Friday, December 11, 2015

Use Your Words: Texting the Holiday

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: holiday ~ family ~ drama ~ peace ~ presents ~ surprise

They were submitted by: Spatulas on Parade.

I, like most of the people I know, am looking in my rear view mirror at a hectic, fattening, labor intensive but oh-so-worth-it family Thanksgiving 2015. It was an unusual Thanksgiving for my family, lots of drama. A distracted driver crossed the median and hit my mom causing pain, trauma and totalling mom's car. And PurDude and I had a talk about that broken leg. The situation is so much worse than he'd let on. I was, still am, absolutely mortified trying to process what had actually happened. As traumatized as we are, there is peace in knowing, for now, that everyone is OK. 

In the end I had my immediate family home, missed my extended family, cooked too much, ate too much, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Baked Cauliflower Carrot Casserole: Cauliflower florets and baby carrots par-steamed,mixed with a few other ingredients, topped with a crunchy mixture and baked. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Baked Cauliflower Carrot Casserole

I, unlike most of the people I know, am not out frantically shopping for presents. In fact, tonight is the 6th night of Chanukah, the holiday I celebrate this time of year.

Chanukah is celebrated according to the Jewish calendar. It's a challenge because that means it falls on different days each year on the Gregorian calendar that we use. Some years, like this one, it comes early. It's one of those "good news, bad news" situations. I am done with my shopping and able to opt out of the fighting-for-parking blood sport. I do, however, miss some good Christmas sales. I don't have to sit in traffic jams or strap on a catheter to make it through the check-out lines. But, and this is the one that tips the scales in the "bad news" direction, my youngest is away at school. For the first time he will not be home for even one of the eight days.

I decided that each night of Chanukah I would text PurDude a picture of that night's menorah as soon as it's lit. At first he thought I was just reminding him of the holiday. Eventually as the days went by and the texts kept coming, each night with the menorah growing more and more lit, he grew to understand that it was my way of keeping him here connected to the family as we celebrate the holiday. I hope it was a nice surprise.

And presents? Nothing for me right now, thanks. In 9 days I'll be heading back to the airport to pick up mine. He'll be staying home for 20 days.

There will be drama.
There will be peace.
There will be family.

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Baked Caulifower Carrot Casserole
Printable Recipe
1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets
1/2 # baby carrots, cut in half (small) or thirds (larger)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 TBSP orange juice
1 can (2.8 oz) French fried onions
3/4 cup shredded cheddar

*Grease a 2 quart round of 8 X 11 casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cook the cauliflower and carrot chunks in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until they just start to soften. Mix in the red pepper, salt, pepper and cayenne.
*Crush (you can use your hands) the French fried onions. Mix with the melted butter, orange juice and cheddar. Add half of this mixture to the cauliflower mixture and spread into the casserole dish. Top with the rest of the French fried onion mixture.
*Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot.


  1. I'm truly sorry you don't get to have PurDude home for Hanukkah. I'm grateful you'll have those twenty days very soon. I hope your mom is having a fast and full recovery. I'm sorry this happened to your family. Great use of your words.

    I hope you have a blessed remainder of Hanukkah.

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Gigi is obsessed with carrots. Carrot recipes are a true blessing.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Everyone is healing well. I hope you try this recipe for Gigi and let me know what she thinks.

  2. So sorry about the accident and the leg! I'm sure you aren't just counting down the days to PurDude's return, but also the hours and minutes.

    1. Yes, I know he was just here but I can't wait to get him back. Hope he spends some of the time with his eyes open this trip.

  3. Having your son home for 20 days certainly makes for a wonderful present! :-)
    So sorry to hear about your Mom. How is she doing now?

    1. Mom's doing better and yes, can't wait to get PurDude home for a good long while.

  4. This looks sooooo delicious! I'm going to have to try it! (The Women of Midlife)

  5. Drama. Peace. Family. Definitely talking about the holidays.

    Sorry it's been so hectic and that loved ones have been going through some tough ordeals. Love to you-and I hope you get some quality time with your present in 9 days!

    1. Thanks, Jenn. I'm going to enjoy every second of having him home.

  6. I wish there was some way for him to be home with you during this holiday. But I love how you use modern technology to keep him part of a time honored tradition. You are an amazing mom.

    1. I hate missing him. But I get him home soon, I keep telling myself that.

  7. I can only imagine what happened with Purdue's leg! It seems like forever since we've had a chance to talk with the holidays and all. That's terrific that he gets to stay home for 20 days. To bad it couldn't be for the holiday that your family celebrates that just doesn't seem fair.

    1. The Jewish holidays are so hard to plan for because they fall on different days each year. As much as I miss him over this holiday, I'll take him home whenever I can get him.

  8. A lot has happened this month and last but I like how you used the words and shared your life with us. Big hugs and lots of love to ya!

    1. Thank you, it's definitely been a tough time. I appreciate the support.

  9. What a month! Great idea to keep PurDude connected. Hugs and prayers with you

    1. Thanks,Minette.Yes,quite a month.Hoping for a little peace and quiet.

  10. It's a lot to process in one month, Karen. I can't even express how I feel, but I can say I'm glad PurDude is coming home for a long period. I can tell you need it.


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