It’s almost pool season! Last year we didn’t get to use our swimming pool at all. Or the year before that. Or the year before that. Circumstances prevented us from some much-needed repairs until last summer, and even so, it wasn’t repaired until September so we didn’t get to use it last year either. Do you know what it’s like to have a fully functioning pool in the backyard that you can’t use? It’s TORTURE!!
But look out! This year, if you see my wrinkly fingers gripping the cart while I’m standing in line at the grocery store, please know that the only reason that I’m there is because my family is starving to death.
If you see my fat ass running to pick up the kids with bare feet and a cover up thrown over my suit, please know that as soon as I get home I’m going to get back on my floaty and I’ll be worrying about laundry another day.
If you hear my music wafting over the back fence from sunrise to sunset, please know that you are welcome to knock and come on in. But bring your own towel. (Refer to the laundry statement above.)
If you see me at the liquor store just before closing, please know that I’m getting my Citrus Sangria ready for the next day, so feel free to get a designated driver and come on over! The water is fine!
Citrus Sangria is a summery twist on a traditional Sangria and it is best served chilled.
1 bottle wine - red, white, or blush (I used blush.)
8 oz flavored vodka ( I used strawberry vodka, but use whatever you like.)
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
Ginger Ale or Lemon-Lime soda pop
In a large pitcher, combine the wine, vodka, and fruit slices. Refrigerate overnight.
To serve, fill a glass about halfway with Ginger Ale or Lemon-Lime soda pop. Add a slice of orange, lemon, and lime from the pitcher. Fill the rest of the way with Sangria. Garnish with additional fruit slices.
Have you ever stopped and just people watched? I mean sat completely still, turned off your cell phone, iPod, Blackberry, or other devices, and just watched. Watched people’s expressions, and mannerisms, and the sneaky things that they do when they think no one is paying any attention. I often wonder what they are thinking when they do these things too. Are they reliving their childhood? Are they weighing the pros and cons? Are they thinking at all? I gotta tell you, it can be quite amusing and horrifying all at once.
These are the things I saw at my son’s Christmas concert. This is not a joke. I actually saw these things.
1. A little boy picked his nose and wiped it on the back of his Mom’s jacket. (Can I get an EWWW!)
2. I saw a nice, young gentleman give up his seat on the aisle so that an older woman could sit and watch her grandchildren sing in the concert. He proceeded to the side wall and stood for the rest of the evening. His Mama raised him right! I’ll bet he never wiped his nose on his mother’s jacket.
3. I watched an older gentleman in the back row who had the unfortunate “pleasure” of having a gaggle of unsupervised children behind him climbing on the rock wall. They were loud and unruly. He kept rolling his eyes and shifting in his seat, but he never once turned around and told them to keep it down, or get down, or sit down, or pipe down. Why not? What was he thinking about? Maybe he was thinking of how he could trip the kids as they ran past without their parents knowing? Or was he thinking about how his Daddy would have taken a switch to their little bottoms? I’m not sure.
By the way, why do some people feel that it’s OK for their kids to run around freely at a Christmas concert? Is it because it’s dark and no one will know that those brats are yours? I don’t know. It’s disruptive and disrespectful people! There’s chairs for a reason. Rant over.
4. I saw a little blonde girl with the cutest ponytail keep peeking at the woman behind her until the woman finally smiled at her. Then it was game over. The little girl wouldn’t turn around again. For the next half hour the lady’s eyes kept wandering back to the little girl. Maybe she was remembering her own children when they were small, and cute, and had adorable, little blonde ponytails.
5. I saw a red-headed boy, with boots two sizes too big, run back and forth, and back and forth, and back again down the side aisle! OK, I heard him too. Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk. And he was old enough to know better! Refer to number 3.
6. I saw several newborn babies being rocked in their mama’s arms. One mother had a toddler with his head resting in her overloaded lap at the same time, and yet she kept gently smiling and watching the stage for her older child to appear. That’s the power of a Mom.
7. One woman, in a bright red sweater, would stand after each song and wave at her grandchildren. Not a little “l love you” wave, but a monstrous, arm flapping “I’m learning to fly” kind of wave. There were more of these arm flapping, flying wavers in the crowd, but she was the most persistent! Listen lady, the kids have bright shiny lights blasting into their retinas – they can’t see you!
8. And finally, I saw children dressed in their shiny best with the magic of Christmas in their eyes.
Did I see my son playing drums way in the back? nope. But I could hear him and that’s all that really matters.
From my family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays
and a very Merry Christmas!
Fill jars or cellophane bags with spicy hot chocolate mix for a wonderful home made gift around the holidays. Attach a special tag with instructions on how to prepare spicy hot chocolate for a fireside treat for friends and family.
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups Dutch processed cocoa powder, the best quality you can find
2 cups dark chocolate, the best quality you can find, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole milk powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add the granulated sugar to a medium-sized, heavy bottom saucepan. Heat the sugar, over medium-high heat and allow the sugar to melt, stirring occasionally until it is completely liquid and a nice golden brown color. The sugar may crystallize, however, continue to heat it and it will eventually thin out and become very fluid. Keep an eye on the sugar as it will burn very easily. Once a dark amber color, remove from the heat and carefully pour the caramelized sugar onto the parchment paper. **Be careful – liquid sugar is extremely hot! Let the caramelized sugar cool at room temperature until it is completely hardened and no longer warm to the touch. Break into small pieces.
Add the pieces of caramelized sugar to a food processor and pulverize it into a fine powder. If all the pieces do not fit in your processor at once, pulverize half first before adding the remaining pieces. Once the powder is ground fine, add the cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, milk powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Pulse until well combined. Add the dark chocolate 1/4 cup at a time. Process between each addition. Once all the dark chocolate has been added, process for a minute or two until the mixture is a fine powder.
Mix 3 tablespoons of spicy chocolate mix into 1 cup of hot milk. Enjoy!