Sunday, December 8, 2013

In The Land of Scorpions, Gingerbread, and Other Bad Taste

Gingerbread Houses

The House of Nod decided to bring back the tradition of making and decorating gingerbread houses during the Advent season. Siblings, parents, grandparents, and children had a marathon 3-day event: mixed the dough, chilled it for 24 hours, rolled, baked, glued with frosting, and then finally -- decorating with a million candies.

The secret to making truly awesome gingerbread cookies: Crisco. I kid you not. There is no substitute.

Outpost #4 made a beautiful traditional gingerbread house.

The Nodlings' house was decorated by the same committee that designed the platypus. Sleigh, train tracks, koi pond, and gumdrop / non-pareil roof.  What?

My sister K-Lo and hubs embraced some structural failures and went all redneck-ghetto Christmas, complete with patchy lawn, couch, car on blocks, telephone wires, drooping Christmas lights, and ugly siding.

A masterpiece!


Speaking of redneck ambiance, we've had our first snow in the Washington, DC area. Since no one can remember from winter to winter how to drive in the white stuff, I moved my truck from the street where it normally sits. I parked it just to the right of my driveway under some trees, so yes, technically I've parked on the lawn.

What? I still need the driveway clear to get the cars out of the garage.  Moving the truck allows the plows to clear my street, and nobody hits my truck by accident.

Catholic Worst Case Scenario Survival Tip #2

Last week's research into the Catholic Worst Case Scenario Survival Tip about Confession and getting gored by a Yak yielded an unexpected bonus question: What happens if you've been stung by scorpions in Mexico and need to get to confession but can't speak Spanish?

Find out the exciting answer here! Catholic Worst Case Scenario Survival Tip #2

Magnificat Advent Companion
Trying to keep things "in perspective" and "in season" both. This 2013 Magnificat Advent companion reader is only 99 cents and well worth the buck. Includes how to pray the "O" Antiphons.  Use iTunes, Kindle, e-reader -- whatever. Just do it.
A perfect way to live Advent to the full this year.
This Companion features original meditations on the Gospel reading of each day by nineteen gifted authors.
Each issue of the Advent Companion is never the same as the last and contains these one-of-a-kind extras that you won’t find anywhere else:
- a variety of beautiful blessings and essays
- an Advent Penance Service
- specially-commissioned poetry
- a unique feature: the Advent Stations

Holiday greetings
Speaking of seasons, I've got just the touch of holiday Grinch going on. I refuse to wish anyone a "Happy Holiday".  Anyone who wishes me a generic "Happy Holiday" will be forced to choose.

Which did you mean? Merry Christmas, Happy Advent, Happy New Year, Happy Channukah, or what?  I don't care what you choose, as long as you're specific.   

Grump. Grump.

The genericizing of the holiday calendar really bugs me.  We set aside special days and holy days for a reason -- and it ain't one more "holiday" sale.

Hot Buttered Rum
Is there anything more delightful than sitting beside a real wood fire with a hot buttered rum? Didn't think so.
Photo Courtesy of ©

Dinosaur collagen. 68,000,000 years old and still soft. 

Yeah, still fascinates just like when I was 6.  h/t. A Catholic Citizen in America.
"A nearly-complete fossil found in Canada, and collagen extracted from a dinosaur's bone, fascinate me. Your experience may vary."

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Unknown said...

Wonderful Christmas cottages. I lived in the red neck riviera for a while so I favor the red neck ghetto version.
Merry Christmas to all!

Nod said...

Thanks, Joann. It was tons of fun! Merry Christmas.


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