Monday, November 19, 2018

#Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US and Canada. Canada was the first to start celebrating in 1578. The  US started in 1621. 

Thanksgiving started as a religious celebration of praise and thankfulness

Thanksgiving was made a national holiday in 1863 by President Lincoln

Pilgrims and the Wampanaug Indians most likely had venison, lobster, and oysters for the first Thanksgiving, not turkey.

The tradition of watching football started in 1920

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was in 1924 and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo.

Approximately 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving day- double the number eaten for Christmas.

Only male turkeys gobble. The average turkey weighs 15 pounds.

The wishbone tradition was brought to England by the Romans in 322 BC

The first turkey was pardoned by President Harry Truman in 1947, but it didn't become a tradition until President George WH Bush pardoned  a bird in 1989.

And if you have any tough turkey questions, you can call the Butterball Hotline.

From the Butterball Hotline:

Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372) or text 844-877-3456.

2018 Turkey Talk-Line Hours (Central Standard Time):
November 1st - 16th: 8 am - 8 pm (Monday - Friday)
November 17th - 18th: 8 am - 6 pm
November 19th - 20th: 7 am - 9 pm
November 21st: 7am - 10pm
November 22nd (Thanksgiving Day): 6 am - 6 pm
November 23rd - December 21st: 8 am - 6 pm (Monday - Friday)
December 22nd - 23rd: 8 am - 2 pm
December 24th (Christmas Eve): 8 am - 2 pm

Monday, November 12, 2018

Respect for Veterans' Day

This holiday is about to have new meaning to me... My son just joined the Army!

His journey in Basic Training has begun. And one of the best/worst things about it--no phones.

  • Phones are distractions
  • The recruits need to break bad habits and create new good ones
  • But now, down time is "boring"--so we are writing letters! This is my favorite part. It's super slow snail mail, but I love receiving his letters. And I love writing to him too. He's never been a reader, but now he has to!
  • I also send him word puzzles, stickers, photos, and anything else fun I can put into a letter (no packages allowed)
  • Another drawback is not being able to communicate with him directly. But he's a big boy and doesn't need us checking up on him.
It reminds me of the TBCP (time before cell phones, haha) I had several pen pals and lots of down time without a gadget to keep me occupied. I was never bored! I think there should be a required, weekly "no phone" day. Unfortunately, we've all grown entirely too dependent on them. The experience my son is having shows him he can survive without it.

I encourage you to surprise someone with a letter--they're so personal and meaningful. When you take the time to write, others know you care!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hodgepodge Post, Fall Edition 

It's time for a hodgepodge post. Over time, there is an accumulation of ideas that can't make up a post by themselves, but gathered together, they are worth sharing.

*From Wiktionary, hodgepodge isn't just a silly word for an unorganized eclectic post. It's a real word, a really old one in fact. Hodgepodge is from "Middle English hochepoche, a variation of hochepot, from Old French hochepot, from Middle Dutch hutspot (“beef or mutton cut into small pieces and mixed and boiled together in a pot”), from hotsen, hutsen (“to shake; jog; jolt”) + pot(“pot”), equivalent to hotch +‎ pot. Compare German Low German Hüttspott (“hodgepodge”)."

Have some pine trees nearby? A basket of pine cones makes for perfectly cheap fall decorating. An added bonus? Heating the pine cones in the oven to ensure they weren't carrying any eight-legged company made the house smell like a pine forest.

They're functional as well as good-smelling and pretty. Pine cones also make great kindling for fires on cold nights.

Halloween sales! Not only is now a great time to load up on cheap candy, it's time to grab costumes at clearance sale prices. When my kids were little, I kept a tote filled with costumes for year-round dress up. The kids are all grown, but I still took advantage of the costumes sales.

Move on over Andy Taylor, there's a new sheriff in town. Her name is Artemis, and she's wantin' a treat for wearing the silly hat.

Perennial check. Most of the perennials are being deeply discounted this time of year. Hurry up and plant them so they can establish some roots before the cold hits and cover the base with extra soil or mulch to protect it from freezing temperatures.

And then there is this. The perfect gift...if by perfect you mean the kind of gift that will get you black-balled from all future baby showers and children's birthdays.

At-home DNA kit. Who knew it could be so easy?

Be sure to check out our give away! It's right up there, on the side bar, in the left corner. :)
All you need to do is comment, here or on Facebook during the month of November. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Fall Candy Treats

It's time for tricks and treats, isn't it?

As the weather gets cooler and we spend more time inside, I enjoy making treats--I just wish I had more time to do it!

These fun Fall Candy Treats are easy and don't take much time at all. I made a video of it, to show you!

Of course I did some experimenting--the gummy bears and Twizzlers weren't to my liking--and you should experiment with things you like. You can also coat anything in chocolate the same way.

That's all for now. Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Monday, October 22, 2018


Two weeks ago was my 30th class reunion. Normally, a reunion or special occasion where cameras are going to be everywhere would send my insecurities and desire to crash diet on overdrive. 

But I managed to stay sane this time! The slow and steady, focus on a healthier me approach to weight loss is working. Since I decided to give up the insane notion that there should be an easy solution that didn't require healthier eating and exercise, I've lost 9.5 pounds. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, but considering they were as tough to shake as a clingy toddler, I'm darned proud.

I'll admit, there are times when I'll start to feel like the process should be going faster and should be easier. I mean it's totally unfair how easy they are to add and how hard they are to subtract. Placing the focus on being healthier rather than skinnier helps quite a bit. 

What else helps?

Exercise. I joined a gym with a friend. Going together makes exercise more fun and it's harder to bow out when you have to be accountable to someone else for showing up. I'm not exactly a gym rat or getting totally buff, but regular exercise has helped improve my mood and I snack less. It's amazing how less appealing a chocolatey morsel is once you realize how far you have to walk on a treadmill to burn it off.  

Journaling. Counting calories keeps me mindful of what I eat. It also helps to see the connection between weight losses and gains with different eating habits. 

Eating. Have a bite when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. It seems silly, but nothing brings on binge eating quicker than feeling starved. The same goes for cravings. I had a craving for a Snicker bar. Instead, I had a banana. I still wanted that darned Snicker bar, so I had a yogurt...then a granola bar...maybe a few pretzels. My niece, who is a skinny thing, finally pointed out that I would have been far better off to have eaten a snack-sized candy bar a few hundred calories ago.

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