A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Hodge Podge

Joyce at This Side of the Pond suggests, tongue in cheek, that we might not have anything to do four days before Christmas. I figure that since she was willing to come up with questions, I could, at least, provide some answers. This is the final Hodge Podge of 2016.

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 

Too much, from wrapping to baking. I may have the cleaning done if I can keep up with it. It is with joy that I report that the fridge is spotless! ☺

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 

Its beauty. Certainly not its chill nor its cost.

This morning, I was out the door by eight to do some grocery shopping. I thought the air felt odd, still, and very cold. I backed out the drive and then looked up to see the thermometer on the garage. Couldn't quite make the temperature out, even with squinting, so drove back in to take a closer look.  It was -12°F. That's when it is so cold that the tires feel like Fred Flinstone's on the highway. 

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not.

No, I am not elaborating. I have no time for elaborating. I still feel awkward in social situations.  

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016?

 I learned all over again that God has this, whatever this is. I have only to yield it to Him. He will take care of me and lead me along.

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 

No, I do not care for fried shrimp. I like my shrimp well disguised. I have probably given this recipe before, but it's Christmas and I'm feeling generous. This is my favorite way to eat shrimp and, yes, it makes the holiday A list.

-a package of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
-a tin of East Point tiny shrimp
-a package of cream cheese
-a container of sour cream

Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature and combine with sour cream. (I use my mixer. A blender can also be used. Do not over mix unless you don't like those little bits of cream cheese that I like so much.) Add 3/4 of Italian salad dressing mix packet. (That's all I can handle; the recipe calls for the entire packet.) Mix well. Rinse and drain shrimp right in the can.(Hoping that you understand that direction.) Then carefully fold drained shrimp into mixture. Chill and serve with potato chips, crackers or even veggies.

If you have a good dip recipe to share, feel free! (I love dip. Way too much. This might belong on question 3. )

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 

Oddly enough, the laundry going in the dungeon laundry room just below my bed lulls me to sleep quite well.

7. What one word best describes your 2016? 



as in Great is Thy Faithfulness

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Well I cannot leave it there. While there has been loss and change and sorrow, there has also been love, faith, hope, and even joy. Many things will change in this life, but we look to Him Who Changes not.

My blogging friends have been among my many blessings. You have prayed me through. Don't stop now!

⛸ ⛸ ⛸ 

Pictured are some pretty gifts of Christmas from Deanna and Deborah and Abby. Deanna sent the handpainted Noel ornament, Abby sent the Advent calendar ornaments, and Deborah sent the gift of teas and a poinsettia hanky that I am using as a napkin. Ahhhh...it was a sweet little Christmas tea.

Thank you for reading today. Many blessings...


  1. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers over the coming season. Take care.

  2. Such beauty in this post. God is indeed good and has obviously held you UP over these hard months. I'm praying that you continue to know His presence as this Christmas will undoubtedly have its lonely and sad moments. You are so loved and it is because you give of your time and encouragements so generously. Praising God for you today.

  3. you, my sweet friend are always in my prayers....a very Merry Christmas to you.

  4. This is a wonderful post. I have all my shopping and all but one gift wrapped, I have actually found myself at loose ends this week! Of course, I haven't been ambitious enough to actually clean my fridge, so maybe my to do list isn't as complete as yours ;) I thought we had a cold week here in Michigan but we didn't hit -12! Goodness, stay warm! I would be hiding inside for sure in those temps! Hope the rest of your week sees you sipping cocoa, or tea, and enjoying the lights :)

  5. It has been quite a year for you. You've been such an example to me of one who suffers loss and yet continues in faith and trust.

    I am not a shrimp eater at all - but I do love french onion dip! A reminder of my childhood!

    I have some baking to do, I have to have some treats to eat for Christmas or I'll eat all the wrong things!!!!

    I continue to pray for you, my friend.

    I'm delighted that you love the ornament!

    1. I have to say, too, that I really like those advent ornaments! Must look for those!

    2. Visit Abby's and you'll find them...the button is in my sidebar.

  6. I am off today to buy the fixings for Christmas dinner. It will just be my husband, another couple and myself. If I don't get a chance to say it before Christmas, have a wonderful one! xo

  7. Whatever you have been facing, just be reminded that God is ever near. I have come to know that myself so much more this past year. Wishing you and yours a BLESSED Christmas!

  8. minus 12...brrr. My kids (Eastern Washington) moved in temps that ranged from 8 to 22 last weekend. We have warmed up above freezing again here in Western Washington. I enjoyed reading your answers and am thankful that prayers and God's faithfulness are sustaining you. So encouraging to read your #8. Oh boy a spotless fridge. That sounds very nice. Blessings!!

  9. The prayers and thoughts of you continue into this Christmas season. Your blog is a delight to read. I love your decorating style and your faith in the One who is taking care of you. I wish I lived a thousand miles closer so we could share that cup of tea! Blessed Christmas!

  10. Know that you are loved with an everlasting love, Vee, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Prayers continue for you throughout the days. Your answer to #7 brought tears to my eyes.
    Your answer to #1 has me going ACK - the fridge here is not spotless and is on the list. After the sewing and wrapping.
    Shrimp Dip - yum.
    Blessings to you today on this chilly first morning/afternoon of winter.

  11. Vee, your wisdom has been a blessing to me as you have suffered great loss this year. I stand in awe over your faith and grit to keep going. I keep you close in prayer, my friend.
    Your shrimp dip sounds so good. We just returned from a huge grocery shopping trip and it doesn't include shrimp. Oh no!
    I do hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. ♥

  12. That was a cold morning!!
    Hard to believe Christmas is in just a few days.
    I love shrimp. Fried or any other way too.
    Listening to rain lulls me to sleep.
    My friend Sara-Jane's husband died just a month ago. I keep you both in my prayers every morning.

  13. Your weather is much colder than ours, today....I enjoyed reading your answers and was inspired by some...And maybe some shrimp dip is in my future. Blessings to you and your family, Vee....

  14. A beautiful, beautiful post, Vee. How thankful I am, overwhelmed almost, to see how God has answered the many prayers on your behalf. He is so good, so very faithful.

    And what lovely gifts from your friends!

    It was -12º here too, that morning. Just too cold.

    A dip recipe? Here is one that is my go-to. Your shrimp one sounds delish and I will be trying it. Meanwhile ...


    One 8-ounce package cream cheese
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 cup pizza sauce OR spaghetti sauce
    2 Tblsp. chopped green and/or red pepper*
    2 Tblsp. thinly sliced green onions*
    Breadsticks or tortilla chips for dipping

    In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and Italian seasoning together. Spread the mixture in an ungreased microwave-safe 9-inch pie plate.

    In a bowl, combine the mozzarella and the parmesan. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the cream cheese in the pie plate. Spread the sauce over the top and then sprinkle all of the remaining cheese mixture over the sauce. Top with the chopped peppers and the green onions.

    Microwave the dip uncovered on High for 3 to 4 minutes, rotating the plate a half turn several times (if your microwave does not have a turntable), until the cheese is almost melted. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes before serving with breadsticks or tortilla chips.

    * You can top this dip with almost anything -- I have used finely chopped pepperoni, peppers or green onions only, a combination of the three -- or I have just simply topped it with a sprinkle of pizza spice. It doesn’t seem to matter what you use -- the dip is going to get gobbled up regardless. I very often bring this to potlucks because people enjoy it so much. I usually make two of these, and there is still never any left to bring home.

    1. That sounds fabulous. We have a similar one for Nachos with salsa instead of pizza sauce. I will definitely give it a try! What's not to love?

  15. Living in the Midwest, that is certainly the best way I know of to eat shrimp. In a dip!

    I consider YOU a Christmas blessing all year round. Thinking of you and I can empathize with the feeling of loss. I can't imagine what it feels like for you when I "only" lost my furry best friend and I feel like the light went out of Christmas.

    I think also of my daughter's friend whose husband passed away suddenly this year. He was only thirty-nine and they have many young children. But they, too, know Christ and His faithfulness. Someday He will wipe away all tears and loved ones will be reunited. Including those with fur, I truly believe that.

  16. Wonderful answers, Vee. Still praying for you. Christmas blessings ...

  17. Hi Vee~

    I love your testimony of faith...hugs to you sweet friend.


  18. Great answers Vee! You have had quite a year. Your faithfulness is such an inspiration. Happy preparing week and blessings at Christmas.

  19. It sounds like you have some very sweet friends. I am glad.
    I am sorry for the losses that you have suffered this year and am glad that you continue to hold onto Heavenly Father through it all.
    Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderfully Happy New Year!

  20. Many people feel awkward in social situations. Once, many years ago, I was a groomsman at a friend's wedding. At the rehearsal dinner, the two families were trying to impress one another with how much wine culture they had. After hearing all of this, my friend leaned back in his chair, put his feet up on the table, and said, "I just like that wine in a box." The whole mood changed. People started having a good time. We two rednecks had been the butt of their whispers. After his statement, the whispers stopped. Have a Merry Christmas.

  21. Many blessings to you, Vee, and your family on Christmas. I am praying for you always.

  22. Merry Christmas beautiful Vee! You are such a blessing to me. I cherish you and all you have given to the world through your kindness and support. I keep you in my prayers and in my heart and always will. May God continue to wrap His loving arms around you.

  23. Vee, I think of you often and pray you will have a blessed Christmas surrounded by family. Sending hugs. Pam

  24. I enjoyed this Vee even though I am a day late...Don't know if I have ever told you how much I admire you for your amazing witness of an Almighty God who is there for His children no matter what. You have suffered great loss in this last year and yet you have remained soo faithful to our heavenly Father. You rest in His sovereignty without doubt and have kept your wonderful sense of humor and zest for life apparent for all to see. I've prayed for you often throughout this season in your life, and it's soo heartening to know He has answered the prayers of so many and kept you wrapped in His arms. Yes, GREAT is His faithfulness. Oh, and that shrimp is going to have to be a must for me...it sounds wonderful. But then this gal loves shrimp ANY old way there is to make it, lol

  25. Wow, minus 12! It is not always easy but we must trust in Gods plan for us. Your recipes sounds interesting, I'll have to try it sometime. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and definitely keeping you in my prayers. ((Hugs))

  26. I am in the car heading to our holiday destination in TN and I have just read through your last few posts which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Let me just say that I may not be attempting this again any time soon! Between the bumps in the road and trying to text this on my iPhone...well, I think you get the picture...LOL! Just want to mainly say that I wish you a very Merry Christmas and that you are regularly in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs!❤️

  27. I always love reading your answers...one of these days, I hope to remember to play in this party...
    and....I had NO idea whatsoever that shrimp came in a CAN...live and learn...

  28. Enjoyed reading your hodgepodge replies -- always eager to know how you will reply. I'm so grateful for His faithfulness and grace -- how would we get through any day otherwise. Sending heart warm wishes for tidings of comfort and joy. Hugs, Brenda xox

    PS Love shrimp dip. Now I'll have to go shopping again.

  29. I always enjoy reading your answers, Vee. The shrimp dip sounds easy and delish! Thanks for sharing, but now I want to make it. Hmmm...maybe after Christmas.
    You're still in my prayers. God bless you, Vee, and wishing you a Merry Christmas and sending hugs.

  30. Fun to read your Christmas Hodgepodge answers! You are often in my thoughts and prayers...and it is so good to hear that you are focsuing on the faithfulness of God after the year have experienced.

    PS Smiling at your dad's remark that books on shelves are just 'showing off'. My dad wouldn't feel like that, since he hates to part with his books. Praying for your dad as well.

  31. Reading through 3 posts I see comments open here and thought your discussion with your Dad was very sweet! Merry Christmas!

  32. Merry Christmas, Vee. I have been catching up on your posts this Christmas morn. I continue to remember you in prayer and I thank you for your blog friendship thru the years. Love, Mildred

  33. I will remember your dad in prayer also. So sorry to read about his hard fall.

  34. Finally a day to catch up on the last couple of weeks! What a beautiful post, Vee. Yes, despite our separation from those we love, which He knows and deeply cares about, great is His faithfulness. What a testimony. May you sense and know how deep, how wide, how long and how high is the love of Christ for you today and always.

    And on a much less serious note, my favorite, not to mention easiest, holiday spread is similar: a can of Hormel smoked ham, 8 oz cream cheese softened. Mix thoroughly. Roll in chopped pecans and parsley. Eat with favorite crackers (my preference is Town House). YUM!

    Merry, merry Christmas!!


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