Having a Bright and Merry Christmas

Even the most enthusiastic cook likes to have a day off from the kitchen. And lucky me! My husband treated me to a special Christmas mini-vacation.

Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe was a beautiful spot for a Christmas getaway for two.  And Oh! The food!

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad was out of this world!

The halls were decked all around–inside and out!

A New Mexican style Gingerbread House

A New Mexican style Gingerbread House at the historic La Fonda Hotel.  Check out the little luminarias!

I loved this hotel's unusual holiday decor.

I loved this hotel’s unusual holiday decor.

There was shopping . . .

Native American jewelers selling their wares

Native American jewelers selling their wares

And music . . .

Wheelchair harp player on the Plaza

Wheelchair harp player on the Plaza

And of course, there were Christmas Lights!

Magical Christmas Lights

Magical Christmas Lights on Santa Fe Plaza

More lights on the Plaza

More lights on the Plaza

We are enjoying a wonderful Christmas and I hope you are having a bright and merry holiday too!

Much love, Patty

It’s a Wonderful Blog


Christmastime in Golden, Colorado (Photo credit:  Patty Allread)

Time to bring back an old Christmas favorite!  You know the story, don’t you?


Hard-working blogger has big lifelong dreams of becoming a famous writer and traveling the world promoting her bestselling books, etc.  But for now she is just a good-natured, regular blogger who pounds on her keyboard at home and puts her contributions out into the ether for her blogging community to find.  She also reads what her friends blog about and faithfully offers comments of encouragement and tries to help those friends get more blogging hits.

But sometimes she gets lonely.  Sometimes she thinks the blogging world can do just fine without her.  And sometimes she doesn’t sit down at her computer and write anything at all.  And sometimes . . . well, recently . . . she thought, “I’m not sure if I should even renew my domain name.  No one reads my stuff anyway.”

And she stopped blogging.


This is the part where the guardian angel comes in.  In this case, it’s Edith Elizabeth Norton Pheffleneuson and she’s a very dedicated muse who is trying hard to earn her angel wings.  You can just call her “Edith.”

Edith has been hanging around ever since our hapless blogger started writing.  Way, way back when there weren’t any computers and writing required actual typewriting and there were no “delete” keys.  Man oh man.  Back then if a writer made a mistake or wanted to change something, she had to use correction tape or white out or start over.  And over.  And over. That made musing a very tough business!

If it weren’t for Edith, our writer might have given up totally.  But Edith pulled her through every time.  At first our writer didn’t have a clue that Edith existed.  Then one day, friend Martha tried to show her that Edith really does exist!  But our writer didn’t believe in Edith.  Not really.

Poor Edith.  It would be impossible for Edith to earn her wings if the writer in her charge did not believe.  Edith felt like an old worn eraser stuck away in someone’s desk drawer and forgotten about. In fact that’s exactly where she was stuck for many years.


The months rolled on with no new posts and now it was Christmastime.  There were no new followers of the blog.  No new comments.  No new ideas written about.  Our protagonist’s blogging future was bleak indeed!

However the Christmas Season was calling and the least our writer could do was write some Christmas cards.  That would be okay.  Rifling through the desk drawers to find the cards, the red and green gel pens and some stamps, our writer spotted Edith lying beneath a ragged half-empty package of AA batteries.  Beautiful, clever, inspiring Edith!

Edith leapt out of the drawer and dove into a nearby wastebasket!  It was a desperate but brave move.  Edith floundered in the rolling, rough sea of paper and cardboard coffee cups calling out, “Help! Help!” hoping our writer would save her.

Our writer reached into the icy sea of trash and pulled Edith out, not realizing that Edith was really an angel.  Edith explained to our girl that she needed help to earn her wings and she would show our blogger what life would have been like without mycookinglifebypatty. No stories about cherished cooking memories.  People dying from eating so much sugar.  Coffee Man a completely unknown superhero. Claude Mouse homeless, forgotten and unappreciated. No new recipes.  No newly inspired cooks.  No new blogging friends.  No new pen pal.

With a sudden infusion of fresh inspiration and a new lease on blogging (literally–domain name paid for another year) our writer rushed to her keyboard and wrote a new post.  And then another one, and another one, and another one!  It was a flurry of blogging and cooking the likes of which our dear writer had not experienced in a long, long time.  And it was joyous!

And it was a wonderful blog.  Immediately upon publishing the first new post, family, friends, fellow bloggers and pen pal gathered around the Christmas tree singing carols and enjoying the warmth and love and hope of the season.  And remember–this very second, with the click of the mouse and this brand new post published . . . . .

“Every time a blogger publishes a new post, a blog angel gets her wings!”

Edith Elizabeth Norton Pheffleneuson earns her wings.

Edith Elizabeth Norton Pheffleneuson earns her wings while serving miso soup.

Ten Embarrassing Things I Could Blog About But Didn’t

10.  All my blogs are not as fresh as they may seem.  Some of them are written ahead of time on my day off and put into the freezer for later use.  They are “fresh-frozen” as they say.

9.  My sister’s annual April Fool’s Day joke: “Hey, Patty!  You have a spider on your head!”  Some April Fool’s jokes are easy to tell, some you can’t be so sure about . . .

8.  Burning water.  Wait, I did mention that at least once in a blog.  Sigh.

7.  Temporarily forgetting one of my son’s middle name.  But I remember now . . .

6.  Will write for food/money/fame/attention/glory/peanuts/smileys/or no reason at all.

5. The first annual pair of birthday socks I’m knitting for another son and the two plus years it’s taking me to finish them.

4.  There’s nothing wrong with blogging about healthy foods and cooking and having that be the inspiration to eat healthier foods and cook more . . . right?

3.  How unfortunate it is to have Easter and April Fool’s Day on the same day but luckily I now realize Easter is next week.

2.  Joining Twitter but feeling like a Twit because I can’t think of anything to say that someone needs to know right away like that.

1.  Intending to take down the Christmas decorations on April Fool’s Day.  (“I just wasn’t done enjoying Christmas!”)