3 Quarters Today

My Life, my photography, my passions


My Most Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

The year I spent Memorial Day in Washington DC was one of the most memorable weekends I have ever had in my life. My kids were part of the Elmwood-Murdock marching band and participated in the annual Memorial Day parade. But, what meant more to me was being able to witness the outpouring of love, honor, and support for our military and having my kids be a part of the ceremonies. From marching in the National Memorial Day parade down Constitution Avenue to their school laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Marine uniform left at the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC

Marine uniform left at the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC

Every war memorial was decorated with flowers and tributes. I know this happens throughout the year, but on Memorial Day weekend the effect takes your breath away. Veterans and their families pour into the Washington area to participate in Rolling Thunder and for many this trip is a once in a lifetime destination.

Nurses Veteran Memorial, Washington DC

Nurses Veteran Memorial, Washington DC

I have visited the Vietnam Memorial during other times of the year, and although the wall speaks to you with with it’s design and overwhelming names on the wall of those veterans lost, on Memorial Day it’s different. The mementos carpet the wall and the surrounding memorials and cry out as if to say “Don’t forget me.” It is this outpouring of gratitude that stays with you for a lifetime and causes everyone to shed a tear or two.

Even the teenagers, far removed from Vietnam were quiet, respectful and introspective at “The Wall”. The men and women who died in battle were real, not only did they have names, but their friends and family were real and every memory from dog tags to a pair of boots, beer bottle, or letter touched an emotional nerve with the visitors.

Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC

Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC

Each veterans memorial in the Washington area has a different feeling and tone. The World War II Memorial is inviting and welcomes people is open, expansive, welcoming, and peaceful. Many people sit by the fountain to relax and even in middle of the massive pillars it’s a place that makes you smile instead of cry. It’s a memorial that celebrates freedom, recognizes triumph, and honors the heroes who served.

The Wall of Stars, WWII National Memorial

The Wall of Stars, WWII National Memorial

Memories of my Dad, who served on a Navy destroyer, in WWII came to mind. My son had lots of questions, of which I had very few answers. Since then I have learned more about his military record, but there are still many gaps.

I caught my youngest son standing and staring at the Wall of Stars and as a Mother who just had her first son graduate from Marine Boot Camp this scene was very poignant. Each gold star represents 100 servicemen and women who died, or are still missing in action in World War II. There are 4,048 gold stars on the wall. In my heart I was praying I would never be a Gold Star Mother. A year later my youngest son would join the Marines.

Wall of Stars, World War II Memorial

Wall of Stars, World War II Memorial

The entire trip it was almost as if my Dad was speaking to me and I half expected to see him as we turned the corner to the Korean War Memorial. This military memorial projected an almost reverent feeling, almost as ghosts of the past were walking out of the fog.

Korean War Memorial, Washington DC Mall

Korean War Memorial,

Again, more wreaths adorned the walkway and were placed on the walls, everywhere you saw tributes from people who just wanted to show their appreciation and thanks to our military for service to our country.

Have you ever been to Washington DC during Memorial Day? If so what is your favorite memory? Leave a comment below.

Memorial Day in Our Nations Capitol

Rolling Thunder – Memorial Day – Washington DC – Julius …

Rolling Thunder – Memorial Day – Washington DC. Posted by Julius Hrivnac at Monday, May 28, 2012 · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest …
Michael Mercurio’s Read|Delete: Memorial Day Facts For …

Today we honor those who lost their lives in service to this country. This day of remembrance was first celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868 and was first named Decoration Day. Arlington National …
8 Trips to Celebrate Memorial Day with Travel | A Traveler’s …

… men and women who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces, here are a few ideas for booking travel for Memorial Day: Washington, DC Get a prime spot for the National Memorial Day Parade honoring veterans.
Memorial Day Parade: A tradition of honor that stretches back 150 years

This year, Mr. Shima will return to Constitution Avenue with dozens of surviving World War II veterans to serve as grand marshals of the National Memorial Day Parade, participating in honor of the 16 million who served and in memory of those who died.
Memorial Day Weekend 2015 Events Washington DC: 10 Free, Fun Things To …

The National Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday at 2 p.m. along Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. It continues past the White House. The National Memorial Day Parade is sponsored by the World War II Veterans Committee and includes …







Flower Photography, My Favorite Spring Hoby

Spring has finally arrived and I was able to pick daffodils and tulips for my dining room table. That means my camera comes out of it’s winter hibernation and I get into my flower photography again. I’m not a winter person and by February and March the lack of sunshine and Vitamin D squash any creative photographic ventures.

But with the first blooms of the daffodils and warmth of sun I get inspired again to take pictures. I don’t have a photo studio but I use my dining room which has south facing windows to created a makeshift photography studio. The southern exposure gives me plenty of light during the afternoon. Then it’s a matter of using white art matte boards to bounce light.


Daffodils and Hyacinths

My favorite photos this year actually belong to my tulips. The setup included flowers in vases, various colors of artist mat board for the backgrounds, a tripod and my Canon Rebel with the shutter on a 2 second delay. This might seem strange but you can achieve sharper images when you don’t manually press the shutter. With shutter speeds over 1/500 it isn’t an issue, but for macro photography or shutter speeds less than 1/250th it does make a difference. Give it a try and let me know how it works.

Flower Photography

Tulips edited in Lightroom

All the flowers I edited in Lightroom some, like the one below I experimented with various looks to achieve more of a fine art effect. I decreased the vibrancy and contrast for a softer look.

Flower photography and editing in Lightroom

Tulips edited in Lightroom

The flowers on the black matte I left pretty much their natural colors to contrast with the dark background. Yes the colors were just this vibrant. I did pull the “blacks” slider in the editor down to saturate and even out the black mat. But other than that I did very little.

Tulips edited in Lightroom

Set against a black mat board

Single orange tulip

Single orange tulip

I love post production and Lightroom! It’s so much fun to explore what you can do with an image to improve the beauty and artistry. I’ve never taken any classes in either computer program, most has all been self-taught with use of a few YouTube videos, books and a LOT of experimentation. I’m still using the stand alone Adobe programs and Lightroom 6 was released in April of 2015. When I get a new computer I will subscribe to the Creative Cloud with the latest version of Photoshop and Lightroom continually updated for $10/mo

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom)

Tips on Photographing Flowers

Photos: After Saturday night showers, Sunday sunshine casts light on flowers

After a dreary, rainy Saturday night, Sunday’s weather – which for days looked like it might be similarly rainy and dreary – turned into a pleasant surprise. Low pressure scooted by to the south and quickly cleared, allowing dry northerly winds to

How to master the art of flower photography

Spring has finally arrived, and with it some of nature’s most stunning artistry: flowers. A favorite of nature photographers around the world, flowers can be a surprisingly finicky photo subject. Simply snapping a photo in passing doesn’t quite do the

25 flower photography tips for beginners | Digital Camera …

Improve your spring photography with these 25 flower photography tips that show you everything from how to compose to how to set your camera.

25 Flower Photography Tutorials To Help You Perfect Your …

Here’s 25 features and techniques that’ll inspire and educate you on flower photography.

Spring is Here: Beautiful Flower Photography – PictureCorrect

Just step out of your door and turn around. Someone has planted flowers in front of the building? That could be the perfect place to trigger a few photos! For some unusual and interesting flower photography, take a trip to nature, maybe to park …

Improve your flower photography | Milton Keynes Natural …

Improve your flower photography. Now that Spring has arrived, why not read this article for helpful tips on how to improve your flower photography. This entry was posted in News on 19/04/2015 by admin.



How to Divide Daffodil Bulbs

I used to be afraid to divide daffodil bulbs, but no longer. Wait, you say you can’t split  them in the spring. Well, that’s just wrong and I’ve proved that this is just not the case. Last year I did a simple experiment and it was very surprised at the outcome a year later.

Dividing Daffodils

Daffodils in the garden

Like many of you I searched the internet on when the best time was to divide spring bulbs. They pretty much all said wait until fall, or the leaves were brown and the plants dormant. However, there were a few gardening sites that convinced me these yellow beauties are very hardy and can be dug up, separated and plated just about any time of year. Narcissus are very forgiving.

So I decided to give it a go.

How to Divide Daffodils

Dividing daffodils

As you can see from the clump above the leaves were not yellow or brown yet. But I had ambition, energy (which I don’t always have) the sun was shining and what harm could I really do. These bunches of daffodils were very over crowed and some groups would have 30-40 blooms.

So I got out my shovel and started to dig. Easier said than done. This year I’m going to plant them closer together and get a drill attachment, or a bulb auger  to make the planting process faster and easier. I have at least three more clumps to divide.

Flower Bulb Planter

How to Dig and Transplant Daffodil Bulbs:

Transplant on a day that is cool and the ground damp and moist.

  1. Start on the outer edges of the grouping. Insert your shovel as far down as you can all the way around the bunch loosening up the soil.
  2. With the shovel in the ground pull back and gently push the daffodil bulbs to the surface.
  3. You may have to pull the clump out of the ground
  4. Gently pull apart and separate the individual bulbs. (in my case one clump had over 50!)
  5. Place in a bucket, or on paper towels and immediately replant
  6. Dig a four inch hole with a spade, insert the freshly dug bulb and cover with dirt.
  7. Water deeply after transplanting.

How to divide spring daffodils

Replanting immediately I believe is the key. Don’t let the bulbs dry out or get “stale”. To tell the truth after I watered the plants the first time I kinda forgot about them. They were only watered once. But they still survived.

Newly transplanted daffodils

Newly transplanted daffodils

My experiment from last year was very successful, I had over a 95% germination rate and every day when I go out in my garden I count to see how many “baby” daffodils I have popping up in the gardens. From one large bunch of overgrown and crowded daffodils I now have 48 separate plantings in three new areas.

Transplanted Daffodil bulbs one year after planting

Transplanted Daffodil bulbs one year after planting

If I didn’t already have a garden nursery full of crowed bulbs ready to be transplanted I would probably buy daffodil bulbs and plant them in the fall, which is when you’re supposed to plant spring bulbs.

TotalGreen 72415100 Daffodil Bulbs90 Large Long Lasting Assorted Color Trumpet

More Information on Transplanting and Dividing Bulbs

Over the Garden Fence: Cultivation, rodent issues may stunt blooms

Daffodils: cutting foliage before it turns yellow; bulbs need dividing; bulbs too small to bloom; poor drainage; spring cold snap killed flowers before they opened; dry soil caused flowers to abort. • Dogwood: not enough sun; tree is seedling and not

Expert Advice: Divide and transplant spring-flowering bulbs now

#For more detailed information on planting and dividing bulbs in Georgia as well as a complete list of recommended varieties, see the UGA Extension publication B918, “Flowering Bulbs for Georgia Gardens,” at extension.uga.edu/publications. #Sharon …

Deb Babcock: Trademarked and patented plants

#When we talk about propagating plants, we’re talking about plant reproduction that happens by dividing bulbs and rhizomes or roots, taking cuttings, grafting and budding a plant, and collecting and planting seeds, among other methods. #Since fall is a …

Flower power

Ross Harmon, a fourth-generation Wye United Methodist Church member who Friday was digging up the bulbs to be sold during the festival, said the tradition of church members selling daffodil bulbs to support the church started long before the church

Daffodil season is here in the daffodil city

Look for suppliers who provide mixtures of daffodil bulbs for sale to make “a springtime parade” of colour. The Paperwhite narcissus, which is popular along with the amaryllis around Christmas, is one of the tazetta species and is not hardy here. Each



Squeaky Dog Toy Passes the Jack Russell Test

Tough Dog Toy Review

It’s been a week since we bought the PetSafe Squeak and Treat Booya dog toy and the verdict is in! It is truly an indestructible tough dog toy and it squeaks! It can not be destroyed. My Jack Russell, Brody, has given it over over a week of intense heavy chewing and biting. He has almost driven himself insane and he can’t tear it apart. It you don’t believe me watch the video below.

Brody is what you call a super-chew in the dog world. He may be only twenty pounds but he has jaws of steel and a biting grip worthy of a dog twice his size.

Toughest Squeaky Dog Toy Ever

The Busy Buddy line of dog toys are tough, in fact the toughest I’ve ever tried and I have tried almost every dog toy from Tuffy toys, to Kongs and Kyjens. The Nylabones last, but they don’t squeak and after a little Brody is bored. My goal was to find a fun, tough, engaging squeaky toy that could not be destroyed. It was almost like an obsession. I canvased the pet store aisles, even the grocery store and hardware stores thinking I might find that unique dog toy.

Squeaky tennis balls he shredded and I found tiny bits all over the living room floor. The squeaker mats with multiple squeakers lasted longer, but because they were plush fabric they ripped easy. My terrier is a little terror, he’s orally motivated and very tenacious. Food and noise get his attention. This Booya Squeaker toy gets his attention and keeps it. In fact I had to buy another as the two dogs play keep away with it.

As you can see in the video, Leah the Boxer didn’t have a chance the first couple of days. Another plus is I can put dog treats, cookies and their food inside the Booya for an added bonus. This has kept both dogs engaged and entertained the whole afternoon.

Where to Buy the Toughest Dog Toys

The verdict is in, the toughest dog toys are made by PetSafe and this one is my favorite by far. Stay tuned for continuing updates as the months go by to see how it stands up over time. It is one tough dog toy.

Busy Buddy Squeak N Treat Booya Dog Toy (SM, Med, & Large)


Facts About Iwo Jima, One of the Most Famous Battles of World War II

Ever since my sons became Marines I have been interested in my family’s military history and wonder where my Dad would of been on significant dates like Iwo Jima. February 19, 1945 the landing at Iwo Jima and he was assigned to the Destroyer the USS Edison DD439. I can’t find record of where exactly on this date his ship was, but I do know my Dad was only twenty years old.

According to records I found on Ancestry.com, my father was AOL (absent over liberty) more than once. Once in July of 1945 after liberty in San Diego. I can’t even imagine being twenty years old and loading guns on the deck of a destroyer, seeing men die on your ship, rescuing prisoners from an enemy sub off of Italy and keeping your sanity. Maybe that’s why he took extra time when he was on liberty leave, he didn’t want to go back.

My Dad rarely talked about World War II, and most of the men who fought on that hell hole of an island, filled with Japanese hiding in caves and tunnels, didn’t want to talk about it either. Many young men just like my Dad landed on February 19, 1945, many didn’t return, many saw things they would rather forget, but carried with them all their lives.

Books and Movies About Iwo Jima

By far the best book on Iwo Jima is James Bradleys, Flags of our Fathers is on the USMC Commandants reading list for Iintermeidiate level enlisted personal: INTERMEDIATE  GYSGT, MSGT, and 1STSGT. I think its a book everyone should read to appreciate what the sacrifices our military makes not only during war, but when they return.

Flags of Our FathersIwo Jima: 50 Years of Memories

Facts about Iwo Jima

Dozens, if not hundreds of books and movies have been written about this famous battle that turned history, but below are just a few facts.

  1. The island of Iwo Jima is 4.5 miles long by 2.5 miles wide and lies 650 miles south of mainland Toykyo.23
  2. The island was a strategic airfield position for the Japanese who intercepted US flying missions to Tokyo. Once taken the United States could then invade Japan and thus end the war.² ³
  3. The Battle of Iwo Jima lasted for 36 days starting on February 19th and ending on March 16, 1945.
  4. One third of all Medal of Honor award for World War II were given for gallant action in Iwo JIm, a total of 23 out of 82 given to Marines during the war.¹
  5. Iwo Jima was the costliest battle in the history of the Marine Corps, One in ten Marines lost their lives on the tiny island. 70,000 Marines fought on the island and 7,000 lost their lives ³
  6. Out of the 21,000 Japanese troops only 1,083 survived, the remainder were either killed or committed suicide.²
  7. Two Japanese soldiers didn’t surrender until 1949, they dug into tunnels and caves to avoid detection for over four years.¹
  8. Major General Howard Connor gives the Navajo code talkers, who relayed messages in their tribal tongue, for the success of the Marines taking Iwo Jima.¹
  9. Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the island at 528 ft in elevation
  10. Mt Suribachi was taken on February 23rd on the third day of fighting and is the site of the the famous flag raising.
  11. After the battle the island served as an emergency landing strip for more than 2,00 B-29 bombers thus saving more than 24,000 airman.¹
  12. The United States returned the island to Japan as a gift in 1968.¹
Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial Card

Iwo Jima Greeting Card

The question is often asked and disputed by many, was the iconic flag raising staged. The answer quite simply is no. Yes there were two flag raisings, the first was a smaller flag which was celebrated and cheered. However the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal wanted the flag as a souvenir and thought the official flag should be larger.

Joe Rosenthal, an AP reporter, missed the first flag raising as he was shooting photographs of the harbor. He actually didn’t see the photo before it was sent in and published in the papers. When he was told it was all over the front pages he asked “Which one, the posed one?” for he had also taken another photo with the same flag with all the men standing and raising their arms.

The actual US Flag flown at Iwo Jima displayed at the National Marine Corps Museum

The actual US Flag flown at Iwo Jima displayed at the National Marine Corps Museum

I was lucky enough to view the actual flag in the Rosenthal photograph at the Marine Corps museum in Virginia with my youngest Marine son.If you ever have the chance to visit the museum it is very much worth your time.

One of the most popular exhibits is the Iwo Jima area, and the most popular person is Frank Matthews (24th Marines, 4th Marine Division – Iwo Jima) a volunteer docent at the museum who was 18 years old when he fought on that island in the middle of the Pacific. Frank was not at the museum when we visited that weekend and I wish he was, I would of loved to meet him and shook his hand.

On this 70th anniversary of Iwo Jima let’s remind people that is was the military who deserves the recognition for keeping our country free and safe. World War II was the first time American soil was attacked at Pearly Harbor and if it hadn’t been for our brave men and women in uniform fighting in fox holes, ditches, and in muck and grime American history would of been a lot different.

To all the veterans the world owes you a great deal of thanks.


  1. The Battle of Iwo Jima: 5 Things You Didn’t Know, Ross Bonander
  2. The Battle for Iwo Jima, The National WWII Museum
  3. Was the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima Staged, Skeptical Humanities blog

More Information on the 70th Anniversary of Iwo Jima


Iwo Jima vets mark 70th anniversary

Marine Sgt. Major Michael “Iron Mike” Mervosh who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam spoke with passion about his time as a Marine and his support for building the Iwo Jima Memorial at Camp Pendleton. — John Gastaldo …
The inside story of the famous Iwo Jima photo

Monday marks 70 years since Joe Rosenthal captured the iconic picture of five U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor raising an American flag over the battle-scarred Japanese island of Iwo Jima. The image was so inspiring that, by 1945 standards, it went viral.
Local veteran remembers Battle of Iwo Jima; 70 years ago

McKay was aboard the USS Mifflin when he was ordered to the shore of Iwo Jima for almost a week. On Tuesday he recalled the day his crew landed on Iwo Jima 70 years ago. “February the 19th,1945,” McKay said. McKay’s beach party landed on Yellow …
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of Iwo Jima

church on the Big Island. Marines and their families spent today honoring and remembering America’s Heroes who served on Iwo Jima. We sat down with Karen Offerdahl, the daughter of Marine Supply Sergeant Melvin Offerdahl, who shared stories her …
Iwo Jima veterans reunite 70 years after historic WWII battle

(FOX News) It’s been 70 years since U.S. forces began a successful battle to capture the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II. Veterans who survived the bloody battle reunited in Washington, D.C. for a ceremony last week to honor the nearly …
70th Anniversary: The story behind the famous Iwo Jima photo (Video)

23, 1945, file photo, U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Two Gastonia, N.C., men, Joseph Tedder, 90, and Mack Drake, 89, fought alongside more than 70,000 Marines, sailors and airmen on


Finally Found an Indestructible Squeaky Dog Toy!

I am so excited! For more than ten years I have been trying to find indestructible squeaky toys for my dog Brody, a Jack Russell terrier. Seriously, if you have followed this blog since the beginning you will have watched him tear apart hundreds of dollars of squeaky plush dog toys within minutes. I have picked fluff off the floor more times than I can count. If it has a squeaker it gets destroyed.

Jack Russell Destroying a Dog Toy

Another toy bites the dust

We even had pet companies send us boxes of samples to test, all with no luck. Some were made of fire hydrant material, others tested by actual tigers, but they could not pass the Brody test. The tough dog toys designed for strong chewers didn’t have a squeaker, so unless I could put food inside he soon lost interest.

Indestructible Dog Toy Search

Indestructible Dog Toy Search

The best dog toy I have ever found, up to this point, has been the Busy Buddy bone, which I bought shortly after I brought Brody home (he was a rescue). Even after ten years of chewing, being left in the backyard, and hundreds of hours of abuse is has survived. I always wanted Petsafe to release a squeaky dog toy with this material and they HAVE!!

My husband and I went to Bass Pro Shop, and displayed on an end cap at the front of the store were PetSafe dog toys. Look what I found, the first treat dispensing dog toy that squeaks. Seriously, I don’t know when it cam out, but Brody has been chewing on it for six hours and it barely has a scratch!

Even though my Jack Russell would be considered a small to medium dog I bought the large sized Booya toy. On the scale of chew intensity Brody is extreme and has no problem squeezing the rubber and making it squeak. He is a little bit obsessed with it and I don’t expect the behavior to change.



I’m going to have to get two or three they are that good, my Boxer just has to wait her turn or beg me to take it away from Brody and give it to her. The rubber is infused with a vanilla scent, much like the bacon infused Nylabone he loves. I’ll post a video later of Brody going to town on chewing on his Booya dog toy. This dog toy is amazing and puts all the others to shame.

I have filled it a couple times with treats for Leah (the Boxer) because although she is bigger, she doesn’t have the “chew and destroy” drive of the terrier. With all full confidence I can say this is an indestructible squeaky toy for dogs of all kinds.

Where to find an Indestructible Squeaky Toy

If your favorite pet store (or Bass ProShop) doesn’t carry the Busy Buddy Booya the head on over Amazon, they have everything. Premier-Pet Products has a whole line of indestructible dog toys, they are also the makers of the Gentle Leader dog harness that stopped Brody from pulling on his leash.

 Busy Buddy Squeak N Treat Booya Dog Toy Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Waggle Dog Toy, Medium/Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Barnacle Dog Toy, Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Chuckle Dog Toy, Medium/Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Gnawbrush Dog Toy, Large


Countdown to Christmas: The Season of Advent

Getting ready for Christmas is not just about the lights, the tree, the cookies, or the presents. The season of Advent, preparing for the birth of Jesus Christ, is the real reason for the season. Advent is about the anticipation of the coming of Christ. In the middle of all the hectic rushing around preparing for our “worldly” Christmas, Advent reminds us to slow down and reflect on the real gift of Christmas, the gift of God’s own Son.

The birth of Jesus Christ, is the real reason for the season. I prepare in many ways, but during Advent our church adds vesper services on Wednesday nights. It’s a shorter liturgical service, without communion. Pastor reads the Christmas story during the reading, one section at at time, one week at a time, and then brings it to life during the sermon.

Season of Advent

My View from the Church Piano during the Advent Season

I play the piano for Wednesday night Advent services, and I love to sit quietly in front of the church and absorb the message and hear the congregation sing. It fills the church and my soul. On Sunday I help the kids get ready for the childrens’ program on Christmas Eve, not only do I play during Advent services, but for the Christmas Eve program. The organist and I rotate songs and end with a piano-organ duet to Joy to the World.

The church is decorated not only with an Advent wreath and candles, but poinsettias, candles, and the blue vestments of Advent. I love many of the church seasons, but the season of Advent and Christmas as two of my favorite.

What Is the Season of Advent?

Christian Observers of Advent Prayerfully Wait for Christmas Season

But waiting is what the Christian season of Advent is all about: contemplating the Second Coming of Christ, the Messiah, while also preparing to celebrate the First Coming, the birth of Jesus at Christmas. It is a season marked by prayer, song and
Advent 2014: A Season Of Waiting For The Coming Of Christ (PHOTOS)

For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting by Israelites for the birth of the Messiah, and the waiting by Christians for the return of Christ. The most famous hymn of Advent is “O Come Emmanuel.” Its lyrics
Advent: Unplugged

In the conglomerated holiday season that is HalloThanksMas, the tiny season of Advent gets lost in the rush. In Christian tradition, especially in liturgical churches, the season of Advent began on Sunday, Nov. 30 and continues until Christmas. The
St Charles Borromeo on the Season of Advent

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) – Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that


Do Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies Count as Christmas Cookies?

Countdown To Christmas: Cookie Time

Starting in the beginning of December I start baking cookies, lots of cookies. Now Peanut Butter Kiss cookies don’t look like Christmas cookies, but they are one of my kids favorites, so they get made. I usually make at least six different varieties of cookies every year, not including my candies. This tradition started when I moved from Connecticut to Oklahoma for school and was looking for an inexpensive gift to send to friends.

Another reason I started making peanut butter cookies is one year I ran our of flour and these have three ingredients: peanut butter, sugar, and an egg. So not only is it inexpensive it’s a gluten-free cookie for a friend who is gluten intolerant.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Recipe for Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F, unwrap candy kisses

  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter ( I use smooth)
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  1. Mix together, roll teaspoon size balls, I use a melon scoop for uniform size balls
  2. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes
  3. Remove cookies from oven and immediately place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss into the cooked ball.
  4. Cool slightly and remove from baking sheet.

There you go, so easy a child could do it, and who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate? Enjoy your peanut butter kiss cookies and if you have a favorite cookie recipe please share it in the comments.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas Cookie Recipes: 20 Treats With Nuts And Fruit

Christmas Cookies Recipes – Joyofbaking.com *Video Recipes* · Christmas Cookie Recipes: 20 Sugar Cookies · Christmas Cookie Recipes: 20 Cookies Made With Chocolate · Christmas Cookies Recipe: Your Cheatsheet For Holiday Baking. Click here to …
Day 5: Shortbread wafer cookies

Is it even possible to eat a Kit Kat bar without triggering that “Give me a break!” earworm from the ’80s? Seems not. So our cure to keep us from humming “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!” for the rest of the day is to bake up a batch of these
Christmas Cookie Recipes (PHOTOS)

There are many reasons to love the holidays, but Christmas cookies are definitely on the top of that list. With that in mind, we gathered together all the important Christmas cookie recipes you need to get through this season — and some great twists
7 Christmas Cookie Recipes You Need to Make NOW

christmas cookie recipe I know it’s not even December yet, but I’m telling you the time to get started on your holiday baking is now. As the big days draw nearer and nearer, suddenly things start spiraling out of control with parties here, travel there


Christmas Pretzels with M&Ms a Holiday Tradition

Countdown to Christmas: M&M Pretzels

In addition to Christmas cookies I also make Christmas pretzels, and I do it the easy way. Fill circle pretzels with almond bark and plop an M&Min the middle. Years ago it was difficult to find circle pretzels, there was a hunt to find them in the grocery stores. Now they are everywhere. I used to dip the regular twisted variety, but that takes too much time.

Christmas Pretzels with M&Ms

Hershey holiday M&Ms come in red and green and are perfect to give your cookie and candy plates that splash of color.  Simply spoon the melted chocolate into the center of the pretzels. You can also use a frosting gun to squirt the melted almond bark into the pretzel centers.

Making Christmas Pretzels

Using a Pampered Chef frosting gun


Many people chose to microwave their chocolate, but I think it’s too risky. It doesn’t take too much heat before the chocolate gets too hot, seize up an become hard.I don’t get fancy with melting chocolate, almond bark is fine with me and I place the squares on a double boiler on the stove.

How to Use a Double Boiler

I’m off to dip pretzels now, you see, nothing is safe during the Christmas season when it comes to chocolate, I make more than Christmas Pretzels, I make pretzel rods, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate covered marshmallows, and chocolate covered apricots.


Christmas Music by Pentatonix: Mary Did You Know

Countdown to Christmas with Pentatonix

It’s more Christmas music!!  It’s DAY 3 and I’m still on a music kick. For the past few weeks I have seen the video of  Mary Did You Know floating on Facebook, but like I said, I don’t listen to Christmas carols until December 1st. Now that we are in the month of December it’s a free for all! This rendition of the popular song is hauntingly beautiful.

I love how it’s set in a cave because many Christians believe the stable wasn’t an actual building but a cave where animals were housed. Remember there was no room in the Inn and Mary was an unwed Mother. Joseph was poor, and probably didn’t want any extra attention to this baby, Christ the Lord who had already been named Emmanuel.

cassette music adapter for the car

Purchase MP3 music adapter on Amazon

Pentatonix music is mainly acapella with limited instrumentals. Their music and videos are hauntingly beautiful and I can listen to it all day long. In December Christmas music is all I listen to and I plug my phone into the speakers in my car to listen to on my way to work. Since I have an older 20012 Ford Escape I use a Cassette Adapter.

My kids told me about this neat cheap way to turn your car stereo into an MP3 player. It’s really handy if your car still has a cassette stereo.

For your listening pleasure I present a playlist of Christmas music by Pentatonix. You can either listen on my blog or purchase the digital music and listen at your leisure anywhere you like. Just for your information, their Christmas albums are one of the highest selling CDs on Amazon, for good reason.

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