Usually, January seems to go on & on, but it’s flown by this year (at least it seems that way). How did the 1st month of 2013 go for you? What’s one thing you set out to do that you accomplished in January? A new exercise plan? Getting life more organized? On this last day of the month, tell us!

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to. ~ Mark Twain

Advertisements

As you know, I hate mayo, but my brother-in-law’s mother Ida Hatton South, was famous for her mayonnaise cakes. She thought she was tricking me once, she served me a slice of her cake and I ate it. Because, even though I knew that it may have been made with mayonnaise in place of eggs and oil, once it’s baked, its just eggs and oil. So here it is…

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, water and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; stir until well blended. Pour batter into greased and floured layer cake pans (or a 9- x 13-inch pan). Bake at 350°F. for about 25 minutes.

Chocolate Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are nice, optional)

Heat butter, cocoa, and milk and bring to a boil. Add powdered sugar and beat until nice and smooth. Add chopped nuts and stir.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ida also would flour her potatoes when frying so they would turn out crispier. I’m not a huge fan of those, but loved them when she made them. It’s how I came up with my ham and potato bake recipe. Add some flour to oil when frying and you have a roux, then add milk and it makes gravy. Add ham and cover with cheese, bake it for 20 minutes and yum! its so good!

Ida was an amazing woman, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend as much time with her as I did. May God rest her soul.

Often the search proves more profitable than the goal. ~ E. L. Konigsburg

As I sit here today, thinking about all the good things I’ve enjoyed this Holiday Season and eagerly looking forward to the New Year; mulling over the things I wanted to share with my family and friends, I got tickled.

When I went to my “Dashboard” here at the blog and I saw that yesterday more people checked the blog than most of the week. I guess, they were all wondering why I had stopped posting Cookie Exchange Party (*see below) recipes or maybe they just wanted to see if I was too sorry to post anything new? Whatever reason, I do hope the suspense was well worth the wait. I’ll try to toss a few things out there and go back and back post the other recipes. Sorry about that. Maybe just drop a few hints and I’ll get back to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Metcalf Family Christmas Party

The party was held on Monday, December 13, 2010 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 p.m. at the Golden Corral in Franklin, Ohio. My family had a great time. The kids ate like there was no tomorrow, but let’s face it, at a Buffet what else can you do? I’ve decided not to plan the party for next year. If someone else, in the family, wants to plan the party, we’ll be more than happy to attend. No gift exchange, please.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This month, as a family we have been really blessed. Anthony and I got to spend some quality time with our family and friends. A few that we didn’t, strike me as odd, the people we try to avoid all year long; we suddenly feel compelled to visit at the Holiday’s? That’s what the Holidays are for I guess, so that no one is left out.

Last week, Christine and I went to see my cousin, whom somehow manages to avoid everyone all year, maybe not completely on purpose, just keeps to himself. We wanted to take him some cookies, from the *cookie exchange party. We knocked and he yelled, “What do you want?” I had to laugh, it didn’t even faze us, and we just yelled back, “In! We can’t stand out here in the cold, all day. It’s freezing out here!” Most people may have been a little put off by his response, but when it comes to family, you just have to laugh and roll with it.

We didn’t stay long, since we were unannounced and I didn’t think he’d be home this time either, just taking a chance. In our defense, we had been trying to call him for days, with no answer, his phone was messed up, and so Christine and I just stopped by (when I was already late for an appointment in Cincinnati). We sat there and chatted for a few, the phone rang and my hubby reminded me that he was in a major hurry (as usual) and I had forgotten to pick him up. So we jetted out the door, but I told him that we’d be back. So he has been warned and hopefully will great us with a warmer welcome next time. He isn’t feeling his best, so I’ll keep him in my prayers and ask you to do the same. We do love him and wish him all the best this Christmas Season and a very happy and prosperous New Year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Cookie Exchange Party

The party was held on Sunday, December 19th, 2010 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Party Central aka my front garage with 11 women in attendance. Steven asked to come, but somehow that just seemed odd. I guess in hindsight, I should have said, “Come on son, the more the merrier.”

I do love all the Holiday inspired parties, and games that we play like Christmas Bingo and The Nutcracker, seen on MINUTE TO WIN IT, just too much fun. That Mandy won of course, while talking on the phone.

One of my all time favorite parties has to be the Cookie Exchange Party. Where else can you an appetizer buffet, drink spiced cider and sample all those delicious cookies? I also learned that two of my friends Kathy Reamy and Sylvia Hess neither one had seen the classic Christmas movie, “The Christmas Story.” What? How can that be? It’s a movie marathon on Christmas Day. A must see for any family. No I’m not getting paid to plug it, just another one of those beyond belief moments that seemed fitting to mention in this post. Sorry peeps not meant to embarrass you here. I do hope you’ll still come again next year. I may even play the movie.

But as fate would have it, this year’s party didn’t go off without a hitch. Although for one of my parties, it was about par for the course. I feel like Mary Tyler Moore, when Mr. Grant tells her that her parties are the worst and it would be a mistake for her to have it, but of course, she goes ahead and has one anyway and he’s absolutely right; again. Her party is a virtual disaster. She should call me and we’ll compare notes. My husband, Anthony usually gives me the same speech right before each and every party, he’s a brat. Thanks’ Babe for having my back. NOT! This party was to be no exception; most of the invitees claimed to have had the flu and begged off, but for the faithful few that came, we had a great time. The cookies were plentiful and amazing. I can’t wait for next year’s party. I have a million new ideas. I’m going to look online this year for all kinds of red and green footed party plates to add to my collection and new ways to decorate the tables. I want to deck it out in a lot of red and green candles and sequence then surrounded it all with candy canes and Christmas wrapped kisses. Yummy!

PS: In their defense, my entire family and I had that the same flu that week and it really was a serious flu, so all if forgiven. Unless of course you try to use that same excuse next year. Then we’ll have a problem. Get your Flu shots. I know that I’m going to. I don’t ever want to repeat that again. I may even add it to my Cookie Exchange Party invitations for next year.

(It’s a good thing that my family knows when I’m joking – love you guys).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gingerbread Party

Brandy & Mandy had schemed up a Gingerbread Party with sleep over, which I couldn’t have enjoyed more. Watching all the children create and make large messes in my home (well garage/party central) is always a treat. I try never to complain. All messes are cleaned up soon enough, but the memories will last a lifetime. The grandkids were so much fun this year, with only two calamities to speak of, but no one was hurt or nothing even worth mentioning broke, so it was an absolutely priceless experience. I will make a few notes so that next years party will go off without a hitch, and Tiger will have a softer mattress to sleep on. Poor fella, that couldn’t have been good. The yellow guest room, mattress is like sleeping on a rock. I know, I’ve endured it twice, when work was being done in my bedroom and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Please except my deepest apologies and I do hope you will find it on your heart to come back again next year and give it another try.

I wanted to do something totally different this year in the gift department and hopefully it will become a trend. As the Grandparents now, it doesn’t seem to be our jobs to fill up the tree and make everyone’s wishes come true. It’s just to have everyone together in one place and love them as much as possible.

I decided it would best, for me to buy everyone, the exact same gift this year, so that no one could complain they didn’t get the same or as much as, anyone else. Since the sleep-over was originally planned for Christmas Eve, it seemed like the perfect gift; just get each person a pair of pajama’s and house shoes. Then kids were to get a large candy cane and a little red & white sock monkey, but I went to 4 Wal-Mart’s, and could only get seven sock monkey’s. That wouldn’t work, not with 12 Grand’s total – that just wasn’t enough. So I eighty-sixed the monkeys and just bought all the kids Santa hats. I liked it. Plus they looked nice in the pictures.

That was all just going to be, too easy. We ended up having the Gingerbread Party on the 23rd instead of the 24th – I made Christmas Adam jokes, the day before Christmas Eve, is Christmas Adam, oh well, I get the joke. The date was changed which made my perfect gift ideas, a FOLD, in the children’s eyes anyway. Since Allie & Ave were leaving early Christmas Eve morning, Allie, now three years old, ask if they could open their gifts before they went home, and since we had already had the sleepover – no new pj’s, it didn’t make too much sense to them, why they didn’t get toys, or to Anthony either for that matter, since they didn’t all get them at the same time and would have all matched. The girls weren’t thrilled with their gifts. Oh well, I’ll try harder to make it up to them, next year.

Steven brought his girlfriend home with him for the break. We really enjoyed having them both here. Although, the big girls (Mandy, Brandy and Christine), may have sworn off playing Scattergories with Steven ever again. Steven decided that all answers had to be exact; it was like playing a game with Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. Oh well, their used to it. He bought us a “Balderdash” game to play, and helpfully we’ll get “Minute To Win It,” for next year. The board games just keep mounding around here. I told my oldest sister Shirley we will have to have a game night next month, instead of Girl’s Night Out! Shouldn’t matter that much, we mostly just eat anyway! (Insert a little snicker here).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ladies Secret Sister Dinner

Our church ladies “Secret Sister Dinner,” was a lot of fun last night. The party was held at the Olive Garden; it had been postponed earlier due to snow and ice. With most of the ladies there, except for Pastor Gary’s wife whom was home sick and Diane Calton, she was working, it was a small crowd, but again, we really had a lot of fun. Those that had participated in the “Secret Sister,” all year gifted and exposed themselves as the culprit that had been secretly gifting their Sister-in-Christ all year; for birthday’s, anniversaries and all Holiday’s; great and small. For those of us that chose not to participate for whatever the reason just brought our exchange gifts in and we played the “White Elephant” game aka Nasty Christmas to receive a small token (w/ $10 limit) of someone’s affection this Holiday Season. I got a lamp Christine had picked out, in which I’m sure she’ll find a way to trade me out of later.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
New Year’s Eve Party

New Year’s Eve Party or not to party, that is the question. This year, may be the year I skip the New Year’s Party and just go to bed early. I may be all partied out; if that’s even possible. We’ll see what unfolds. No real plans as of yet. Who knows invite me and I just may show up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Remembrances, Birthday’s, Anniversaries and Notables

To my friends Mike and Kathy O’Bradovic,
Please except my sincere congratulations on the adoption of your first Granddaughter. I know she will become all the things you’ll imagine her to be. She is a great blessing this Holiday Season; enjoy all the love she will bring to your family, both now and in the future. Best wishes to you and your family.

I also want to wish Matt and Diana Reeves a very hardy congratulations on the birth of their first child, a beautiful new baby girl, they’ve named her Addison Faith Reeves. She is a true gift from God.

To Jeff & Sophia,
Happy Birthday to Jeff and Congratulations are in order for the new Grandbabies in your life. I can’t wait to see them. I do hope you come down soon and show them off.

Happy Birthday this month to Chris’ daughters Cassidy and Chelsea Metcalf.

Happy Birthday to my Grandson Trey aka Alan Edward Whiteside III, Grandpa and Grandma loves you.

Happy Birthday to my brother’s only son, Justin Adkins. You’re a true treasure in our family and we are so fortunate to have you to love.

To my Cousin Sandy’s, daughter Cheyenne Comb’s,
I want to wish you a very happy birthday this Thursday. I hope life treats you kind and you’ll be blessed on your birthday.

As for me and my house, I just want to say,
“Enjoy each and every blessing this Holiday Season
and Welcome to the Family,”
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Top Searches

• mary bluesky cornstalk
• blue sky daughter of cornstalk
• train wreck ottawa illinois 1942
• leslie and edith robinson
• accomac virginia plantation teakle
• blue sky mary cornstalk

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. ~ Socrates

Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

My mom’s best friend was Mrs. Baker and no, I never used her first name ever. I do know it but out of respect for her, I only use her married surname.  I know it’s a sign of my age, but I think it’s a time honored tradition and I for one, respect it.

Mrs. Baker was the mother of my friend and neighbor. They talked everyday, I have no idea about what, for I left the room.  But they had been very good friends for a very long time. She had several other friends that she shared things with, but I’d say that she was her best.

My Grandma Phebie had a best friend named Gloria, she was a great friend to my grandma and all of her children. I’m sure it took many years for some of the grand-kids to figure out that she wasn’t really related.

Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment. ~ Bill Walsh

from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

Every Wednesday on this blog, I share a family recipe with you.  Now I’m asking you to share one or two of your favorites with me. Either via Facebook or directly to my email address: vvsfan@msn.com

The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven. ~ Knute Rockne

I’ve had some major events happen this week; some good… some???

I felt like a funeral crasher yesterday when one of my favorite uncles when I was a young girl, and still is today, died this week and I attended his funeral, without my older sister Shirley by my side. I can honestly say, that I only knew 3 or 4 people there, it was uncomfortable to say the least.

I slid in – in my usual manner; late.  Realizing at that moment, I’d forgotten to send flowers, for the first time ever in my life. I don’t know where my head was at? But in the grand scheme of things, I guess it was par for the course. Hopefully, no one really noticed, few people there knew me anyway.

Afterward, I attended the farewell gathering, where I was hit with, yet another big bombshell… when my aunt just plainly announced to the woman seated across from her and talking about her husbands family, that the son she had cared for since he was only two years old, after the death of his mother, was not her husband’s son, but my dad’s.

I know… she nor I had a clue what to say, so I thought… just roll with it… shake it off.  So in my usual fashion, I got his name and the name of his late mother. You know the genealogist in me… I was going to get the story. Not gossip since my other aunt sat there and agreed to it all. I guess it was common knowledge. Not to me or her, but you know that dang elephant in the room.

I have to admit… I do love those sudden foot-in-mouth experiences. They tend to always get you stirred up. But somehow, way down deep, I must admit it felt deliberate. Maybe I’m wrong. But I guess, I now have yet another brother. Don’t worry, I won’t drop his name – like it was dropped on me yesterday.

I come from a long line of goings-on, so this came as no shock to me. My dad had admitted to me years ago when we lived in California that he had a son with Doris Fox, but I shook it off as just more stupidity aka a drunken confession.

I don’t really have any desire to meet or to know him, but would like to hang him off a branch of this twisted old family tree. That is all I’m going to say on the matter.

I knew my father had lived with other women when he and my mother split up and had numerous affairs. He carried on an affair with Helen for years – the old bar maid from Hello Dolly’s in Trenton. She was married at the time but I don’t think any of my dad’s friends and family were too faithful to anyone. One uncle carried on and affair with some old lush by the old Dry Cleaners for years and years and yes, she was married to. Yuck! Luckily, they never had any lasting evidence.

I’m thinking things must have been really different back then, because everyone we knew at the time had been married three or four times and still carrying on with anyone that would have them. Men and women alike.  Not sure how their marriage vows read… (they had to have been very different from mine)… all I can say is Nasty… is the word that comes to mind now. No excuse. And Tiger Woods thinks he invented it. (shaking my head and laughing here) The bible says there is nothing new under the sun but there are still things that make me crazy.  This just heads the list.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I did get a major answer to prayer this week. I had prayed for 7 long years for a wrong to be made right and not two hours after I finished praying… it happened and all I can say is… “THANK YOU, LORD!” Now, I will continue to pray that it is made known.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I called my brother Ralph today, I know… he was shocked too… if you know me, then you know I never dial the phone, I just wait for it to ring. So after he was over the initial shock and after assuring him that there was no emergency, we had a nice long conversation about dad and his numerous affairs. Then we started reminiscing about our childhood. He was cracking jokes about how we were related to everyone around Middletown and the surrounding areas. He told me that whenever he was sneaking around doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing, someone would have already called Mom and alerted her to the situation. He felt like there were relatives aka spies everywhere. We laughed and swapped a few more similar stories before we hung up. It was almost a very nice talk.

I had called him while I was on my way to the worst dinner I’ve had in a very long time at Lone Star in Middletown. I let Steven pick between Olive Garden & Lone Star before he drove back to college tonight and of course to ruin the evening, he chose Lone Star. It was a nightmare. I think they were trying to break the sound barrier with the noise and the volume was actually louder outside than in, if you can imagine that. So there was no escape. Babies screaming and numerous dishes breaking, I will repeat… a NIGHTMARE! I swore I will never return but I said that the last time, when it was all things considered,  were actually worse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My niece Teresa Ann Parsons has a birthday this week, so I’m thinking, if her mother is feeling better maybe… just maybe we will go for a Girl’s Night Out! I know that I for one… could use it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That’s about it for this week, I did get several genealogy requests that I will try to look up tomorrow with a heavy work week ahead, but we all know that it’s my passion in life. So until I get the time to read more books, write more posts about what really needs to be said and done, I will just wish you all a very happy work week and may God watch over and keep you all. And to my newest discovery I will just say, “Welcome to the Family!”

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. ~ Joel Arthur Barker

It’s New Year’s Eve! All the excitement of starting a new year, sharing the moment with friends and family, and reflecting on the year past… this night is truly a magical moment. So wherever you are tonight, here’s to a New Year and many more magical memories. Let the countdown begin! 10… 9… 8…

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. ~ Anne Frank