"I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward." (Ecclesiastes 5:18, NET)

December 30, 2013

My Christmas vacation: A quiz

It's now day 24 of my 26-day hiatus from work. Yes, you read that number correctly. Including weekends, holidays, and all the vacation days I didn't have time to take during the year, I had 26 glorious days to decompress. It was like having my own "summer of George," and if you're a Seinfeld fan, you know what I mean.

Rather than drone on about the myriad of simple pleasures I enjoyed, here's a short quiz to learn about some of them and also to see how well you know me. Write down your answers and check them against the answer key at the bottom.

1.  Of the following party foods I made, what was my favorite leftover to eat for breakfast?
  1. Sausage balls
  2. Spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips
  3. Deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped water chestnuts
  4. Chocolate-dipped, cherry-topped coconut macaroons
2.  What beverage did I not drink?
  1. As much water as I usually do, which is at least 8 to 10 glasses a day because I normally follow a healthy diet
  2. Coffee from my new one-cup coffee maker that appeared on the kitchen counter Christmas morning (presumably from Santa rather than Robert since the sticky note wasn't signed)
  3. A delightful cabernet from Dreaming Tree wines, gifted by my friend Betsy during my turn to host the "tea party" that she, Jennifer, and I have every December
  4. A vodka shot with my 84-year-old mom, which was on my nephew Deke's bucket list for his mema
3.  What TV programs did I not watch?
  1. Previously aired "Duck Dynasty" episodes that I had missed
  2. Every sitcom with a laugh track because canned laughter doesn't make me want to blow a hole in the TV
  3. "The Rolling Stones, Sweet Summer Sun - Return to Hyde Park"
  4. Endless hours of home renovations via "Property Brothers" and "Love It or List It"
4.  How many literary agencies did I query about my manuscript?
  1. One, because preparing submissions is hard work and I'm lazy when it comes to doing things I don't enjoy, plus I like to avoid rejection
  2. Five, because I'm pumped about doing whatever work it takes to increase my minuscule chances of being published
  3. Ten, because a lot of agencies are looking for a first-time novelist whose manuscript isn't geared for commercial success
5.  In my time spent online, which one of the following things did I not do?
  1. Reduce the number of unread messages in my personal email account from triple to double digits
  2. Check my work email account and respond to all messages containing questions or action items
  3. Scroll through my Facebook news feed, clicking "Like" selectively and "Share" pretty much never
  4. Read Izzy St. Clair's journal about God's presence in her valley of cancer and find myself humbled, inspired, and thankful
6.  What white elephant gift did I get at the annual "Old Compaq Gang Christmas Party"?
  1. An ear wax removal system
  2. Slipper Genie microfiber cleaning slippers in vibrant purple
  3. A Charlie Brown Christmas tree and beanie baby
  4. The hideous gold sandals for men that show up every year
7.  Which statement is true concerning gifts I gave to others?
  1. Hid 29 gifts for the grandkids, miscounted the 28 that I set out on Christmas Eve, then had a frantic search for the missing one in the midst of opening gifts
  2. Made wine-glass charms for my brother Rex so that half the conversations at his and Mom's family gatherings will no longer begin, "Is that my glass?"
  3. Took cookies and candy to my neighbor Cathy and her son, Braxton, who was severely injured in a motorcycle accident two years ago, and I learned that he's miraculously overcoming his bleak prognosis by beginning to communicate
  4. All of the above (Praise God for "C" and the note in childlike handwriting on Cathy's fridge that said, "I love you, Mom"!)
8.  During the grandkids' sleepovers, what did I not do?
  1. Give Jackson a mani pedi
  2. Scratch Sara and Christian's backs until they fell asleep
  3. Serve Evyn and Ezra breakfast in bed
  4. Sleep in a separate bed so I couldn't cuddle with my grandkids all night and see their angel faces first thing in the morning
9.  What was unfortunately not among the many highlights of my time off?
  1. Having the Property Brothers renovate my home
  2. Setting my alarm only on Sundays
  3. Having the freedom each day to choose what I wanted to do
  4. Celebrating the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to save sinners like me
Correct answers below ...

1. C | 2. A | 3. B | 4. A | 5. B | 6. C | 7. D | 8. D | 9. A
  • 7 to 9 correct answers: We're probably friends or family. 
  • 4 to 6 correct answers: We're probably acquaintances, and I can only hope that now you know more about me, you're not disappointed. 
  • 0 to 3 correct answers: You're definitely a lousy test taker. (I mean, come on now, at least 3 answers were obviously correct and you should have guessed correctly on at least 1 more.)
Thanks for taking the quiz, and please leave a comment below to let me know how you did.

Happy New Year to "all y'all"!


  1. I would have been happy to get a perfect score, but I'm glad I missed the one about the gold sandals. So glad you didn't have to bring them home. Happy New Year, Paula!

  2. I'm glad you missed that one too, Stephanie, and congratulations on an almost-perfect score! I thought for sure I'd be stuck with the purple cleaning slippers after I opened them, but Ken Clark actually stole them. That enabled me to nab the Charlie Brown stuff, which Denise Lindley brought.

    So I've gotta give a shout-out to Denise and Ken for me getting a gift I actually like after almost 20 years of white elephants at the old gang party!

  3. I got a perfect score :)