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Published December 21, 2008

I'm an Ohio girl. Actually, Chicago girl in my way-back. I will always be mid-western to my soul. When I was teaching in San Francisco, the people I worked with said they would "beat the mid-west out of me". That was brought on when I presented a big box of donuts at our first staff meeting. Oh the horror. Well, they didn't succeed and, although I learned that "meeting" does not equate with "potluck", I kept some Ohio sensibilities. Like mayonnaise and cream of mushroom soup. I don't care how unhealthy it is, at this time of year EVERYTHING you make has to have one or preferably both in it. Bust out those casserole pans! And if anyone wants stuff with fizz, it is still pop. Soda goes into a cocktail. Or a chocolate soda...that' s why it's called SODA folks! And that brings me to fish. In the mid-west when I was little, other than smelt, fish had to walk across the country from the east or the west coast to get to the table. Unless, of course, it was frozen fish sticks. And the Shannon family ate fish sticks..often. They had 11 kids. My family wasn't even that adventurous. Sushi has not and will not pass my lips. Sorry. Uncool. And somewhere in my closet I have a sweatshirt that matches my socks that match my Keds...all holiday themed.  In fact, three sets. And, yes, I have hanging ornament earrings. Appetizers always begin with cream cheese. You can then proceed in several directions. Green jelly on top. Olives and cheddar cheese mixed in. Speaking of cheese, the gift you give to special friends comes from the Wisconsin Cheeseman. I've given up some things in this, my second, SoCal Christmas. I'm adapting. And I've grown to love the views and the sun and, most of all,  I am excited that this year Santa decided to dip our temperatures into the 30's. Now I can wear my Christmas sweater. You know, the one with all the holiday bedazzling and my flannel PJ's with the snowmen and...

Merry Christmas all.
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