Yes Virginia…

life

Years back, my husband and I were shopping in Chicago at Christmas-time. As we rose up the escalator, a man with white beard who looked exactly like Santa but dressed in street clothes was heading down the escalator. I gently nudged my husband. As we passed the man turned to me and simply said, “Yes Virginia”. So it was Santa!

Yesterday, I saw Santa again. This time while waiting for a parking spot. He was dressed partially in his Christmas attire, his Santa hat. Otherwise he looked quite casual in t-shirt, pants, and flip-flops. He pushed his cart in front of my car to put it in the cart return and as he turned to make his way back to his car, he gave me a quick smile. Off he went with Mrs. Claus (obviously) at the wheel.

These brief, yet memorable encounters have reminded me of the wonderful editorial “Yes, Virginia”. Read it below and have a Merry Christmas!

Yes, Virginia …

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

—————–

“Is There a Santa Claus?” reprinted from the September 21, 1897, number of The New York Sun.

Crazy Christmas Hairstyles

life

The following are a few crazy Christmas hairstyles that I find interesting. I, however, do not have long enough hair to pull this off. Perhaps a wig? These styles will surely put a smile on your face or in the least, add conversation for the dinner table.

doyouremember.com
doyouremember.com
hair.com
youtube hair by lori

reference featured image: marieclaire.com

Walking…A Great Way to Start the Day

life

It rained here last night. On my morning walk the air was brisk and the sun was shinning. With hands tucked in my pockets I walked along and took in the beauty of the morning. Drops of dew were glistening on the plants and Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Birds were chirping on the wires and in the treetops. Neighbors driving by waved hello. A boy walking to school responded to my “good morning”. Appreciating the simple beauty in every day…a great way to start the day.

Oh Christmas Tree!

life

‘Tis the Season for holiday decorating . I found some unusual and awesome tree decorating ideas…

https://www.hikendip.com/best-christmas-tree-decor-ideas-inspirations-for-2019/
https://www.hikendip.com/best-christmas-tree-decor-ideas-inspirations-for-2019/
https://princesspinkygirl.com/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://princesspinkygirl.com/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://princesspinkygirl.com/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://www.simplemost.com/christmas-tree-decoration-ideas/
http://bargainbabe.com/10-unusual-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
http://bargainbabe.com/10-unusual-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
http://bargainbabe.com/10-unusual-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://pattiewack.blogspot.com/2007/12/glass-bottle-christmas-tree.html

(Featured image: An upside-down Christmas tree is suspended from the ceiling at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel in Richmond, B.C. ( Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press ))

Happy Holidays!

My Take on the Movie Christopher Robin

life

I popped some corn and settled in to watch Disney’s Christopher Robin with my son last night. I had heard some time ago that it was a good movie. I must say, I will have to agree with that.

Christopher Robin is not an animation as with the Winnie the Pooh movies. It has human actors as well as “stuffed” animals playing the parts. Ewan McGregor plays Christopher Robin, Hayley Atwell plays his wife, Evelyn Robin, and Bronte Carmichael plays their daughter, Madeline. It was set in past England in the 100 acre wood and London.

Christopher Robin is all grown up now, having married, gone to war, and come back to the responsibilities of adulthood. However, he seems to be a bit more concerned about his responsibilities at work than to that of his friends and family. Then Pooh drops into his life again seeking his help and his old friend soon gets him to remember what is important in life.

Pooh and Christopher Robin
The animals of the 100-acre woods

Some movies I watch once and that is enough. Christopher Robin is a movie I would like to see again. It would be worth owning a copy of this movie to watch from time to time. It was entertaining, laugh out loud funny, cute, and touching. I loved it as a ‘period piece’ as well, as it was set in an earlier era. The animals of the hundred acre wood are as adorable as ever. The movie Christopher Robin sends a wonderful message to us all. A reminder to not forget who you are or who is important to you as you make your journey through life and to have fun along the way. Bravo for Christopher Robin!

Thanksgiving Wishes

life

A real treat as a kid was to be lucky enough to be chosen to pull the wishbone of the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. After all, only two people can compete in this wishing competition. The winner, of course, comes away with the bigger piece and gets their wish granted. But where did this tradition begin?

“Ever wonder where the wishbone tradition came from? Well here’s a little trivia for your Thanksgiving table: It all started with the ancient Romans, who pulled apart chicken clavicles—formally know as the bird’s furcula—in hopes of achieving good fortune. It was believed that the birds were oracles that could predict the future and preserving this bone would allow people access to the chicken’s mystical powers even after eating it. According to legend, the custom evolved into breaking the bone into two because of good old fashioned supply and demand; there simply weren’t enough wishbones to go around. The solution? Groups of two began to wish on the same bone and then snap the clavicle in half. The person who got the bigger half was deemed the winner and granted their wish.” —(From realsimple.com)

Apparently, this tradition was not used on the turkey until the Pilgrims arrived from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts where turkeys were abundant. The term “wishbone” came to be after President Lincoln named Thanksgiving a federal holiday in 1863.

Interesting! Well some things never change. We can still get enjoyment from ripping a slippery wishbone in half and hoping that our wishes will come true. Sort of like an extra birthday wish… Good-luck at getting the bigger piece. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day.

I Hate to Burst Your Bubble but…

life

Ok, so we have all enjoyed chewing a stick of gum at some point in our lives. Personally, the only time I chew gum these days is when I am flying on a plane. The gum chewing process helps relieve the pressure in my ears. But with chewing gum comes responsibility.

I have cleaned chewing gum off of more shoes than I care to remember. Not only mine, but my children’s shoes as well. I try to look where I am walking, however, a piece will sneak up on me from time to time. It happened to me just last week. What I do not understand is….WHO is going around spitting gum all over the place to begin with! This is why gum comes with a wrapper. One is supposed to put the wrapper in their pocket to save for when the are done with the stale gum. One then takes the wrapper out of their pocket and wraps the gum up and disposes of it in a trash can. What could be easier?

Cleaning gum off of shoes is GROSS! Who knows what kind of germs are now on my shoe! Some people say to put the shoe in a baggie and put it in the freezer. The gum is then supposed to be easy to remove. Sorry, baggie or no baggie, I do not want a dirty old shoe in my freezer! My method for cleaning gum from shoes is to go out to the yard and find a stick. I then use the stick to dig into the crevices of the shoe tread, getting out as much of the gum as possible. The stick is then thrown out with the yard waste. Next, I put on the disposable gloves and get the rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush and start scrubbing. While doing this I am “praying” for the person who spit their gum into my path by humming to a little tune. Let me give you the lyrics…

Pray For You Lyrics – Jaron

I haven’t been to church since I don’t remember when
Things were going great til they fell apart again
So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you can’t go hatin’ others who have done wrong to you
Sometimes we get angry but we must not condemn
Let the good Lord do his job, you just pray for them

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, honey, I pray for you

I’m really glad I found my way to church
Cause I’m already feelin’ better and I thank God for the words
Yeah, I’m gonna take the high road and do what the preacher told me to do
You keep messin’ up, and I’ll keep prayin’ for you

I pray your tire goes out at 110
I pray you pass out drunk with your best friend
And wake up with his and her tattoos

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, near or far
In your house or in your car
Wherever you are, honey, I pray for you
I pray for you  

But seriously, what I really pray for is that people will pick up after themselves and not use the world as their garbage can. Do you have any great ways to get gum off of shoes?

My Take on The Addams Family Movie 2019

life

The Addams Family is back on the big screen and the catchy lyrics will have you snapping your fingers all the way home. “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They’re all together ooky, The Addams Family. Their house is a museum Where people come to see ’em They really are a scream The Addams Family. (Neat) (Sweet) (Petite) So get a witches shawl on A broomstick you can crawl on We’re gonna pay a call on The Addams Family.”

What’s not to love about the Addams Family movie! The characters are as great as ever and I loved how the movie started at the beginning of Gomez and Morticia’s marriage and showed how they acquired Lurch, their butler, and their wonderfully creepy house and fast forwarded to life with their children, Wednesday and Pugsley. My favorite character in the movie was their teenage daughter, Wednesday. She was the perfect dark, moody teen. She played with electric chairs and guillotines, buried her brother alive, and threw knives at her uncle Fester. Of course, this is all perfectly normal for the Addams Family. They, after all, delight in the morbid, grim, and ghastly.

Wednesday Addams

As is typical with the Addams Family, they are unaware why people are put off by them and frightened by them and the way they live. After all, they are perfectly normal. When a new town is being formed below their house on the hill and they do not fit in with the cookie cutter way of life, plots start to turn against the Addams family.

The movie does have a good message, which is that it is ok to be different and we should appreciate people for who they are. It is boring for everyone to be the same. This of course applies to the Addams Family, who could not be more different than most typical families.

The Addams Family movie took the good parts of the past black and white era and blended it with the modern age. It worked. It was entertaining and the characters were as charmingly interesting as always. I would recommend the Addams Family movie. It is a good way to spend an afternoon with the family. Thanks Honey for taking us!

Celebrating My 100th Post on Another Day With Julie!

Cooking, life

Today is my 100th post on Another Day With Julie! My children did not think I would keep it up. I think my daughter was amazed I got any followers at all. However, it has been about five months and I am still posting. I have tried to keep my blog a positive one and hopefully a helpful one as well. I would like to thank all my amazing followers! I am going to celebrate this milestone by making a cake. Care to join me? The recipe follows…

Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • cooking spray
  • Chocolate Glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg whites and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, water, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into a 9″ round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Spread glaze over cake. Yield: 9 servings.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 tsp butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 tsp light-colored corn syrup
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Yield: 3/4 cup.

Calories 295 (21% from fat); Fat 7g (sat 1.8g, mono 2.6g, poly 1.8g); Protein 5.1g; Carb 53.6g; Fiber 0g; Chol 25mg; Iron 2.4mg; Sodium 274mg; Calc 82mg

(This was a reader recipe by Carol Hook from Cooking Light Magazine.)

The only changes I made to the recipe were…

  1. I do not usually have cake flour on hand so I made my own cake flour substitute. To do this I took 3 Tbsp of flour out of the recipe and in it’s place added 3 Tbsp of corn starch. I then put the flour/cornstarch mixture through a sifter and voila!
  2. I do not usually have buttermilk on hand either. So to the milk I added a 1/4 tsp of lemon juice.
  3. In order to have cakes come perfectly out of pans without sticking I do not choose to use cooking spray. Instead, I cut a circle of wax paper to fit the bottom of the pan. In this case a nice 9″ circle. Then I spread shortening around the side of the pan and with a spoon put a good spoonful of flour in the pan. I then shake the flour around the side of the pan to cover the shortening. Next I place the wax paper circle in the bottom of the pan. The cake batter is then poured directly on top of the wax paper. When the cake has cooled, it will easily come out of the pan and the wax paper can be peeled off and thrown away.
  4. I decided to add chopped macadamia nuts around the side of the cake to be fancy and add a little texture.
My cake
A slice

My family liked this cake. I loved the fact that it looked nice but was super simple to make. The chocolate glaze was the perfect amount for the cake and was the EASIEST frosting I have ever made. It whisked together beautifully with a hand whisk. No mixer required. It was also very easy to spread. Being a single layer cake, it was not too heavy yet satisfied my sweet tooth.

Again, THANKS for following and as always, Happy Baking!