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30 November 2008 - 5:06pm
This is the new background photo for our Twitter page.
I guess I watched too many episodes of Monk this weekend. I'd love to figure out what year this was taken:
I think two clues are the happy-face scarf
the girl on the left is wearing:
Late '60s or early '70s?
Come on, fess up -- what did you wear back then? Surely this photo brings back memories.
And if you weren't even alive back then, you might think twice about gloating too much. Remember, we know where Santa keeps his "Good Boys & Girls" book.
29 November 2008 - 5:43am
Basically, it's a real-time search function. I signed up and asked it to send me an email to let me know any time someone tweets about Holiday World. (Twitter, as you may recall, is a "microblogging" program. You're limited to a maximum of 140 characters for each post, or "tweet.")
It's helpful, as it directs me to folks who are talking about or asking questions about Holiday World. I try not to barge in on conversations, but sometimes it feels appropriate and is welcomed.
I think I'll leave this one alone, though:
As if to welcome me back to the post-holiday world, the cat puked as soon as I got up.
25 November 2008 - 8:52pm
Nobody orders Mrs. Koch around. It just wouldn't be right.
... but when the TV stations started calling about the "Help Wanted: Elves!" story, I glanced at the pretty sweater she wore today.
The one with the big mouse face on it.
We laughed and she told me she'd grab a Santa Claus Museum shirt to change into well before the crews arrived.
Here's the story WFIE-TV produced.
And here's the story in the Evansville Courier & Press.
25 November 2008 - 6:29pm
Every year, a week or so before Thanksgiving, I poll my family:
What would you like for dessert next Thursday?
Surely the traditional pumpkin pie, apple cobbler, bread pudding and pecan tarts are on the list...
In my culinary dreams.
Chocolate cake. That's all they want.
And so each year I make a Thanksgiving Chocolate Cake. Because I'm thankful for my guys.
I'm thankful that my husband puts up with the crazy hours I work. I'm thankful that my older sons (ages 17 and 24) connect to me as "friends" on Facebook, even though it seems a little weird. And I'm thankful that James, 9, reads aloud to me, even if it's a Pokemon book.
Yesterday, I emailed our staff. I guess I should have asked them what they're thankful for this year. But instead I asked them what dish they most look forward to on Thanksgiving.
Incredibly, no one smarted off by replying "satellite dish." I may be clueless when it comes to sports, but there's surely some sort of game on Thursday, right?
Anyway, here are the responses:
Joe, IT: The dressing.
Eric, Admissions: My favorite dish is usually sweet potatoes. Last year I volunteered to bring sweet potato casserole. Sweetened with pineapple, I must say it is delicious. My oldest sister asked what was in it. She stopped mid bite when she learned that she was eating the one fruit that she is allergic to. I had no clue! Fortunately she didn't swell up and was able to finish her meal.
Jodie, Warehouse: Stuffing!
(So...is it "stuffing" or "dressing"? Is this a regional thing? They're the same thing, right? My family has always called it stuffing.)
Mrs. Koch: My favorite is my Mom, Isabelle Yellig’s dressing. It is the best. I had to stand and watch her make it because she did not have a written recipe. I remember she always asked a butcher to save chicken necks and backs and gizzards for the broth and she cooked them to make a rich broth and then put them through a hand grinder. The eggs had to be room temperature, not cold, because she said the dressing would not be fluffy if the eggs were too cold. The bread had to be broken and left out in the open air in a pan one or two days before making the dressing so it would be firm. I make it at Thanksgiving and Christmas and it is good.
Tori, Rides: Homemade noodles with mashed potatoes.
Lori, Splashin' Safari: My Grandmother’s Squash Pie! It is a spin off of the traditional pumpkin pie, but she makes it out of squash (usually butternut). One year, my Grandmother entered a pumpkin pie contest with her squash pie and won! Grandma will be 98 years old in a couple of months and I completely expect her have a pie waiting for me this Thursday!
Tim, Coaster Maintenance: My favorite dish is my Aunt’s seven layer salad and my favorite dessert is my mom’s pecan pie.
Andy, Marketing: I LOVE stuffing and peanut butter pie, but that's just me...
(Now, Andy ... have to ask: the stuffing and the pie are separate, right? The "that's just me" threw me...)
Matt, GM/Shared Services: Thanksgiving is about gluttony, so I cannot pick just one. Broccoli & Cheese Casserole, Pumpkin Cheesecake, 7 Layer Salad.
Andrea, Print Shop: The part of the meal I could never live without is the turkey and the pumpkin pie. It must be a family thing because my sister who lives in Geneva, Switzerland, feels the same way about the pumpkin pie. Even though she has dual citizenship Thanksgiving is the one American holiday she cannot live without. Every year she spends either the weekend before or after our Thanksgiving holiday with American friends in Germany (it is not a holiday in Switzerland or Germany therefore they don't have Thursday off). She makes the pumpkin pie which is a big ordeal. The Swiss don't have canned pumpkin. Apparently they only use small amounts of cubed pumpkin in some soups. She has to buy enough cubes bake them, remove the rind, and put the rest in the blender to make the pumpkin for the pie. In all my years of making pumpkin pie only once did I use a whole pumpkin to make the "guts" for the pie. It did have a little different taste, but not enough to go through the process every year when we are blessed with the presence of canned pumpkin. I am "thankful" for many things, but I suppose one of them is canned pumpkin. Happy Thanksgiving!
25 November 2008 - 12:39pm
The call came yesterday.
Mrs. Koch isn't one to panic, but she was in a state.
It seems news of the Santa Elves had gone viral. This is not to say we're a town full of sneezing Santa's Helpers; when we say "viral," we mean the story of the Elves had gained massive interest on blogs and forums on the Internet.
Word of Mouth Gone Wild, now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
In the simplest terms, the amount of letters has increased sevenfold. That's 700 percent.
And so, there is an immediate need for more Elves. Qualifications are simple: a kind heart and legible handwriting. There are more specifics here.
Santa gets the Elves all set up by writing the letters ahead of time. As you can imagine, this time of year he finds the need to delegate. The Elves add each child's name plus a personal P.S.
The Elves have a rip-roaring good time, and sometimes pause to read the letters to each other.
Occasionally, though, the room grows hushed and a few tears are blinked back.
The Christmas spirit is here in the town of Santa Claus, in a little museum. Do you live nearby? Maybe you can stop by and help out for a few hours and leave knowing you are truly one of Santa's Elves.