Holiday Happiness

I grew up in a house with my mother, my father, and a blond child they still tell me is my sister. Mom did almost all of the cooking. Dad was in charge of the Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes and occasionally chicken on the grill (I loved the little burnt BBQ sauce parts). Only in the last few years has he retired. Coincidentally this is also when he started baking cookies. My folks live in a city about an hour away and every time I visit them the cookie jar has fresh cookies in it just for the occasion.

Christmas is when he brings out the big guns though. We are talking about Grandma’s recipes here people. Heritage in edible form. The super special stuff. In a word: snowballs. Ok they’re known by other names as well. Like Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, and several others I’m sure that I’m missing.


My sister and I have always loved these cookies when grandma would send them in her Christmas package. Now that Dad is making them they are even more special… even if they’re growing in size. It just means that there is more surface area to cover in powdered sugar and I am more than good with that idea. Although it also means I need to find a bib as that stuff goes everywhere!

On this day I say thank you to my dad for continuing the family tradition with a simple recipe that brings so much joy.


Big Gifts Rock! ~or~ How My Mother Wrapped a Stove

As a kid it never really mattered how many gifts I got… as long as there were a few giant ones.  I just knew that the bigger the box the better the prize inside was.  Somehow this has changed a bit as I’ve grown up.  I know that some of the best gifts come in little burgundy boxes… or better than that, the little Tiffany blue colored ones.

Bestest of all though would be the dark blue of this fantasy of mine…

But this isn’t about shiny things I didn’t get (yet?).  It’s about what I found under my Mother’s tree when I walked into her house yesterday.  I found the usual tree in it’s usual place with a smattering of wrapped mysteries ready to be discovered.  However, something caught my eye.

Oven Starter Kit... just needs water.

My oven has been on the fritz for over a year now.  We’ve thrown parts at it only to find that the replacement parts were no good.  Fun times in my house.  I never really worried about it after the initial freak out (of course we had friends over for take and bake pizza… no oven = no pizza) because I tend to use my toaster oven for everything.  LOVE that little contraption.  We thought we had the “big” oven fixed when I started working on Thanksgiving dinner planning.  Only to find out that the giant paperweight still didn’t work properly.  The stove is golden and has been this whole time but the oven won’t heat.  NOTE: Jennie-O turkey breasts can be done in crock pots for those that didn’t know AND they turn out really good!

Fast forward to yesterday… I have a standing invitation for Mom and Dad to come to good ‘ol KC so we can get my new oven.  Although the wrapped one under the tree may still prove to be my favorite (even temperature every time I’m told) I’m excited to get a new shiny one.


(Thank god christmas is over. The music was going to kill me)

Yes,Virginia, there may be a Santa but I’ll take mine without the same ten songs re-recorded by every person/band I’ve never heard of.  In the car I have the habit of playing with the “scan” button.  Oh, I have my usual dozen preset stations depending on on mood.  However sometimes even they have to play commercials.  Explain to me how they all play commercials at the same time (that’s a completely different post).

I don’t do the satellite radio thing.  It came for a year with the car but never worked and I figured I wasn’t going to play into the manufacturer’s ploy of get ’em hooked and end the freebie so they’ll buy.  I know my weaknesses and I try to out think them sometimes.

Anyway, back to the Satan Claus music.  Several days in the past few weeks I have found that apparently some michevious little elf has reprogrammed my “scan” button with christmas music as it’s only target.  It goes something like this… I press scan, the radio finds “Winter Wonderland” by the Eurythmics.  I don’t touch a thing.  Radio continues to scan.  It stops on Kenny G’s “Silver Bells”.  Again I don’t touch a thing (mind you there was a bit of a tourette’s like string of cursing going through my brain at this time).  Burle Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” starts in.  I see a pattern here.  This is the point where I would normally scramble to shove a CD into the player… any CD.  Except I don’t have any in the car right now.  I’ve been transferring them all over to my iTunes.  This is where the tourette’s string of fun burst forth from my lips in much the manner my retired Marine of a father in-law has been known to do.  I would have made him proud.  The radio tried one last time to soothe the savage beast that is me… And found one of a very few holiday songs that I don’t absolutely hate (ok, I’ll admit that I really do like this song).  I say “holiday” because several of these tolerable/liked songs are for Hanukkah.

And yes, my dirty monkey mind went there.  You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see the video.

Shhh Don’t Tell ~OR~ Bah F’ing Humbug


Yes, I took this pic. Go see.

I’m a firm believer that all of the holiday songs should wait patiently until after Thanksgiving passes to poke their little heads out.  I know I’m not the only one in on this.  Seriously, when did Christmas start in October?

With that being said know that I sing.  A. LOT.  Usually to myself but if you see me rocking out in the car that’s not me… I have a socially impaired twin.  I have to admit that I found myself driving home from work early last week with the radio on scan because there really wasn’t much on my programed stations.  When all of a sudden I started singing.

To what?

Yup, I like Elvis.  “But Christmas songs before Turkey day,” you say?!?

The King made me do it.  I blame him.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to find me a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

In the words of Rachael Ray "YUM-O"!


Begin the Hate

Not the pile in my home but similar

I’ve posted in the past about my obsession with finding the perfect gift for people during the holidays.  The one thing that they may have mentioned in February that would make them happy to receive sometimes ends up in their possession during the holidays.  This is something I strive for.  To see that the recipient totally forgot they even mentioned it is the best reward.   Sometimes it’s something that is made special just for them (we’re talking crafty stuff) or even a gathering of smaller things running with a theme.  Silent Bob was presented with a foodie’s delight basket last year.  I really had a hard time not digging into that one early myself.

With one exception my holiday gifts are finished.  Totally. Done.  Some purchased stuff along with some creative stuff.  But that part doesn’t matter as much as it being complete.  I don’t have to worry about a panicked search through the aisles of Hellmart finding the perfect popcorn tin. 

Yah, you can hate me.  I’m okay with that.


So here we are just a few days away from Xmas.  Yes,  I mean Xmas not christmas.  I find myself in the last few days of the pharmacy class that I’ve been teaching.  Only to be emailed today to tell me that the funding program that the students use will not be renewing their contract with the school next semester.  I interpret this as “no money, no class, no need for an instructor, we’ll call you if anything changes.”  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.  I’m looking at it as extra money I would not have had for gifts. 

Next up, language.  Work is allowing me to use Rosetta Stone to learn Italian.  Now, they offered this to the whole hospital and I was one of the first fifteen to sign up so I got in.  They also let us choose one of about fifteen languages.  Italian is what I decided to learn.  I will start this next week.  After my students take their final and I grade it.

Gifts!  Shopping is done.  With the purchase of a very expensive drill for the hubby shopping is completed.  I’m really quite proud of some of the finds I came across.  Sadly, some people still get stuck with gift cards.  I really hate giving them these things but that is what they really wanted so who am I to disappoint?

Lap band update.  It’s been about a month since my first fill and it’s time to get another bit of saline induced restriction.  Just in time for the holiday pig out that everyone is succumbing to.  I’m really quite happy that I’ve got the band forced will power to pass by most of the sugar this year.  My first fill didn’t go so well.  The surgeon couldn’t locate the port so I had to go to have it done under x-ray.  Since then the surgeon says that after seeing the films he is “confident” he can find the port in the office.  We’ll see.  I’m getting more nervous about this as the days progress.  Thursday is the big day.

This Really Happened Once

I kid you not.  Now, out of the two children that my parents had, which one do you think would do such an awful thing?  Yup!  Yours truly.  Of course.  Although,  I still don’t see what the big deal was.  Really.  It’s just anatomy and some innocent snow.

Here’s to everyone having a memorable holiday tomorrow!