Enjoy Yourself–You’re Worth It

by CY Cooper

It seems like it was only a day or so ago we were all enjoying the sights and sounds of the Christmas season.  It’s really hard to believe that we are now moving toward the middle of January 2018 and getting set for the next BIG holiday, which is Valentines Day.  It didn’t take the retail stores long to move forward as they were putting up hearts and flowers the day after Christmas.

You know it’s not a secret that the holiday season is just plain busy for everyone. Whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, church or other organization functions, most of us find ourselves so busy we don’t have time for ourselves or to just look around, sit for a quiet moment and ENJOY the season.

Well during the holiday hustle and bustle I did a couple of activities for yours truly.  I registered for a total of (3) cooking classes.  Two of the classes took place at the Fort Worth Cooking School at Central Market and the other at Sur La Table in Fort Worth.  Let me tell you, all (3) classes were hands on, educational and a lot of FUN.  Besides taking home the recipes and instructions on what we accomplished in class, all participants took home a nice sampling of our finished baked goods.  Now I’m sure you’re probably thinking that you want to do anything but cook/bake, BUT as stated earlier it was FUN, a lot of FUN. It was an activity where you could go with a friend or by yourself and meet other people with an interest in cooking/baking.  Plus, for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours you were away from the holiday rush.  I learned to bake everything from buttermilk biscuits in a cast iron skillet, Parker House rolls to eggnog cranberry swirl bread just to name a few.

I didn’t just stop with the cooking/baking classes.  My sister and I attended the Texas Ballet Theater’s THE NUTCRACKER at the wonderful Bass Hall.  It’s become a family tradition and it’s a MUST SEE.  If you’ve never had the chance to see this ballet, you should.  It just may become one of your Christmas traditions.

carol 3

And finally, yours truly is a fan of tea, and The Ashton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth starts their Holiday Tea Service the day after Thanksgiving.  This was my first time attending but I can tell you it won’t be my last.  I tried to reserve a couple of seats for the week before Christmas but they were all booked up.  I made a reservation instead for a date after Christmas and even then there wasn’t an empty seat to be found.  Holiday Tea at The Ashton Hotel runs through the end of the month of December.  The tea was EXCELLENT and so relaxing.  DEFINITELY put this activity on your TO DO list for the 2018 Holiday Season.  

The Christmas of 2017 was busy and it sped by quickly, but I can truly say it was FUN and memorable.

It’s 2018.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Christmas In Songs

As a child the songs of Christmas and the holiday season were always some of my favorite tunes.  At that time they always made me happy.

Even today some bring back memories of times gone by.  While in elementary school I was a member of the choral club, and doing one performance I actually had a solo.

Once I entered fifth grade I was made a member of the famed girls group at school–the Charmettes. This group sang on the two annual school programs. The winter program was called “Winter Wonderland”, and we always closed the program with it. Every time I hear it now I call my best friend and we break into song and laughter.

While working at a high school, the choir would do caroling through the halls. A lot of us would follow them to hear our favorite song.

I remember the great Christmas celebrations on Della Lane at home.  How much fun we had decorating the tree.  It seemed that everyone had a picture window where they displayed their tree.  The memories of home always come to mind.  I can’t go back to that time, but each year I do go home for Christmas–if only in my dreams.

Merry Christmas to all.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. What’s your favorite holiday song?

Join me on Instagram!

We’re on Instagram as @thisisyourbestyear. Install the app to follow my photos and videos. https://instagram.com/download/?r=380485317

You can also follow us on Facebook–thisisyourbestyear, Twitter–@mariciajohns and of course our website–www.thisisyourbestyear.com.

          Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

There Will Be No Paper or Plastic…

I’ve decided that there will be no paper plates or plastic ware in my house.  Yep, you heard me right.  The only thing used for eating and drinking that will be paper will be napkins, and that’s because I hate to iron.

A couple of years ago I decided to give my daughters part of their inheritance so that I could see them use it.  To my youngest, she would get my mother’s beautiful china which I can still remember the day my father gave it to her.  This was something that she had wanted forever, she was beyond excited, she was ecstatic that she could now serve special occasion meals in beautiful dishes.  I was ecstatic too because I wouldn’t be allowed to wash the china–too clumsy.  On those special days we would polish the flatware that was never used, iron the napkins, wash the china and crystal and place them on the dinning room table that only saw food on special occasions.

To my oldest, I wanted to give my china that was given to me by my father.  I remember when he started buying it. I was only a sophomore in college living with my sorority sisters, but I was excited. Visions of special dinners popped into my head.  I would set this beautiful table, and my mother and grandmother would iron the napkins. My father passed away before all the pieces were purchased, and I could never find the sugar bowl and creamer at any replacement site.  On one of my many trips to San Antonio to one of my favorite antique shops I ran across both pieces.  I was ecstatic.

Neither of the girls took me up on my offer.  The oldest one informed me that she already had a set of china which she does use some of the time (mine looks better).  If it didn’t go in the micro wave the youngest one didn’t want it. I tried the sympathy plea– “You will always have something to remember Granny Ruby by”.  It didn’t work.  I was informed they would always remember her.

What was I going to do with two sets of beautiful china, delicate crystal wine, champagne and water glasses?  The champagne classes are not fluted, they are the kind you see in the movies and they stack them. I had flatware and napkins that had nevfer seen the light of day. My husband solved the problem because he had a problem.

One day after a weekend of family as the dishwasher was humming along, he didn’t have a clean plate, and there were no paper plates.  What was he going to do? Stop the dishwasher and remove a half cleaned plate?  Go to the store and buy paper plates? No, just reach up there and get one of those china plates. From that moment on I decided there would be no paper plates or plastic ware used in my house.

That moment made me realize that I was going to use each and everything in my house.  So when you come to dinner you just might have your takeout/delivery on fancy china with paper napkins.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Everyday is special.

It’s Your Birthday–Celebrate

Sasha Obama just celebrated her 16th birthday, and she was probably counting the days until she could tell anyone who asked that she was 16.  There was probably some sort of celebration with friends and family. She may have even gotten a great gift from her parents, but everyone who knows her knew it was her birthday.  She told them weeks in advance that it was getting closer.

Most women of a certain age dread birthdays, or at least talking about the age we are as they are a reminder of the fact we are getting older. Remember as a child when someone asked you how old you were you would answer 15 and a half, and I will be 16 on June 23.  It seemed we wanted to be older.  At the age of 20 we would tell people I will be 21 in so many months. Then the dreaded 30 came, and for the most part we would own up to the age of 30, but soon after that we stopped talking about our birthday.

If we celebrated we started to insist that there be no candles on the cake except maybe one in the center because it just looked better, and besides who wanted all the germs from blowing out all of those candles.  Time seemed to speed up, and we zipped through the 40’s some of us the 50’s and beyond by just saying it was our birthday.

Some say you are to never ask a lady her age, it’s equivalent to asking a man how tall he is, and we all know how that goes. But then when we get pass a certain age, we tell our age with pride.

Is age just a number?  If it is, then why do we refuse to acknowledge our birthdays as we mature. When did you stop celebrating, was it when you turned 30, 40, 50 or beyond?  Some say that women stop celebrating because society does not take kindly to women of a certain age.  Men become more distinguished, and women become just older.  We even see it in the national news as was shown by the last presidential election.

There are some who have always celebrated their birthdays with as much gusto and excitement as they did turning Sweet 16.  They party like it’s 1999.  My sorority sister, Hazel is one of those people.  She recently held her 90th birthday party. She put up a huge sign so that you knew her age just in case you forgot.

2017-06-10 16.05.13

Maybe you don’t want a party to celebrate your birthday. Maybe you just want to sit on the patio and drink a nice cup of coffee. Celebrate in your own special way because it is your special day.

2017-06-11 18.21.42
Hazel at her 90th birthday party celebration

Happy 90th Birthday and Many More! because thisisyourbestyear”.

 

 

 

The Super Bowl And Everything That Goes With It

We are going to broadcast live on Facebook and Periscope–tweet and post on Facebook about all the festivities happening at Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas–The Taste of the NFL, the NFL Experience, Ditka & Jaws Cigar Party, the game and more.  Can we say “excited” Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Who knows maybe next time we can say “We’re going to Disney World”.

Christmas In October–Why Not?

As “women of a certain age” we can do whatever we want when it comes to celebrating special days and times.  We can drink that champagne at lunch if we so desire. Deciding to eat cake for breakfast is one of my favorites.  Who say’s we can’t do it?  So why not have Christmas in October, or at least the memories of Christmas past.

We can skip over Columbus Day, Halloween and even Thanksgiving, and go directly to Christmas and all of the joy that it brings.  No matter who you are, the sights and sounds of Christmas will always somehow put you in a better mood.  I’m not talking about Christmas shopping, malls, discounts that aren’t discounts–I’m talking about Christmas trees, nutcrackers and of course Santa himself.

As a child in Longview, Texas McIntosh Drug Store would open up a Christmas store next to their downtown pharmacy every year.  I can’t really remember if it opened in October or November, but I do remember the excitement that I had visiting it each year.  The sights, sounds and even the smells always seemed to work magic on everyone who went inside those magical doors.  As with everything, there is no McIntosh Drug Store anymore, there are only pharmacies.  Their magical Christmas store is just a memory for those of us who were fortunate enough to have lived it as children–children who believed in Santa long after they should.

To my surprise and delight in Tyler, Texas they have a Christmas store appropriately named The Christmas Store.  It is complete with the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of happiness. When I visited it recently, I knew that Christmas was still some time away, but the magic had me at the first blinking light.

My Christmas in October bought back childhood memories which always warm my heart. Who cares if it’s too early to start to think about the joys of Christmas?  As women of a certain age, we can have Christmas whenever we want.

Celebrate each day.  Why wait?  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

The Christmas Store is located at 121 E. 8th St., Tyler, TX 75701

“thisisyourbestyear” Is Ready For Some Football And More!!

“thisisyourbestyear” is covering the NFL Kickoff game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.  Also covering the Denver Food and Wine Festival. We are excited!! 

nfl-kickoff

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  We are ready for some football, good food and great wine!