Lots of us have had tough years personally before, but not in my lifetime have we as a human race had such a difficult year. If you’re like me, New Year’s held a new significance and you’re thankful to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Hopeful for 2021, I tried writing about the activities I desperately miss and appreciate more since COVID-19. I hope this year to return to treating myself to a mani-pedi (I’m so relieved it’s closed toe shoe season!), getting a haircut every six to eight weeks instead of twice a year, going to lunch with friends and sitting close enough we don’t need walkie-talkies to converse, and window shopping. Somehow instead of being the hopeful post I intended, I found myself needing a break from thinking about COVID and the harsh realities it’s brought crashing down on our lives.
Also needing to laugh, I turned to a book I discovered in Glassboro, New Jersey visiting my son. When the title caught my eye, This Is Like, Totally a Quote Book, I had to open it. The dedication had me LOLing. “This book is dedicated to the eminent individuals whose words are parodied herein. We’d like to imagine each of them, living or dead, getting a chuckle out of it. We only wish we could invite them all to dinner. * That would be, like, totally an amazing party. *Except maybe Hannibal Lecter.”
The book takes famous quotes and inserts the phrase like, totally. Having been part of the generation that thought those words were so cool, I couldn’t stop reading. The next thing I knew I was reading quotes to my husband. So today, in hopes of making you smile and showing how adding two words can change a sentence, I’ve tweaked some famous quotes.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in like, totally rising every time we fall.” -Nelson Mandela
The way to get started is to like, totally quit talking and begin doing. -Walt Disney
Life is what happens like, when you’re busy totally making other plans. -John Lennon
To be or like, totally not to be. -William Shakespeare
When you reach the end of your rope, like tie a knot in it and totally hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but like, totally by the seeds that you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson
It is during our darkest moments that we must like, totally focus to see the light. -Aristotle
Here’s some modified western/cowboy sayings from grammar.yourdictionary.com.
Some cowboys have like, totally too much tumbleweed in their blood to settle down.
When you’re throwin’ your weight around, be like, totally ready to have it thrown around by someone else.
Always like, totally drink upstream from the herd.
Never ask how stupid someone is ‘cause they’ll like, turn around and totally show you.
The only good reason to ride a bull is to like, totally meet a nurse.
And my favorite…
Never like, jump a barbed wire fence totally naked.
I hope these changes to famous quotes made you chuckle. To be entered in the random drawing for today’s giveaway of the sparkly Peace sign and a signed copy of Home on the Ranch: Family Ties share a quote and like, totally parody it in This Is Like, Totally a Quote Book style. Here’s to 2021. May your year be blessed, and wishing you like, totally the best year ever!
We have gotten more snow and ice here in Oklahoma already this year that usually what we get all winter! But, I wanted to share Max and Sammy having a good time in the last snow storm we got earlier in December. At least THEY enjoyed it! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a VERY Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to 2021!
Book #3 and the last in my Blackstone Ranch series! And my, my, this cover is perfect!!
This is definitely the biggest YeeHaw of 2020 for us, and such a wonderful way to close out the year. Wyatt proposed on Christmas Eve, and trusted me enough to be the photographer for capturing the moment. We adore McKenna, and are so happy for the two of them.
Can opposites attract and plan the perfect winter wedding?
Free-wheeling Stevie Evans is thrilled when her best friend announces she’s getting married and promises to help, never imagining she’d play wedding planner with her bestie’s uptight brother, Brant. She and Brant clashed several years ago and she’s avoided him ever since. But this time she can’t run or hide, and the buzz of attraction is stronger than ever.
Brant Gilroy’s meticulous life plan takes an unexpected turn when he hits a career bump on the same day as his sister’s wedding announcement. She wants to get married at the family tree farm, which he’s been restoring. Brant’s determined to make her day special despite his uncertain future, although he dreads working with her best friend—a woman who’s his complete opposite. So why can’t he get her out of his head?
As Brant and Stevie work together, Brant begins to wonder if they have more in common than they suspected. But how can he convince her that opposites can sometimes make the perfect team?
I have a new release, the second book in my Clear Creek Bride Series.
Two meddling matrons
A town full of spinsters
And one musicale …
The last thing Merritt O’Hare wants to do is perform in front of the whole town. For one, she can’t play the violin to save her life. And two, Benedict Comfort, the self-appointed leader of this musical fiasco irritates her to no end. But when Merritt finds a way to really get to him, she executes it with relish. Unfortunately, she might have bitten off more than she can chew on this one.
Benedict Comfort thinks Merritt O’Hare isn’t worth his time. Though he likes exchanging barbs with her, he can only take so much. And rehearsals with the woman and her friends are downright painful. None of them can play a whit! But he can. Imagine his surprise when he finds he likes teaching them. Toss in a ridiculous challenge Merritt presents him with and the game is on! But spending time with Merritt is doing more to him than bringing out his love of music. It’s opening his heart …
I am so proud of my hometown in the Texas Panhandle. Each New Years the newspaper names a Man and Woman of the Year. It is typically people who are philanthropists; thus, giving of themselves and their money.
This year our town awarded this honor to our hometown heroes … our first responders. I am honored to still live in the town I was born and raised in.
Thank you, Amarillo, Texas. I have some more great news to brag about, but will save it until tomorrow when I do my regular blog. Look forward to seeing you all.
The Fillies have wrapped their last gift and baked their last treat. While they wait for old St. Nick, they’re remembering a favorite Christmas.
We’d love for you to share one of yours.
A favorite family tradition began by accident. When the children were small, I habitually bought Christmas presents throughout the year and hid them. The problem was, some presents were invariably forgotten until after Christmas. One gloomy January, while organizing my closet, I found a set of cars I’d intended Santa to leave under the tree. Not knowing how else to handle it, I entered the room where the boys were playing and announced, “Look what Santa left on the roof.”
Needless to say, the unexpected gift was a big hit. Every year after that, Santa left something on the housetop. The funny thing is, no one ever thought to ask what Mom was doing on the roof.
Christmas is all about family, and last year we tried something a little different. Instead of a big gift under the tree, we decided to give the kids a big experience. So the day after Christmas we piled in the car and drove 2.5 hours to Fort Worth. There we watched the latest Star Wars movie in IMAX, ate an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (browsing in the Barnes & Noble next door while we waited for our table to be ready), then finished the trip by doing an escape room. We had never done one before, but we loved working together to solve the puzzles and figure out the clues to the fantasy storyline. We even managed to solve it with a little grace from the operator who let us go a few minutes over our hour limit. Not knowing what would lie ahead the next year in 2020, I’m so thankful for this Christmas memory of travel and family fun!
My best Christmas was a bit different – it was the year my dad quit drinking. After a horrible night of blood (he fell and cut his head – 18 stitches) and screaming (mom, at him), under the tree the next morning, he promised us he’d taken his last drink. We didn’t believe him – we’d heard it many times before. But good to his word, he didn’t, from then until he passed away, fifteen years later. Best. Gift. Ever.
One of the enduring memories that stands out for me of Christmas–every year–was how we had to orchestrate everything on Christmas morning so we could get it all on film! My dad loved to take pictures and developed a lot of his own pictures when he had time. BUT…he loved technology, too, and when those Super 8 movie cameras came out, he must have been first in line to get one. Every Christmas, he’d hook up the light bar and get the camera rolling. We’d all stumble out of bed, bleary-eyed, anxious to see what Santa had left for us (by that time, I was the only one left in our house that believed in Santa, since my sisters were older). Mom would invariably be calling, “WAIT! I have to put on some lipstick! Let me do something with my hair!” I would be chomping at the bit to start ripping and tearing my presents open, and of course, my older sisters were heaving sighs of frustration at the whole affair. Dad would yell, “COME ON, EL WANDA!” She’d yell back, “JUST A MINUTE! I’M COMING!” It’s so funny now–I can see what a comedy that would have been to an outsider–and it was so predictable. Every. Single. Year.
My favorite Christmas was when I was about eight years old. My dad had been in an explosion at work around September and received 3rd degree burns on his face and hands. My mom spent many days and nights sitting with him and we didn’t know if he’d make it. On Christmas Eve my mom was back at the hospital and my oldest sister who was married stayed with me and my younger sister. As I went to bed that night, nothing seemed right. I didn’t know how we’d make it if my dad died. And I didn’t know if there would any gifts the next morning. Mom barely paid us any attention and worry sat in her eyes. When me and my sister woke up on Christmas Day, there were gifts and I knew we hadn’t been overlooked. Then my mom came and told us that our daddy was going to live and that was the best present of all. He was released from the hospital three months later. This memory has stuck with me and I’m always amazed by the power of God’s love. Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you find your own miracle.
After 45 years of marriage, four daughters, and now ten grandchildren, my treasure chest of precious Christmas memories is overflowing. But there is one that stands out.
We always lay out a table of snacks to munch on during gift-opening. Several years ago, I used our Christmas dinner centerpiece to showcase the snacks on the dining room table. With four slender red candles tucked amongst faux evergreen in a lead-crystal base, the flickering candlelight effect was lovely. We retreated into the living room to open gifts.
About an hour in, I heard a tiny POP. With all the conversation, no one even noticed, but I KNEW. I flew off the couch, leapt over a pile of presents, careened around the chair, raced into the dining room, and sure enough, one of the slender candles had tipped over into the evergreens and caught fire.
I kept running to the kitchen for my sleek, white fire extinguisher, but alas, my thumb wasn’t quite strong enough to push the button. Now that my family had run in, too, I thrust the fire extinguisher into my able-bodied son-in-law’s hand and grabbed a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda out of the cupboard. By then, the fire extinguisher was spraying like a trooper, I added a large swath of the Arm & Hammer for good measure, and within moments, the fire was out.
But every plate of those savory snacks was ruined. So was my lead-crystal base and the rest of the centerpiece, and we had to have the dining room table top re-done.
It could have been much worse, of course. Thank goodness that POP! saved the day, and I’m convinced the Christ Child helped me hear it when no one else did.
When I was five years old, my parents moved up the hill on our farm into the new house they’d spent a year building. It was my mom’s dream home with plenty of room for all of us and for guests, too. That year started a tradition that lasted for more than twenty years of my parents hosting Christmas for thirty to fifty people, depending on which side of the family was coming.
One Christmas in particular stands out so well in my mind. About ten feet out the back door of the house was a big hill we could sled down and at the bottom was a pond where we liked to ice skate. I’d gotten a brand-new bright orange plastic toboggan that morning and was ready to test it out. Right after lunch, once the gifts had been opened and the mess cleared away, most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins poured outside to join in the fun. My dad and brother ran snowmobiles as a “taxi” service, carrying sledders from the bottom of the hill back up to the top. Some chose to skate and others stood outside and watched.
We were out there for hours, laughing and having such a great time. The sledding hill seemed to get slicker with each run and finally Mom decided everyone had been out in the cold long enough and drew us in with the promise of hot chocolate and wealth of desserts. Two of my cousins (who were grown and married with their own kids), decided to take one more run down the hill. They grabbed my old toboggan, jumped on it together, and down the hill they sailed in a great impression of Clark Griswold. They hit a big bump, the toboggan broke in two, and off the went in different directions. One landed in the ditch and the other crashed with a face full of snow. I was so glad they hadn’t been on my new toboggan!
I’m so grateful for all the wonderful childhood memories I have of special holidays at home with my parents and extended family.
Oh, how I love Christmas! One of my most memorable Christmas Eve’s occurred when I was a third grader. I’m the oldest of four girls. Daddy had just bought a brand spankin’ new Chevy.
We could hardly wait until Christmas morning to see what Santa brought us. I recall waking up to not only a huge snowstorm where drifts had covered Daddy’s new car, but nothing from Santa Claus under the tree. How horrible!
While Mama fixed us hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, Daddy explained everything to us. The snow was so heavy that Santa couldn’t get in our door because of the snow, so he put all of our presents in the trunk of the car.
Well, after breakfast, Daddy dug out while Mama kept us preoccupied by doing a jigsaw puzzle. Sure enough Santa had left our gifts, just like Daddy said. I’m still confused because if Santa and his elves make all of the gifts in his workshop, how in the heck did they end up in Sears and Roebuck boxes. But you know, it was a wonderful white Christmas and I’ll never forget it.
Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Can you believe Christmas is just a few short days away? December just really got away from me. I only just managed to get my tree decorated and stockings on the mantel this past Sunday. But better late than never I suppose.
When I first thought of what I might produce for this post, I let my thoughts run to the Christmases of my youth. And one of the first memories that came to me was of my momma in the kitchen making Christmas candy, so called because she only made these treats at Christmastime. She would make fudge, pralines, divinity, and bar cookies. There was one in particular that was my very favorite. I know everyone thinks of pecans when you think of pralines but they do come in other flavors as well. One of these flavors is coconut. Since I’ve never been much of a fan of pecans, these were a real favorite of mine. And come to think of it, I’ve never seen coconut pralines anywhere else – just those produced by my mom and grandmother.
And the fun part of these candies, besides the fact that they were oh so delicious, was that momma would buy fresh coconuts still in the shells and once she cracked them open, drained the milk (which I loved!) and dug out the meat, she would give them to me and my younger sister to peel and grate. with a hand crank grater. My sister and I really enjoyed this, especially since once the pieces got too small to work with we would eat them – so yummy! I still have that old grater to this day, though I haven’t used it in years.
And here is the recipe, named for my Mom:
Shirley’s Coconut Pralines
2 cups of sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of whole milk (coconut milk can be substituted for all or part)
2 cups of shredded coconut
½ teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart or larger saucepan.
Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Continue cooking, without stirring, until contents reach the soft ball stage (235-240°).
Stir in the shredded coconut; then continue cooking until it reaches the soft ball stage again.
Remove from the stove and allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Stir in the extract and then beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and turns creamy in color.
Quickly, before the candy hardens, drop by rounded tablespoons onto waxed paper, forming patties. Let cool before removing from wax paper.
Wishing you all a joyous and blessed Christmas regardless of your circumstances.
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