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For the Love of Traditions

Ornaments

For the Love of Traditions

Traditions are wonderful and I love the many we have in our family. At Christmas time, it wouldn’t be the same without our porridge. My maternal grandmother made chili every Christmas Eve with spaghetti noodles and V8 juice. Although I’ve modified the recipe by adding additional ingredients, it is one of my favored traditions. My paternal grandmother would make donuts and popcorn balls. No Christmas was complete without eating one, two or three of her gooey glazed donuts. A dieting tip, there are no calories in a donut at Christmas especially ones fried with love.

Lit Christmas Trees

Traditions and a Time of Giving

New traditions are important as well. Incorporating giving during the Christmas season can create some of the fondest memories. We have made the Rotary Winter Wonderland in Marshfield a new one for our family. The light displays at the Wildwood Zoo are a unique experience. It is free to visit but a donation of canned goods or money for the local pantries is accepted. If you haven’t been there, stop by and check it out. It is well worth the drive.

Santa & Cookies

Traditions and Memories

Traditions are a way to remember the people who are no longer with us. With my children, we started a few of our own. Each year my girls took turns and placed the angel on top of the tree. We would watch “A Christmas Story” or “Home Alone” movies so many times we would be able to recite the scenes. On Christmas Eve, we would attend midnight mass. In the excitement of gifts the following morning, the children were able to open one gift. It was the hope they would fall asleep before Santa would come. When he did arrive, cookies and milk had been waiting for him with a few carrots for the reindeer.

Mary, Joseph & Baby Jesus

I’d love to hear some traditions you have in your family.

 

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For the Love of a Scary Story

  Scary Pumkins

For the Love of a Scary Story

Disclaimer, careful before proceeding, this is a warning I’m going to enlighten you with a scary story. When I was little, being in the dark got my mind thinking of what was lurking there. I always checked under my bed and in my closet to be certain nothing was hiding in there. The worst nights were the ones where I had just read a mysterious mystery or watched one of those creepy “Tales From the Crypt.” Imagination and a creative mind are funny things and sometimes you’ll be scared even when nothing is there. Continue reading “For the Love of a Scary Story”

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For the Love of Flowers

Flowers in my garden

For the Love of Flowers

Flowers create an atmosphere of beauty wherever they bloom. My first attempts at becoming a green thumb weren’t always successful. As with most things, the more you practice the better you become. Nothing makes you feel closer to nature than digging in the soil. I love flowers and when they open in all their glory, you can take pride in the splendor.

This year we had a lot of rainfall. The weeds grew so fast in a new area of my garden I had to do something to stop them from overtaking my plants. Regrettably, it was at the expense of my husband’s tattered cardboard figure of Dale Earnhardt. I’m glad he had a sense of humor for my approach to reduce, reuse and recycle. Continue reading “For the Love of Flowers”

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For the Love of Dieting

For the Love of Dieting

Dieting scale and measuring tape

Just hearing the word dieting makes some people cringe. After all, who really wants to change what they eat? Typically, it means you’ll need to give up some things you like. So, I prefer to call it a life modification. Ninety-five percent of the time, I modify what I eat. The other five percent, I still treat myself to the foods I love and crave. I can’t say I love to diet but I do love feeling healthier. Remember, there is always a benefit with change. Two years ago, I was forty-five pounds heavier and it was the most I’d ever weighed in my life.

I’m not an expert on dieting by any means but I can speak from my experience. I didn’t feel good about myself and my enthusiasm for life wasn’t the same. I had no idea where to start making changes and I looked for a fast way to get rid of the weight. With so many advertisements for pills and crash dieting promising a quick fix, it’s hard not to hope they will work. Logically, it took time for me to gain the weight and I shouldn’t believe it would fall off any faster. For me, I had a long-term goal of keeping the weight off and I committed to the dieting tips I’ve shared with you below. Continue reading “For the Love of Dieting”

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For the Love of Camping

For the Love of Camping

Camping with marshmallows

Camping is an escape from the humdrum of everyday living. The best way to unwind is with traditional camp food. Who doesn’t love eating a chocolaty ooey gooey s’more? Roasting the perfect marshmallow is a matter of preference. I like mine slow roasted and continuously turned until it’s a golden brown. This will give the chocolate enough warmth to melt slightly. Two of my daughters like to scorch them until the sugar turns black. There were times when the marshmallow was burning and blowing on it didn’t extinguish the flame. Then the stick flailed back and forth in the air and I crossed my fingers. I didn’t want it to end like the scene in the movie with Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson. Continue reading “For the Love of Camping”

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For the Love of Summer

For the Love of Summer

Summer flower

Summer is at its finest when the mercury rises above eighty. I love this time of year. It’s when your vitamin D deficient bodies absorb the sun’s rays and you can’t help but feel great. Summer entices you outside to enjoy all it has to offer. Gardens are in bloom, parks are open for camping and family gatherings are plentiful.

In the summers of my childhood, we picnicked and swam at Rock Dam campground. We joked about how we could say dam and not get into trouble. Dam water, dam swimming, dam skiing and dam fishing. And all of it was dam fun. We camped there recently and it happened to be Rock Dam days, which draws quite a crowd. They celebrate with a parade down the main road and when night falls, you can enjoy the fireworks over the water. Continue reading “For the Love of Summer”

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For the Love of Babies

For the Love of Babies

Babies are one of the sweetest gifts from God. How magnificent after only nine months a tiny human appears into this world. I recall a few moments (minus the obvious pain of childbirth) from when my daughters were born. An overwhelming relief when you hear their first cry. The exact moments when your babies are placed into your arms. The sweet scents of their newborn skin as you hold them tight. The touch on your fingertips tracing their tiny features while trying to figure out whom they look like. And the instantaneous swell of love multiplying in your heart.

It’s amazing how babies fill you with joy. Their charming innocence envelops you as simply as those little fingers wrap around yours. The dependence of a new little one will be the biggest and most rewarding job of a parent. When I thought about a future job in high school, I envisioned motherhood. As my babies grew, so did I. They motivated me both mentally and spiritually to strive to be a better person. Continue reading “For the Love of Babies”

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For the Love of Dogs

For the Love of Dogs

Dogs are family members. At least they always have been for me. If you’ve been fortunate to have a puppy, you know how they quickly become our babies. I recall a few distinct things. The first one is the unforgettable stench of a puppy’s breath. Especially as it surrounds your nose, while their tongue slobbers spit across your face. The other is the sharp little teeth chewing everything in sight. I have a jar with a few they didn’t swallow. Surprisingly the dog tooth fairy never came to claim them. I’ve had the pleasure of a dog for a companion since I was ten years old. In fact, I love all animals but dogs are my favorite because of their unconditional love. Continue reading “For the Love of Dogs”