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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Thanksgiving this year looked a little different from years past. We were missing a couple of people around the table, and the hubster and I went with a nontraditional Thanksgiving meal. We were striving for simple. Normally, Barry fries a turkey, and it is usually joined by cranberry sauce, a green veggie, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a pecan or pumpkin pie. Since it would only be the four of us gathered around the table on Thursday, our menu consisted of turkey burgers, broccoli casserole, spinach artichoke dip, and cheesecake for dessert (courtesy of Rouse’s). Thankfully, I married a man who likes to cook. Everything on my plate was delicious. Of course, Mrs. Billie baked cookies. Chocolate chip cookies to be exact. My Daddy and Son #1 spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my sister Rachel, my brother-in-law Lee, and my beautiful niece Emma. According to my Daddy, their menu consisted of “ham, green bean casserole, and of course, dessert.”

On Friday evening, Barry and I joined Shelly and Kerry to attend Friendsgiving at my friend Wendy’s house. Shelly and I graduated from Riverdale High School with Wendy. This was my very first Friendsgiving event and Wendy’s first time hosting one. There were about 15 of us, mostly Riverdale graduates. What an absolutely awesome evening! Fantastic food, terrific conversation, and lots of laughter, especially when Wendy, Sharon, and Kristie performed their award-winning dance moves to the song “Heartbeat-It’s a Lovebeat” by the DeFranco Family, a Canadian pop music group from the 70s. Back in the 6th grade, they won the overall prize at their school’s talent show with this performance. Everyone had a wonderful time, so Wendy is planning to make Friendsgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, an annual event. Happiness Boost!

High School Friends: Shannon, Chris, Kat, Jeff, Kristie, Sharon, Michelle, Shelly, Stacey, Kim, Steve, Eddie, and Wendy (holding Millie)

The weekend kept on giving with last night’s Drink Nightsgiving (just made this up to even out the “giving” theme in the title of this post-HA!). Barry and I drove over to the Cyrus’s house to partake in libations with Shelly, Kerry, Mrs. Carol (Shelly’s mom), and Mr. Mike (Shelly’s bonus dad and my Godson). Drink Nights with the Cyruses originated because of COVID restrictions. I am not a big drinker; however, I like trying fancy cocktails. Kerry, who is our official bartender and enjoys mixing fancy cocktails, served us Black Cherry Chocolate Martinis last night. This yummy adult beverage is his very own concoction. To make one marvelous martini, you will need the following ingredients: 1 ounce chocolate vodka; 1 ounce cherry vodka; 2-3 ounces of Just Black Cherry Juice (Knudsen); Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup to taste. According to Kerry, “you can increase vodka amounts if you want it a bit stronger. Or, decrease vodka amounts if it’s too strong.” In addition to our martinis, we nibbled on snacks which included a cheese dip that Mrs. Carol made (shaped like a turkey), a crab rangoon dip that Shelly made, chocolate, and Cape Cod potato chips (provided by me). Another enjoyable evening spent with fabulous friends.

It’s now Sunday, the last day of my vacation. Although it was shortened this year because of Hurricane Ida, I am grateful for the much-needed break from my day job and for spending quality time with my family and friends. Family relationships and friendships are super important to me, and I have been blessed with many wonderful humans who bring so much joy to my life. And, you are also counted among those humans that enrich my life, dear reader. Thank you for being you and reading my content. If you participated in a “giving” activity or have a suggestion for a fancy cocktail, please share in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend. Happiness!

“Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring, it is not taking things for granted, it is present-oriented.” ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky

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Kelsi and I kicked off our two-month-long (March/April) Holiday Horror Marathon the first weekend in March with watching the horror anthology Holidays. It is comprised of eight short horror films with each one inspired by a different holiday. A few days later, we had a chat where we reviewed the films and discussed our expectations for this marathon.

Kelsi and I decided that our horror movies would center around holidays throughout the year with the exception of Halloween and Christmas. We both chose 18 movies with many similar choices. I selected films connected to Arbor Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day, but Kelsi did not. I only picked one movie for Easter, and she picked three. Kelsi also included an additional movie for Father’s Day. I have also decided to watch the movies in the order of when the holiday happens during the year. Additionally, we will include some other holiday horror related activities, such as reading a holiday horror story, fixing thematic food and drinks, or listening to music to celebrate the day of festivity. Once we have completed our marathon at the end of April, Kelsi and I will have another conversation or two to discuss our likes, dislikes, the thematic tie-ins, and much more. 

Holiday Horror Movies

  • Holidays (Anthology)*
  • Terror Train (New Year’s Eve)*
  • Groundhog (Groundhog Day)*+
  • My Bloody Valentine – 1981 (Valentine’s Day)*
  • Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (Presidents’ Day)*
  • Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras)*
  • Leprechaun in the Hood (St. Patrick’s Day)
  • April Fool’s Day – 1986 (April Fool’s Day)*
  • Rottentail (Easter)*
  • The Happening (Arbor Day)
  • Soul Thieves (Cinco de Mayo)
  • Mother’s Day (Mother’s Day)*
  • Memorial Day (Memorial Day)
  • Father’s Day (Father’s Day)*
  • The Evil in Us (4th of July)*
  • Severance (Labor Day)*
  • Thankskilling (Thanksgiving)*
  • Hanukkah (Hanukkah)*

Notes: *These are the movies that Kelsi and I have in common. +We watched the trailer, teaser, and Kill Count compilation of Groundhog; however, I am in the process of doing some more research to see if I can find the full-length film of Groundhog for us to watch before the end of the marathon.

In Other Horror News

Kelsi and I are starting a BOOK CLUB. Oh, the Horror! It will be a horror-themed book club focusing on horror fiction as well as occasionally reading mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction. It is sure to provide chills, thrills, and kills with each book club selection. We are super excited since this is our first book club, and we would love for readers who share our love of the mysterious and the macabre to join us. The first order of business is choosing the name of our book club. You can help us, dear reader, by answering just one survey question (click on survey) by 31 March 2021. The name of our book club will be revealed on April Fool’s Day. Happiness!

“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.”            ~ Stephen King

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I hope those of you who are celebrating the holidays had a joyous week. My family started our Christmas festivities the Saturday before Christmas Day with my husband’s side of the family. We celebrated at my mother-in-law’s home. Good food, good company, and good vibes. On Christmas Day, we celebrated at my home. It was a small gathering that included my hubby, Andrew, my Daddy, and my mother-in-law. My mother was in Atlanta visiting my sister and her family, and my oldest son celebrated the day with his girlfriend and her family. Later in the evening after our guests departed, Andrew and I went to my BFF’s home (annual tradition) and hung out with her and her family for a few hours where we enjoyed each other’s company while drinking wine and apple martinis. Unfortunately, my hubby had to work on Thursday which meant he had to retire to bed early, so he wasn’t able to hang out with us this year.

Stella in kitchenIn the midst of this jovial holiday season, we were entertaining an unexpected guest who arrived at our humble abode on Monday evening. A sweet female pooch wandered into my garage as I was closing up for the evening. Since she was making no attempt to leave any time soon and was friendly, I gave her some dog food and water and let her be, figuring she would return from whence she came. Wrong! When Andrew came home later that evening, she was still hanging around. I did some research on Lost Pets of Tangipahoa and found a picture of a lost dog that looked just like my new furry friend. I contacted Lost Pets of Tangipahoa to inquire about the dog on her site which was in fact the same dog. She had been found near the Ponchatoula Wal-Mart the week before, secured for five days, and released when no one came forward to claim her. The finder could not keep her because she had a male dog and this little lady appeared to be in heat.

So, Amanda, the admin for Lost Pets of Tangipahoa, posted her picture again for me, and I agreed to keep her over Christmas. On Tuesday morning, Andrew and I took her to a vet nearby to see if she was chipped, and sadly she was not. Christmas came and went and no owner. As much as I do NOT need another dog and even though Tooty does not like her being in our house, I considered keeping her. I thought over time that Tooty would come around and learn to like her. After all, my German Shepherds, Sophie and Sonic, accepted Tooty when we took him in off the road. Unfortunately, she has one flaw…she does not like cats. That is a deal breaker because we have our beautiful kitty Puar. Needless to say, it has been interesting and a little stressful keeping all the fur babies separated.

Stella with toysOn Thursday and Friday, I contacted local rescue groups to see if they could help me find a place for her. I also reached out to my FB friends and family to spread the word about her situation, hoping for suggestions, guidance, or someone who could take her. If I could not find a good home for her, I was left with no choice but to bring her to the local animal shelter and hope for the best. Sadly, our animal shelter in Tangipahoa Parish is a “limited intake shelter.” I was striking out with some groups (full or no fosters) and receiving no responses at all from others. Finally, I contacted Amanda with Lost Pets to tell her that I was running out of options, and we were going to have to bring her to the shelter by the end of the day on Friday. Amanda contacted Northshore Humane Society to see if they could help. At the same time, Shelly had a possible family that wanted her. The family fell through because they have three cats. Northshore came through with Amanda’s help; however, we would have to wait until Saturday to bring her to the facility.

Stella & AndrewWell, dear reader, the baby girl is still with us. I spoke with Briana at Northshore on Saturday morning, and she asked if we could keep the pooch for a couple more days until they could find a foster to take her. Of course, I said yes. Although every day that she stays with us, we get more attached to her, and she gets more attached to us. On Northshore’s FB page, it appears a foster was finally found yesterday evening, but we have not been directly contacted, yet. I’m hoping we will be contacted tomorrow morning, so we can get her placed in a good home (without cats) where she can receive the love that she deserves.

I have been pretty emotional throughout this whole process. I have a soft spot for animals. Undoubtedly, I am more of a cat person than a dog person; however, this sweet canine has stolen my heart, and I want to do right by her. I’ve learned these past few days that unwanted/abandoned fur babies are an epidemic, and there are not enough people/resources to advocate for them. God bless everyone who does advocate for them. If my circumstances were different, I would keep her in a heartbeat, and I would name her Stella. Happiness!

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” ~ Ashly Lorenzana

 

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