Friday, March 6, 2020

Remember When: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 7 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

My subject is: Remember when
It was submitted by: P. J. of A 'lil HooHaa.

The first thing this prompt brought to mind was actually, my first prompt. I had only been blogging a few months and I had been befriended by my very first blogging friend. Shellybean was fun and funny and interesting and fiercely loyal. Blogging had become social for me and it was a whole new world.

A few months later I actually had a blogging tribe, a group of friends who supported each other and often chatted on twitter way into the night. But this was also the time that Shellybean told me she thought she might stop blogging, felt she didn't really have anything to write about. I was heartbroken. I asked if I could give her a topic and she agreed. Then I told her to wait, I had an idea.

I made my case, then begged, pleaded and cajoled the few bloggers I knew, to join in. Not only would we all write about a topic provided, but we could all submit a prompt, post at the same time, see who got our subject. It would be a one time thing. It could be fun. 

In the end there were 9 of us. My topic was "I can't believe the time I . . .".  It really was fun, and every single blogger asked to do it again. And again. So the first thing this prompt made me think of is that I remember when the Secret Subject Swap was born. It was a kinder, gentler time in the blogging world. Or maybe I just hadn't yet been exposed to it's underbelly. Either way, although most of them no longer blog (even Shellybean only sometimes) I will always remember when blogging was its most fun.

"Remember when" has an obviously nostalgic connotation. What it also brings to mind, mine anyway, is that old cliche of a grandpa telling his grandchildren about how he walked 10 miles a day, uphill, through the snow, to a one room schoolhouse. And although I'm old enough to have many "one room schoolhouse" type memories, I'm not quite that old. 

But I do remember when:

~ snow days were a good thing.

~ a fun Friday night meant watching movies sitting in your car next to a speaker on a pole.

~ you could ask a stranger if they had Prince Albert in a can without caller ID telling them who you were.

~ Saturdays were spent with jump ropes and hoola hoops and bicycles and skates with Mr. Potato Head and the entire neighborhood in your driveway.

~ it was a treat for Mom to drive us up to the penny candy store for a milkshake and a bag of candy that actually . . . you know . . . cost a penny. 

Peppermint Stick Milkshake is for celebrations. Spring, birthday, Valentine’s Day, holiday season or any day, this sweet is a treat. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #peppermint

Peppermint Stick Milkshake
Peppermint Stick Milkshake is for celebrations. Spring, birthday, Valentine’s Day, holiday season or any day, this sweet is a treat. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #peppermint

But not everything about the past was so great and the present worse. I also remember when:

~ the internet did not exist. Now information, even something as simple as the answer to a random question, is at my fingertips. We have all become more inquisitive because we know those questions are easily answered and I love that I have the instrument to learning anything I want sitting right in my pocket.
  ~ there were no cell phones. If something happened like an accident you had to hope there was a phone nearby. I love that when my boys got their licenses I sent them out with a car and a cell phone.
  ~ I was told I was infertile, in vitro was in its infancy, not many doctors even did the procedure and even then there was only a 10 - 20% chance per try. I beat the odds. Twice. I love that the success rate is now around 40%.

The old days were full of good times, but the present is pretty great too. 

It's strange though, to know that these present times are the ones our kids will be describing to their kids in sentences starting with "I remember when . . ."

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Peppermint Stick Milkshake

Printable Recipe

5 Red and White peppermint hard candies
2 cups Peppermint Ice Cream (I used my homemade Peppermint Chocolate Swirl NO CHURN Ice Cream)
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1 cup whipped cream
OPT: 1/4 - 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
OPT: 2 - 3 drops red food coloring

*Put the hard candies in a food processor and finely crush.
*Spoon the peppermint ice cream, vanilla ice cream, milk, whipped cream and candies into a blender and blend until well smooth. 
*Taste. If you want more peppermint flavor, add the extract, 1/4 tsp at a time and blend. 
*If you want a darker pink flavor, add a few drops of red food coloring and blend.
*For a thin milkshake, serve immediately. For a thicker milkshake, freeze for an hour.


  1. That shake looks amazing! Well I thank you and Shellybean for creating these writing challenges. I love them so much.

    1. And I love that you consistently add your voice to the mix.

  2. Aawwww, Shellybean is a sweet, sweet blogger friend to have, and I am grateful you went through great lengths to keep her blogging!
    That's so true that for today's young people the times we think have become too dominated by social media and instant gratification will be the good old times. I wonder what is to come. Right now we're at "no handshake, no public events, corona virus may kill us all."
    Happy Weekend!

    1. Yes, very much looking forwards to getting this horrible pandemic under control.

  3. I am a total pushover for a milkshake!
    Ah, the 'remember whens'! There's a rabbit hole I go down very, very often! ;)
    I made your no churn ice cream. Strawberry. And made the last of it into the best strawberry shakes I've ever tasted! Yummm . . . twice!

  4. When I see the phrase"remember when" I think of the BBC tv show.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  5. One of my "remember when" memories is going to the local Woolworths and getting banana splits. You popped a balloon and inside was a slip of paper with your price. If you were lucky, you could get it for a penny. And then, there were milkshakes and (my favorite), malteds. Pinned this for the memory! Alana

  6. Our lives are full of many remember when moments

  7. Glad you remember one of your first blogging friends. I am so fortunate in that I have several in person blogging acquaintances since I'm a part of a big group of writers called The Twin Cities Theater Bloggers (we meet and have dinner sometimes)

  8. The world changes and yet it stays the same. There is so much good and bad in every age. In fact, there's a book i read years ago with a title like, The Good Old Days, They Were Terrible! or something like that.

  9. Okay, nothing like making your 'Old friend cry the ugly cry. Blogging seemed magical back then. I'm so glad to have had you as a blogging buddy all these years. The Secret Subject Swap was always such a fun way to find stories to tell. You're right; it was a kinder (for a little while) time. Heavens, you even had @ SSS week 2 times a month at one time! You never gave up on any of us. I thank you for that. <3

  10. I realize I am behind in reading all the past challenges ... but how did I not even comment on yours? Sheesh! I remember reading it! Anyway, I like the history lesson with the blogging. It has changed a ton over time. But the thing that made me laugh a bit?

    Prince Albert in a can. Ahh the days of being able to crank call from a pay phone!

    1. Sometimes Blogger glitches and comments don't go through, too. Either way, I'm glad I made you laugh and brought up some fun memories.


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