick Update on Last Week
  3. 7 Marriage Advice Tips
  4. Raising Money for Christmas {Last Three Months of the Year}
  5. In Light of Recent Events
  6. Thoughts….
  7. Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner
  8. Black Friday
  9. Chiefs Preseason versus 49ers
  10. I Decorated Early and I’m Okay with That

Happy New Year!

Top 10 Food Posts 2017

Here we are at the end of the year. I thought it might be fun to take a look back at this past year and find the top 10 Food recipes. And since I did the research, I’m sharing with you too because that’s how I roll!

  1. Buncha Crunch Oatmeal Cookies
  2. Gus’s Mac and Cheeseburger
  3. Lunchroom Lady Brownies
  4. Eat like a Gilmore: Luke’s Meatloaf
  5. How to Can Tomatoes
  6. Cupcake Diaries
  7. Root Beer Float Cupcakes
  8. Sugar Cookie Challenge
  9. Checkerboard Cake
  10. Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

I just want to say thank you for sticking around. 2017 was an interesting year, not only for me but for a lot of people. I hear that 2018 is just around the corner and it brings a whole new clean slate chapter to write the best you possible. We’ll see. Bring on 2018!

Christmas 2017

After we came back from Ft. Worth, I swear we all came down with the plague that everyone I know is fighting.  Ugh! In fact, here I am, still fighting it. It’s awful! But enough about that….

Three days before Christmas Abug and I decided we needed to work on Santa cookies. Santa was coming and with his long flight across country and the world, he needed some good sustenance, so we went with making Red Velvet Peppermint Kiss Cookies. We figured he’d get Chocolate chip everywhere else so we’d give him something a little different. That’s the way we roll in this house.

And might I mention, my kid is a country kid, but she’s worse than her mommy about having dirty hands. Making the Red Velvet part of the cookies, the food coloring along with some of the oil transferred to her hands (and mine) and she hated that! WOW!

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Ft. Worth 2017

The real start of the Christmas season for me tends to be our trip to Ft. Worth. There have been a few years I haven’t been able to go, but I try to make it down there every year. Sadly, for me this year was a little lackluster. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but it just didn’t scream Christmas season to me.

Hubby had to go to San Francisco for work the whole week leading up to Ft. Worth. He flew into DFW on Thursday night. We left home Thursday night and drove as far as Denton, Texas. Then from there, Friday morning we drove to the hotel that hubby was at and picked him up.

It seems like every year they change up the schedule for the NCHA Futurity. This year the NonPro and Amateur finals happened Friday night, the Open Semi-finals happened on Saturday, and the finals for the Open happened Sunday evening. Truthfully, that’s how it used to be, then they started changing it. We’re back to basics now.

Ft. Worth Stockyards

No trip to Ft. Worth is complete without a trip to the Stockyards. I have to say, this is probably my favorite place on earth… or at least one of. Hubby though wasn’t in the Holiday spirit so I felt like I was “dragging” him and he pretty well refused to go into the stores with me. One of my favorite things to do is window shop at the stores and I couldn’t hardly budge him into a store with me. I was getting frustrated.

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Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving feastDesserts at my Father in Law's house - Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 is on the books. It was a bit of a sad Thanksgiving this year as it was the first Thanksgiving without Grandma W. That first Thanksgiving is always awkward. Awkward and sad. This proved to be no different. And it was strange because my Father-in-laws house is always booming with people. Not this year though. There was still a fair amount of us, but still, it was different. (more…)

Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving table

I saw a friend posted on Facebook yesterday (I think it was) a question asking if everyone had that perfect, Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner. Then she asked what about those who had no one. I am paraphrasing. I guess I never really thought about it truthfully. We have Thanksgiving whether it’s my extended family or just my close family, either way, we celebrate it. In 2011, hubby and I made our first Thanksgiving meal. Prior to that we just attended Thanksgiving at family’s house.

I always had a goal to make a turkey. In 2012 we made our first Bacon Wrapped turkey. Yum! I think having a turkey is the only “traditional thing” we do. We play with sides. We play with turkey recipes. We’re not traditionalists. I remember one year at my aunt’s house she said we were having a “grown-up” Thanksgiving meal. It was good, but the only traditional part was having a turkey. I wish I was into taking pictures that Thanksgiving (as I am now) so I had a memory of what we actually had… I remember steamed green beans, roasted potato chunks, and that’s about my recollection of that menu.

But… do we have that Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner? Good question. Here’s what Thanksgiving looks like at our house, give or take….

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Black Friday

Sitting pondering life drinking a cup of coffee

Guys, I’ve never been a “Black Friday Shopper.” Not in the sense of Black Friday shopping anyway. I’ve never stood in line hours or even the night before to get into a store. I’ve never been in a fighting match over the last hot item, etc. Truthfully, the reason is… I’m lazy. I like my sleep. The older I get, the easier it is to get up early, but I just flat out love my sleep.

Now don’t get me wrong, I usually do venture out on Black Friday, but my morning doesn’t start until closer to at least 7 am. And that time is pushing it. That might be my roll out of bedtime…

But these days I listen to the ads on tv and they talk about getting Black Friday prices NOW. Now happens to be 2 weeks or more before Thanksgiving. So It makes me wonder, are they going to do something special for Black Friday? Or are the days of true Black Friday shopping over?

I know people who are in the stores on Thursday night when they open. Roaming, looking for just that perfect deal… In fact, someday I may be one of them if need be to get my kid just what she wants. Truthfully I hope I’m not that person. Again… I like my sleep.

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Army Quilt – Finished

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that it was my husband’s birthday. Guys, his birthday present was friggin awesome, in my opinion anyway. Although, he was pretty keen on it too!

It seems like a million years ago I did that 101 in 1001 project. In fact, I did this sometime in the first years we were married. One of the goals I had was to make him a quilt out of his old army uniforms. And I slowly worked on it. Read that as I worked on it 1-2 days and then piled it away for another day.

Jump forward 5 years to about the beginning of October…. okay, back up to earlier this year first. When we were working on Abug’s quilt, I took hubby’s army uniforms to my grandma’s and told her we needed to make hubby’s quilt also. We used a couple pieces in Abug’s quilt and then it sat all spring/summer in grandma’s sewing room. So now we’re at the beginning of October and I went to grandma’s to can my fall green beans. I looked at her and said, OH CRAP, we were going to make hubby’s quilt and his birthday is in 4 weeks (or whatever the actual time frame was).

I knew that I was going to be busy the week of October 16th due to the Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili Cookoff and that I would be out of town the week of hubby’s birthday. So I told Grandma, if you can help, we’ll get this done for his birthday. She was ecstatic to help. Grandma’s are cool like that.

Choosing the Quilt Pattern

The first day we went to work, we had to decide what pattern to make. Grandma has a HUGE stack of pattern magazines and books. When I say huge, I’m not exaggerating and imagine HUGE! We debated this one and that one and tossed around ideas. Then I ran across this in the back of one of the magazines. The thing is… it wasn’t a pattern but more of an advertisement.

Celebrating Abe advertisement for quilt

The more I got to looking at it, the more I realized we had done this type of star in Abug’s quilt, so I pulled that pattern out. I sat there and did calculations (yes, everyone trusted my mathematical skills…. scary I know) and away we went to making this quilt.

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Greek Ravioli Skillet

Greek Ravioli Skillet. A perfect combination of salty and pasta. The combination of pasta, beef, Feta cheese, and Kalamata olives come together with zucchini, Basil, and tomato sauce to create a perfect Greek dish.

I mentioned yesterday that 9/11 holds a special, weird, place in my heart. Three different events happened on that day to just kind of leave me in tears. Losing my grandma was extremely difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (both sets, all 4 of them) growing up. Both my parents worked, so for many summers, I stayed with one or the other set of grandparents. Losing my first grandparent was difficult. You have no idea. I was in my early 20’s so I was lucky, some people don’t even get to meet their grandparents. I was extremely lucky.

So, what does that have to do with Greek Ravioli Pasta? Good question.Well… My grandma was half Greek. Her father actually came through Ellis Island. Once upon a time I went to New York City and did all the touristy things, including touring Ellis Island. That was CRAZY the things they went through coming through there. WOW! My great-grandpa died when my grandma was 5 years old. He got pneumonia a couple years before penicillin was invented. Had he gotten it after, he would have probably been saved, maybe anyway. Who really, truly knows.

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9/11 – Never Forget

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”- Former President George W Bush

“We’re going to find out who did this and we’re going after the bastards”- Sen. Orrin Hatch

What more is there to say that they haven’t already said?