Category Archives: Contests

Today is THE day

The Apple Cup


I did it!

I managed to post something every single day this month.

However, that is not normally what I think of when I see November 30th on the calendar.

Today is Slim’s birthday — or rather, it would be if he were still alive and turning 102 years old. But he isn’t. He died 9-1/2 years ago.

Slim was an interesting character. He was my husband’s grandfather who threw himself a “kick the bucket” party and made a grand entrance riding a mule into the party hall (this was about 4 years before he actually did “kick the bucket). He was also a farmer for his entire adult life, growing and harvesting wheat and lentils (among other things) in the Idaho panhandle. Slim was 100% Swedish American who dunked his bread in milk and his cookies in coffee.

Hay rows on the Ridge

1989, Idaho farm
Turning hay rows in the field — like Grandfather, like Grandson

When we visited as newlyweds and I watched my husband working alongside his 82-year-old grandfather on the farm, I could see what kind of man I had married.  And then last night, I looked across the dinner table to see SuperDad dunking his bread into his milk.
The mule can’t be far behind.

And the winner is…

Suburban Correspondent was the first to guess correctly: the 6th of December is St. Nicholas Day! SC, please e-mail me your address and I’ll get your package sent ASAP! 😀


And because her guess was the information about H-J (written in German and English) that I had already prepared in the post below , Melli has won a small prize as well. 😀

St. Nikolaus

St. Nikolaus in Deutschland

H-J war in Deutschland geboren. Wir haben ihn zurückkehrt vom Krankenhaus 6. Dezember verursacht: St. Nikolaus Tag.
H-J was born in Germany. We brought him home from the hospital on December 6th: St. Nicholas Day.

It was our first year of living there and we were still learning many new customs. One friendly neighbor had stockings made up for the older boys and a special stocking for me. Since H-J was too little to warrant his own, I was the lucky recipient! Mmmmm…. Schokolade!

The following year I made sure the 3 boys & I took a walk over to the local grocery store where “German Santa” was giving chocolate and oranges out to the children.  I continued to ask questions to that I would know how to properly celebrate this holiday, so now the children put their shoes by the front door before they go to bed on December 5th.  (We’ve added a purely American piece by telling them that their wish-lists must go in the shoe so St. Nikolaus can deliver it to Santa Claus… I know: greedy Americans, having 2 Santas!!) In the morning there will be goodies for each boy, found in his shoe by the front door.

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.

Through the centuries St. Nicholas has continued to be venerated by Catholics and Orthodox and honored by Protestants. By his example of generosity to those in need, especially children, St. Nicholas continues to be a model for the compassionate life.

Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity.

Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.

~the above quotes –and more information– can be found at

A kid-friendly site (with fun activity pages) is the UK-German Connection, Voyage Kids, at

Keep Guessing!! I’m still waiting for a winner…

What is special about today?

The first commenter to correctly tell me why this day is special in my household will win a small package of goodies!

*Of course, if you are the winner, I will need to have your address to mail you a package. But I think I’m pretty trustworthy! 😛

Punny Monday answer

I noticed that my 13yo had not gotten up this morning, so I opened his bedroom door and announced that he had 30 minutes until his school bus arrived.  He groaned and said, “Oh. It’s Monday.”

There were some great guesses for my first (only?)  Punny Monday:

Water tower
Water on the rocks
Rock bottom
Bottle rock(et)

Can’t get water from a rock
Trying to get water from a rock

I’m impressed with your creativity, folks!

But the saying/phrase that SnakeMaster & I discussed when he took this picture ….



[everyone groan in unison now]

If you could have clearly read the label on the bottle (which, admittedly, you couldn’t — sorry about that!!) you would have seen the words “Spring Water”… and while those on the West Coast will look at the Appalachian Mountains and call them hills, they really are called mountains.  SnakeMaster took this picture of his water bottle on the Appalachian Trail.
So, was that lame enough? Should I try this again some other Monday, or do I hear the resounding echo of silence … or perhaps worse, Booooo-ing?

20 Easy Ways to Help Save the Earth


My pal Farmer*sWife is giving away a book about recycling — a subject near and dear to my heart. I can’t call myself a true greenie, but I do lurve me some recycling!

Don’t you dare throw that paper in the garbage!

Did you rinse that can out and put it in the recycling bin?

I’ve been known to take cans and bottles home from get-togethers simply because I cannot bear to see them go into the garbage. Camping? “Pack in, pack out” any and all recyclables, even if there is a garbage can available. It might just drive my husband a little bit crazy to drive a rolling recycling bin.

I’ve also spent over 5 years in Texas, so the fact that this book is bilingual caught my attention. What a cool way to learn some Spanish!

20 Easy ways to Save the Earth

Farmer*sWife has all the details (including more about the book and its author) over at her place, so click away to enter yourself in the contest to win a great little book!

National Delurking Day 2009



Break free from your anonymity — it’s National Delurking Day!


Today is the day, folks!  Be more than a “runner” — be a “winner”  — make my day and leave  a comment!**


I’ll be back tomorrow with the first Weekly Words Challenge of 2009. 😛


**If you’re new here, please note this is a G-rated blog!

Thankfulness (revisited) and, A WINNER!

I am thankful for wonderful blogging friends. Whether you make me smile or make me think more deeply, you each brighten my day. Because the following people took the time to give their answers to my questions, I would like to give Caffienated Cowgirl, David, Farmer*sWife, Gary, Harry Martin, Jenn, and tt the following award:


I’d also like to thank Real Life Fairy Princess for giving up her secret recipe for making blog awards! (So please grab one for yourself, too!)

Last night I had SnakeMaster help me with the drawing:

Stirring up the folded papers and reaching in...

Stirring up the folded papers and reaching in...

Got one!

Got one!

And the winner is...

And the winner is...

Harry Martin of

Congratulations, Harry! I’ll need your address to send you the prize! (You should have my e-mail address in your blog records, somewhere…)
I know you will enjoy what I send you; I’ll keep the rest of us in suspense! 😉

Promise me you’ll blog it and link back here, pretty please?!? And maybe even pay-it-forward somehow, in your own way? Because that is how it came to be…

This drawing has been certified as fair and honest:

Cub Scout's honor!

Cub Scout's honor!

Thanks, everyone! I was blessed by your participation.