Penny's Passion: Thinking Out Loud Thursday - December 27, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - December 27, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  If you are like me, I'm having a hard time figuring out what day of the week it truly is.  I typically take off from Christmas through New Year's and during that week the days become blurred.  So I'm fairly impressed with myself that I even remembered that today was Thursday and I needed to do a thinking out loud post!

Today I'm reflecting on my holiday bucket list.  My blogger friend Leslie from Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After suggested some of us share our lists and I'm so glad she did!  I love having a list to check off and it seems to keep me more focused.  Here's how my list shaped up ~

Ring Bells for the Salvation Army
I've done this for years and it's such a rewarding experience!  Years ago, it was such an eye opener how people react to bell ringers.  Most of the time people try to scamper past you, pretending you're not there.  Since my first experience with that, I've learned to at least say Merry Christmas to the ringer even if I'm not dropping some change in their buckets.  So I'm challenging you this year to do the same.  
Checked this one off twice!  The company I work for signs up for an entire week of bell ringing at a store near our office.  This year I filled two spots and rang bells with my friend Tammy the first time and my friend Peggy for the second.  Doing this volunteer project truly warms my heart and adds something special to the holiday season.
Image may contain: 2 people, including Penny Talbot Struebig, people smiling, people standing and shoes

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

Enjoy Making Cookies with Friends
My friends in Kansas City have a cookie day every year and I have yet to make it.  This year I'm hoping to break that cycle and show up!
Well, I made it to Kansas City and spent a wonderful day with friends.  But I didn't make a single cookie!  I watched Jodie and Janet make hundreds of delicious treats.  I also had a blast playing games all day and being present at this gathering.  I'll take that as successfully completing this one!

Have a Gathering at Our House
Entertaining is a true passion of mine and what a better time to have people over to our house than when it's all decorated!  
I had a gathering, but it was for a bittersweet occasion.  My friend, MaryLou, is moving to her home state of New Jersey and I hosted her going away party.  The party was fun and I believe everyone that attended had a wonderful time.  With that said, we all are going to dearly miss our friend.   

Make Fruitcakes for My Dad
My dad is one of the rare people who love a good fruitcake.  For years, when my son, Ian, was little we would make Grandpa's fruitcakes together.  He would stand on a chair next me and we would work chopping the nuts and mixing the batter.  Since he's grown up and left the house, making fruitcakes has been kind of hit or miss.  Well, this year I hope to make it a hit!  Even though I don't have my son here to help, my dad still loves fruitcakes so I want to make some for him.
Checked this one off just in time for Christmas!  I left work a bit early on Friday, December 21 to come home and whip out three fruitcakes for my dad.  
Mail Christmas Cards
This is a process I make way harder than it should be.  First, I literally think about the picture on the card all year long.  We tried to get pictures when we were on vacation in Cancun, Rome and Indiana.  Just this morning I put Eric through a 45 minutes photo shoot that was truly painful.  I need to just pick a picture already and get the darn cards ordered!!  And just about the time I think I have a good picture I start second guessing myself about even doing a card with a picture of Eric and me.  Is it weird for two grown adults to do a picture card?  I love getting picture cards - but does anybody really care to see pictures of us?  See, I make this way harder than it should be.
After all the hassle of trying to get a picture for our Christmas cards, I ended up going with a picture we had taken in front of the Trevi Fountain while we were in Rome.  Thanks to our photographer, Linda, for helping us out while we were there.  She gladly agreed to go to the fountain one morning at the crack of dawn so I could take pictures without a lot of people in the background.  

Did you have a holiday bucket list?  How did you fare?

Now I'm turning my focus on my 2019 Bucket List.  Most years we go to Kansas City to celebrate New Year's.  On the road trip there, we talk about things we would like to accomplish the following year.  I'll be sharing some of the items with you after the first of the year.  Pop in on January 3 and link up what's on your 2019 Bucket List.


  1. Great job on crossing off items on your holiday bucket list. I'll have to go back over mine in the New Year!


  2. Great job on checking them all off! I too have been finding that publishing my bucket list has helped hold me more accountable. So far we've crossed everything off our winter bucket list that doesn't have to do with snow... and if we don't get to those because it doesn't snow I won't be heartbroken. By the way, I LOVE your card!

  3. Excellent work Penny! I always say hello to the bell ringers and usually try to drop something in the bucket. A couple of times, on really cold days, my husband has offered to buy the ringer a warm drink--coffee or cocoa. Speaking of my husband, he also likes a good homemade fruitcake--not me though! Good luck on your 2019 bucket list. I hope you'll share it with us.

  4. I think you did a great job on your holiday bucket list! Good for you on ringing the bells! I always try to say hi and Merry Christmas to the bell ringer even if I'm low on change to give them! Looks like you had a fun holiday season!

  5. Hi Penny, I much enjoyed reading about your holiday bucket lists results, and I really appreciated the insights into being a Salvation Army bell ringer! For years I've felt guilty about walking by without giving (we have our own list of holiday organizations we give to), but will absolutely wish them a great big Merry Christmas going forward!

  6. I am so glad to read your recap. Need to write mine up now that I am home again. Love the photos of your bell ringing experiences this year. Your smile is so warm, I am sure folks responded well to you and were most charitable.

    Your Christmas card was well worth the effort and extra thought. Lovely. I want to have professional photos taken outdoors. But may need to sell my first born to do it! Had no idea how expensive photographers are.

    When I read your fruitcake activity as we shared our mini holidays lists at the beginning of the month, I made a face at the thought of fruitcake. Not a fan. But while I was in KY caring for my mom, a friend of hers shared the most delicious fruitcake with us. MOIST, flavorful...ordered from somewhere in Tennessee. I could eat it all day long. So, I apologize for making a face!

    Glad you enjoyed time with your friends even if you didn't bake cookies, and glad you hosted a wonderful send-off to your friend who is moving. Very sweet of you.

    Thank you for joining me for the bucket list series. Happy new year.

  7. Hi Penny - Well done with your holiday bucket list. Your Christmas card photo is very nice. Happy New Year!