No More White Elephant Gifts

I can truthfully say that I can’t remember ever receiving a gift that I didn’t like or appreciate.  I always feel the thought behind the gift is what really counts.   Continue reading

Thoughtless Gift

worst giftThinking about the “worst” present I have received has been a challenge. I have been lucky to receive just what I’d been wishing for from Santa and the important people in my life. I loved my skis and boots. My emerald earrings and necklace were unexpected and perfect. I always loved receiving new flannel pjs when I was a kid and my Bonnie Braids and Revlon Bride doll were just what I wanted.  Continue reading

Please, No Socks or Underwear For Me

Our family has participated in a “Secret Santa” gift exchange for the last several years. (This year, I believe there are 17 family members involved.) Each person gets one name and buys a gift (spending up to $25) for that person.

What makes it so fun and special is that no one is going to give, or get, something that is…necessary. All gifts will be tokens of thoughtfulness. I think there are 4 main rules that we follow to amplify enjoyment. Continue reading

Food Coma

Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  Our family takes turns in sharing the different holidays.  Our daughter, Lisa, is always the hostess for Thanksgiving.  This started when my son-in-law, Craig, shared that he  loved to make the turkey.  So, he got the job of hostessing Thanksgiving and dragged his wife, Lisa, along for the ride whether she was in agreement or not.   Continue reading

Thankful for Tradition

thankfulOur family has divided holidays between Mom, Lisa, Judy, and myself.  We celebrate Christmas at Mom’s house, Judy and I alternate Easter at our homes and Lisa gets Thanksgiving.  Because of this, when someone asks me how I’m celebrating the holiday – I gratefully get to say “I don’t have to host or cook – I just get to enjoy the day!” Continue reading

Dad’s Benediction

There is so much to be thankful for…that is what this holiday is all about. It is also a time to remember and honor memories.

My dad has a favorite blessing that he recites at family gatherings. (I have googled it and found no references.)

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Lord God, gracious and merciful,

We acknoledge thy bountiful goodness towards us and give you thanks for our daily bread…

so richly provided by thee.

And we ask you to continue to bless us

with the benedictions of thy fatherly hands.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,


Continue reading

Tables of Thanks

thanksgivingThanksgiving is a very nostalgic holiday for me. I cherish the warm and special moments spent with family for as long as I can remember. The first Thanksgiving table was at Mom and Dad’s home on MacArthur Drive. The next large table I remember was in Michael’s and my home on Scott St. More recently, the big table on Rose Circle has been the setting for our holiday memories. Lisa and Craig have created a special Thanksgiving for all of us for the past twenty years.  Continue reading

Evolution of Breakfast

“Eat breakfast like a king,

lunch like a prince,

dinner like a pauper.”

This was the saying many years ago when I was struggling with my weight. I would eat a big breakfast and feel sluggish and drowsy for much of the morning. Was it the quality of the food? Was it the content of carbs versus protein? Was it the sugar, fat, salt…?

I’m not sure. Probably yes, yes, and…yes…

When I taught, I often skipped breakfast and had a snack around 9:30 with the students in my class. Although I sent home a letter with a dozen suggestions for “healthy” treats, the most common items were brownies, rice crispy treats, granola bars, cheese cheese-flavored crackers…it makes me tired just writing this. Continue reading

Slippery Frosting

frostingOn September 22, 2004, Grandma Is passed away and our family was forever changed.  She was the one to make the holiday cookies and candy.  She was the one that made the special bean and ham soup.  She was the one that made Mom’s birthday schaum tortes.  She was the one that made Lisa’s birthday cake and slippery frosting. Continue reading

Passing the Baton

personal chefCooking and I have been through several evolutions. I left home at 18 as a young, married woman. I could cook (sort of) thanks to my brief Home Economics class in High School. Cookbooks were my friends because, at the time, a long-distance phone call cost money. That meant I couldn’t afford the luxury of calling mom for instructions. Continue reading