Random Relevant Thoughts

    Hogmanay Traditions

    Have a very Scottish New Year

    Marcella, Dec 24, 2014 | Random Relevant Thoughts

    I started thinking of doing a Scottish party after watching Brave and How to Train Your Dragon (1 and 2) with our granddaughter.  (Although the Dragon movies are set in some fictional Norse place, the dad is voiced by Gerard Butler who is Scottish and sounds it.) Turns out, the Scots really do up New Year's, or Hogmanay, mainly because Christmas was effectively banned in Scotland for 400 years—something to do with the Presbyterians.  And I think Oliver Cromwell was involved.  In any case, Christmas was not even an official holiday in Scotland until 1958.

    Today Hogmanay is celebrated all across Scotland with street fairs, fireworks, fireball swinging (really!) and lots of food and Scotch whiskey.  And right after the stroke of midnight, everyone joins hands in a circle and sings "Auld Lang Syne."  So, in honor of our Hogmanay party:

    "We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne".

    Happy New Year.


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    Finding My Passion

    A little bit about me (and this is so not about me.)

    Marcella, Nov 20, 2014 | Random Relevant Thoughts

    I was educated as a lawyer, and had a 25-year career doing tax work for a financial planning firm. About one year after our firm was sold, my husband Bob and I retired, at fairly young ages. Bob and I are baby boomers (and hopefully, all of you non-boomers won't hate us for that), and, after I retired, I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I kept reading articles (yes, even newspaper articles) that talked about all the boomers who were retiring and "finding their passion." So, several times a week, I would look up from reading my cookbooks and cooking magazines, or from planning the menu for one of Lindsay's parties, and complain to Bob that there must be something wrong with me because I had no passion. Then, one day, six years in, I smacked myself in the head, called myself an idiot, and realized that my passion was entertaining family and friends, and making my home as comfortable and welcoming as possible. And, in order to justify spending enormous amounts of time "pursuing my passion", I decided to turn it into a business.

    Once I got the idea, I talked about it to my sister-in-law Pam, my step-daughter Lauren, and my daughter Lindsay, for two reasons. First, I enjoy them all tremendously, and thought it would be fun to work with them. Second, they all have strong skill sets in different areas, and we all complement one another.  So, the four of us started to plan All Toasty.  Along the way, we have added four more women:  my step-mother Marcia, my niece Bridget, and our very good friends Erin and Amy.  They also bring their own skill sets to the table (sort of a pun!) and hopefully, you will get to know all of us through our blogs.

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