You know how some celebrations just aren’t the same without certain foods? Of course, Christmas with my Dad’s people is like that too. Aunt Ann brings the pumpkin roll, Mom brings the punch, Aunt Sue brings the ham…you know how it works.


And Cassie? My sister in law Cassie brings the buffalo chicken dip.


The recipe looks relatively simple but I am telling you she does something to it that just puts it over the top. Maybe she goes to Martha Stewart’s happy little free range chicken farm for the poultry. I don’t know. I do know that people, myself included, stand around it like ravenous wolves to eat it at any event that it comes to.

At Christmas in the barn, I take some pics…


Chat with the littles…


And I eat the delicious buffalo chicken dip.

This year something terrible happened. I really don’t know how it occurred. The laws of physics can’t even explain it! One minute I was walking away from the dip and the next minute it was upside down on the hard concrete floor of the barn.

It was awful. The party had just started and a lot of people hadn’t even gotten a taste of it yet! And I’m being flippant but it really was just the worst. I guess I just jostled the table as I was walking away.


Stop judging me, Reindeer!

I apologized profusely to everyone but what could I do – the damage was done.

A couple days later this text came thru.


This is heresy and fallacy! Malarkey! I may be jealous of her cooking skills but I would NEVER sabotage my opportunity to eat Cassie’s buffalo chicken dip!


Here’s the recipe:

2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken

1 8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup Ranch dressing

1 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 – 3/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combing cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add chicken, dressing, and cheese and mix well. Slowly add hot sauce to taste. Bake for twenty minutes. Serve with Triscuits or fresh veggies.

You can add ‘Paula’s tears’ to this recipe because that’s how I felt after ruining the whole dish.


No comments from you, kid. 

Sabotage indeed. The sabotage was on whoever set that rickety table up! Oh wait, that was me too. Well heck.

I guess there is always next Christmas.

Just Put It On the Calendar…

Just Put It On the Calendar…

Football is just about over, isn’t it. Heck, Hank’s season ended in November. And as much as I love to watch him play, I gotta say I was kind of happy to see the end of that era. He’s made great friends and had fantastic coaches but I’m ready to have my Saturdays in the fall back. Next year he’ll play for the junior high team and they play during the week. Hello Auburn games!

We did manage to get down for one game this season. And James and I went to the Iron Bowl but that’s another story. We scooted out of town early and made it in time for the Ausome Amphibians and Reptiles presentation at the Kreher Nature Preserve outside of town. It was really cool.


It was a huge battle to go, though. No one else – except me – wanted to attend. The children heard the siren song of the corn nuggets at Niffer’s calling and didn’t see why I wanted to waste time looking at snakes. Billy didn’t want to go because I hadn’t ‘put it on the calendar.’

Y’all, it’s a whole thing. He just really needs for things to be on the calendar. Like, I could ask him to do HUGE crazy things and as long as they are on the calendar he is perfectly willing to do it. But if I forget…

For instance, if I wrote ‘Bring Paula hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream seasoned with the smiles of woodland fairies’ on the calendar at 9 pm tonight – I’m telling you that man would do it – no questions asked. And now that I mention it, homemade hot chocolate at nine pm tonight sounds fantastic. It’s troublesome but it’s on the calendar so he does it. But if I say, for instance, take forty five seconds out of your day and comment on my blog on FaceBook so we can beat the new algorithms and I haven’t put it on the calendar…well…

Whatever. It’s such an easy thing to do. I have absolutely no reason to be whiny about putting things on the calendar.


I’m happy to say, though, that every member of the family had to admit that the reptiles and amphibians were way better than they thought it would be.


The kids got to touch snakes, Billy worked on being flexible, and I got to reflect on how much easier my life would be if I would just put things on the dang calendar.

And look, those corn nuggets were still waiting for us when we got there.

It was so nice to be back in town. The kids have the freedom to wander around campus without us and we have the freedom to go to all our old haunts and reminisce.


You’ll notice we’re missing two children? Damien refuses to step foot inside the town of Auburn. He stayed home with my parents. We managed to pawn Gracie off on the Davis’ – our exemplary sitters – NO, YOU CAN NOT HAVE THEIR NUMBERS! THEY’RE OURS! ALL OURS!


We got seats on the third row. This meant that we could see everything that went on amongst the players and nothing of the actual game. Luckily, it was all on the jumbotron. Good gravy, look at my hairy arms!


We tailgated before hand with my cousin and her kids.


How cute are these tiny little things?

Hey girls! How do you feel about putting things on calendars? And since we mentioned the calendar again, I think I’ll go put that ‘bring Paula some hot chocolate’ thing on it.

Beth Mowins Versus the Twelve Year Old

Beth Mowins Versus the Twelve Year Old

Well, like the rest of you we watched the AFC and NFC championship this weekend. So, yeah sports and all that. While we’re on the subject of football can we chat about this ridiculous conversation I had with Hank last fall? Hank was in the midst of watching a game when I walked thru the room. I stopped walking when I realized that a woman, Beth Mowins, was on the the broadcast. Now she wasn’t just doing the sideline reporting she was full scale commentating – the play by play even. And she was good! Y’all, I kinda had a moment. I was feeling all empowered and proud and, go women, and I wondered if Hank even thought anything about it so I asked him.


Here was the conversation that ensued:

Me: “Does it bother you that a woman is commentating?”
Him: “Yes. She can’t possibly know as much as a man would.”
Me: “How can your twelve year old self possibly know how much she knows? The game just started!”
Him: “I just know a man would know more.”
Breathe, breathe, breathe calmly…Then I decided to take the conversation further.
Me: “Would it bother you to have a woman preacher?”
Him: “No. Why would would it bother me if a woman was preaching?!”
Me: “So a woman can know as much as she needs to know about the God who formed the universes to preach but not as much as she needs to know about the game of football to commentate?”
Him: “Yep. I mean Mom, she hasn’t played so how can she be knowledgeable about it?”
Me: “I haven’t done heroin but I’m pretty sure it’s bad. If you don’t like her style of reporting then just say that – but don’t say it’s because she is a woman. I mean, Hank, in the nicest sense of the words: you’re wrong.”

I mean…where to even begin on this. Like – he was incredulous at me for asking if a woman could preach. He couldn’t fathom why that wouldn’t be a thing. His demeanor was one of ‘duh Mom, of course a woman could preach’ but drop football knowledge?

This is also the kid that said having to return to school after Christmas break ‘felt like a turnover on downs.’ So, there ya go.

He’ll start his fourth season of playing football next year. And, yes, I’m concerned about CTE. Especially when I read that they are starting to think it comes from repeated hits and not concussions. Sheesh…

These boys…


Let’s just all play basketball, okay? Sweet, gentle, nice basketball. Or maybe you people should just become artists.


Dang, the Google Arts and Culture app does Hank better than Hank does Hank.

Yes, artists. Maybe football artists, mkay? Like the ones that sell their work at Auburn Art. Sigh. That boy. As if Beth Mowins doesn’t have to deal with enough business from grown ups she’s got twelve year olds critiquing her.

Well, I’m just chalking Hank’s opinion on women in the broadcast booth up to immaturity and not bad parenting. Now us letting him play football when we know about CTE – yeah, that’s probably bad parenting.