Saturday Afternoon Tea: Snow, Christmassy stuff, and a disappointing read

I’m debuting a semi-new feature here where I take a day just to chat about what’s going on in my world over a cup of tea for me and a cup of whatever you want for you (please drink responsibly). I’m calling it Saturday afternoon tea because I’d like to post it on Saturday afternoons. Today, though, I kept getting interrupted (for good things) while writing it so I wasn’t able to post it until early evening my time.

I don’t know if I will share this feature every week or every other week. We will just play it all by ear right now, which is a saying The Husband likes to use a lot.

This feature will most likely replace the What’s Occurring section of my Sunday Bookends post because a lot of it will probably be the same info.

I mentioned in the Sunday Bookends post last week that Little Miss and I went to the town Christmas light parade with our neighbor and her grandchildren. It was so terribly cold that night but I did manage to grab a couple shots of Santa and Mrs. Clause.

Thursday and yesterday my photos were of snow since we finally got our first real snowstorm of the season.

We only ended up without maybe five inches of snow when they originally called for up to ten. I am glad we received the lower amount. `

There are rumors we may receive another snowstorm at the end of next week, which could leave us with a white Christmas. We will have to see how that goes.

Our dog, Zooma the Wonder Dog, loves the snow. As soon as she saw it Thursday morning she rolled over on her back and rolled in it. On Friday when Little Miss ventured out into it, she chased Little Miss and then loved having snowballs thrown up in the air for her so she could catch them.

Our kitten also loves the snow and chases little snowballs that she makes by running in the snow.

I’ve still got the Christmas spirit, for the most part (despite some hiccups here and there), and have been trying to read Christmas-themed books and watch Christmas-themed movies. I’ve been trying to cram so many Christmassy things into my days, though, that I’ve overwhelmed myself a little bit.

There is no way I will be able to watch every movie I wanted to watch or read every book I wanted to read or attend every event I wanted to attend. It simply isn’t possible between working on my short story/novella for the blog, reading a book for a fellow author, letting cats and dogs in and out all day, trying to find ways to make money from home, cooking dinner, and homeschooling the children.

For now, I am watching as many movies as I can and zeroing in on one main book to finish before Christmas – Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon. I’m also trying to remember for this next week that quality is better than quantity when celebrating the Christmas season.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music during the week, including this collaboration on YouTube. Maybe you’d like to put it on while you bake or wrap or have family time this week.

I will mention it more on Sunday Bookends, but I was disappointed this week by a book I took out at the library that I thought was a clean, cozy mystery book that would work as a Christmas-themed book. I was almost done with the book when out of the blue the author dropped the f-bomb. It was so strange. I told a friend it was like reading a Miss Marple book and then suddenly she asks, “What the bleep is going on around here?” It was just so out of character and odd for the rest of the book. Like getting a nasty surprise in a piece of chocolate or some other special kind of food.

Needless to say, I won’t be reading any more books by Leslie Maier.

If you read my Sunday Bookends posts, you can just skip the paragraph where I vent about this again.

Pretty much off the topic here, but I was thinking this week about how when I write my Educationally Thinking posts it sometimes sounds like we just skip happily through our school days.

That definitely couldn’t be further from the truth, which was proven on Tuesday of this week when Little Miss and I had a huge miscommunication issue and ended up not talking to each other for two hours while we both pouted. That ended up in me having to lay down some new rules about our school days and those new rules actually worked for the rest of the week. We found some rules and a routine that worked for us just in time for Christmas break which starts on Thursday of this upcoming week.

After that, we will have a full week off and we truly cannot wait for it.

We don’t have any big plans for that week. We might play in the snow if we get some more snow, make some crafts as Christmas gifts, watch Christmas movies, read Christmas books, and just simply be together.

How about you? What’s been going on with you and what Christmas-related plans do you have coming up this next week? I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments.

Hodge Podge Thoughts

This post is part of the weekly Hodge Podge feature with Joyce from From This Side of the Pond.

  1. What’s something you wish you’d figured out sooner? 

That when you buy the food at the grocery store that your children have been asking for over and over, they will suddenly decide that they no longer want it.

2. Something from childhood you still enjoy today? 

The first thing that came to mind with this question was some sort of food. At first I thought cinnamon-sugar toast, but I haven’t had that in years, mainly because I had to cut wheat out. I have, however, been eating a little bit of wheat lately so maybe I can add that back again. I always enjoyed peanut butter sandwiches with a glass of chocolate milk and still like that too.

When I asked my husband this question he said reading. He learned to read early, loved to escape into books, and still does today. I had to agree that this one could work for me as well since I remember hiding under my covers with a flashlight to read Little House on the Prairie books or the Chronicles of Narnia.

3. Are you a fidgeter? What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget? 

I’m not a fidgeter, exactly, but I am a doodler. If I am sitting for a sermon or a presentation of some kind, I almost always have a notebook or journal and am doodling in it. I’ve used this to my advantage when I take sermon notes and now doodle around my notes.

When I hear the word fidget, I think of someone who can’t sit still and has to pick at their pants, twist their fingers, touch things, wiggle in their seat — oh. Wait. Alas. I do believe I am a fidgeter. Ha!

4. Your favorite fall vegetable? How do you like it prepared?

I love butternut squash and I love to make it into soup. I do not like the process of cutting it up and peeling it, etc., but I do love the end result of butternut squash soup. I like to melt real mozzarella on top of the soup as well. My dad gave me a whole bunch of butternut squash like a month ago and — gulp — it’s still in my vegetable cover. Oh dear. I may have lost my chance to make myself butternut squash soup with that, but hopefully I can buy some more later on.

5. What’s something you find mildly annoying, but not annoying enough to actually do anything about? Might you now? 

I find it mildly annoying that when my teenage son puts his dirty dishes in the sink he doesn’t scrape the leftovers off the plate before he does so which results in me finding mushy food in the sink that I have to clean out before I can wash the dishes. Might I do something about it? Yes, I might keep reminding him over and over and over, or I might just let it slide since he is a pretty good kid otherwise.

(As an aside: I find it hugely annoying that our dishwasher is broken, but with no funds to replace it, we will have to deal with washing the dishes by hand and then my husband and I arguing about how clean the rinse water should be and whether or not it can still be considered rinse water if there is a pile of suds in it.)

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

My cat Pixel is my spirit animal. She only runs when something is chasing her or she’s running toward food. Just like me.

Wednesday Hodge Podge: A Little Waffling

This post is part of Joyce’s blog From This Side of the Pond and her weakly feature Wednesday Hodge Podge. Click over to her blog to find links to more Hodge Podge posts.

  1. August 24th is National Waffle Day…what’s something you’ve ‘waffled’ on recently? 

 I’ve been waffling on how to make extra money to help support our family as costs go up. First I’ll think stock photography is the way to go and then I think promoting my books and by the end of the day my head is just spinning as I go back and forth on it all. I need to choose a direction and go in that direction.

2. Do you like waffles? Make your own or ‘leggo my Eggo? Any favorite toppings or add-ins? Waffles or pancakes-which do you prefer? 

I do like waffles but about ten years ago I dropped all wheat and also found out I am allergic to corn which is in everything so I don’t eat waffles often. I can’t remember the last time I had one but my kids eat them all the time. They will even eat them without syrup and usually have the chocolate chip Eggo waffles. One thing I used to love on waffles was Nutella spread in between two waffles. I also loved waffle cones as a kid. I need to find a waffle maker and some gluten-free, corn-free waffle mix and make some and slather on the Nutella!

I don’t really eat waffles or pancakes but if I did, I like waffles more. Pancakes just seem too…I don’t know. Cakey to me. *wink*

3. Do you have any momentos from this summer (or past summers)? What do you do with them? 

I do not have mementos from this summer and I don’t know if I do from other summers really. We don’t go on a lot of trips and I can’t think what I’d collect if we did. If I did collect momentos they’d go in a drawer or box like other momentos I suppose.

Wow. That was a boring answer.

4. One thing you’d like to do before summer ends?


Visit a local swimming hole near us with the kids and watch more Paul Newman movies for my Summer of Paul, which is me watching as many Paul Newman movies I can. I don’t think we will get to that swimming hole, but I can watch more Paul movies. 

5. Life is too short to _______________

stress about likes and comments on social media. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Last night my son came into my room at 2 am after he went to see why our dog was barking and told me he looked into our backyard and thought he saw a naked man hunched over but it turned out to be his sister’s plastic side which was faded in the sunlight over the years.