Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, all the sinks and tubs drained properly — EXCEPT in the kitchen. Mmmhhhmmm…on Christmas Eve my kitchen sink seized up and dug in it’s heels like a two-year-old who hasn’t figured out, yet, he can’t win. It refused to drain. Nothing worked to settle the [...]
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, all the sinks and tubs drained properly — EXCEPT in the kitchen. Mmmhhhmmm…on Christmas Eve my kitchen sink seized up and dug in it’s heels like a two-year-old who hasn’t figured out, yet, he can’t win. It refused to drain. Nothing worked to settle the tantrum. We washed it out with Drano, TWICE….nothing. Our son-in-law braved the cold night and went to borrow a plumber’s snake from our pastor. Nothing….nothing….nothing….no threat of force or violence could budge it. Nothing happened…well, except dirty water whooshed back and forth between the two sinks and the dishwasher, mocking me. Yuck! Have you ever tried to find a plumber over a holiday? Let’s just say, “Not so much.”
So, we had a fun Christmas Eve and a fantastic Christmas! The kids were all home. The grandbabies were here. I cooked delicious food in as few dishes as possible and we used paper and plastic plates and cups. You just never realize how much you take simple things for granted — like a kitchen sink. Every dirty dish had to be carried downstairs to the laundry room, washed in the wonderfully deep laundry room sink and then dried and carried back up the stairs to the kitchen to be put away. Imagine the intensity of my prayers for a plumber.
Bright and early, Monday morning, I got a hold of our local plumber and was added to the list of those who had holiday plumbing snafus to be solved. Unfortunately, only one plumber was working through the holiday season, so “It might not be possible to get there, today.” Okay, that’s reasonable. It’s the holidays and they’re shorthanded. One more day of dishes in the laundry room isn’t going to kill me. It’s like running on a Stairmaster carrying weights. It’ll be good for me hauling everything up and down those stairs.
At 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, I called our plumber again, “To be sure we were on the list.” I was assured that we were and he would be in touch soon. Wednesday, I didn’t want to sound like I was nagging them, so I forced myself not to call. It’s just one more day of laundry room dishwashing, right? Bright and early, Thursday morning, the much anticipated call came. The plumber was going to be here later in the morning. Woohoo!
Keep in mind that we live in a small town and we know our plumber. Actually, in a small town you get to know a lot of professional people by their first name. Even when we moved for a short time to yet another small town, (microscopic actually), we used the same local professionals from here, if we needed help. We trust them. We know their names. So, imagine my delight, when about 10:45 a.m., I got the call and Len told me he was a couple blocks away and would be right over. After 25 minutes, I started to wonder…is it appropriate to call one’s plumber to make sure they are okay or to inquire about the condition of their onboard GPS? Just wondering. At 11:25, poor Len called me again, from the driveway of our old house (in the microscopic small town we had lived in until last September). Luckily, we both have fantastic senses of humor. We laughed and then Len, headed back here to town, where he had originally been before his lovely scenic drive into the country.
Unfortunately, Len’s trusty plumber’s snake was no longer than the one we had borrowed before. The only option left…surgery! What a blessing to have those removable tiles in the ceiling of our finished basement. It would be a small incision. Len and my husband laid out a gigantic plastic painter’s tarp and brought in a 30 gallon garbage can. Then they removed a couple of ceiling tiles to expose the drain pipe from the kitchen sink. Is it okay to say that I considered calling in a “code red” when I saw the reciprocating saw come out? Not that I didn’t think they knew exactly what they were doing, but ummm…will my carpet make it? Exactly what is the survival rate of carpet exposed to plugged and then sawed drain pipes? – lol
I needn’t have worried. With small precise cuts, that could only be made by a masterful surgeon plumber, Len allowed small amounts of water to drain at a time into a 5 gallon bucket that David held over his head (my muscle man!) They never even needed the big garbage can. Each new cut, released a new torrent and soon the pipe was drained. The snake was re-employed and this time could reach its goal. The pipe cleared, Len installed a new splice connector thingy (Aren’t you blown away by my vast plumbing vocabulary?) over the cut pipe and hallelujah! — nothing leaks. And the kitchen sink drains!
The moral of this story, ladies, is not to take the little things for granted. Love your kitchen sink. You’d be lost without it! (Appreciate good plumbers and husbands, too. They’re irreplaceable, as are son-in-laws willing to go out in the freezing night for the sake of your dishes and pastors willing to loan their tools.) Life is good! See the little things and know you’re blessed. Have a marvelous New Year! I hope it’s filled with love and laughter and perfect kitchen sinks!
Two summers ago, I lost the diamond from my wedding ring while gardening. We haven’t been able to replace my rings. It’s just not in the budget. So, I was pretty excited when I received the chance to review a wedding ring set from Fantasy Jewelry Box. As it turned out, the review was changed [...]
Two summers ago, I lost the diamond from my wedding ring while gardening. We haven’t been able to replace my rings. It’s just not in the budget. So, I was pretty excited when I received the chance to review a wedding ring set from Fantasy Jewelry Box. As it turned out, the review was changed to a canary yellow cubic zirconia ring. I received the ring and though I had anticipated from the online picture that is would still be a pretty ring, I was somewhat disappointed when it arrived. I’m not a fan of posting negative reviews, but after no response to multiple emails with Fantasy Jewelry Box, I decided that letting my readers know my experience with the company and their product would probably be the most beneficial for any of you considering doing business with them.
The ring I received would normally be priced at about $30 on their website. It is about the quality of rings you would commonly find at Wal-Mart in the $9.99 range. The first day, the stone seemed very cloudy, but it was delivered in the cold and after a day or two in the house, the cloudiness dissipated and it had a bit of sparkle. However, the “stones” around the band didn’t appear to be stones at all. They had no shine and honestly appeared to just be bumps in the metal on the band. I assume their is a segment of the population that likes yellow diamonds, since there is a name specifically for that color (canary yellow). However, I personally found it to be quite unattractive and after showing the ring to several people who commented on the unappealing color, I realized I was not alone in my view.
If I was looking for an inexpensive piece of costume jewelry, I would expect the quality to be about the same as the ring from Fantasy Jewelry Box. However, I would expect to have to pay much less than their prices for it. The most worrisome part of my dealings with this company has been that they have not responded, even once, to multiple emails I sent asking questions and detailing the problems that would prevent me from being able to write a positive review of the product. It concerns me for the quality of customer service someone could logically expect to receive from them.
Though it is not my custom to accept reviews for products I don’t feel that I or my family will reasonably enjoy or use, occasionally I find that a product is just not the quality I had originally anticipated. I always offer the company an opportunity not to have the review published, however in this instance, having received no response; I felt that it was in the best interest of my readers who might have dealings with Fantasy Jewelry Box, in the future, to hear my own experience with them. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I would recommend conducting business with them.
I received the ring from Fantasy Jewelry Box through Tomoson in order to conduct this review. I was not paid for the review and a positive review was not required. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
The giveaway for the Keurig Special Edition Brewer and Hot Apple Cider K-Cups ended at midnight (CST), Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. Congratulations to the winner, Laureen Boticelli, #656! The giveaway for the Gaddy Nipper Crayons ended at midnight (CST), Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. Congratulations to the winner, Leah Walker, #72! You have both been emailed [...]
The giveaway for the Keurig Special Edition Brewer and Hot Apple Cider K-Cups ended at midnight (CST), Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. Congratulations to the winner, Laureen Boticelli, #656!
The giveaway for the Gaddy Nipper Crayons ended at midnight (CST), Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. Congratulations to the winner, Leah Walker, #72!
You have both been emailed with details for claiming your prize. Please reply to the email within 48 hours. Merry Christmas!
I recently had a chance to try a new recipe, using Rice Chex. In my family, there is a favorite simple snack that we call “Puppy Chow”. If any of you are familiar with it, this recipe will look similar to you. The difference is that Puppy Chow is chocolatey, peanut butter goodness wrapped around [...]
I recently had a chance to try a new recipe, using Rice Chex. In my family, there is a favorite simple snack that we call “Puppy Chow”. If any of you are familiar with it, this recipe will look similar to you. The difference is that Puppy Chow is chocolatey, peanut butter goodness wrapped around Chex and Chex Lemon Buddies use white chocolate and the freshness of lemon to put a fresh new twist on a crunchy snack. It turns out that my husband prefers the lemon to the chocolate. (We’re getting him help, but these things take time.) The recipe is fast and simple and provides a delicious contrast of sweet and tart with a delightful crunchy texture.
Chex Lemon Buddies
- 9 cups Rice Chex® cereal
- 1 ¼ cups vanilla or white chocolate baking chips
- ¼ cup butter or margarine
- 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon zest and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; gently shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.
Will you be bringing meat and cheese trays to get-togethers over the holiday season? This recipe will help you save money and wow your guests with a delicious alternative to greasy, pre-packaged sausages. You’ll be hard-pressed to ever buy another one of those “logs-o-meat” after indulging in this simple and delicious treat! This recipe was [...]
Will you be bringing meat and cheese trays to get-togethers over the holiday season? This recipe will help you save money and wow your guests with a delicious alternative to greasy, pre-packaged sausages. You’ll be hard-pressed to ever buy another one of those “logs-o-meat” after indulging in this simple and delicious treat! This recipe was passed to me by my mom, who got it from my Aunt Joyce. It is a snacking tradition in our home from Thanksgiving through New Years. I hope you will enjoy it with your family, too!
(The pictures on this post show me tripling the recipe.)
Aunt Joyce’s Homemade Summer Sausage
Yield: (2) 1 lb. rolls
- 2 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (We prefer it with very lean ground beef, but have successfully used turkey, too.)
- 2 Tablespoons Morton Tender Quick Salt (I buy this at Wal-Mart in the baking aisle. It’s for curing meat & it is definitely not regular table salt.)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I usually omit this pepper and increase the peppercorns to 1 Tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground peppercorns ( I usually increase this to 1 Tablespoon)
- 2 teaspoons. liquid smoke
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll into 2 long rolls (like logs).
- Wrap in foil and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. (In all the years that I have been making this, I have never done the refrigerating step. I roll it and put it straight in the oven.)
- Bake on the cookie sheet for 2 hours at 275°.
- Cool, rewrap and refrigerate. (Or in our case, slice it as soon as the heat subsides enough to keep from burning your fingers.)
This makes fabulous gifts and is always welcome on an hors d’oeuvre buffet. It is a traditional part of our holiday celebrations. Pair it with crackers and cheese for a satisfying snack. It freezes well and so can be made ahead and thawed in time for parties or snacking. Enjoy!!!
This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.
Congratulations to Storm, #83! You’re our winner in the Candy Land Board Game giveaway! Congratulations to Jenna Z, #291! You’ve won the Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl giveaway! Congratulations to Kelly D., #106! You’ve won three Gingerbread Kits from Wilton! An email has been sent to each of you. Please reply to it within 48 hours [...]
- Congratulations to Storm, #83! You’re our winner in the Candy Land Board Game giveaway!
- Congratulations to Jenna Z, #291! You’ve won the Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl giveaway!
- Congratulations to Kelly D., #106! You’ve won three Gingerbread Kits from Wilton!
An email has been sent to each of you. Please reply to it within 48 hours and provide the requested shipping information, so your prizes can be delivered!
When my husband donned a white wig and beard and a fluffy, red suit the whole family got pretty excited. We have never been one of those families who perpetuated the “Santa is real” charade and then had to figure out how not to devastate the kids, later with, “Well, not really.” I’m not willing [...]
When my husband donned a white wig and beard and a fluffy, red suit the whole family got pretty excited. We have never been one of those families who perpetuated the “Santa is real” charade and then had to figure out how not to devastate the kids, later with, “Well, not really.” I’m not willing to work that hard. Plus, I want Santa to be something that is fun and enjoyable, while still being able to keep our kids anchored in the truth. We have never omitted Santa from what we talked about at Christmas, but we have never made a big deal out of him or suggested he is real, either.
(Let me add this note, from the outset, so no one gets too flustered with this post. So, much surrounding the celebration of our Savior’s birth has evolved from extraneous tradition and so I understand the need and desire to be sure our children are firmly grounded in the truth. Our kids have always understood, Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth. They know we can’t know the exact date, but like anyone whose exact birthdate can’t be determined, a date is selected based on the best historical data we have. December 25 is the date the world has chosen to celebrate the birth of our King. We aren’t celebrating the date. We are celebrating the gift — Jesus Christ — and He is without a doubt, our reason for rejoicing, giving and celebrating. Having established for you, the truth that we celebrate at Christmas, I’m now going to share a mere tradition that is part of the season’s fun for our family.)
Santa Claus is a tradition that has evolved around the Christmas holiday. There are all sorts of legends and stories that point to St. Nicholas as the original inspiration for the giving, loving, jolly man we all picture as Santa and that adds some fun and imagination to Christmas festivities. We have shared the stories of St. Nicholas with our kids, as they have grown; and we have explained that since he exemplified a spirit of giving and of love, people often associate him with the traditions surrounding Christmas celebrations and the joy of giving. We’ve never told our kids that Santa is someone who slides down the chimney and delivers presents to every child in the world, in one night. Talk about pressure! They know there are people who dress up as Santa to add to the fun and excitement of the season, but neither those people, nor Santa, have anything to do with what Christmas is about. They are just for fun!
That being said, it was with great delight, that I accepted the opportunity to review a Santa Suit, plus a Wig & Beard set from the Plus Size Costume Super Center. I was shocked at all that was included with the suit, when we opened the vinyl bag it arrived in. (That bag will store it neatly, from year-to-year, as well.) The Santa Suit included a jacket, pants, belt, white gloves and tall, boot-shaped shoe covers. My husband looked like he had walked out of a Christmas storybook, once he had donned the entire ensemble. The suit is well constructed and authentic-looking. Plus Size Costume Center was generous enough to include the white Santa Wig & Beard set, too; which polished the look to complete perfection! We are looking forward to Grandpa dressing up and sharing the Santa fun with our three grandchildren.
You will be able to find a wide variety of men’s plus-size costume’s by visiting this online costume shop. And if you and your family share the Santa tradition as a part of your holiday celebration, I would encourage you to visit the Plus Size Costume Super Center. They have several Santa Suits to choose from, though I feel very comfortable in recommending the one we personally received to review, the X Large Adult Regal Plush Santa Suit. The complete suit is only $59.99, right now, and you can add the Wig and Beard Set for $24.99. We couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the product and the speed at which we received the package. We are definitely looking forward to many years of fun, sharing the stories and traditions with our family.
I received the X Large Adult Regal Plush Santa Suit and a Santa Beard and Wig Set, from the Plus Size Super Center, through Tomoson, in order to conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. The views and opinions expressed in this post are wholly my own.