Leaving “all or nothing” by my 4th blogoversary

boy turns into tigerToday is my 4th blogoversary!

I wondered at the end of my third year of blogging whether my blog would peter out without my list of challenges to tackle and write about.

On my fourth blogging anniversary, I am happy to say that I’ve found some balance in my “all of nothing” inclination. I’ve settled into a groove of writing about whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it.

I don’t feel pressured either way: I’m not suffering from stat-related compulsions, and I’m not in an aimless funk.

{Related: 2014 Year in Review}

MultiMEDIA Splice

This year, I started a new link party called MultiMEDIA Splice. While I appreciate the people who have linked up so far (thanks!), I can’t say that it’s caught on yet. And that’s okay. It keeps me posting at least once a week, and it’s a place for travel-related tidbits or new (or old) experiences that I might not post about otherwise. I also like that it’s getting me to incorporate more photography, music, and video into my posts.

400th post

In December, I published my 400th post: Searching for Jimi’s Castles Made of Sand. I didn’t notice it at the time, but thought I would commemorate it here.

Author and book, Timid No MorePaperback Writer

In March, I self-published a paperback version of my book, Timid No More. I felt like I had my fifteen minutes of fame when my local paper interviewed me about it. Okay, not fame exactly, but who wants fame anyway?

Funny Search Terms

Each year on my blog anniversary, I share some of the funny search terms that brought people to my blog.

It might get weird:erotic panda

  • erotic panda (Yeah, I kind of posted about that, but really, Internet?)
  • instrument used by farmers get milk from cow nude (Internet, what is with people?)
  • rose titanic showing her pu–y to jack (What?! Internet, make it stop.)
  • tiger balls virgin boy egg (Just stop.)
  • squeamish poop photos (What did I just say?)
  • teenboys feet pictures (Is this creepy?)
  • fortune cookie meaning 5 8 13 14 30 34 (Someone play these numbers tonight. Gimme 5 percent?)

Some favorites:

  • boy turns into tiger
  • swiss cats playing soccer
  • warm squishy organs

And more:

  • how streak at night just by walking on the streets
  • in summer my eyes are feeling lazy
  • how to make real food out of play-doh
  • sleeping in the bathroom xxx
  • snapsy ruined easterSwiss cats playing soccer by GERARDO_DLC (text added)
  • my name is crystal meth
  • mykonos fish feet
  • tiger kid sorry
  • cow i see what you did there
  • don’t worry mch mch let’s go
  • giggle rocket nude
  • love on a copy machine
  • what is a tiger
  • biggest pudding record
  • calfs

P.S. I ordered the illustrations for this post from Fiverr, here, here, and here (no affiliation, but I am amazed by the quick, original artwork people are selling for $5.)

Previous blog anniversaries:

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{Welcome to MultiMEDIA Splice #9, a link party. Join me by linking up an “invisible”-themed post or a multimedia post on any topic.}

“Flying in his dreams was an exhilarating, breathtaking experience, sometimes literally, that tended to leave reality wanting, like riding a roller coaster compared to mowing the lawn.”
Sol Luckman, Snooze: A Story of Awakening

Sometimes in my favorite dreams, I fly. When I awake, I snuggle under the covers for a few extra moments to remember the effortless ascent into the air.

Only, in my clearest memories, I realize that I wasn’t flying at all.

I was instead leaping, mighty leaps that carried me to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge or a quarter-mile down the road. It was so like flying, but it wasn’t quite.

This means that, even in my dreams, I never fly, never even levitate.

Until now.

Marcy levitation photo

One-finger handstand, Four Corners, USABut how is this post related to the theme “invisible”?

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not actually levitating.

I am sitting on a chair made invisible by the magic of Photoshop.

{Related: I wrote about making supports invisible in this post: One-finger handstand. That’s my son Dan at Four Corners, USA.}

I used a different process than the one in the tutorial video below. My arms were out of focus from my flight, and my lighting was different in my photo and my background photo, so I erased all the image surrounding me. Here’s a gif showing my steps in making a levitation photo:


Tutorial on how to make a levitation photo: (Video link)

P.S. I didn’t have a theme in mind for this week and asked my husband for ideas. When he recommended “invisible,” I said I had nothing to post about that. He called me out by saying, “How do you expect people to link up to your recommended theme if you won’t post about a recommended theme?” Point taken. Any recommendations?

What are your favorite dreams like? Do you manipulate photos with Photoshop?

101 things in 1001 days Levitate

Levitation strip

MultiMEDIA Splice #9

  • Bloggers: Welcome to the ninth week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Please join me by linking up an “invisible”-themed post or a multimedia post on any topic. Extra credit for an invisible-themed multimedia post.
  • Thanks to ladyleemanila for linking up Cliff last week.
  • Next week’s theme: It will be announced soon.

How to link up:

MultiMEDIA Splice #9
  • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
  • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
  • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few posts that link up.

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Cliff Walk

{Welcome to MultiMEDIA Splice #8, a link party. Join me by linking up a cliff-related post or a multimedia post on any topic.}

Cliff Walk Newport

My hiking past is littered with tense moments tiptoeing near the edges of cliffs, and there was the time I felt I had to jump off one. There was nothing scary, though, about taking the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI, on a cold but brilliant winter’s day with my family. Cliff Walk Newport collage We walked the beautiful path along the ocean to the Breakers, one of Newport’s historic “cottages” of the ultra-rich. The Breakers Newport collage Two of us elected to wear headphones for a self-guided audio tour. This is the perfect strategy for when you want two of you to stroll around a mansion shouting little tidbits on the history of the Vanderbilt family to the other two of you, even though those other two would have gotten headphones for themselves if they’d been interested. OK, maybe only one of us was shouting. I’ve never quite gotten the hang of talking quietly while wearing headphones. The Breakers mansion collage The Breakers kitchen and flowers collage After touring the mansion, we walked back along the Cliff Walk and down to the sea. Forty Steps Newport Later that day: Take a glassblowing class. Speaking of cliffs, my worst-best cliff moment was probably the Skycoaster at Royal Gorge, Colorado, an attraction that swung me out over a thousand-foot gorge. My son David, age 10 at the time, twisted my arm to get me to do it, and then clung to my arm, terrified out of his mind. He’s on my left in the video below. I love the video, but it still makes my nerves rattle. If you watch the video, you’ll get to hear me scream, and if you stick with it until the end, you’ll get to hear me scream in slo-mo.

 (Video link)

That feeling of the ground under your feet again: priceless.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A slideshow of some favorite cliff-side moments

101 things in 1001 days Go on the Cliff Walk in Newport Newport Cliff Walk strip

MultiMEDIA Splice #8

      • Bloggers: Welcome to the eighth week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Please join me by linking up a cliff-related post or a multimedia post on any topic. Extra credit for a cliff-related multimedia post.
      • My favorite post in the “glass” link party last week: On glass and taking things for granted by Carol Apple of Carol’s Notes
      • Next week’s theme: Invisible. (I didn’t have an idea ready to go, and my husband challenged me to this one.)

 How to link up:

MultiMEDIA Splice #8


      • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
      • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
      • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few blogs that link up.


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Take a glassblowing class

{MultiMEDIA Splice – join me by linking up a glass-related post or a multimedia post on any topic.}

Marcy at glassblowing oven

“If you treat glass right, it doesn’t crack. If you know the properties, you can make things; the color of dusk and night and love. But you can’t control people like that and I really, really wish you could. I want the world to be glass.”
Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

I’ve always wanted to try glassblowing, and I got the chance during a recent day in Newport, RI., where an instructor helped me make a hand blown glass Christmas ornament.

First we approached the oven of molten glass heated to 2,000 degrees. I lingered near the cozy heat for a few extra moments as the instructor put a blob of molten glass onto the end of a glassblowing pipe. He showed me how to spin it and shape it.

Twirling glass blob

1 Colored glass pieces collage

For my Christmas ornament, I chose the colors blue, red, and white. I twirled the molten blob into the colored pieces of glass.

2 Glassblowing lesson collage

The paparazzi were in place. My son David was with me taking photos, while my son Daniel and husband Randy were taking photos through a window.

Daniel and Randy watching glassblowing lesson

I blew air into the tube and watched the blob of glass expand. The instructor and I shaped it into a ball. We repeated these steps a few times until it was the right size and shape.

5 Marcy glassblowing collage

We sealed my breath in the ornament forever.

glassblowing lesson
“Don’t touch the pipe!”

The instructor added a top to it. David took this cool video (11 seconds) showing the instructor shaping molten glass.

 (Video link)

Handblown glass Christmas ornament

The instructor placed my ornament into a heated kiln where it could cool slowly for two days. I received my ornament in the mail about a week later.

Handblown glass Christmas ornament

Thanks to a long-standing family tradition of procrastinating in taking down our Christmas tree, I was able to take a photo of my ornament with Christmas lights in the background.

101 things in 1001 days Take a glassblowing class

Glassblowing strip

Bloggers: Welcome to the seventh week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Please join me by linking up a glass-related post and/or a multimedia post on any topic.

{Next week’s theme: Cliff and/or a multimedia post on any topic–extra credit for a cliff-related multimedia post.}

How to link up:

MultiMEDIA Splice #7
  • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
  • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
  • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few blogs that link up.

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    Relaxing the rules on a new link party–join me on Sundays

    Glassblowing stripBlue boats of Essaouira Morocco stripDecember calendar year in review stripWitch wand New Orleans stripcamels on beach strip
    Tunnel stripPork carnitas strip

    I have a history of trying to get link parties going, only to have them flop because I make them too complicated. Is that what’s going on with MultiMEDIA Splice?

    To make it easier and more inviting, I’m relaxing the rules on the link party.

    Relaxed rule: Link up a post that explores the week’s theme (“glass” for Jan. 11) or a multimedia post on any topic.

    You get extra credit, though, if it’s a multimedia post on the theme. (That’s the teacher in me coming through.)

    I hope you’ll join me tomorrow, Jan. 11, at MultiMEDIA Splice.

    Do you like to join link parties? Which ones?

    Update: I just came across this post about writing a BHAG, and I realized that my efforts to get this link party going are tied to a “big hairy audacious goal.”

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    Tangled Up in Blue

    {MultiMEDIA Splice, a link party; update: now easier to join}

    Tangled Up in Blue

    Please press play and listen to the song as you read this post.

    “In a 1978 interview Dylan explained this style of songwriting: ‘What’s different about it is that there’s a code in the lyrics, and there’s also no sense of time. There’s no respect for it. You’ve got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room, and there’s very little you can’t imagine not happening.'” — Pablo Picasso & Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue from Simon Nielsen on Vimeo.

    As I shuffle through my travel photos, bits of memories wash over me. Some loom large in my past, while others are only tiny moments, almost forgotten. I listen to music as I remember. When Bob Dylan comes on, I grow tangled up in blue …  Blue dawn Costa Rica … the blue dawn of a sleepy Costa Rican town as I move toward an adventure … Blue robes of a Bedouin Sahara … the blue robes of a Bedouin as he slowly walks away from me in the desert …  Weathered blue door Greek village … the weathered blue door in a little Greek village … Porcelain Basin Yellowstone 2007 …  the mysterious blue geysers amid the otherworldly white mineral deposits in Porcelain Basin … blue tank fish pedicure Mykonos Greece … the blue tank of a fish pedicure as tourists take pictures of my feet … Snorkeling in the blue Aegean Greece  … the tantalizing waters of Aegean blue, as they slide by mile after mile … Blue Man Group man with David Daniel Marcy 2004 … the faces of the Blue Man Group, who delight us in Boston … Blue boats of Essaouira Morocco … the blue boats of Essaouira, gently bobbing under the feet of hardworking fishermen … Dead trees and blue sky Yellowstone 2007 … the bits of blue sky peeking through burned trees that stand like sentinels in Yellowstone… Blue curtain Radio City Music Hall … the gold-starred blue curtain of Radio City Music Hall that hints of the spectacle to come … Blue sightseeing bus Cusco Peru … the wet blue seats of the double-decker sightseeing bus in the Cusco rain … Werewolf Mardi Gras float New Orleans 2007 … the blue werewolf’s face on a Mardi Gras float as I scream for beads … Blue Andes Inca Trail Peru … the blue Andes surrounding us on the Inca Trail as we hike toward Machu Picchu … Blue ceramic Fes Morocco … the blue ceramics of FesUS Open blue tennis court … the blue tennis court of Louis Armstrong Stadium as the New York crowd goes wild … Blue sea and sky Windmill Mykonos Greece … the deep blue sea and sky in front of a windmill on Mykonos … Daniel and David on kayak 2005 … the blue kayak my sons hop on by themselves in upstate New York … The Bulldog coffee shop Amsterdam … the blue Bulldog sign of an Amsterdam coffee shop …  Blue alleys in Rabat Morocco … the lovely light blue walls of twisting alleys in the Kasbah des Oudayas … Cliff Walk Newport … the crashing blue waves during a brilliant winter’s day on the Cliff Walk in Newport … Blue jellyfish Florida beach … the bubbly blue jellyfish on a Florida beach … Blue tuk tuk Bangkok Thailand … the dusty blue tuk-tuk in Thailand whose driver deceives us … Bellydancer in blue costume Morocco … the scanty blue costume of a Moroccan belly dancer … Blue domes Santorini Greece … the iconic blue domes of Santorini … Blue raft whitewater Rio Balsa Costa Rica 2012 … the blue raft I’m terrified I’ll fall out of on the Rio BalsaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA … the blue of the Greek flag against the blue of the Greek sky … Blue bike helmets Chicago … the bright blue bike helmets we don in Chicago … Blue turban and grey turban Fes Medina … the deep blue turban on my older son as we prepare to enter the SaharaWhite church blue sky Greece … the blue sky framing a blindingly white church … Blue dusk in a village square Lake Titicaca Peru … the blue dusk of a celebrating village on Lake Titicaca

    “The only thing I knew how to do
    Was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew
    Tangled up in blue”
    — Bob Dylan


    Blue boats of Essaouira Morocco strip

    Bloggers: Welcome to the sixth week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Please join me by linking up a multimedia post on this week’s theme: Blue.

    {Next week’s theme: Glass or a multimedia post on any topic.}

    How to link up:

    MultiMEDIA Splice #6
    • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
    • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
    • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few blogs that link up.

    Posted in MultiMEDIA Splice, Music, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

    Year in Review: 2014

    {MultiMEDIA Splice, a link party}

    Year in Review: 2014

    Blooming basement sunflowerJanuary

    New Life Amid the Polar Vortex

    I’ve never been a gardener, so it was eye-opening to see how much I loved coaxing sunflowers to bloom in my basement in the dead of winter.

    “Last week, while the polar vortex swirled outside my Connecticut window, little triangles pushed forth from the center of the biggest plant. A bud was swelling, and inside that whirl of shapes, a flower was waiting to emerge.” (Continue reading)

    Completed 101 things in 1001 daysFebruary

    101 Things in 3 Minutes

    I made a three-minute video that features every one of my 101 challenges, set to “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead. So much fun!

    “I still feel the effects of completing 101 things in 1001 days rippling through my life.” (Continue reading)

    Runner-up: Lost in Cuzco.
    Getting lost in Cuzco, Peru: jet lag, altitude sickness, bad Spanish, worse navigation, and a rat. What more could I ask for in a story?

    Sleeping in the Sahara Gargleblaster collage 1000March

    Sleeping in the Sahara

    My first Gargleblaster (a 42-word writing challenge) was one of my favorites.

    “In the Sahara, collapsed on a carpet, air so dry my eyeballs ache, colors transform, beige to orange to black.” (Continue reading)

    Walk across the Brooklyn BridgeApril

    Birthday on the Brooklyn Bridge

    For my birthday, my husband took me to New York to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “We had a gorgeous spring day after a week of cold weather, so it made for a spectacular crossing. We started on the Manhattan side in a crowd of tourists, overhearing snippets of conversation in languages from around the world.” (Continue reading)

    Runner-up: Three Finales that Worked.
    I don’t write about television often, but I enjoyed the finales of Breaking Bad, Dexter, and How I Met Your Mother, unlike the rest of the world, it seemed.

    Pan Galactic Gargle BlasterMay

    Ode to the Gargleblaster

    This post celebrated both a bizarre cocktail and a 42-word writing challenge: The Gargleblaster.

    “I was tapped out, my stories all told, with no new ones up ahead. Then came the Gargleblaster, and I was assured at least one post a week to get excited about. I had loved the inspiration for the challenge, the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,  as a kid, when I used to whisper “42” as a secret code to screen people in the know, so I was instantly drawn to it.” (Continue reading)

    Runner-up: In Peru, the Inca are Everywhere.
    The ancient Inca still have a strong influence in Peru.

    Engaged Encounter GargleblasterJune

    Gurgles at the Engaged Encounter

    My husband (who was my fiance at the time) confused a priest with his intestinal distress.

    “When the priest raised sexual relations, my fiance’s intestines gurgled. Other couples turned and stared, so of course we giggled.” (Continue reading)

    101 things articleJuly

    When the Interviewer Gets Interviewed

    Introvert alert! I shared what it felt like to be interviewed by my local paper about my  book: Timid No More.

    “He and I laughed over my scary trapeze class, my Dance Central ineptitude, and my suburban confusion about how exactly to milk a cow. He confessed a fear of heights himself, and we commiserated over mind-numbing moments trying to climb a simple ladder. I caught myself enjoying the attention. I then had over a week to stew about the article.” (Continue reading)


    The Princess and the Peed Off Copy Machine Woman

    A first year teacher’s obstacle: The copy machine woman disliked me from the start and held my copies hostage.

    “I looked past her at the bulletin board and focused on a tableau of one cat wearing a feather headdress and another cat wearing a tricorn. Columbus Day? A Thanksgiving preview? Dear God, what were those poor creatures having to endure?” (Continue reading)

    Image by Ross Berteig (CC by 2.0)

    Runner-up: Fitbit to be Tied, Part 2.
    I got active again with the help of an activity tracker.

    Driving test Venn diagramSeptember

    From the DMV to the DMZ

    Oy. Teenage boys. And how to use math to end a fight.

    “I resisted the urge to plunge my hand into his chest and pull out his still-beating heart. I said, ‘That’s unacceptable. I’m not talking to you until you apologize.’ I knew this was a stupid thing to say, but there we were, and several days of cold shoulders passed.” (Continue reading)

    Garlic and Harvest Festival, Bethlehem, CTOctober

    Oh My Garlic: The Garlic and Harvest Festival

    I challenged myself to make a video of my visit to a garlic festival. I was pleased with how it came out, but that garlic stayed with me for days!

    “Garlic ice cream … garlic pickles … whole roasted garlic cloves …garlic vinegar … garlic pesto … garlic cannoli…. Yes, you heard that right: garlic cannoli.” (Continue reading)

    Runner-up: What I Ate in Thailand: The Best Food in the World.
    Of all my travels, Thailand had the most amazing food. And squeasel too.

    Pork carnitas dinnerNovember

    Pork Carnitas: Meatlovers, Prepare to Swoon (MultiMEDIA Splice #1, a new link party)

    This incredibly delicious meal was also the launch of my new link party, MultiMEDIA Splice.

    “The first bite: tender and crispy, rich and spicy, with a touch of sweetness from the orange and an unexpected hint of Chinese five spice giving it that je ne sais quois…” (Continue reading)

    sandals covered in mud in Essaouira MoroccoDecember

    Searching for Jimi’s Castles Made of Sand

    I searched for fabled ruins in Morocco.

    “I needed a little magic to get me over the despair of the last 24 hours. I needed a little Jimi.” (Continue reading)

    Runner-Up: I accidentally angered a psychic.
    I don’t believe in psychics, but I still worried about hearing my future from an angry one.

    What was your favorite post this year? Feel free to link it up below.

    Year in Review 2012 Year in Review 2013 Year in Review 2014


    December calendar year in review strip

    Bloggers: Welcome to the fifth week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Please join me by linking up a multimedia post on this week’s theme: Review.

    {Next week’s theme: Blue. Something blue? Feeling blue? The deep blue sea?}

    How to link up:

    MultiMEDIA Splice #5
    • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
    • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
    • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few blogs that link up.

    Posted in MultiMEDIA Splice | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

    Beyond 101 Things: 15th Quarterly Report

    {Link up your favorite post of 2014 or a “year in review” post at Year in Review: MultiMEDIA Splice #5.}

    15th Quarterly Report: October – December, 2014

    I finally shook off the doldrums after completing my 101 things in 1001 days list, just in time for my one-year anniversary of finishing it. Here are my list-worthy pursuits from the last three months.

    Make a festival video

    Oh My Garlic: The Garlic & Harvest Festival: I set a personal goal to be a roving reporter at the Connecticut Garlic Festival. I liked the final product.

    Hand out blog business cards

    (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish business card

    Oh My Garlic: The Garlic & Harvest Festival: I just had to overcome a little shyness for this one. I handed out blog business cards to each person I interviewed for the festival video I mentioned above. From a careful review of my stats, it didn’t seem like anyone followed this up with a visit to my blog, but it still felt like a mild victory.

    Try garlic ice cream

    Try garlic ice cream

    Oh My Garlic: The Garlic & Harvest Festival: It was yucky, but it was the most novel thing I tried at the Connecticut Garlic Festival.

    Make caramel milk candies


    Make Caramel Milk Candies: Fun to try, plus caramel.

    Go to a psychic

    Beyond 101 things

    I accidentally angered a psychic: I pushed myself out of my comfort zone for this one, but the psychic got mad at me.

    Make homemade Baileys Irish Cream

    Christmas Eve cocktail

    What I Ate on Christmas: Getting Figgy with It: I like all things Irish and all things homemade, and the homemade Baileys was easy and delicious.

    Make figgy pudding

    Christmas figgy pudding with hard sauce

    What I Ate on Christmas: Getting Figgy with It: This was fun to try, too, and what could be more Christmasy for dessert?

    MultiMEDIA Splice

    In other news, I started a new link party, MultiMEDIA Splice, but I haven’t gotten much participation yet. Too difficult? It’s a multimedia link party with a weekly theme.

    Link up your favorite post of 2014 or a “year in review” post at Year in Review: MultiMEDIA Splice #5.

    Posted in Et Cetera | Tagged | Leave a comment

    What I Ate on Christmas: Getting Figgy with It

    {Link up your favorite post of 2014 or a “year in review” post at Year in Review: MultiMEDIA Splice #5.}

    Christmas day snack
    Warmth (Daily Post Photo Challenge)

    With older teens at Christmas, the focus isn’t much on the presents anymore. It’s on relaxing together as a family, listening to Christmas music, and coming up with some special food I don’t serve during the rest of the year.

    The breakfasts are always the same, though. I assemble an egg casserole, and it cooks while we’re opening our presents.

    Christmas breakfast casserole

    Grandma's Bird's Nest CookiesLunch usually doesn’t happen.

    We did, though, make a batch of Grandma’s Bird’s Nest Cookies, some with raspberry and some with lemon.

    I tried a few chocolate ones this year too.

    Randy and I also had a delicious cocktail of homemade Baileys Irish Cream by the fire while the kids had eggnog. I made the cocktail with Jameson Irish Whiskey, cream, sweetened condensed milk, homemade chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and coffee. It tasted just like the real thing, but also somehow a little better since I mixed it up myself.

    egg nog cookies and homemade Baileys by the fire collage

    I had a special dinner planned, but first I had to get to work on the figgy pudding.

    This was a lot of fun to make since there are old rituals connected with it. I needed a good luck trinket to bake into the pudding. I chose a lucky amulet I had picked up in Thailand.

    Good luck trinket for figgy pudding

    It is an elephant god astride a rooster.

    Good luck trinket for figgy pudding

    Whoever gets served a slice with the trinket hidden inside gets extra good luck for the new year.

    figgy pudding mix collage

    Another ritual is to have everyone stir the pudding at least once for good luck. I interrupted my boys, who were gaming in the basement, so that they could take their turn. (I’m sure they appreciated it!) My husband was napping on the couch by that point, and I let him continue sleeping rather than take his good luck stir. (I’m sure he’s not too disappointed.)

    I also picked up some Christmas crackers. Like Christmas figgy pudding, it’s an English tradition.

    Randy with Christmas cracker

    There were little prizes and paper crowns inside the crackers. Fun!

    Randy David Daniel Christmas dinner

    Dinner was delicious: (half a) leg of lamb with mashed potatoes, balsamic-roasted shallots, Bourbon-glazed carrots (a hit in a previous year), and Brussels sprouts.

    Christmas dinner lamb

    The figgy pudding steamed for two hours. Finally, it was time to serve it. I doused it with some brandy and tried to light it on fire.

    figgy pudding collage

    Alas, it didn’t flame up like I envisioned, but if you look closely in the right-hand photo above, you may be able to spy a very tiny blue flame. On second thought, it is really tiny, and you probably can’t see it. (Can you see it here?)

    Christmas figgy pudding with hard sauce

    I served the figgy pudding with hard sauce. No one was served the slice with the trinket, so we’ll have to try again.

    Christmas Eve cocktail

    Merry Christmas!

    What’s your favorite Christmas food or tradition?

    Christmas Eve cocktail 101 things in 1001 days

    What I Ate Wednesday

    Years of Christmas past:

    Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

    Link up your favorite post of 2014

    Love locks on the Brooklyn Bridge

    In honor of the coming new year, I will be relaxing the rules on my new link party, MultiMEDIA Splice, and inviting bloggers to link up their favorite post of 2014.

    I hope to see you on Sunday. Merry Christmas!

    Update: Link up your favorite post of 2014 or a “year in review” post here–Year in Review: MultiMEDIA Splice #5.

    Solve Christmas riddles Grandma's Bird's Nest Cookies

    rp_Multimedia-Splice-Link-Party-300x300.jpg Hat tip to ProBlogger, where I saw this idea. It’s cool to see the wide variety of posts that the site’s readers linked up.

    Posted in Et Cetera | 2 Comments