Smoked Oysters

I realized today that I have a lot of memories involving oysters. Which seems a little odd, but whattaya gonna do?

My Grandparent’s Annual Christmas Eve Oyster Stew Party was a big part of my childhood. The other oyster tradition is a little thing that my mom and I always did. We both love smoked oysters, but when I was a kid we didn’t have a lot of money and those were definitely not on the regular menu. Every year on Christmas there would be a tin in each of our stockings. I always make sure Santa knows that he’s supposed to bring me one still.

I’ve spent many a Christmas apart from my mom over the years. Since my parents shared custody of me, I was often at my dad’s on school vacations. Later, I grew up and moved away. Being apart from my mom on Christmas is something I’m used to. Plus, now that I’m the person responsible for the majority of Christmas happening at our house, it’s a busy whirligig of a week with not enough sleep and too much shopping to really take any time to reflect on the ghost of Christmases past.

But, today the pace has finally slowed. I sat here eating my smoked oysters and missing my mama.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Mom.


Six Word Friday: Focus

At this time of the year

Amid the chanting ads and sales

It can be hard to hear

The true message behind the holidays.

The message on TV is clear:

Save by buying! Money equals love!

In reality we save by saving

and love equals love, not money.

Getting caught up in the hustle

(and believe me it’s a hustle!)

and stress of buying, trading, bartering

boxed up symbols of love’s quantity

is no good way to celebrate

our cherished love for each other.

Taking some time to slow down

and reevaluate our priorities can provide

a much needed shift in focus.

What we focus on will expand.

Instead of focusing our energy and

precious time on gifts you buy,

what if we focus on gifts

that cannot be bought or sold.

Give someone the gift of time.

We can spend an hour shopping

or we can spend an hour

with a friend, focusing on them.

Personally, I love getting  handmade gifts.

I know that what you spent

making that for me (time, thought,

energy, creativity) is worth the world.

So I propose we focus on

those things that matter the most.

Those things that are not things.

Those precious intangibles that are what

we truly want to exchange anyway.

Let us begin to focus on:

Family, friends, food, following our hearts

Opening our hearts, ‘onoring each other

Charity, cherishing loved ones, checking greed

Unity, understanding each other, unrestrained delight

Sharing: souls, songs, sustenance, some hugs

Now you can go over to see Melissa for more to FOCUS on!

We Rock!

We are informed by our teacher that the children are making stocking to hang for their holiday party and could we please provide a small toy or something to go in them. We have 23 kids in our class. (!!!) She suggests that the dollar store is a good place to look.

We go to the dollar store.

Even there it is hard to find anything we like that comes in packs with multiples. (Since I am not spending $23 at $1 per thing.)

We look up and down the Christmas aisle.

The toy aisle.

The crafting aisle.

I joke, “You could give your friends rocks.”

He replies, “Yeah, jingle bell rocks.”

But then he gets thinking about it and decides that’s what he wants to do. He chose not to buy the small sleigh bells to glue onto the rocks. (a little too obvious, I suppose…)

So we buy some rocks.


And we draw on them.


And they are awesome! Even though we chose not to write “Jingle Bell” on them. Ha!


Don’t be surprised if you get rocks from me for Christmas from now on. In fact, every holiday. ♥

Six Word Friday: Thanks







Thanks, Melissa!

The Beginning of the End.

So Child C lost a tooth last week. This is one we’ve been really looking forward to losing because the permanent tooth decided to come in behind it. I’m hoping that as his jaw gets bigger and things work their way around that tooth will find its way back in line with the others. That’s what the dentist said anyway. But we can probably predict that there will be braces in our future down the road. Although, a couple of teeth came in very crooked and worked themselves around to the lineup. Really, who knows?

But this post isn’t about that.

This is the conversation we had:

C: Mommy, is the Tooth Fairy real?

Me: Huh?

C: Because if the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, then it’s either you or Daddy. Just like Santa. Santa isn’t real either.

Me: What? Who told you that baloney?

C: Some kids at school.

Me: Whatever. Some kids like to make stuff up. That’s not very nice of them.

I can tell that this is the beginning of the end. On the one hand, it would be a lot easier not to have hide the presents quite so hard. But I really want to keep the magic alive for him as long as I can.

Ah well, Santa is alive in spirit, if not in body. I think that’s pretty magical.

Over the mountains and through the woods…

To Grandpa’s house we go!

We took a quick trip over to the other side of the mountains to visit my Dad and the family for a couple days.

We watched movies on the giant tv screen he has.

Went to dinner and ate an obscene amount of sushi.

Mmmm….Vegas rolls are little slices of heaven.

Drove home last night to the tune of tears because we had to leave. We’ve seen the fam twice this year.

A record for us.

But still not enough.

We love you family! See you next year!

I probably won’t post any more this year, so I will wish you all a fulfilling and delightful new year.

Be Safe if you are out and about!

Plan Z

On Monday I got up ready to face the day and write about it being the one year anniversary of my blog. I was going to write about how surprised I was that I’d managed to keep this up steadily for this long.

My husband was out of town getting ready to have surgery. Our son was at school. I decided to wait to post until after I got back from running to town for his Christmas Program and errands. We were planning to go to my Dad’s for the holiday since our Daddy would be gone.

I might have posted something about it being the darkest night in 300 years due to the lunar eclipse falling on the eve of the winter solstice.

I might have…but the universe had other plans.

Instead I came home from running those errands and became riotously ill with a stomach bug.

I had a couple of hours until the bus would bring home the kid, so I thought if I went slowly I could feed the horses and then go to the bus stop to get my helper who I was really going to need.

I did manage to get the feeding done, but I also managed to slip and fall on the ice. Hooray. (No real injuries, just a bruise on my upper shin.)

I dragged myself to the car and down to the bus stop.

When my son got in the car he proceeded to pull up his pant legs and show me some weird rash that he had on his knees. Huh? We went home because, no, you cannot stay and play at your friend’s house with some possible contagion all over your legs, son.

At home, with further inspection, it was discovered that the rash was all over his body except for his head. It was red, lacyish, had welts. I was freaking out!

I knew I was going to have to take him to the ER. And I was going to have to drag somebody else with me because I was going to be spending an unusual amount of time in the bathroom which would leave my baby all by himself in the ER with a burning, itchy rash. Worse, I was going to drag all of us an hour away to the ER worth going to. Since, having tested the local hospital on several occasions, we are no longer willing to go there unless we are actually in danger of dying from blood loss or some other critical situation. If we can make the drive, we will.

So, I was flipping out over all this on top of already feeling like you-know-what.

My husband convinced me via text and phone to go to town and get some calamine lotion and Benadryl to give him and see if that helped. If it didn’t, we could go to the doctors in the morning.

I enlisted the aid of a friend who ran around and got everything for me (including a Happy Meal for the patient 🙂 so I only had to make one stop.


As an added bonus, she has three grown kids and has seen every rash and allergy already. She looked at it and said it was probably an allergic reaction to some thing. (Still don’t know what.)

We came home to administer the lotion and Benadryl.

Well, I managed to give him the Benadryl and then fell asleep.


Since we both had something wrong, neither of us had to get up early to try to get to the bus. whoopee!

*I’m sorry son, I know the rash is almost all gone today, but we can’t go to school. Yes, I know it was Xmas parties today. I’m sorry. We’ll have donuts and rent that movie over break.*

Thank goodness the Benadryl worked.

Thank goodness my neighbor was able to feed for me.

Thank goodness my husband’s surgery went well. Longer than expected, but fine.

Thank goodness my son is old enough to fend for himself quite a bit and was feeling better.

We’ve all been recovering ever since.

We had to change all of our plans, of course. We’ll visit my dad next week. We ran around like monkeys to pull off Christmas at the last minute since we weren’t planning on being here. Well, sick, tired old monkeys anyway.

Bonus: Since we were planning on being gone, the neighbors were already going to be feeding for a few days. We just asked them to do it anyway since we were none of us feeling up to it. Hooray! Neighbors Rock! (At least-some do.ha.)

Happy Belated Solstice!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

I think I need another nap.

Previous Older Entries