So today I've got some holiday goodies to share with Lounge readers. Hope you enjoy the seasonal fun and "surprises."
What's on my Tree this Year?
In doing so, we rediscovered a lot of the treasures that have been stuck away in storage boxes for quite some time. We also found out we probably have enough ornaments to adorn three full-size trees, so at some point in the future, maybe after we build that addition that's been in the planning for decades, we may put up multiple trees.
I know some folks who buy all new ornaments each year or decorate around a theme for the holidays. I think that's really great, but it's so not us. Our ornament are like happy memories that we get to enjoy each time we ferret out the boxes and unpack them.
Let me share some of that nostalgia with you.
One year we found some beautiful handmade Christmas ornaments. The Christmas stocking and reindeer pictures above are two, and you can see more in some of the other photos--some traditional and some not so. (Like the VW Bug at right.) Every time I went to visit after that, we'd go search for more of the same quaint ornaments...and we'd always find them!
Over the course of about 25 years, I added to my collection until I finally ended up with well over 100 by the time Mom passed. Each one is handmade and unique--and each one
There are others that hold special memories, too. A set of beautiful snowflakes a friend of my mother's hand crocheted. (You can see one in the photo at left.) It was the same friend who was an avid readers and with whom my Mom first shared some of my early writing. This friend was the first person from outside our family to encourage me with an "always keep writing." So yes, those really are "special snowflakes" and hold a special place on our tree, too.
It's part of folklore that including a bird's nest in your Christmas tree will bring good luck. We didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to grab a little good fortune, so our tree is adorned with both a nest and a bird.
We have just a few traditional globe ornaments--one for New Mexico, one for MSU, and one with hummingbirds that's another special reminder of Mom, who loved little hummers and collected hummingbird knickknacks and artwork her entire life.
|New Mexico ornament with Mom's handmade chile ornaments.|
|Go Green. (Of course!)|
Our tree topper is a bit non-traditional. It's a green cowboy hat. Ha! No kidding. Although I almost opted in for the new musical Death Star from Hallmark this year, I never did get around to buying one, so our tree is once again decked out Western-style.
And here's the entire tree lit up for the season.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Hope the season is filled with good times and great memories.
A Special Holiday Interview by S.E. Smith
I had the honor of being interviewed by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author S. E. Smith for her December Newsletter. I had so much fun answering her questions! We talked about all sorts of things including what other genres I write, where I find inspiration, and the deets on my pets.
Want to take a peek? S.E. Smith's December Newsletter.
Frito Pies for Christmas? Oh My, Yes!
No one is completely sure of the origins of Frito pies, but local lore claims they were first invented in the 1960s by Teresa Hernández, who worked at the F. W. Woolworth's lunch counter on Santa Fe plaza in New Mexico. At that time, Frito pies were actually made and served up inside the Frito bags, which were sliced lengthwise and the ingredients poured inside. Modern Frito pies are usually served up in a bowl.
ANNETTE'S SANTA FE FRITO PIE RECIPE
To make red chili and beef mixture, you'll need:
1/2 to 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
chopped onions (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons flour
Either frozen red chile or chile powder
2 dashes soy sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Brown the ground beef with onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Once ground beef is browned, add two dashes of soy sauce (if desired), and 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for about two minutes. Blend chile (or chile powder and water) in blender. Combine red chile mixture with ground beef mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches desired thickness.
To prepare Frito Pies, you'll need:
Red chile and ground beef mixture (above)
American cheese (grated)
Spoon heated canned or fresh cooked pinto beans into small to medium size bowls, then fill each bowl with Fritos and pour red chile ground beef mixture (from above) over the Frito chips. Top with cheese, chopped lettuce, onions, tomatoes and/or sour cream.
Dig in and enjoy!
Special Surprise Drawing
I come bearing Romulan Ale. No, no! Wrong holiday. Gifts! I come bearing gifts--in a special holiday giveaway drawing--just to say "Thank you and Happy Holidays" to the patrons of Spacefreighters Lounge.
Here are the prizes for the drawing:
- A print copy of Inherit the Stars gifted via Amazon, or if you'd like me to autograph it and include a book mark, I'd be happy to do that too. (That will take longer to receive, so you should probably plan on January.) Inherit the Stars was a LibraryJournal.com pick for Best Books of 2015: E-Originals.
- An e-copy of Inherit the Stars gifted via Amazon
- An e-copy of Farewell Andromeda gifted via Amazon
- An e-copy of Pets in Space gifted via Amazon. A LibraryJournal.com pick for Best Books for 2016: E-Originals Fiction.
- A set of twenty US Postal Service Pets Forever First Class Stamps
To be entered in the drawing, just comment below and include these three things:
1. Which prize or prizes you'd prefer to win ("any prize" works, too). If you're a winner, we want to be sure you're getting something you want.
2. Your first name
3. A contact email, Facebook or Twitter address where we can contact you. (Very important, because we don't like to pass over a winner because we can't reach them.)
4. Bonus (Optional): Tell us about something special on your tree and you'll be entered in the drawing twice.
Winners will be announced next Monday, December 19st. If a winner doesn't claim their prize by contacting me with an address by Friday, December 23th, an alternate winner will be selected. (So please check this blog next Monday!)
We wish you a very happy holiday, good times with family and friends, and the celebration of your own special traditions.
~~~*~~~ Happy Holidays From Spacefreighters Lounge ~~~*~~~