Oh ... Really?

Category: Holidays

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Greetings to ALL of my friends

None of the cards offered for sale these days offered greetings that all of my friends would find acceptable and non-offensive, so I had to come up with a compromise. This should work for just about everyone ...


To All of my Liberal Readers:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

To Our Conservative Readers:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 2010.


I love you all ... really I do!

Posted by LissaKay on 12/20/09 at 08:28 PM in ~ Holidays
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Monday, November 17, 2008

What a difference a year makes

I come from a rather small family. Growing up, it was my parents, my brother and me. Both of my parents were only-children, and their cousins, while numerous, were hundreds of miles away. The biggest gathering we had was with both sets of grandparents, for a grand total of 8 people for the holiday. Even after I had three children, my side of the family was still small and close-knit. Last year, it was two of my three kids, my parents and me ... 5 people, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as it has been for years. This year, it is different. A LOT different.

I have joined up with a very large family. A HUGE family. So big, we are having two Thanksgiving dinners. Rich has 6 kids, plus a new daughter-in-law, plus my 3 makes 10. His sister and her husband have 5. His brother, the slacker, only has 1, but his Ex is still part of the family and has another son. Some of the kids have significant others, plus two babies. Then there's a couple of friends that are like family ... and I lost count of kids around 20. Then the 8 in our generation - Rich and me, his sister and her husband, his brother and his girlfriend, and two Ex wives. Rounding out this crowd are Rich's mother and my parents. Hmm ... 30-something-ish is the total crowd count. And I will be cooking for nearly all of them. With some help, of course. Being the geek that I am, I made a planner in an Excel spreadsheet, complete with a menu, recipes, shopping lists, Gannt timelines and then I shared it online with the family to coordinate this feast.

The feast itself will consist of two turkeys - one roasted and one fried, and a ham. Plus at least 6 veggie casseroles - broccoli, green bean, sweet potato; potatoes done two or three ways; two kinds of stuffing; gravy by the gallon; bread and rolls; overnight fruit salad; cranberry-pear relish; deviled eggs; caramel apple, pumpkin and pecan pies, raw apple cake, pumpkin gooey cake, and homemade ice cream.

Are ya hungry yet?

Being a foodie thoroughly addicted to the Food Network, I got most of my recipes from there, and quite accidentally, came up with an apple themed menu - at least for the parts that I am making - Brined Roast Turkey, Apple Sourdough Bread Stuffing, Apple Cider Gravy with Giblets, and Raw Apple Cake. Yum. Mee!

I can hardly wait. I love to cook, and I love having a big family to cook for. I could possibly achieve nirvana if the kids would clean up after me. Heh ...

Then comes the rest of the holiday season, and this year I am STOKED and ready for the Christmas spirit. We have already been up to The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge to look at decorations, then wandered around Gatlinburg one chilly evening. We even found our first Christmas gift. Can't say what it is or who it is for, because they read this site! (Neener!) Later we are going to try to catch A Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood and the annual Christmas Craft Show in Gatlinburg, and the Fantasy of Trees in Knoxville. I am hoping we can get to the Clayton Holiday Concert at the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, but that's the same weekend as the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert, and we already have tickets for that. Somewhere in there, we are going to decorate the house with TWO trees and most of our combined accumulation of Christmas decorations, and plan our Christmas feast.

Whew! I'm getting tired just thinking about all that.

I really want this Christmas to be extra special because this is our first as a combined family, but I am well-aware that the harder one tries to have a good Christmas, the more screwed up it all gets. So, I am going to take it as it comes, and mostly, focus on the Reason for the Season.

But oh, I have a sudden craving for peppermint ice cream!

Posted by LissaKay on 11/17/08 at 11:26 PM in ~ Holidays
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Blahs

Yeah I know. I don't post very often, do I? Maybe I should look into getting a life or something.

Actually, I do have a life, and quite a busy one. It's just that much of it is very private and I don't wish to share it with just anyone. Close friends and family know what is going on, and that is good enough.

The holidays are over and I survived. It was mostly good, with just enough chaos and craziness to make it interesting. My family, being quite small with just two of my kids and my parents and me, makes for a quiet and mostly calm celebration. My son, aka J-Dude, with his ongoing anger issues, seems to manage to inject his angst into nearly everything, but we have become used to it by now and it pretty much just rolls over us and we continue on in the wake of his wrath. I had been afraid that Christmas would be quite lean indeed, but I was able to pull something together at the last minute anyway. It wasn't my first choice solution, and it will really cause some pain down the road, but it was a solution nonetheless. I was able to get Ms Thang a Playstation 2, to replace the one her father and step-mother stole from her, plus a Guitar Hero III. J-Dude got his fondest wish for Christmas, now he just needs to apologize to me for being an ass on Christmas Day and he can actually have it. My parents got me a bunch of knitting stuff ... now I need 36 hour days so I can actually get some of that done. I got both of them some books they were wanting, sweaters and other keep-warm goodies. We had a yummy breakfast casserole and Panera holiday bread. It was nice and peaceful. But that soon changed for me ...

I then joined Rich and his ginormous family for a Christmas Italian feast. Ms Thang came with me for a while before she went off to a friend's house to spend the night. Quite a contrast from a party of 5 to a party of what seemed like 50! We cooked and cooked and cooked, then ate and ate and ate, for what seemed like days. Then around midnight we collapsed in exhaustion and slept the sleep of the dead. The big family holiday is quite exciting and fun, but tiring! My high school sweet heart was the youngest of 6, and my Ex the youngest of 5, so the large family celebration is something I am familiar with, and jerk Ex's notwithstanding, I always enjoyed it. Of course, just being with a special someone for the holidays is a treat all in itself, as this has not been a part of my holiday experience for many years.

In the aftermath of the holidays, we are awaiting the impending arrival of Rich's next grandbaby. We will be heading down to Birmingham as soon as we get word. We've been waiting now for a couple weeks, with mama-to-be ripe and ready to pop any minute. Yesterday, the doc told her she is 3cm dilated and baby is fully engaged. So what does Rich do? He plans a Blogfest for Friday night! I hope folks will understand if we have to make our apologies ...

A new semester in school has started. Though not official, I have pretty much decided to change my major from Computer Science to ... something else. Don't know what yet though. I am open to suggestions. I am considering Criminal Justice, but would prefer to go into the forensics concentration. APSU only has Homeland Security in their online degree program. So, I am going to look at UT and perhaps ETSU to see what they offer, either in classroom or online. (I know ITT Tech has a program, but they are hellaciously expensive on tuition ... I could get 4 Bachelor degrees from state universities for what it costs to get just 1 from them!) It certainly is frustrating to still not know what I want to be when I grow up!

Ms Thang has just informed me that she has found herself another job at a nearby restaurant. I hope she can get lots of hours because she has a hella big car repair bill to pay! She also wants to save up so that she can start training to be a wrestler starting this summer. This is, of course, not the ideal life-path that I would prefer for her to follow ... she is amazingly gifted academically, and could accomplish anything she wanted in college. I hope that she will get a degree in something eventually. I would hate to see her be where I am now in 25 years.

J-Dude is still battling the rage demons within. He still cannot accept that it is his choices that have defined what his life is now ... no job, no car, no money, 20 years old and living with mom. He thinks he may have a job with a construction outfit, and that would be a major plus because the pay is good and can get him out and on his own two feet. I have given both kids notice that when the lease for this place is up this summer, I am out of here and I don't plan on making permanent provisions for children to follow me. I will be launching them out of the nest and it is up to them to get themselves ready to fly ... or not.

Snow is in the forecast ... possible dusting to 2 inches here. I guess I better panic soon and run out and buy 10 loaves of bread and 20 gallons of milk, and pile up 20 ricks of wood for the fireplace, and rent a snowblower to make a path to the driveway. Maybe even get a kerosene heater or two. Or I might just go shoe shopping. I'm just crazy like that!



Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Christmas Meme

OK, I have now been tagged twice on this ... by Barry and Craig. Heck, all the cool kids are doing it! I have been working on it for the past two days, so I might as well get it posted ...

Then, I absolutely HAVE to get crackin' on the present wrappin', house cleanin', laundry doin' and maybe sneak in a trip to Wally world in the wee hours ...


1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to Know Your Friends."

1. Wrapping or gift bags?
I like to do a little of both. Bags are great for odd sized or shaped gifts, but I like wrapping gifts too.

2. Real or artificial tree?
Artificial. Real is nice, but can be a pain. Also, my allergies are calmer with the artificial tree. However, 20 years ago, we bought a real, live, living tree, still with its root ball in a burlap sack. That year, my younger son was born on Christmas day. We planted that tree in the yard. It is now about 30 feet tall.

3. When do you put up the tree?
It varies. This year, I'm not putting one up at all. But in "normal" years, usually about two weeks before Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Whenever ... sometimes on New Years Day

5. Do you like egg nog?
Blech! Yuck! NO!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I don't really remember. That was a long, long time ago. Probably books, or my first stereo or TV.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Nope

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Just about anything my ex gave me ... he was really crappy at gift giving. Household cleaning tools were not unheard of and it was nearly always utilitarian. Geez man ... a piece of jewelry or nice sweater or a soft robe would have been nice!

9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Neither. I don't have a large enough circle of friends to justify buying cards, addressing them, buying stamps, etc. If anyone is feeling put out by my failure to do so, here:
"Life is tough
Times are hard
So here's your
Friggin' Christmas Card"

10. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I have always loved all those Rankin/Bass shows - Frosty, Rudolph, Little Drummer Boy. This year I am lovin' on "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
This year? Yesterday. The 19th. Usually sometime after Thanksgiving, but again, it varies with my schedule and workload from year to year. This year is kinda weird.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Ham. Mom's Overnight Fruit Salad. Pillsbury crescent rolls. My Christmas morning breakfast casserole. This year, I get none of that. It sucks.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Colored. I have steady glow lights in a variety of colors, with a string of all blue that flash.

14. Favorite Christmas song(s)?
Anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The music from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home. Everyone in my family is right here. There's only 5 of us now.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yep

17. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I have an angel bear that I put on the top of the tree, when I do put one up.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
It depends. When I was married, we did Christmas with my parents on Christmas Eve and then his family Christmas Day. Since the Big D we kept to that while we shared custody, kids one place one day, the other place the other day, usually Eve with my family. Last year was the first year the kids were with me exclusively.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Where do I start? This list could go on forever ... starting with stores putting out Christmas stuff and playing Christmas music before Halloween, the crass over-commercialization, the materialism, stress over getting everything done, the way the ugly comes out in people everywhere. About now I start wishing it was January 3 and it was all over and done with.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color?
I use lots of handcrafted ornaments, bead garland and lights. No real theme, but you will not find a single round glass ornament on my tree ... ever.

21. What do you leave for Santa?
When the kids were little, milk and cookies. Nothing now though ... Santa can find the fridge if he's that hungry. I just hope he cleans up after himself.

22. Least favorite holiday song?
Jingle Bells by the Singing Dogs
Most any parody of Christmas songs, although there have been one or two that made me giggle at least at first, like Grandpa got run over by a John Deere, which is a parody of a parody

23. Favorite ornament?
Don't have one, I like them all, otherwise I wouldn't have them!

24. Family tradition?
When I was a kid, my dad would give my brother and I at least one gift that started out as a note in a box directing us to a location somewhere in the house, where we would find another note leading to another one, and so on ... eventually we would find the present. Usually it would be something large, like a bike or TV.

With my kids, the only thing that is repeated year after year, and is just a bit of silliness ... my younger son, when he was 3 or 4, got a gift that was in a plain cardboard box. After he got the wrapping paper off, he held the still taped box up and exclaimed, very excitedly, "A box!" So every year since then, we have made sure he gets something in a plain box so that he can repeat the act. It's kinda amusing now that he is 20, and completely UNlike that adorable 3 year old.

25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Even services?
Long ago, we went to midnight services a few times.

Now I get to pass this along to some other bloggers, if there are any that haven't already been tagged ... Atomictumor, Netmom, Bos and Eaves, Lynne, Diva, and Mushy ... and anyone else that would like to participate! Leave your URL in comments if you do!


Posted by LissaKay on 12/20/07 at 07:44 PM in ~ Holidays
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Chanukah

To all my Jewish friends on this, the first night of Chanukah ... May this Festival of Lights bring blessings upon you and all your loved ones for happiness and health. Eat, drink and be merry.

But not every goyim is on the ball ...

This is SO wrong ... LOL


image


Go ahead, click it.

Some grocery clerk (I believe the store is a Baldacci's) has probably lost his minimum wage job by now. At least it was Chanukah, and not Ramadan ... he would have lost his head instead. The store would have been burned down and there would have been rioting in the streets for days by adherents of the Religion of the Perpetually Offended. Imagine what they would do if someone made a movie that tried to convince children that Allah needs killin'? Now THAT would get messy!

It's a crazy ass world.

Posted by LissaKay on 12/05/07 at 12:06 AM in ~ Holidays
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