Monday, December 12, 2011

Hot Toddy!

Ring in the new,
Ring out the old, 
A steaming hot toddy
Will cure a bad cold!

1 teaspoon sugar
Small piece of Cinnamon
Slices of Lemon garnished with Cloves
1 1/2oz. Rye or Brandy
Boiling Water

Put a spoon of sugar in an Old-Fashioned glass; dissolve it with a little hot water, and leave spoon in glass. Add the cinnamon, lemon, and whiskey and fill the glass nearly full with piping hot water. Stir gently. Grate a little nutmeg on top and serve.

~From The Merrie Christmas Drink Book, 1955~ 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Merrie Christmas Drink Book

Just wanted to share a few snippets & recipes in my favorite little Christmas book from 1955!

"Hot drinks no longer have the same appeal for us that they had for earlier generations-- living as we do in steam-heated houses and apartments. Gone are the days when a piping hot bowl of Christmas Wassail gave warmth to the Christmas party in drafty Bracebridge Hall as described by Washington Irving. And gone are the days when a hot grog was a necessary potion for a New England farmer (and his wife) just before they went upstairs to their icy bedroom on Christmas Eve.

Nevertheless there are times and places when hot drinks are mighty good. Skiing and skating parties; Christmas-weeks at country houses which never warm up like and apartment; cold nights in Autumn, too early to start the furnace. At such times, remember these recipes!


Heat 1 quart ale almost to boiling point. Into it stir some grated nutmeg, powdered ginger, and grated peel of one lemon. While ale is heating, beat up 3 eggs with 4 ounces of moistened white sugar.

Put hot ale into beaten sugar and eggs in one pitcher, and into another put 1 quart of warmed rum or brandy. Turn ingredients from pitcher into another until mixture is smooth, then pour into holly-wreathed Wassail Bowl.

Use hot pitchers and a pre-heated Wassail Bowl. Be sure the drink is hot! 24 three-ounce servings."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Satan's Big Little Joke

I try not to think of Satan. I usually think of Satan when little things happen. For example, you have on your favorite or brand new pair of shoes and the first thing you do when you step out of the car is plop your foot on a big piece of bubble gum. Or you look down with pride at how pretty and long your nails have grown, and then you break one. That's when I imagine Satan, whatever he is, laughing and giggling.

But not this morning. Oh no. This morning, that same concept was handed back to me on a big silver platter. It was as if Satan (or whatever you believe evil entities to be) thought, "What is Donna's worst, deepest, most soul-wrenching pain? Oh, yes, that's it! I think she needs a huge dose of it this morning before she wakes up. She needs to live it, feel it, smell it, taste it... Yes, that's what Donna needs this morning." And therefore the torment commenced.

Those of you who know me well know that I often have vivid dreams. This one was no exception, aside from the fact that it played upon every single emotion & physical sense, literally reaching down into my soul and slicing me with a twisting, writhing, hot scalpel. I saw, I touched, I smelled, I tasted the apparitions. I woke up groaning, sobbing, and wrenching in mental agony. As my sweet girls surrounded me and comforted me, very worried that I woke up so distraught, I struggled to recover and not wallow in the sensations of the dream. Slowly I regained composure, and was able to drive them to school safely.

I do try not to even think of Satan; this morning what I experienced could only be described as personal torment. A personal attack. A direct hit. I may not have stepped in any bubble gum lately, but I knew what was up immediately, and thanked God for giving me the intelligence to realize it. Some of us are at a point in our journey that we don't always give power to the presence of evil. But it is there. Oh yes, it is there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

If you wear your hair short and would love to go longer between trimmings, give it a little trim right now. The moon is full and it is the perfect time. If you trim your hair when at the apex of the full moon, the growth will slow with the waning moon, which means a lengthier time between trims and -- money saved! Yay!

Conversely, if you would love for your hair to grow long, wait until the moon is new to give it a tiny little trim. As the moon is growing, or waxing full, so will your beautiful locks.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Like the Old Days

It's snowing- I mean really snowing- here in Tennessee this morning! My girls can't remember seeing this much snow. They've often heard grand tales of blizzard-like conditions of my youth in the 70s and 80s. I even remember being "snowed in" in Knoxville when they were babies, requiring my dear Stepfather Bill to come and rescue us and make a Pamper run to the grocery store. He was always ready with chains on the tires and a smile on his face.

There was one particularly spectacular snow in January, 1980, that resulted in many, many hours of frosty fun for me and my cousin, Angie Partin. I was 10 at the time, and Angie a mere 8 years old. We lived in the woods, basically, in a very rural hideaway valley lodged between 3 mountains. A burbling creek was one of our favorite toys in the Summertime, and that Wintery day, we managed to still play in the creek, only a little more creatively. Angie and I spent hours and hours rolling the biggest snowball on the planet. We rolled it all around our big yard and fields, until it was so big we couldn't roll it alone.

Then we enlisted the help of my brother, Jimmy. He was 16 and of course had nothing he would rather be doing than helping his little sister roll a giant snowball. That snowball was 5 feet tall at least!

So, with Jimmy's help, we rolled that big snowball into the creek. I don't remember why we had that bright idea, but we did. We didn't know it at the time, but that simple act resulted in many days of entertainment! Long after the other snow had melted away, our snowball stayed stubbornly in that creek, melting at a sinfully slow speed. We had so much fun checking on it every day, monitoring it's progress.

Sadly, as was inevitable, our prize snowball eventually melted. But in later years, we had many laughs and giggles recalling the determination and effort with which we pushed that snowball around the fields! Oh, it was glorious fun!

As with all things, now Angie and Jimmy are both gone. That winter of 1980 was Jimmy's last, as he was taken in a car crash on March 5 of that same year. Only this past year Angie, too, passed away after a long battle with Cancer. The memory is mine alone now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Royal Reflection

On July 21, 1981, I was the 12 year old girl tucked away in the Tennessee mountains who crept up at 5:30 AM to watch a Royal Wedding on her only television channel.  On September 6, 1997, I was the 28 year old woman in Louisville, Kentucky who crept up (trying not to wake the babies) to watch a Royal Funeral while clutching a box of tissues. And this morning, I can't help but feel joyous for Prince William as his engagement to Kate Middleton is announced.

It was inevitable that I would adore and idolize Princess Diana. My mother had insured my fascination with all things royal through the stories and fairy tales she patiently read to me as a child. Consequently, after watching Princess Diana's wedding, I was starstruck, and through the years I collected many, many magazines, photos, and books in  my attempt to be closer to this beautiful family. I was so happy when she gave birth to her sons, and cheered with each milestone they achieved! William's first steps, Harry's first day of school, the sporting events,  the holidays... all were right there on the pages of People Magazine for me to enjoy.

 Princess Diana's death only made me feel even more love for her boys. Both of my parents have passed on, and my heart just absolutely broke for them. Watching them grow up under extreme scrutiny, I  have been so proud of them, knowing in my heart that in spite of their smiles, a twinge of sadness and temperance exists that only mourning can create.

 So, as I journey further into this Windsor Fairy Tale, I am very happy for Prince William and Kate Middleton. I can't wait to  set my alarm, rise, and witness another Royal Wedding.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nocturnal Chatter

Wow. This must be a new record. I'm up at 3am this morning. Well, 3am was 4am last week, so now that I remember that, I don't feel quite as bad.

 If only my mind wouldn't start spinning as soon as I reach consciousness. I think every single thing I'm worried about crowded around me the instant I rolled over! Now I'm up, sipping tea, and trying not to envy everyone else who is still warm and snug in their beds.