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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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Friday the 13’th

This and That

Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013 in South Africa, former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush along with President Obama attended the ceremony honoring Mandela.


President Obama and his wife Michelle with former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa.


The Fidds, Lee, Ree (aka: Mary Agnes), Maggie, Simon, Cornelius and his Ladies (Chickens)

All well here on the Eastern Shore.  The chickens are still putting out about a dozen eggs a day. Quite a few neighbors and friends are rewarded for their output.

Maggie & Simon are socializing quite well. So far Simon has remained an inside cat. I think the chickens really appreciate the fact that he remains inside. The cat will attack anything that moves.

Kathy, Jeff & Abby

Congratulations to Abby for her acceptance to Mississippi State University.


Congratulations to Abby for her acceptance to Mississippi State University class of 2017.

Sarah, Rachael & Tommy

All is well on this front, Sarah is busy with her job for Phillips Seafood.

Tommy is a freshman at The Salisbury School.

Today Rachael takes her last final exam for her last semester of class’ at Salisbury University. Come January she will begin her semester of student teaching and will graduate in May. She is looking at opportunities to teach in Europe for the summer.

Matt, Beth, David, Kevin, Jill & Rebecca

Matt has been through this past week, having had a teaching gig down in Little Creek, VA. It’s always great when we get to see the Fiddlers from the North. It also saved us a bundle in postage fees as he brought our Christmas gifts down and we sent ours back with him.

Last night Mary Agnes had a big pot of Navy Bean soup that had been cooking most of the day. The bone was from a big old ham we had leftover from Thanksgiving. Kathy and Abby joined us for dinner, kind of a mini family reunion.

Sam, Zed & Mia

We’re looking forward to the kids coming up from Mississippi for the Holidays. We shall see a big change in Mia now that she’s ten months old.

Other Family members, 1-2-3 Times Removed

Aunt Barbara Romspert and Carolyn  will be hosting the family Christmas party soon. This celebration has been going on for a number of years, nforty Eight that I remember anyway. I only missed one, that was Christmas of 1968 when I was in Iwakuni Japan.




Jeff and I were on opposite sides of the field last week for the Eagles v Lions game in the snow. Sorry for the loss Jeff. Of course Jeff was in Barbados and enjoying 82 deg. weather with Kathy.

Jeff and I were on opposite sides of the field last week for the Eagles v Lions game in the snow. Sorry for the loss Jeff. Of course Jeff was in Barbados and enjoying 82 deg. weather with Kathy.


Sixty-seven percent (67%) of American Adults think Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than about Santa Claus.

Seventy-six percent (76%) are at least somewhat likely to make a charitable donation of some kind this year, including 57% who are Very Likely. This is the highest level of charitable giving measured in surveys since 2009.

Opinions (Mine & Others)



“We are told NOT to judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics.”

BUT on the other hand……. “We are also encouraged TO judge ALL

Gun Owners by the actions of a few lunatics.”

*Irony 2.*

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of

Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest

amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 47 million people as

of the most recent figures available in 2013.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S.

Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.”

Their stated reason for the policy is because “The animals will grow

dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

Food ( Blogs, Recipes & Info)

Set the perfect table

Forks to the left, knives and spoons to the right. The sharp side of the knife blade should be turned toward the dinner plate. Only include utensils in your place setting that will be used for the courses you are serving. “If you’re not serving soup or salad, you certainly don’t want an extra spoon or fork in your place setting,” Slatter says. “Not only will those get in the way and create extra work for you, the extra utensils may confuse your guests.”   


The bread plate goes on the left of the dinner plate, glasses on the right.


Wait to pour. Water glasses should be the only glasses filled before your guests arrive. Iced tea, wine and other beverages should be poured once everyone is seated. Wine glasses should be filled halfway, not to the rim.


Salad and bread should be the only food on the table when your guests arrive.


Are you the hostess with the mostest?


Remember, the hostess always sits last.


Passing isn’t just in football. Always pass food around the table counter clockwise to the right and refrain from serving yourself first. Always pass the salt and pepper as a set, even if you’re only asked for one.


Can your guests see each other? Sure those flowers you spent hours arranging for the centerpiece are pretty, but they will only get in the way if your guests have to crane their necks to see each other. Make sure your guests can look over any table adornments.


Be a gracious guest


“There is nothing more disruptive than a cell phone ringing at the dinner table,” says Slatter. “Turn your phone on vibrate, or better yet, don’t even bring it to the table. Holiday gatherings mark the time to enjoy the company of the people you are with, rather than ignore them by chatting with someone who’s not even there.”


Wait for the signal. Your hosts will let you know when it’s okay to begin eating. They may offer a blessing or statement or perhaps start by passing a dish.


If you’re not sure which utensil to use with each course, start on the outside and work in toward the dinner plate.


If you need to excuse yourself temporarily, gently place your napkin on your chair to indicate you will be coming back.


Signify you’re finished with the meal by placing your napkin to the left of the dinner plate, and your fork and knife side by side diagonally across your plate with the sharp side of the knife blade facing inward and the fork tines up.


“Another big question we hear concerns what to do if you accidently break a piece of the host’s dinnerware,” adds Slatter. “You should certainly offer to replace the broken piece especially if it has sentimental value for the host or hostess.”


Slatter says don’t lose hope if your host doesn’t know the name of the pattern or the manufacturer; you can always take advantage of Replacements’ free pattern identification service.


Setting the Table on Youtube



Winter is well and truly upon us. For many regions, this means miserable weather, less sunlight and darker days. Although we would much prefer our days to be filled with warmth and sunshine, many of us adapt to seasonal changes. But for others, the change in seasons may trigger a form of depression.