Christmas 2017

Reader Contribution by Mary Carton
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When I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I told myself it would be a great morning to go to Wheeler Wildlife to see if I could see some of the whooping cranes and get pictures. No, no, no, you need to make those cookies for Friday night and get the lights up in the sunroom, and finish your Christmas card so you can start mailing them out. 

Okay, so I look for the recipe I like in the kitchen drawer with the mixer. Not there. Those of you who have seen my kitchen know how small it is, so things should be easy to find. I find it in my computer and print out. Get the 2 sticks of butter out of the freezer to let warm up. While the butter was doing that I worked on finishing the Christmas card cover. Next it was hunting up measuring cups for the two sugars. I got that blended, and went to measure out the homemade vanilla and baking soda but couldn’t find my spoons. I only have two drawers these things are kept in. I finally find a teaspoon and guess at the half I needed.  Next add the four and oats without any complications. Next the butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. The butterscotch ones were in the refrigerator, but the chocolate ones I bought Sunday are MIA.  While hunting through the countertops I find the recipe I was looking for.  I put required amount in and put the rest in a zip-lock bag, and got out an empty one for the chocolate ones. I put raisins with the bowl. I’m looking for the zip-lock bag to put the rest in, and it’s missing.  I find the bag, put the rest of the raisins in the bag, put back in the box and put up in the cabinet with the flour and there’s that half of box of raisins I thought I had. Now back to looking for the chocolate chips, I finally find them in the refrigerator with the cheese I bought. 

Everything together and in the oven, I go to start on putting the lights up.  After the couple of accidents I’ve had, I decide to wait until the cookies are out of the oven, and it’s turned off. 

The refuge’s page is sharing pictures bragging how many sandhills are around the observation building. 

War Eagle!!!  Auburn stomped Alabama in this year’s Iron Bowl, so it will be peace for us alumni and fans until next year’s game.  

Christmas events are taking place all over our area. The Belle Mont mansion’s Plantation Christmas was well attended.  The home is decorated in the 1800s style with what was around in the season. The North Alabama Dance Club made their annual appearance performing dances of the period.  They are very popular each year.  Dulcimers played in the dining room where visitors enjoyed various cookies and punch.  A volunteer was stationed in each room in period clothing to give the history of the resident of the room.


The Dicken’s Christmas Ya’ll was in Tuscumbia the next weekend, complete with Dickens characters, arts and crafts and Clyde and Pride pulling a beautiful carriage up and down main street.  A Dickens period feast with the play the night before opened the festival. A Christmas Ball closed out the weekend.















 Each city in the area had Christmas parades.  I was able to attend and photograph the Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals and Cherokee parades.















December 16, I attended the first Wreaths Across America at Shiloh National Cemetery. Five hundred wreaths were donated for 3,800 graves. I thought lack of enough wreaths was because it was the first year Shiloh participated in the event until I stopped in at Corinth National Cemetery (Mississippi) on the way home and saw what looked to be about 2,000 wreaths and several thousand graves lacking wreaths. 






















On December 14, Tuscumbia celebrated their 200th birthday, kicking off the next two years leading up to Alabama’s 200th year of statehood December 14, 2019.  


 My three Hooligan Border Collies, Patches, Blackie and Levi, have finished their letter to Santa.  I had a couple of accidents that involved falls, and they are getting to the age I’m afraid the girls, Patches and Blackie, might get hurt due to their arthritis. They like to have a lot of fun roughhousing making the pictures for the card.  This year I took a couple of each one from over the years we’ve been doing this and made this year’s card.  Plus, Auburn beat Alabama 26-14 this year, so I had to put my school colors orange and blue in the greeting.








Dear Santa:

We’ve been very good Hooligan doggies this year. Well Mom has been calling Patches “Problem Child,” so she hasn’t much. Mom has been working a lot and late, so we tried to help her weed by digging holes around the yard. Mom said we dug the holes too deep and also dug up the good plants along with the weeds. She didn’t explain to us the difference between a good weed and a bad one. All plants look the same to us. Patches also turned on the hydrant on the front of the house, got a drink and walked off.  When Mom came home, she said Patches needs learn how to turn it back off. 

Santa, we want lots and lots of biscuits, rib bones, and rawhide chews. Mom won’t let us have them. And bring us lots and lots of biscuits, not the healthy stuff Mom gets us. Levi has learned how to make a sound like a woodpecker when he’s trying to get Mom to hurry up and feed us. Mom says he’s been a very bad boy and stands there holding our food. It is a very irritating sound Santa, so please ask him to stop. When it’s time to eat, Blackie decides to go hunt for mice. She’s had all day, Santa, and she decides to go hunting at feeding time!! Make her stop, Santa! Patches takes her sweet time when it’s time to get our biscuits. Mom calls and calls her and she just lays there looking at her and we are having to sit and wait on her to come. Finally, when Mom is about to give us ours and go in the house, she decides to slowly get up, walks over slowly. Then she has to smell Levi and finally sits so we can get our biscuits.  Also, Santa, we want all of our backyard back.  Mom says lightening hit it in the bottom and she needs to replace it. In the meantime, we only have the front and back yard. 

And Santa, we want lots of biscuits, bones and chews.

Wishing you the Warmth of Home, the love of Family and Friends. May you have Enough.  

May you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Hooligans and Mary

Oh I’d be remised if I didn’t attach the recipe for the cookies:



• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups flour
• 2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
• 1 teaspoons baking soda
• 3/4 cups golden raisins
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 10 ounce mixture cinnamon or butterscotch chips, chocolate or white or dark chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 350 F

2. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, chips and raisins (batter will be stiff). Drop by heaping teaspoons onto un-greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

*BAR VARIATION: Spread batter into lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.

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