{Friday Foto Friends} Happy New Year!

I'm joining Deb at Breathing in Grace to share what happened this past week using pictures. 
CH & I spent last week at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. It wasn't as warm as The Keys, but it didn't take nearly as long to get there. It was a good week of relaxation and strolling down memory lane.
Thomas' Donuts are a must!
We had some nice walks on the beach:

Since sunset was around 5:00, most days we were busy doing things, but we managed to get to where we could witness a pretty decent sunset:

1 morning I woke early enough to catch a glimpse of a sunrise:
I'm always on the lookout for "different" Christmas Trees. A few years ago, we went to the "Lighting of the Barrels" in Lynchburg, Tn. (home of Jack Daniels), and Marathon, Fl. has a tree made out of lobster traps. We happened to find a tree made out of crabtraps. The ornaments were made out of fishing floats.
 New Year's Eve, we went to Mass at St. Bernadette's. As we were leaving, CH noticed a grotto on the side of the building, so we took a peek and found Our Lady of Lourdes. 
 We got back from Mass and had dinner: veggies, rice, salad, and grilled shrimp. I think that was the nicest New Year's Eve I've ever had. After dinner, we sat around a fire for a bit, then watched "New Year's Eve" (the movie). 
 It's still Christmas according to the Catholic Calendar, so I'm continuing to enjoy my tree for just a couple more days.
I had a nice Christmas break, and am trying to slide back into my routine.  I hope you had a very nice New Year's Eve and Day!


{Friday Foto Friends} Catch Up

I skipped last week's post...I just didn't get around to it, but this week is break, so I've got a little time to catch up!
I'm joining Debra at Breathing in Grace for Friday Foto Friends.

This is an afternoon moon that I happened to see when I let the dogs out one afternoon. That is the actual color of the sky.
A couple of weekends ago, CH & I went to Asheville to see OS. We took time to walk around downtown for the first time. The view from the upper parking deck: 
Another moon shot before the sun went down. I don't know what this building is, but the architecture is really pretty.
Asheville happens to have a Basilica, so we walked down to it and had a sneak-peek inside. It was absolutely gorgeous! The Basilica was built without using any wood...only tiles and stone. It rivals the European Churches I've seen.
We went into this building for a quick beer (and to warm up a bit). The website says that this building was built in 1907, and has been a lumber supplier, automotive supply company, and a bluegrass/barbecue place. More historically significant, there is a door in the basement that allowed people during prohibition to travel the passageway to obtain their illegal liquor.
 When we got back to the car, we were in the middle of a Santa Party. And I mean, "party"! They were having a really good time! There were Santas all over town while we were there.
This guy is visiting while OS is on the West Coast. He looked a little cold, so I covered him up. 
 This is a Tea Ring that was given to me. My mom used to make these for our teachers when we were in school. I've never tried to make one on my own since it involves yeast.
 Our Christmas Tree this year. I think it's time to get new lights! I didn't bother putting up all of the ornaments, but there are still plenty on there.
My new ornaments for this year: the Santa is from our trip to Edisto; the other Santa (below right) is actually from our Charleston trip a couple of years ago (oops!). Top right angel and rocking horse below are a little piece of Denmark for this year (from CH's uncle). Under the horse is an ornament from Steamboat Springs, Co., where we camped for a few days. Under that one is an ornament from Mt. Rushmore; to the left of that is a SD ornaments, and the one to the left of that is from Edisto.
We have a couple of bushes in front of our house that doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason as to when it blooms. It seems to bloom all through the year, and it's blooming now:

Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!


A Surprising Hodgepodge

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 
I have to make a couple of batches of Texas Millionaires; 1 for our neighbors & 1 for us, and then cook Christmas Eve Dinner & Christmas Brunch, and that's it. I've really scaled down my preparations this year. It's been totally stress-free and very relaxing.

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 
Some people are going to think this is crazy, but I love that it gets dark so early, especially if I don't have anywhere I need to be after work. I love getting into my jammies right after supper and hopping into bed to watch a movie.

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 
Oh, my! I think the better question would be "in what area am I mature?"! 

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 
God knows everything. He knows what we're going to do, how we're going to mess up, and how we're going to fix it, so there's no need to worry. He's got it.

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 
I absolutely love shrimp! Favorite way: marinate in Italian Dressing and grill. There will most certainly be shrimp in my very near future!

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 
I can't believe I'm saying this, but...silence. I've always had to have some background noise to sleep, but during Lent I started going to sleep without the tv or radio on. 

7. What one word best describes your 2016? 
Rollercoaster. It started off kind of sucky, we had fantastic trips to Edisto & SD, and then the fires in the area. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I was ready for a very quiet Christmas with just my daddy, CH, and YS. OS is out on the West Coast with his girlfriend, and MS decided to stay at school. There was an incident with his car and the university bus, so he was without a car. I had resigned myself to maybe seeing him next week for a day or two. BUT...one of his friends let him borrow his truck, and he surprised me! CH & YS didn't say anything to me, and I was totally surprised! 
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Merry Christmas! See y'all next year!
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