Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hodgepodge of Baked Goods, Barbies, and Breathtakers

Hey, Christmas comes around about as fast as the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Let's head to the North Pole for some questions. On second thought, let's get the questions from my friend Joyce who lives north of here, but not THAT far north! After your mouse-drawn sleigh has stopped at my blog, why not giddy-up on over and read others' answers? Better yet, jump on board and write your own:) It's fun. Almost as fun as eating Christmas cookies.

1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate?

No, I don't. I decorate the foyer and public rooms-- kitchen, family room, dining room, living room , half bathroom--and sometimes I put a snowman gourd in the basement. I don't decorate the upstairs at all. The less I put out, the less I have to put away. I also decorate the front porch with winter paraphernalia. Maybe I'll post pictures later? If you're inclined to see a tour of my home at Christmas as it was two years ago, click here.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why?

I'll admit it. Scandinavia has never "called my name" because 1) it's cold, 2) I have no ancestry there that I'm aware of, 3) one time I wore a pair of slides (backless heels) to my Christian school in 9th grade, and a female teacher told me -- in front of the entire French class-- that I shouldn't wear them because "ze bad girls in Denmahque wear those kinds of shooss." So now whenever I hear the word "Denmark," I think of that teacher who essentially was telling me I was dressed like a hooker. Talk about cold!

I guess if I COULD visit one of those Nordic nations, and none others were on the itinerary as options, I'd choose Sweden because of its brightly colored, fanciful art.
But I would take my friend Laurie with me who could really help me appreciate the country.

3. What does the word "faith" mean to you?

The definition of faith that I hold to comes from Hebrews 11:1 which says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." Faith is a gift from God, not something we can drum up. Faith is believing that what you can't imagine is possible with God. It is also an active and living thing that is evidenced by one's deeds. If you believe that God will answer your prayers for rain when it's been 192 days without rain, you will carry an umbrella.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose?

I would be nine again, in third grade, listening to Mrs. Grose (my teacher) reading Old Yeller to the class, and then I'd go home and it would magically be a summer day in a small Kansas town with my friends Barb and Brenda. We would ride bikes, eat cherries off the tree, jump off Mrs. Fair's porch into spirea bushes, ride Shetland ponies without permission, play tennis, ride another horse (who wasn't 'broke' but without one of us getting our finger broken--ahem), swim in the tin horse tank, make mudpies, play with Barbies, put on Avon lipstick samples, and love on three new Sheltie puppies, and two of those puppies would not have died within 6 months.

We never did all that in one day, but if I could recreate such a day, I would.

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe.

Monday evening I had an orange-lemon punch at my daughter's graduation reception. It was quite yummy and pretty with sliced oranges floating on top. I'm not sure I have a favorite punch, but I do love any kind that includes sherbet. Here's a Lemon Sherbet punch I made for a baby shower, and there wasn't a drop left when we were cleaning up.

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?

We do fill stocking and open them before the bigger gifts. But we have no fireplace, so we hang them on the banister. As much as I'd love to have a fireplace, it's not all bad. The good thing about being without a chimney is that at least Santa never catches the "flue" from us.

(Sorry, I thought of that pun this morning while driving, wondering where I could work it in. Thanks, Joyce, for the perfect set-up!)

7. What takes your breath away?

Um, literally? Falling off a horse during riding lessons. I remember approaching a jump on the back of an Arabian mare when I was 12. She cantered up to it, her gait as smooth as a rocking chair. I envisioned sailing over that white horizontal pole as if it were invisible. Unfortunately the horse had a different vision.She halted abruptly in front of the jump, sending me "head over heels." I landed flat on my back. That knocked the wind out of me. When I recovered, I got up and proceeded to beat the horse with my crop, per the instructor's orders.

But if you mean, what's a
lovely breathtaking scene for me, I would say it's the sight of a beautiful bride coming down the aisle. I can hardly wait to see my son's face when he beholds his bride on March 10th. Someone reminded me that the wedding is now less than 100 days away. That thought takes my breath away (and some major money, too).

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm planning to make loaves of bread and deliver them with mini jellies and butter as gifts to neighbors this year. I have better success with bread than cookies, and I haven't met anyone (except gluten-free people) who don't love a loaf of warm, fresh bread any time. Besides, I don't have to babysit a bread machine. I can get other things done in the three hours a loaf is baking, and clean-up is a cinch. What's more, the ingredients for bread are less expensive than all those chocolates, nuts, condensed milks, icings, and other special things that jack up the cost of Christmas cookies.

The picture to the left is
me last December with flour on my clothes-- after baking a bunch of cookies alongside my girl. Does my expression say what was in my mind: "I'm so glad this is over!" ?


Anonymous said...

Had to laugh as you recounted the story of your teacher's comment about the shoes. Tell you what. See if you can track down that teacher and pay her a visit. Make sure you're wearing a pair of those shoes. Show her what an influence she had on you! LOL :)

Zoanna said...

I have bought LOTS of "those kinds" since then. Call me a rebel, because I always think of her when I wear them. (sticking her tongue out)

Joyce said...

If I'm not home when you stop by with my home made bread and jam just leave it on the front porch : )

I took your holiday tour...I have the same motto when it comes to candles. Kelly's Korner blog is hosting a holiday home tour tomorrow if you're interested.

Unknown said...

Oh yes, if you happen to be making warm bread deliveries in Idaho, I'll send you my address and I'll be sure to have my twinkle lights on to greet you! :-) I loved your rain analogy for faith... Amen!

Tami said...

Your post about "taking your breath away" made me chuckle. I never thought to answer the question literally! LOL

Hootin Anni said...

Oh my gosh...that story of the teacher telling you about the 'bad' girls of Denmark...what a jolt to an ego. When all you wanted to do was be fashionable.

That was mean.

ATCHAFALAYA SWAMP PHOTOS is my link for today. Hope you can find time to visit with me.

Bobbi said...

The orange punch sounds SO good! OH, those bread pictures are BRUTAL...I'm on a LOW to NO carb diet. EEK! I'm about to head into a cookie baking day...and yes, I get it about your face saying I'm so glad this is over. I've only just begun! Nice the by!

Marti said...

Isn't it amazing how a rude comment makes an indelible mark on us. It can ruin good things for years to come.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Zoanna, you are hysterical! You always bring a smile to my face.

And, I will take a loaf of bread with jelly. What a lovely gift!

I love HOdgepodge and all the different answers everyone gives. So interesting!

Blessings my friend!

Laurie said...

I'd love to go to Sweden!
I've never thought of backless heels (or clogs) in such a way. ever. which means I'd be wearing them all the time if my balance didn't dictate my shoe style- no matter what any teacher thinks! ;) Uff Da!

I'm thankful that God gives us faith! I like the words of this children's chorus:
"Faith is just believing what God says He will do!
He will never fail us, His promises are true."

The bread is wonderful! And last year's "after baking photo"! Understood!
"Santa never catches the "flue" from us!" Ha!!!
Merry Christmas blessings!